Nov/25
2014

Not only does he represent but he actually IS a Turk AND a Turkey! That's like a three-fer!

NKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan set off a new controversy on Monday, declaring that women are not equal to men and accusing feminists of not understanding the special status that Islam attributes to mothers.

Poor Turkey, it's their version of Dubya, making headlines in all the worst ways. So much for getting the respect they need from the EU with comments like that. I suppose he had to stretch a little after the last guffaw about muslims discovering America before Columbus.

It's good to see that there's no discrimination against clowns in any culture...

Nov/24
2014

So what does a sane, rational, level-headed, objective political leader do when his own party repudiates his opinions?

a. Go back and review those opinions in light of overwhelming results
b. Cry like a baby...

ATLANTA, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- During an appearance on CNN, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., flatly refused to accept the conclusions of a GOP-led report clearing the Obama administration of wrongdoing or coverup in the 2012 Benghazi attack.

"I think the report is full of crap," Graham told host Gloria Borger on CNN's State of the Union, a Sunday morning news show.

Later in the interview, Graham called conclusions reached by the report "a bunch of garbage." He said he doesn't believe the report is accurate.

When Borger asked Graham why the Republican chairman of the Intelligence Committee would be "buying a bunch of garbage," Graham simply replied, "good question."

I mean I don't know why they bothered in the first place. Ok the GOP was worried this was a thing, sure, then they investigated, also sure, but now when there is no THING? What to do right? They already beat that horse to death anyway, sucking any blood from it while people might care. But now, after the elections, why would Lindsey still care?

Heh. One word... Hillary.

Scared of a little fire scarecrow? Suck it up dickhead. You're gonna have to find a new horse to beat. But it's going to be a little harder since Hills has been out of office for a while. No worries though, they'll find something to get creative about I'm sure. Until then, someone better send some Depends over to Baby Lindsey. He's gonna need a fresh pair.

Nov/23
2014

Of course the GOP knew this as did any other person of any other affiliation IF they had a brain. But blowing things out of proportion is precisely the conservative methodology because, basically, their voting bloc is either too disinterested or unintelligent to care.

A US investigation has found no wrongdoing by the Obama administration in responding to the deadly 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The inquiry by the Republican-run House Intelligence Committee also said there was no intelligence failure and no delay in sending a CIA rescue team.

The Obama administration had been accused of mishandling its response. (BBC)

What's really telling is how the conservative news sources (e.g. Faux News) is dealing with the fact that they hyped bullshit for months. Wanna guess how they report the same content as above?

On Friday, with little fanfare, the House Intelligence Committee released the findings of its two year, bi-partisan investigation into the terrorist attack. The 37 page report found that the first, internal CIA assessment was accurate -- that no protests were involved -- but then-CIA Director David Petraeus, Morell and the administration latched onto information that supported the flawed demonstration scenario.

Fox News was first to report on September 17, 2012, one day after Rice's controversial Sunday talk show appearances, that there were no protests when the attack unfolded. (Fox "News")

Isn't that amazing? Comparing the headlines makes it even more stark:
Benghazi consulate attack: Report clears US response (BBC) - Front page

CIA gathered intelligence on weapons to Syria: Benghazi report (Fox) - Buried in "Politics"

It's not like owning up to being wrong was ever ANY politician's strong suit, but considering the amount of hype and attention Fox dedicated to attacking Hilary and the administration it underscores how unbalanced the US media has become. And how gullable voters are as a result.

I'm not going to let this post devolve into the usual rant against the 1% which controls the aforementioned news companies. America has already lost and stupid is now being lauded as "patriotic" or "religious freedom". I suppose willful ignorance COULD be considered the same thing as faith-based principles though. Whatever. Sucks to be us.

Nov/22
2014

Sign the petition at Change.org to stop giving these attention whores access to the media.

https://www.change.org/p/the-learning-channel-end-lgbtq-fear-mongering-by-the-duggars

Nov/22
2014

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- While the midterm elections brought major political shifts on both the national and state levels, a new poll suggests the U.S. public doesn't see it that way.

About two-thirds of respondents to the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll said they believe the United States is heading in the wrong direction, and more than 75 percent said the election won't change that direction. While 41 percent were pleased the Republicans now have control of both the Senate and the House, 39 percent disagreed.

