Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween


In tombs of gold and lapis lazuli
Bodies of holy men and women exude
Miraculous oil, odour of violet.
But under heavy loads of trampled clay
Lie bodies of the vampires full of blood;
Their shrouds are bloody and their lips are wet.
W.B. Yeats

Baobhan Sith, Leannan Sidhe, Dearg-Due, they go by many names in many places these beautiful seductresses of the Aos Sí, the people of the barrows, the bane of travelers at night.  Rumor has it that the only way to tell that these beautiful women were not women was to get a peak under their dress at their cloven feet.  Rumor also has it that they were the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula.

The Baobhan Sith, or white woman of the Scottish highlands was simply a vampire, who drank the blood of her victims and left them dead and empty husks.  Leannan Sidhe however, was a muse, an inspiration to Irish writers and poets that in exchange for her powers drained her partners of their life.  The explanation for why all great Irish writers and poets seem to die young.   

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.

I see a lily on thy brow,
With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan

I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery’s song.

La Belle Dame sans Merci: Arthur Hughes

She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna-dew,
And sure in language strange she said—
‘I love thee true’.

She took me to her Elfin grot,
And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.

And there she lullèd me asleep,
And there I dreamed—Ah! woe betide!—
The latest dream I ever dreamt
On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
Hath thee in thrall!’

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning gapèd wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill’s side.

La Belle Dame sans Merci: Henry Meynell Rheam

And this is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

John Keats


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Freedom? You Can't Handle Freedom!

Do some people need a dictator?  Do some situations call for a temporary dictatorship?

Der Spiegel published two essays, each taking opposing views on the subject of dictatorships, anarchy and stability.

Christiane Hoffmann asks, Are Dictatorships better than Anarchy?

She lets us know where she stands with her opening sentences...
Although there is always reason to celebrate the toppling of an autocrat, the outcome of the Iraq war and the rise of Islamic State have demonstrated in horrific terms that the alternative can be even worse.
The last decade has shown that there is something worse than dictatorship, worse than the absence of freedom, worse than oppression: civil war and chaos.
Mathieu von Rohr steps up for the defense of liberty and boldly states Dictatorships and Chaos go Hand in Hand
The mistake lies in even describing a dictatorship as stable: If the dictatorships of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, Moammar Gadhafi in Libya or Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia had been stable, they wouldn't have collapsed.
Although his basic premise is self-evident, I think Rohr's is the weaker argument.  Sometimes dictatorships are stable, then something changes:  It drifts from benignity to cruelty, or more often people and society end up growing beyond the need for such paternalism.  Many experts point to Egypt's economy, not iron-fisted military rule, as the ultimate reason for Mubarak's downfall. 

One of the many ironies of our Iraq invasion is contained in the conjecture posited by many Iraqis that if we has imposed order immediately and shot all looters and criminals in the street, the whole project may have ended up a success.

Were I an Iraqi father and husband just trying to get myself and my family through the day, I would probably agree.

Were I a Christian, I would want Saddam back in Iraq, and I would be helping Assad's regime in Syria.  "Freedom" has resulted in more danger, death and persecution for the Levant's religious minorities.

They Say it Can't Happen Here...

Liberals, Conservatives and Progressives of all parties all have their own ideas about right living and community standards, and they have the all-too-human dictatorial itch enforce it all.  Besides the money, why else are they fighting over the levers of power?  Power.

After all the cajoling, nudging and jollying along, at some point, ideas of right living and community standards will be enforced at the point of a government gun.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

700,000 Non-Citizens Voted

Photo: Jonathan McIntosh

Harvard Study: Cooperative Congressional Elections Study

How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008

National Review

Non-citizen votes could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) won election in 2008 with a victory margin of 312 votes. Votes cast by just 0.65 percent of Minnesota non-citizens could account for this margin. 

Washington Post

Voter ID?

Of the 27 non-citizens who indicated that they were “asked to show picture identification, such as a driver’s license, at the polling place or election office,” in the 2008 survey, 18 claimed to have subsequently voted, and one more indicated that they were “allowed to vote using a provisional ballot.” Only 7 (25.9%) indicated that they were not allowed to vote after showing identification. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hillary's Obama Moment

Don't let anybody, don't let anybody tell you, that, uh, you know, It's corporations and businesses that create jobs.

