Friday, March 1, 2013

Various and Sundry For March 1st, 2013

This morning a sinkhole opened up under a house in Florida and sucked a guy right down into the earth.

And if that’s not a metaphor for what’s going in this country today, I don’t know what is

This entire week has been a bit like being trapped in a surreal newspaper.


Starting with Social Issues

“Clint Eastwood joins Republicans in support of Gay Marriage.”

Clint joins Republicans in support of gay marriage?

How many things are wrong with that sentence?

Clint joins Republicans in support of gay marriage?

Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!

Clint Eastwood joins Republicans in gay marriage (heh, heh, sorry).

I assume Eastwood made the announcement by yelling at an empty straight-backed chair?

Queue rimshot: Ba dump bump! Hey! Thank you, thank you! I’ll be here all week.

Oh what?

C’mon, Clint Eastwood, the guy who swears at furniture? The guy who backed Romney, a member of a rabidly homophobic church which spent millions supporting Prop 8 in Eastwood’s own state? The guy who’s a spokesman and mouthpiece for a political party that embraces homophobia as one of its primary planks? The guy who married Sandra Locke and let her “act” in his movies and then spent years divorcing her in public for shit’s sake? That Clint Eastwood?

That guy is weighing on gay marriage?

And you think I’m not going to make gratuitous jokes?


Too bad he couldn’t get fellow Californian and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger to back him on the conservative family values kazoo.


Current Events

Conversation in the break room:

(There was a copy of Air Force Times on the table, lead story: Troops To Obama, Stop Wrecking The Military! Gotta love the ‘Times, no rightwing agenda there)

Obama is killing the military! He shut down whole Navy bases! He’s been doing it secretly for years! That’s why he made up this idiotic sequester! The Army is next, he’s getting rid of them as they come home from Afghanistan.

Um, OK. Question: How do you close a base, an entire Navy base, in secret?  I’m pretty sure somebody would notice.  At least those people with daughters anyway…

What? I’m just saying, Chicks dig Sailors. It’s true, you can look it up on the internet. There are pictures.

And even if Obama really did “hate the military,” he can’t just close whatever bases he feels like. Base closures are determined by the congressional Base Re-alignment and Closure (BRAC) commission. Those re-alignments and closures are a huge, huge, deal. There are years, sometimes decades, of negotiations between the military, the federal government, and the states. There are endless public hearings and local town hall meetings. Senators, Representatives (both state and federal) get involved, so does the Governor, so does the local Chamber of Commerce, so does the Mayor, and so does every Tom, Dick, Harry, and Sally.  There’s nothing, absolutely nothing, secret about any of it.

Also, the last round of BRAC? That was under a previous administration, back in 2005. I know, I know, we’re not supposed to blame George W. Bush anymore, but there it is. 2005. Bush. BRAC. Sorry about that. 

Also, if Obama really does hate the military, he probably ought to tell the First Lady to knock off all that support she’s been drumming up for military families.

Also: the Sequester has nothing whatsoever to do with base closures. Nothing. Also, Obama didn’t invent it. Though maybe if the Sequestration did require the closure of ten percent of our bases and a reduction in military force, we’d see some action on the budget by Congress, not to mention an actual reduction in the deficit. Just a thought. 


Speaking of Headlines

From comments under various news articles about Sequestration’s effect on the military:

No one has mentioned this but I bet it takes a huge hit. The VA Hospitals and care. All these soldiers coming home with PTSD will have no help unless they can fund it theirselves......

No one has mentioned it because those VA programs are specifically exempted from Sequestration.

Of course, that’s only been mentioned repeatedly by Congress, The President, Mainstream Media, the Budget Control Act, and about ten thousand other places, no wonder you missed it.  Maybe if we could get them to mention it on Honey Boo Boo…

I wonder if any of the military bands are having cuts? It would seem odd if the blue angels are limiting shows, the same should be done for all military bands, and any other wasteful spending within military. Or course this should be across the board with all govt agencies. The politicians should start with their pay(cut 25%) and staff(layoff 50%). Next, layoff supreme court Justices(and their staff) for half the year. So they only get to half of the cases, most cases have been on the books for at least 5 years or longer..

Cut the band?

Now why didn’t that occur to anybody in the military? 

Oh maaaan, damn it. We could have kept the stealth fighters and deployed an extra carrier to the Gulf, if only we’d gotten rid of a couple of flutes and a trombone player. Damn it, damn it, damn it.


