Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene was hype?

Look at this idiotLimbaugh's idiocy needs no comment. This jackass mentions that "Hurricane Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm" — no kidding, because hurricanes by nature lose power once it started going over land. It was still strong enough to get to Vermont and cause the worst flooding there in 75 years. Look at this picture, worthy of a San Francisco earthquake.

That's hype? Just because its eye hit Long Island, 15 miles to the east of the boroughs, suddenly Irene was no big deal?

A few dozen people have so far died from Irene. I don't want to count the guy who drowned when he and friends tried to raft down the swollen Croton River. I'm talking about trees crashing through houses, and a hero who died trying to save a little boy.

Those deaths are hype?

We were watching the news coverage until 1 a.m. Sunday morning, awed by scenes from North Carolina to Long Island, whether it was a Maryland dam in danger of breaking, or someone reporting from a flooded Hoboken street. Then the main computer's UPS woke us around 4 when it started beeping, telling us we hadn't been spared from losing electricity. Power didn't come back to our street until 8 tonight, and the news just said there are still 600,000 without power in just Connecticut. Meanwhile we hung out at a relative's business for the day to charge cell phones and get online, if anything so I could connect to the office and get some work done.

Rivers have overflowed, flooding people's basements as well as roadways. One of our neighbors is still pumping out his basement, and it was so dire that without electricity, he used a gas-powered generator that another neighbor was kind enough to lend.

This is all hype?

No roads were flooded in my immediate vicinity, but I've never seen the rivers or reservoirs so high. Even old-timers haven't. We've all seen trees fallen on on power lines, but not like this. It was a shame to see some fine, majestic ones, and shocking to see some large ones. You just don't appreciate the strength of a storm until you've seen a two-foot-diameter tree snapped like a toothpick. There was a large one lying across my neighborhood's main road, blocking one lane and part of the other. There was a fellow hacking away with an axe, so I went to see if we could move it. Three guys in a pickup passed by, and without a chainsaw or towing chains, they at least figured they'd add their muscle. This 20-foot length must have weighed a literal ton. Five strong guys, yet we could budge it only enough to clear the partially blocked lane. Then the local fire chief happened by, and he called in a crew with suitable cutting equipment.

The Ramapo River actually flooded the New York State Thruway, which was reopened only this afternoon. The Passaic River is still rising at this time, and the news showed a storeowner's shop half-submerged. People at a couple of hotels in Parsippany had to be rescued when flooding occurred overnight -- that's right, a day after the storm. The Bronx River had risen so much that my commuter rail's service had to be suspended. The southern half is operational again, but not the northern half I use.

But didn't we hear, Irene was just hype.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Doesn't the Daily News have a proofreader?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Obama: the most delusional president ever

A bad economy with (despite) massive increases in federal debt? Blame others, preferably Bush. Low approval ratings? Blame Congress:
"This past week your popularity hit a record low," Mason said. "What does that say to you?"

"Well, what it says to me is I'm the President of the United States and when people aren't happy with what's happening in Washington, that I'm gonna be impacted just like Congress is," Mr Obama said. "And you know, I completely understand that, we expected that.
So at my next year-end review, I can expect to be judged according to everyone else's performance?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Russell Means, peace be with you

I'm saddened to hear that he has inoperable throat cancer. He's facing it with great courage.

Don't cry, Ms. Adrienne Ives: you did the right thing

You're a good mother. You truly love your daughter, because you know she needs to face justice. But don't cry for her. Cry for the man who was murdered, the people hurt in the riots, and those who lost property.

By God, if I had done anything remotely like that little bitch, I'd have begged the police to lock me away forever before my father could get his hands on me. Then again, there was never any danger of that, because the old man taught me better. He wasn't perfect, because he believed in a government safety net, but ultimately he believed that damaging other people's property was wrong, and an able-bodied person should work for his bread.

I was a teenager when he told me about his teenage brush with the law. He and his friends wanted to prove they were big men, so they broke into a store one night to steal cigarettes. They were caught and hauled in front of the judge. What punishment they received, my father never said. His style of parenthood was that we never dared to ask about his life, instead accepting that he'd tell us things whenever he felt like it. But he did say that the judge asked him what kind of grades he was getting in school. "A's and B's." The judge asked, "Why not all A's?" That might have been just the thing to spur my father to do well. He graduated third in his high school class. It was the height of the Depression, and there was no money to go to college, but at least the diploma and good grades got him a job in a mail room.

For growing up poor and during the Depression, raised by an abandoned mother and her blind sister, he never once resorted to the "hooliganism" (what an understatement!) in the UK. Look at what Chelsea Ives "allegedly" got herself into, despite her advantages of loving parents and promising future publicity.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Our world of lies: Obama blames Bush (again), and the Fed is given credit for nothing

Obama says he "inherited" the financial crisis. "We do have a serious problem in terms of debt and deficit, and much of it I inherited," says the first U.S. president under whose leadership the federal government has been running $1 trillion deficits for each of his first three years. Bush certainly carries blame for getting the car up to speed, but Obama mashed the accelerator.

"When you have problems in Europe and in Spain and in Italy and in Greece, those problems wash over into our shores," says the idiot who thinks those three small economies (not even $4 trillion combined), who aren't even the United States' largest trading partners, somehow have enough pull that their crises will wreck the largest in the world.

And then after yesterday's "rally," which didn't erase Monday's losses, the media was typically quick to congratulate the Fed. "Stocks soar after Fed pledges low rates into '13" claimed the AP headline. And what happened today? Oh sure, sure, four-plus percent drops in the three main U.S. indexes shows just how optimistic the markets are about continued low interest rates.

