Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Sunday, March 31, 2013

severe drought

Back to the severe drought again for us.  We got a nice drenching just yesterday afternoon, but we're still about five inches of rainfall short of "normal" again, already, this year.  

There are many ways of dealing with a drought, from new desalination plants to water conservation, but I'm sure that our brilliant Texas Governor, Rick Perry, will pooh-pooh all that (those things take money, work, and effort!) in favor of everyone just praying for rain.  That worked so well last time, didn't it, Rick?  You worthless asshole!

It's official: Houston now back in a 'severe' drought

by the SciGuy
According to the latest report of the U.S. Drought Monitor released this morning, nearly all of Harris County is now back in a severe drought. Just to the west of Houston conditions are worse still, with an extreme drought developing.

Current drought conditions. Click to enlarge. 
(U.S. Drought Monitor)

The situation continues to worsen across the state, with now more than 87 percent of Texas in a moderate or worse drought.

It’s not clear when relief might be coming.

After the very cold start to this week southerly winds have now returned to the Houston metro area, which will bring more clouds and considerably warmer weather beginning today and through the weekend.

Unfortunately, as has been the case for much of the last six months, forecasters say a series of disturbances that could bring rain to the area are likely to remain just to the north of the greater Houston region this weekend. We may nonetheless see a little light rain.

Our best chance of rain during the next week or so is likely to come Tuesday when a cold front moves through the area.

Forecast models have backed off rain chances with this front, which at one time looked pretty robust, but it still looks like this system has the potential to spark some pretty good rain considering all of the moisture from the Gulf of Mexico that will move inland during the next few days.

It will be cooler behind the front, with highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s.

I continue to hold out some hope that April may turn wetter.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Carrey on FUX

Jim Carrey has some choice words for the whores at FUX NEWS:

Since I released my "Cold Dead Hand" video on Funny or Die this week, I have watched Fux News rant, rave, bare its fangs and viciously slander me because of my stand against large magazines and assault rifles. I would take them to task legally if I felt they were worth my time or that anyone with a brain in their head could actually fall for such irresponsible buffoonery. That would gain them far too much attention which is all they really care about.
I'll just say this: in my opinion Fux News is a last resort for kinda-sorta-almost-journalists whose options have been severely limited by their extreme and intolerant views; a media colostomy bag that has begun to burst at the seams and should be emptied before it becomes a public health issue.
I sincerely believe that in time, good people will lose patience with the petty and poisonous behavior of these bullies and Fux News will be remembered as nothing more than a giant culture fart that no amount of Garlique could cure.
I wish them all the luck that accompanies such malevolence.
Well put, Jim!  See the whole article here.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Cold Dead Hand

Jim Carrey released a hilarious satire on gun owners.  

First, however, watch Cenk Uyger covers the ape-shit reaction to the video from FOX "News".

I found the embed code for the actual video, I think...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Will Smith B-Day

No, not THAT Will Smith.  William Smith, the "Father of Geology".  Who, you say?


March 23

William Smith
On this date in 1769, William Smith, known as the "Father of Geology," was born in Oxfordshire, England. Smith, who trained as an apprentice surveyor, single-handedly produced the world's first geological map in 1815 (of England, Wales, and part of Scotland), spending 15 years on the project. 

Smith, "whose agnosticism was well known," according to biographer Simon Winchester (The Map That Changed the World), produced a "map that heralded the beginnings of a whole new science . . . a map that laid the foundations of a field of study that culminated in the work of Charles Darwin. It is a map whose making signified the start of an era, not yet over, that has been marked ever since by the excitement and astonishment of scientific discoveries that allowed man at last to stagger out from the fogs of religious dogma, and to come to understand something certain about his own origins and those of the planet." [page 2] Winchester also noted: "For the first time the earth had a provable history, a written record that paid no heed or obeisance to religious teaching and dogma, that declared its independence from the kind of faith that is no more than the blind acceptance of absurdity. A science . . . had now at last broken free from the age-old constraints of doctrine and canonical instruction." [page 139] 

Smith went bankrupt, spending weeks in a debtor's prison, and was denied membership in the Geological Society until he was old. His ideas were right, and his methods are still used today. He won the first Wollaston Medal, which is the "Nobel Prize" for Geology. (There is no Nobel Prize for Geology, an unfortunate oversight.) His fossil collection is currently housed in the Natural History Museum (formerly part of the British Museum) in London.
D. 1834.

Dylan Ratigan

Did you know that Dylan Ratigan gave up his show on MSNBC and moved to California to work with an organic hydroponic farm?  What the ...? Bravo, Dylan!