Fred Yang, a Democratic pollster at Hart Research who conducted the poll with Republicans at Public Opinion Strategies, said "it's almost like the election never happened."(UPI)

So here's the thing: if less than a majority are pleased with the outcome of the election it begs several questions:

1) Did the people being polled vote?
2) If they did vote, wtf happened?
3) If 75% say the election won't change things then why the fuck did they vote at all?

Really, wtf people.

Nov/21
2014

One might also call him a "fucking dickhead" but one hasn't... has one? As VP of Autozone Bill is in charge of many things and many opinions, probably the most famous is his recent quote "What are we running here, a boutique? Get rid of these women."

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- AutoZone said it will appeal a $185 million jury award to a former employee who said she was fired after she became pregnant.

Rosario Juarez said she was first demoted from her management job at a San Diego-area store and then lost her job when she filed a lawsuit. A jury in U.S. District Court in San Diego awarded her $185 million in punitive damages Monday.[..]

In court papers, her lawyer quoted a statement allegedly made by the vice president for western operations when he visited a store with a female manager and many other women employees.

"What are we running here, a boutique? Get rid of these women," the executive allegedly ordered the district manager.

Yep, Autozone, a MAN's store, for MEN, run by MEN. Where MEN can be MEN (without women around, kinda like a little bit of Saudi Arabia here in the good ol' US.) But wait! Autozone has a woman on their veep level! One Elizabeth Rabun who is (ironically) in charge of loss prevention. Skipping the irrelevant fact that she looks like a man in bad drag, her "loss prevention" is also at issue here because that's why Rosario was fired in the first place.

AutoZone said Juarez was fired after $100 went missing. But a company security officer testified she believed the missing money was a pretext, and said she did not suspect Juarez of theft.

So message to Hackneyed Bill: it's not the wild west any more dickhead. Grow some management skills. Your balls won't shrink if you do.

Nov/21
2014

Then:

"Which ones are we?" my father inquired. "Are we the good Jews or the bad Jews?"

Herr B laughed "What a question! You know you are good people. You are our friends!"

My father persisted, "You know most of the Jews of Constance. Which ones are the bad Jews that we have to suffer along with?' Herr B thought for a few seconds. He admitted that all the Jews of our town seemed to be descent, honest people. 'Then where are these bad Jews you are talking about?' (The Holocaust: Lessons for Humanity)

Now:

Liraz Makhlouf, a mother of two young children in Ashkelon, said she supported the mayor's decision [to ban Israeli Arab construction workers from jobs in local preschools] "100 percent." She insisted there was no racism behind the move, and that in the current climate of violence, such measures were needed to protect children.

"It's clear that there are good (Arabs) and bad ones, and it's clear there are more good ones than bad ones. But no one can point at them and say who is good and who is bad," she told Channel 10. (AP)

Nov/20
2014

No seriously man, you have a good thing going and you're going to spoil it because GREED?

JetBlue will add bag fees and squeeze seats a bit closer together as it tries to boost profit.[..]

Hayes, who is currently president and will replace JetBlue CEO Dave Barger in February, said in an interview that other amenities such as free Wi-Fi, snacks and no overbooking mean that the airline can add bag fees and seats without driving away customers.

"I'm confident when customers get on and see the cabin and experience the product, they're going to say, `Wow, this is actually better than what JetBlue was flying before.'" (AP)

Dude, seriously, how stupid is that quote? You really think that people are going to be happier when they're a) paying more and b) squeezed more tightly together? No, clearly you don't but I'm betting the fat bonus you're getting off the inflated stock price salves any sort of conscience you have about lying.

So Robin, seriously, I used to ask my company to book be on Jet Blue rather than their preferred US Airways. Used to. No point in going to the extra effort to fly your planes when they're the same service for less comfort. You can WiFi my ass all you like, "snacks" don't mean shit when you're crammed in a hole for a higher price.

Nov/20
2014

Yeah, yeah that's just rhetorical. Everyone knows the GOP doesn't give a rats ass about governing for the sake of the people. They care about making laws for the sake of money. Their money.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Two presidents have acted unilaterally on immigration - and both were Republican. Ronald Reagan and his successor George H.W. Bush extended amnesty to family members who were not covered by the last major overhaul of immigration law in 1986.

Neither faced the political uproar widely anticipated if and when President Barack Obama uses his executive authority to protect millions of immigrants from deportation.

