Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Banning Books In Harvard Square

After eight years of stupidity, this sounds about right.


While I realize that my many health care providers have a lot on their plates, I have often wondered whether or not they have every had a conference call concerning my effed up body.  I sure wish they would, since I often feel much like the folks cited in this piece. Am I being a complete fool in hoping for this sort of medicine? I suppose.
The default position is to treat complicated patients as collections of malfunctioning body parts rather than as whole human beings.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tell Me Again, Madame Speaker, Why We Didn't Impeach The Son-Of-A-Bitch?

This ought to appear on the front page of every American newspaper, those that are still printing a front page.
Finn and Warrick reported that "not a single significant plot was foiled" as a result of Zubaida's brutal treatment -- and that, quite to the contrary, his false confessions "triggered a series of alerts and sent hundreds of CIA and FBI investigators scurrying in pursuit of phantoms."

Zubaida was the first detainee to be tortured at the direct instruction of the White House. Then he was President George W. Bush's Exhibit A in defense of the "enhanced interrogation" procedures that constituted torture. And he continues to be held up as a justification for torture by its most ardent defenders.

But as author Ron Suskind reported almost three years ago -- and as The Post now confirms -- almost all the key assertions the Bush administration made about Zubaida were wrong.

Zubaida wasn't a major al Qaeda figure. He wasn't holding back critical information. His torture didn't produce valuable intelligence -- and it certainly didn't save lives.

All the calculations the Bush White House claims to have made in its decision to abandon long-held moral and legal strictures against abusive interrogation turn out to have been profoundly flawed, not just on a moral basis but on a coldly practical one as well.

Indeed, the Post article raises the even further disquieting possibility that intentional cruelty was part of the White House's motive.

Thanks again, Madame Speaker, thanks again. My emphases.

It's Almost April

The Cruelest Month. There is the first robin of the year trying to run off his own image in the new window. The cruelest month. I would feel for Mr. Robin-Red-Breast except for this:


I did not capitalize the weather report. That is the way the NOAH folks do it. My emphases. Oh, shut up & get your minds out of the gutter.

Nationalize The Banks!

It's time for a little socialism for the normal, regular, non-unlicensed plumbers among us. The banking industry continues to destroy lives & litter the landscape of America. First, they manipulate people into loans that are just not feasible, yes, predatory lending, not buyer greed; then, they walk away from foreclosures that they themselves initiated. WTF? Maybe we need some BIG socialism, not a little.
City officials and housing advocates here and in cities as varied as Buffalo, Kansas City, Mo., and Jacksonville, Fla., say they are seeing an unsettling development: Banks are quietly declining to take possession of properties at the end of the foreclosure process, most often because the cost of the ordeal — from legal fees to maintenance — exceeds the diminishing value of the real estate.

The so-called bank walkaways rarely mean relief for the property owners, caught unaware months after the fact, and often mean additional financial burdens and bureaucratic headaches. Technically, they still owe on the mortgage, but as a practicality, rarely would a mortgage holder receive any more payments on the loan. The way mortgages are bundled and resold, it can be enormously time-consuming just trying to determine what company holds the loan on a property thought to be in foreclosure.

In Ms. James’s case, the company that was most recently servicing her loan is now defunct. Its parent company filed for bankruptcy and dissolved. And the original bank that sold her the loan said it could not find a record of it.
What a way to organize an economy. I'm not a Phd. in economics, of course, so I don't know a damned thing & should just shut up & let the experts who created the problem, fix it. I'm not holding my breath. My emphases.

It's All About Perception

Screw the environment.
Mr. Wagoner has said that one of the moves he regretted most was G.M’s decision to kill the EV-1, an electric car that it leased to customers in the late 1990s. Although the vehicle was not profitable, it helped G.M.’s image with environmentalists, which in 2006 Mr. Wagoner conceded he had understood too late.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tiger Wins!

Tiger Woods just did it again - one long putt, just like last year. I'm glad I watched. Oh, he won Arnold Palmer's tournament.

Why Does This Surprise Anyone Anymore?

