Saturday, February 28, 2009

Juxtaposition

Hrm.

No good news in
economic numbers


Brewers on brink of single-day sales record

Maybe someone can explain this to me, 'cause I got nothin'.

Chicago Tea Party Chicago Protest reports

Wish I could have made it.* Off-topic, as soon as I have a paycheck again I am totally going down there to photograph that American Gothic statue--some elite sophisticated city, ripping off Iowa to decorate itself...*bah*

I marked this one as a Favorite on Flickr:


Here's the blog to go with it.

There's a whole Chicago Tea Party group on Flickr.

Here's a report from "The Un-Liberaled Woman", who I must start reading regularly.

Children at The Intolerant Fox.

Bonus pics from Portland, because that city fascinates me now that I've been there (in the same way I'm fascinated by flesh-eating bacteria and Hawkeyes being arrested...).

* I hate spring; the migraine action is worse today.

"this money isn't free."

Scott Walker in the Wall Street Journal.

Key point:
The stimulus is a classic bait-and-switch. Once the highways are built and social-service case loads have increased, Wisconsin will be left with the bill to maintain the new roads and services.

Once you start providing "schoolchildren" and their parent(s) with three meals a day (plus "after-school snack"), any cut "hurts the children."

It's so friggin' obvious, I don't understand the objections.

(I've posted the link to Facebook, just to see how fast the Obamatrons who know me from high school unfriend me. Hee hee hee.)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Well, meh.

Sinus migraine made driving down to Chicago unwise, so no first-person report from the Tea Party. I have been lying quietly in the dark, as befits my status as jobless loser scum.

(Jeff Saturday's back for three more years...oh, wait, sorry, didn't mean to participate in the world with my working betters. Won't do it again.)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

This seems unnecessary

$1.125M federal funds to to add on to the Ice Age Trail.


I like the Ice Age Trail, but surely the people who find it important can throw their own money at it instead of expecting working stiffs around the country to provide it for them.

Yeah, I know.

In which I ♥ the PeoplesCube



I haven't laughed this hard in I don't know how long. Thank you!

Thomas Jefferson

A little long for posterboard:
"To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father's has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association--the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his
industry and the fruits acquired by it." -- Note in Tracy's "Political Economy," 1816.


"With all [our] blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow citizens--a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities." -- 1st Inaugural Address

If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy." -- letter to Thomas Cooper, 1802

Chicago Tea Party Protest

Kicking around the idea of hitting Daley Plaza tomorrow morning.

On one hand, I've been depressed and grumpy since Limbaugh spent his whole first half hour Monday ripping into people who continue to be alive after being laid off--how DARE we not give up our non-work interests to concentrate 24/7 on our status as utterly worthless drains on society!--so it might be a good idea for me to leave the house for something other than lifting weights in the glow of a dozen TVs showing CNN tongue-bathing Barack Obama.

(I have no idea why people schedule conservative protests during normal business hours; if I was working I couldn't even consider this.)

On the other hand, Chicago. *shudder*

Please leave suggestions for signage.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bizarre.

Two adjacent TVs at the gym today (which was a zoo--anyone around here work or go to school during the day anymore?).

On one, some white supremecists are showing off their 88 tattoos to CNN. (Is there a reason is news this week?)

On the other, retrospective footage of Marvin Harrison.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ah well.

I enjoyed this article about a small Appalachian school making the Kentucky state basketball tournament (their leading scorer wore a Brewers' ball-and-glove cap for the top photo...), until the reporter felt the need to bring Obama into it.

Is there going to be halftime obeisance to O during the Final Four as there was during the Super Bowl?

In which I lack understanding.

Everything “unacceptable” about the last 8 years is now “acceptable.”

I'm also wondering why the hell Barry O's vow to "halve the deficit in four years" is a masterstroke of leadership when he signed a bill tripling it just last week. Even Nigerian bank account scams aren't that obvious.

