Friday, September 30, 2011

30 September 2011 We don’t want no crybaby, baby-killer, losers

          Many off my generation were treated to an all expenses-paid trip to a lush tropical paradise.  Sharing the picturesque rice paddies and the streams that fell from the karst topography of the Annamese Cordillera were millions of farmers, rubber plantation workers, Viet Minh soldiers, an abundance of venomous snakes, and countless intestinal parasites. 
The accommodations were quite often world class in nature.

Only the finest building materials were used.

          The travel and adventure were so highly in demand that only a portion of the men and women of my generation were invited to make the trip.  Those unselected were forced to overcome their disappointment by attending universities, going to concerts and music festivals, and generally pretending that there was no great adventure taking place in the distant land of VietNam. 
          After our particular part in the adventure was over, we were encouraged to return to our families, friends, and lives as if nothing had happened.  It was in attempting that return that I met one of the men I will never forget. 
          He is a Marine.  I won’t say “former” Marine.  They do something to them at Paris Island & San Diego that the other branches of service either stopped doing or were never allowed to do – the Geneva accords come to mind- that makes them believe that they are all still ready to put their uniform back on and line up to storm the beaches. 
          When I first met him, he was recently returned from VietNam to be handed divorce papers by his wife.  He didn’t fare in that process despite his first wife having a Bachelor’s degree.  He was handed a very raw deal that even took almost all of his clothing
          That day was sub-freezing, damp, bone chilling.  He was dressed in USMC fatigue pants, a Kroger’s’ sweatshirt of a decidedly urine-hued yellow, and black high-top tennis shoes held together by duct tape.  A USMC field jacket pulled the whole thing together.  He had a Harvard book bag slung over one shoulder, pulling him off balance as he pedaled a broken-down bicycle with both its tires flat.  The air around him was blue with words not commonly used outside a recruit depot.  We exchanged names and discovered we were going to be in the same biology lab.  Alphabetically and academically, we were linked for the next three years.  It was to be an interesting association.
          Case in point: later that semester we were crossing a part of campus undergoing construction.  There was a large pile of dirt to our immediate front.  We exchanged a look and both of us tore up the dirt pile as if it was the last rampart of an enemy fortress.  Those more “normal” (non-veteran) students who saw us either shook their heads at our behavior or pretended not to see us.   We walked back down, lit cigarettes and shook hands.  Tobacco was my drug of choice in those days and he used it as well.   Where we had been, long-term health concerns were neither common nor realistic.   
          I’m trying to avoid naming someone who became one of my closest friends because he has not been consulted about appearing in this. 
          In the course of that 1st semester back on campus after our particular tours of duty we discovered how much change had taken place.  The world of undergraduates had turned without our input and we were not part of the culture.  Our participation in a war that was growing less and less popular left us unwelcome to a large portion of students who had avoided active duty in many manners.  The larger and more disturbing changes had happened within us and to us.  We discovered how little we had in common with most undergrads.  We learned that the veterans of previous wars were rabid about prosecuting our war, with our bodies; but wanted no truck with us. 
          So a few of us gradually connected and established our own safety nets.  We joked about digging in, putting out concertina and claymores.  But it wasn’t all joking. 
          I regained contact with my old friend last night.  The trust was still there after long years and many miles out of contact.  He still operates at a rapid tempo, providing a high-speed mix of comments, puns, plays on words, and an ability to turn off impulse control.  When he met me I was already spiraling into a tightly wound level of uneasy accommodation with a world I no longer belonged in.  I lacked his ability to turn off that impulse control. 
          It was not a good time and place to be a veteran returning home.    
          There’s more to be told of this tale. 
Shabbat Shalom!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

29 September 2011 Retraction!

Chag Sameach!
          Once in a while one receives incorrect information.  Such is the case in a post I made on Facebook.  I looked at a chart concerning debt increases under Presidents since Reagan.  The chart fits my political bent.  Without verifying it, I passed it onward. 
          Today, Fact Checker defines this as false.  Rather than compound my error by addressing parts of their response; I offer the link for their review and explanation. 
          I’ll try to avoid repeating the need for retractions.  I’ll acknowledge my error and not dig myself in more deeply in an attempt to hide my error.  I took Bachmann to task over just such an error.  If I’m to continue demanding she and others act responsibly, I must apply the same standards and separate fact from fiction.  Commentary and opinion must be noted as commentary and opinion. 
          Here’s the truth of the matter, as I now understand it to be.
Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 09/29/2011
A bogus chart on Obama and the debt gets a new lease on life