Look, not only will Sequestration affect military bands, those units were on the chopping block long before Sequestration. All of the Armed Services have been consolidating support functions for years now, as directed by the Commander in Chief.

Also: the amount of money spent by the military on bands is miniscule. Literally an infinitesimal drop in the federal bucket. You want to make an actual difference you need to look at weapons programs, ship building, base maintenance and support, long term medical and retirement programs, and the war – you know, the things Congress and the voters won’t let anybody touch. Also all those military contracts that are specifically exempted from Sequestration. Because they provide jobs and money to the States and the defense industry. Plus, hey, cool military hardware. We’re number one! We’re number one!

Also, you know you live in the Information Age, right?  You really don’t have to wonder. Google, it’s the key to the universe. And while you’re at it, look up the Constitution – I’m pretty sure you can’t just “Layoff” the Supreme Court. However, just to slap at the nits, Legislative and Judicial Branch staff will be furloughed by the Sequestration.

Even the Romans were smart enough not to go to war unless that country was worth looting. We go to war and the only thing looted is our own treasury!

Oh, hey, pillaging, now there’s an idea! Let’s invade other countries and loot them. Sure. Sacking foreign cities as a revenue stream? Brilliant. Let’s start with Canada! Come back with your shield, boys, or on it! I can see the wagon trains coming home now, loaded with maple syrup and flannel for the Treasury. Next? Iceland! They don’t even have a military.

They want to cut 85 billion from the U.S. Budget, but were going to GIVE 60 billion to the Syrian Rebels to aid their efforts. Every American should be FUMING MAD! CUT THE FOREIGN AID AND LET THEM KILL EACH OTHER OFF if that is what they want to do.

$60 Billion?

You sure that’s billion and not million?

Billion, million, same same. What’s a couple of zeros when you’re trying to make a point, right?

Right. So, let’s do it. Let’s go right ahead and cut foreign aid. Let’s start with Israel, let Iran kill ‘em if they want to. Israel doesn’t even have oil, so who cares, right? Maybe when they invent a car that runs on magic Jesus rays from the Holy Land I’ll be concerned. Speaking of which, let Iran get nukes, let the Muslim Bro-hood take over the Middle East, and, really, screw South Korea. C’mon conservatives! Who’s with me? Hello? Anybody?

I refuse to let the left somehow equate cutting a blotted bureaucracy with cutting benefits - please Rachel Maddow, tell me what the average fed employee needs o be paid $130k a year with benefits for life? Limit - not cut - their annual wage increases to 5% rather than 7% and put the difference back into benefits..

Average federal pay is $130K a year? Benefits for life?

Boy, I’ll bet this will be great news to the GS-6 who works in the office next to mine.

It’ll sure make his twenty days of unpaid furlough a whole lot easier to swallow.


There’s Always Religion

Joey Rats turned in his little red shoes.

So far, the world seems to be humming along fine without a Pope.

At least the Vatican figured out what to call him, Pope Emeritus. Boy, good thing they got that resolved. Whew, close one. Now if they could just put the same effort into turning the child molesters in their midst over to the police…


Sports and Weather

Overheard yesterday in line at the Fred Meyer Starbucks in Palmer:

Woman #1: I guess they let that Bladerunner guy out of jail. Did you hear about that?
Woman #2: He’s that football player who killed his girlfriend?
Woman #1: Right. He shot her though the bathroom door, while she was talking to the police. The cops heard the whole thing, they played the 911 call on TV. It was horrible she was screaming and begging for her life and the guy kept shooting. He shot her like a dozen times or something! Steroids, you know.
Woman #2: And they let him out?
Woman #1: Can you believe it? Just let him go.
Woman #2: Good Lord. Just goes to show you how the liberals have destroyed the American justice system!
Woman #1: Well, it’s California, what do you expect?
Woman #2: Fruits and flakes! Those people are such morons…

It was then, right then, that a searing pain went through my head.

The “Bladerunner guy” is South African Oscar Pistorius. 

On 14 February, 2013 he shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, at his home in Pretoria, South Africa. He was subsequently arrested and charged with murder in South Africa by the Pretoria (that’s in South Africa) Police Department. He was granted bail on 19 February by Pretoria (in South Africa) Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair because he wasn’t deemed a flight risk. He surrendered his South African passport and must remain in South Africa until his trial. You might have heard about it, it happened in South Africa, it’s been the lead story on every news feed for three weeks now – eclipsing even the Sequestration.

