Friday, April 30, 2010

Bartering Chicken for Health Care

UPDATE: Lowden is a wealthy gambling executive. She leads the Republican field in the primary campaign for the right to challenge the Democratic incumbent, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. She's a former Nevada state senator, a former head of the state GOP, a former television anchorwoman and a former Miss New Jersey.

Her idea for containing health-care costs -- chickens for check-ups. Read the Washington Post, Courtesy of Sue Lowden: A chicken in every doctor's pot.

The Colbert Report launches Indecision 2010 Midtern Election coverage with a report on Nevada Senate candidate Sue Lowdon's proposal to institute a barter system for health care:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Indecision 2010 Midterm Elections - Sue Lowden
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News

The Republi-con solution for any problem that ails you, health insurance included, forget about mandates and confusing plans, just trade a chicken.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Class on Thursday (Vice the Usual Friday) 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: the good ol' boys rule in Bubbaville, USA and is it better to be a dog than a black man in the South, and

Nation and international: what did Crist do?, Palin v. Truman, countdown to dismissal, are you ready to protest, Comrade Mark's Republi-CON fairy tales, the new Republi-con elixir - take two aspirin and bring me a chicken in the morning, and NC beach town says no thong you, could this be a promotional opportunity for local beaches?

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 some ass kickin' discussion of politics and current events!

Comrade Mark's Republi-CON Fairy Tales

UPDATE VI: From the Washington Post:

Fabulous Fab is Fabrice Tourre, a Goldman Sachs trader involved in a deal that has prompted civil fraud charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission. In a January 29, 2007, email to a woman he was dating, Fabulous Fab described a Goldman Sachs financial product as follows:

"When I think that I had some input into the creation of this product - which by the way is a product of pure intellectual masturbation, the type of thing which you invent telling yourself: 'Well, what if we created a "thing," which has no purpose, which is absolutely conceptual and highly theoretical and which nobody knows how to price?' - it sickens the heart to see it shot down in mid-flight.... It's a little like Frankenstein turning against his own inventor."

Read the Washington Post, Want to save capitalism? Regulate it.

UPDATE V: Blame Congress for the meltdown, it was caused by deregualtion and a lack of oversight. Read The New York Times, Meet the Real Villain of the Financial Crisis.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."

UPDATE IV: "The biggest bummer to arise from the allegations that the revered and feared Wall Street puppet master Goldman Sachs had played us all for patsies is this: the dial on the Wall Street capital-formation machine, the engine that was supposed to be the driving force of the greatest economic system on earth, was purposely set to junk — worthless, synthetic junk. " Read Time, The Case Against Goldman Sachs.

UPDATE III: For more proof that Wall Street just used Main Street mortgages to gamble the economy into ruin, read The New York Times, Questions for Banks That Put Together Deals, which states:

"The C.D.O. business has been a vital engine in the money machine at many firms for much of the last decade.

Big investors became addicted to the extra yield. Rating agencies earned windfall profits from evaluating the securities. Investment banks enjoyed hefty fees from ready buyers of the assets. And C.D.O. dealmakers racked up huge bonuses, regardless of whether their products later imploded.

If the limitless appetite for these so-called structured products provided much of the easy money that fueled the housing boom, it also contributed to its bust. What began as a financial innovation lauding the benefits of diversified portfolios of corporate investments morphed into one giant bet on the American housing market.

To lure investors who wanted higher returns, bankers increasingly stuffed C.D.O.’s with riskier assets like subprime mortgage securities, rather than traditional corporate bonds.

They bought their own mortgage companies to feed their loan packaging machines and relaxed the standards on the types of assets they would accept."

BTW, synthetic C.D.O.’s are really just credit default swaps, which in plain terms is just a guarantee or insurance on the underlying asset.

It appears that Goldman and other investment institutions (not banks in the traditional sense) may have structured and sold the guarantee or insurance on the underlying asset without disclosure of losses, accounting irregularities and possible conflicts of interest on the underlying assets. Goldman then got a little of the action with a side bet against the asset(by purchasing the synthetic C.D.O.’s/swaps).

Which is why I suggested that the economic recovery plan should have included legislation that invalidated the swaps.

Taxpayers were suckered big time.

UPDATE II: Watch a great animated editorial cartoon on the report that Goldman Sachs pocketed a profit of $3.3 billion last quarter at the expense of the little guys.

UPDATE: "The Goldman Sachs fraud suit illustrates how the big banks have abandoned their mission." Read The New York Times, Gambling With the Economy, When Wall Street Deals Resemble Casino Wagers, and Goldman’s Stacked Bet.

But don't worry, it was another great quarter for the Banksters, courtesy of Main Street. Read The New York Times, You’re Welcome, Wall Street.