Krugman on Cyprus

Well, well, well, turns out Cyprus is another one of those off-shore tax avoidance havens.  Who knew?  From all the media coverage of the Cyprus situation, not one hint of this, until I read Paul Krugman.  

It looks like some of the bigtime "investors" (i.e. those hiding lots of cash there) might have to take a large haircut.  Oh, boo hoo!  How frikkin' typical that the initial push was to penalize SMALL investors!!

I wonder when this kind of thing will happen to the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, and all the other tax avoidance paradises?  It galls me to think that in this time of severe economic stress, NOTHING has happened to close down or even slightly reform the laws to rein in all the BILLIONS of dollars that flock to these tax schemes to avoid paying taxes to multiple countries.  It's not right that the richest among us continue to get all the breaks while the rest of us struggle.

Same goes for the big banks.  All these shenanigans that cost taxpayers billions of dollars and there is practically NO reform in the works.  The big banks have only gotten bigger and stronger.  If you need any more evidence that we need to get big money OUT of government, look no further.

Treasure Island Trauma
by Paul Krugman
A couple of years ago, the journalist Nicholas Shaxson published a fascinating, chilling book titled “Treasure Islands,” which explained how international tax havens — which are also, as the author pointed out, “secrecy jurisdictions” where many rules don’t apply — undermine economies around the world. Not only do they bleed revenues from cash-strapped governments and enable corruption; they distort the flow of capital, helping to feed ever-bigger financial crises.
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
Paul Krugman
One question Mr. Shaxson didn’t get into much, however, is what happens when a secrecy jurisdiction itself goes bust. That’s the story of Cyprus right now. And whatever the outcome for Cyprus itself (hint: it’s not likely to be happy), the Cyprus mess shows just how unreformed the world banking system remains, almost five years after the global financial crisis began.
So, about Cyprus: You might wonder why anyone cares about a tiny nation with an economy not much biggerthan that of metropolitan Scranton, Pa. Cyprus is, however, a member of the euro zone, so events there could trigger contagion (for example, bank runs) in larger nations. And there’s something else: While the Cypriot economy may be tiny, it’s a surprisingly large financial player, with a banking sector four or five times as big as you might expect given the size of its economy.
Why are Cypriot banks so big? Because the country is a tax haven where corporations and wealthy foreigners stash their money. Officially, 37 percent of the deposits in Cypriot banks come from nonresidents; the true number, once you take into account wealthy expatriates and people who are only nominally resident in Cyprus, is surely much higher. Basically, Cyprus is a place where people, especially but not only Russians, hide their wealth from both the taxmen and the regulators. Whatever gloss you put on it, it’s basically about money-laundering.
And the truth is that much of the wealth never moved at all; it just became invisible. On paper, for example, Cyprus became a huge investor in Russia — much bigger than Germany, whose economy is hundreds of times larger. In reality, of course, this was just “roundtripping” by Russians using the island as a tax shelter.
Unfortunately for the Cypriots, enough real money came in to finance some seriously bad investments, as their banks bought Greek debt and lent into a vast real estate bubble. Sooner or later, things were bound to go wrong. And now they have.
Now what? There are some strong similarities between Cyprus now and Iceland (a similar-size economy) a few years back. Like Cyprus now, Iceland had a huge banking sector, swollen by foreign deposits, that was simply too big to bail out. Iceland’s response was essentially to let its banks go bust, wiping out those foreign investors, while protecting domestic depositors — and the results weren’t too bad. Indeed, Iceland, with a far lower unemployment rate than most of Europe, has weathered the crisis surprisingly well.
Unfortunately, Cyprus’s response to its crisis has been a hopeless muddle. In part, this reflects the fact that it no longer has its own currency, which makes it dependent on decision makers in Brussels and Berlin — decision makers who haven’t been willing to let banks openly fail.
But it also reflects Cyprus’s own reluctance to accept the end of its money-laundering business; its leaders are still trying to limit losses to foreign depositors in the vain hope that business as usual can resume, and they were so anxious to protect the big money that they tried to limit foreigners’ losses by expropriating small domestic depositors. As it turned out, however, ordinary Cypriots were outraged, the plan was rejected, and, at this point, nobody knows what will happen.
My guess is that, in the end, Cyprus will adopt something like the Icelandic solution, but unless it ends up being forced off the euro in the next few days — a real possibility — it may first waste a lot of time and money on half-measures, trying to avoid facing up to reality while running up huge debts to wealthier nations. We’ll see.
But step back for a minute and consider the incredible fact that tax havens like Cyprus, the Cayman Islands, and many more are still operating pretty much the same way that they did before the global financial crisis. Everyone has seen the damage that runaway bankers can inflict, yet much of the world’s financial business is still routed through jurisdictions that let bankers sidestep even the mild regulations we’ve put in place. Everyone is crying about budget deficits, yet corporations and the wealthy are still freely using tax havens to avoid paying taxes like the little people.
So don’t cry for Cyprus; cry for all of us, living in a world whose leaders seem determined not to learn from disaster.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Science marches on!  You can pray to Jesus all you want, but you should put your faith in science.