Also, Pistorius has been charged with pre-meditated murder and will be tried (in South Africa) on those charges in June. He wasn’t “just let go.” Even in South Africa, murder is kind of a no no. California too, for that matter.

Also, Pistorius shot Steenkamp three times, not a dozen. He fired four rounds through the bathroom door, three hit Steenkamp and killed her.  Granted it probably doesn’t matter to Steenkamp at this point, but still.

Also, there was no 911 call with Steenkamp “screaming” or “begging for her life.” Steenkamp wasn’t on the phone with Pretoria Police. Unless the 911 tape is from California… On a side note, I thought it pretty cool that this random white woman in line at the Palmer Alaska Starbuck’s apparently spoke enough Afrikaans to know what Steenkamp was saying on a supposed 911 call that she apparently heard herself. But I digress.

Also, Pistorius the Bladerunner is an South African Olympic sprinter. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t moonlight for the NFL.

But hey, why let any of that undermine your basic premise, right? Damn those Liberal ‘Roid Ragin’ South African Kalifornian Blade Running Football Players for destroying the American Justice System, damn them.


Science and Technology

SpaceX launched their third mission (the second commercial supply run) to the International Space Station this morning. I watched the launch in realtime High Def via the Internet – which brought back childhood memories from forty years ago watching crappy time-delayed broadcast TV of Apollo 10 launching for circumluna orbit on my parent’s tiny little black and white set.

Being seven years old at the time, and a child of the Space Age, it was pretty damned exciting.

SpaceX’s Dragon is having some thruster problems in orbit. Hopefully they’ll get it all sorted out soon and be able to finish the mission.

Meanwhile, Billionaire space enthusiast Dennis Tito, the world’s first space tourist, announced plans this week to build and launch a manned Mars flyby mission in 2018. Tito wants to send two people on a five hundred day mission around Mars and back, they won’t land.  The mission is similar in concept to the aforementioned Apollo 10 mission, just a whole lot longer.

The two Mars-O-nauts are to be a married couple.

A married couple.

Cooped up in a tiny capsule for a year and half.

Five hundred days of:

You’re going the wrong way!
Fer the love O Christ, Woman, will you let me drive?
Look where the moon is now! We’re going the wrong way I’m telling you!
I know what I’m doing.
We’re going to be late.
I know a short cut through the asteroid belt.
We’ll miss Mars. Just like when we were supposed to go to my mom’s for Christmas.
If you’d gotten out of the damned bathroom before launch…
I had to put on my makeup, asshole.
Let me see the map.
No. You keep your eyes on space, I’ll read the map.
You can’t even find your car in mall parking lot!
Shut. Up.
I’m just saying.
That was one time. One time!
Will you just give me the map? You’re holding it upside down!
Pull over at that satellite, ask for directions…
Don’t be stupid.
Did. You. Just. Call. Me. “

Experts give the mission one chance in three of succeeding – and declared that if the mission does fail, it’ll totally be the man’s fault. 

Dennis Tito apparently isn’t married.


And Finally, The Crossword Puzzle

This morning my President looked out from my computer screen and declared that the nation’s problems can’t be fixed by using the ol’ “Jedi Mind Meld.”

Jedi Mind Meld?

Jedi Mind Meld?!

Jesus pointy eared Christ, Barack, you can’t mix Star Trek and Star Wars. Are you insane?

It’s unconstitutional! It’s un-American! It’s socialism! Nazis! It’s like mixing oil and water, The NRA and Tofu, matter and anti-matter, Tupac and Biggie, Republicans and Democrats, Libertarians and … anybody else.

Dude, I love ya, but DON’T CROSS THE STREAMS!

Because that would be bad.

That could cause a sinkhole to open and kill us all.

Really. It’s totally true. You can look it up on the internet.


  1. It's gotten so bad that Mr. President's sci-fi faux pas is actually big news... even on NPR... and now you're getting on him too?!

    Oy. Surreal indeed.

    1. Jedi Tuna Melt, no way I'm letting that go, Dave. No way.

    2. Vulcan Force Pinch...just sayin....

  2. You forgot Joan Rivers (who is Jewish) and Hitler (who was a Nazi).


    1. Rivers isn't Jewish, she's made out of plastic.

    2. There is kosher plastic. Really, I can't make this up.


  3. I think in Secret States 51-57, they do actually use the Vulcan Force Pinch on handicapped Boer ne'er-do-wells.

    Also, Nazis.

