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Posts from — July 2008

Just A Note

Humorous Pictures

Hipparchia of Over the Cliff, Onto the Rocks has been having some computer and connectivity issues, but she should be back up sometime next week.

July 31, 2008   2 Comments

Because

cat

July 31, 2008   Comments Off on Because

We Are In A Bind

The Pensacola Beach Blogger has a story about the effect of the insurance companies refusing to issue property insurance policies in Florida. The state has cut a deal with Berkshire Hathaway [Warren Buffett’s company] to provide a $4 billion loan to the state at 6.5% in the event of a major hurricane. The deal will cost the state $224 million whether or not the loan is needed.

This would be totally unnecessary two years ago, but today, because of the mortgage meltdown, a loan of that size isn’t possible through the normal channels – the normal sources don’t have the money to lend.  Even successful businesses on solid footing can’t get the credit they need in the short term to operate.  Many of the people who will be going out of business in the near future simply can’t get the money they need to continue, as they borrow to restock their inventory.  If they can’t restock, they can’t stay in business.

July 31, 2008   2 Comments

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

When the Republicans are trying to justify tax cuts for the wealthy you will hear:

A rising tide raises all boats.

Think about the assumptions in that. They want you to think that it means that everyone will benefit.

When I hear it I think:

You have to be wealthy enough to afford a boat or you’re going to be treading water until you drown.

After 7½ years which version contains more truth?

CNN/Money reports that Exxon posts record $11.68 billion profit

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Exxon Mobil once again reported the largest quarterly profit in U.S. history Thursday, posting net income of $11.68 billion on revenue of $138 billion in the second quarter.

[Read more →]

July 31, 2008   2 Comments

Coming Soon

Rejoice Harry Potter fans, The Tales of Beedle the Bard will be published with profits going to charity.

If you are really flush, Amazon will be putting a collector’s edition resembling the version it bought at auction in a run of 100,000.

July 31, 2008   Comments Off on Coming Soon

Has The Kool-Aid Run Out?

The CBS Evening News does a Reality Check On Offshore Drilling

(CBS) With gasoline hovering around $4.00 a gallon, a new poll shows two out of three Americans now agree with President Bush – that Congress should permit drilling on the outer continental shelf, CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker reports.

“Experts believe that currently restricted areas … could eventually produce up to 18 billion barrels of oil,” Mr. Bush said in a recent speech.

Even in Santa Barbara, Calif., where a huge oil spill from an ocean rig blowout in 1969 turned most Californians against offshore drilling, some people are having second thoughts.

“Well, if it doesn’t hurt the environment too bad and it lowers gas prices, I’m all for it,” said driver Sean Scott.

[Read more →]

July 30, 2008   11 Comments

Ouch!

With Republican Senators throwing away his money like it is diseased, and the NRO Editors telling him to leave, using an allusion to Simon & Garfunkel for a headline, it is probably time for Ted Stevens to head back to “The Last Frontier” and enjoy some “Midnight Sun”, before the “United States versus Theodore Stevens” gets underway.

July 30, 2008   Comments Off on Ouch!

It’s Not Just US Politicians

McClatchy reports that Israel’s Olmert to resign over corruption investigation

JERUSALEM — Embattled Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced Wednesday that he’ll resign as prime minister in September, setting the stage for a successor to take over as early as the following month.

Olmert made it clear that he was reluctantly stepping aside because a deepening political corruption investigation was making it increasingly difficult for him to serve effectively.

Maybe if he hadn’t been accepting suitcases of unmarked, small bills he wouldn’t have these problems. I understand that checks are acceptable, but, alas, traceable ways of transferring large sums of money. Accepting credit cards is probably not a good idea.

July 30, 2008   Comments Off on It’s Not Just US Politicians

Ted Stevens A “Blessing” For Charities

Republicans politicians are donating the money they have received from Ted Stevens to charities to avoid the “taint” as McClatchy reports

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Wednesday became the latest GOP senator facing re-election to donate to charity money his campaign had received from indicted U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.

Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., and Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., have agreed to give their Stevens-based donations to charity and GOP senators running for re-election in Maine and Minnesota are likewise being urged by their Democratic rivals to return Stevens-based money.

The US campaign financing laws are a joke. An individual is limited to $2,300 in bribes, but they can form a “Political Action Committee” and spew money like an artesian well.

July 30, 2008   Comments Off on Ted Stevens A “Blessing” For Charities

Al Gore Is Overweight

So there’s really no need for “green” energy.

The Miami Herald reports that the Florida Public Service Commission isn’t buying: State shuts down FPL energy program

State regulators Tuesday terminated a Florida Power & Light voluntary green energy program because three-fourths of the money customers were donating went to marketing and administrative costs.

By a unanimous vote, the Public Service Commission ended FPL’s Sunshine Energy Program in which 39,000 customers have voluntarily added $9.75 to their monthly electric bill so that FPL could purchase renewable energy.

FPL in turn contracted with a Texas company, Green Mountain Energy, to carry out the program. PSC staff have been trying for months to find out where the money went, but all it could learn was that 24 percent was going to purchase renewable energy.

[Read more →]

July 30, 2008   2 Comments

Some Good News

Keith Kisser of Invisible Library has finished his move to Oregon and now has his book available through Amazon.

If you are ready for a Gothic fairy tale go to The Machine Of The World.

As the world succumbs to a slow death, choking on mushrooms and poison, a young servant girl is caught in the last attempts by human hands to thwart fate and the destiny of all living things.

Should you believe that you are “too old” for fairy tales, you might try reading them with an adult perspective.  They are not the fun, happy stories you think you remember, nor is Keith’s.

July 30, 2008   Comments Off on Some Good News

New Search Engine

There’s a new start-up search engine, Cuil, that they would like people to pronounce “cool” or possibly “kewl” but despite claims to the contrary, it does not solve any of my search needs currently.

It provides results with a graphic and more text than Google, in a three column format, but the results are not what I was looking for.

I’ll wait a week and try again.  Maybe they need more time to gather their sites.

July 29, 2008   Comments Off on New Search Engine

Why People Hate FEMA

David Klepper, Topeka correspondent, Kansas City Star looks at local reaction: Rules force many in Chapman, Kan., to rebuild without basements

CHAPMAN, Kan. | Tell a town of Kansas tornado survivors that they can’t have a basement? Amy Bemis has a word for talk like that.

“Insane,” she says.

Like most residents of Chapman, Kan., Bemis huddled in her basement the night of June 11, when a tornado destroyed scores of homes in this town of 1,250.

Recovery efforts are in full swing, and residents say they will remake Chapman better than it was before.

But the efforts to rebuild the community now face an obstacle townspeople did not expect: Federal reconstruction rules are forcing many residents to rebuild without the basements that sheltered them through the storm.

[Read more →]

July 29, 2008   3 Comments

Coming Up Next

A video oldie from Jerry Lee Lewis.

CNN says Earthquake rocks Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) — A magnitude-5.8 earthquake has struck just east of Los Angeles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake’s epicenter was about 2 miles southwest of Chino Hills and about 5 miles southeast of Diamond Bar, the USGS said. Chino Hills is about 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

The center was about 7.6 miles deep. In general, earthquakes centered closer to the Earth’s surface produce stronger shaking and can cause more damage than those further underground.

Actually the USGS says it was a 5.4 but the aftershocks continue. You know there are going to be aftershocks, so you tense up waiting for them.

July 29, 2008   8 Comments