Soundscraper Transforms Vibrations from City Noise Pollution into Green Energy

An entry in the 2013 eVolo Skyscraper Competition, the Soundscrapers would be constructed near major motorways and railroad junctions, prime locations for capturing ambient vibrations. A sound-sucking material would cover the exterior of the tower with a double-skin layer, held away from the fa├žade on a metallic frame.

For each Soundscraper, 84,000 electro-active lashes would cover the metal frame and pick up noise from cars, trains, pedestrians and passing planes. Each of the lashes is armed with sound sensors called Parametric Frequency Increased Generators. Once the noise is picked up, an energy harvester converts the vibrations to kinetic energy. Transducer cells then convert the energy to electricity, which is stored or distributed to the grid for regular electric use.

The team estimates that just one Soundscraper could produce 150 megawatts of energy in a densely populated city, which roughly converts to 10% of the lighting needs of Los Angeles. The clean energy would also help the city reduce carbon emissions and reliance upon fossil fuels. Several Soundscrapers could drastically offset the electrical needs of a metropolis.

+ eVolo 2013 Skyscraper Competition

Monday, March 25, 2013


This past weekend the wife and I drove to Galveston to visit Mitch Moran, a firefighter from Bryan, Texas that was badly burned in a fire the day after Valentine's Day.  A story about the fire is here.  He has been in the burn unit at UTMB ever since.  (University of Texas Medical Branch - in Galveston, Texas).

Mitch suffered second-degree burns over 60% of his body.  One of the few fortunate things about this experience is that he is "only" 21 years old.  Fortunate in that he is healing rapidly, but it's a tragedy that such a brave and strong young man is suffering this much so early in his life.  A nicer, more-courteous young man you are not likely to find.

On this visit, we got to go inside the ICU and visit with Mitch for about a half hour.  It is painful just to see him.  On the plus side, his face was almost totally spared, but all of his hair was burnt off and his scalp got badly singed.  Doctors removed some of his right ear for a skin graft elsewhere on his body.  His left and right leg is totally bandaged, and only his right foot was uncovered.  All of his arms are bandaged, and only two of his ten fingers were unbandaged, although deeply scarred.  He struggles to simply lift his arms.  About half of his torso is also wrapped in bandages. 

The morning of our visit, they got Mitch up and he walked (with the aid of a walker, of course) up and down the hall a bit, the first time he'd been able to walk any since the fire.  His eyes were clear and sharp, his voice was full if somewhat halting, and his sense of humor was returning.

I cannot imagine what he is going through at this time.  They say that recovering from a bad burn is one of the more painful experiences.  He has undergone at least one skin graft operation per week since he arrived at UTMB, and they have taken his own skin from everywhere that they could, so now they are using some cadaver skin on him. 

Every day he has to spend some time in the "tub room" where they perform debridement.  He hates this as much as anything he has undergone since the fire.  Even though he is on industrial-strength painkillers, he was complaining that his back was "excrutiating."  They will only give you so much of the pain killing medicine, and then you have to just tough it out.

Shortly after he arrived at UTMB, he contracted shingles and pneumonia, two rather serious complications which have prolonged his recovery, but fortunately he is now clear of both of those.

It's estimated that he will remain in the ICU for at least another month.  After that, he will likely move to a regular room in the hospital for at least another month before being allowed to go home.  But even once home, he is facing months and months of physical therapy. 

The community really rallies around wounded firefighters and policemen, as they should.  There are not that many professions where people put their lives on the line for others every single day.  The city of Bryan has someone stationed at the hospital 24/7 in case Mitch needs anything.  The Lighthouse Charity Team of Galveston has provided endless food, free housing for the families of the injured as long as they need it, and any other kind of support you can imagine.  If you ever wanted to help out those who help others, this is a good place to start.  There has also been an endless stream of Bryan firefighters and Galveston Fire and Rescue guys coming by to check on him.  I think you can confidently say that these people (firefighters especially) are the best that America has to offer.  Humanity, perhaps.