And from the Washington Post, Hedge Fun:

After some quiet, the Republi-con party faithful are out spreading myths and engaging in Republi-con revisionist history (such as Comrade Mark, longtime Republi-con party loyalist, on Friday's show) . It wasn't Carter and the Community Reinvestment Act that nearly destroyed the economy, it was Republi-con deregulation and opposition to government oversight. Read the details in these previous posts:

Problem, Causes and Professor NoBull's Solution for the Economic Mess,
More Articles About How We Got Into, and How We Might Fix, the Economic Mess,
Was Wall Street Just a Ponzi Scheme?,
Who is Responsible for the Economic Mess, Part Deux,
Was Wall Street Just a Ponzi Scheme, Part II,
Economic Mess for Dummies,
The Fed Enabled a Ponzi Scheme,
Economic Mess for Non-Dummies,
Shame on the Government,
Who is Responsible for the Economic Mess?,
Can You Say Sucker, and
With Washington Bankrupt, Banksters Now Loot Main Street

For addition information about how "much of the financial industry has become a racket — a game in which a handful of people are lavishly paid to mislead and exploit consumers and investors," read:

The New York Times, Looters in Loafers,
The New York Times, What Goldman’s Conduct Reveals,
ProPublica, The Magnetar Trade: How One Hedge Fund Helped Keep the Bubble Going,
Vanity Fair, Betting on the Blind Side, and
This American Life, Inside Job.

The Vanity Fair article is an excerpt from The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, a book which profiles people who shorted the real-estate bubble. One of these individuals was Michael Burry, who realized "in May 2003 that the real-estate bubble was being driven ever higher by the irrational behavior of mortgage lenders who were extending easy credit." Since he couldn't short the mortgages in the traditional fashion without substantial downside exposure, Burry convinced Goldman Sachs to create credit-default swaps on the subprime-mortgage bonds, so that the "downside was defined and certain, and the upside was many multiples of it." "As early as 2004, if you looked at the numbers, you could clearly see the decline in lending standards. In Burry’s view, standards had not just fallen but hit bottom. The bottom even had a name: the interest-only negative-amortizing adjustable-rate subprime mortgage." The book describes the sheer ignorance of the mavens of Wall Street:

"The price of insurance was driven not by any independent analysis but by the ratings placed on the bond by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. If he wanted to buy insurance on the supposedly riskless triple-A-rated tranche, he might pay 20 basis points (0.20 percent); on the riskier, A-rated tranches, he might pay 50 basis points (0.50 percent); and on the even less safe, triple-B-rated tranches, 200 basis points—that is, 2 percent. (A basis point is one-hundredth of one percentage point.) The triple-B-rated tranches—the ones that would be worth zero if the underlying mortgage pool experienced a loss of just 7 percent—were what he was after. He felt this to be a very conservative bet, which he was able, through analysis, to turn into even more of a sure thing. Anyone who even glanced at the prospectuses could see that there were many critical differences between one triple-B bond and the next—the percentage of interest-only loans contained in their underlying pool of mortgages, for example. He set out to cherry-pick the absolute worst ones and was a bit worried that the investment banks would catch on to just how much he knew about specific mortgage bonds, and adjust their prices.

nce again they shocked and delighted him: Goldman Sachs e-mailed him a great long list of crappy mortgage bonds to choose from. “This was shocking to me, actually,” he says. “They were all priced according to the lowest rating from one of the big-three ratings agencies.” He could pick from the list without alerting them to the depth of his knowledge. It was as if you could buy flood insurance on the house in the valley for the same price as flood insurance on the house on the mountaintop.

The market made no sense, but that didn’t stop other Wall Street firms from jumping into it, in part because Mike Burry was pestering them. For weeks he hounded Bank of America until they agreed to sell him $5 million in credit-default swaps. Twenty minutes after they sent their e-mail confirming the trade, they received another back from Burry: “So can we do another?” In a few weeks Mike Burry bought several hundred million dollars in credit-default swaps from half a dozen banks, in chunks of $5 million. None of the sellers appeared to care very much which bonds they were insuring. He found one mortgage pool that was 100 percent floating-rate negative-amortizing mortgages—where the borrowers could choose the option of not paying any interest at all and simply accumulate a bigger and bigger debt until, presumably, they defaulted on it. Goldman Sachs not only sold him insurance on the pool but sent him a little note congratulating him on being the first person, on Wall Street or off, ever to buy insurance on that particular item. “I’m educating the experts here,” Burry crowed in an e-mail."

For a sad but true brief recap, watch:

Does Anybody Really Care?

UPDATE VIII: Compare the Steen case and video (below), to the case of a bycyclist pushed to the ground by a New York City police office, for seemingly no reason. That officer was prosecuted and convicted of lying to cover-up the incident. Read The New York Times, Ex-Officer Guilty in Shove of Bicyclist. Here is the video of that incident:

UPDATE VII: An internal review of the actions of the officer that caused the death of 17-year-old Victor Steen stated:

"After reviewing the video evidence in this incident, I believe that the pursuit did expose the subject to unreasonable risk of harm or injury. At times in the pursuit, Officer Ard drove his cruiser so close to the suspect’s bike that it would have been difficult if not impossible for him to stop if the suspect fell from the bike. I also found it disturbing that Officer Ard attempted to tase the suspect on a bike as he rode next to him. If this action would have been successful, it is very possible that the suspect would have sustained serious injuries from the fall."