For someone taking a boatload of drugs, the only thing I feel about this is sadness. Sadness that a great university, like the Univeristy of Wisconsin-Madison, even with the right-wing ReThugs attempting to bleed it dry, would stoop so low as to accept this money in the first place. You know, a person attempts to build a solid, cheerful, & honest relationship with someone who's trying to keep him alive, hoping, against hope, I suppose, that she or he will not succumb to the drug-drenched CEU's as they are described in this piece.  The word alas needs a comeback.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Archie Green, R.I.P.

Another true American patriot dies.
After earning a degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, Mr. Green decided to throw in his lot with the working class. He joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, working as a road builder and firefighter along the Klamath River and became a shipwright and union activist on the San Francisco waterfront. For the rest of his life, he identified himself first and foremost as a worker and a union member.
As if the working class was a group to "throw" yourself into, as if it was some sort of, dare I say it, lifestyle choice? I wish writers, obit writers, would get this straight.

Friday, March 27, 2009

"...lingering legacy...."

The monstrous aftermath of Hurricane Katrina continues to destroy lives. This is why Bu$hCo is the worst president ever. I would also wonder that the folks suffering the heart attacks & their families feel the lingering aspect of Katrina in the same way as Bu$hCo, my reaction is that it is not even close.
In the two years after Hurricane Katrina pummeled the New Orleans area, Tulane University doctors found a threefold rise in heart attacks among their patients, and they put the blame on continuing storm-related stress, according to a study to be presented Sunday.

Calling this sustained rise in heart problems part of Katrina's "lingering legacy," researchers found these patients showed post-storm increase in factors that are evidence of stress, including homelessness, unemployment, loss of insurance, smoking, poor eating habits, failure to take prescriptions and living in temporary housing such as FEMA trailers.

Living under such conditions "creates a high stress level," said Dr. Anand Irimpen, a Tulane cardiologist and one of the investigators.

My emphases.

I Wish

That this wasn't what made me special a couple of weeks ago. How come I can't win the Powerball prize, that's the kind of rarity I'm looking to be my ship coming in, not a Dieulafoy's lesion.  Damn French.
Dieulafoy’s lesion is an uncommon cause of major gastrointestinal bleeding and may be difficult to recognise. It consists of an arteriole that protrudes through a tiny mucosal defect, usually within 6 cm of the gastroesophageal junction on the lesser curve of the stomach. Similar lesions have also been described in the distal oesophagus, small intestine, colon, and rectum. Awareness of the condition and experience in endoscopy are the mainstay of diagnosis. Therapeutic endoscopy is the first line of treatment. It is safe, effective and has very good long term results.

My emphasis.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I Can't Decide

If this story should be filed in the No Shit Dick Tracy folder or the Department of DOH! envelope. Please, loyal four readers, lend me your minds.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Mexico on Wednesday with a blunt mea culpa, saying that decades of U.S. anti-narcotics policies have been a failure and have contributed to the explosion of drug violence south of the border.

My emphases.

Sanity Strikes!

Contagious? I sure hope so.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What A Relief It Is

Things are a bit less bughouse around here this a.m. Tab, the cat came home last night. He was pretty spooked & it took Mrs. coldH20wi & a big can of food to entice him close enough to pick up. He seems different, more serious & maybe just shocked. Kitty PSTD, perhaps? If I can figure some way to get him classified as a veteran, then, then the freebees will roll in.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Insurers offer to stop charging sick people more

What a headline in the fuckin' ol' U. S. of A. Enough to make a person sicker than shit.

Eddie Bo, R.I.P.

Just goddamnit, NYT's obit here.

NOLA's Times/Picayune obit here.

This & yesterday my cat Tab Benoit escaped my grip on the verge of a trip to the vet. He hasn't come yet. For some reason it just never seems to end.

Well Bobby, You Really Did Fuck Up

Bobby Jindal, (The Southern Asshat), tried to make fun of Pres. Obama's speech on his economic bailout bill. Gov. Jindal probably should have consulted with that other young "babe" who is going to lead the ReThuglican Party out of the Alaskan wilderness. Jindal made fun of the "...$140 million for something called 'volcano monitoring'". Well, I doubt they'll doubt Mt. Redoubt, anytime soon. Jindal's speech is at the link's place.

