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Happy whatever the hell it is you do or don’t celebrate this time of year

December 22, 2010

Finally got a little snow yesterday, first of the year. The squidlette made some snowmen. I was informed when I got home by the little bundle of hat and mittens and boots that the daddy snowman melted.

She was right about that :)

That’s about all I need for the holidays, although a Werner Herzog movie might be nice too.

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39 Comments leave one →
  1. sisdevore permalink
    December 22, 2010 10:10 am

    How I love what I hear from my anonymous blog-friends. There is never TMI. Just enough to get a glimmer of another’s world. The Squidlette. I love her and her mittens!

    I am facing a heavy decision. My dog has bitten me twice, within a week, in the middle of the night. The first one was the thumb, early this AM it was my forehead. A huge gash. He is 13 years old and has bitten me before, numerous times. He seems to have some kind of “conscience” about it. Walking around feeling guilty today. He has a deep-seated problem. When I adopted him, when he was less than a year, he had never been on a leash. My neighbors would remark–“Oh I am so glad you have him now, I was so scared to see him running around in the street.” But I have to put him down. I have a constant worry he will hurt other people, and it is ruining my already ruined life.Ok, I’m hoping for a comeback from “Battered pet owner syndrome.”

    • cometman permalink*
      December 22, 2010 10:21 am

      Thanks Miss D!

      That really sucks about the dog. But if he’s biting you while you’re asleep it sounds like there’s a real problem. Maybe age is affecting his mind? I know it probably doesn’t make you feel a lot better, but putting him to sleep may be for the best. Doesn’t help anybody to let an old dog go on too long, not the person or the dog. Friend of mine had a dog with really bad cancer and she wouldn’t put him to sleep. Her description of the dog was pretty gruesome and he’d have been better off without lingering and suffering. Had to put a cat down a few years back – first pet I ever had of my own as an adult. Went into the room when they did it – I figured for all the time he had kept me company I should keep him company in his last moments. Tore me up at the time but glad I did it that way because he was really sick and in pain.

    • artemis54 permalink
      December 22, 2010 6:26 pm

      I am very sad to hear this Miss D.

      Is it always at night? Wondering about neurological problems. My border collie gladys – who also had a seizure from time to time – used to sleep on the bed until one night she bit me in the ass, very very hard. I think she was asleep at the time.

      Thirteen is not all that old for a chihuahua.

      I was surprised to learn that they do regularly prescribe antidepressants to dogs and cats for some of these problems. If they are, it might be cheaper to get your own prescription – that shouldn’t be too tough, esp around Xmas – and weigh it out.

      • sisdevore permalink
        December 22, 2010 10:02 pm

        The biting has always been when he is interrupted from sleep. Since the last 2 incidents happened when I was asleep, I can only gather that maybe I rolled over on his toes or something. And I know thirteen is not old for a chihuahua. What a hell of a year! My baby bro dies unexpectedly at 52, Obama owes me $ 220 and an explanation, and I likely have to put my baby down.Years ago, the vet suggested a behavioralist in Berkeley for quite the price. That is not really a dog. A dog is someone that swims in a lake with you, not someone who requires psychotropic drugs.

  2. cometman permalink*
    December 22, 2010 1:34 pm

    Nothing like the holiday season to remind us why we need to TAX THE FUCKING CHURCHES!!!!

    Couple found via Pharyngula –

    Here’s how much a fairly typical minister gets in tax breaks – Ministers and Federal Subsidies. 18 large seems a little much for the services rendered.

    And an AZ hospital has been stripped of its Catholic affiliation for performing an emergency abortion to save the life of a dying woman. As Myers said, no great loss for them.

  3. cometman permalink*
    December 22, 2010 1:42 pm

    Barry had to waited quite a while to get DADT passed while he was busy playing politics with people’s lives. As Commander in Chief of the armed forces he could have gotten it done a lot quicker with the stroke of a pen. But Barry is more than willing to use an executive order to get his way when it comes to locking people up indefinitely without charges.