Why was this review not discussed during the corner's inquest, or mentioned in the court's ruling?

Sounds like adequate evidence to find probable cause to charge the officer with manslaughter (Sec. 782.07, Fla. Stat.)? Or vehicular homicide (Sec. 782.071)?

Can you say whitewash.

UPDATE VII: Seems that the police officer's actions were a violation of the Pensacola Police Department policy. As a result of Steen's death, the officer was suspended for 80 hours without pay. Read Rick's Blog, Official PPD statement on Officer Ard.

Was the policy violation discussed during the corner's inquest, or mentioned in the ruling?

UPDATE VI: The verdict of the Coroner’s inquest is in. His death the result of over zealous enforcement of a statute making it a non-criminal traffic offense to ride a bike at night without a light. Read it and decide for yourself whether the outcome was justified:

UPDATE V: History teaches everything, including the future.

What does history teach about the Steen case. Read the Independent News, A Cycle of Injustice? A 1974 Death Reflects Present-Day Frustrations with Steen Case.

UPDATE IV: Yes people care -- if a dog is killed. Read the Pensacola News Journal, Marine's arraignment set March 31 in dog strangulation.

People even protested at his first appearance in court on Wednesday.

UPDATE III: For more on the Steen case, read the Independent News, The Pursuit Of Justice.

So what was the purpose of a coroner’s inquest. It is "a political shield."

"[S]ince 1988 at least 12 coroner’s inquests have been conducted in Escambia County in cases involving the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Two of those 12 cases resulted in a finding that officers contributed to the victim’s death. However, the state attorney did not initiate a prosecution in either case."

Read The Voyager, ACLU: Coroner’s inquest system flawed.

UPDATE II: Today's inquest testimony is the the officer didn't have time to stop. So does that mean that it is not his fault, or that he was following too closely? Read the Pensacola News Journal, Investigator: Ard could not have stopped.

If you hit the car ahead of you, would the excuse "I didn't have time to stop" exonerate you?

Time will tell if this inquest is a .

UPDATE: A gun was found in the pocket of the kid. According to an article in the Pensacola News Journal, Teen's final moments shown in videos:

An "investigator cut the pocket and removed a. 380 caliber handgun that was not registered to Steen, nor was it reported stolen.

Tracy Love, an FDLE fingerprint analyst, said that after a battery of five tests, she was unable to recover a single fingerprint from the gun, the magazine or the bullets.

The gun had seven bullets in the magazine and one in the chamber."How you get a gun in the pocket without getting fingerprints on it is a question we all wish to seek the answer to," Watson said after the hearing. "I'm not going to argue about the gun because, like I said in the beginning, what happened after the fact is not relevant. What we're concerned about is what happened before he was killed."

(Watson is the Steen family attorney.)

How does a gun get into a pocket without getting fingerprints on it?

After Hurricane Katrina, near tha Danziger Bridge in eastern New Orleans, five people were "walking to get food and supplies, and . . . two [others] were on their way to a family member’s dentistry office when they were fired upon by police officers. Four were seriously injured." Two were killed. It was immediately apparent that the shooting was unjustified. Moments later a police Lieutenant arrived at the scene and "he and the other officers began to plot a cover-up, planting a gun near the site to make the shootings appear justified."

I hope there has been further investigation of the 'clean' gun issue.

One dead black kid after the police use deadly force without justification. Watch the video:

Running from the police is not justification for using deadly force. And the officer used deadly force twice. The second use was hitting the kid with the vehicle, which was likely unintentional. But the first use was firing the taser at a person riding a bicycle.

Although there is no reason to believe that the officer intended to kill the kid, it seems that the risk of serious injury or death is likely where the police use a taser on someone riding a bicycle. And it appears that nothing the office knew during the chase justified the use of deadly force.

Should the officer be charged with manslaughter (Sec. 782.07, Fla. Stat.)? Or vehicular homicide (Sec. 782.071)?

Of course, no one really cares cause he was just a black kid.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Heaven, Hell and the Congressman

An oldie but goodie, from a friend:

While walking down the street one day a US senator is tragically hit by a truck and dies.

His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the man.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do
is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the senator.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules."

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians
who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.

They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar
and champagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises...

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door r eopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.

"Now it's time to visit heaven."

So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity."

The senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell."

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.

He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder.

"I don't understand," stammers the senator. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"

The devil looks at him, smiles and says, "Yesterday we were campaigning.. .

Today you voted."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

UPDATE II: Another story about a local good ol' boy profiting at the expense of the taxpayers. Read First Serve Magazine, Roger Scott Tennis, A Victim of Good Ol’ Boy Politics?