Hah! We WISH.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar



Gary Varvel is having a caption contest. I've got nothing "suitable for a family newspaper"...except Lucy's usual "That'll be five cents."

My year gets worse and worse

Jeff Saturday and Hunter Smith are bailing. As is Marvin Harrison, but I expected that.

(Happy Birthday, Chele...)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

"Math class is sure hard!"

...and this is why I believe that having a lot of formal education doesn't mean you're smart. How can you have a math class with no right or wrong answers?

From the linked essay by Jay Schalin:
And if somebody is better at language skills than quantitative reasoning, and therefore less interested in scientific matters, it is often best for all concerned if he or she does not study to be an electrical engineer.

Heh. My favorite anecdote from my least favorite EE lab was when my assigned partner for the week was the other chick, and we both arrived at the wrong answer in the pre-lab assignment and thus wired our transformer backwards--instead of stepping down from 120V to 6V, we stepped up to 2400V--and overloaded some capacitors, which caught on fire and shot across the room, narrowly missing some guys who got the right answer. (We were never assigned to work together again, which I'm sure was coincidence. ;)

But it really hammered home the fact that there are right and wrong answers, and you can't accomplish anything by assuming all answers are equally valid as long as they're written up properly (also made me realize I wasn't as smart as the "educators" in Podunk Community High School told me I was...alas).

Key graf:
Perhaps the key to producing more scientists in our society is not some sort of feminist Manhattan Project to produce more women scientists, but rather to promote science universally to all young students, and let those who have talent and inclinations in a given field pursue them.

Yup.

Hrm...

In the spirit of fairness, I note that Obama "rejected his transportation secretary’s suggestion that the administration consider taxing motorists based on how many miles they drive instead of how much gasoline they buy."

Good call.

But don't forget, Obama changes positions more often than Jenna Jameson (Jamison? I'm not going to Google to check the spelling, I'm trying to eat breakfast). Also, he objects to the tax-on-mileage, not to GPS units in private vehicles reporting to the government (hmm...why aren't there GPS units in government-owned vehicles, as a means to prevent/prosecute government employees abusing public resources?).

And individual states are still considering the scheme.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Socks, RIP

19-20 years is a good run.

I still envision him lurking by the Rainbow Bridge for a chance to slash to ribbons the two-legged assholes who used him as a prop and then dumped him when they didn't need him anymore. Cats have long memories.

I'd better go give Satan's Little Helper some treats.

Speaking of hypocrisies

The CIA wanting to listen to the overseas phone calls you place to numbers known to be connected to terrorists, to glean information that could save American lives, was a fascist invasion of your privacy.

State and federal governments tracking your every move so they can charge you money--no problem!

Another blow for restaurants, gas stations, speciality retail small businesses as people stop non-essential travel like "shop hops" and "scenic drives" and "visiting Aunt Ethel". Then we'll have to tax something else to make up for the missing income taxes, and to give more people more government assistance.

And who knows what sort of restrictions will be placed on vehicle use once Al Gore's devotees get their hands on the government's data?

And no, I don't believe those are "unintended" consequences.

(As soon as I get a job, I'm going to visit any remaining quilt shops in WI and buy something at each one. Not that I need any more fabric, but I can always use more thread.)

Kayne West, call the White House.

The economic stimulus signed by President Barack Obama will spread billions of dollars across the country to spruce up aging roads and bridges. But there's not a dime specifically dedicated to fixing leftover damage from Hurricane Katrina.


No, I don't I think we need to be throwing any more money down that particular hole. I just want to point out what complete lying hypocrites Democrats, race-baiters, and the media are.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Uh, um, uh, uh, um

We're all citizens of the world now.

"It's a great pleasure to be here in Iowa - Ottawa."

I'll admit--it's a nice change to hear a whole new stupid remark instead of the same old Buckeye gaffe everyone makes.

P.S. Canadians, if you think he's so great, how's about you keep him?

Giant Puppet Head!

Photos of protesters in Arizona. Some good stuff, some Ronulans, some vulgarity...