This hits close to home for us because Mitch has been dating one of our nieces for the past couple of years.  They are (still) planning to get married.  Our niece is holding up pretty well, considering, despite losing 15 pounds since the ordeal.  She travels back and forth from San Marcos where she is finishing college to Galveston whenever she can (which is every week), staying in the housing provided by the Lighthouse Charity Team.

 After seeing Mitch, seeing him so torn up, thinking about his pain, and realizing the rehabilitation that he is going to have to endure for the next year or so, I swear I will not complain about ANYTHING. 

I salute the nation's firefighters.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Tomas Young

We have not forgotten what you did, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.  Millions of us have not forgotten, nor will we forget.  The GOP might want us all to forget, but we won't.

You see what you get when you allow thugs to steal the Presidency?  Lawlessness, grand theft, cronyism, abuse, torture, illegal wiretapping, greed, 9/11 and death.

Oh, but I'm not writing a letter to Bush & Cheney.  Tomas Young did.


To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
From: Tomas Young
I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.
I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.
I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.
Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.
I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues. Instead, this war has cost the United States over $3 trillion. I especially did not join the Army to carry out pre-emptive war. Pre-emptive war is illegal under international law. And as a soldier in Iraq I was, I now know, abetting your idiocy and your crimes. The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history. It obliterated the balance of power in the Middle East. It installed a corrupt and brutal pro-Iranian government in Baghdad, one cemented in power through the use of torture, death squads and terror. And it has left Iran as the dominant force in the region. On every level—moral, strategic, military and economic—Iraq was a failure. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences.
I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love. I would not have to lie in my bed, my body filled with painkillers, my life ebbing away, and deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings, including children, including myself, were sacrificed by you for little more than the greed of oil companies, for your alliance with the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire.
I have, like many other disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration. I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned. You, Mr. Bush, make much pretense of being a Christian. But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin? Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins? I am not a Christian. But I believe in the Christian ideal. I believe that what you do to the least of your brothers you finally do to yourself, to your own soul.
My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.

The Crucifixion of Tomas Young (TruthDig)


I saw it with my own eyes, but I don't believe it (there might be an ad in front).

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

GOP suicide?

The GOP hates those on public assistance so much, they just can't help themselves.  Go GOP!!  Straight to the graveyard!  Straight to oblivion!!

March Madness

No, I'm not talking about some ridiculous college basketball playoffs that mean a little less than a hill of beans.  I'm talking corporate tax avoidance.   

How can we let them continue to get away with this crap while budgets get slashed for every government program out there?  How can we let our politicians continue to allow this type of corporate thievery?  But not paying attention, is one way.  Ooh!  Who are the #1 seeds??   I don't give a fuck.