UPDATE: The grand jury decided which side of that statement Valentino was on when they indicted him on a misdemeanor charge of soliciting a campaign contribution in his county office. Read the Pensacola News Journal, Grand jury indicts Gene Valentino.

Rumor is that the Governor will "suspend [Valentino] because of the indictment" and "appoint either Dave Murzin or Holly Benson" to replace him until the criminal charge is resolved.

Escambia County Commissioner Gene Valentino, who is facing a grand jury over alleged improper solicitation of contributions for his re-election campaign, had the following to say:

"On a personal note, I can see why good people don’t run for office.” - Pensacola News Journal, Gene Valentino to face grand jury over meeting

It is alleged that Valentino illegally solicited campaign funds from an Escambia County contractor just before the the Commission voted to rebid a $1.7 million drainage project the contractor lost.

I wonder which side of that statement he thinks he is on.

Cheer Up Monday

From a friend, a little pun humor:

Those who jump off a bridge in Paris are in Seine.
A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.
Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.
Practice safe eating - always use condiments
Shotgun wedding - A case of wife or death.
A man needs a mistress just to break the monogamy.
A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
Dancing cheek-to-cheek is really a form of floor play.
Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
Condoms should be used on every conceivable occasion.
Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.
When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.
A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two tired.
What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead give away.)
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism your count votes
She was engaged to a boyfriend with a wooden leg but broke it off
A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed
With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered
You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
Local Area Network in Australia - the LAN down under.
Every calendar's days are numbered.
A lot of money is tainted - It taint yours and it taint mine.
A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat
He had a photographic memory that was never developed.
A midget fortune-teller who escapes from prison is a small medium at large
Once you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis..
Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
Acupuncture is a jab well done.

Happy Monday!

Friday, April 23, 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: stupid is indicted, first comes the lawsuit, now two graduations at two local high schools and

Nation and international: what should Crist do?, countdown to dismissal, are you ready to protest, and Comrade Mark's Republi-CON fairy tales.

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 some ass kickin' discussion of politics and current events!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Does Money Buy Happiness?

UPDATE II: If not Veronica or Betty, then is Archie gay?. Read the Washington Post, 'BETTY or VERONICA...or KEVIN?': First gay character enrolls at Archie's Riverdale.

UPDATE: Turns out that Archie marries them both in alternate realities as part of a slick marketing scheme. Read The New York Times, Archie’s Destiny, as Shaped by Robert Frost.

Brunette or blonde? Shallow, conniving, materialistic, but rich, or wholesome, cheery and kind? Did I say rich -- as in $8.6 billion rich?

After nearly 70 years, Archie pops the question. Will it be Veronica or Betty? Who would you choose?

Read the Washington Post, After 70 Years of Courtship, Archie Chooses . . . .

Next up, Mary Ann or Ginger? Given a choice, who would you marry?

If you can't decide, read the book.

Do you care?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

This Post is For All You Birthers Out There

UPDATE: Those delusional birthers are still at it -- six states have 'birther bills' moving through the legislature, include Arizona, Indiana, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Read the Washington Post, Arizona birthers: No clue, but plenty of company.

You might remember that the Grand Poobah of Birthers, Taitz was recently and unceremoniously denied permission to intervene in the health care lawsuit.

I wonder if Pastor Poppins will now rally support for a national 'birther bill.'

Their bitterness blinds them to the truth, Obama was born in the U.S.A.

This one is from the Pensacola News Journal, by a lawyer who makes way too much money, and is worth posting in whole:

July 29, 2009
Grown-ups in GOP fail to control 'birthers"
Mike Papantonio

Several years ago, I tried a case with a Texas lawyer who used a code to track potential jurors that he wanted to eliminate from his jury during courtroom jury selection. Next to each potential juror, he put letters and numbers that described his attitude about that potential juror.

I noticed that next to some names he wrote the words "googly eyes!" Every lawyer uses their special codes in trial, but I had never run across the term "googly eyes." He explained to me that a potential juror with "googly eyes" is someone who probably believes that Elvis Presley is still alive.

They are the ones who have seen a UFO and probably know someone who has been abducted by aliens. In casual conversation, they are likely to tell you that the Apollo moon landings were staged on a Hollywood movie set. Today, it is likely that potential jurors are making it onto that lawyer's "googly eye" list if they attended more than one Sarah Palin political rally or if they dressed up like Paul Revere or Martha Washington during a tea party protest.

People probably qualify for his "googly eye" list if they spend 10 minutes a week watching the Glen Beck crazy hour. Beck, after all, is the King of Googly Eyes.

Here is a standard I'm going to use to add names to my "googly eye" list when I ask potential jurors questions these days. It is this: Are they Obama-birther conspiracy theorists? Do they believe Lou Dobbs, who tells them that Obama is a citizen of Indonesia who has lived in the United States for 48 years with a forged birth certificate?

Do they seriously accept the idea that Obama is not eligible to be president?

Fringe Democrats looked equally ridiculous when they suggested that John McCain was not eligible to be president because he was born in Panama.

