Jan/23
2011

"Not enough food to feed their own." I saw this statement as a comment to an article about North Korea a while back. I do not dispute its accuracy since North Korea's leader is a maniacal psychopath who has no qualms letting his citizens suffer. What did make me take pause is the thought that we in the United States may not be far from this statement ourselves.

I'm not talking about the ability to import enough food to feed ourselves. It is obvious from visiting any supermarket that we have plenty of food in this country. We also currently produce plenty of food, although it is of dubious quality as evidenced by recalls and disease outbreaks. Also, more and more of our food is imported. As u235's post indicates, sometimes it's things you'd never guess and from places you'd never guess.

According to the American Farmland Trust: "We lost farm and ranch land 51 percent faster in the 1990s than in the 1980s. The rate of loss for 1992-1997, 1.2 million acres per year, was 51 percent higher than from 1982-1992." Furthermore, much of that is the most fertile and prime agricultural land. Our country will lose its greatness once it cannot adequately feed itself without the help of third world countries.

Part of the problem is the pursuit of the American Dream, millennium style - a "McMansion" in a subdivision on a large lot. I shake my head as I drive around my local area as I observe one corn field after another converted to these monstrosities. I have a big house, but I held to my convictions and it is a big house on a modest plot in an old village - no farm land or wood land was destroyed in the past 50 years to make my home - and I pay homage to my agricultural roots with my small garden.

The other part of the problem is society under valuing the American farmer, his/her livelihood and land. The USEPA states that: "It has been estimated that living expenses for the average farm family exceed $47,000 per year. Clearly, many farms that meet the U.S. Census' definition would not produce sufficient income to meet farm family living expenses. In fact, fewer than 1 in 4 of the farms in this country produce gross revenues in excess of $50,000." It is a sad commentary on our society when the very people that feed us can barely pay their bills. As more and more young people see that farming is not where the money is at and faced with the prospect of long days for little pay (or respect), many are leaving family farms. According the USEPA: "As the U.S. farm population has dwindled, the average age of farmers continues to rise. In fact, about forty percent of the farmers in this country are 55 years old or older (Bureau of Labor Statistics). The graying of the farm population has led to concerns about the long-term health of family farms as an American institution." (Visit your local farmer's market before it's too late!)

What is more important that the food we eat? Is a CEO really 1000X more valuable than a farmer? If we don't change our way of thinking and quit worshiping lawyers and MBAs like gods, we are going to be in deep doo-doo. And I don't mean the good stuff that helps the tomatoes grow.

Jan/23
2011

I'll bet he gets better cell reception in the hoosegow than I do at my desk.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina prison officials say they have seized a cell phone from an inmate who was updating his Facebook page from prison.

Corrections officials told The Post and Courier of Charleston that 22-year-old Quincy Howard is in disciplinary detention and can't make collect calls or have visitors after the contraband mobile phone was taken from his cell earlier this month.

Howard is serving a 30-year sentence for manslaughter from Marion County.

The newspaper reports Howard spent most of his time on Facebook last year playing the Mafia Wars and Cafe World games. But he occasionally gave status updates like: "RAILROADED BY THIS CROOKED A JUDICIAL SYSTEM IN SOUTH CAROLINA."

Ya have to wonder really. He had an illegal cell phone in jail, that's a neat trick for starters, but then somehow he has to keep it charged and use it when no one is looking. I mean a jail is supposed to be loaded with cameras and people watching, so how does he manage all this? And on top of it no one notices that the kid is still updating his facebook page? For real? I mean hell, most white collar jobs have more oversight than that. And they don't even give you breaks for exercise or free meals.

Locked in detention playing facebook games. Sounds like a rough time for Quincy. I guess life is about to get just a little harder now. Ya know I wonder - who was paying for his service?

Jan/23
2011

Posturing, pure posturing. No one wants their tax payer money wasted on a this kind of bullshit. We want you people to get to work and SOLVE (get it *solve*?) the fucking problems of the land.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans want to box majority Democrats into allowing a health care repeal vote even if GOP lawmakers expect to be on the losing side.