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

28 September 2011 OH, that is out of stock

          Today’s episode of “wait for the gift card” opens with a new twist. 
After another complaint on my part, I have been informed that the igiftcard company can’t deliver the gift card I contracted for because the “item is out of stock.” 
          They tell me that they have ordered more gift card electronic numbers, which have yet to arrive.  This is most likely true.  However, if it is the case, it was certainly known to them Monday, the first delivery window; Tuesday, the second delivery window, and today before they received my most recent complaint. 
          This may be entirely above board.  However, I find it unacceptable business practice.  It has taken them eight days to inform me that an item I contracted for is “out of stock.” 
          They will not receive any further business from me.  I was wondering what to do with the current remaining Hipoints.  Now I’m convinced that they aren’t worth the irritation.  Harris Poll online is going to get the full tale in their customer support in-box.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

27 September 2011 The rewards of Harris Polling

          Over a decade ago, I was recruited to join in Harris Poll online surveys.  Harris obtained a source of data at very little expense to the company.  I, in exchange for my time and trouble, began to accumulate something called “Hi Points.  Said points were awarded by the polling company at rates set by them.  Such rates supposedly had and have to do with the length and complexity of each survey. 
          For the period since my recruitment through the 1st half of 2011, the points have been redeemable for items selected from a list linked to the number of points one has amassed.  “For 3000 points…  For 7000 points…
          Over the years, I have redeemed my “Hi Points” for a counter-top cappuccino machine (with express capability) that Gloria found of interest, and for a very low-end backyard refractor telescope that interested me.  The telescope has largely gathered dust indoors rather than light outdoors.  I’ve used it a bit this past summer to search for and view a supernova that astronomers have been very excited about.  Perhaps this fall and winter it will get more use.  I hope I learn enough in class to make it useful.  
          The point to keep in mind is that when points were redeemed the item of choice arrived quickly.
          Last month the redemption process changed.  HiPoints are now only usefull in exchange for gift cards.  Most of the gift cards are for magazines, movies, restaurant meals, and other items that are of little interest or for restaurant companies that do not exist in this commercial region.  
          Then I noticed something called an i-card.  While I own no items inscribed with Apple’s pirated alphabetic logo I discovered that said i-cards could be redeemed at a few on-line stores I actually had interest in.  LLBEAN, Cabelas, REI showed up.  I found a card I could afford and went into the LLBean catalogue to try to match a useful item with a card limit.  The redemption guide made it sound as if I could shop, select, purchase and apply the gift card. 
          Not at all so.  Rather it was redeem points for card.  Wait 3-5 days for an electronic verification of my eligibility to redeem the points for the card.  Go back on line and open an account with i-cards – an account I do not want as I will not be purchasing i-cards as gifts for others – order card, wait 1-2 business days to have the i-card delivered by e-mail.  Hope that the item I selected is still in stock. 
          It’s been two business days now.  The i-card has not arrived.  I’ve selected the item I can use  from LLBean’s on-line catalogue but until I have the i-card in hand I don’t want to order it.  I suspect that there will further hoops to traverse. 
          The old redemption plan rarely had that much I wanted; so I could let my HiPoints accrue and use the rarely and with no discontent.  The new system offers me fewer good options to redeem points for items that I might actually want. 
          I’ve gotten tired of the largely repetitive surveys from Harris Polls.  I’ve been considering terminating my services to them.
           There’s just the matter of the residual 1,031 points in my account.  It will most likely require another 6 months of surveys to amass sufficient points to redeem them for another i-card.  Or, perhaps Amazon will offer a card that I can use to buy Kindle downloads. I only know that it’s certain that I have no interest in the offering currently available, one of four popular culture magazines. 
          Harris Polls should have polled me about this change. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

