Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Are vampires a metaphor for our sexual selves or our controlling selves?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Stock Market Got You Down?

Retirement fund becoming smaller and smaller? About to lose your job? Can't pay your mortgage? Cheer up. Austria is swinging to the far right, again. And so are a lot of other European countries.

Austria in crisis as far right win 29% of vote | World news | The Guardian:

"Strache calls himself a true patriot, declaring his ambition to be chancellor or interior minister. He hopes to fashion a coalition with Flemish separatists, France's National Front, Bulgarian extreme nationalists and anyone else who will join in a 'European Patriotic party'.

'Thirty percent for people who portray national socialism as innocuous,' wrote the commentator Hans Rauscher yesterday, 'Who crawl around in forests with neo-Nazi mates, who are surrounded by skinheads; who campaign against foreigners; make common cause with the European extreme right; toy with antisemitism; campaign against Muslims, and develop contacts with the Serbian Radical party whose leader, Vojislav Seselj, is in the dock at the war crimes tribunal in The Hague. Austria is tops in Europe again.'"

Sunday, September 28, 2008

What's In The Bailout Deal - Forbes.com

What's In The Bailout Deal - Forbes.com:

"Under the legislation Treasury will be granted $700 billion in phases to acquire bad mortgage assets from financial institutions at a price it determines or through auction with a market price. If the Treasury decides to take the first option it will have some authority to determine the executive compensation structure of the firm.

If firms sell more than $300 million in assets in the auction, they will lose the ability to deduct the salaries of their top five individuals that have exceeded $500,000. For participating firms there will also be a surtax of 20% on retirement packages of top executives who are involuntarily terminated from their firms, or lose their jobs as a result of the firm's failure."

Sobering quote from Judd Gregg at the end.

"Walking back to his office early Sunday, Gregg told reporters, "Nobody's excited about doing this, but everybody recognizes the alternative to not doing it is so horrific that action needs to be taken." Will it work? We'll see. "

comScore Is Named the Fastest Growing of the 34 Largest Global Market Research Firms - MarketWatch

comScore Is Named the Fastest Growing of the 34 Largest Global Market Research Firms - MarketWatch: "RESTON, Va., Sept 24, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ --

comScore, Inc. (SCOR:
comscore inc com

Last: 18.73-0.38-1.99%
4:00pm 09/26/2008

SCOR 18.73, -0.38, -2.0%) , a leader in measuring the digital world, today announced that it was recently recognized as the fastest growing global market research firm in the 12th annual Inside Research report on growth rates of the world's largest market research firms. With $87 million in revenues in 2007, comScore posted a five-year revenue growth rate of 463 percent, triple that of the second fastest-growing company on the list.
The next fastest-growing competitors, Market Probe Inc. and Direction Research Inc., posted growth rates of 154 percent and 116 percent, respectively. The average growth rate for all firms listed was 57 percent during the five year span, or approximately 9 percent on an annualized basis. comScore's compound annual growth rate for the period was 41 percent per year."

Friday, September 26, 2008

I Was Just Looking at Obama

and I flashed on the Dilbert cartoon where the pointy haired boss is introducing a new executive. He's saying, "We think his hair will turn silver."

Conservatives Cringe As McCain Flounders

Is it just me or is McCain blowing up? He sounds disjointed and he's repeating himself with the 'congeniality' catch phrase. Plus he suggested some sort of bizarre spending freeze. What the hey? You want to freeze government spending?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Technorati: Discussion about “Link Roundup: So Much Economic News, So Little Time Before the Depression”

Hey John McCain! Campaign not going too well? Try grandstanding instead.

He's already said his strength is not the economy* and he's not on any committee directly related to the 'bailout' but here he is heading back to Washington to come up with a plan. And he wants Obama to go with him so they can work on it together. It's bizarre. Does he want to pick Obama's brain? Would he like to be Obama's Veep? lol If he has something to add to all of this he should just speak up.