    Again, I think DADT passed because no politician wanted to be seen bucking the military leadership. But if the military brass hadn’t come out in favor of doing the right thing, it wouldn’t have been done. And this detention issue is again all about politics and fear. Nobody wants to be painted as “soft on the terrah” so just fuck the rule of law completely.

  4. cometman permalink*
    December 22, 2010 1:54 pm

    Some links –

    New census data and a Republican state Congress could cost Dennis Kucinich his seat. If so, I’d love to see him beat the crap out of whatever hack gerrymanders him out of his district. He’s been left for politically dead before and still came through.

    A Montana jury stages a mutiny during a pot possession trial and refuses to convict the accused. Smoke ’em if you got ’em!

    Yves Smith still doesn’t see much good coming form new financial regulations – On the Gutting of Financial Services Reform.

  5. cometman permalink*
    December 22, 2010 2:11 pm

    Bad link in the last thread (corrected now) to the story about a new highway in Bolivia slated to carve up indigenous lands – Evo’s Highway. As mentioned earlier, very disappointing.

    Then there’s this statement from the Bolivian Ambassador to the UN after Bolivia was the only country to outright reject the what was negotiated at the recent climate talks in Cancun – Why Bolivia stood alone in opposing the Cancún climate agreement.

    Many commentators have called the Cancún accord a “step in the right direction.” We disagree: it is a giant step backward. The text replaces binding mechanisms for reducing greenhouse gas emissions with voluntary pledges that are wholly insufficient. These pledges contradict the stated goal of capping the rise in temperature at 2C, instead guiding us to 4C or more. The text is full of loopholes for polluters, opportunities for expanding carbon markets and similar mechanisms – like the forestry scheme Redd – that reduce the obligation of developed countries to act.

    Not sure exactly how to square the two stories. Not at all familiar with the author of the highway story or with the ambassador for that matter. Probably, like a lot of things in this world, you just can’t.

  6. sisdevore permalink
    December 22, 2010 10:07 pm

    I’m amazed to see that Obama is being heralded as a “comeback kid.” That is so Clinton. And the emergence of the Clinton folks is precisely where Obama fails.Bill still he thinks he is the first black prez, and he is not going to let a black man take that away from him.

    They are all vain mofos.

    • cometman permalink*
      December 23, 2010 8:22 am

      Heh. Couple things pass the lame duck session that should have passed a while ago and all of a sudden he’s Marcus Aurelius.

      Once Barry starts signing Republican-led legislation over the next two years, I suspect the talking heads will be calling for an addition to Mt. Rushmore so they can put his mug there right next to St. Ronnie.

  7. cometman permalink*
    December 23, 2010 1:51 pm

    More on the DADT repeal –

    Hadn’t occurred to me that once the policy was passed, it would take time to implement. I mean we aren’t talking about phasing in new equipment that needs to be built or moving several brigades to a new country populated by brown people that needs bombing. Seems pretty simple, it’s OK if you’re gay and you can no longer get kicked out.

    So I was a bit surprised to see this interview with Barry in The Advocate where he promises that it will take months and not years to implement the policy.

    Yes, OK. Back to “don’t ask, don’t tell” real quick. How long do you anticipate the certification process [will be]?

    Barry: I spoke to Admiral Mullen today. He said he’s taking the implementation manual that was a companion to the attitudinal survey off to vacation with him. He is prepared to implement. I spoke to other of the service chiefs, including, for example, General Amos. We saw that in the attitudinal surveys there was the most resistance in the Marine Corps. But Jim Amos said to me that he’s ready to implement and he’s going to make it work.

    So my strong sense is this is a matter of months…

    Not years?

    Barry: Absolutely not years — and that we will get this done in a timely fashion, and the chiefs are confident that it will get done in a timely fashion. They understand this is not something that they’re going to be slow-walking.

    No fawning praise from the reporter whatsoever and he takes Barry to task on DOMA too and gets rather equivocating answers in return. Barry is still “wrestling” with his beliefs on that.