26 September 2011 Someone to vote for, not someone to vote against

The third-party stump speech we need
By Matt Miller, Published: September 25
This is one columnist’s stab at what a candidate might sound like if he or she were trying to appeal to the majority of voters in the middle of the electorate who feel both parties are failing us.
            “My fellow alienated Americans:
            “How’s this for something different? I want to raise your taxes, cut spending on programs you like, and force you to rethink how we run our schools, banks, armies, hospitals and elections. And I want you to cheer when I’m done. Because if you embrace the “decade of renewal” I’m calling for, we’ll emerge with a more competitive, sustainable and just America — the kind of America we all want to leave to our children.
          I read Miller’s column in the Washington Post.  I see his appearance on Bill Maher’s television program.  In both instances he sometimes seems to be too Libertarian for my comfort.  However, he has never said anything that causes me to believe he is willing to let the uninsured die, the poor remain uneducated and hungry, or that the Christian right should be allowed to take over our government. 
          Today’s Democratic Party is not the party of Wilson, FDR, Truman, Kennedy, or even LBJ, the  party that I grew up believing placed people before business.  The extreme left wing of today’ Democratic party  has become a tangled  ball of special interests with low numbers but enough funding to assure that their views remain in the public’s field of vision.  If there was ever a home for anti- Zionist, anorexic vegans who think animals deserve the franchise, who oppose vaccination against communicable diseases because the causative bacteria or viruses may be harmed, who persist in believing that autism is pharmaceutical house product, it is in the 2011 Democratic Party.
          Nor is the Republican party of 2011 a party that had leaders and member who valued intellect and which place nation, at least to a degree over sheep-like followers and leaders who care only for re-election and unbridled greed.   If anti-taxation, anti-Semitic, pro-Israel, pro-slavery, anti-intellectuals who oppose vaccination for communicable diseases because it isn’t ordained in the King James edition, who oppose abortion but encourage capital punishment, who will happily allow the poor to starve rather than allow government to house and feed them, have a political home, it is in the teavangelist wing of the 2011 GOP.
          Frankly, both parties have exceeded their usefulness.  The Democrats lack the integral courage to oppose Eric Cantor’s childish tantrums.  The GOP lacks the integrity of a flatworm and personifies parsimony, and hypocrisy while growing ever fatter and richer by allowing unethical interactions between government and business to destroy the global economy at the expense of most of America’s citizens’ economic and social futures. 
          Miller’s proposed speech is not that different from proposals already offered by Obama.  It demands changes that would reduce the funding sources for both parties to begin another round of mindless screaming in blind opposition to actions that would outrage the outer wings of either existing party.  I could stomach Obama making this speech, but it will never happen.  His party lacks the balls to support him in Congress. 
          The GOP’s teavangelist wing would continue to oppose Miller’s suggestions simply because Obama might support them.  They hate him so terribly that they will see the country destroyed before they support anything he might support. 
          I’d vote for Miller’s proposed 3rd party.  Honestly, I’d be tempted to vote for anyone running in opposition to either the Democrats or Republicans just to see them all thrown out of office.  I’m 63 years of age and I’ve never been able to vote for a candidate for POTUS whom I honestly felt was an honorable, worthwhile candidate, more concerned with our nation and its citizens than with defeating the opposing party and winning re-election. 
          Give me that candidate; give most Americans that candidate, keep the churches, the drug companies, insurance companies, energy companies, and other lobbyists out of the election; and I’ll vote for that third party.  Most of us might.  Anything but the status quo may possibly be an improvement.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