  4. These are STRANGE days!
    M from MD

  5. Nobody, but nobody does snarky humor like our Jim. Absolutely loved this!
    My fave was the married couple conversation. I'll be married 30 years in May. A few of those items sounded a bit familiar.

    1. Agreed. This column has put a huge smile on my face and considering the crappy week I had, that is a blessed relief.

  6. You're supposedly a navy guy and yet you mock Iceland, forgetting they defeated the UK twice during the Cod Wars.

    Maybe you think America can do better than the former ruler of the seven seas did against Iceland. But my money's on the descendants of Viking murderers who sailed across the north Atlantic to live on a giant fecking VOLCANO.

    Stick that in your Argos cruiser.

    1. Dude, I lived on Iceland for two years. Icelanders are not the descendants of Vikings, they're the descendants of the all the people the Vikings hauled off mainland Europe as slaves, which explains why Icelandic girls are so freakin' hot.

    2. As a result, the codpiece disappeared as a fashion accessory.

    3. On a VOLCANO.

      And they're so tough, their president is a lesbian.

    4. @Anonymous; Unless you're a tin horn wannabe Rethuglican dictator Named Boosh, then they're required equipment in yer flight suit while reliving your Top Gun fantasies.

    5. Defeated the Royal Navy twice.


      The 1976 dispute came to an end when Iceland went running to NATO with a: "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! The Brits are big bullies for fishing in International Waters! We want you to stop them or we'll close Keflavik. So THERE. :P"

      But hey, why let fact stand in the way of a good 'Waily Waily' piece of emotive rubbish that does about the square root of F all to enhance Jim's blog.

  7. "Joey Rats turned in his little red shoes." Priceless!

    1. How can you think that you're so special that you need to be the FIRST POPE IN 600 YEARS to retire? I get the impression that after God calls you to be pope, there's sort of a by death shall ye be parted kind of aspect to the job, no?

    2. "Joey Rats turned in his little red shoes. So far, the world seems to be humming along fine without a Pope."

      To paraphrase, the sun came up today. So far, the world seems to be humming along fine with miniscule, far-too-small cuts in gubmint overspending. And that appears to be freaking out the statists even more than the actual discussion about the cuts! Funny times.

    3. Anonymous, you're like a broken record. Statists. Gubmint. I put up with it on the previous post, but either get a new tune now or go troll somewhere else.

    4. The thing that gets me is that the German Shepherd survived a tour in the Hitler Youth, but he's quitting being Pope. What does that tell us about conditions in the Vatican?

    5. What does that tell us? How about that he's 70 years older now than then? I wish you as much luck when (if) you get to be that age.

      Me, I hope to take after my grandfather. When he was 93 he was still bowling 3 times a week.

    6. Lucas, he's bailing out now to avoid the coming confrontation over the Church's complicity in the still emerging pedophilia scandal. As that tipping point gets nearer, they had to give the Pope an avenue to escape and give the Church cover.

      It wouldn't do to have the Pope indicted, so they cut him out knowing it's unlikely their new Pope will be viewed as having provided cover for the pedophiles.

      It wouldn't do to allow too much light to shine on the Church and the Pope, can't have the mythology opened up to too much scrutiny else the adherents themselves become unmoored.

      It's not an age thing, it's a circle the wagons affair, it's the Church spinning a dizzying denial of reality, ....and the Catholic Church has been practicing circling their wagons and denying reality for a few hundred centuries now. This kind of thing ain't no new gig for them.

    7. "A few hundred centuries now."


      So you're saying the Catholic Church has been around for, what, 20,000 to 30,000 years? "A few" usually means more than one. A hundred centuries means 10,000 years. Try to keep your exagerations within reason please.

    8. Jimbo.

      Sorry, but someone has to call out the chicken shit from the chicken littles. CBO is repoting that the feds will take a RECORD high of $2.7 trillion from us this year. Al Qongress will continue its economic jihad against Americans by spending $1 trillion OVER that.

    9. Joey Rats and $arah Palin: both quitters, who left to avoid scandal, scrutiny, and salacious rumors that they are grifting from the little people.