*He proved it too when he said last week that the economy was fundamentally sound and then suggested a commission to study the problem, like we have years to deal with this.

Technorati: Discussion about “Link Roundup: So Much Economic News, So Little Time Before the Depression”

mccain wants to delay friday’s debate … � didionville

mccain wants to delay friday’s debate … � didionville

"meanwhile warren buffett is working his magic on wall street, propping up goldman sachs with some mouthwatering terms for berkshire/hathaway.

yes, this is the same warren buffett who is the richest man in the world (when bill gates isn’t), who decries gratuitous ceo salaries, who warned of the sneaky and dastardly nature of the derivatives market waaaayyyyy back in 2002, and who currently advises obama on economic policy, having met with the candidate regularly over the last several years. (mccain can only fantasize about regular meetings with buffett.)"

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Palin Continues Sheltered Workshop Tour

She does know how to deliver a punch line though.

Palin's first Fla. campaign stop a safe one - Yahoo! News:

"After some jokes about the difference between golfing in Florida and Alaska, her remarks hit most of the same points she's made since McCain chose her as the first woman to run as a Republican vice presidential nominee. She did, however, update the stump speech to reflect last week's turmoil in the financial markets."

Touring Urban Wilds � The Garden Club of the Back Bay

Sunday, September 21, 1 - 4:30 pm - Touring Urban Wilds � The Garden Club of the Back Bay

Friday, September 19, 2008

Obama's Fannie Mae 'Connection' - Fact Checker

McCain campaign indulges in more distortion and exaggeration per Washington Post Fact Checker.

Obama's Fannie Mae 'Connection' - Fact Checker

"So what evidence does the McCain campaign have for the supposed Obama-Raines connection? It is pretty flimsy, but it is not made up completely out of whole cloth. McCain spokesman Brian Rogers points to three items in the Washington Post in July and August. It turns out that the three items (including an editorial) all rely on the same single conversation, between Raines and a Washington Post business reporter, Anita Huslin, who wrote a profile of the discredited Fannie Mae boss that appeared on July 16. The profile reported that Raines, who retired from Fannie Mae four years ago, had "taken calls from Barack Obama's presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters."

Since this has now become a campaign issue, I asked Huslin to provide the exact circumstances of the quote. She explained that she was chatting with Raines during the photo shoot, and asked "if he was engaged at all with the Democrats' quest for the White House. He said that he had gotten a couple of calls from the Obama campaign. I asked him about what, and he said 'oh, general housing, economy issues.' ('Not mortgage/foreclosure meltdown or Fannie-specific,' I asked, and he said 'no.')"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

And they call Al Gore a hypocrite for having a big house

John McCain makes Gore look like an amateur in the hypocrisy department by slamming the very system of government he helped create ten years ago.

"Government has a clear responsibility to act in defense of the public interest, and that's exactly what I intend to do," a fiery McCain said at a rally in Tampa yesterday. "In my administration, we're going to hold people on Wall Street responsible. And we're going to enact and enforce reforms to make sure that these outrages never happen in the first place."

Wow, and what about the US Senator who enabled Wall Street in the first place? What are you going to do to him?

McCain Embraces Regulation After Many Years of Opposition - washingtonpost.com: "'Government has a clear responsibility to act in defense of the public interest, and that's exactly what I intend to do,' a fiery McCain said at a rally in Tampa yesterday. 'In my administration, we're going to hold people on Wall Street responsible. And we're going to enact and enforce reforms to make sure that these outrages never happen in the first place.'"

McCain Embraces Regulation After Many Years of Opposition - washingtonpost.com

McCain says, I was against it before I was for it.

McCain says, Seemed like a good idea at the time.

McCain says, My advisers were wrong to talk me into supporting financial industry deregulation ten years ago. It's clear now that regulation is the correct course. Now how should we do this? Okay, we'll advocate setting up a commission. Give them a couple of years to pass their recommendations to Congress and then let them chew on it for awhile. Oh yeah, mention the strength of the American worker too, talk them up, people like that inspirational stuff.