25 September 2011 Calculators, guess rods, and WAGs

          I’m enrolled in Astronomy this semester.  Read that as “astro-physics.” 
          However, I’m studying mathematics more than astronomy.  I’ve had a mostly easy return to academic endeavors to date.  My long-term interest in history and my still functional recall of ink on pages, along with the simple act of actually listening to the various lectures has served me well.  Add in my freedom to enroll in only those classes that interest me, and I would be pulling down A’s if I were being graded.  
          Astronomy is a repeat course.  I barely survived an earlier attempt at expanding my knowledge of the Cosmos and the laws of physics that define them.  The reason was largely lack of mastery of mathematics at the necessary level. 
          There were no cheap and available scientific calculators 40 years ago.  The few that were available generally cost a semester’s tuition and had little more capability than add, subtract, multiply and divide.  (For the text challenged, that is (+), (-), (x), & (÷)).  The calculators that could and would replace our slide rules were still several years in the future. 
          For logarithms, trigonometric functions, squares, cubes, and roots, the slide rule still ruled the desk.  Exponents were handled by adding and subtracting them on paper or in our brains.  Scientific notation was second nature, and the standard level of confidence was three significant figures, again, because of the limitations of vision and the construction of slide rules. 
          The same limiting factor, lack of higher math skills, is beginning to affect my ability to study astrology again.  I need to journey back 40 years or so and refresh my acquaintance with the world of equations, expressions, functions, with the principles that allow Algebra, geometry, and trigonometry to become problem solving tools rather than problems that limit the application of knowledge. 
          Throughout my education, my verbal skills have always exceeded my math skills.  I survived my required chemistry courses by means of exacting technique and the application of formulae as necessary.  The physiology and physics classes took quite a lot of repetitive study time with a textbook open to the appropriate formulae. 
          The evolution of computerized and computer-integrated instrumentation in the clinical lab allowed me to keep current and required me to spend long hours reading operators guides, trouble-shooting guides, and all the other documentation that came with new hardware.  As my career unfolded, the necessity of working out new formulae and applying them to a particular assay or analysis decreased in inverse relation to the technical advances in instrumentation.  We still used hand-held calculators in some analysis but the formulae were built in and their use became repetitive.  The slide rule vanished and math became just another mechanical application that we used like a pipette, a microscope, or an immunochemical marker system. 
          This brings me to the current semester.  Math skills, like all other skills, fade into obscurity and are forgotten if not used and kept forward in the brain’s storage system.  I now find myself going to class with a slide rule, a new TI scientific calculator, and operator/usage guides for both.  The calculator is a gem, programmed for algebraic calculations.  It will last me the rest of my academic life if I tend to its batteries.  The accuracy it achieves is far in excess of the three significant digits my aging Pickett slide rules can provide.  I have both guides on my laptops.  I also have two study guides on demand .  Those links are listed below.   They don’t take the place of attending math and physics classes, I’ll need to find time for those if I want to regain and retain currency.  I do the necessary calculations using my new hand-held TI calculator that has more memory than many mainframes had when I was an undergraduate.  I follow up on my slipstick just to keep the skill alive in my hands and head.  Last of all, I try the WAG method.  There's often at least a 25% possibility that it will be correct.  After all, generations of engineers have made it the standard!  Will we cross that bridge when we come to it?
          The effort required to learn mathematics over again will be sizeable.  But mathematics is a necessary language if one intends to be truly literate.  This will be a much harder semester than those previous.  The reward, if I obtain it, will be well worth the effort.  Knowledge is never free but almost always worth the cost. 
Back to the books.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

24 September 2011 From Poland to the USNA

          Today’s program is brought to you by the word “progrom.”
          The first United States recipient of a Nobel Prize in science was Albert Abraham Michelson.  Michelson was brought to the U.S. at the age of 2 by his parents from the Kingdom of Prussia (now geographically in Poland. 
          Michelson was appointed to the USNA by President Grant.  After graduation and 2 years of sea duty, he was returned to the Academy as an instructor in physics and chemistry.  His experiments provided the first acceptably accurate measurement of the speed of light.
          He measured the speed of light in air to be 299,864±51 kilometers per second, and estimated the speed of light in vacuum as 299,940 km/s, or 186,380 mps.” 
          His biography is well worth reading.
          His experiments and findings are a prime example of the cost of European anti-Semitism with regard to the loss of intellectuals whose came to contribute to modern science, medicine, and other highly important fields of study.  They helped vault the young United States into prominence over the nations of Europe, which ejected or forced European Jews to immigrate because of exclusion from universities, unequal press-gang military conscription, widespread exclusion from the social structure, and pogroms. 
          Round 2
Rickover is known as the "Father of the Nuclear Navy", which as of July 2007 had produced 200 nuclear-powered submarines, and 23 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and cruisers, though many of these U.S. vessels are now decommissioned and others under construction.
          From that part of Poland that was once the Pale of Settlement, Rickover was brought to the U.S. by parents fleeing pogroms.  He entered Annapolis after high school and was graduated in 1922. 
          He was a unique and powerful individual, not popular among his fellow naval officers but well connected in Congress.  The Congressional resources allowed him to survive multiple attempts to force him to retire, resulting in four stars and the longest active duty career of any U.S. Navy officer to date, 63 years. 

