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Posts from — November 2011

Friday Cat Blogging

Heat!

Friday Cat Blogging

Is that really the sun?

[Editor: Ringo has found a sunny spot in the driveway and has no intention of giving it up.

Friday Ark

November 25, 2011   6 Comments

Early Morning Thoughts

A couple of days ago ‘George Washington’ posted this tweet: “If only they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”

I remembered it as I stepped over people and walked around tents while picking up some last minute things for Thanksgiving. These people were camping out to be the first in the store for the ‘Black Friday’ sales.

There were similar scenes around the country for a recent movie premier that was featured on the news.

You wonder why there are no riot police or pepper spray used on these totally illegal, blocking-the-sidewalk displays, but if you try to complain about the current conditions you risk physical injury and/or arrest. Actually, you only wonder if you don’t understand who benefits from the ‘commercial’ camp-outs, and who owns the police.

November 24, 2011   11 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving

TurkeyMy view of Thanksgiving was skewed by my Father’s attitude. Having grown up on a poultry farm, he saw the holiday as the culmination of weeks of work “processing” dozens of turkeys to be frozen and readying a few dozen more for fresh delivery. We generally ate ham when he was alive.

Having been on my Grandfather’s farm at this time of year I can understand my Dad’s attitude: our meal was subject to interruption by people picking up a fresh turkey at the last minute. A sale is a sale when you are business for yourself.

Thanks to Duncan for locating the WKRP Turkey Drop. Watching it was long a tradition at our house.

Enjoy your meal and try to forget about the world’s problems for a day – they’ll still be there on Friday.

November 24, 2011   3 Comments

How’s That Austerity Working Out?

The BBC recounts the sad tale of the latest ‘victim’:

Meanwhile, on Wednesday Germany placed just 3.6bn euros (£3bn) worth of 10-year bonds, from 6bn euros on offer.

Analysts worried that the eurozone debt crisis was beginning to slip into the German economy, usually seen as a powerhouse, as the euro dropped sharply on the foreign exchange markets after the auction.

“There’s been a lot of talk lately that perhaps Germany isn’t the safe-haven that many people thought it was,” said UBS currency strategist Chris Walker.

Danske Bank chief analyst Jens Peter Sorensen said the auction “reflects the deep mistrust to the euro project rather than a mistrust to German government bonds.”

For some reason many investors apparently think that impoverishing your major customers is not a good idea. But, Angie thinks that there must be more pain for the ‘sinners’.

The euro was looking like a strong contender to replace the dollar as the signature currency in global trade, and now it looks like a candidate for coin collectors specializing in obsolete money.

November 23, 2011   Comments Off on How’s That Austerity Working Out?

RIP Anne McCaffrey 1926-2011

Ms McCaffrey died at her home in Ireland on Monday, apparently the result of a stroke.

The first woman to win the Hugo and to win the Nebula, she wrote dozens of readable books in multiple series.

She continued to write into her 80s and was available to her fans.

She will be missed.

November 22, 2011   6 Comments

Fleeing The Sinking Ship

Over at Blonde Sense the Jersey Cynic notes that investors are leaving the markets. At lot of people have been forced to liquidate because of the economy, but even more seem to have decided that the ‘game is rigged’ and they don’t want to throw good money after bad. MF Global is just the latest in a series of failures by the regulators to protect investors from the market insiders.

Comrade Misfit featured an old quote by Jay Leno that rings true today. The ‘confidence fairy’ won’t be back until most of the crooks are purged from the markets … but then there won’t be anyone left to operate them.

November 22, 2011   6 Comments

Nice Snark

… From a very unexpected source.

Comrade Misfit has a picture of a Russian campaign billboard, which says “Вы же всё равно не заметите разницы.” Her translation, “It doesn’t matter anyway, you won’t notice the difference.” isn’t as emphatic as it could be, but then “всё равно” has no direct single meaning in English, usually “It’s all the same to me” is close, but the “же” is kind of similar to adding 4 or 5 exclamation points.

The sign was put up in advance of the 4 December election for the Russian parliament, and the red block in the lower right-hand corner indicates it was paid for by the Коммунистическая партия Российской Федерации КПРФ, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, which corresponds to the check mark in the number 6 box.

It looks like a standard Единая Россия, United Russia, sign, and the UR logo is prominently featured, but Putin’s Party would never have included the flock of sheep with two identical rams on one of their signs. The sheep/ram analogy works the same way in Russia as it does in the US.

The Commies doing snark … will wonders never cease.

November 22, 2011   Comments Off on Nice Snark

Reality Calling

Adrastos at First Draft has the transcript that provides a clear example of why watching Fox News makes you ignorant.

‘Noz jumps in noting that must make mustard gas a condiment.

A college humor site leaps at the opening with Food & Drug Administration Declares Pepper Spray a Vegetable.

November 22, 2011   Comments Off on Reality Calling

The New ‘Crasher Squirrel’

The Crasher Squirrel was a ‘Net meme caused by a funny picture of a squirrel who popped up in a couple’s vacation picture. The squirrel was then ‘photoshopped’ into all sorts of scenes.