    I think Barry should be proud of getting this passed on his watch, don’t get me wrong, but I still see a lot of politics being played here. And to go off on a tangent for a bit, I didn’t like this bullshit much at all –

    So I would say, look … we’ve done a lot this year and we did a lot the previous year, and so obviously saving the economy from depression, getting health care passed, and getting financial regulatory reform are all things that I’m very proud of.

    Think it’s a wee bit too early to declare the economy “saved” and those other reforms aren’t all they’re cracked up to be by the pom pom girls.

    More on this from the CS Monitor. Find myself in agreement with this statement –

    The lack of a concrete timetable is frustrating some gay rights advocates who point out that quickly implementing orders is generally a military forte – and question why putting the repeal in place should take much longer than one month.

    Here’s the reason given for the delay –

    The military argues that the key to a smooth implementation is educating troops about the new law. Once they do this, officials explain – and once Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen have consulted with the heads of the services branches and are confident that the repeal will not harm readiness, recruitment, or retention – they will send a letter to Congress “certifying” that the military is ready.

    Again, I fail to see why this is necessary. Gays can serve and if the rest of the military doesn’t like it, tough shit. How hard is that too understand?

    I suspect something else may be going on here, namely the coddling of homophobes. Maybe the military doesn’t want to lose some of its bigots in the top brass. Wondering if maybe the delay is to restructure various chains of command and make sure that homophobes can be segregated rather than booted and make sure gays don’t get appointed to those units.

    Am I being way too cynical here? Should I just celebrate the victory and quit bitching? Maybe I’m missing something – feel free to lay into me if I am. So much bullshit coming from the Beltway I just don’t trust anybody to really do the right thing anymore.

  8. cometman permalink*
    December 23, 2010 2:10 pm

    Sad in so many ways.

    Some Haitians have blamed the cholera outbreak on witchcraft and 45 people have been lynched in recent weeks.

    The number included at least 14 suspected sorcerers previously known to have been lynched in the far southwestern region of Grand’Anse as local people feared they were spreading cholera with a magical substance. The area has been largely spared by the outbreak.

    “We have counted 40 people dead in Grand’Anse department alone, where people are attacking natural healers they accuse of cholera-linked witchcraft,” said communications ministry official Moise Fritz Evens.

    Five other people were killed in similar circumstances elsewhere in the country.

    “The victims – most of them voodoo priests – were stoned or hacked with machetes before being burned in the street,” added the official, who was presenting the results of an investigation conducted in Grand’Anse earlier this month.

  9. cometman permalink*
    December 23, 2010 2:18 pm

    Couple points of interest –

    Senate Dems claim that it’s time for filibuster reform. If it’s anything like healthcare “reform” or financial “reform”, they’ll wind up needing 51 votes plus the approval of Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JP Morgan, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Monsanto, etc before bringing anything up for a vote.

    And hell freezes over as Pat Robertson comes out in favor of legal doobies! But lest you think pat has seen the light and decided that god’s own natural weed can’t be that bad, better read the fine print. Sounds to me like he’s looking at it as a financial opportunity for himself.

    “It got to be a big deal in campaigns: ‘He’s tough on crime,’ and ‘lock ’em up!'” the Christian Coalition founder said. “That’s the way these guys ran and, uh, they got elected. But, that wasn’t the answer.”

    His co-host added that the success of religious-run dormitories for drug and alcohol cessation therapy present an “opportunity” for faith-based communities to lead the way on drug law reforms.

    Pat doesn’t want those in the incarceration business raking in all the cash, he wants a little slice for himself as he “cures” people of their evil ways.

  10. cometman permalink*
    December 24, 2010 7:52 am

    Students protest against Chavez in Venezuela because of a new law giving the government more control of universities.

    Here’s the AP’s take which I originally saw linked at Rawstory. Fairly biased article which tends to make Chavez look bad. Just about all the quotes come from Chavez opposition. The attempt at providing the government’s position sounds like the reporter just included what he thought the government would have said if he’d actually bothered to ask anybody –

    Chavez’s socialist government has defended the law saying it seeks to make the universities more inclusive and democratic.

