Saturday, March 27, 2010

Stress Relief

Play this at work and you should get a lot of peace and quiet:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Class Today at NoBullU on WEBY

Listen to the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- No political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- Just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

NoBullU will broadcast today from 4:05 to 6:00 p.m. at 1330 AM WEBY and on line, courtesy of Cyber Smart Computers.


Local and regional: is it better to be a dog than a black man in the South, and

Nation and international: why is the Antichrist trying to give us health care, is it just part of the deception, rise up and be counted Confederate Southern Americans (we love our country, we only wish it didn't exist and we still had slaves), the Amish way of forgiveness, and save a life.

But I'll discuss anything. (Disclaimer: the host reserves the right to end any discussion and hang up on you.)

So tune-in, call-in, but only if you can handle the truth!

100 Years Later

UPDATE VII: You hear the Republi-cons say it frequently, doctors are quitting because of health care insurance reform. It is true that doctors are leaving private practice, but to practice with hospital and health systems. Read The New York Times, More Doctors Giving Up Private Practices.

Republi-cons never miss a chance to con the public.

UPDATE VI: The commentator who called the reform bill a Republi-con Waterloo after having warned of the "harm that our overheated talk is doing to" the Republi-cons was David Frum, the former speechwriter for President George W. Bush. And he's been fired from his job at the American Enterprise Institute for not being a loyal enough party member.

There is a good reason the party's color is red.

UPDATE V: Rusty Limballs said that if the Health Care Reform Bill passes Congress, he was going to move to Costa Rica:

Hasta la vista, baby!

UPDATE IV: Who needs the center, it is the end times. Read The Christian Science Monitor, Shock poll: Why do so many Republicans think Obama is a socialist, a Muslim, or even the anti-Christ?

But what happens if the apocalypse never comes?

UPDATE III: The Republi-con formula to win elections -- fear, anger, and hatred = votes and donations, and sometimes violence. Read the Washington Post, Lawmakers concerned as health-care overhaul foes resort to violence.

Those waskly Republi-cons better watch out, history shows that a "nasty public image -- arrogant, mean, small-minded -- [can be] difficult to discard . . . if by exciting your base you lose the center, then you lose the next election too."

UPDATE II: It's déjà vu all over again. The latest health care reform effort is alot like Massachusetts' health care law. Don't take my word for it. Read what the Governor of Massachusetts wrote about the plan in 2006. Read the Wall Street Journal, Health Care for Everyone? We've found a way.

BTW, who was the Governor of Massachusetts in 2006? Mitt Romney. And what did he say in support of Massachusetts' insurance mandate? "I proposed that everyone must either purchase a product of their choice or demonstrate that they can pay for their own health care. It's a personal responsibility principle."

UPDATE: From the Washington Post, Health care horrors:

And to where are those Republi-cons running? To court (coincidentally enough here in Pensacola). Read the Pensacola News Journal, Health care lawsuit in Pensacola court.

Those waskly Republi-cons, running to court, hoping for a little judicial activism where, to paraphrase the CONservatives themselves, the court will substitute its own political opinion for the applicable law and legislate from the bench, and in so doing, take for itself the powers of Congress, rather than limiting itself to the powers traditionally given to the judiciary. Oh does the irony of it all make your head spin.

And the shrill of doom can be heard already. One conservative commentator is calling the reform bill a Republi-con Waterloo, after having warned of the "harm that our overheated talk is doing to" the Republi-cons.

Others, the latest day of infamy in America, comparing the legislation, believe it or not, to enactment of the Fourteenth Amendment to protect the original three-fifths people.

Of course others are singing Hail the Conquering Professor.

But all the "bombastic declarations from both sides about the impending disaster (Republicans) or nirvana (Democrats) being ushered in" are a little early if you ask me, since no one knows whether the reform will work.

Some changes are easy to understand. Read The New York Times, For Consumers, Clarity on Health Care Changes. And ignorance will be bliss no longer at your favorite eatery. Read The New York Times, Calorie Data to Be Posted at Most Chains.