"We need to have a vote on it because we promised the people we would," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Sunday on "Face the Nation" on CBS. "We have to have a vote on repeal so that everybody is on record whether they want to repeal."

On record? We already have a record! We know who voted for what when. Now stop wasting our goddamned time and just get on with business. If you want to fix healthcare you're gonna have to do the hard work and come up with your own counter proposal to replace the current system.

SIT DOWN. SHUT UP. GET TO WORK.

Jan/23
2011

... But too small for a park bench; what am I referring to? Why Lenin of course! (Well, his body that is.)

MOSCOW (AP) — A new poll sponsored by the pro-Kremlin party is asking Russians to vote on whether it's time to bury Vladimir Lenin.

The embalmed body of the man who founded the Soviet Union still lies on public display in a Red Square mausoleum almost 20 years after the communist state collapsed.

Can you say "awkward"? It's like one of those bits of holiday brick-a-brac that must be on display for those few hours that Great Aunt Dotty comes to visit every Christmas. "Oh yes we love it, it's always there, the kids have grown up seeing it every day," and you make a mental note next time to *dust* the shelf it's sitting on so the telltale imprint of the actual spot-owner isn't quite so apparent. Hopefully she'll think we just moved it from a lofty perch, safe from young fingers, to a more visible location just for the season. Then you nudge its faded gift box just a bit more under the coffee table. Did she see that? No, ok, time for more tea.

Only there really isn't a coffee table big enough to tuck Lenin under. I mean maybe with a nice check tablecloth and a few doilies his glass sarcophagus could *be* a coffee table (a-la the body of Meatloaf/"Eddie" in Rocky Horror) but who really wants to have tea in the middle of a masoleum? Other than a few wayward Goths that is.

I can genuinely see their dilemma. I mean Lenin is still notionally revered, still a defining profile for the U.S.S.R. er... whoops I mean Russia. But like an unwelcome house guest camping on the couch, he's long overstayed his welcome. It would be nice if he were to quietly fade away, something that would have actually happened if he hadn't been so well embalmed, but no Mr. Fantastic Dipped In Plastic will be around for a good century or so, taking up space somewhere.

For my two cents I think they should prop him up with the Also-Too-Well-Embalmed Evita Peron like Ken and Barbie. Perhaps on a tour bus with large windows and drive them about from location to location as a cultural event for the kids. Cleverly posed in conversation, or strapped to a podium playing recordings of their best public speeches, would at least be a reminder of the role they played in history. And how much has changed since then.

Heck, maybe even Michael Jackson could join them...

Jan/22
2011

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A sports bar owner in Minnesota is showing his support for the Green Bay Packers in this weekend's game against the Chicago Bears in a very literal way — by roasting a bear.

Blake Montpetit, the co-owner of Tiffany Sports Lounge in St. Paul, says he plans to cook a 180-pound black bear in a pig-roaster over hickory and charcoal on Sunday. He says his cousin shot it in northern Wisconsin during bear hunting season, which runs in September and October, and then froze it.

I respect that different states have different cultures, but somehow the notion of roasting a bear just makes me wince. I don't really see bears as human-food. Nor do I see them as being a nuisance or having an over-population problem. Rather I see them as trophy animals, (although not so much at a paltry 180lbs which is less than what most adults weigh these days.) Maybe it's because I've seen them at zoos or the circus. Or because I had a stuffed Winny the Pooh as a child. Whatever my problem is the notion of roasting a bear on a spit seems gross and tasteless to me.

I'll bet it tastes like chicken though...

Jan/22
2011

I try and give my kids fruit with their lunch. Sometimes it's fresh, or sometimes it's fruit in bars, or cups. One of my kids really likes orange slices, so I got mandarin slices in juice. As I got home the package dropped out of the bag and one cup cracked open. The floor was a sticky mess, but the fruit inside the plastic cup was still good so I thought I might eat it instead. So I read the label just to make sure it didn't have any preservatives that I'm allergic to. And that's when I saw it was made in China.

Wait what? Fruit from China? The nation with the worst health and safety standards in the entire world? Where their products have sickened and killed people all over the globe? Fuck no. Into the trash it went.

