Monday, December 24, 2007

Working and the Holidays

A very thoughtful friend of mine posted a questions on LinkedIn today:

How many LinkedIn users out there will be working over their little holiday break? Is this corporately inspired? Your own work ethic | addiction | insanity? How many will just be checking in on social networking apps like LinkedIn, but not necessarily for work-like purposes?

My answer:

I'll answer with a portion of an email sent by a client, which I think sums up the issue nicely...
"We will be available throughout the holidays, and this weekend, to provide you with feedback. Can you get us something tomorrow or Sunday? I can commit to 24 hours turnaround. While each of us are out a day here and there, this is obviously a very high priority for us and we will get you feedback quickly."
This was obviously written by an executive, as the "very high priority for US" is generally not shared by the other members of "US", who no doubt would rather go spend some time with their family... or watch a James Bond marathon of TBS... ANYTHING but work.

I resist the need to work over the holidays – there are many things more important – but sadly the erosion of "work/non working time" has been so dramatic across the American corporate landscape, taking a constant block of time is increasingly difficult, especially for those who are self-employed.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Now if only you could join "Skull and Bones" online...

Yale to Make Select Courses Available on the Internet

Yale University is producing digital videos of selected undergraduate courses that it will make available for free on the Internet through a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

The project, called “Open Yale Courses,” presents unique access to the full content of a selection of college-level courses and makes them available in various formats, including downloadable and streaming video, audio only and searchable transcripts of each lecture. Syllabi, reading assignments, problem sets and other materials accompany the courses

To create the online offerings that will introduce and test this new approach, Yale will draw on its recognized excellence in teaching across the full spectrum of liberal arts disciplines. Some of Yale’s most distinguished scholars are taking part. The three courses being taped this fall are:

Introduction to the Old Testament, with Christine Hayes, Robert F. and Patricia Ross Weis Professor of Religious Studies;

Fundamentals of Physics, with Ramamurti Shankar, John Randolph Huffman Professor and Chair of Physics;

Introduction to Political Philosophy, with Steven Smith, Alfred Cowles Professor of Political Science.

Those whose courses are slated for taping next spring include Charles Bailyn, Thomas E. Donnelley Professor of Astronomy; Paul Bloom, Professor of Psychology; and Langdon Hammer, Professor and Chair of English.

Of course, no access to teachers for questions, and no actual degree is given.

Thanks for the free classes, Yale!

WTF?? Huckabee: "Abortion, environmentalism, AIDS, pornography, drug abuse, and homosexual activism have fragmented and polarized our communities."

Below is from Democracy Now. You know, besides having to say "President Huckabee" for 4-8 years without snickering would be tough, but this is just silly. Must be out of context or something.... I can see how he would be against AIDS and environmentalism, but what does he have against porn? Little joke there.

Meanwhile the past writings and comments of Republican Mike Huckabee are coming under increasing scrutiny now that he has become the Republican frontrunner in Iowa. In 1998 Huckabee published a children’s book that equated environmentalism with pornography. The book was titled “Kids Who Kill: Confronting Our Culture of Violence.” Huckabee wrote: “Abortion, environmentalism, AIDS, pornography, drug abuse, and homosexual activism have fragmented and polarized our communities.” Huckabee also equated homosexuality to necrophilia. He wrote: “It is now difficult to keep track of the vast array of publicly endorsed and institutionally supported aberrations—from homosexuality and pedophilia to sadomasochism and necrophilia.”

Mr. Huckabee, welcome to the spotlight. Let's see how you hold up. Anyone hear from Ron Paul lately? I hear he's making big bucks....

Anyhow... here's the link on Amazon if you wanna have a look.

Monday, December 17, 2007

FCC Chair Kevin Martin can't WAIT to make sure you stay uninformed

Federal Communications Commission Chairman (READ: BUSH LACKEY) Kevin Martin has refused to delay a vote on his proposed changes to rewrite media ownership laws. The vote is set for Tuesday.

The FCC Chair says he has suggested a “relatively minor loosening of the ban on newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership.” But there has been a groundswell of public opposition to his proposal. Last Tuesday, the Senate Commerce Committee unanimously voted to block the FCC’s December 18th vote.

