Saturday, October 22, 2011

As We Leave Iraq, Look Back at the Numbers - and Get ANGRY!

From the Center for American Progress.

And why isn't George W. Bush being tried as a WAR CRIMINAL?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy Rapture Day! Yet Again.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again and again.  That should be the motto of those who predict the end of the world.. Take Harold Camping, the guy who was touting his calculations for the day of the Rapture back in May 21, 2011.   Ooops!

Well, not to be denied, Camping predicted today was the real date, he just miscalculated.  The problem is the term "Rapture" is not even in the scriptures, it was something Cotton Mather came up with in the 17th century.  Of course it was cashed in on with the Tim LaHay series of fictional books commonly referred to as the "Left Behind" series.

So, if you are in a festive mood today, sneak out tonight and leave some old clothes on the sidewalk, shoes, pants and shit just like someone was "taken up" and then watch for the faithful wondering why they didn't get the wake up call!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wild Animal Slaughter in Ohio Could Have Been Prevented

By now, most everyone has seen the images of huge Bengal tigers laying dead, shot by police after 50+ wild exotic animals were released to roam through the Ohio countryside.  The owner of the animals, Terry Thompson apparently opened all the cages and set the animals free just prior to turning a gun on himself and committing suicide.  Police and authorities tried in vain to use tranquilizer guns, but for the safety of the populace in the area, they had to kill most of the creatures.

The tragic events are even more tragic when you realize they could have been prevented.  Ohio has the most permissive laws when it comes to owning exotic animals.  So, the personal collection of someone like Thompson is unregulated and a problem just waiting to happen.

The whole thing could have been prevented if people understood that taking exotic animals out of the wild and keeping them as pets is a really bad idea. 

In my younger years, I had a chance to actually help raise a lion cub. Pasha, would occasionally spend the night at my apartment, and I got to know first hand the problems of raising a wild animal in a domestic situation.  First there was the whole potty training thing.  I had to walk her to prevent the stench of lion urine from permeating my house.  Though she was on a leash, it was a dicey situation.  Looking back, I am amazed myself or my friends were not hurt while interacting with the lion cub.

Though it was fun, and she was an amazing animal, I would never do it again.  Lions belong in their own habitat or at least special protected habitats where they can behave like lions.  Walking on a leash is not a lion behavior, and though Pasha was pretty good, she was in reality a wild animal just behaving like a domestic cat.  That was the illusion.

I never had any permanent scars, but my friends who helped raise her did have a few nasty looking scratches that lasted for years.  Pasha was returned to a zoo once she got about as big as a German Shepard.  She lived the rest of her life in captivty with people who understood how to care for her and kept her safe from humans and vice versa.

So, I can say with authority, that though exotic big cats look really cool on a leash, they belong in the wild not your home.  I can also say that the loss of all those animals could have been prevented if there were stricter laws in Ohio about their care and possession.  Maybe this will be a wake up call to the legislators and potential exotic animal owners.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Marine Confronts NYPD - Marine Wins!

It is about time someone stood up and told the NYPD that their actions are shameful and dishonorable.  They need to be reminded that are dealing with American Citizens and in many cases residents of NYC.  Though this Marine is shouting a great deal, his message is spot on, there is no honor in the way the police have been acting. 

It's hard to watch, but it's worth it.  Thanks Derek DaSilva for the link.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Book Details How Companies Plunder Pension Funds

Ever work for a company who jettisoned their pension plan or drastically reduced it's value?  Well, now there is a book that explains why and it's not for the reason you have been told.

Ellen Schultz has been writing for the Wall Street Journal for years, and much of that time has been about how corporations are systematically screwing their retired employees.  In her new book, "Retirement Heist - How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs or American Workers" she has compiled damming evidence of how corporations have not only cheated retirees, but have made big profits from doping so.  In many cases the pension plans contributed to the bottom line of companies and executives took credit for the profit.

It is an eye opening book and one that every person in the Occupy Wall Street movement should read and know by heart.  Powerful ammunition in the struggle against corporate greed and deception.

Watch her interview on Jon Stewart's show last night.

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Record Red Tide on Texas Coast

The last time an algae bloom was this big was back in 2000.  Along the Texas coast, the drought conditions and very warm waters have led to a very large algae bloom sometimes called a Red Tide. The red comes from the algae bloom which gives a red tint to the sea water.

People with respiratory problems should take heed.  These kinds of algae blooms can cause respiratory problems for people with asthma and other lung problems. 

One side effect is the glowing blue waves at night caused by algae bio-luminescence. Should make for interesting night surfing along South Padre.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Reaping the Whirlwind of Alabama's Draconian Immigration Laws

Crops rot in the fields. Apartments and mobile homes stand empty.  Restaurants and grocery stores are noticeably less busy, and in many cases employees just didn't show up.  Some neighborhoods look abandoned.

Alabama passed one of the strictest immigration enforcement laws in the country and a federal judge upheld most of the provisions.  Now police can ask for "papers" during routine traffic stops and city services are unavailable to undocumented families.  The result was thousands of undocumented immigrants just left the state.

Perhaps that is what the lawmakers envisioned when they wroth the draconian laws, but the unintended consequences may be worse than the "problem" the law was written to fix.

In a New York Times report, John Weathers, an Albertville businessman who rents and has sold houses to many Hispanic residents, said his occupancy had suddenly dropped by a quarter and might drop further, depending on what happens in the next week.

Across the state, 1,988 Hispanic students were absent from public schools on Friday, about 5 percent of the entire Hispanic population of the school system. 

Pets have been abandoned, and some homes were just left unlocked and empty.

Many contractors and home builders, say the measure has already been devastating.  Jobs will remain unfilled until skilled labor can be found to replace the thousands who have left the state.

After a few months of living without the thousands of undocumented immigrants who did much of the menial and skilled jobs in Alabama, I suspect the citizens will be thinking very hard about the wisdom of their elected officials.  So far there are not lines of legal Alabaman's lining up to fill the positions.  

Out in the Workplace? 52% LGBT Americans are Out!

Being out at work is a good thing.  Those who are out feel better and have better advancement than those in the closet.  Watch this segment on MSNBC.  Perhaps this is a tipping point?