The GOP has stated often that their only goal is to stifle any dissent. Of course the next question becomes "dissent against what"? It was a joyful circus when the Tea Party held sway, watching each "conservative" trying to out conservative the other. The whole party fell into disrepair where the internal sniping did worse to their brand than the formal external sniping. That's not to say that shutting down the government was a great thing, but it certainly opened more than a few eyes both inside and outside the halls of power.

I like Obama. No, that comes as no surprise, but it's not because I'm a registered Dem, but rather someone who understands how fucking difficult it is to manage a system as complex as our government. It's not just a matter of making rules for friends or supporters, something that the last republican administrations did in spades, rather it's defining a balance when there are millions of variables in play.

For those who define themselves as one-issue voters, bravo, at least you vote. But for someone who understands complex systems or at least tries to, my hat is off someone who inherited a shitty situation and has made our economy and nation a better, more stable entity. If the democrats have one fault it's not supporting their leader blindly. If the republicans have one fault it's supporting their leader blindly. You'd think there would be some middle ground, but alas for all of us there isn't. Until then Obama is now free to act in the unfettered way of his predecessors, a thing guaranteed to infuriate just about everyone.

Nov/19
2014

I had disabled ads a while ago in my gmail and now, JUST NOW, I saw ads at the top of my inbox. I freaked.

Ok so here's what you do to shut that shit off:
1. Click the gear in the upper right corner below your icon
2. Select settings
3. Scroll down to "Importance signals for ads" and click on it (you will open a new page call Ads Settings)
4. Scroll down to "Opt-out settings" and opt out of EVERYTHING

Breathe easier.

&^#$J%$#*()^&!@-ing ads? No fucking way!

Nov/19
2014

Ya gotta love it when people suggest that they should NOT do their job and still get paid. That's the fundamental message here.

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) -- The nation's Republican governors on Wednesday lashed out at President Barack Obama's plans to unilaterally protect millions of immigrants from deportation, but clashed over whether their congressional colleagues should threaten a government shutdown in response.

I'm sorry, you said "threaten a government shutdown?" Did you really? Do you have any idea how fucking stupid that sounds? And is? Not providing the necessary federal services IS A SOLUTION? Sounds more like a fucking excuse not to work.

Look! The GOP wants a paid vacation for themselves (not federal employees of course) just because they can't sit down a figure out a compromise.

What a bunch of friggen dolts. Yes, shut down the government. Let's see how much love that gets you.

Nov/19
2014

The next step was reinstating the phone lines to Verizon Wireless. It was tricky because the lines had been deactivated when I closed the account with AT&T. In the end, I had to accept a new cellphone number. But I was treated very well by several customer service people at Verizon and AT&T. In fact, AT&T waived the $200 in activation fees for the four phones I had returned. Two Verizon representatives, Bobbie and Carla, exceeded anything I?ve previously experienced from customer service - well, except for Leon.

These four people at BestBuy and Verizon, as well as a few others whose names I don't know, have changed my views about what goes on in the trenches of corporate America. I'm usually cynical about corporations. They are driven to maximize short-term quarterly profits and view employees and customers alike as robots and part of cost centers and revenue streams. They might have catchy slogans and advertising that tells stories, but those are only words and images that mask an uncaring reality.

Leon, Bobbie, and Carla have something in common. In their interactions with me, they approached their jobs with their whole selves. They acted like human beings and treated me like one. We teamed up - because they invited me to?analyzed and solved some problems together, and achieved something extraordinary. I had fun, and I hope they did too. I'm grateful that I met them, and I hope I get to share their company again.

The world is a scary place these days. Even though the economy is in full recovery, the benefits of that aren't getting shared equally among all people. So some people don't have jobs, others don't make enough money to make ends meet, and most people don't feel very secure. There are new dangers, like new viruses that kill or paralyze, and old dangers - like violence and crime; fire, wind and flood; and human frailty'that come from unexpected directions. Change is happening fast. Our institutions seemed mired in useless and vitriolic debates, incapable of doing their work. Obstacles abound, and the energy and creativity to find ways around them, not so much.

Yet, when the way is long or filled with potholes and scree; confusing or scary and dangerous; lonely and lonesome, we can reach out and help one another find a way over or around the obstacles. And make an island of grace.