As for why Pensacola, read the Pensacola News Journal, Why did attorneys general file health care lawsuit in Pensacola?, which quotes Jay Wolfson, a health care attorney and law professor at Stetson University and the University of South Florida, who said Pensacola's makeup is attractive to those opposing the health care legislation:

"It's a much more conservative district and more likely to reflect the conservative attitudes of those residents of the state," he said.

With such a right-leaning electorate in Pensacola, McCollum could make great political strides, win or lose, as a result of spearheading the lawsuit, Wolfson said.

"Mr. McCollum is running for election to a new office," Wolfson said. "One cannot pretend that the political incentives for things politicians do are not important."

So McCollum is hoping for an election day boost. But why the Northern District of Florida, and why the Pensacola Division? My guess, 3 out of 3 -- Judges Vinson, Collier, and Rodgers were appointed by Republican Presidents.

I don't know if the odds were better in any other division in the country of getting a Republican appointee. I guess the Republi-cons were hoping for an ill-informed political decision. I doubt that in any case, and especially not in this case.

BTW, Judge Vinson got the case.

So stay tuned, it will be an interesting case.

And I predict the most likely outcome in the district court is dismissal, with court declining to rule in the case because the matter in controversy is a political question. And if there is a decision on the merits at the district court level, the court will likely find the law constitutional under the Commerce Clause.

Bets on the outcome anyone?

(Note: I make no prediction above the district court level, although I'm inclined to believe that even Robert would shy away from emasculating Supreme Court precedent to the extent necessary to rule in favor of the Republi-cons in this case, even considering outlier case of Bush v. Gore, the case that can never be cited.)

"For almost a century, presidents and members of Congress have tried and failed to provide universal health benefits to Americans. The cost of health care has spiraled; in 2008, one in six dollars was spent on health care, and an estimated 46 million people were without coverage." For a timeline of health care reform efforts, see The New York Times, A History of Overhauling Health Care.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Who better on Republi-CON Family Values?

UPDATE: No time to be Governor, the Rogue Diva goes Hollywood. Read the Washington Post, Discovery makes it official: "Sarah Palin's Alaska" to TLC.

Still cashin in, she's reportedly asking for up to $1.5 million per episode.

Still cashin in, the Rogue Diva will let a publisher put her name on a book about a "celebration of American virtues and strengths." Read Entertainment Weekly, Sarah Palin to pen a second book.

You'll find it in the fiction section.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

End the Duopoly

UPDATE: For more on breaking "the oligopoly of our two-party system," read The New York Times, A Tea Party Without Nuts.

The writer quotes Larry Diamond, a Stanford University democracy expert, “If you don’t get governance right, it is very hard to get anything else right that government needs to deal with. We have to rethink in some basic ways how our political institutions work, because they are increasingly incapable of delivering effective solutions any longer.”

The writer notes that "[w}hen your political system punishes lawmakers for the doing the right things, it is broken. That is why we need political innovation that takes America’s disempowered radical center and enables it to act in proportion to its true size, unconstrained by the two parties, interest groups and orthodoxies that have tied our politics in knots."

Given the way the health care debate played out, I agree.

And China laughs all the way to the bank.

You've heard me complain about partisanship and America's political duopoly. For one proposed solution to those problems, read The New York Times, To Reduce Partisanship, Get Rid of Partisans, which suggests that states "should abolish party primaries and institute first round, qualifying elections with the top two earning the chance to compete in November."

What do you think?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Class Today at NoBullU on WEBY

UPDATE: As discussed on today's program, read Rueter, Insurer targeted HIV patients to drop coverage.

Listen to the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- No political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- Just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

NoBullU will broadcast today from 4:05 to 6:00 p.m. at 1330 AM WEBY and on line, courtesy of Cyber Smart Computers.


Local and regional: is it better to be a dog than a black man in the South and who's afraid of the big slow roundabout?, and

Nation and international: the census, counting or prying?, no complaint with the death penalty in this case, how'd Oscar do, does talk radio make you happier, and save a life.

But I'll discuss anything. (Disclaimer: the host reserves the right to end any discussion and hang up on you.)

So tune-in, call-in, but only if you can handle the truth!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Useful or Useless Beer Facts?