Yeah, governments can create jobs... like baking bread.  Here the citizenry stands in line to get some:

Government can also run construction, here's an apartment complex in Beijing:

Government can create good jobs.  Just ask former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney:

And remember, you didn't build that.


Monday, October 27, 2014

The Second Constitutional Convention of these United States

Governor Martin O'Malley (D) recently stated that "WIFI is a human right". Obviously we're behind the times... therefore I would like to get you started on the second Bill of Rights.  Welcome to the Second Constitutional Convention of these United States, please contribute.

Here goes:

1. Gummy Bears 

and so on and so forth...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Why I'm voting for a Democrat

Irv Halter, Maj Gen, USAF (Ret)

I try my best not to vote by pulling a party lever, I take a rational analytic approach to voting and have crossed party lines in voting for who I believed to be the most qualified candidate in local elections.  I believe Irv Halter is the most qualified candidate and I can live with his positions.  Irv Halter will be my first cross-party vote in a federal election.

As Irv Halter said "I didn't leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me".  I can understand and empathize with that position.  Irv Halter was a Republican, then an Independent, and now he's running as a Democrat.  I'm not voting for Irv Halter because he's a Democrat, I actually dislike the fact that he's running as a Democrat, I'm voting for Irv Halter because of his positions on the issues.  It's kind of funny, but the one and only comment on the CPR website is that Irv Halter seems to have a much more solid conservative grounding than his Republican opponent, a position I tend to agree with.

Now I have to be honest, if this were the Senate race, I wouldn't be voting for Irv Halter, in that case I would be voting against his party rather than voting for his opponent.  Chances are Irv Halter isn't going to get elected, but even if he does the Democrats aren't going to take control of the House.  I'm willing to give Irv Halter the chance to live up to his campaign positions and buck the left-wing of the Democratic party.  I may be proved wrong, but it's a chance I'm willing to take.

Clap me on the back or kick me in the ass, your choice.  Agree with me or attempt to persuade me otherwise, but in my opinion Doug Lamborn is the epitome of everything wrong in Republican politics.  I'm voting for Irv Halter because of his positions and because Doug Lamborn is a Putz.  Frankly, I'm sorry that Irv Halter is running as a Democrat, he should be running as a Republican, but the days of voting for someone because they have a D or R after their name need to come to an end. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday Sessions: Music for Halloween (Part II)

A bit more contemporary selection.

Donovan: Season of the Witch

Warren Zevon: Werewolves of London

Rob Zombie: Dragula

Bonus Ebola Track:

Eric Burdon and the Animals: Black Plague


And yes, I do believe that is an old black and white television

Friday, October 24, 2014

United States: Irrational Actor

Given the disparate motives of the various parties, it is unwise for U.S. officials to view the fight against ISIS as a stark conflict between good and evil. Instead, it is a complex, multisided, regional power struggle in which murky alliances and questionable, if not sleazy, objectives are the norm. U.S. leaders need to ponder the options very carefully, because Washington is barging into a geopolitical minefield with a high potential for policy failure and frustration. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. (National Interest - America's Fatal Blunder)

Does anyone really believe the "strategy" of Obama's amateur warlords (John Heinz-Kerry, John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Samantha Power and Susan Rice) will produce anything resembling success in the Middle East?

Can anyone explain what "success" would look like?

Does anyone really believe the "good" Syrian terrorists they propose to train and equip can defeat Assad's Russia- and Iran-backed regime, while simultaneously vanquishing ISIS?

Can anyone explain why the "good" Syrian terrorists won't take the money and run into the arms of ISIS, providing them another bonanza of munitions and trained fighters?

President Obama's ISIS/Syria policy absurd, and yet no one is throwing the BS flag. If only it were Bush doing this, at least some tired hippie college professors and OWS rabble would attempt rouse themselves enough to get a news camera’s attention...

It doesn't add up. I've tried following the money, exploring different angles... All I can come up with is that this is expensive political theater to prop up the president's image.

The Islamic world is a madhouse, but each state is acting in its own rational interest.

The Saudis and the Gulf states fund ISIS and oppose Iran's BFF Assad because they don't want Iran running through the Middle East like crap through a goose, and their devil's bargain is a bribe to the terrorists to go pick on someone, anyone other than their own rotten regimes.