-FIN- (Posted by Yada)

Nov/18
2014

I'm pretty sure that smartphones work just fine without a data plan. I used to have a Palm PDA when they first came out. I loved it because it helped me stay organized, and I could play games - well, a game - on it while I waited at appointments for my kids. When the first Palm smartphone came out, I bought one. I loved it; it had a cool ringtone and a game. But when Verizon said you have to buy a data plan if you own a smartphone, I gave it up. The data plan was too expensive. Later on I bought an iPod; it has games and lots of other stuff. And music. I can take notes on it when inspiration strikes. I love my iPod.

Anyhow, a smartphone has three types of functionality: lots of stuff you can do offline, like make to-do lists, record appointments, take photos, and play games; stuff you can do with cellular service, like make calls and send texts; and stuff you can do on Web 2.0 over wi fi. If you go where there is no wi fi and need to be connected 100% of the time, then a cellular data plan can be a great thing to have.

I hate being connected all the time. I need time to think, and I enjoy being alone with my thoughts now that I've figured out how to focus on useful thoughts and what to do with the thoughts that aren't useful. So for me, a data plan isn't worth what it costs. I wonder how many other people that is true for. By the way, why does volume discount pricing?10 gigs for $10 per gig, but 4 gigs for $17.50 per gig?make sense for data transmission?

Meanwhile, I called BestBuy and got connected to the best customer service representative I have ever met: Leon in Atlanta. I don't know whether it was his manner and tone or the words he said, which I can't recall. But within seconds of explaining my situation and hearing his response, I became calm. Maybe he said "How can I help you?" Lots of customer service representatives say that. But he said it in such a way that I knew they weren't empty words. He understood all the details of the situation, noticed the odd parts, and laid out a step-by-step plan, including which nearby store would be most helpful to me. He told me what to do if the store manager wasn't there and the person who helped me said he didn't have the authority to make decisions. He was never condescending. He was kind and generous. I felt armed to meet reality with power and grace. Even if I didn't get everything I wanted?I really wanted to not pay those $200 in activation fees?life would be okay.

Over the years, I've come to have a very low opinion of what I could expect from customer service. Long waits, annoying automated systems, annoying music, and perfunctory assistance of some sort.

By the time Leon was finished, I felt like someone had my back. I felt like I had met a master, a 4th degree black belt, of customer service. I wanted to become a customer service rep. Marvel should create a superhero with Leon?s abilities. I hope Leon?s manager at BestBuy sees this.

My experience returning four of the phones to the BestBuy Mobile store at the Rockingham Mall in Salem, NH, was equally amazing. Leon was right that the store manager wasn't there?he was out at a training program. (I suspect Leon knew this; he just seems like a guy completely on top of his game.) The assistant manager was extraordinary. It probably took more than an hour to work through all the issues with returning four of the phones (my son gets to keep the fifth one). Never once did he show impatience, even though he had to assist his staff from time to time. The task was complicated, and although he expressed some doubt that he could achieve what I wanted, he persisted with professionalism and kindness.

to be continued...

Nov/17
2014

I was furious for a moment. The anger burned away quickly-it's done that ever since I understood how it gets in my way.

I had set up the online account to check the amount being billed for my new family cellphone service with AT&T. Things hadn't been going right from the start.

The cellphones had arrived from BestBuy with three SIM cards loose in the box-one for each iPhone?and some of the numbers did not match the SIM ID numbers on the packing list. These were our first iPhones; it made sense for the SIM cards to be loose in the box because they clearly wouldn't fit inside an iPhone box.

We couldn?t figure out how to activate the twins? iPhone 5cs. I had no trouble matching the SIM chips to my and my husband?s HTC phones. I couldn't figure out how to insert the chips into the iPhones, even if I could have matched the numbers. Don?t laugh. This might be a good time to practice your empathy skills. Don?t snicker either.

My husband drove the twins up to BestBuy Mobile at the mall. They were frantic (as only 15 year old girls can be) to get their iPhones working and take them to a youth group meeting. An hour later I get a phone call from my husband's ancient Verizon flip phone. He needed to be an authorized user to access the AT&T account. So much for my idea of getting more work done.

