The traditional papal Christmas Day message “Urbi et Orbi” — Latin for “to the City and to the World” — usually covers the globe’s hot spots, but this year Benedict also addressed the economic conditions worrying many across the planet amid near-daily news of layoffs, failing companies and people losing homes.
I got a gaping hole in my molars filled this morning and while that was happening discussed how terrible it has gotten to fly lately with my dentist and hygienist. Here are just a few of the things we came up with at 8 am while my gums were being numbed:
1) Hawaiian Airlines now charges $15 to check a bag (1st bag! more bags are more!)
2) Some airlines now charge $1 for soda
3) Some airlines now charge for blankets and pillows
4) Airfares are higher than any of us can ever remember them being
5) American Airlines recently removed all their video monitors so no more movies
6) The seats are the same size but the people on either side of us are twice as large as we are
7) Stewardesses tend to look more like babushkas than pinup girls
8) Security will take away a pocketknife but miss the chef’s knife in the bag
9) Lounges are groddy and more expensive than ever
10) More people are freaking out on planes than ever before (and if you wonder why, just read 1-9 on the list above)
If they freak out bad enough they can start a blog from death row and if they get fat enough on death row, they can claim to be too fat for the death penalty.
My friend Kim (who is not in prison or on death row or fat for that matter) sent me this article from the Honolulu Advertiser called Urban Survivor(Thanks Kim!)…so not only did that dishrag of a paper not cover my walk around the island, they gave this guys project a title that seems awful close to the name of my Urban Survival Manual. While I think his project is pretty cool, he was going home to sleep in his bed every night while I slept on the beaches…is there someone at the Advertiser with a grudge against me or something?
by the way, that is not Obama on the cover…I’m developing a serious dislike for candidate Obama. Now he wants to open up the oil reserves…Obama is starting to look a lot like candidate McCain in 2000 while McCain is looking like…well we all know he looks like Bush…Cheney for VP anyone? But back to Obama…as Obama moves to the center I am reminded of how the Democrats didn’t contest the election of 2000, how they threw away the victory they could have easily had in 2004, and how they are probably going to screw this one up too! Okay, I admit it, it’s not Obama I have a grudge against, it’s the Dodd Gamned democratic party machine. They don’t deserve to have a party. Please everyone, come to your senses and get Nader to 10% so he can participate in the google debates. If you hear him, you will want to vote for him.
As recently as July 7, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee had said that tapping the 727 million-gallon reserve should be “reserved for a genuine emergency.” But on Monday, Obama, speaking in Lansing, Mich., proposed selling 70 million barrels from the reserve “for less expensive crude, which in the past has lowered gas prices within two weeks.” He’d eventually replace light crude with heavier crude oil; light crude is easier to refine into gasoline.
The United States is in the second inning of a recession that will last for at least 18 months and cause hundreds of banks to fail, economist and New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini told Barron’s. “The regulators should investigate themselves for bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the creditors of Bear Stearns and the financial system with new lending facilities. They have swapped U.S. Treasury bonds for toxic securities. It is privatizing the gains and profits, and socializing the losses as usual. This is socialism for Wall Street and the rich.”
HOOPER, Utah – A farmer has erected a fence in his backyard made of three old cars sticking up in the air to send a message to new neighbors that he can do whatever he wants on his farm. “This is just a fun way for me to say, ‘Hey boys, I’m still here,'” said Rhett Davis. “This is my redneck Stonehenge.”
Davis came up with the idea after neighbors who recently moved into homes next to his hayfield complained about his farm.The area has grown recently with new residents who desire a country atmosphere but don’t want the smells and noises of farm life, Davis said.
Remember when Obama said that within 18 months of being sworn in he would have the troops home? Well, that was just the kind of bullshit we hear from other politicians. Really, you should vote for Ralph Nader if you believe in change, here is what Obama says now. He says he wants to bring the troops home except for 50,000 of them! He says he wants to bring the other troops home to Afghanistan.
Barack Obama’s plan to build up U.S. forces in Afghanistan while keeping perhaps 50,000 troops in Iraq has triggered a deep rift among antiwar activists, a reminder of the difficult tasking facing the presumptive Democratic nominee as he tries to broaden his appeal.