Turkey refuses to fight ISIS because that organization is killing Kurds, which gives Erdogan and his filthy Islamists great glee.

Iraq is split along the old Kurd, Sunni, Shia lines, and Iran is prepared to help us defend Baghdad while leaving the Sunnis in Anbar to the predations of ISIS. Iraqi Sunnis welcome ISIS because of their mutual hatred of Baghdad's Shiite regime.

The Euros and the UN dither and blather because they are toothless, balless, feckless, hopeless.

The US is the only nation whose actions are unexplainable, and possibly irrational.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

He that strikes my brother strikes me

D. Gordon E. Robertson

Cpl Nathan Cirillo, Facebook

 In the course of my military career it was both a privilege and an honor to serve side by side with our Canadian allies.  In the wake of this tragic and cowardly attack we stand with our brothers in the Great White North.

I originally had a more formal version of Oh Canada posted, but after seeing this, the Canadian National Anthem played as a symbol of solidarity at the Pittsburgh Penguins - Philadelphia Flyers game, I had to switch to it.

A P.S. to Stephen Harper:  If there's any truth to the rumor that this terrorist attack was prompted by the deployment of 6 CF-18's in the fight against ISIS, go ahead and deploy the other 132 of them if you want, we got your back.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Boredom? Anxiety? Despair?

Veteran Jeffrey Adams and his service dog Sharif

How absurd men are! They never use the liberties they have, they demand those they do not have. -- Soren Kierkegaard
I asked a question yesterday, and unfortunately, I don't have the philosophical chops to answer it, or to even moderate a discussion of the topic.

Is there a common thread running through these news items?

* Dutch biker gangs travel to the Middle East to fight against ISIS
* Western Jihadi wannabes travel to the Middle East to join ISIS
* College children bust up a New Hampshire pumpkin fest
* Idiots rush to Ferguson hoping to start a revolution
* Adults fighting over sporting events, from Pee Wee League to NFL games
* The number of 'causes' people become passionate about continues to grow
* An explosion of offense-taking and demands for apology
* A continued increase in psychotropic drug use, including antidepressants

Could it be an existential crisis?  A search for meaning?

All I have are three quotations from proto-existentialist Soren Kierkegaard:

Boredom is the root of all evil - the despairing refusal to be oneself.

Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.

The most common form of despair is not being who you are.

For many, perhaps life has no meaning outside of their immediate existence. What is the value of a life that revolves around itself and is lived only for itself?

I could be way off base, but people who study this stuff tell us that a common human desire is to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, to belong to a cause that transcends who we are.

Institutions are crumbling around us, as is our belief in them. Where does one turn?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Smashing Pumpkins

Is there a common thread to these recurring news items?

* Dutch biker gangs travel to the Middle East and join the fight against ISIS
* Jihadi wannabes travel from Western Christendom to the Middle East to join ISIS
* College children bust up a New Hampshire pumpkin fest
* Idiots rush to Ferguson hoping to start a revolution
* Adults attack one another over sporting events, from Pee Wee League to NFL games
* The number of 'causes' people become passionate about continues to grow
* An explosion of offense-taking and demands for apology
* A continued increase in psychotropic drug use, including antidepressants

Is senseless* violence on the increase? Anyone? Anyone? Finntann?  I think it is.
*-Senseless: No reason whatsoever, no "he bumped into me," or "She stole my guy." Just idiots doing damage to property and persons for kicks.

I withhold my opinion because I want to hear yours. Hopefully we'll get some good comments and I will write a follow-up post.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Welcome to the Fourth Reich

In the stupid things people say department...

When a gambler went to cash out his chips, the man told the dealer he was gambling to avoid catching Ebola from his ex-wife, a nurse who had returned from West Africa.  He then left the casino but a witness was able to get his license plate number.

In the moronic over reaction department...

The 60-year-old man was arrested at his home Wednesday and charged with inducing panic after making the comment at the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland.  He's facing a fifth degree felony charge of inducing panic, and a misdemeanor count of criminal trespass for entering a place of amusement to cause a disturbance.

Cleveland New 5


Eyewitness reports indicate there was no panic.

Seriously Folks...