    10. Lucas, the precursor, otherwise known as ancestral religious activity has been documented to have been observed to have occurred in the mid Paleolithic era, or approximately 300,000 years ago. There are some who say there is evidence of religious activity in the lower paleolithic, or significantly earlier than 300,000 years ago.

      It's no stretch to assume magical thinking is and has been concurrent with possibly all stages of human evolution. What the practitioners called themselves at any one point in the time of any stage of it's incarnation isn't that big a deal, the existence of magical thinking isn't a relatively new phenomena, it's not just some latter day occurrence, some might say it's older than dirt.

  8. ah you finally did it. You caught me completely off guard, and I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants. Sending a married couple to Mars. It would be destined to be a reality show, like the wife swapping deal.
    And would probably attract the same morons watching it. Me thinks Mr. Tito has only dealt with trophy wives, and rarely in a confined spaces, for very long anyway. I'm still laughing . . . . Thanks Jim, you made my day. Duff

    1. Oh thank Cthulhu, now I can retire from the blogging life.


  9. Don't cross the streams. Or change horses in the middle.

    Reverse the polarity of the neutron flux.

    1. Ah, a fan of the Third Doctor....who else would know how to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow?

    2. Right. That's bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip.

    3. So how DO you reverse the polarity of the neutron flux, because neutrons are well, you know, neutral? As in not positive and not negative.

  10. OH my god! I have the tears from my eyes cleared away, my stomach and ribs are aching from laughing! Thank you for the breaks, or I probably would have peed my pants!I suffer from a head jerk and cheese grater effect when I hear misinformation!Sheering pain from real life information e.g.9/11, Daniel Pearl,school shootings on a scale so horrific only monsters can achieve that last for hours.
    Arnold Schwarzenegger... for some reason I always thought was guy/bi back in his body building days.Posing for a gay magazine? And wasn't he just rehearsing for his part for Moses" using his rod on his staff? Well you did well on this cause it is on the internet! Thanks you Thank you your most humble reader.

    1. I think in the case of Arnold, guy/bi might just be a bit more apt.

    2. Actually I think it was a case of who was willing to pay him money, for any reason. His weight lifting days were before he really became famous.

  11. Not to quibble, but the Base Closing stuff started long before 2005. I was on duty the morning that it was announced (1988) that Pease AFB in Portsmouth, NH was being closed. It only remained active until Bush I left office (1991) and Air Force One didn't need to get close to Kennebunkport.
    Was lucky to escape with the mortgage paid off, the credit rating intact and little else.

  12. It would be a really funny post if it was make believe, but so much of it isn't
    I think I've been watching and reading too much news because the first thing I wondered about the married couple going to Mars was if they would be a same sex couple. I don't know why...
    I figure a whole lot of Star Wars and Star Trek fans are now having doubts about whether President Obama is really an American.
    I bet the Secret Service would have locked the Republicans in if President Obama had asked them nice enough.

  13. It really does seem that things are coming to some breaking point, doesn't it?

  14. "That could cause a sinkhole to open and kill us all."

    After which an anvil will fall on us, I suppose.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. How old was that woman? Dementia sets in a lot earlier than people realize. People just think that this person is stupid, misinformed or whatever when they hear someone spew idiocies like that, when the spewer would have been horrified a few years earlier to say such rubbish. I am sorry that I didn't pay more attention to some of the elders around me. My mother was susceptible to things printed in very "authoritative" books even though she wanted to believe the stuff in the mail.

    1. I am sorry Ms. Cracker, but this type of conversation on any topic is too common now days to be due to loss of mental capacity. Young people struck down in their prime by NCLB, professional military members overdosing on FNC, and the growing ranks of the afflicted with 15 second attention spans are all prone to speak authoritatively, but incorrectly on any subject. Ignorance can be corrected, but stupid is forever. Tommy D

  16. I will be very disappointed if someone, somewhere, does not immediately name their rock band "Surreal Newspaper".


  17. Aw shit man, the Doobie Brother broke up! When did that happen?

  18. Heh heh, he said "thruster problems in orbit" heh heh.....I bet that Mars mission will go a lot smoother if its equipped with some emergency thrusters for when Mr. Spaceman has 'problems'.

  19. Re the Jedi Mind Meld

    MIT via George Takei gets into it. https://www.facebook.com/georgehtakei/posts/382728005158433

  20. "Jedi Mind Meld"? Obviously the President is using his bully pulpit in a foolish and futile attempt to settle the long raging battle between the fans of Star Trek and Star Wars.