I was pretty disappointed, last week I found that the local store brand fruit cup was made in China but now Del Monte too? It sucks, but I'm going to vote with my wallet by boycotting any consumable products from China. Please read labels when you're in the store, I'm sorry I didn't.

Jan/22
2011

Please don't look for the logic in this because you'll only hurt yourself trying. There isn't any. Short version: The Great Fucktator is looking to rev up his audience by picking on elderly professors and dead people. Purely fictitious claims of evil machinations have resulted in hate mail and death threats against academics. Boy Glen, you're such a brave, bold man to be making people believe that these dusty, crusty professors are secretly plotting the overthrow of our entire way of life...

Frances Fox Piven, a City University of New York professor, has been a primary character in Mr. Beck’s warnings about a progressive take-down of America. Ms. Piven, Mr. Beck says, is responsible for a plan to “intentionally collapse our economic system.”

Her name has become a kind of shorthand for “enemy” on Mr. Beck’s Fox News Channel program, which is watched by more than 2 million people, and on one of his Web sites, The Blaze. This week, Mr. Beck suggested on television that she was an enemy of the Constitution.

Never mind that Ms. Piven’s radical plan to help poor people was published 45 years ago, when Mr. Beck was a toddler. Anonymous visitors to his Web site have called for her death, and some, she said, have contacted her directly via e-mail.

This is the new, conservative America, land of Tea-Party values where any theory that does not support their values isn't just suspect - it's worthy of death. Hmmm, sound familiar? Sounds just like Iran or maybe Venezuela for that matter. Only they at least have the common sense not to go after someone who published a paper on their philosophy back in 1965. Get that 1.9.6.5.

But wait, it gets better. Bullshit-Beck tries to draw a correlation between Obama and this obscure paper based on... well not based on anything other than his claim. Apparently the new civility after the attempted murder of Ms. Giffords didn't reach the Glenster. No way, venom is his trade, and weak-assed attempts at denial are just that.

One such threat, published as an anonymous comment on The Blaze, read, “Somebody tell Frances I have 5000 roundas ready and I’ll give My life to take Our freedom back.”

And so, once again, from World of Suck to Fox News, Fuck you slime balls. Fuck you and good night.

Jan/22
2011

"Officials Fear Bath Salts Are Growing Drug Problem" I read the headline, then I read it again. I've read the entire article and I still don't believe people are this stupid. Ok, that's a lie, what I meant to say is I still don't believe that the actions of a few stupid people are going to make scented spa-baths illegal for us normal folks.

While Brown survived, sheriff's authorities in one Mississippi county say they believe one woman overdosed on bath salts there. In southern Louisiana, the family of a 21-year-old man says he cut his throat and ended his life with a gunshot. Authorities are investigating whether a man charged with capital murder in the December death of a Tippah County, Miss., sheriff's deputy was under the influence of the bath salts. [...]

Some say the effects of the powders are as powerful as abusing methamphetamine. Increasingly, law enforcement agents and poison control centers say the bath salts with complex chemical names are an emerging menace in several U.S. states where authorities talk of banning their sale.

From the Deep South to California, emergency calls are being reported over exposure to the stimulants the powders often contain: mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone, also known as MDPV.(AP)

Astrofuckingnomically moronic. Why can't we just let people who are that stupid die?

I don't get it. We live in a nation where it's OK for anyone, even a child, to own a gun but possessing bath salts should be a crime?

Jan/22
2011

She can find a lawyer and sue.

The security video -- which has now been shown countless times on television and passed around on Facebook and Twitter -- shows Marrero sending a text while walking through the Berkshire Mall, completely oblivious to anything in front of her -- including the giant fountain.

(from foxnews) Ms. Marrero is suing because she wants to “hold to the appropriate persons accountable.” The mall security has already fired the employee who posted the video to YouTube.

In summation: Marrero has a cellphone. Texting is more important than watching where she is walking. Marrero falls into a fountain. It was caught on tape. Security guard snags the snippet and puts it on YouTube. Ms. Marrero is embarrassed. Yup, I think that covers most of it. . . . Ba Ha Ha Ha Ha.

But wait - there is that little bit about suing . . .