McCain Embraces Regulation After Many Years of Opposition - washingtonpost.com

Palin Password - mommamooseguv

Yahoo!! I'll just use this free internet email for the stuff I don't want on the Official Government Record. Better tell the first dude too. Let him know what's on and what's off the list. Let's see, click 'new', enter the address....

Hi dude, xoxox

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Boo Hoo Hoo - Poor John McCain

The National Review defends poor helpless John McCain who can't use a keyboard.

The Corner on National Review Online: "Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by 'extraordinary.' The reason he doesn't send email is that he can't use a keyboard because of the relentless beatings he received from the Viet Cong in service to our country. From the Boston Globe (March 4, 2000):

>>McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes. Friends marvel at McCain's encyclopedic knowledge of sports. He's an avid fan - Ted Williams is his hero - but he can't raise his arm above his shoulder to throw a baseball.<<

Ever hear of adaptive devices? There are people far more disabled than John McCain who use computers and send e-mail every day. I’m one of them. Stephen Hawking comes to mind as another but there are lots of others. Some are using voice recognition software, some hold a stylus in their mouth but whatever, ultimately there are as many ways to adapt as there are individual disabilities. All you have to do is consider the situation and then engage in a little trial and error. So don’t say he just plain can’t use a computer because he can. I know he received barbaric treatment at the hands of the North Vietnamese but I’ve seen him and he’s not so bad off that he couldn’t use a computer if he tried. My guess is that he just hasn’t tried and considering computers and the internet and the digital age are the biggest things to come along since the industrial revolution that doesn’t say much for John McCain.

Frank Rich writes what I've been thinking for a week

"If he focuses voters on the 2008 McCain, the Palin question will take care of itself."

Op-Ed Columnist - The Palin-Whatshisname Ticket - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

I'll try not to break my arm patting myself on the back but it's seems obvious enough. Crack McCain and Palin will go with him.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Days Before Scandal, Interior Got Ethics Award - Washington Post Investigations

"The inspector general said Wednesday that federal officials in the Mineral Management Service's royalty-in-kind program allegedly were plied with alcohol and expensive gifts from industry representatives, and in some cases had sex and did drugs with them. The Denver-area office takes in roughly $4 billion each year in oil and natural gas reserves from companies drilling on federal and Indian land and offshore.

But, on Monday, the Interior Department was praised for 'developing a dynamic laminated Ethics Guide for employees' that was a 'polished, professional guide' with 'colorful pictures and prints which demand employees' attention.' The guide, the award noted, was small enough for employees to carry. Interior also was lauded for having held a four-day seminar for its ethics advisors nationwide."

Laugh out loud funny. I heard one guy used his to balance a tippy bar stool.

SFGate: Politics Blog : Does Palin Really Know What the Bush Doctrine Is? (VIDEO)

From the comments section: hartal quotes Norman Ornstein.

SFGate: Politics Blog : Does Palin Really Know What the Bush Doctrine Is? (VIDEO):

"Criticism from Norman Ornstein, a permanent fellow at the very conservative American Enterprise Institute:

'She had me at hello Charley-- had me scared to death. Not a single doubt that she is ready to be president-- everyone, no matter how experienced, should have doubts about the ability to take that job. A combination of utter inexperience and utter arrogance is about the worst possible combination I can imagine. Not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is would be bad enough, but saying unequivocally that Georgia should be in NATO-- meaning we would now perhaps be in a state of war with Russia-- and then without a beat saying that military action should be the last resort-- shows a series of knowledge and logic gaps that ought to shake every foreign policy specialist, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, to his or her roots. Maybe they can force feed her enough facts to skate through a debate, and maybe her self-confidence will still play well with many voters, but this first cut performance underscores our worst fears.'