You Ask, I Answer

Absolutely, nonheroicvet, absolutely.

Sometime In Mid-June?

I sure hope not. Via the keeper of The Twins - the Asshat Chronicle takes a somewhat humorous, dare I say two-faced turn without suffering tomatoes to the head?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Amur Tiger Time!

It's been awhile, so here's a baby Amur tiger.

Amur (Siberian) tiger cub - photo by ucumari (one of the top 3 Flickr wildlife photographers, for me)

The accompanying essay to this photo is a good overview of the problems facing this absolutely incredible animal.  Go read it. But to the ReThugs we don't need no stinking endangered species act or treaties that demand other countries treat their environments

It's March, But I'm Not Mad Yet

U. of Wisco upsets Florida State, 61-59 in an overtime game. The NCAA continues to amaze me, this game was played in Boise, ID, so much for modeling good behavior vis-à-vis fossil fuel consumption.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Why The South Will Remain A Backwater

Of course, the idiot gov is a ReThug. They only thing they know how to do is obstruct & reject. The ReThugs as a regional rump party? It sure looks like it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Amur Leopard Time

By way Mrs. RLK, we get another dire warning about the demise of one of the world's great cats, the Snow Leopard or more correctly, the Amur Leopard.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Pope Of Nobody

The ex-Nazi shows again just what a fool he is. Western religion's general distaste, nee hatred, of anything related to human body fluids, except of course the dripping blood from that Petered out guy who was hanging around*, is well known. This time, however, it results in the death of many people that need not die. These are supposed to be educated people, may I say elites? Instead, it appears this bunch is bunking with the brain dead children of Pastor Hagee.
Benedict, arriving in Africa, said on Tuesday that condoms "increase the problem" of AIDS. The comment, made to reporters aboard his plane, caused a worldwide firestorm of criticism.


The Church teaches that fidelity within heterosexual marriage and abstinence are the best ways to stop AIDS. (Man, how much deeper in the sand or up their asses can their heads be? - ed.)


Kevin De Cock**, director of the World Health Organization's HIV/AIDS department, said there is no scientific evidence showing that condom use spurs people to take more sexual risks. (Remember folks, these are the people who got around to forgiving Galileo in 1992 for "crimes" committed in 1633. They don't believe in the scientific method. - ed.)
*See this. One my all-time favorite poems, taught to me in 1967 by one Miss Titus, a teacher I value more now, than I did at the time. I am poorer for that. I did not take the opportunity to learn more from her, more about Jean Genet & Our Lady of the Flowers, a book that was, quoting Miss Titus, "definitely not about the Virgin Mother." Think about that, loyal four readers, a chance to read & learn from someone in way northern Wisco who had actually read this novel. I'm just thankful that she brought it up at all & that I remembered it. I bought it my freshman year at Madison, read it with some confusion, but certainly enjoyed it. Over the years it has become one of the two or three major things I learned in high school. Yes, I did learn a few things in high school, most of them not as enjoyable as Notre Dame des Fleurs. I am also much less confused about the novel now, all these years later. It also has absolutely little to do with the time out mentioned above.
Sometimes During Eternity

Sometimes during eternity
some guys show up
and one of them
who shows up real late
is a kind of carpenter
from square-type place
like Galilee
and he starts wailing
and claiming he is hip
to who made heaven
and earth
and that the cat
who really laid it on us
is his Dad
And moreover
he adds
It's all writ down
on some scroll-type parchments
which some henchmen
leave lying around the Dead Sea somewheres
a long time ago
and which you won't even find
for a coupla thousand years or so
or at least for
nineteen hundred and fortyseven
of them
to be exact
and even then
nobody really believes them
or me
for that matter
You're hot
they tell him
And they cool him
They stretch him on the Tree to cool
And everybody after that
is always making models
of his Tree
with Him hung up
and always crooning His name
and calling Him to come down
and sit in
on their combo
as if he is the king cat
who's got to blow
or they can't quite make it
Only he don't come down
from His Tree
Him just hang there
on His Tree
looking real Petered out
and real cool
and also
according to a roundup
of late world news
from the usual unreliable sources
real dead

**I did not, repeat, did not make up this name. It's sort of like the code number for my blood transfusions during the stop the bleeding visit to Duluth, it began with STD,go figure. Emphases mine, ed.