And in the also interesting column.  Sholom Schwartzbard is distantly related to me.
He was not a USNA appointee, but I was.  Bad vision prevented my attendance.

That’s all for today.


Friday, September 23, 2011

23 September 2011 Throw rocks, burn tires, a peaceful Arab demonstration

Palestinians submit statehood bid to U.N.
By Column Lynch, Updated: Friday, September 23, 12:21 PM
“UNITED NATIONS — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday formally presented U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon an application for Palestinian membership as a state in the United Nations, setting the stage for the certain defeat of the measure in the U.N. Security Council, where the United States has threatened to block it.”
Cassi Creek:
          Just prior to Abbas’ speech would-be-Palestinians demonstrated “peacefully” in the West Bank by throwing rocks and bottles at Israeli police and burning tires in the road.  No injuries were reported.   Another such demonstration took place between would-be-Palestinians and a group of Israeli settlers.  The second “peaceful” demonstration reportedly produced one fatality. 
          The would-be-Palestinians have had 64 years to form and maintain a state on the land assigned them by the partition settlement that simultaneously created Israel.  Instead, parts of that land were annexed by Lebanon and Jordon while the Arab states attempted in several wars to destroy Israel.  After 64 years of failure to create their own state, they now want the UN to step in and give them Israeli land, with its attached infrastructure.
           The would-be-Palestinians have repeatedly refused to negotiate in good faith.  No other nation on Earth would be asked to accept 6 million hostile immigrants into its territory.  No other nation on Earth has been asked to return land taken in a defensive battle.  And Israel should not be asked to give up Jerusalem.  Islamic claims to Jerusalem fail to take into account the continual presence of Jews in Jerusalem since it was made the capital of Biblical Israel. 
          Netanyahu spoke at the UN but the applause was much too thin.

          Autumn arrived today at 0409.  We are officially marching toward winter.  That must explain the spring-like thunderstorms we’ve been having this week. 
          We closed the pool for the season.  In attempting to dry out the existing solar blanket, we managed to catch Gloria’s right hand in the roller frame.  She was in such pain that her initial scream scared Loki.  We were able to free her hand.  There is no apparent open skin injury.  Her 1st, 2nd and 3rd fingers were badly bruised but she seems to have escaped other injury.  She has near-normal function and good capillary refill.  There’s no crepitus and no malformation.  .  I feel absolutely horrible about her injury.   We were extremely lucky that she sustained no greater injury. 
          Shabbat Shalom!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

22 September 2011 It comes as no surprise

What the tea party is — and isn’t

            “”…Over the past three decades, the size of the base within the party has grown significantly. At the same time, those activists were becoming more and more conservative in their views — and more and more hostile in their evaluations of the opposing party. When these activists were asked to rate Democratic presidential candidates on a thermometer scale of 1 to 100, the average fell “from a lukewarm 42 degrees in the late 1960s to a very chilly 26 degrees in the 2000s,” Abramowitz said.
            “In other words, the Republican base was primed to dislike Obama as president. In fact, it already did before he was ever sworn in. “People attending the tea party events that began early in the Obama administration expressed the same vehement hostility toward Obama first observed at campaign rallies for John McCain and Sarah Palin” in the fall of 2008, writes Gary Jacobson of the University of California at San Diego…”
Nicol C. Rae of Florida International University sees the tea party as a populist rebellion reacting not just to Obama, but also to “the failure of the Republican Party in power from 2001-2006 when it controlled the White House and both houses of Congress and yet did little to fulfill the conservative political agenda.”
            “Both Abramowitz and Jacobson drill down into survey research to analyze the demographic and ideological makeup of those Americans who call themselves tea party supporters. That group constitutes about a fifth of the adult population, although active participants in tea party rallies are a much smaller fraction of the population than movement sympathizers. (Abramowitz estimates it at no more than 5 percent of the adult population.)
            “As many media polls have shown, people who are “white, married, older, less educated, higher income ... from the South and more religious tend to have more favorable opinions of the tea party movement,” Jacobson writes.”
Cassi Creek:
          The conclusion regarding the teavangelists wing of the GOP should come as no surprise.  It is the spawn of Nixon, Reagan, and Bush II’s southern strategy.  Lift the tri-corn hats and find the KKK hood. 
          I’m running on fumes this morning so I’ll let the work of Luckovich andCarlson speak loudly while I recoup.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