And a giant Obama puppet head!

I get a kick out of the Giant Heads of Mockery.

Speaking of puppet heads, when I was at the gym this morning, I caught an ad (in the middle of CNN's "100 Glorious Days of the Obamamessiah" feature) that replayed footage from His stupid two-minute campaign ad about the economy and encouraged us to call the White House and thank Him for signing the porkulus bill and saving all our jobs. Uh...um...uh...WHAT? It's been TWO DAYS. Not to mention I got laid off three days after the coronation...

The "paid for by" print was too small for me to read from where I was, and I'm not giving anyone the satisfaction of a YouTube search/view, so I'm hoping to read about it somewhere, because I have this sick feeling that the 2012 campaign has started already.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Yup.

Ah, Indianapolis.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Oooh.

Wherever I end up, I'm coming back July 26 for the Bratwurst Bobblehead. *twitch*

Victor Davis Hanson:
Bush was pilloried for supposedly hyping al-Qaeda in order to create a security state. Obama trumped that by proclaiming that the present recession is a catastrophe, a disaster, a Great Depression. He ceased his scare-mongering only when he had exhausted the vocabulary of doom. “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” bragged Rahm Emanuel, reminding us that the envisioned Obama socialism could take root only if a climate of fear was created.

...and it worked.

Where's the band? The Titanic had a band...

Oh boy.

Obama is switching "troops already gearing up to go to Iraq" to Afghanistan. Not as many as the U.S. Commander in Afghanistan requested, of course; listening to the guys on the ground requires a soup├žon of humility.

Never too late to surrender, is it? Has he had dinner with Emperor Akihito yet?

Oh yeah, Portland

Despite the smarmy eco-sanctimony every freaking place we went (gotta ask for water at dinner and bags for your purchases, signs in public restrooms about the water-saving toilets, etc), the downtown/Portland State areas where we spent most of my long weekend trip were filthier than downtown Milwaukee/the east side by UW-Milwaukee. Litter everywhere--the light rail stop outside our "certified green" hotel was covered in newspapers, coffee cups, cigarette butts, sandwich wrappers. And grafitti--not the kind commonly confused with art, just tags. In the commercial/tourist districts.

I thought that was interesting.

I wanted to photograph it all, but I was traveling with people young and hip enough to be embarrassed* about being thought tourists--I carry business cards that say I'm an artist just in case anyone ever wonders why I'm photographing litter--who hustled me quickly from place to place (not a problem after I got hit with the dysentery and felt compelled to maintain proximity to restrooms).

The other thing that stood out was beer all over the place. At every meal and snack stop (alas, not for me). The Neo-Prohibitionists around Wisconsin really need to get out more instead of shrieking about how WI has a "uniquely alcohol-soaked culture." Nothing unique about it.

Heh.

* We saw protesters one day, when we were on the light rail. I said, "What's left to protest? We're all proud to be Americans again! Hope-n-Change is going to fix everything!" And then someone kicked me to shut me up before someone smelled the conservative and we all got arrested for hate speech. Heh heh heh.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The jokes should write themselves.


Unusual Red Glow over Minnesota.

2002...probably doesn't explain Al Franken.

Phyllis Chesler on Honor Killings

In the Spring 2009 issue of The Middle East Quarterly, available online. Her main point is that honor killings are significantly different from Western-style domestic violence--in intent, ferocity, celebration, and victim selection--and should not be treated as such.
In both North America and Europe, family members conducted honor killings with excessive violence—repeatedly stabbing, raping, setting aflame, and bludgeoning—in more than half the cases. Only in serial-killing-type scenarios are Western women targeted with similar violence; in these cases, the perpetrators are seldom family members, and their victims are often strangers. Despite the obfuscation of Muslim advocacy groups, these case studies show that honor killings are quite distinct from domestic violence.

She is quite detailed and presents the data she used with her conclusions, which I will keep in mind the next time I rant at "feminists."

But I would still appreciate the organizations that purport to care about women noticing the existance of honor killings.