I'm Not Religious, But A-Fucking-Men

Merit pay, performance based pay? All pretty much bullshit. BULLSHIT! Sorry for using the frightful all caps & the incendiary exclamation point, but this whole topic sets me off. We're going to fix an ailing educational system so we pay people more to fix it, the same people who apparently created the problems in education? They same goes for these brilliant Wall St. morons, they pretty much destroy our economy, so, we give them bonuses, bonuses, for crying out loud. & the worst thing is, what's the point? Greed is obvious, but what else drives this line of thinking? All the notions that capitalism is self-regulating, self-healing have clearly been proven (Again!) to be smoke screens, the cancer causing smoke screens. As usual, I'll need to put off my vacation while the poor bastards who engineered this economic meltdown will have to ski the Rockies, rather than the Alps.
We cannot attract and retain the best and the brightest talent to lead and staff the A.I.G. businesses — which are now being operated principally on behalf of American taxpayers — if employees believe their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. Treasury.

— Edward Liddy, chief executive, American International Group


Now comes Mr. Liddy, the government-appointed chief of A.I.G., defending multimillion-dollar bonus payments for the people who run the small division that brought down the company. If the government doesn’t let them have their money, they will walk away, Mr. Liddy says, and nobody else will know how to clean up their mess.

We’ll get to the merits of his argument in a moment, but it’s first worth considering the damage that the current system of corporate pay has wrought. The potential windfalls were so large that executives and bankers had an incentive to create rules that would reward them no matter what. The country is now living with the consequences.


Most amazingly, the A.I.G. bonuses haven’t even accomplished their stated goal. Andrew Cuomo, New York’s attorney general, said Tuesday that 52 employees who received bonuses had since left A.I.G.

My emphases.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

More Fossil Evidence To Drive The Fundies Crazy

Norway's island, Spitsbergen, holds big fossils of a giant pliosaur.

This extinct marine reptile was at least 50 feet long and weighed 45 tons, the largest known of its kind. Its massive skull was 10 feet long, and the flippers, more like outsize paddles, were also 10 feet. The creature — not yet given a scientific name but simply called the Monster or Predator X — hunted the seas 150 million years ago, in the Jurassic Period.

Here's an artist's rendition of what the creature may have looked like:

Wellstone Action Sent Me An Email

The email directed me to this page. I believe it is worth some of my loyal four reader's time & attention. If you aren't one of my loyal four readers & just happened upon my blog, well, you ought to go & learn some thing as well. For your general information, Wellstone Action is the other organization I support with my money, or Mrs. coldH2Owi's hard earned money, whatever. The other completely worthy institution I support, & I urge you to do the same is WWOZ.

Monday, March 16, 2009

It's Probably Too Little Too Late

But go sign the petition. We are still searching for accountability, aren't we? This inside economic game, & sadly the people who brought us to this point think of it as a game, must stop. The incestuous relationships between certain media types, the (non)regulators (this will hopefully change soon), the government, & the political parties, yes, the Dems also need to take ownership of this disaster, has nearly destroyed our economy, in fact, the jury is still out on the ultimate outcome. Jon Stewart's wonderful vaporizing of CNBC & the loony Jim Cramer is exactly what the Justice Dept. ought to be doing - take the thieves, those who don't care about America, down & provided them a ride to prison. It's time for some justice, please. No more extolling business as some sort of savior. No more bonuses for people who fuck-up. (This will be another embarrassing part of Bu$hCo's legacy - no accountability, no transparency, & then rewarding the incompetent.) Y'all can see the complete phaser on maximum interview with Cramer here.