But two days later, Martin insisted on moving forward with the vote during a heated exchange with Senator John Kerry at the Committee’s oversight hearing. It appears that only half his team agrees with the rush. Sounds like someone is in a hurry. I wonder why? I wonder who REALLY wants this pushed through? Who would profit the most? Here's a hint: His name starts with R and ends with Murdoch. Maybe?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I know this sounds dull, but if you at all depend on the news media to help you learn about what is going on in the world, look into this. You can read my former post on this, yes, DOUCHE BAG. I'm sorry folks, I need to call it like I see it: When Rupert Murdoch controls all the news you see, hear and read, you can thank this prick.

C-SPAN'S COVERAGE... would John Kerry have been such a bad President, Swift Boat people? Listen to him stand up and bitch slap this guy. Geez even Republican Senator Ted "Uncle Crazypants" Stevens thinks it's a bad idea.

Please read an interview with Craig Anderson of the Free Press HERE.


Congress tries to impro-FISA on wiretapping American citizens

As I type the hallowed halls of Congress are locked in mortal combat over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

And when I say "locked in mortal combat" I mean "desperately trying to finish up their work so they can leave for vacation."

The big news here is the knowledge that AT&T, Verizon and other telecommunications companies that helped the government eavesdrop on Americans. This was done without permission from the secret court created to protect Americans from unwarranted government intrusions on their privacy. A provision in this legislation will give those companies retro-active immunity from the 40 or so civil lawsuits pending against the companies.

I'm sure the companies THOUGHT they were doing the right thing.

"For the last six years, our largest telecom companies have been spying on their own American customers... I have seen six presidents and I have never seen a contempt for the rule of law equal to this." said Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who unsuccessfully tried to block the bill from coming to the floor Monday. The White House threatened Monday to veto any bill that does not contain a retroactive immunity provision.

Bush and Co. say that the restraints on them hinder the War on Terror, which is kinda funny cause the laws didn't seem to hinder them at all, which is the issue.

Sen. Arlen Specter (R), known for his non-partisan positions (read: COMMON SENSE) said: "I do not know whether there is wrongdoing or not, but I do not think it is appropriate for the government to act secretly, surreptitiously...and then come back at a later date and say please exonerate us."

Michael McConnell, director of national intelligence (photo right), says industry deserves “thanks, not lawsuits.”

Oh, and an important footnote here: The New York Times has revealed that the Bush administration’s spy program began almost as soon as it took office, months before the Sept. 11 attack. A lawyer for an AT&T whistleblower says that within two weeks of taking office, the Bush administration began a comprehensive effort of spying on Americans’ phone usage. So much for the War on Terror excuse.

And George's mother said he wasn't motivated. Pish posh!

Links: Beltway Confidental , The New York Times, Again, and the ever helpful Democracy Now.

Image courtesy of ID4.

Why does Senator Pete Domenici hate the country?

Could it be cause the energy companies pay him a lot of money?

The House is set to vote Tuesday on the $500 billion 2008 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. Hidden in the bill is a major energy package that would boost government financing for the nuclear industry. It would provide loan guarantees of up to $25 billion for new nuclear reactors.

Harvey Wasserman, a founder of the grassroots anti-nuke movement in the early 1970s, advises the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. He had this to say about nuclear power, Global Warming, Energy companies and politics:His environmental record as summarized by Wikipedia:
"...there’s absolutely no demand for new nuclear plants. There’s no reason to build them. They don’t work. Even with optimum conditions of licensing and so on, they couldn’t get a reactor online for another ten years. They’ve been saying the nuclear power plants are a solution to the global warming problem; we know they make global warming worse. You know, it’s a total scam. And they are continuing to take of taxpayer money, public money, to build reactors where we don’t need that kind of financing for wind, for solar, for tidal, geothermal, the other forms of green energy, which can be community-controlled. ."

Ironically, Domenici has recently sponsored a resolution "Honoring members of the radiation protection profession" by designating the week of November 6 through November 12, 2005, as "National Radiation Protection Professionals Week". What a guy!

Looks like he wants to further honor them with work well into the future.

