31 January 2009 · Comments Off · Categories: First Looks

Jon Swift, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, and Blue Girl are leading the charge to this year’s Blogroll Amnesty Day.

Mr. Swift explained the requirements for participation (post linked above) as follows:

Celebrating Blogroll Amnesty Day is easy. You don’t have to put up a tree or a poll or buy candy or flowers, wrap presents or risk your life playing with dangerous fireworks. All you have to do is link to some smaller blogs that you like or celebrate the idea of linking or blogrolling in any way you see fit.

Mr. Kangaroo (linked above) encourages inclusion:

tho we are happy to point out, one need not link exclusively to progressive/liberal blogs. we highly encourage you to find a sensible rightist blog and link thereto. (ha! that’ll keep ya busy for the weekend!)

Ms. Girl (linked above) says, “No excuses.”

Small and newbie bloggers please be aware of the ironclad rule that you are not allowed to make “hey no blog is as small as mine” jokes regarding Blogroll Amnesty Day. The rule is, straight from the queen of the indy blogs herself (ahem), that you are not allowed to complain or mention your blog’s low traffic until you have been posting daily for a year. If you’re little, link other blogs that are new or still growing their audience, and encourage them to practice their craft daily.

To join them in the celebration, I will add at least five new blogs to my blogroll over the next three days. (I added two today, but I’ll not count them.) I’ll also figure out some way to make them stand out without using the acronym for Blogroll Amnesty Day. (Adding a site to the blogroll and labelling it B. A. D. would probably defeat the purpose.)

I won’t necessarily know whether they are bigger or smaller than I, because, frankly, I decided a long time ago not to worry about “hits” all that much, but I will promise that they will be off the main highway and down the side streets of the Inner Tubes.

Blogroll Amnesty Day

Addendum, the Next Evening:

Thanks to the Facebook app, “Networked Blogs” (see the sidebar on the main page), I’ve found a bunch of neat blogs.

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One of the appalling things about modern American conservatives is that so many of them seem to be nasty, unpleasant, hate-full persons.

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31 January 2009 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

The furor over the digital TV conversion is much ado about not much of anything.

Jeffrey got me thinking about this.

Suzabell at GNC discusses some of the issues facing her parents, but still believes the switch should go forward:

Personally, I hope there is no delay in the switchover. It’s been in process a long time, and I believe it needs to happen on schedule. But I have to wonder if the planning was lacking in foresight, after all is said and done. My mother would think so, that’s for sure.

Todd at GNC reports that Hawaii, where he lives, went digital a couple of weeks ago and, so far, he’s seen or heard no complaints either in person or in the news.

I have several thoughts:

  • Whether or not it was a good idea, it’s soon gonna be a done deal.
  • No matter when it happens, there’s some folks will have trouble. Putting it off helps no one.
  • The rhetoric seems to focus on “old folks will have trouble.” That sort of rhetoric is a sure sign of FUD.
  • What’s the difference between five or six (remember, we’re talking over-the-air broadcast here–this has nothing to do with cable or satellite television) channels of garbage and no channels of garbage?
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Pay attention to their actions; ignore their words.

The Republican definition of “fiscal responsibility” is “make the rich richer and the poor poorer.”

Colbert King:

Remember last fall when House Republicans, led by Minority Leader John Boehner, whined that they were forced to kill the Bush administration’s bank bailout bill because Speaker Nancy Pelosi had given a speech that hurt their feelings?

Well, they are back with another howler — and a reminder why the GOP is no longer the nation’s dominant political party.

This week, House Republicans voted in lock step against President Obama’s economic stimulus package, using as one excuse their deep concern about the impact of government spending on the future debt burden of America’s “children and grandchildren.”

(snip)

In their slavish devotion to Hooverism, today’s Republicans are repeating the mistakes that banished their party to the political wilderness in the ’30s.

Boehner and his colleagues should worry less about what today’s children and grandchildren will inherit from an Obama administration and spend more time trying to undo the present-day lessons taught by business chieftains, to wit, that:

  • Need and greed are synonymous. (How else do they give themselves $20 billion in bonuses as their companies sink in a sea of red ink?)
  • Government bailouts trump creating and saving jobs.
  • Business tax credits are superior to investment in programs that repair holes in the social safety net.

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Report from the field:

Only two of the woman had Health Insurance through the company. The other eight women have health insurance elsewhere (S-CHIP or other family plans).

Two women were laid off today – the only two with health insurance. When my wife asked why she was being laid off, the reply was quick, “Because you and her have health insurance and I must reduce costs.”

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In Austin, Texas.

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31 January 2009 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Foreclosed.

Rexrode is living in his house without gas because he cannot pay the bill. He has no hot water and can’t use his stove. He cooks his meals in a microwave. His estranged wife, Rita, pays his electric bill, which gives him lights and allows him to use a portable heater. He suffers from congestive heart failure and was recently hospitalized with breathing trouble.

On that day in December, however, Dawson told Rexrode that he had come to the end of the road. He should have taken exception in April, before the foreclosure sale took place, Dawson advises. The bank had every right to ask for Rexrode’s keys immediately, Dawson acknowledges later.

Instead, Dawson allows Rexrode to stay until Jan. 31. It is the best he could do, he said.

This week, the bank agreed to an extension with Rexrode because of his health problems, Rogers said. Rexrode must be out by Feb. 28.

Remember, the customers did not approve themselves for mortgages.