Is this your America?  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Alt+0162 or C backspace /

My First Laptop


You can only take so much ISEBOLA  


In the not too distant past a comment thread started with a German saying and soon turned to the creation of the mysterious letter Ö.  That thread came just a few days after I was contemplating the tragic cultural loss of the ¢ symbol, an atrocity equal in my mind to the Taliban blowing up the Buddhas of Bamiyan.  How can you mind your cents and let the dollars take care of themselves when there aren't any ¢'s?  

My thoughts on $'s and ¢'s probably came about from a discussion at work regarding the now commonplace QWERTY keyboard and someone complaining about the layout.  In the discussion of the QWERTY keyboard I tried to explain that the reason for the layout of the letters was to prevent the typebars from colliding and/or jamming on their way to and from the ribbon and platen.  The blank stare, glazed eyes, and accumulation of spittle at the corner of the mouth disclosed that I was dealing with either a late Generation-X'er or possibly an early Millennial and I realized I needed to resort to Youtube.  

"Was that before or after you did away with the chisels and stone tablets?", he snidely asked.  So, after smacking him on the nose with a rolled up newspaper I volunteered that the QWERTY keyboard layout went back to 1878 and the Sholes and Glidden Type-Writer... 

... that was before they sold out to Eliphalet Remington and his boys who produced the Remington No.2.  The mention of Remington immediately brought back some of the street cred previously lost.

Someday, some learned person will write about the decline and fall of the American Empire, I'm sure he'll start with the introduction of the IBM Selectric and their accursed ball!

I remember when my first office got a brand new IBM Selectric III.  I was the assistant manager (ANCOIC actually), and my boss called me into his office one day.  He was red-faced and fuming... "WHY? Why does this damned thing keep beeping at me", he roared.  I studiously examined the machine, the paper inside it, turned it off and on, and started typing...

"The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog"... I typed, "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party", (obviously socialist indoctrination in schools started early).

No Beeps!

"Hmmm", I ventured, "Perhaps if you don't misspell so many words it won't beep".  That was a valuable life lesson for me, for shortly after uttering it I found myself assigned to typing duty and soon learned to keep my mouth shut. 

Many years later there was a bright up and coming young boy that worked in the office.  We all know that he had only the best thoughts of us in his heart when he went out and purchased these for all our computers...

Yet to this day all that knew him and experienced this unnatural abomination of Satan curse his name, although he did fair better than that other guy, the one who like Lord Voldemort shall not be mentioned, he's the one that purchased these...


So, close your misogynistic eyes and start the video below.  Perhaps you'll be able to conjure forth the angelic image of the girls in the steno pool, feel the oily ink upon your fingers, breath in the sweet aroma of carbon paper and the sour wafting perfume of WhiteOut and remember civilization before the digital collapse. (Don't worry, you'll probably get the full effect in a minute or so... after that you're welcome to continue listening if you so desire.)

Stay tuned, perhaps someday when the memory is not so recent and painful, I'll reminisce about dot matrix printers.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday Sessions: Music for Halloween (Part I)

Béla Bartók: Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta

Franz Liszt: Totentanz (Dance of the Dead)

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Isle of the Dead


André Caplet: The Masque of the Red Death

Come on, every plague needs a cool yet ominous name.


Friday, October 17, 2014


    1 cup chopped carrots
    1 celery rib, chopped
    1 medium onion, chopped
    2 teaspoons canola oil
    2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
    2 cups fresh or frozen corn
    2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
    1/2 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1 egg, beaten

  1. In a large saucepan, saute the carrots, celery and onion in oil until tender. Add the broth, corn, chicken, parsley, salt, tarragon and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, for rivels, place the flour in a bowl; mix in egg with a fork just until blended. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls into boiling soup, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until rivels are cooked through. Yield: 7 servings.

Read more:

I know, I know, I'm an...

Omnivore ;)

I have the utmost respect for those who make the personal choice to go vegan... but seriously?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

God's Nut House

ISIS is poised to take Baghdad, but the Pentagon is gearing up to fight our nation's #1 imminent threat: Climate Change.

If we can only fight one war at once, I say fight that one.

Better to engage in fantasies akin to ridding the world of unicorn poop than to spend one more dime or one more drop of American blood on that murderous insane asylum known as the middle east. I've been there, been shot at and bombed, and got the permanent tinnitus to prove it. If God were to to give the world a proctology exam; that's where his finger would go.

Why are our airstrikes against ISIS not working?