His environmental record as summarized by Wikipedia:
The grassroots organization Republicans for Environmental Protection singled out Domenici as “Worst in the Senate in 2006” on environmental issues. In addition to assigning Domenici a score of zero for his environmental voting record, the group issued him “environmental harm demerits” for what they saw as two particularly irresponsible acts: first, for spearheading efforts to include in federal budget legislation provisions for “speculative revenues from oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; second, “for sponsoring and securing passage of S. 3711, the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, which would perpetuate America’s dangerous oil dependence, set a precedent for drilling in sensitive marine waters, and direct a disproportionate share of federal royalty revenues from a public resource to four states." Domenici also received an exceptionally low environmental rating from the nonpartisan League of Conservation Voters, who claimed in 2003 that “[d]uring the last decade his voting record has become even more strikingly anti-environmental.” The LCV went on to criticize Domenici for voting in 1995 “to allow mining companies to ‘patent’ (purchase) public lands in order to extract minerals from them, without environmental standards, for the ridiculously low ‘price’ of $5 an acre or less."

  • You can contact the Senator (we assume) through this online form.

  • Learn more about those opposing Nuclear Power at

  • Read an article concerning this and a full interview with Wasserman at Democracy Now

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Gore goes for some Bush in Bali

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) - Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore drew cheers at 190-nation talks by saying the United States was the main block to launching negotiations in Bali on a new global climate treaty.

Efforts to start two-year negotiations on a pact to succeed the Kyoto Protocol flagged on Thursday, the penultimate day of the December 3-14 talks, after the European Union accused the United States of lacking ambition.

"My own country the United States is principally responsible for obstructing progress in Bali," spurring rapturous applause and cheers.

Arriving fresh from Oslo, where he had collected the Nobel Peace Prize, Gore urged governments to forge a "new path" towards a global climate change agreement in spite of what he described as an obstructive United States.

"I don't know how you can navigate around this enormous elephant in the room which I've been undiplomatic enough to name. But I'm asking you to do it," he said. Gore was defeated by President George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential race.

Blackwater mercenaries "advise" Romney: This is getting serious, folks.

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has a senior advisor named Cofer Black. Mr. Black is currently the Number 2 man at BLACKWATER, the rent-a-soldier corporation who have been accused of killing Iraqi civilians and appear to have no legal or military consequences for their actions.

Questions for discussion:
  • How much do you want a corporate-controlled military force to be involved in the political process of you country?

  • How do you feel about a mercenary force gaining power and influence in the United States that does not have to answer to Congress, the US Military or the Judicial System?

  • How do you feel about a corporation building it's own military force that not only is on the ground in Iraq, but has BOOTS ON THE GROUND IN THE UNITED STATES?

  • What happens when a President's chief military advisor stands to gain billions from military actions?

LAST QUESTION: What happens when a militarily-reinforced corporation, whose soldiers are loyal to a COMPANY – not the COUNTRY – decide that a person, a group, or perhaps a President, is adversly affecting it's bottom line?

C'mon people. Stop judging your candidates on race, sex, religion, or appearance. This is really serious. Blackwater, despite an ongoing investigation and a direct order from the government of Iraq to leave the country, continues to grow in profit, power, and influence. You think Wal-Mart sucks? What about a military corporation with the ear of a sitting President.

Vote wisely. We're on a very slippery slope here. I have no axe to grind with Romney, but he's moving is some shady circles getting dubious info, and we've seen how that has gone since 2001. This is Revenge of the Sith shit we're playing with.

More info on this at: Democracy Now or

Please read my earlier post on Blackwater

Let's review a few things Bush has been blocking

Bush has been busy saying "NO" to a lot of potential spending lately, choosing to exercise fiscal conservatism... when it's not about tossing money tank-over-fist at Iraq. I guess you need to make up for all that money and equipment "unaccounted for" somehow.

Shall we look at where he's protecting the American taxpayer?

  1. VETO: Children's health bill (SCHIP Program)

    Pushed by the Democratic-led Congress but also supported by many Republicans, the bill was aimed at providing health insurance to about 10 million children in low- and moderate-income families. Taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products would have been increased to pay for the aid.

    "Because the Congress has chosen to send me an essentially identical bill that has the same problems as the flawed bill I previously vetoed, I must veto this legislation too."

    Bush has said the funding level sought by the Democrats for the health program would have expanded it beyond its original intent of covering poor children and marked a step toward government-run health care.

  2. STALLED: Bali Global Warming Agreement

    Despite everyone with a brain and a thermometer is in agreement that some kind of global warming situation is going on, Bush and buddies are still stalling.

    At the meeting in Bali, Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, said "the situation is so desperately serious that any delay could push us past the tipping point, beyond which the ecological, financial and human costs would increase dramatically."