    The Boston Globe is even worse. They use the same AP feed, but a truncated version which doesn’t even include that last bit I quoted.

    More balanced coverage from Reuters which reminds us that Chavez actually has supporters-

    The [protesting] students say the law gives too much power to the government, aims to promote socialist ideology and will be used to crack down on autonomous universities that have long been centers of opposition to the president’s leftist agenda.

    ~snip~

    Elsewhere, student supporters of Chavez celebrated the passing of the measure, stringing up a copy of the old university law and beating it with sticks.

    And from the BBC

    Student leaders say the law on university education damages the autonomy of Venezuela’s state universities, which have been a bastion of anti-government protests.

    ~snip~

    The government says the law makes universities more democratic by giving university workers, as well as students and teachers, a say in how they are run.

    One university worker, Carlos Lopez, said the law would break the control of education by Venezuela’s “oligarchy” and make universities truly autonomous.

    “With this law we begin a new stage of education in Venezuela, where all education is democratised,” he told Venezuelan National Radio.

    Which version of the story will be seen more in the US? So far it looks like the AP version which paints Chavez as a dictator, despite the fact that he has been democratically elected and survived a coup endorsed by the US. I’m betting that’s why they just passed a law making it illegal for political parties to receive foreign funding. Of course, no mention by the AP the the US government had been funneling money to Chavez opposition through USAID.

  11. artemis54 permalink
    December 24, 2010 10:34 am

    Clawing all the way as she slides into the dustbin, the Wicked Witch shits on Christmas, LGBT’s, the military, the constitution, basic decency, etc etc:

    • cometman permalink*
      December 24, 2010 10:49 am

      Wow. Even the host smacked her down. Into the dustbin indeed.

      Funny how these types forget that the military takes orders from civilian leadership and not the other way around…

  12. cometman permalink*
    December 24, 2010 1:24 pm

    Obama’s holiday message –

    A Barry Merry Xmas for the filthy stinking rich!

    A lump of coal for we the plebes.

    And a hearty fuck you to killer whales and polar bears too.

  13. cometman permalink*
    December 24, 2010 1:41 pm

    More on recent goings on in Bolivia. This one does actually help square the two articles mentioned above – The Techno-Fantasies of Evo Morales. Worth reading the whole thing but the gist is that the Bolivian government does want to become “greener’ but they think they can do it by developing just like the west using new technologies. Article mentions recent discoveries of lithium which the government looks forward to mining and selling to make high tech gadgetry. Also hydro power among other things, but on a scale that dwarfs some of the bigger dams in the US –

    The Morales administration is likewise building multi-million-dollar hydro-electric dams whose construction is requiring the displacement of entire villages. The president is allowing Brazil to build two dams near the border that will outsize the Hoover Dam by 300 percent, just as Brazil is pitching in $1.5 billion toward Bolivia’s hydrocarbon industry, with an emphasis on petrochemicals. Energía Argentina is erecting a 900-mile pipeline through Bolivia for importing natural gas to Argentina, while the administration has signed a contract with Jindal corporation of India to construct one of the largest iron mines in the world near Santa Cruz. In August 2010, Morales announced plans for an international state-of-the-tech airport in Oruro that will increase toxic contamination, while providing access to international corporations partnering in mining deals. And in September the administration verified that caches of uranium exist in the hills of Potosí and the country would partner with Iran to explore excavation. By October, after a quick trip to Iran, Morales announced his desire to build nuclear plants in Bolivia.

    So it sounds like Morales may be listening to some bad advice and trying to do too much too soon as the Latin trading bloc tries to free itself from dependency on the US and the west. Hard to tell exactly.

    I do tend to trust Counterpunch, and if they’re publishing articles critical of Morales, makes me think there’s something to it. And I hadn’t caught this before –

    Grabbed by such contradictions, in August 2010, Morales’ own Minister of the Environment, Juan Pablo Ramos, resigned his post — “out of conscience.”