Posted By: hartal | September 11 2008 at 10:06 PM"

I thought she looked like she was reciting some of it and didn't look like she was completely familiar with the material.

Paper Matters Handmade Greeting Cards

Just spent an hour looking for cards on line. Waded through a whole bunch of stuff that was unsuitable for one reason or another and just when I was going to stop looking I found this site. There's some lovely stuff there, handmade with art papers and flowers & other materials from the artist's garden. Six bucks apiece seems like a bargain for this level of quality. I bought three cards. The site is called Paper Matters. Check 'em out.Paper Matters Handmade Greeting Cards

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Oh, yes he would!

Oh, yes he would!
Originally uploaded by Buddy Stone
Seen on Flickr

International Fashion's Most Influential Designers - Interactive Graphic - NYTimes.com

Pictures included!!

International Fashion's Most Influential Designers - Interactive Graphic - NYTimes.com

McCain Praises Palin’s National Security Record - Offers No Reasons For the Praise

Probably because there aren't any. Have you heard she lives close to Russia? McCain also ripped Obama but made no effort to explain his reasoning. The quote below is from Fox News, the seemingly Official McCain Campaign News Organ.

McCain Praises Palin’s National Security Record � FOX Embeds � FOXNews.com: "“He was wrong on Iraq, he was wrong on Iran, and he was wrong when he made a moral equivocation between Russia and Georgia when Russia invaded. My friends, he’s wrong on national security, and he has a record,” McCain said. “This person is right on national security and she’s been right. She understands these issues. I am proud of her.”"

A fond farewell in Epping Forest

Whatsonstage.com Blogs � Blog Archive � A fond farewell in Epping Forest:

"Before the ceremony, his friends and family gathered in the reception area, drinking coffee and exchanging stories. Warren Mitchell was in a wheelchair and Peter Cheeseman, former diector of the Stoke-on-Trent theatre where Campbell had a special association in his early days, and now suffering and shaking dreadfully from Parkinson’s disease, was surrounded by well-wishers.

We had a concert of reminiscence. Campbell’s voice spewed out his own material, one speech reminding us that “funeral” was an anagram of “real fun.” Which is what ensued. His first Road Show colleagues Bob Hoskins, Jane Wood, Andy Andrews and Dave Hill recounted Ken’s arguments for not banishing the Lord Chamberlain and stopping all Arts Council grants for five years."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Biden's comments on special needs kids called 'new low' - CNN.com

Biden asks a good question and the McCain campaign accuses him of playing politics. Not true, ask it again Joe. A lot of people will suffer needlessly because of religious resistance to legitimate scientific research. And the longer the resistance lasts the more people will suffer. I don't know how they can have it on their conscience.

They also called him 'desperate' for the second day in a row. I think I'm sensing a branding effort. Keep saying it and maybe it will be so. Right boys?

Biden's comments on special needs kids called 'new low' - CNN.com: "'Well, guess what, folks? If you care about it, why don't you support stem cell research?' asked Biden, the running mate of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama."

Snow White And The Seven Ex-Lobbyists

Fact Check: McCain-lobbyist connections - CNN.com

The comparison is thin but I'm going with it anyway. In this case McCain with his snow white hair will play the title role and instead of all the nice dwarves who go off to work in the forest, McCain's has helpers who toiled in the halls of Congress as high powered corporate lobbyists. One of them even used to represent a couple of dictators over in Africa. No blood on that money, I'm sure.

The countries were Zaire and Angola.

Student GOP leader resigns over Obama remark - Yahoo! News

Student GOP leader resigns over Obama remark - Yahoo! News: "LaDuca said Monday that he regrets posting the comments and understands how they can be construed as racist. 'In hindsight, when you read it a second time, it's like, 'oops,'' he said. 'It was just a dumb move on my part to make a statement like that public.'"