The technical support specialist at AT&T was really nice, patient, and helpful. Also baffled. The two HTC phones and one of the iPhones had arrived activated. He didn't understand how my husband could be making a call on his Verizon phone when he had the same number active on an AT&T phone, which was also turned on. After awhile my husband had his authorization, but no longer had a working cellphone. Eventually I learned that he had spent an hour at BestBuy, where they couldn't figure out how to activate the iPhones or what to do with the SIM chips, and an hour at the AT&T store, where they had a lot of technical difficulty with the account.

After all this I thought I?d better check the bill to make sure nothing had gone wrong there as well. I was expecting a monthly charge of about $158 dollars and some change. I found a monthly charge of $240. Sigh.

I explained the details to an AT&T customer service representative. She told me that you must get a data plan with all smartphones. I explained that I thought AT&T must have an offer that allows you to forgo the data plan on some phones on an account when the other phones have a data plan. When I ordered the phones and the service, the BestBuy shopping cart forced me to choose a data plan for the iPhones, but gave me the option of not choosing one for the HTC phones. I didn't see language saying that I?d have to choose a plan later on.

She told me that "everyone knows" smartphones don?t work without a data plan. When I suggested canceling the account, she told me that I would still be responsible for the $200 in activation fees because the three-day grace period had passed. It was the third day since we had received the phones, so technically I was within the grace period. Except three of the phones had arrived already activated. I ended the call without canceling the account. I'm sure she thought I had an attitude. She certainly had an attitude. Does anyone ever like hearing "everyone knows".

to be continued...

Nov/16
2014

Lexington MA has an interesting take on road construction. It seems that this kind of work can ONLY take place during morning rush hour. Not at lunch. Not after work. Not even in the evening, but in a time spanning 7 - 10am which is when thousands of people pour into the area to earn their daily wage. Now, ostensibly, there's some good reasons here because for the last two years every time it gets cold the water main under the route in question seems to break. And now the town is going to fix it finally, but only, ONLY during the morning commute.

It's pretty enraging, since the route being worked on is a critical thoroughfare that runs directly to a row of large office buildings and facilities. What's even more enraging is how the town, which is presumably earning a pretty penny from these properties and businesses cares so little about how the roadwork is managed. In fact the roadwork is being done so poorly that traffic backs up onto the highway for miles creating a hazardous situation. Even when people do finally get off the highway (typically over 30 minutes now) there's a second and third merge, both of which have been targeted for lane reductions. The result is pure anarchy as drivers who care little for any traffic laws and even less for each other gridlock these interchanges like teeth in a zipper.

But what about the police? Oh there're there but do absolutely nothing to facilitate the traffic. They stand, usually within the work zone, chatting amicably with the workers or each other as cars honk, crawl or creep miserably by. For which they earn hazard pay which is significantly more than overtime from what I hear.

So to Lexington Mass. I have this message: FUCK YOU. And about your lying-ass sign that this "work" will be done by the end of this month? Please. Save for bullshit. In fact unplug the stupid sign and use the money to pay the workers to work DURING the day, not before the work day starts.

Nov/16
2014

Ted Cruz has one function: stupid. But he's a successful stupid. He and his organization have successfully convinced voters that he actually knows what he's doing. Which says a lot about his voters because the rest of the US find him excruciatingly, obscenely, intolerably ignorant. So ignorant in fact that I pity his peers who are forced to listen to his mouth-drivel.

In a video preview of CNN's State of the Union that will premiere Sunday, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) questions Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX) knowledge of the internet.

"He has it completely wrong and just doesn't understand what this issue is," Franken told host Candy Crowley. "We've had net neutrality the entire history of the internet." He refers to Cruz's comparison of net neutrality to Obamacare as "completely wrong." "This is about reclassifying something so it stays the same," Franken said.

Cruz came out against net neutrality on Nov. 10 after President Obama made statements in support of net neutrality and in support of the internet being reclassified to become a Title II utility. "Government-regulated utilities invariably destroy innovation and freedom," Cruz wrote in an opinion piece for the Washington Post.

Despite Cruz's statements, polls show 83% of people who identify as conservative support net neutrality.(UPI)

What really needs to be reclassified as destroying sanity and our government is Ted Cruz. But then again there's little else that comes out of Texas that isn't either cow-shit or assholes these days.

Nov/15
2014

So yeah, message to all the jihadi's chugging it down out there. It's not halal you dumb fucks. And now you're all going to hell. Good news? At least you'll be wide awake when it happens.