    Then again the article gets a bit shrill in its condemnation of supposedly harmful electromagnetic radiation. Not saying there are no effects, but I haven’t seen the scientific community claiming these fears are at all valid. With all the EM radiation around almost everybody these days, if it were a real danger, you’d think people would be dropping dead left and right from being fried.

    Probably be able to get a better read on the situation if I understood Spanish…

  14. cometman permalink*
    December 24, 2010 1:53 pm

    Various ephemera –

    Stock market keeps going up but who’s doing all the buying? Looks like it’s the Fed trying to keep that bubble inflated.

    Yes, that line you’re waiting in is actually the slowest

    And if the holidays are stressing you out, be like Rudolph and get yourself an attitude adjustment!

    Have a nice goddamned xmas everybody!

  15. triv33 permalink
    December 26, 2010 7:45 am

    Hope you and yours had a great one c-man!

    • cometman permalink*
      December 27, 2010 8:44 am

      Thanks triv. We had a very nice holiday. Hope you did too!

      The squidlette wanted santa to bring her a snow shovel for xmas and now she’ll get to put it to good use ;) Sounds like you got it worse than most in your neck of the woods. Must be pretty bad to cancel football. Either that or the NFL is going soft…

  16. cometman permalink*
    December 27, 2010 1:26 pm

    More wikileaks –

    Greenwald with some heavy criticism of Wired’s lack of reporting on the chatlogs it holds between Manning and Lamo. An excerpt won’t do it justice so check it out. Just keeps getting stranger.

    And Assange signs a big book deal supposedly to help pay his legal fees.

  17. cometman permalink*
    December 27, 2010 2:19 pm

    Various points of interest –

    A new Oregon State University (home of Octocam) study shows that drifting sea larvae can re-seed fish stocks at great distances, showing the benefits of having marine reserve areas.

    “We already know that marine reserves will grow larger fish and some of them will leave that specific area, what we call spillover,” said Mark Hixon, a professor of marine biology at OSU. “Now we’ve clearly shown that fish larvae that were spawned inside marine reserves can drift with currents and replenish fished areas long distances away.

    Secrets of sea urchin teeth revealed.

    And this can’t be good – Rare earth metals mine is key to US control over hi-tech future.

    Now that China is holding out on these metals, the US and others are re-opening some of their own mines. The article highlights one mine that was closed in 2002 after China had made mining there unprofitable. But before it closed –

    A pipeline accident in the late 1990s, which leaked radioactive fluid into the desert and a nearby town, led to an expensive clean-up.

    But now Barry wants to fast-track the re-opening of these types of mines. Wonder how many environmental regulations will be overlooked this time? And this kind of thing really pisses me off –

    “The road to the green world of the future starts from the black earth. But first you have to get the materials out of the ground,” said Hatch. “The whole clean-tech energy industry is hinging on it.”

    Just how clean and green is it when thousands and thousands of acres have to be destroyed to get at the stuff to produce these “green” technologies? How is this any better than mountain top removal for fuck sake?

  18. cometman permalink*
    December 28, 2010 2:58 pm

    Just a few notes today –

    Via Rawstory, this is likely what Assange was talking about when he said wikileaks associates had already been assassinated – Wikileaks writers killed in Kenya.

    On Thursday afternoon March 5, Oscar Kamau Kingara, director of the Kenyan based Oscar legal aid Foundation, and its programme coordinator, John Paul Oulo, were shot at close range in their car less than a mile from President Kibaki’s residence. The two were on their way to a meeting at the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights.

    Both had been investigating extrajudicial assassinations by the Kenyan Police.

    Doesn’t sound like these men were killed specifically because of their association with wikileaks and the police who murdered them may not have even been aware of the connection when they pulled the trigger, but they’re dead nonetheless.

    Good one from ProPublica documenting the fraud committed at Merrill Lynch. Interesting mainly because it names names since we were already well aware of the fraud and the methods used to perpetrate it – The ‘Subsidy’: How a Handful of Merrill Lynch Bankers Helped Blow Up Their Own Firm.

    And something nice to look forward to, namely the collapse of this gargantuan scam we call the US economy as the rats begin devouring each other – The Limits to Racketeering.