The same thing is happening to Lt. Pike.

Ridicule is one of the most powerful weapons a non-violent movement has.

November 22, 2011   Comments Off on The New ‘Crasher Squirrel’

JFK

It was afternoon and I was on my way to a chemistry class. I had stopped for a drink of water when the news came over the speakers in the classrooms.

For those who weren’t alive at the time: remember what you felt on September 11, 2001 for a taste of November 22, 1963. It was a massive change for the worldview of my generation and it marked the beginning of a period of disruption and decline in the civility of American society. Arthur had died and Camelot fell.

At his inauguration John Kennedy made the point: “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

November 22, 2011   4 Comments

In Other Law Enforcement News

The BBC has an article about the New York ‘lone wolf’ bomb maker that Tsar Michael made such a fuss over on Sunday.

Great, they had a ‘show and tell’ with a lot of props and videos to explain their side of the story. I have a problem with this. The people at the news conference were all officials from New York City. The alleged ‘terrorist’ is being charged under New York law and will be tried in a New York court.

Excuse me, but you get extra special ‘merit badges’ if you are a Fed and get an indictment for terrorism. If the defendant is actually convicted your personnel file gets an embossed gold star on the front. Where were the Feds?

Apparently the Feds declined the opportunity to be involved. The FBI turned down an opportunity to be at a news conference‽ The case must be really shaky, because the Feds steal good cases from locals all the time.

Charlie Pierce notes that former FBI Director Louis Freeh has been tasked by Pennsylvania State University to head the internal investigation into the Sandusky Affair. Freeh has a lot in common with Pierre de Lancre, another famous ‘witch hunter’.

This move may calm the alumni, but don’t expect anything worthwhile, like facts or the truth, to result.

November 22, 2011   4 Comments

You Never Really Win

The ABC reports on today’s actions in Egypt:

Egypt’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) reportedly rejected the resignation of prime minister Essam Sharaf’s entire cabinet this morning, as deadly clashes continued to flare in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

State television quoted a military source as saying the offer to resign, announced earlier by cabinet spokesman Mohammed Hegazy, had been rejected.

The developments came as the death toll from the violence in Tahrir Square reportedly passed 30.

Alas, you can’t trust the military with democracy – they don’t understand the concept. It isn’t that they are necessarily evil or planning to take over, but they really don’t understand the concept of a democratic government, because that isn’t part of the culture they live in as military officers. They are used to giving and taking orders, not asking the people at large what they want.

The military was the best available solution at the end of the first stage of the revolution, but it is going to take another show of solidarity to force them to do the right thing – what the people really want.

November 21, 2011   Comments Off on You Never Really Win

Has Pike Peaked?

The BBC wasn’t impressed: US university investigates campus pepper spray use.

The CBC article includes a quote from a fool:

Charles J. Kelly, a former Baltimore Police Department lieutenant who wrote the department’s use of force guidelines, said pepper spray is a “compliance tool” that can be used on subjects who do not resist, and is preferable to simply lifting protesters.

“What I’m looking at is fairly standard police procedure,” Kelly said after reviewing the video.

What part of ‘if you pepper-spray someone they are incapacitated and must be carried’ don’t you understand Lt. Kelly. The threat of pepper spray might get you ‘compliance’, but the actual use generally makes people unable to comply.

With Corrente still down, Lambert popped up at Naked Capitalism with a blow-by-blow account of the most common of the videos of the incident. Lots of information in the comments thread.

Now, CNN is reporting: California campus police on leave after pepper-spraying

(CNN) — The University of California at Davis has placed two police officers on administrative leave after video of them pepper-spraying non-violent protesters at point-blank range sparked outrage at school officials.

Friday’s incident has led to calls for the resignation of UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, who announced the action in a written statement Sunday. Katehi said she shares the “outrage” of students and was “deeply saddened” by the use of the chemical irritant by campus police.

As a general rule you should never make your boss look bad if you want to keep your job, so you can imagine the effect of having your boss’s boss’s boss being besieged with calls for her resignation because of your actions.

Ms Katehi is Greek and received her undergraduate degree at the University of Athens during the dictatorship of the colonels. That she has allowed this to happen at UC Davis is mystifying. It is as if she learned nothing about dealing with student protests from her experience. The reaction when students were attacked, a regular feature of life under the colonels, was never compliance with the rules, but an escalation of tactics.

November 20, 2011   10 Comments

The Race Is Heating Up

While the run for the Theophilus Eugene “Bull” Connor Award for the Worst Cop in the US had looked like a shoo-in for Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna, or other seniors officers in the NYPD, focus has shifted to the West Coast.

The current leader has to be Lieutenant John Pike of the University of California Davis PD.

The absurd excuse of being ‘surrounded’ justified the use of the pepper spray ignores the fact that the people sprayed were within the circle of officers, and not pressing from the outside. All of the other officers are dealing the people on the outside, while Pike strolls along the line of seated protestors with his over-sized can of pepper spray. If there were a real threat, why would Pike have his visor up?

Pike really evinces the casual sadism that was a hallmark of ‘Bull’ Connor.

November 19, 2011   12 Comments