Some apology, the problem wasn't saying it or believing it, the problem was saying it in public.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Saturday, September 06, 2008

4 Asian countries to try joint sea route

CCTV International: "The service is expected to start trial operations next month. It will run from Huichun, a key port in Jilin, to Niigata in Japan via the Russian port of Zarubino and South Korea's Sokcho port. The South Korea-based joint venture has registered capital of 3 million US dollars."

5 Reasons Why I'm no Longer Updating iTunes | Geekdad from Wired.com

5 Reasons Why I'm no Longer Updating iTunes | Geekdad from Wired.com:

Russ Neumeier writes: "I held off and held off but finally installed the new version of iTunes (v7.7.1) - the invasiveness of this application (for those readers living in the southern US, I liken it to kudzu) is starting to make me think twice about another iPod…and I love my iPod...our family loves their iPods (we have four in a family of six), but I’m growing weary of iTunes.

It started a version or two ago, but reared its head this update. I run WinPatrol to alert me to any new services or auto-runs in Windows. It took me nearly 20 minutes (and a reboot) to rid myself of unwanted Apple stuff...here are the reasons I'm ignoring the next Apple iTunes update:"

Friday, September 05, 2008

FTC bans prerecorded sales messages starting September 1, 2009 : Christopher Null : Yahoo! Tech

FTC bans prerecorded sales messages starting September 1, 2009 : Christopher Null : Yahoo! Tech

Despite the existence of the Do Not Call list, many telemarketers have continued automated calls whether you're on the list or not, arguing that these types of calls are not specifically addressed by the DNC. The new FTC rules closes any loophole that might have existed, without the headache of endless legal challenges.

The bad news: The rule doesn't go into effect for over a year, which means that all the robots calling my house to offer help with "my payroll needs" or offering to sell toner for my army of photocopiers have another 12 months to continue to bug the hell out of me. Sigh.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Questions and Notes on the John McCain Acceptance Speech

Is John McCain disabled? His right hand doesn't look too good and he can't raise either arm over his head. For the purposes of serving as President I suppose he's not but he clearly has physical limitations. Of course he's also seventy two years old and between that and his North Vietnamese captors

How can you complain about styrofoam columns when you're using a photographic backdrop. And what the heck is that? A large white building fronted by a large expanse of neatly kept green lawn. Is it the White House? And now they've switched to a field. Well at least it's not printed slogans for the inarticulate George W. Bush.

A woman just stormed to the front of the audience looking somewhat crazed and really fired up. I think she was pro McCain but I'm not sure. McCain smiled and laughed a bit.

McCain just said he doesn't work for a party. Huh? So that's why Carl Rove is working so hard to get him elected? Is that why Fox News openly campaigns for him? Fair and Balanced you say? Get a clue.

Now he's attacking judges legislating from the bench. And here I was thinking they were settling legal disputes. Question: What's the difference between an activist judge and a judge handing down a decision? Answer: Your view of the decision.

Study Dispels Link Between Autism and Measles Vaccine - US News and World Report

Study Dispels Link Between Autism and Measles Vaccine - US News and World Report:

"'We are certain that there's no link between autism and the MMR,' Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, director of the Mailman School of Public Health Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, said at a Wednesday teleconference.
Not everyone is convinced, however, that the vaccine does not play a role in causing gastrointestinal problems that can precede the onset of autism.

'We found no evidence that the [gastrointestinal] pathology consistently preceded autism, and we also found that the MMR didn't consistently precede either autism or GI pathology,' he added.

Not everyone is convinced, however, that the vaccine does not play a role in causing gastrointestinal problems that can precede the onset of autism."

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sarah Palin and the ADA

Sarah Palin just pledged to be an advocate for special needs interests if she is elected. As a member of that group I'd like to know if this means she's going to get the United States Chamber of Commerce off our back? They've been trying to roll back the Americans With Disabilities Act since the day it was Signed Into Law.

Republican support for the ADA? Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.