Ms. Marrero claims she "went public with her identity because she wants to highlight privacy and security problems at the mall and teach people, especially kids, about the dangers of texting while walking." She told Good Morning America (as posted in the Daily News): "Unfortunately, I didn't have anything to grab onto and hold my balance," said Marrero, who appeared on "GMA" alongside her lawyer. "Nobody [from the mall] called to see if I was okay."

Personally, I never expect any privacy in a mall. I also don't put too much faith in rent-a-cops making a bit better than minimum wage. However, it is noble to try to keep kids from the perils of texting and walking.

It is interesting to note that Ms. Marrero could use a bit of money for some legal troubles. She stole money and needs to pay it back. I'm also sure there are a few lawyer's fees to deal with, too.

What can we all learn from this?

- Don't text and walk. You never quite know where fountains (or open manholes) might be.

- If you instist on texting and walking and fall or walk into something, don't expect any sympathy.

- There is no shortage of security cameras or video capturing cellphones. Whatever you do, it might wind up on YouTube.

- They don't pay most mall security guards enough to give a rat's behind about your privacy.

Jan/22
2011

Iran cried wolf again, this time asking for new negotiations on their nuclear antics and then showing up empty handed to lambaste the nations that did show up.

Neither "resolutions, sanctions, threats, computer virus nor even a military attack will stop uranium enrichment in Iran," Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, declared as the talks began.

Were I one of the members of the IAEA I would have gotten up at that moment and said "Well fuck you for wasting my time then," and walked out. It is plainly apparent that Iran has no intention of negotiating. They want to build a bomb. And they probably want to use it on Israel. Hopefully the international powers will stop them before it happens using conventional explosives.

Sometimes it's necessary to remove a limb to save the body. The same is true with the international community. Sometimes it's necessary to start a war in order to maintain peace.

Jan/22
2011

This deserves front-page postage. In her reply to Viacom Values Odessa provides succinct perspective, bursting the bubble that assumed risk and education entitle CEO's to astronomical amounts of compensation...

Are we discussing CEOs or innovative business owners? CEOs take risks with other people's money, the stockholder's money. Even if the company for which they are working has a loss, many of these guys expect a bonus. Business owners who work along side their employees and actually do take risks get nothing but my respect and admiration. Unfortunately many work their buns off and never make any where near 8 figures in even one year, never mind many years.

If education were the only criteria, then I know quite a few people with a couple Ph.D.s that are being short changed because they don't make 8 figures. I also know a few millionaires that didn't even make it through high school. Education has little to do with it.

I've met quite a few rich people and higher ups in companies. Quite frankly did give a crap what their title was because it isn't my job to make their business cards. Some are very nice, kind and gracious. Most of them are arrogant, self serving pieces of shit. One didn't give a crap beyond how he was going to get Dale Chihuly to hang his sculpture in the lobby and make sure I saw the gold Rolex (I wasn't impressed with either).

Do I personally want a share of the CEO's money? Not hardly. I don't want in their "club" because I have to look at myself in the mirror every morning. I live modestly and I'm content with my piece of the pie. I just agree with u235 that no one is worth that kind of money. (Odessa)

Hear hear. It's not my precisely my original point but a completely valid, parallel one.

Our society exists because we choose to cooperate, not live in carnivorous anarchy where it's every man for himself. Going back through history it was the Rockefeller's and Morgans who gave back by building and reinforcing the community that made them rich. Viacom wouldn't make a profit in a vacuum, they make a profit because people consume what they produce. Sadly the greedy bastards at the top don't see the value in reinvesting in those same consumers.

But I agree wholeheartedly with Odessa. I too don't want a share of their money, but I know people who could desperately use just a pittance of that. Corporate greed is a demonstration of ~why our economy is in such a sorry state today and how badly we need regulation in business. Mainly because many business owners haven't the morals or conscience to contribute to the society that supports them.

Jan/21
2011

I wouldn't say we were the best of friends, but after a decade I'd say we were good friends. True there were regular hiatuses of months, sometimes more than a year would go by without contact, but we always caught up. Email or a brief text would be enough to renew and synchronize. It was a good thing.