The Illinois senator wrapped up three days of tours and talks in the war-ravaged nations Tuesday, stressing in a news conference that the “situation in Afghanistan is perilous and urgent” and that “we should not wait any longer” to provide additional troops.
In Iraq, Obama won a tacit Iraqi endorsement of a plan to withdraw U.S. combat troops in 2010, but he also said that he backs leaving a residual force in Iraq to help train military personnel, provide security for U.S. interests and thwart terrorist threats. The residual force might total up to 50,000 troops, his campaign advisers have told reporters.
And as if that isn’t enough, he stands firmly on the side of the war mongering Israeli government. Frankly, I’m tired of my government and my tax dollars going to support a police state that is guilty of flagrant human rights abuses. The Israeli government doesn’t even have the decency to pretend that they are ashamed of the children and families they are slaughtering, starving, and causing to die of disease. As long as our government continues to send untold billions (maybe even trillions all told) of dollars to Israel, we deserve whatever happens to us in the United States. Let Israel pay for their own genocide and let me keep the 1/4 of my taxes that go towards killing people I have nothing against.
O! Boy! O! Bama! O! Bah-humbug!
Meanwhile 1 in 20 homes were foreclosed on in Merced county this year (166,000 + in the past year in California alone!) Do all these foreclosures mean the banks are holding a lot of real estate now? Does anyone know the answer to this?
And at least one prominent cancer researcher is saying that cell phones may indeed cause cancer, so use those headsets and speaker phone. By the way, just stop driving and holding the cell phone to your ear. It should be illegal and the fine should be huge, but beyond that, it’s dangerous to everyone including you and on top of that…you look incredibly stupid talking on your cellphone while you drive your massive bulldozer of an SUV with one hand…so listen tiny asian lady that can barely see over the wheel and old white guy with super thick glasses and tattoo covered hipsters…just stop it. It’s embarrassing to see you degrading yourselves this way….besides, to us that new i-phone you are trying to show off looks like it might be a remote control…the thought makes you look even more ridiculous.
I’m going to stop using the word awesome. Here’s some pretty good reasons why I’ve made this choice.
I’m pissed that I didn’t get one of those $300 checks that the government sent out to everyone. I know, I filed $0 on my taxes, didn’t pay any taxes, and still got $50 back (That’s fifty dollars that doesn’t go to killing people, instead it goes to buying watermelon and pizza). They should of sent me a check, I would have bought an i-Phone! Or joined the Masons! Or bought more watermelon and pizza. Or donated some of it to Ralph Nader. Maybe it’s still on the way.
I’m still terribly bothered by the fact that as soon as I get up the gumption to start running, my body responds with an injury, but I’m told by experts that running is just bad for the body no matter what and a brisk walk is better all around. At least I can be sure that my leg isn’t sore because someone left a surgical towel the size of a softball inside me 24 years ago when some minor surgery happened.
And yet another is that potatos are cheaper than just about anything else there…here in Hawaii you have to pay more for potatos than I am comfortable with. How the hell am I suppossed to celebrate the international year of the potato when they are so expensive?
And just when you start to think that rich people are all assholes, in walks Broadcom co-founder Henry T. Nicholas III who trafficked in cocaine, Ecstasy, and methamphetamine, spiked the drinks of business associates and employees, hired prostitutes for himself and others, and maintained several narcotics dens, including one in an underground lair at his Los Angeles mansion. Sadly, he is being charged with conspiracy before he can becom e my best friend.
Click on this link to read one of the best books out there (in comic book form) about what is going on with the U.S. addiction to war, who is making money from blood, and why the war probably won’t stop anytime soon.
This just in: Women are stupid!
If you failed to pick up a copy of Sunday’s Washington Post, you missed out on this original and compelling argument: Women are stupid. That isn’t hyperbole, that is the actual thesis of Charlotte Allen’s piece headlined “We Scream, We Swoon. How Dumb Can We Get?” It includes gems like this: “I am perfectly willing to admit that I myself am a classic case of female mental deficiencies.” Oh, and this: “Way down deep, we are … kind of dim.”
But lest we be too harsh on Allen, she does present some evidence to support her thesis. Exhibit A: Women have fainted at Barack Obama rallies. Exhibit B: Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is “by all measures one of the worst — and, yes, stupidest — presidential races in recent history, marred by every stereotypical flaw of the female sex.” Exhibit C: Women watch “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” buy Celine Dion CDs and watch “Grey’s Anatomy.” Case closed!