    This is a welter of parasites battening on the same host. They’re in a zero sum game, not only against the people, but among themselves. Each has an interest in just exploiting the host, not killing it. But together they are killing it and therefore themselves. It’s clear none is capable of organizing or regulating the others. The federal government isn’t capable of doing it. If one big bank tried to do it, it would be subverted by the others. Each racket, from highest to lowest, is going to maximize its bloodsucking until there’s no blood left.

    It’s the truest and most extreme example of the tragedy of the commons. (The “tragedy of the commons” is a Big Lie in general, but in cases like this one it’s true.) Biologically, it can’t stay this way. It’s impossible to exploit any resource this way forever or to maintain such cannibalistic complexity. Such a bottleneck cannot endure. That’s why no such tyranny has lasted long, and in the acceleration of modern times, where tyrannies take only years to go through the same life cycle which once took centuries, we can reasonably aspire to soon see the collapse of this one.

    The Tower of Babel grows ever higher, ever more top-heavy, ever more unstable, ever more tottering.

    Bring it on!

  19. cometman permalink*
    December 29, 2010 2:13 pm

    Lots of articles in recent days documenting just how fucked we really are despite claims to the contrary coming from Barry’s lackeys. Housing prices down, unemployment still sky high, retail sales struggling, wars still raging, torture and spying still happening blah,blah blah, blah.

    Rather than recount them all, this little number skewering the pom pom girls seemed appropriate (and a lot funnier) –

    Other than recaps of 2010 bullshit, a couple other things worth noting briefly.

    Nigerian lawyers claim Halliburton’s bribe to get Dick Cheney off the hook for bribery charges is against Nigerian law. One would think so. But when has Cheney ever bothered with little annoyances like the law?

    And Hungary, which will assume the EU presidency next week, has decided that press censorship is fine and dandy. No word on what will get the eye of the censors but I’m sure Hungary’s new right wing president who dislikes criticism will let you know when he sees it. Not sure which is worse really, announcing you’re going to censor the news as Hungary did, or censoring the news and pretending there’s still a free press like the US does.

  20. cometman permalink*
    December 29, 2010 2:39 pm

    Just dug into Zachary Mason’s The Lost Books of the Odyssey last night. Really good stuff. A familiarity with the original story does help.

  21. cometman permalink*
    December 29, 2010 2:40 pm

    Bill Black’s prediction for 2011 – fraud and more fraud.

  22. cometman permalink*
    December 30, 2010 3:30 pm

    Busy busy so just a few notes again today.

    Assange threatens to release info documenting Arab leaders’ CIA ties if he is imprisoned or killed. That ought to make a few people think twice.

    “These officials are spies for the US in their countries,” Assange told Al Jazeera Arabic channel in an interview yesterday.

    The interviewer, Ahmed Mansour, said at the start of the interview which was a continuation of last week’s interface, that Assange had even shown him the files that contained the names of some top Arab officials with alleged links with the CIA.

    Assange or Mansour, however, didn’t disclose the names of these officials. The WikiLeaks founder said he feared he could be killed but added that there were 2,000 websites that were ready to publish the remaining files that are in possession of WikiLeaks after “he has been done away with”.

    BP is facing another lawsuit for its despicable actions in the Gulf, this time it’s a class action suit brought by shareholders. As stockholders are the last to get paid when things turn south, good luck with that. But if it causes BP to spend a lot of money and leads to a death by 1000 cuts, I’m all for it.

    So after BP fucks up using new high technology, how to proceed going forward? Here’s one related to the news on Bolivia and Brazil discussed recently and I don’t like the sounds of it at all – Brazil to build ‘underwater cities’ to drill for oil. Somehow I don’t think using even more untested technology is the fix that’s needed here…

    The US revokes the Venezuelan ambassador’s visa after Chavez tells Barry’s pick for US ambassador to Venezuela to go screw. Don’t think Chavez cares too much as the US continues to buy a million barrels of oil per day despite the diplomatic kerfuffles.