21 September 2011 I have no problem with class warfare, if we win

Boehner on Obama debt plan: ‘I don’t think I would describe class warfare as leadership’

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) sharply criticized President Obama’s deficit-reduction plan Monday, calling the proposal to raise $1.5 trillion in new revenue a failure of leadership.
“I don’t think I would describe class warfare as leadership,” Boehner told Fox Business Network, according to advance excerpts of an interview scheduled to air at 5 p.m. Eastern. “The government has a spending problem, and I don’t believe it makes any sense to tax the people we expect to invest in our economy.”
Cassi Creek:  Thus surfaces the promise that the teavangelists and GOP will make public the ongoing war that they have been waging against the workers of America and the struggling remnants of the former middle class. 

          Boehner acts as if class warfare is a new matter, a new war.  It most certainly is not.   Look back in our history. 
We find class warfare being waged by the robber barons, the oil and steel monopolies, the railroads, cattle and sheep barons, newspaper and film conglomerates, and mining companies. 
          There was open warfare in the opposition to the unionization of American blue-collar workers.  There was open warfare in the opposition to Social Security.   The opposition to a minimum wage and to Medicare and Medicaid were public facets of class warfare. 
          VietNam and all American wars since are glaring examples of class warfare.  Fogarty’s song is widely believed to be about Former VP Al Gore.  While he fits the image most closely, we should not forget the fact that another VP, Dan Quayle used his family’s wealth and connections to avoid any chance of combat.  So did VP Cheney. 
          Essentially, anyone who could afford to stay in school, anyone with a politically connected family did not have to take part in VietNam.  And since all our troops are now volunteers, the fortunate sons and daughters are never going to be in harm’s way.  Congress can allow and/or approve foreign warfare without the risk of losing their offspring to the random bullet or IED. 
          Exporting jobs to third world nations is class warfare against two nations at a time.  Our ruling class has become expert at that maneuver.  
          The efforts to overturn the social safety nets, to eliminate vacations and sick days, to eliminate minimum wage laws, and to end unemployment insurance benefits are all forms of class warfare. 
          The business and financial CEOs and board members,  health insurance executives, and others who provide high dollar funding for re-election campaigns are not going to miss meals, lose homes, or spend months searching for a job that may never exist again.  The politicians are waging war by rigging the election districts in such a manner that the popular vote may never be the actual deciding factor in Presidential elections.  Look at the current scheme taking place in Pennsylvania.
          There should be no mistake in anyone’s mind.  Boehner knows full well that there is class warfare taking place in every American city and town.  His wailing and weeping about the  hardships of the wealthy if they are handed increased tax rates is frankly bullshit.  The use of the phrase “job-killing” attached to every public utterance is a signal to his faithful that they can blame their own refusal to create jobs on Obama and on the Democrats; even on those few GOP members who might have the balls to spit at Grover Norquist and to tell the teavangelists to read the Constitution that they are trying so hard to overturn. 
          The war is here, it’s ongoing, and it must be won by the people on the left and in the steadily shrinking middle.  Otherwise, we will find ourselves citizens of a nation with no more future than Mexico. 
Fortunate Son – Written by John C Fogarty
Some folks are born made to wave the flag
Ooh, they're red, white and blue
And when the band plays "Hail to the chief"
Ooh, they point the cannon at you, Lord
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no senator's son, son
It ain't me, it ain't me; I ain't no fortunate one, no