    It is an impossible task as these two factions of geekdom will fight on until the last phaser is fired, and the last lightsaber is swung. They are totally irrational on the subject and will never be reconciled.

    We fans of the obviously superior Babylon 5 have observed this phenomenon for years.

    1. I agree, I thought it wasn't a flub at all. Barak said it intentionally, he probably does stuff like that all the time to drive Malia and Sasha crazy.

    2. Now, now ... all the Star Trek and Star Wars fans buried the hatchet when they had to deal with Twilight... :)

    3. Or maybe they are fighting over who gets to use the hatchet ON Twilight ... I forget.

    4. "It is an impossible task as these two factions of geekdom will fight on until the last phaser is fired, and the last lightsaber is swung. They are totally irrational on the subject and will never be reconciled."

      You mean.... kinda like the Democrats and the Republicans?

      Hmmmmm... :)

    5. I like them both! Argh!! The cognitive dissony!!!

  21. Just you keep your filthy 'Murcan hands off our maple syrup!

  22. SpaceX fixed a problem on or about 20 years after the ATF had a spectacular failure to solve the David Koresh problem. We're making progress here in Waco (SpaceX has a testing facility just down the road in McGreggor...its 10 miles away you can hear it rumble). There's still no memorial at the former Branch Davidian compound but the rumor of an annual bonfire complete with a couple of thousand live rounds of ammo are completely false.

    1. Actually I think they did solve the David Koresh problem. He's not aroung any more is he? Pablo

  23. Watch the replay..he hesitates before he says 'meld'...because he knows if he says 'tricks' the Goobers will be all over him.

    Give the man a break...everything he says is always twisted. I think he's more calculating that people give him credit for.

  24. Just an aside, Screw Israel. Cut them off, no more foriegn aid. It should have been done after the Liberty Incident.

    We've carried their water and been their bully boy for far too long. Fuck em. They learned all the WRONG reasons from WW2, and are now a bunch of utter scumbags. Prosecuting a Palestinian man for RAPE because he pretended to be a Jew to get laid?

    Screw these people. Let them support themselves for a change.

  25. Busted? Not so fast. Maybe not...


  26. Mostly good and entertaining. One glaring set of errors: government pay freeze has been in effect for a couple of years. And the only ones I know of who make upwards of $130,000 a year are Medical doctors, Scientific Phd's, and senior managment with Mba's.
    Keep on trying to get people to indulge in critical thinking.

    1. But ... critical thinking hurts my brain. ;)

    2. Most of these people believe "critical thinking" means having a negative opinion about someone.

    3. There is a web site that list the salaries for every federal job. The $130,000/yr secretary is an urban myth - in reality majority make far less in government than they would in the private sector.

      As for the married Mars-O-Nuts - on point!!!!

    4. I don't work with any $130k secretaries. I make far less than $130k doing cancer and virus science research for the feds. My field and many others that require college degrees and Ph.D.s can't be compared with the more plentiful private sector minimum wages jobs. The Cato Institute or Heritage Foundation love to mislead the public by lying about private vs. public "average salaries", but only an idiot would try to hire highly skilled workers for minimum wage. Even the lowest wage contractor employees at my work cost far more than minimum wage... because their contractor bosses get a big slice of what the government has to pay. (So much for the GOP's bright idea of hiring contractors to 'save money'.)

      I could make a whole lot more money working for a big pharmaceutical company, but then I'd have to work on yet another Rogaine copy (hair growth) or yet another Viagra copy (yeah, growth again). Most pharmas don't do cutting edge science, just wait for universities or government to discover it. I gave up higher pay in exchange for working on something important, implied job security, and decent retirement. It's not my fault that what used to be an average benefits package comparable to the private sector is now better, simply because company CEOs slashed and burned their employees, shipped jobs overseas, and cut benefits to the minimum subsistence level or below. (Walmart employees often need government assistance, so our taxes are subsidizing their "low prices" and their CEO's bonuses.) My package didn't get better- theirs got raped, pillaged, and looted so CEO pay could go from "only" 50x thirty years ago up to 450x more than their employees. (CEOs make in a day what an employee makes in a year!, even if the company does poorly or goes bankrupt. Then they bribe the GOP to cut their taxes to half of the rate their employees pay. What job creation?)