And speaking of abusing workers...

Mentally-retarded (note the explanation of "Register's use of 'mentally retarded') men from Texas shipped to an eastern Iowa town to work in a meat-processing plant, paid a pittance, and kept in squalid, understaffed housing.

Criminal charges are in order--as they were in 2001, when the state did nothing (please note Ag Sec Vilsack, was the governor of Iowa at this time). Whole bunch of state employees need to be fired, if not charged themselves. The contracting company was receiving the men's SSI checks and keeping most of the money--firing squad seems appropriate. And there's plenty of non-criminal blame to go around. The processor who contracted with the Texas company who placed and housed the workers should have paid more attention--or hired local workers in the first place. The workers' families should have said something years ago, instead of showing up now looking for settlements.

But I will note that the men were productive, well-behaved members of society--they seem to have enjoyed life in the community--unlike plenty of Americans of normal intelligence who also collect a government check every month. Now they're wards of the state, told they're victims, and forced to sit around idle.

I'm sure this won't come up during Tom Harkin's (D-Lusional) hearings. Nor will Ag Sec Vilsack's incompetent Dept. of Inspections failing to appropriately regulate meat-packers...

(...I bet these men all voted for Obama, whether they knew they did or not. Atalissa is not far from Iowa City, plenty of volunteers to sign them up.)

H1-B fraud raids...

I had to look up Coon Rapids on a map.
U.S computer companies set up bogus offices in Iowa as part of a complicated scheme to exploit immigration rules and pay foreign workers less than they would typically earn elsewhere, federal prosecutors alleged Thursday.

If there are any foreign nationals with technology degrees and work visas in Coon Rapids, they didn't make the homepage. Unlike "Latino seasonal workers" *cough*.
Specifically, Vision Systems Group is accused of filing petition requests with the government showing the H-1B visa workers would be employed in Iowa to take advantage of lower requirements for wage rates. But the workers were allegedly placed in locations on the East and West coasts.

Yeah, that's where the non-IT software work is--California and Massachusetts. I'm not that desperate yet...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I love Wisconsin.

No wonder California has such an inferiority complex. Manicured and facialed metrosexuals vs.
sturgeon-spearing nonagenarians named Aelred.

Betcha a Leinie's that's a family name.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Yoo-hoo! Feminists!

When you get done celebrating your own va-jay-jays, try making yourselves useful:

The American media is wholly uninterested in beheaded wives.

And on V-Day.

Go forth! Fight violence against all women for a damn change, and not just the ones abused by white men.

Heh heh.

Mark Steyn describes Judd Gregg as "freakishly scandal-free."

I got an e-mail this morning noting that there are more convictions per capita in Congress than in either the NBA or the NFL.

Well. We are all illiterate fascists now. I expect the government to assign me to a job shortly. And I'll probably go, because I don't have anything better to do during the days.

Enough with the Obama Quilts already.

You know, in 8 years, I didn't see a single George Bush quilt that didn't reference him as a genocidal monster or a bumbling simian.

Interviews with "Obama Quilters", for posterity.

...quite a few Shepard Fairey ripoffs, too. *cough*

Silver lining to not having the money to attend the international show in Chicago this year: I won't have to see any of this garbage and my head won't explode.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Does anyone know what this means?

Interacting with global teams to promote consistency and maximize synergies.
I'm reading it as "stay late and/or come in early to deal with the time difference between Wisconsin and China."

I don't have the necessary technical experience for this one anyway...

Heart-rending tales of woe

The average cost of a wedding fell $6,000 last year as brides confronted a deepening recession.


Heart-rending tales of woe. Can no longer drop a week's salary on a purse! Realized she wasn't really a Disney Princess! Paid $900 for a dress, which was the same as a prom dress! ($900 for a prom dress?!) I've never been to a wedding where the run-of-the-mill guests weren't served sheet cake...