Fortunately, the grown-ups in the Democratic leadership put a quick end to that self-humiliation process and the issue disappeared, along with the few wing-nuts who raised the issue.

But there are too few grown-ups left around the GOP House to gain control over the Glen Becks and the Lou Dobbses who now control dialogue for Republicans. Because of that, completely sane Republicans have repeatedly fallen victim to these "googly-eyed" messengers who surface with their political party talking points.

The Obama birth certificate issue originated with a racist anti-Semite named Andy Martin. Martin, who characterizes himself as an Internet populist, has such a creepy background that Fox News apologized for allowing him to appear in its programming.

They were as appalled as anyone would be when they read his blogs characterizing a hugely respected federal judge as a "crooked slimy Jew who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race." So in the end, a head case like Martin launches the "birther" message and a TV personality like Lou Dobbs gives it credibility to where it sounds like a legitimate Republican talking point.

At the same time, you can bet there is a Texas lawyer using his "googly eye" code to make certain that anyone goofy enough to believe it never gets close to a jury box.

The birthers think that Obama's failure to respond is proof that their silly claim(s) are correct. I've tried to warn them that the failure to respond is a shrewd plan on Obama's part to keep the Republi-cons occupied and allow them to discredit themselves with a majority of the public.

But they just won't listen. There is no reasoning with a Republi-con.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Class Today at NoBullU on WEBY

UPDATE: Meet Susan Frishkorn at the Santa Rosa County Democratic Party Luau, 3-7 p.m., Gulf Breeze Shoreline Park, South, (cost for the luau is $25, Susan will gab with ya about politics for free):
Flier for Santa Rosa County Democratic Party Luau

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: teacher beware, 15-years boys will get ya 15 months, first comes the laswuit, now two graduations, is it better to be a dog than a black man in the South, who's your family?, and

Nation and international: countdown to dismissal, are you ready to protest, Cha-Ching, Baby, Cha-Ching, Justice Hillary Clinton?, Oprah unmasked, is it collateral damage, or murder?, more changey stuff, now it's Scrabble, is there no more respect for tradition anymore, I Wish I Was in Dixie (this after rise up and be counted Confederate Southern Americans (we love our country, we only wish it didn't exist and we still had slaves), does christian fundamentalism threaten world peace? , will it create a 'Communist Chocolate Hellhole', and religious evil or anti-Semitic like bigotry?

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 some ass kickin' discussion of politics and current events!

Teacher Beware, 15-Years Boys Will Get Ya 15 Months

Two former Jay teachers who had sex with students each were sentenced to 15 months in state prison today. Read the Pensacola News Journal, Ex-teachers get jail

Would a male teacher get more?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Thelma and Louise of Republi-CON Politics

UPDATE: President Palin? Not likely, she's just a "media psychodrama." Read The New York Times, Who Will Lead the Republican Party?

Read the Washington Post, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann meet Thelma and Louise.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Are Teabaggers the New Liberal Radicals?

UPDATE: Who are the Teabaggers? Angry older white Republican men, generally. Take a look at the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, Polling the Tea Party.

Does the Tea Party rage against the machine echo the 60's radicalism from the opposite end of the political spectrum? Read The New York Times, The Wal-Mart Hippies.

I'm sooooo confused?!?

Everyman For Himself Paradise

Don't like modern society and government. Want to get away from it all. Then read The New York Times, Embracing a Life of Solitude.

The article includes a list of Five Destinations for Solitude Seekers.

Have fun all you antimodernist neo-Luddites, and send me a note (by bottle or bird of course) telling me of the benefits of subsistence living!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Does Christian Fundamentalism Threaten World Peace?

Chuck Baldwin is the pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida, and was the presidential nominee of the Constitution Party for the 2008 U.S. Presidential election.

In his latest column, Army Report Says Christians Threaten US Foreign Policy, Baldwin discusses a paper written at the School of Advanced Military Studies, United State Army Command and Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. An abstract of the paper, titled Strategic Implications of American Millennialism, states:

Since the beginning of the Republic, various forms of millennial religious doctrines, of which dispensational pre-millennialism is the most recent, have shaped U.S. national security strategy. As the dominant form of millennialism in the U.S. evolves, it drives changes in U.S. security policy and subsequent commitment of the instruments of national power. Millennial ideas contribute to a common American understanding of international relations that guide our thinking irrespective of individual religious or political affiliation. Millennialism has great explanatory value, significant policy implications, and creates potential vulnerabilities that adversaries may exploit.

In the simplest usage of the word, millennialism refers to any belief system, religious or secular, which anticipates a purification of society or the world through dramatic and sweeping change. In the U.S. today, the most well-known and influential form of millennialism is a religious variant known in formal, theological parlance as dispensational pre-millennialism. This contemporary form of millennialism took shape during the 1970s and has significantly shaped current U.S. security policy. Dispensational pre-millennialism is loosely based on depictions of battle between the forces of good and evil in the biblical Book of Revelation. In the U.S., dispensational pre-millennialism contends that in the very near future Jesus Christ will ‘rapture,’ or remove his church from the Earth. A period of intense tribulations and battles will follow, culminating with a cataclysmic defeat of Satan. Jesus would then establish an earthly kingdom for 1,000 years – the millennium. Today, the theological doctrines of dispensational pre-millennialism contribute significantly to American culture. This has resulted in a pervasive sense of determinism and pessimism that has significant implications for U.S. security policy around the world.