      The GOP is threatening my pay (frozen for 3 years, now cutting through furlough), my job security, my not overly generous retirement, and my satisfaction (major public denigration of federal & state employees and science in general). The GOP haven't noticed or maybe don't care, but it's very hard to do excellent cutting edge science on a diminishing shoestring budget and few co-workers (hiring freeze).

      My wife the teacher has no, zero, zip money for classroom supplies because 'there wasn't enough in the school budget', but the all-Republican county leaders gave a $100/house property tax rebate last year because taxes were 'too high'. The county (we) paid $23k extra to send the rebate via a paper check by mail (instead of electronically to our bank accounts), just so they could include a letter congratulating themselves. The GOP campaigns on the government being bad, and when elected do their damned best to make it so. Then they wonder why reality-based scientists and teachers won't vote for the faith-based no-reality party.

    5. Jerry A. - in relation to your first two paragraphs:
      I recently attended a job fair for a discount retailer that is opening a store in my town (no, not Walmart, we already got one of those). I will be declining their job offer, because they pay only minimum to start, with those who move into supervisory roles getting $1 more.

      IN THEIR NEW EMPLOYEE PACKAGE is a page with info on how to apply for food stamps, CHIPS, and other government services. Let me repeat that. Food Stamps. New Employee Package.

      (Of course, most of the rest of the package tells the new employees how valuable they and their hard work and dedication are.)

      So, yes, who pays for all these low wages? You, me, and most of all- the compny's employees. Not the shareholders, though. They got a 26% increase in dividend this past quarter.

      I am fortunate enough to have savings to fall back on for a while, but I pity those whose circumstances may force them into this kind of job.


    6. We have The Con-Demnation on my side of the pond. Pulling the same stupid economic policies out of their arses! Cleansing the poor out of the South East of the country by cutting housing subsidies/payments to the lowest economic classes. Still we fight on.

  27. Everybody on the right wants to shut down government functions, but no one wants the loss of anything that matters to THEM. It turns out government DOES create jobs, and that those jobs are significant not only in themselves but also affect the prosperity of OTHER jobs. and those jobs affect other jobs and (like Adam's fleas) so, ad infinitum.

  28. Is the sinkhole guy in Florida REALLY named Jeff Bush??? You don't suppose...naahhh.

    1. A good sinkhole with bad aim. It missed the wrong Bushs.

  29. Since the conservatives couldn’t elect Romney as President, it seems obvious to me that they just complain bitterly whenever President Obama won’t act like Romney would have if he would have won. It is my opinion that the President should stick to his agenda, the Democrats won the election because a majority believe his policies are better than his opponents. I’ve come to the opinion that there’s so little change in Washington on tax laws, budget etc. because for whatever reason the 535 people in congress have things just the way they like them. All this public bickering and finger pointing is nothing but show for the masses. I’m bitterly skeptical that any real progress will be made with this congress. Maybe the sinkhole was under the wrong building.

    1. Even Romney himself is complaining bitterly:

      "... I wish I were there,” Mitt Romney said. “It kills me not to be there, not to be in the White House ...."

      -- from interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday

      What a over-privileged jerk!

  30. "Maybe the sinkhole was under the wrong building."
    Ah, there's that.

  31. :
    "I’m just saying, Chicks dig Sailors. It’s true, you can look it up on the internet. There are pictures."

    We do?

    We 'dig' Fish-heads?

    What, with like a spade and a pick-axe?

    #DAMN# I must have missed that briefing!

  32. It makes sense that Barack Obama doesn't know from mind melds... he's from Krypton, not Vulcan or Tattooine.

  33. Please please PLEASE tell me you made up the conversation you overheard betwixt two women at Freddies! Please? Even if you have to lie to say you made it up!

    Oh, wait... it was in The Valley... Ok, it happened!

  34. It looks like the GOP is having some kind of contest as to who can propose the most petty piece of bullshit legislation:


    ... Seriously, Gohmert? This is what you're going to waste everyone's time with?

  35. Louie and the East Texans who elected him do not believe that a black man has a place on any golf course unless it is on a lawn mower.

  36. Was that an attempt to appear 'witty', Warner?

    It wasn't. It wasn't even nearly.

  37. Not to nitpick, but Eastwood never married Locke. They cohabited for 14 years. Interestingly enough, though..she had two abortions during that time. Pretty sure it was for medical reasons, since she ended up getting her tubes tied, but wonder how the Chairman 'splains that to his cronies.


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