After the last long gap the short hello's became more focused, engaging, both of us having details to share. Not too much had changed on my end compared to his story that is. His was a veritable cavalcade of catastrophe, the vast majority self-induced with just a pinch of really-bad-judgement thrown in.

A key part of friendship is appreciating when someone will be honest with you, both about your strengths as well as your faults. It's one thing to offer reinforcement, and yes, it's an essential part of what we value in our friends. But the true measure of a good friend is one that will point out your mistakes as well. At least by my account.

We traded in heaps and handfuls of advice. Until I offered my first criticism. Suddenly I found myself facing a new person, someone with a long last name, not the customary nick. Attitude? Yes and a double helping too. My offense was to mention their current (and perhaps soon to be former) S.O.'s feelings as a point of consideration.

Apparently they didn't want to hear it.

I find it hard to understand, no matter how much you might currently disagree with someone you spent years of your life with, they are still a human being worthy of fair treatment. Especially if they don't harbor the same animosity.

Perhaps it was guilt. Perhaps it was just touching a weak spot. Or perhaps it's just turning a blind eye and ear to the oncoming train wreck. Whatever it might be they've chosen to go it alone, which is too bad really, because I always do well by my friends. At least until they tell me to get lost. Still it's their choice, and I respect that.

As I said in my parting email. Good luck to you buddy. Because I know just how much you're going to need it.

Jan/21
2011

No one, NO ONE is worth this kind of money.

Viacom awarded its chief executive, Philippe P. Dauman, total compensation for 2010 valued at about $84.5 million, more than double the 2009 figure, including salary, bonus and stock options, the company disclosed on Friday.

It awarded its chief operating officer, Thomas E. Dooley, total compensation valued at about $64.7 million, also more than double the 2009 compensation. Viacom disclosed the compensation in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission after the market closed on Friday. (NYT)

Proof positive that big businesses are right back to their usual bullshit. People are jobless, homeless, healthcare-less and they get compensation in the tens of millions. And don't give me this is a "one time" event crap. Every fucking time is a one-time event it seems.

You fucktards should be ashamed of yourselves.

Jan/21
2011

He drove right through the stop sign like it wasn't even there. Didn't matter much that it was dark, icy and a major fucking blind intersection. Hell no. He had a big, goddamn yellow plow on the front of his twuck and Motherfucker was just gonna drive it the hell out there.

Yeah I'm sure he's had a long day. I appreciate that the roads are nice and clean (kinda, barring the ice.) But what I don't goddamn appreciate is the fact that he just pulled out ten feet ahead of me, in the dark, armed with a sharpened scythe of steel that would have ripped my car open like a can of tomato paste.

IT'S A STOPSIGN ASSHOLE YOU NEED TO STOP PLOW OR NO PLOW.

Having the plow on the front of your tuck does not absolve you from following the rules of the road, most especially when you're not fucking plowing you Dickhead.

Jan/20
2011

I don't get it. They already have my company's money, but apparently that's not good enough. I mean at least the Mafia has the decency to stop harassing you once you've paid up but not Microsoft! No way, they'll keep harassing you just because they can. And I'm not the only one who's pissed about this. Take this example from the Visual Studio forums.

Is there any way to stop the repeated prompts to "Improve Microsoft Visual Studio performance" "Update the Windows Automation support on this computer to
make Microsoft Visual Studio run faster. Click for more details." If you click for more details is directs you to url //support.microsoft.com/kb/981741 that is info on "Visual Studio 2010 runs faster when the Windows Automation API 3.0 is installed". I get this alert prompt every time I run VS 2010. After the 10,000 time this gets offensive. I would not mind if you asked 1 time and stopped, but to NEVER stop asking no matter what your customer does is very poor customer treatment.

Amusingly enough that question garnered a fairly prompt reply...

Thank you for reporting this issue.

You can uncheck this option by going to Help menu -> Customer Feedback Option... , open "Customer Experience Improvement Program" dialog, click choose "No,I would not like to participate." option.

This performance notification alerts you to the fact that "Visual Studio 2010 runs faster when the Windows Automation API 3.0 is installed", see the article: //support.microsoft.com/kb/981741. The best way to get rid of the notification would be to upgrade to Windows Automation API 3.0 as described in the article.