Happy St. Patrick's Day. In celebration, what The Opinionated Beer Page calls some useless beer facts:

Unlike wines, most beers should be stored upright to minimize oxidation and metal or plastic contamination from the cap. High-alcohol ales, however, which continue to ferment in their corked bottles, should be stored on their sides.

Studying the experimentally induced intoxicated behavior of ants in 1888, naturalist John Lubbock noticed that the insects that had too much to drink were picked up by nest mates and carried home. Conversely, drunken strangers were summarily tossed in a ditch.

Despite the month implied by its name, Munich's annual 16-day Oktoberfest actually begins in mid-September and ends on the first Sunday in October.

The familiar Bass symbol, a red triangle, was registered in 1876 and is the world's oldest trademark.

According to a journal entry from 1636, farm workers in the colony of Quebec not only received an allowance of flour, lard, oil, vinegar, and codfish; they were also given "a chopine of cider a day or a quart of beer."

In 1965, a Belgian royal decree mandated that lambics must contain a minimum of 35% wheat. It also ordered that labels state the name and location of the brewery.

Beck's in not only Germany's top export beer, it also accounts for 85% of all German beer exports to the United States.

Pennsylvania has had more breweries in its history than any other state. In 1910 alone, 119 of the state's towns had at least one licensed beermaker.

In their efforts to regulate beer quality, the ancient Babylonians, who were among history's earliest brewers, decreed that any commercial beermaker who sold unfit beer would be drowned in his/her own libation.

Bottle caps, or "crowns," were invented in Baltimore in 1892 by William Painter. Painter proved his invention's worth when he convinced a local brewer to ship a few hundred cases of beer to South America and back and they returned without a leak.

Beer advertising matchbook covers have become sought-after collectibles on Internet auction sites. A 1916 matchbook promoting Brehm's Brewery in Baltimore brought $43, while a 1930s cover promoting Eastside Beer from Los Angeles went for $36.

Beer and video games have a long association. Tapper, originally a 1983 arcade game and now a computer one, tests players' skills by challenging them to coordinate the movements of beers, a bartender, empty mugs, and patrons.

An 18-year study by the National Institute on Aging found that 50-plus men who consumed a drink a day during middle age scored significantly better on cognitive tests later in life than did non-drinkers.

Gilroy, home of the Coast Range Brewing Company since 1995, is the self-proclaimed "Garlic Capital of the World."

In ancient Babylon, women brewers also assumed the role of temple priestesses. The goddess Siris was the patron of beer.

On October 17 of 1814, a rupture in a brewery tank containing 3,500 barrels of beer caused a flood of fatal proportions in the London parish of St. Giles. The wave of beer swept victims off their feet, dashed them against walls, and buried them under debris. Two houses were demolished in the sea of beer suddenly loosed upon town, and nine people lost their lives in the flood of suds.

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer, and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the "honey month", or what we know today as the "honeymoon".

There are 19 different versions of Guinness.

According to a diary entry from a passenger on the Mayflower, the pilgrims made their landing at Plymouth Rock, rather than continue to their destination in Virginia, due to lack of beer.

In the US, a barrel contains 31 gallons of beer.

The first beer cans were produced in 1935.

Before thermometers were invented, brewers would dip a thumb or finger into the mix to find the right temperature for adding yeast. Too cold, and the yeast wouldn't grow. Too hot, and the yeast would die. This thumb in the beer is where "rule of thumb" comes from. (Actually, a reader pointed out to us that "rule of thumb" actually comes from some Irish saying regarding beating your wife. However, since this is a beer page and not a wifebeating page, the temperature fact stands.)

In 1788, Ale was proclaimed "the proper drink for Americans" at a parade in New York City.

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them to mind their own pints and quarts and settle down. It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's".

The original text of the Reinheitsgebot only had three ingredients: Barley, hops, and water. Yeast wasn't mentioned for another 35 years.

George Washington had his own brewhouse on the grounds of Mount Vernon.

After consuming a bucket or two of vibrant brew they called aul, or ale, the Vikings would head fearlessly into battle, often without armor or even shirts. In fact, "berserk" means "bare shirt" in Norse, and eventually took on the meaning of their wild battles.

The Budweiser Clydesdales weight up to 2,300 pounds and stand nearly 6 feet at the shoulder.