Allen doesn’t stop there, though. It isn’t enough to vividly illustrate women’s stupidity through their proclivity for baking cookies for their dog, diagnosing themselves with imaginary diseases or playing hooky just to stay in bed with “The Friday Night Knitting Club.” She notes that her theory is also “amply supported by neurological and standardized-testing evidence”; for instance, men’s brains are bigger (never mind that men and women have the same IQ on average, she says, because there are more men at either extreme!) and women are worse at driving and reading maps.
Now, maybe Allen is just playing dumb to support her thesis, but any decent Psych 101 class touches on the size and structural differences between male and female brains and concludes that, yeah fellas, size doesn’t matter. (For more on how a larger brain doesn’t translate to a greater intellect, check out this piece on Albert Einstein’s average-size brain.) We’ve also written plenty about these dubious “watch out, women are on the road” findings.
The kicker is that after the piece stirred up a blogospheric firestorm, the piece’s editor said it was all “tongue-in-cheek” — because joking about women’s stupidity and then framing it with scientific “evidence” is hil-arious! If the piece was truly satirical, it sure was poorly executed. But more important, what was the point? To shame women out of reading chick lit, watching “Grey’s Anatomy” or fainting at Obama rallies? Or was the point to make fun of those who make fun of women for doing those things by, um, making fun of women for doing those things?
— Tracy Clark-Flory
Are you a member of Facebook.com? You may have a lifetime contract.
Some users have discovered that it is nearly impossible to remove themselves entirely from Facebook, setting off a fresh round of concern over the popular social network’s use of personal data.
While the Web site offers users the option to deactivate their accounts, Facebook servers keep copies of the information in those accounts indefinitely. Indeed, many users who have contacted Facebook to request that their accounts be deleted have not succeeded in erasing their records from the network.
“It’s like the Hotel California,” said Nipon Das, 34, a director at a biotechnology consulting firm in Manhattan, who tried unsuccessfully to delete his account this fall. “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”
(Washington, DC, January 31, 2008) – The established democracies are accepting flawed and unfair elections for political expediency, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2008. By allowing autocrats to pose as democrats, without demanding they uphold the civil and political rights that make democracy meaningful, the United States, the European Union and other influential democracies risk undermining human rights worldwide.
States claiming the mantle of democracy, including Kenya and Pakistan, should guarantee the human rights that are central to it, including the rights to free expression, assembly and association, as well as free and fair elections. But in 2007 too many governments, including Bahrain, Jordan, Nigeria, Russia and Thailand, acted as if simply holding a vote is enough to prove a nation “democratic,” and Washington, Brussels and European capitals played along, Human Rights Watch said. The Bush administration has spoken of its commitment to democracy abroad but often kept silent about the need for all governments to respect human rights.
“It’s now too easy for autocrats to get away with mounting a sham democracy,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “That’s because too many Western governments insist on elections and leave it at that. They don’t press governments on the key human rights issues that make democracy function – a free press, peaceful assembly, and a functioning civil society that can really challenge power.”
In its World Report 2008, Human Rights Watch surveys the human rights situation in more than 75 countries. Human Rights Watch identified many human rights challenges in need of attention, including atrocities in Chad, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia’s Ogaden region, Iraq, Somalia, Sri Lanka, and Sudan’s Darfur region, as well as closed societies or severe repression in Burma, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Libya, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam. Abuses in the “war on terror” featured in France, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, among others.
He certainly doesn’t look like a god-killer.
But that’s how critics cast him: a deity-smashing heretic, bent on spreading godlessness with children’s tales.
No, in person, author Philip Pullman, 61, is decidedly professorial, a little rumpled and polite, which is to say, British.
Yet there’s an edge, some minor irritation — possibly because he has weathered a recent wave of attacks from the Christian right over his fantasy trilogy “His Dark Materials.” The first installment, “The Golden Compass,” gets its big-screen debut Friday, starring Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman.
Opponents have stepped up their campaign against the longtime atheist, whose modern reworking of the Adam and Eve story — and his undoing of original sin — has the Catholic League calling the movie “sugarcoated atheism — just in time for Christmas.”