In third place is Nebula NGC 2392, called 'Eskimo' because it looks like a face surrounded by a furry hood. The hood is, in fact, a ring of comet-shaped objects flying away from a dying star.  Eskimo is 5,000 light years from Earth.

Thanks to RK for this link. Beautiful, just beautiful. Go see them all.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Better Late

I'm a few days late on this. I've mentioned outrage fatigue before, & I guess my initial inattention to Dick "Dick" Cheney as the vice-chief assassin is a result of just too many atrocities committed by Bu$hCo. In fact, it appears that the the vice-chief was the chief-vice when it came to murder. No surprise, but I wish Pres. Obama would do the right thing & either send a great attorney after the bastards or appoint a truth commission that can at least publicly report on the multitude of criminal acts committed in our name.
...Seymour Hersh may have made a little more news than he intended by talking about new alleged instances of domestic spying by the CIA, and about an ongoing covert military operation that he called an “executive assassination ring.”

My emphasis.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Jesus Christ With Tits On A Boar

The arrogance is just stunning. These bastards ought to be in jail, not enjoying a bonus, especially a bonus on my dime.
Despite being bailed out with more than $170 billion from the Treasury and Federal Reserve, the American International Group is preparing to pay about $100 million in bonuses to executives in the same business unit that brought the company to the brink of collapse last year.
& President Obama gave this criminal travesty the green light? WFT?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Asshat Chronicles, Continued

Just quit Norm, just quit. It appears Norm Coleman's quest to become a second term corrupt U.S. senator took another hit today. Looks like Coleman just wants to keep wasting taxpayer's money. No surprise from a ReThug like Coleman.
But the campaign may have broken a state law that requires prompt disclosure of a security breach, a law professor said.

Heartless, Stupid, Clueless = Rick Perry, e.g.

& hypocritical. Reject help for the working people of your state, make a big, blustering speech, then accept most of the money the evil Pres. Obama & the Democratic Party voted to sent you. These bastards are all pieces of work since none of their representatives in the House voted for the stimulus bill & only three ReThug senators, actually four (LIEberman, of course). Rick Perry is just a dick.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Thursday he turned down $555 million of federal stimulus funding that would expand the state's unemployment benefits, saying the money would have required the state to keep paying for the expanded benefits after the stimulus money ran out.

Perry, an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama's $787 billion stimulus bill, did accept most of the roughly $17 billion slated for Texas in the plan. But he turned down the unemployment benefits because he said it would require the state to increase the tax burden on Texas businesses.


Moments after Perry said he would reject the money, the House Senate Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding voted 5-1 in favor of a motion encouraging the Legislature to make the necessary changes to enable the state to receive $555 million. Republican Rep. Jim Pitts, chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, was among those voting in favor the motion.


The governor's decision comes despite warnings from Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken that the state's unemployment compensation trust fund could be operating at a deficit by October. Pauken told lawmakers recently that insolvency might not be not far behind.
My emphases.

Time For A Diaper Change I Suppose

Another example of why the ReThuglican Party is becoming a small, regional (the South), anti-American political rump organization, made up of backward thinkers, whoops, there is no thinking going on in ReThug circles, just just the attitude that they are entitled to not be bothered by the law. After all, the law is just a quaint collection of rules meant only for the riff-raff, i.e., everyone except ReThugs. It was just another airport accident that has unfairly befallen a sitting U.S. senator from the stupid part of the room.

Bu$hCo's Legacy Part 1,396

Babies with cancer.
More than half the baby shampoo, lotion and other infant care products analyzed by a health advocacy group were found to contain trace amounts of two chemicals that are believed to cause cancer, the organization said yesterday.
I know it's only March, but this may be the understatement of the year:
"Our intention is not to alarm parents, but to inform parents that products that claim to be gentle and pure are contaminated with carcinogens, which is completely unnecessary," said Stacy Malkan, a spokeswoman for the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which is calling for the government to more strictly regulate personal care products such as shampoo, lotion and makeup.
My emphasis.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Woo Woo