Military leaders, planners and strategists require greater understanding of American millennial thought. Millennialism shapes both American culture and U.S. government policy. While most Americans are influenced to some degree by the ideas of pre-millennialism, many are unaware of the philosophical or theological underpinnings. Military leaders charged with interpreting policy into strategy and acting on behalf of the nation on the international stage cannot afford to remain ignorant of the effects of pre-millennialism. Due to a general lack of awareness of millennialism and an uneasy reticence to discuss religious factors, understanding and analysis of our own policies and motives is often deficient. Additionally, the cultural imprint that derives from millennialism impairs our understanding of the words, actions and motives of other actors on the world stage. These factors can be problematic for any military leader or planner attempting to achieve U.S. Government policy objectives through strategy, operations and programs.

What do you think?

Foreign Policy By Assassination

"Whether or not drone missile strikes and assassination plots are legal, are they a good idea?" Read The New York Times, The Price of Assassination.

How would you respond if a foreign country was assassinating local people in your community?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Wish I Was in Dixie

UPDATE IV: "The God of History bounds the Confederacy in its own chains." Read the declarations off secession and the words of the Vice-President of the Confederacy at The Atlantic, The Ghost of Bobby Lee.

Try as they might, Republi-con can't deny history.

UPDATE III: Confederate History Month celebrates the "fight over freedom or the Constitution or states' rights. But the "right" that was being fought over was the ability to own human beings, compel their labor, buy and sell them as if they were livestock, exploit them sexually and torture or kill them if they tried to escape." Read the Washington Post, Haley Barbour's 'diddly' sense of slavery's history.

Confederate History Month -- just more Republi-con revisionist history.

UPDATE II: Read the Chicago Tribune, It’s not hate, it’s hateful history.

I wonder if this will become an issue in the 2010 Arizona and Florida primary elections. Hey McCain and Hayward and Crist and Rubio, will you sign proclamations for Confederate History Month?

UPDATE: Open mouth, insert foot. Read the Washington Post, McDonnell's apology raises questions about what he really believes.

A celebration of heritage or pining for the good old days of segregation and white supremacy. Read the Washington Post, Confederates in the statehouse and Bob McDonnell can't change Virginia's history of slavery.

Bet those nostalgic for slavery can't wait to hear that ol' favorite, "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny," I'm sure "old darky's heart" miss "old Massa."

First, limos, private jets and night out at a lesbian bondage nightclub, now Dixie. What next, blackface minstrelsy singing at the 'cross lighting.'

No veepstakes for him.

Time to Wake Up?

UPDATE II: With major Tea party rallies planned for April 15th, a new group is preparing to disrupt the movement. "[S]ick and tired of that loose affiliation of racists, homophobes, and morons; who constitute the fake grass-roots movement which calls itself "The Tea Party,"" Crash The Tea Party intends to infiltrate Tea Party groups "in an effort to propagate their pre-existing propensity for paranoia and suspicion . . . [and] exaggerate their least appealing qualities (misspelled protest signs, wild claims in TV inter views, etc.)."

UPDATE: For more on the Coffee Party, read The New York Times, Coffee Party, With a Taste for Civic Participation, Is Added to the Political Menu.

First the Tea Party, now the Coffee Party, for those who want to give "voice to Americans who want to see cooperation in government. We recognize that the federal government is not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges that we face as Americans. As voters and grassroots volunteers, we will support leaders who work toward positive solutions, and hold accountable those who obstruct them."

Is this just more astroturfing?

And what next, the Milk Party?

How about the NoBull Party, where our motto would be NoBull.

Salty Language

"Uttering a taboo word in public is a great hierarchy-buster." Vice Presidents do it. Even Navy sailors are known to utter a profanity or three. "For those who use them, swear words are linked to emotion in a visceral way."

But have attitudes changed about insulting, rude, vulgar language? Not in California where it is Cuss Free Week. Read The New York Times, Why Do Educated People Use Bad Words?

There is even a No Cussing Club!

Congressman Tickler, The Republi-CON's New Golden Boy

UPDATE III: "[M]ale staffers complained that [he] touched them in a sexual manner, came up with reasons to have staffers travel alone with him on overnight trips, and expressed a desire to have sex with the men in the office."

Name that "The Republi-con New Golden Boy."

UPDATE II: In case you missed the story:

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UPDATE: From the Washington Post:

Gotta love those Republi-con values, defending a male Congressman who engaged in 'tickle fights' with his male staffers. Read Time, The Massa Circus Takes the Air out of Glenn Beck. and the New York Daily News, Ex-Rep. Massa confesses to 'inappropriate' text messages in bizarre Glenn Beck interview.