Because you need JTACs on the ground to coordinate them, and you need soldiers to take advantage of air strikes, and other than the Kurds and a few ragtag bands of anti-assad jihadis, no one else is stepping up. The cowardly Iraqis threw down their arms and ran like little girls, and none of the other regional 'militaries' (whom we arm) are committing any soldiers. Do the Saudis or any other dictatorships even have any soldiers fit for anything besides posing with weapons and oppressing the local populace?

Why isn't Turkey helping? Because ISIS is doing their work right now by killing Kurds. Turkey will step in only when they have to. A cynical game, but remember it was the Turks who committed the Armenian genocide.

Assad and the Iranians stand aside because we are doing their dirty work. And there are other dark and dirty agendas bubbling beneath the surface.

Holding the Jihadi Puppet Masters Accountable (or not)

Cold Wars Simmer in the Middle East

Any solution we attempt to impose would not be viable. Iraq and Afghanistan stand as two sad examples. The peoples of those lands will have to sort it out themselves.

Imposing our version of a 'solution' on bellicose and backward Muslims has not worked. This stands in contrast to places like Nicaragua and El Salvador in Central America, Columbia in South America, and The Philippines, where we provided assistance and the people there did the fighting, bleeding, sacrificing and dying to achieve an outcome that they themselves conceived and strove for.

We've had no success in the Middle East because we were the ones doing the sacrificing, bleeding and dying, and it was our vision, not theirs. They need to do this themselves. Sure, they are not all jihadis, but too many of them are either OK with organizations like ISIS, or are too cowardly to stand up to them.

Think I'm being harsh? 

Recall how the Iraqis opposed us there, mortaring our bases every day, blowing up our convoys with IEDs, and destroying Iraq's petroleum producing infrastructure.

Why aren't they doing that now to ISIS?

Finally, in an ironic twist so common to the Islamic world as to be unremarkable, Christian George Bush's actions in Iraq resulted in more Christians being kills and chased from their homes than if he had left Saddam alone. Same applies in Syria.
Why is Obama expending more blood and treasure there?

Haven't we done enough damage already?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Not Ebola, Blackmail

Photo: Michael Wuertenberg
Guatemalan President Otto Perez wants 10 billion, 2 billion a year from 2015-2019 to stop the flow of illegal immigrants.

The United States has to support this, it has no other option," Guatemala's foreign minister, Carlos Morales, told Reuters. "If they don't support it, the crisis will kick off again, you can count on it."

Central American leaders are due to meet Vice President Joe Biden on Nov. 12 in Washington to sound out U.S. support for their plan, Morales added.  YAHOO

I have a better idea, how about we ship back all we catch and impose sanctions?  We might still have an illegal immigrant problem, but it won't be benefiting you Culero.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Pinnacle of Poor Taste?

If the embed doesn't work, please go here to view:

The song comes from Fickle 93.3 (WFKL) out of Rochester NY that brands their format as "We play everything". 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Columbus Day?

Why do we celebrate the man who stopped in the Bahamas and refused to ask for directions?  Not only that, but in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary... insisted he was in Asia.

San Salvador, or Guanahani in the native Taino tongue is most likely the island in the Bahamas that Christopher Columbus visited. A very important discovery, for without Christopher Columbus

 cruise ships wouldn't have anywhere to go.

But was he the first?

Setting aside those who walked here some 14,000 years ago there are many candidates.  

Brendan the Navigator (512-530)

One candidate for discovery is the Irishman known as Brendan the Navigator.  While no one knows where Brendan went, Tim Severin demonstrated in the 70's that it was possible to sail across the Atlantic in an Irish currach (a boat made out of hide).



Erik the Red (980)

It's pretty much settled that there was a Norse settlement of 3000-5000 people in Greenland at L'Anse aux Meadows. The church below at Hvalsey had a documented wedding occuring there in 1408


More interesting

A Roman head confirmed to be Roman work dating to the 2nd to 3rd century dug up Tecaxic-Calixtlahuaca region of the Toulaca Valley 65 kilometers southwest of Mexico City.  The head was discovered buried under a building dating to 1476.