Un-amusinly enough this "uncheck" option doesn't work. And this "solution" also garners a pretty quick and legitimately snarky reply...

Um, no. Actually that doesn't do anything. Do you actually try your solutions? Because if you did you would see that doesn't work.

And yes, that response is factual. I chose to opt-out of their "performance enhancement reporting" shenanigans. It didn't do dick. I checked and unchecked the box in question. And the little fucker shows up every time I open the goddamned IDE. NOTHING will make it go away. You have to click on it and view the annoying webpage to drop it out of the tray. Have to.

So basically what Microsoft is saying is "just fucking do what we tell you to and we'll make the nagware go away." Which is a shitty way to run a company and a shitty way to treat your customers, but entirely typical of their attitude. Trust me, given the choice and opportunity I would happily go back to Eclipse and GCC. In fact I can't wait until this project is over when I can heave the whole install right out the Windows.

Jan/20
2011

You're poor but you at least have health care, which means you can work and care for your family. Then one day you wake up to find that your state has taken away the safety net. No, this isn't Rod Serling, and this isn't the Twilight Zone, it's Arizona right now, today.

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Legislature on Thursday authorized Republican Gov. Jan Brewer to seek a federal waiver allowing the cash-short state to temporarily remove nearly 300,000 people from its Medicaid rolls in the first such request by a state. [...] Brewer wants to suspend the eligibility of 280,000 low-income adults, which would scale back the state's coverage to near that of most other states and save $541.5 million. It's the single biggest element in Brewer's plan to eliminate a projected $1.1 billion shortfall in the next state budget.

"Suspend the eligibility" is a nice way of saying "no doctors visits, no medicines, no coverage, so please go to the emergency room when you're seriously ill, otherwise either die or suck it up." Seriously what are these people going to do? I promise you some of them will get sick and require medical treatment. And someone will have to pay for that treatment. A hospital is not going to turn away someone having a stroke because they can't pay.

You can't ask people not to get sick. You can't ask them to ignore chronic conditions that require treatment. Just not paying for their coverage isn't going to make their need invisible or the cost evaporate. The net result will be poor people getting sicker and the cost (to someone) going up.

A short term solution? Ha. It's going to be a long term nightmare.

Jan/20
2011

"I'm sorry that you were offended."

I fucking hate that shit. It's a bullshit attempt to get out of jail for something idiotically stupid that you did. In my opinion, it actually compounds the original fault because it transfers blame to the victim. They're not apologizing for being a ignorant fuckhead. They're only sorry that people were bothered by it.

Imagine a KKK member telling black people that he was sorry they're offended by burning crosses on their yard. See what I mean? It lacks sincerity when you're not actually doing anything to retract your position.

For example, take Alabama's governor. Look at u235's post and you'll see his ignorant ass comments about how he regards his fellow Christians as brothers, but declares openly that non-Christians are clearly NOT his brother. It's a slap in the face to other faiths. Maybe he'll still treat them fairly as his constituents, but it's difficult to make that assumption when he's gone out of the way to point out that they're not equal to his "brothers".

Today, after catching hell for his idiot ass comment, he said he was sorry if anyone was offended. He didn't mean to exclude anyone.

BULL FUCKING SHIT

His entire statement was designed to segregate and exclude. And now he wants to get pretend that it was never his intention? Fuck you. I'm OFFENDED because what you said was OFFENSIVE. That's how that fucking works you ignorant sack of baboon feces. If you really want to express contrition, try saying you're sorry. No fucking linguistic tap-dancing. Don't hedge. Don't try to weasel out of it. Man up and admit that your comments were poorly thought out. That you are sincerely sorry for them. That you intend to make Alabama a place where everyone is treated and respected the same regardless of religious beliefs. Hell, just follow the fucking "golden rule" you preached about for so many years.

Do it. Mean it. Or admit that you actually meant every word and wouldn't change it if you could. Frankly, I know you won't do either of those things. Because you're a two faced, lying sack of sputum whose word isn't worth a fucking nickle.

Fucking bag o' douche.