Some folks are born silver spoon in hand
Lord, don't they help themselves, oh
But when the taxman comes to the door
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yes

It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no millionaire's son, no
It ain't me, it ain't me; I ain't no fortunate one, no

Some folks inherit star spangled eyes
Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord
And when you ask them, "How much should we give?"
Ooh, they only answer More! more! more! yoh

It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no military son, son
It ain't me, it ain't me; I ain't no fortunate one, one

It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one, no no no
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate son, no no no

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

20 September 2011 It came out of the sky landed just a little south of Moline

6.5-ton UARS Satellite Coming Down – Everybody Panic?

NASA's 6.5-ton UARS Satellite will de-orbit... pretty soon. When it re-enters the atmosphere, there will be a light show of immolation as parts get torn off and ignited by atmospheric friction, vaporizing the satellite… well, all but that pesky half ton remainder.
A dead climate satellite that has been circling Earth for 20 years will make a fiery death plunge this week, with some pieces of the 6 1/2 ton spacecraft expected to reach the surface of the planet, NASA officials say.

The bus-size Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS, will likely plummet down to Earth sometime around Friday (Sept. 23), according to NASA's latest projections. There is a 1-in-3,200 chance that UARS debris could hit a person, though NASA considers that scenario extremely remote.
"Re-entry is expected Sept. 23, plus or minus a day," NASA officials wrote in an update posted Sunday (Sept. 18). That means that by Saturday (Sept. 24), the UARS satellite should slam into Earth's atmosphere and break apart.

          Credence Clearwater Revival was one of the truly magnificent bands to surface from the 1960s.  They had a carefully crafted southern/swamp rock twangy sound that screamed of Deep South origins.  In truth, they were San Francisco regional products.          I’ve always liked “It came out of the sky.”  The twangy bar/garage band sound and steady driving beat make it fun to listen to and to play.  They lyrics nail the way things happened in the days of the missile/space race. 
          I grew up in the lower mid west.  There were always UFOs appearing to people who were only too ready to report them and take any fame and fortune that might derive from the sightings.   At least one local newspaper stringer would show up to photograph any eviscerated cattle that might have been somehow related to the little green visitors.  The local cops would show up and poke around for the cameras.  If it was a particularly slow news day, the FBI might even put in an appearance. 
          The local fundamentalist churches would get into the act as well.  Such sightings were invariably either a work of the devil or a harbinger of the second coming.  A truly great bible thumper could work both angles in and attack the Pope, the Catholic Church, and the international Jewish conspiracy. 
          When the local chapter of the John Birch Society showed up the real fun took place.  All such sightings were somehow products of Soviet espionage and treasonous behavior by anyone who declined to search under their beds for reds three times a day. 
          This CCR song captures all this furor and insanity in a 2 minute 57 second track.   
          CCR sometimes delved into social commentary.  John Fogarty penned a few lyrics that have maintained their edge. 
Wrote A Song For Everyone(J.C. Fogerty)

Met myself a comin' county welfare line.
I was feelin' strung out, Hung out on the line.
Saw myself a goin', down to war in June.
All I want, All I want is to write myself a tune.

Wrote A Song For Ev'ryone,
Wrote a song for truth.
Wrote A Song For Ev'ryone
And I couldn't even talk to you.

Got myself arrested, Wound me up in jail.
Richmond 'bout to blow up, Communication failed.
If you see the answer, now's the time to say.
All I want, All I want is to get you down to pray.



Saw the people standin' thousand years in chains.
Somebody said it's diff'rent now, look, it's just the same.
Pharoahs spin the message, round and round the truth.
They could have saved a million people, How can I tell you?


Monday, September 19, 2011

19 September 2011 The truth is that the truth doesn’t matter.

Cassi Creek:
Like Wilkinson, I believe it is already too late for Ms. Bachmann.  The brain damage is already obvious. 