When it comes to vilifying the Naive-ocrats, it is hard to leave Beck-zarre speechless.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Justice Hillary Clinton?

Justice John Paul Stevens is retiring. So let the specualtion begin. Read The Atlantic, Hillary to the Supreme Court? and Vanity Fair, Supreme Court Justice Hillary Clinton?

She "has all the makings of a full-throated, strong-minded liberal stalwart on the bench.” And if the Republi-cons blocked a vote, he could threaten to nominate her husband.

But does Obama have the stomach for a confirmation fight?

Power Corrupts

UPDATE: Just how 'bad' is Oprah? Just ask Vernon Winfrey, who raised the future mogul and media queen as his daughter. “She may be admired by the world, but I know the truth. “So does God and so does Oprah. Two of us remain ashamed.

That's as bad an insult as I've heard in a while.

Even if it just celebrity power.

Read the Washington Post, Kitty Kelley's new book: Oprah has a diva snit in Washington antique store; "does not do stairs."

Just ask The Cheetah.

Cheer Up Monday

From a friend:

The Original Computer:

Memory was something you lost with age
An application was for employment
A program was a TV show
A cursor used profanity
A keyboard was a piano
A web was a spider's home
A virus was the flu
A CD was a bank account
A hard drive was a long trip on the road
A mouse pad was where a mouse lived

And if you had a 3.5 inch floppy.
You just hoped nobody ever found out!?!

For the women:

With time, women gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when the re is no more room, it distributes out to the rest of our bodies. So we aren't heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy.

Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, Holy crap, look how smart I am!

Must be where 'Smart Ass' came from!

Friday, April 9, 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: welcome to Bubba-ville, where we prosecute the dead, stupid is as stupid does, is it better to be a dog than a black man in the South, who's your family?, and

Nation and international: is he the master of PR, , is it collateral damage, or murder?, more changey stuff, now it's Scrabble, is there no more respect for tradition anymore, I Wish I Was in Dixie (this after rise up and be counted Confederate Southern Americans (we love our country, we only wish it didn't exist and we still had slaves), limos, and private jets and a lesbian bondage nightclub , oh my!, help the weak die, does the pastor condone cop killing?, Tuesday, August 24, 2010, will it create a 'Communist Chocolate Hellhole', and religious evil or anti-Semitic like bigotry?

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 some ass kickin' discussion of politics and current events!

Prosecuting the Dead

"The Arts Council of Northwest Florida misappropriated funds by paying its expenses with money it was supposed to give to local arts organizations, the State Attorney's Office said.

The State Attorney's Office announced Thursday that it was charging the now-defunct council with two counts of making false official statements. No official associated with the group was charged."

Read the Pensacola New Journal, Arts Council of Northwest Florida faces 2 charges

Read the press release, report (page 2), and information (page 4) from the State Attorney's Office charging the 'council' with two counts for making false official statements:

State Attorney's Office, Press Release Re Arts Council

What is the point of the prosecution. And what if no one appears to represent 'the now-defunct council,' figuratively I mean. Why would anyone hire a lawyer?

Talk about a waste of time. So what is the real purpose?

One local blogger says "Escambia County remains “Bubba-ville USA." (Bubba-ville USA includes other parts of NW Florida.)

So is the meaningless prosecution of a dead organization to assuage the public's anger at the misdeeds of the local good ol' boys?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Who's Your Family?

I thought of the question when I read the following in the Pensacola News Journal, Santa Rosa sets fees for Navarre Fishing Pier:

The Santa Rosa County Commission unanimously approved a schedule of user fees for the new Navarre Fishing Pier this morning. That includes annual passes for: adult, $240; seniors, $225, and youth, $200.

Originally, the proposed fee schedule included a family pass for $500, but pier manager Dorothy Slye pulled that idea off the schedule because of the potential complication such a pass could create, including what constitutes a family.

Not such an easy question to answer anymore?

Tune in tomorrow, and we'll try to help the Commission answer the question.

With Washington Bankrupt, Banksters Now Loot Main Street

The "nation's biggest banks are ripping off American cities with the same predatory deals that brought down Greece." Read Rolling Stone, Looting Main Street.

Who needs foreign enemies when ya got the Banksters, with help from their friends the Republi-cons, preying on tax payers and looting the future. Don't you just love deregulation!

And China laughs all the way to the bank.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Is It Collateral Damage, or Murder?

WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting a shooting (they called it indiscriminate slaying) of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad -- including two Reuters news staff. Reuters had been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the shooting (again they say unprovoked slaying) of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.

WikiLeaks calls it collateral murder. What do you think?

What would you think if a foreign country did that in an American city/town? Is it necessary to point out the harm done to world opinion?

Was the Iraq war worth the cost?

P.S. It reminds me of the death of Victor Steen.