The Fed was already flooding the world with dollars. That isn't helping now and never did, but they have to keep printing dollars to finance Obama's deficits. You know it's bad when China, the country of $2 trillion of bad loans, can now justifiably tell us to get our house in order. Look at what's happened in the three years since I pointed out that China's in worse shape, look at the utter disaster that the American people have so far allowed: trillion-dollar federal deficits, bailouts for irresponsible home buyers, and a belief that boosting the economy means paying the unemployed to stay unemployed -- while raising taxes on the people producing the most.

If the UK rioters are just thugs, why is Cameron so anxious to appease them?

You really are an idiot, David Cameron.

The riots are literally close to home for my family in suburban London. What used to be a quiet area now has thugs close enough (not on that street or adjoining, but close) that my family is afraid to leave the house.

There is no reason for things to have gotten beyond the first burned car, but what do you expect when a society is disarmed, and the police are doing zilch? This is what happens when people surrender their right to self-defense in favor of relying on government to save them. I would never trust police to shoot looters and vandals on sight, because as a general rule the police are not accountable for their actions, but I would trust homeowners and shopkeepers to defend themselves and their property. Every one of these criminals deserves to be butchered alive, then impaled around town on stakes.

Here are the most telling pictures I've seen on Yahoo News. No comments or captions are necessary.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Obama is running the highest deficits since WWII, and Axelrod blames...the Tea Party

Yeah. Nobody in that God-forsaking administration will ever admit that it's spending, not the fact that we don't rape enough pocketbooks. But what can people expect when a plurality feel "entitled" to create a political monstrosity that's empowered to take the property of others? The beast produces nothing on its own, so it never has to feel obliged to control its appetite.

Look at the budget projections and the unjustified optimism that, for example, we'll get a $535 billion jump in revenue from 2012 to 2013. Tax revenues will more than double in the next 10 years? These are using the same methodology by which the CBO projected budget surpluses for years after 2000: assume rosy economic growth for perpetuity, act surprised when tax increases don't yield expected revenue, and malign anyone who believes in keeping the fruit of his own labor.

Let's put the budget scenario in visual terms. It took me no time to make after copying and pasting the CBO's data into OpenOffice, but apparently the CBO couldn't be troubled (or didn't want to make the situation more obvious).

And Obama had the audacity to claim the other day about this "debt ceiling bill" lie, "It's an important first step to ensuring that as a nation we live within our means."

"Before we ask college students to pay more for their education, let's ask hedge fund managers to stop paying taxes that are lower on their rates than their secretaries." Here's a free clue for Obama: hedge fund managers pay far more in a year than a lot of people pay in their entire lives, because of students who think they're entitled to free things, then cry when jobs don't fall into their laps.

This demonstrates exactly what's wrong with our country

Watch the whole thing.

You have someone brain-dead who feels entitled to a college education paid for by others, including a stipend for rent. Now because he was living with his girlfriend, he figured he could spend the rent stipend on himself.

But it gets better: the girlfriend stopped paying rent, meaning she was stealing from the landlord and trying to defraud her boyfriend.

To top it off, here's an ex-judge turned private arbiter who says a couple of good things, but ultimately she's too stupid to realize that all this came to be only because people are forced to pay for the lives of others.

No doubt the boyfriend will graduate, further devaluing four-year degrees the same way central banks inflate currency. Today, a B.A. or B.S. has as much weight as a high school diploma once did. In my junior year, I talked with a professor about whether the "business concentration" option offered any advantage in getting a financial services job versus the standard theory-based economics B.A. He advised me not to worry, saying it's graduate degrees that lock you into a particular field, and the first four years are to "develop critical thinking skills." That's something for the teen years, but after all, "society" can't risk kids doing anything so challenging that they can't finish high school, right? So high schools continually dumb down graduation requirements, and colleges have followed the same path. Why not, when there's a steady supply of students so unprepared yet able to get loans and grants?

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Happy birthday, Lucy

So few will ever come close to the humor, wit, class and business savvy of Lucille Ball, who was born 100 years ago today.

"Americana" means nothing without including "I Love Lucy." Contrary to any polls that say otherwise, it is the greatest comedy show ever. Today it still makes us laugh and cry, a snapshot of time when "funny" did not require being salacious or vulgar. Think about how much is still a part of us after six decades, whether it's "eeyewww!" as only she could do it, her and Vivian Vance working the candy conveyor belt, or the two pretending to be Martians.

Yet she had a film career before and after. I grew up knowing her only from her eponymous show, and after her passing, I read a wonderful piece that Bob Hope penned to remember her. She may have been "Queen of the B [movies]," but when the studio asked him who he had in mind for a co-star, he said, "I chose Lucy."

She hosted "Three's Company" to look at its best episodes, which was more than fitting. That show, and many others, owe so much to her pioneering of misunderstandings and physical comedy.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Bubba Smith, RIP

I am saddened to hear of his passing.

To hell with you, Verizon

After 10 years, and many thousands of dollars I paid for a service I generally liked, your idiot and his equally moronic supervisor dare to insult me?

Verizon, you still don't seem to get it: you can't just rely on the iPhone to lure new customers. You have to keep your existing customers happy.

"Brett," you are complicit in attempted theft. I'm completely serious that you can shove your beloved Alias right up your lying ass.

Addendum: this isn't the first time I've been displeased, though not as pissed. When I started my current job, I faxed in the form to get the corporate discount. It was never applied, and I could never get a hold of anyone who knew about it. Then we got a new account rep, who signed me up right away. "OK," I asked, "what about a credit for these months I should have gotten a discount?" After all, it was their fault. The response: silence.