    But Bush and friends, who have all ready spent 7 critical years whitewashing scientific reports to give his corporate buddies a few more years to gut the planet, have decided not to decide. His response to the meeting's attempts at cutting CO2 emissions is a "why should we if they don't". He feels that setting emissions standards is pointless this early in the negotiation process, especially if rising industrial nations like China and India do not intend to make "meaningful" commitments.

    This will almost certainly push off any real changes in the United State's policies until after he leaves office. At least his legacy will be consistent.

  3. VETO THREAT: 35-mpg Vehicle Standard (CAFE)

    The House passed (basically on party lines) the Energy Bill that includes the car company-friendly 35-mpg car/import car/truck Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard, but it has been stalled by Republicans in the Senate on several points, though many of them seem up to the challenge of making it work in some way.

    As far as Bush is concerned, the sticking point is that the Energy Bill would cut $21 billion in breaks to energy companies - despite record setting profits throughout the indstry. Even if Democrats overcome opposition in the Senate, they still would face the threat of a White House veto. The Bush administration has indicated that it would veto any energy legislation that repeals tax breaks for oil and gas companies.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It's time to stop treating our political parties like baseball teams.


Americans are loyal people. We take sides over just about anything – Coke vs Pepsi, Windows vs. Macintosh, Evangelical vs. Catholic, whatever. We pick a side and tend to stick with it no matter what. The more someone tells us we're on the wrong side, the more we dig in and get inflexible - even if we can't remember why.

And that's cool. Buy your 2 month old baby a Patriot's jumper to sleep in. Put a "DODGE SUCKS" bumper sticker on your Ford. I don't care.

But what about politics? We tend to vote the same way we watch baseball. But politicians aren't baseball teams. The Republicans are not the Yankees. The Democrats are not the Red Sox. And they do not deserve our blind loyalty.

We need to shift from voting based on loyalty and start voting based on service. Try not to think of the President as the pitcher for your team... think of him as a salesman - which is all he is. If he isn't delivering, jump ship and look for someone with a better product.

You want to scare the shit out of your elected officials depending on that classic American loyalty? This will do it.

The game is over. Stop being Democrats. Stop being Republicans. Start being informed Americans.

My hero speaks again.

He is in desperate need of a mind broadening experience. Maybe he should enlist and try Iraq? Don't ask don't tell would work, right?

More wisdom from The Great American Emptiness.

*TIp of the hat to Lou Susi for the "The Great American Emptiness" line.

Ahmadinejad - In the Name of Almighty BLOG

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (if you don't know who he is please close this window, you're of no use to me – please return to watching Entertainment Tonight) has a BLOG!!!

Unfortunately, no one can spell his name, so his Google stats are awful (little wed-designer joke there). He is quite interesting in a very dry, "In the Name of Almighty God-the All-Knowing, the Most Lovingly ‎Compassionate" kinda way. It's all propaganda, but he's obviously a wise man who has played Bush well to gain some status for Iran and is a good PR man. Check it out.

Even better, read the stuff views post. Like this dude:
D DuBois - America

Cool... are these all real comments from real people? Or planted? Anyway, your blogs are somewhat formal sounding. Why not loosen up the language a little for the American readers? And could you tell us a little about your home life and your family and what your daily routine is like. Also what kind of music do you like? What is your favorite color and what is your favorite sport?

Hmmm... what COLOR is his favorite... I wonder...

And of course, the kiss-asses:
ali khan - Iran

His excellency, it gives me immense pleasure to visit your site and post my comments this fabulous blog of a leader of free world not only islamic world. i have been following the remarkable efforts that you are pursuing in bringing the world together and making it a more safe place to live.Standing against the bullies has proved that you are a man of grit and character.Its high time that all islamic nations leave their fixation of sunni -shia divide and work towards ensuring more prosperous and powerful islamic community.I am a sunni muslim but a strong critic of sunni capitalist politics which leaves behind the interest of common people.Iran is a true islamic state in meaning and spirit.May almighty allah bless Islamic Republic of iran and its visionary and distinguished leader imam khomeni(RA). may allah bless you,you are the voice of repressed people of the world

Bullies? What bullies?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I'd be very nervous if I was that bear.

The logo of the bear paw in the gun sight is the logo for Blackwater. The bear is something they sell online in the store. 10 bucks for the first person to see the irony.

PS: Blackwater just updated their logo slightly to look less "aggressive" and more "corporate". What's the difference between those?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Romney loses crucial polygamist vote, woos crucial evangelical vote

Looks like my dream of being legally married to a blonde, brunette and red-head at the same time is down the tubes.