John Stewart is just destroying Jim Cramer. This is just about the best interview I have seen on the Daily Show.  Cramer is such a tool.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Good, But Now It's Time For The Big Boys & Girls To Get Some Quality Behind Bars Tims

Rethuglican Sen. Thad Cochran, from that wonderfully progressive state of Mississippi, number one in fat, is shocked, shocked I tells ya, that his employee of 29 years is guilty of corruption. She's also guilty, IMHO, of knocking a few more slivers from the bedrock of the nation.  Cochran, of course, is not under investigation.  It pays to be a cracker from Mississippi.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Use The PayPal

The Kid is doing a walk this spring for the March of Dimes. Go here to donate. Remember, I may be under the influence of someone else's blood right now, but I am getting grumpier by the day so, loyal four readers, whip of the credit card or use the PayPal, you will be so glad you did. Let's be forward thinking & donate when & where we can, but in this case how can a sane person resist this?

The cutest twins in the history of the world, Lucy & Marigny, bookend the kids in the stroller.  Now if that isn't a reason to be supportive, I don't know what is?  BTW, L & M spent their first six weeks in the NICU, getting big & ready to come home. 

Another Mea Culpa & A Grotesque Explanation

As my loyal four readers have noticed, I haven't blogged much the last few days. Well, I was in the hospital, so there, for those of you who thought I was off lolling in the po'boy drenched dives in New Orleans. Unknown to me & to the world at large, I had an ulcer in my stomach. Said ulcer decided to, oh, start bleeding sometime last Tuesday or Wednesday. I spent the better part of Thursday (3/5/2009) early a.m. on the bathroom floor, unable to get up. About 4:00 I managed to crawl into the living room, locate my cell phone, & call Mrs. coldH2Owi, who was sleeping upstairs. I wasn't about to tackle the stairway. Well, she came down & we decided I needed to get the the ER. We drove on up & after a few tests, a lucky canceling of a dose of heparin, a male physician's index finger up my ass, & a small sip of water, it was decided that I needed a helicopter ride to Duluth. The ER did begin a blood transfusion since my hemoglobin was down around 7.5, (A normal level for me would be 13.5 to 16.5 g/dl) believe me when I say that is not a good number & I was whiter than the ReThuglican Party, including its nominally black chairman.
Structure Hemoglobin

I got the Life Flight & wound up in Intensive Care after a bowel movement red as a tiger's tongue & the subsequent inability to get back to the bed on my own. That is about as close as I've ever come to passing out, I didn't like it. I wound up with about 9 pints of blood being transfused, which is a lot given the total amount of blood in a human body is 10-12 pints. The ulcer was the culprit, it began to bleed & to decorate everything in red. An extremely tall doc came in, pushed a tube down my throat & burnt the end of the artery that was bleeding. All was to be well, but, alas four readers, she did not end the bleeding with the flame less heat. My, yes, I will take ownership of my ulcer, although Bu$hCo & that bastard Dick "Dick" Cheney need to accept some of that property as well, continued to bleed through the night & the next morning. She, the tall doc, brought her team back in, gave me something to forget it all, pushed the tube down my throat, re-cauterized the damn bleeding ulcer, & put five stainless steel clips on the thing to keep it from bleeding. The clips, while apparently guaranteeing a non-bleeding ulcer, also condemned me to another day of eating sumptuous plastic glasses of ice chips. So, I'm home now, feeling a little weak but at least I'm not dead. That's a good thing, I guess. Since stress seems to be a major culprit, I tested clean for Heliobacter Pylori, I implore my loyal four readers to be nice to me, at least fake it, OK? You may also send me money for my boat, so that I may spend many a stress-free day on the water, encouraging smallmouth bass to hammer the chartreuse flies I'd be throwing at them. Ahhh, I feel the stress sloughing away already &since the weather is about to do a major winter number on us ­

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday

Night Night

Heavy Chance Slight Chc

Snow Snow Snow

Lo 6 °F Hi 11 °F Lo -6 °F

- I beseech you, my loyal four readers, to have a little sympathy.

Rolling Stones - Sympathy for the Devil (live: 06/10/2007)

Oh, my.