FRIDAY, SEP 16, 2011 15:30 ET
Bachmann: It's ok to spread lies about vaccines because I never said I'm a doctor
After claiming that the life-saving HPV vaccine causes "mental retardation," the candidate declines to apologize VIDEO
                “The other day, Michele Bachmann said that the HPV vaccine made someone "mentally retarded," which is not only untrue but also the sort of remark that leads to parents denying their children vaccines that could save their lives.
                “When confronted on this, after a few days of both liberals and conservatives decrying her, Bachmann did not really apologize or correct the record. Instead, she said it's OK for her to say things like that because she never told anyone she's a doctor. As long as you don't lie about a doctor, you can claim anything you like about medical matters, on TV, and it's OK! (I'm not a doctor but I heard that if you make your baby wear a onesie with a "funny" slogan on it your baby will die.)”
Cassi Creek:
          Obviously, there is no room and little regard for the truth in Bachmann’s campaign. She has a proven history of reaching into a bag of newly manufactured statistics or claims about government or opposing campaign spending, and withdrawing something as far from reality as the $200 million/day Obama trip to India.  Her campaign staff should find some way to kill her microphone whenever she starts to spout such obvious unsubstantiated BS. 
          Palin seems as unfamiliar with truth as she is with written media.  There is no reason to seek truth in her home or in her PAC. 
          Perry thinks that if it appears that he believes it, it is factual enough for his campaign.  Witness the prayers for rain on Texas soil.  One would think that it might eventually sink into Governor Perry’s consciousness that either prayers for rain are as ineffective as prayers to convert the gender preference of homosexuals; or that the invisible sky ruler is purposefully denying rain until Texas stops executing the mentally deficient, or provides some other indicator that the taliban are being ejected. 
          Perry’s hatred of the federal government and of that government’s practice of taking care of it citizens who fall prey to natural disaster is widely documented.  He’s heavily into the same “personal responsibility” that was cheered by teavangelists in Tampa.  He still maintains that evolution is unproven and a flawed theory.  He refuses to retract his claim that global warming is a construct by research scientists trying to maintain federal research grants. 
However, as Texas’ skies begin to resemble those of Dresden, Hiroshima, or Yellowstone in 1988 I fail to see how anyone who can read a thermometer can ignore the trends in temperature increase and the shift in rain patterns over the continent.  Texas high school graduates may have been fed myth instead of science, but at this point it doesn’t matter whether they think Texas is being punished for its collective “sins,” or if they begin to understand the signs and symptoms of climate change; as long as they begin to realize that it is happening, and that the oil and gas companies are not acting to prevent it.

Perry’s lack of contact with reality seemingly can b stretched to cover other large holes in his knowledge base including the Israeli-Arab conflict.  Given the teavangelists’ demands that the U.S. secure Israel’s existence so that the 2nd coming can occur, one might think Perry would have more situational awareness concerning the conflict and its impact in U.S, governmental affairs.
            “…we sent Perry’s remarks to three experts on Middle East diplomacy — an Israeli, a Palestinian and an American. All three said he appeared to be remarkably uninformed.
            “We contacted Perry’s spokesman for an explanation but as usual he did not respond. (The Perry campaign has become a fact-free zone, not responding to Fact Checker queries, ever since Perry received Four Pinocchios for his comments on climate change.)”
Cassi Creek:
          The lack of knowledge and the seeming unconcern at such lack in the GOP/teavangelist candidates is disturbing.  I don’t want the government to be headed or our other leadership positions filled by people who barely managed to complete a BS at universities that are only an excuse for an athletic program and television contracts. 
          I don’t consider someone unfamiliar with English grammar to be a good candidate for national office.  I recently saw an article stating that high school diploma was all the qualification needed for the office of POTUS and/or any job in the federal government.  I disagree, most emphatically. 
          But even more horrifying than the exponentially growing lack of knowledge and disdain for education in our candidate field is the same lack in the voter base.  When we collectively decide that knowledge is inconsequential, that education is only valued by college administrators, and that intellect is of no importance in administering a government or a nation; we are dangerously close to the abyss.  Texas needs rain, and prayer is not going to generate rain regardless of how many Texans put their hands on the television, file into the new mega-churches to help the sky pilots pay for their Armani underwear, or kneel on the asphalt parking lots outside high school stadiums.  Texas is not only a “no fact zone,” it is well aimed down a long dusty road in an ever widening “no rain zone.”