To help ease concerns over his Mormon background Mitt Romney attempted to channel the "so what I'm Catholic" speech JFK gave in 1960, except that JFK didn't talk about believing in Jesus Christ as his personal savior... and JFK didn't say the division of church and state had gone too far... and um... JFK didn't say those wanting to divide church and state are actually practitioners of a 'secular religion'.... OKAY, THIS DUDE IS NOTHING LIKE JFK.... except for those dreamy eyes...

Summary: "HEY! I like Jesus too! Us Mormons are like you guys!!! We're even scared of gay people!"

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney vowed on Thursday the Mormon church would not run the White House if he is elected, as he sought to reassure Americans wary of his religion.

Attempting to halt a slide in the polls in Iowa, where former Arkansas Gov. and Baptist preacher Mike Huckabee has surged into the lead, Romney made an impassioned appeal to Americans to look beyond his religion.

"Let me assure you that no authorities of my church, or of any other church for that matter, will ever exert influence on presidential decisions. Their authority is theirs, within the province of church affairs, and it ends where the affairs of the nation begin," Romney said.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Meet my new hero.

Is God willing to prevent dumb-ass co-hosts, but not able?

Making the blonde twinkie out on maternity leave sound intelligent, The View's Sherri Shepherd proves you can discuss The Bible in front of millions of housewives... without ever reading it.

During a discussion about Epicurus and the Greeks, Sherri said that "nothing predates Jesus." I guess B.C. stands for Blueberry Cupcakes.

The sad thing is that most of the God-Lovin' viewers of this show may not know any more than she does. Maybe The View should lay off 4th grade subjects like the Greeks and go back to less challenging topics... how about creative Christmas wrapping? That's about Jesus, right?

Whoopi... do you need the money? Why are you there?

Here's some related YouTube stuff on Epicurus. Good stuff here.

BTW: Isn't this guy in the above video the one who played the Emperor in Star Wars?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Islamist nutbags can officially go crazy over ANYTHING

UPDATE: It seems like someone with a grudge at the school this lady worked at caused the ruckus that landed her in jail. Also, since returning home many Muslims have showed given her support and kind words. Let's hear it for sanity.

School teacher Gillian Gibbons, a British woman working as a teacher in Khartoum (Sudan) was just released from jail after committing a grievous action against the god-loving people of Sudan. It's lucky this whack-ass infidel escaped with her head.

"I have been in Sudan for only four months but I have enjoyed myself immensely. I have encountered nothing but kindness and generosity from the Sudanese people," she said, in a statement read by British Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, one of the peers who met Bashir.

"I have great respect for the Islamic religion and would not knowingly offend anyone. I am sorry if I caused any distress."

Gibbons prompted a complaint after she let her pupils at Khartoum's private Unity High School pick their favorite name for a teddy bear as part of a project in September.

Twenty out of 23 of them chose Mohammad -- a popular boy's name in Sudan, as well as the name of Islam's Prophet.

Sudan's influential Council of Muslim Scholars had urged the government on Sunday not to pardon Gibbons, saying it would damage Khartoum's reputation among Muslims around the world.

About 50 demonstrators shouting "There is no God but Allah" and "We will die for the Prophet Mohammad" handed over a petition to the embassy about the affair.

"Retracting this light sentence ... would wound the sensibilities of the Muslims in Sudan," Council Spokesman al-Sheikh Mohammad Abdel Karim said.

Many Sudanese said they thought it was an innocent mistake which could be forgiven after an apology.

Okay, now it a sweaty demonstration over a teddy bear? People.... are you so insecure that you could be offended by a teddy bear named by YOUR OWN CHILDREN? It's not like this woman named it Prophet Mohammad and made a video of her in a mask cutting it's head off... cause that would be crazy, right? Additionally, you can call your kid Mohammad but not a teddy bear? Are you afraid people will mistakenly pray to the teddy bear as a graven image? Really? Um... huh...

I could sorta see the outrage if the teddy bear was spurned as a symbol of American Imperialism because of it being named for Roosevelt, but really, folks? Cause they name it Mohammad you're willing to run around screaming "We will die for the Prophet Mohammad"? Chill out. If you guys had cable you'd have no need for this. I suggest watching Weeds or Dexter. Those shows kick ass (and have no teddy bears from I can see.)