I suspect if the economy was good, they'd be recycling the "your wedding is bad for the planet!" theme. Out-of-town relatives emit evil carbon dioxide, honeymoon travel is selfish, fresh flowers take food out of the mouths of Third World babies, etc.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Heh.

From Iowahawk's Flickr:


(I responded to an ad today for a "competent software engineer." I'm not sure what to make of their inclusion of that qualifier...)

Metaphors

I believe it was Dogbert who said "Stupid people exist to amuse the rest of us."

That tattoo you think says "Hope"? It means "a period of time."


Yup.

Last night I finally watched Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary, a film of interviews in 2001 with Traudl Junge, who lived in his bunkers, took dictation from and ate meals with Hitler, and was present during his last week in Berlin.

He never had any sense that he was a criminal destroying a nation, he thought he was pursuing lofty ideals.

And I think it's also the case that if you value and respect someone you don't really want to destroy the image of that person...you don't want to know, in fact if disaster lies beyond the facade.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Is someone dumping meth in the Capital water supply?

I applied for a job in Des Moines this morning--there's an airport in Des Moines, at least, and real pork tenderloin sammiches--and now I'm rethinking this whole "moving back to Iowa" thing. Apparently Iowans have gotten really stupid since I left.

The state senate wants to give Iowa's Electoral College votes to the "national winner"--whether or not that individual has the majority of the votes in Iowa.

It looks like a flat-out attempt to circumvent the U.S. Constitution:
"If states that represent a majority of electoral votes in the country pass this compact, we can get a national popular vote without Congress, without a constitutional amendment, without any of those folks," [Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal--who apparently has no party, or else the Register assumes anyone reading their paper from another part of the county automagically knows he's a Democrat] said.


Yeah, the organized fraud assures no one I vote for will ever win the state's electoral votes anyway, but at least there used to be a thin veneer of legitimacy about it. The state may not have gone to the guy the legal residents with U.S. citizenship wanted, but at least they had numbers to back it up.

Bigger than Jesus!

More "would be funny if it wasn't so damn sad."
One lady got up and told him she needed a car and a new kitchen. The Teleprompter Kid told her to talk with his staff after the show and sure enough, some rich friend of his gave her a house! I thought I was watching Oprah instead of Obama!

Heck, Jesus himself only gave out fish sandwiches.

I'm going to steal that last line.

More:
Notice how hardly anyone clapped when Obama declared that "nobody wants unemployment insurance -- they want a job."
The only thing that surprises me is that people are surprised by this.

Heh.

This cracked me up, although it shouldn't, because it's really very sad.

”Economy Crashes, Cupid Hardest Hit.”
Can you imagine the sheer horror of going to a park with your family and then facing the additional horror of having to watch a talkie with them?

As the comments note, if it's a treat that they're spending a day with the toddler, she probably has an awful life, mamma's diamond necklace from Tiffany notwithstanding.

I had time to craft fabric valentines by hand for my niece and nephews instead of buying them, is how I'm spinning it. (The cards didn't turn out like the image in my head. But kids under two won't notice, and the preschoolers like postcards of Milwaukee because it's MAIL! With THEIR NAME! so any card will be a win.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Aha!

Got a letter today from my bank--dated the day after I called to report my stolen info--informing me that there was a "security breach" at a New Jersey company that "processes credit and debit card transactions for merchants" and my card "may be compromised."

"Fraud occurs in very few instances." My ass.

Does it matter when we're all doomed anyway? *srednop*

Monday, February 9, 2009

Political Art for Freedom of Speech

Saw this on Big Hollywood.



Alvillar's work didn't really do anything for me when I saw it in ARTNews--I remember wondering what the flags meant, I'll have to look again--but I appreciate his sentiments in this video.

...and now I wonder why conservative artists have such lousy websites.

Sweet Barack Obama's waffle...

There are children I used to babysit on Facebook.

Posting pictures of their legal drinking and illegitimate children.

Have I mentioned that I regret wasting my life reading books and going to college?

I think I need more to do.