March Madness: The Fifth Straight Year of Extreme Corporate Tax Avoidance

5356105400 f1dfa33d2c mThe brackets are set for the big dance - the dance around tax responsibility. Most of the teams are in the bottom bracket. In this league, the lowest score wins.
Outside the stadium our nation's kids and seniors and low-income mothers may be dealing with food and housing cuts, but on the corporate playing floor new low-tax records are being set again this year. Just as this is a golden age for sports, this is also, as noted by the New York Times, "a golden age for corporate profits."
Corporations have simply stopped paying their taxes, perhaps using the 2008 recession as an excuse to plead hardship, but then never restoring their tax obligations when business got better. The facts are indisputable. For over 20 years, from 1987 to 2008, corporations paid an average of 22.5% in federal taxes. Since the recession, this has dropped to 10% -- even though their profits have doubled in less than ten years.
Pay Up Now just completed a compilation of corporate tax payments over the past five years, using SEC data as reported by the companies themselves. The firms chosen are top-earners who have filed 10-K reports through 2012. Their US Tax figures represent the five-year total of "current" payments.
The 64 corporate teams paid just over 8% in taxes over the five-year period.
The Slink Sixteen
General Electric: The worst tax record over five years, with $81 billion in profits and a $3 billion refund.
Boeing: In addition to receiving a refund despite $21.5 billion in profits, the company ranked high in job cuttingunderfunded pensions, and contractor misconduct.
Exxon Mobil: Made by far the largest profits in the group, but paid less than 1% in U.S. taxes, and yet received oil subsidies along with their tax breaks. Unabashedly reports a 2012 "theoretical tax" of over $27 billion, almost 90% of its total income tax expense. The company was also near the top in contractor misconduct.
Verizon: Second worst tax record, with a refund despite $48 billion in profits.
Kraft Foods: Received a refund from the public despite $13.5 billion in profits. Also a leading job-cutter.
Citigroup: One of the five big banks who are estimated to get a bailout/refund from the American public amounting to three cents from every tax dollar.
Dow Chemical: Received a refund despite almost $10 billion in profits.
IBM: Paid less than 3% in taxes while ranking as one of the leading job cutters, and near the top in contractor misconduct.
Chevron: In addition to a meager 4.3% tax rate and a share of oil subsidies, the company has been the main beneficiary of tax-exempt government bonds.
FedEx: The company paid less than 5% in federal taxes while relying on the publicly-funded Post Office to deliver thirty percent of its ground packages.
Honeywell: Less than 6% in taxes, a leading job cutter, near the top in instances of contractor misconduct, and run by the "Fix the Debt" CEO with the largest pension fund.
AT&T: An 8% tax rate, a leader in job cuts and underfunded pensions, and in the top 20 of contractor misconduct instances.
Merck: Notable for an 8.4% tax rate, job cutsoffshore holdings, and the top U.S. spot on the contractor misconduct dollar list.
Apple: Where to begin? Avoiding federal taxes, avoiding state taxeshiding overseas earnings, engaging in intellectual property schemes, using the "Double Irish" to transfer profits from Europe to Bermuda, and underpaying its store workers despite conducting most of its product and research development in the United States.
Pfizer: One of the leaders in stockpiling un-taxed profits overseas, and right behind Merck in contractor misconduct dollars.
Google: A master at the "Double Irish" revenue shift to Bermuda tax havens, while using tax loopholes to bring a lot of the money back to the U.S. without paying taxes on it. Recognized as one of the world's biggest tax avoiders.
Microsoft: Named as one of the biggest offshore hoarders while using tax strategies to bring much of their untaxed money back to the U.S., where it also avoids state taxes.
The Fouling Four
GE, Boeing, Exxon, and Apple. Merck almost crashed the party, but the competition was too stiff.
The Winner?
No one wins this game. In a financial sense they do, but the gains are outweighed by the greed and irresponsibility of tax avoidance.
All these companies, after using our infrastructure and technology and research facilities and higher education and national defense to build incomparably successful businesses, are now doing everything in their power to avoid paying anything back, while instead using a carefully manipulated set of "legal" business write-offs and exemptions and loopholes to cut their tax bills to almost nothing. And all the while they rant about the unfairness of the U.S. tax code.
The real madness is that human beings are suffering because of the tax games corporations play.

An obvious solution is to close all of those offshore loopholes and make corps pay their share.  And boom!  There goes the deficit!  But, no, I guess that would require too much courage on the part of our elected representatives.  No such luck, suckers.  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cat whisperer

We got very lucky with Luna, our rescue cat.  She has been nothing but love and hasn't bitten or scratched us EVER.  Hasn't ripped the furniture, attacked anybody else or exhibited any problem behaviors at all.  

Fortunately we do not have THE CAT FROM HELL.  

Ever heard of "The Cat Whisperer" on Animal Planet?  (See if you can wade through all of the commercials)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Toon time

You know, you think that the GOP can't get any worse, but .... they keep astounding everyone.

home remedies

What's so funny?!


I checked this out on Snopes and it's for real! 









THOUGHT for the day:


Sunday, March 17, 2013

kinder gentler Pope?

Ah so, we now have a "kinder, gentler" Pope.  (How hard is it really to appear kinder and gentler than Pope Joey Ratz?)  

But he still carries forward lots of backward, nutty ideas that very few people will ever pay attention to. I'd bet there are more "ex-Catholics" these days than there are Catholics.

I say very few.  Obviously, some will pay close attention.  For instance, on the local "news" the day they announced the new Pope, they did a remote shoot at a big Catholic church downtown.  One woman they chose to put on the air was saying, quite breathlessly, that "as soon as I heard the news of the new Pope I left work and literally ran to church so I could pray and say 'Thank God, we're not alone any longer!!'".  She almost had tears in her eyes.

She was praying to God, thanking God that, now that a new Pope had been named, she was no longer "Popeless" I guess.  Or leaderless.  Or ... brainless??

All I could do was to slowly shake my head.

And then the commentator says that Catholics "flocked" to the church after the announcement, and they cut to a shot inside the church.  It was huge, but it was only about 10% full.  This is "flocked?"  

Saturday, March 16, 2013

152 bullets

152 bullets were fired by Adam Lanza at Newtown, CT in December 2012.  In five minutes.  All but one were fired with a Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle.  One shot every two seconds for five minutes.  Those poor kids.  

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