12 oz of a typical American pale lager actually has fewer calories than 2 percent milk or apple juice.

A beer is NOT just a beer. All told, there are 27 different styles of beer, with a further breakdown of 49 substyles.

Actually, some of those facts sounded like they might be pretty useful someday.

A Preview of the 2010 Republi-CON Cat Fight

UPDATE IX: And even more fiscal CONservative hypocrisy. Before Rubio got a hold of the GOP credit card to double bill the party and state taxpayers for flights and meals, it appears he played "fast and loose with the rules" governing political action committees (PACs) to pay friends, family members and $74,000 in undocumented expenses. Read St. Petersburg Times, A lavish rise for Rubio.

UPDATE VIII: More fiscal CONservative hypocrisy. It appears that Rubio racked up $250 million in budget requests for hometown spending during eight years in the Florida House. Read the The Miami Herald, Marco Rubio's money requests for Miami-Dade could be an issue.

Like Ray Sansom, a NW Florida Republi-con who was this term's Florida House Speaker until he was forced out and who finally resigned office on the eve of an ethics hearing. (He still faces criminal charges in connection with his budget dealings)

"Rubio's public job as a legislator dovetailed with his private interests.

One appropriation for Miami-Dade County was sought by lobbyists who worked at his law firm. Another item aided a friend's fight for a Florida Turnpike contract. Other proposals gave big sums to Florida International University and Jackson Memorial Hospital, where Rubio later worked as a consultant.

Republi-cons have no shame.

UPDATE VII: The $130 barber shop charge to the Republi-con Party of Florida credit card -- was it for a hair cut or 'back wax?' Read CNN, Crist: Rubio charged credit card for back wax.

That sounds like it might hurt!

UPDATE VI: With the Republi-cons, you just need to talk the talk. Read CBS4. com, Poll: Rubio Destroying Crist In Senate Race.

UPDATE V: The cat fight is heating up with allegation that Rubio is a fiscal CONservative. Read FOXNews, Rubio Battles Reports of Lavish Charges to Florida GOP Credit Card, The Miami Herald, Wine, groceries, car repair: What Florida's Rubio charged to GOP, The Miami Herald, Marco Rubio: Double-billing of flights 'a mistake', and The Miami Herald, Charlie Crist jumps on Marco Rubio, Ray Sansom similarities.

But will it matter to the Republi-cons:

"Lucky for him most of the hardcore “conservative” voters don’t actually pay attention to this sort of thing. Fox News would never in a million years give this story any air time, so the people Rubio is trying to appeal to aren’t going to know anything about it. As long as he says that he’ll lower taxes, the average “conservative” voter could care less what else he does. He could use public money to build a rocket-ship to fly into the sun, and as long as some wealthy republicans are paying $100 a year less in property taxes, no one will ever complain."

UPDATE IV: Will the country become ungovernable after big election wins by the Republi-con Party in 2010? Read The New York Times, Paranoia Strikes Deep.

UPDATE III: So what did the 2009 off-year election portend? Will there be a putch in the Republi-con party? Read the Washington Post, Attack of the Palinite and The myth of '08, demolished.

UPDATE II: Has the right "devolved into a wacky, paranoid cult that is as eager to eat its own as it is to destroy President Obama?" Read The New York Times, The G.O.P. Stalinists Invade Upstate New York.

UPDATE : Read Time, A GOP Civil War in Upstate New York.

As previously noted, the 2010 Florida Senate race is shaping up to be Washington leadership v. grassroots, whether to moderate the political agenda or go all-in conservative hypocrisy, whether the campaign theme should be hope for the future or fear and loathing.

But if you can't wait until 2010, then there is a preview. Read The New York Times, Right Battles G.O.P. in a Pivotal Race in New York.

Are the Republi-cons torching the big tent?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sub Today at NoBullU on WEBY

Usually on Fridays you can listen to me, the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- no political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

I can't make it today but I hear that Ken will substitute. I'll be back next week to deprogram you. Until then, read two more great op-eds from The New york Times:
On health care reform: Health Reform Myths, and

On Obama, the Centrist: Getting Obama Right.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Palin 2012

What more can I say:

From Dvorak Uncensored.