My brother sent me an interesting article from Medford, OR about some old ladies volunteers from the American Sewing Guild making neck and helmet coolers for his National Guard unit as they get ready to deploy.

Warning: Don't read the comments. Lot of assholes in Oregon.
The coolers and the pads contain polymer beads the size of grains of rice that swell when they absorb water. The soldiers need only soak the flat strips of cloth in water to turn them into cold, round sausages or cool helmet pads.

I want some of these beads...

My brother has a friend who does custom sewing semi-professionally making him some stuff, and promised me digital camo scraps when she's done. Bwahahaha.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Uh...

“You need to realize that there’s no stigma about being unemployed,” says Sue Ross, who recently lost her job in customer relations at WageWorks.


...see, I think that's one of the things that's wrong with our culture. There should be some sort of qualifier on that--between jobs, laid off recently, caring for family (children, elderly, sick) instead of working for a wage*, etc. The fact that there's no stigma attached to being "long-term unemployed", refusing to learn new skills, using a disability to avoid seeking other types of work you can physically perform, choosing to gestate multiple fatherless babies instead of working, etc, does not improve individual lives or society at large.

I did appreciate the links to resume-writing and job goal worksheets. Now, if someone could tell me what sort of new programming language/skills I should be learning in the interim...

* Traditional women's work, back before American women were expected to work for wages. I'd prefer to be living like that, but alas, ugly women with healthy elders don't get that choice.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Portland Nature/Scenery Photos

I-84

Portland Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, and some waterfalls and vistas along the Columbia River. I'll get to the city photos later...

I'm surprised it took this long.

Dissent is no longer patriotic.

Will there even be a United States of America by the time we get a chance to vote this asshole out?

Starting to get entertaining.

Shepard Fairey arrested on outstanding warrants. Which is apparently part of his anarchist-lite schtick, and of course they don't say what the warrants are for.

I'm having a good laugh at the people who think some conspiracy of evil corporate Bushitler fans made some calls and had him taken out.

OTOH, I'm getting more and more disgusted by how many adult-age people think vandalism is awesome if you call it "street art."

Friday, February 6, 2009

Taking a break from making calls about my stolen identity

If I was working, I would totally buy the Obama Playing Cards from the PeoplesCube.



Maybe someday...

(Frightening that Saul Alinsky looks a little like Lombardi when you flatten him into two colors.)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Well, at least I'm keeping busy.

Someone obtained my debit card number, address, and e-mail address and made a bunch of charges since Tuesday. Kids, probably, since they're buying acne cream, tooth whitener, and memberships to tuition grant information websites. Fraud charges look nice on college apps, don't you think?

The bank is making me call all these companies myself, which irritates me, but they've given me some additional useful information to pass along to the police. (I was motivated to file a police report because they created an e-mail account with a username similar to mine for the purpose of signing up for this crap--trying to rip me off is one thing but violating my personal space like that something else altogether.)

*sigh* I wonder if I dropped a printout at PDX or something. I was really too sick to notice.

Get the popcorn...

Corporate MSM vs the socialist-chic cult. Kind of like a Hawkeye-Bugeaters game.

AP alleges copyright infringement of Obama image

Actually, I think I want the AP to win, because I'm very uncomfortable with the concept that it's acceptable to steal intellectual property to benefit politicians or government:
Robin Gross, an intellectual property attorney who heads IP Justice, an international civil liberties organization, believes that Fairey had the right to use the photo, saying that he intended it for a political cause, not commercial use.

"Fairey's purpose of the use for the photo was political or civic, and this will certainly count in favor of the poster being a fair use," said Gross, based in San Francisco.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Not really in a politics-blogging mood.

I'm back from Portland, I seem to have picked up some sort of viral GI thing best left undescribed, and I'm increasingly depressed that I wasted the past twenty years reading and working and traveling instead of mindlessly pumping out fatherless babies at taxpayer expense.

Here's a picture from Multnomah Falls:


Blogger really seems to be messing up image dimensions lately.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lichen

Photo taken in the Columbia River Gorge.

Lichen