(C) Romeo H. Hristov

The Olmec civilization flourished in Mexico from about 1500 BC until around 400 BC.  Noted for producing colossal statuary heads, some of which have distinctive, non-native American features, including those believed to be both African

and Asian

From Peruvian mummies treated with the resin from the Monkey Puzzle tree (native to Oceania) and dated to 1200 AD, to the fact that when Europeans reached Polynesia, the Polynesians had sweet potatoes (native to the Americas) and sweet potatoes had been around Polynesia since about 700 AD (Sweet potato remains have been radio-carbon dated to around 1000 AD in the Cook Islands).

Stories of past visits true or not, it was the voyages of Columbus that opened the New World to the main European exploration and colonization of the continent.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Don't be a Virist!

You can't condemn an entire form of life (?) based on the behavior of a radical few malcontents like Ebola, Variola, or EV-D68.  You need to shed your anthropocentric biases and embrace our little viral friends.

The photo above illustrates the friendly legions of viruses resident in your oral mucosa coming to your defense and attacking an unwanted bacterial invader.  While this behavior occurs naturally among our viral friends, phage therapy as a medical treatement was developed in the Soviet Union in the 1920's and is only currently approved for use in Russia and Georgia, but...

In 2006 the US FDA approved the use of ListShield  a product developed by Intralytix for spraying on meat to combat Listeria monocytogenes, so yes there is a virus in every bite.

Mmmm... Cowpea Mosaic Virus
Thomas Splettstoesser
Not only that but viruses, of which there are about a million in a teaspoon of seawater, are responsible for removing 3 Gigatons of carbon from the atmosphere a year.

So don't be a Virist!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Saturday Sessions: Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd has announced it's first album in twenty years The Endless River.  They also announced that this will be their last album.

Although an unconfirmed made up rumor has it that their last official performance will be headlining the 2016 DNC Convention with this number:

Others say they'll be playing the RNC Convention instead:

Some say they'll simply do both gigs and play the same song at each:

Friday, October 10, 2014

Speaker's Corner: Friday Free-For-All

I'll get you started:

HHS: "There may be other Ebola cases in the US".  

Of course there may, we never had any doubts of that, you're not doing anything effective to prevent its arrival.

CDC: "No way to eliminate Ebola risk in US".

Of course there is no way to eliminate the risk in the US, even if you stop them at the airport they can still walk across the border... but that is entirely another government induced problem.

There is a way to significantly reduce the risk of Ebola in the US.  Last time I checked, although given this administration I may be wrong now, you needed a passport to get into the US.  Passports are stamped as you enter/exit countries... anyone from west Africa with a recent exit stamp from Ebola countries, or lacking any stamp at all can automatically be quarantined for the requisite 21 days.

IHR: "Flight cancellations and other travel restrictions continue to isolate affected countries, resulting in detrimental economic consequencesThose three countries stand to lose up to $809 million by the end of 2014."

Honestly? I don't give a rat's ass.  How about you? Any of you have some overwhelming desire for Liberian products about now? Concerned about medical access? We already have troops there, I'm sure we can spare a C-17 to ferry medical personnel back and forth as necessary.  

Family of Dallas Ebola Patient Who Died Upset Over 'Unfair' Treatment

Really? You're gonna go there? 

"The care provided Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan may have cost as much as half a million dollars, a bill Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas is unlikely to ever collect."

You going to pay it? Not only did he lie to get here, you most likely just stuck the American taxpayer with the bill.  

Federal health officials will require temperature checks for the first time at five major American airports for people arriving from the three West African countries hardest hit by the deadly Ebola virus. However, health experts said the measures were more likely to calm a worried public than to prevent many people with Ebola from entering the country. NYT

Just as groping granny isn't going to protect you from terrorism, taking temperatures isn't going to protect you from Ebola... and they admit it.  But this is indicative of what your government thinks of you plebes... it's all about the optics.  

Have at it... any topic under the sun.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

How we long for simpler times

At about 12:30 in the afternoon on January 15, 1919 near Keany Square, at 529 Commercial Street, a molasses tank 50 ft tall, 90 ft in diameter and containing as much as 2,300,000 US gallons collapsed. Witnesses stated that as it collapsed, there was a loud rumbling sound, like a machine gun as the rivets shot out of the tank, and that the ground shook as if a train were passing by.  The collapse unleashed a wave of molasses 25 feet high at its peak, moving at 35 miles per hour. The molasses wave was of sufficient force to damage the girders of the adjacent Boston Elevated Railway's Atlantic Avenue structure and tip a railroad car momentarily off the tracks.  Wiki

Aren't you tired of Isis, Ebola, and Obama?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Age of Incompetence

Cascading crises, serial gaffs followed by serial apologies from Palooka Joe Biden...