And for those who missed the movie, read about the global cataclysm predicted for 2012.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Destroying America With Fear, Anger and Hatred

UPDATE II: Fear, anger and hatred = Republi-con votes. But fear, anger and hatred also = Republi-con donations.

Don't take my word for it, see the PowerPoint presentation from the RNC Financial Leadership Meeting, page 29.

It appears that those waskly Republi-cons rely on two types of donors: dumb and dumber. Really, don't take my word, read the PowerPoint presentation, which describes dumb donors, those small donors who are "visceral," "reactionary" and motivated by "fear," and the dumber voters, those large donors who are "calculated," "ego-driven" and motivated by "access."

And what do these dumb and dumber donors get, tchotchkes.

Look it up, so you know what you are worth to those Republi-cons.

UPDATE: Rantings of paranoid, conspiracy theorist, talk show hosts can kill. Read True/Slant, Does Austin Plane Crash Pilot’s Rambling Suicide Note Sound Like An Alex Jones Manifesto? and the Washington Post, Joseph Stack's familiar anti-government tune.

Of course, this is nothing new. Read The Daily Beast, Wingnut Rage Boils Over.

BTW, my original post was made before the the plane attack:

Does ridicule and assaults on patriotism or character as vehicles to marginalize 'others' undermine democracy? Read the Washington Post, How the conservative media harm democracy.

Fear, anger and hatred is a vicious cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy -- as Republi-con destroy America, they blame others for their actions.

And China laughs.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cute Commercial

It has a happy ending:

Take a Virtual Vacation

First stop, the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, but you better have a high-speed connections.

Click and hold the left mouse button to turn. (Not too fast or you'll get dizzy.) Each screen has a + and - in lower left for Telephoto or Wide Screen.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Hypocrite or Fraud?

Palin, a fierce opponent of health-care reform, "told a Canadian audience her family used to go to Canada to get medical care when she was growing up."

Yet in one instance she cited, Palin "told an alternate version of the story that had her family traveling south by ferry to Juneau from Skagway for treatment of her brother's burned foot, rather than to Canada, according to a 2007 report posted by the Skagway News."

Read the Washington Post, Palin says her family went to Canada for health care when she was young.

So, is Palin a hypocrite or fraud?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Class Today at NoBullU on WEBY

UPDATE: Local weekend events:

Gulf Coast Renaissance Faire -- where John Krause will be collecting petition signatures.

Pensacola BBQ Contest

Listen to the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- No political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- Just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

NoBullU will broadcast today from 4:05 to 6:00 p.m. at 1330 AM WEBY and on line, courtesy of Cyber Smart Computers.


Local and regional: one dead black kid, who cares?, and the FL Republi-con cat fight is heating up with allegation that Rubio is a fiscal CONservative and

Nation and international: Obama the Clueless, what next, the Milk Party?, who's the conservative now?, and save a life.

But I'll discuss anything. (Disclaimer: the host reserves the right to end any discussion and hang up on you.)

So tune-in, call-in, but only if you can handle the truth!

Monday, March 1, 2010

It All Down Hill From Here, For Health Care Reform That Is

UPDATE: The cost of doing nothing, paying about 75% more for health care:

Read The New York Times, The Cost of Doing Nothing on Health Care.

We pay one way or another, since half the people in the country cheat and get their health coverage courtesy of Uncle Sam.

Of course the health care industry calls it profit, which is why they oppose reform.

There was a 'summit' yesterday. In topography, a summit is a point on a surface that is higher in elevation than all points immediately adjacent to it. Mathematically, a summit is a local maximum in elevation. The topographic terms "acme", "apex", "peak", "summit", and "zenith" are synonyms.

But in this case it was a health care 'summit' with politicos (can you say boring) so I skipped it. If you did too, read the recaps in The New York Times, Afflicting the Afflicted and Not as Dull as Expected!

Obama claims his plan will cover XX million uninsured. He should challenge the Republi-cons to come up with a plan that would credibly cover half that number. Then, if they do, he should promise to pass both proposals on one condition -- if the the Republi-cons proposal fails to achieve that number within one year, it would automatically be canceled and replaced by his plan.

Call the Republi-con bluff!