How Now Republi-CONs

Which party will lead the way forward? Read The New York Times, Who’s Up for Building Bridges?

"It takes more than just saying no to thrive in the 21st century."

Religious Evil

UPDATE III: "On Good Friday, the Pope's personal preacher suggested in his sermon that criticism of the Pope reminded him of shameful aspects of anti-Semitism." Read or listen to, NPR, 'Churchgate': The Scandal That Won't Go Away.

So is it bigotry? Read Vanity Fair, The Catholics Aren't the Jews, They're the Soviets.

UPDATE II: "Why is the Catholic Church more prone to self-pity than self-reflection?" Read The New York Times, Devil of a Scandal.

UPDATE: "The Catholic Church, which gave up its credibility for Lent, can’t hide behind smoke and mystique as it faces a cascade of child sexual abuse cases." Read The New York Times, Should There Be an Inquisition for the Pope?

"As an archbishop in Germany, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, expended more energy pursuing theological dissidents than sexual predators." Read The New York Times, Doctrine Preoccupied Benedict as Archbishop.

More Changey Stuff

To allow, or not to allow, proper nouns? Read the Washington Post, U.S. players react to news that new Scrabble version will allow proper nouns.

Get over it people, it's just a game.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Help the Weak Die

What does society do to those who would torment another to suicide? Read the Washington Post, Kids gone wild, parents gone missing.

When it is everyone for themselves, there will be coercion, cruelty, and a lack of empathy.

Does the Pastor Condone Cop Killing?

Chuck Baldwin is the pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida, and was the presidential nominee of the Constitution Party for the 2008 U.S. Presidential election.

In his latest column, Baldwin appears to condone killing cops. Read The Hutaree Militia Raid, in which he references and approves of an "excellent column entitled “Casus Belli.” In that blog posting, the writer states "it is not necessarily a crime to kill a police officer."

The writer then cites a very, very old case to argue that a person is "not obliged to submit to an unlawful arrest, and he "had the right to use such force as was absolutely necessary to resist an attempted illegal arrest...." Quoting John Bad Elk v. The United States.

BEWARE, it is a crime to resist an arrest with force, even an illegal arrest.

REMEMBER, where the democratic election of government prevails and the law limits the power of government so that neither life, nor liberty, nor property can be taken by the state without due process of law, there is no justification for violence.

The pastor should be ashamed of himself.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Large Hadron Collider Will Create a 'Communist Chocolate Hellhole'

So says a traveler from the future. He also claims a future of limitless power, the end of poverty and Kit-Kats for everyone. Read CNET UK, Man arrested at Large Hadron Collider claims he's from the future.

Personally, I prefer peanut butter with my chocolate. But Kit Kat Peanut butter never caught on.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

All I need to know I learned from the Easter Bunny:

Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Everyone needs a friend who is all ears.
There's no such thing as too much candy.
All work and no play can make you a basket case.
A cute tail attracts a lot of attention.
Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day.
Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits.
Some body parts should be floppy.
Keep your paws off of other people's jelly beans.
Good things come in small, sugar coated packages.
The grass is always greener in someone else's basket.
To show your true colors, you have to come out of the shell.
The best things in life are still sweet and gooey.

Friday, April 2, 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'll be back next week. Until the next show, post a comment or two.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Bon Appétit

UPDATE III: BBQ RULES : We'll be entering the BBQ season shortly. Therefore it is important to refresh your memory on the etiquette of this sublime outdoor cooking activity. When a man volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events are put into motion:


(1) The woman buys the food.

(2) The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert.

(3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill - beer in hand.

(4) The woman remains outside the compulsory three meter exclusion zone where the exuberance of testosterone and other manly bonding activities can take place without the interference of the woman.

Here comes the important part:


More routine...

(6) The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.

(7) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is looking great. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another beer while he flips the meat.

Important again:


More routine...

(9) The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces, and brings them to the table.

(10) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.

And most important of all:

(11) Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts.

(12) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed 'her night off' and, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing some women!

UPDATE II: Reposted for Super Bowl Sunday.

Also, think fat, salt and crunch AKA fried pigskins (actually pork fat). Read The New York Times, For the Big Game? Why, Pigskins.

UPDATE: Manly BBQ needs a Man's Grill! Now this is a BBQ guaranteed to get everyone's attention. It should be towed with the barrel facing backwards, then you wouldn't have to worry about anyone tailgating you! My guess is the owner is from Texas!!!!!!

Ok, ya don't like French, but this ain't French cooking:

Looks yummy. Free Smiley Face Courtesy of

Called "The Bacon Explosion," but modestly called by its inventors "the BBQ Sausage Recipe of all Recipes." It has swept the Internet blogs and I blog so I thought I'd let ya know.

Get the recipe at: The New York Times, Take Bacon. Add Sausage. Blog.
And invite me to your Superbowl party for a taste. Free Smiley Face Courtesy of

UPDATE: For more details, see, Bacon Explosion: The BBQ Sausage Recipe of all Recipes.