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From Balloon Juice (emphasis added).

(W)e would be so much better off if the Republicans just took a little breather, got themselves pulled together and composed, and stopped being the crazy uncle at the holiday dinner ranting insanely about everything. These guys need to get their act together and figure out that the “loyal” in loyal opposition is fealty to the country first, and not the party.

Ya think?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Nah.

Ain’t gonna happen.

Too much invested in fantasy.

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30 January 2009 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

Via the Outlaws.

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30 January 2009 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

“Run the government like a business” has been the theme of those who fail to realize that government is not a business.

Well, for the last eight years, that bunch has been in charge.

And they have, indeed, run the government the same way they run their own businesses.

Into the ground.

The glories of Republicanism.

Federal regulators closed three banks in a single day Friday, as the ongoing credit crisis showed no signs of abating.

Utah’s MagnetBank became the fourth bank failure of the year, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was forced to directly refund depositors after being unable to find another institution willing to take over its operations.

That marked the first time the FDIC has been unable to find an acquirer for a failed bank in nearly five years, according to FDIC spokesman David Barr.

(snip)

The FDIC later said it has also closed Maryland-based Suburban Federal Savings Bank, and Florida’s Ocala National Bank.

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30 January 2009 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Masters of the Universe at Duncan’s:

Am I the only (one) to whom it’s occurred that monetary policy through the banking channel (as opposed to, say, actually dropping money from helicopters) is only likely to be effective if banks are pretty good at allocating capital efficiently, and recent history tells us that the existing set of clowns in charge completely suck . . . at this.

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30 January 2009 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

Jon Swift analyses the Republican Party’s strategy of hope. Here are the high points. Follow the link for a full analysis and explanation:

While Obama seems like a nice young man, kind of like a young Sidney Poitier, is handsome and polite, seems well educated and articulate, and even brought Republicans candy and flowers, Limbaugh was not fooled for a minute. If Obama succeeds, who knows what kind of man America’s daughters will bring home to dinner next? Since Obama is trying to seduce Americans by giving them hope, Limbaugh knows that we Republicans must have our own message of optimism and hope. So here are some of the things that we are hoping for . . .

Look beneath the Fold for Two of the Seven Hopes–ed.

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30 January 2009 · Comments Off · Categories: It Is To Laugh

Delaware license plate:

GIGGLES

On an upscale-looking massage therapy office parlor salon business in the downtown crossing of a fast-growing, fashionable suburb:

Couples Massage $150 per hour.

(Aside: . . . Oh, never mind.)

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30 January 2009 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Bet they’ll keep sending me those sweepstakes notices, though.

That’s good. They go right into recycling. I like recycling.

Reader’s Digest Association Inc. said Wednesday it will cut about 280 jobs, or 8 percent of its global work force, and implement other cost-cutting measures.

The job cuts will leave RDA with about 3,220 full-time employees.

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30 January 2009 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Speaks for itself.

The Labor Department reported that the number of Americans continuing to claim unemployment insurance for the week ending Jan. 17 was a seasonally adjusted 4.78 million, the highest on record dating back to 1967. That’s an increase of 159,000 from the previous week and worse than economists’ expectations of 4.65 million.

As a proportion of the work force, the tally of unemployment benefit recipients is the highest since August 1983, a department analyst said.

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29 January 2009 · Comments Off · Categories: Personal Musings

My brother gave me a cane for Christmas.

No, not because he thinks I’m decrepit. Though he probably does, because I am.

Because he knew I enjoy making useful things of wood and would admire the quality of the woodwork. It’s gorgeous. (Really, follow the link and look at the samples. I think the one he selected is number five.)

I needed it today.

The rain that was forecast to follow the snow yesterday never got beyond a drizzle, so it did not wash away the snow. When the temperature dropped below freezing over night, it just added a nice little one-inch layer of ice on top.

Then, when the temperature nudged above freezing in the morning, a silly little millimeter of water formed on top of the ice.

I had nature’s own Slip ‘n Slide for a front yard.

I needed the cane to walk down the little hill (about a four-foot drop) between my house and the street without falling on my–er, never mind.

(I have another cane that is more functional. Unscrew the handle and it holds five shots of whatever you want to put in the little test tube thingees. I recommend whiskey. It never goes bad. Great for Independence Day fireworks shows.)

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29 January 2009 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

Busted Browns:

Shoe

Many Iraqis considered it poetic justice when a journalist tossed his shoes at President George W. Bush last month.

Now the bizarre attack has spawned a real life work of art.

A sofa-sized statue of the shoe was unveiled Thursday in Tikrit, the hometown of the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Via Noz.

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A local business association is running a seminar about how to be a better CEO.

Got any suggestions as to who should attend?

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Felony murder charges.

Larry Whitfield was on foot, his getaway car wrecked, his rookie attempt at robbing a bank thwarted by a set of locked doors, according to detectives. Looking for a place to hide in September, police say, he found himself inside the home of a frightened old woman.

There’s no evidence Whitfield ever touched 79-year-old Mary Parnell. Authorities say he even told the grandmother of five he didn’t want to hurt her, directing her to sit in a chair in her bedroom. But investigators have no doubt he terrified her so much that she died of a heart attack.

Now Whitfield, a 20-year-old with no prior criminal record, is charged with first-degree murder, a rare defendant accused of literally scaring a person to death.

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29 January 2009 · Comments Off · Categories: First Looks

Draining the swamp.

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