Everybody is talking about Ebola.  It's so serious that it has almost pushed the outbreak of nude celebrity selfies out of the news.

Meanwhile, ISIL rolls on, and the news isn't good...

President Barack Obama has called on the United Nations to endorse a US mandate that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, better known as ISIL, drop the word "Islamic" from its name.

"Muslims everywhere," insisted the president, "explicitly, forcefully and consistently reject the state's characterization as Islamic.  I have directed my UN ambassador, Samantha Power, to put forward in plenary UN assembly a binding resolution demanding the organization drop the word Islamic from its name."

Secretary of State John Kerry added that Muslims need to "reclaim Islam," and White House Spokesman Josh Earnest "strongly encourage(d)" the White House press corps to refer to the terrorist organization as simply SIL, insisting that using the old name was reinforcing anti-Muslim stereotypes.

But not all Muslims are applauding the Obama Administration's efforts. Many have written blog posts and created social media campaigns to criticize what they see as the US government's knee-jerk instinct to unfairly connect faraway atrocities to local Muslim communities.

"Why have they not stripped the word "Democratic" from North Korea's official title?" Abdul-Malik al Shababbi said as he stood in front of the White House with a group of peaceful protesters that included women in hijab and men in traditional Islamic attire.

Vice President Joe Biden met the protesters on the sidewalk and tried to diffuse the tension by suggesting they all go out for kebabs and falafel.

Tempers flared when the Vice President suggested the imam leading the peaceful protest go "relax, pop open a Penthouse magazine and have a relaxing shave" at the Vice President's favorite barber shop in Bethesda, where, according to Mr. Biden, "the staff is all babes, and man are they hot!"

An unnamed White House staffer told gathered reporters that an official apology would be forthcoming.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Never let a crisis go to waste

Former White House Special Advisor for Green Jobs Anthony Kapel Jones made his case on This week with George Stephanopoulos:

Hey, you know, government is always your enemy until you need a friend. This Ebola thing is the best argument you can make for the kind of government that we believe in.

 I think I'd rather have Ebola than the kind of government 'Van Jones' believes in.

You got to start putting the Republicans on the defensive for the fact that they believe that you can take a wrecking ball to America's government, never pay a price.

Would that be the price of government democrats aren't paying for?


For a brief moment in time, the number NOW

Monday, October 6, 2014

Their wild steeds are pawing the ground with impatience

Scientists have used Ebola disease spread patterns and airline traffic data to predict a 75 percent chance the virus could be imported to France by October 24, and a 50 percent chance it could hit Britain by that date.  Those numbers are based on air traffic remaining at full capacity. Assuming an 80 percent reduction in travel to reflect that many airlines are halting flights to affected regions, France's risk is still 25 percent, and Britain's is 15 percent.

Yahoo News

Belgium has a 40 percent chance of seeing the disease arrive on its territory, while Spain and Switzerland have lower risks of 14 percent each, according to the study first published in the journal PLoS Current Outbreaks and now being regularly updated at

The WHO has reported, as of September 22, that 384 health-care workers have gotten the virus and 186 have died.  President Obama has promised to train 500 health workers per week to work to beat back the epidemic.  Vox

500 a week... boy, I feel better already... I'm not a virologist but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night; at least now we know what the military engineers are going to be building in west Africa.

"It's really a lottery," said Derek Gatherer of Britain's Lancaster University, an expert in viruses who has been tracking the epidemic...

Wanna buy a ticket? 
"And when the sun arises in a few hours, the world will see coursing through its fields the four horsemen, enemies of mankind. . . . Already their wild steeds are pawing the ground with impatience; already the ill-omened riders have come together and are exchanging the last words before leaping into the saddle."  ~Vicente Blasco Ibáñez 

Nothing promotes a little humility like the world getting all medieval on your ass. 

Risk and Direct Contact - NY Times 

September 20th Worst Case Scenario - 500,000 cases

September 23rd Worst Case Scenario - 1,400,000 cases

CDC Worst Case Scenario Triples in Four Days