    And an article from last month but still very relevant. Cassandra is fucking screaming to a bunch of deaf oligarchs –A stunning year in climate science reveals that human civilization is on the precipice.

    Lots of links in that one to various climate studies from the past year detailing the dire situation.

  23. sisdevore permalink
    December 31, 2010 12:27 pm

    I don’t believe this for a fucking second:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/30/us-voters-net-neutrality_n_802456.html

    Although if you look at it as representing intelligence in this country it starts to make sense.

    • artemis54 permalink
      December 31, 2010 12:32 pm

      I believe it. Consider that most people get their opinions from tv.

    • cometman permalink*
      December 31, 2010 1:43 pm

      I’m thinking that 80% probably don’t even know what it is.

  24. artemis54 permalink
    December 31, 2010 12:36 pm

    from Sense About Science: Celebrities and Science 2010. Read about this various places. Frustrating, I can’t get the pdf to open.

    Roused my curiosity because of a spate of ads on pmsnbc (h/t Rush Limbaugh! – babbling 24/7 he had to hit the mark sooner or later) for some magic bracelet that keeps you from tipping over.

    • cometman permalink*
      December 31, 2010 1:48 pm

      Sigh.

      One of these days I’m going to say fuckitall, go the L. Ron Hubbard route and get filthy rich.

  25. cometman permalink*
    December 31, 2010 1:58 pm

    A few points of interest –

    Some good news on the criminal justice front, at least until the Supremes strike it down – A Delaware judge says police cannot plant GPS devices on people to track them without getting a warrant.

    And some bad news – displaying the 4th Amendment to airport screeners is now grounds for a disorderly conduct citation.

    Way cool junior! The RATT (Barry’s former car czar) is forced to pay a whopping fine for his part in a kickback scheme. Of course it isn’t a Federal agency making him pay up, but Andrew Cuomo, and he didn’t get as hefty a settlement as he was looking for. No word on whether the RATT’s equity firm will pick up the tab for him as has been the case with other fined banksters lately. And still no jail time for robbing millions.

  26. cometman permalink*
    December 31, 2010 2:05 pm

    A couple from Counterpunch worth reading in full.

    Excellent article investigating the Cali wine industry and documenting the environmental abuses they commit with impunity. Also quite a bit on how Diane Feinstein’s hubby is allowed to play fast and loose with Cali’s public pension funds – The Political Economy of Duckhorn Pinot.

    And I’ve really come to like Alan Farago’s reporting on the environmental and economic damage being done in Florida. In his latest, he admits he was wrong. Wrong in thinking that people might finally start to care about environmental degradation and actually do something about it – When Progress Didn’t Come and the People Didn’t Awake.

  27. cometman permalink*
    December 31, 2010 2:11 pm

    How did I miss this guy before???

    Just ran across MC Hawking for the first time today.

    Won’t hold my breath, but here’s wishing that humanity gets a little bit smarter in the upcoming year.

    Happy New Year melvin, miss d, triv, stemella and whoever else bothers to read this little corner of the interwebs!

  28. artemis54 permalink
    January 3, 2011 12:05 pm

    A surprise for the new year:

    Prop 8 supporter and Pastor Tom Daniels of First Baptist Church of Rio Linda was arrested by Citrus Heights police Dec. 9 and charged with six felony counts of child molestation

    The $6 million bail suggests they’ve got some ugly goods on him.

    The glee of seeing another of these pigs go down is cancelled by the thouht of who knows how many kids he hurt.

    • cometman permalink*
      January 3, 2011 1:31 pm

      Whaddya know? And why do the majority of these types bear such a striking resemblance to each other? Perhaps Homeland Security should start profiling squeezably pudgy middle aged white guys.

  29. artemis54 permalink
    January 3, 2011 12:45 pm

    Amazing. Progress, in Wyoming.

    Wyoming Department of Transportation officials have approved $9.7 million for a series of underpasses and overpasses in Sublette County along the “Path of the Pronghorn.”

    The one migration left in the US. If we let it slip away, there is no moral authority to complain about what happens in Africa and elsewhere.

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