Friday, October 31, 2008

Goodbye Studs Terkel

"I have observed and written about American life for some time. In truth, nothing much surprises me anymore. But I always feel uplifted by this: Given the facts and an opportunity to act, the body politic generally does the right thing."

at Arboretum

At Arboretum, SCOT SW has written a nice essay reminding us that the will of the people is expressed not only through elected politicians, but through other leaders, too, and those leaders may be doing a better job. Give it a read!
CLICK

Republican Humor (63)


Today, we have a double giggle.

This first entry was sent to us by BILL from WNNCO who has generously supplied many of the Republican Humor entries over the past year. Can there be any doubt that if the Republicans were as adept at governing as they are at chuckling, they would not be in the fix they're in right now?
=====

[Click on the cartoon to enlarge it]

Republican Humor (62)

[Thanks to MARSHA for this contribution]

Sarah Palin went to Italy on a good will tour.

While there, she and the Pope enjoyed some quiet time together, including a trip on the canals of Venice in a gondola, exchanging viewpoints on everything from hunting to child-rearing.

As bad luck would have it, the Pope's mitre, the bejeweled and decorative headpiece that popes have worn for centuries, was struck by a breath of wind and it flew from his head and began floating down the canal.

Sarah heroically jumped from the boat and walked across the water. Without even getting her black pumps damp, she leaned over, retrieved the mitre and returned it to the boat.

Headline in all the papers next day: Palin Can't Swim!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

recommended by Margaret

MARGARET - has forwarded this cite concerning world hunger.  The essential question these authors ask in an up-coming book, is whether the world really cares to try to feed the hungry.
======

Can We Feed the World? More Importantly Will We Choose To?
Hen and Harvest
Oct 16th, 2008
By Aaron Newton and Sharon Astyk

EXCERPT:
It is easy to “know” that a world in which a human right to food is enforced is “unrealistic” or “na├»ve.” It is easy to know that there simply too many people, and that the powers that be are too entrenched to turn around. And it may, unfortunately, turn out to be true that we fail to create a society that would permit these things. But we would fail either because we did not try or because we did not try hard enough, not because it was never possible. Beginning from the assumption that greater equity is impossible naturalizes disaster—it says that the reason people starve is because we can’t do anything about it, and it makes it easy for us to wash our hands of the whole project of justice. This is wrong. What we can accomplish in terms of equity is debatable, and accomplishing it will be challenging. That does not free us not to attempt the project.

CLICK FOR MORE OF THE ARTICLE

Thursday Morning Smile-Maker (67)

Hail! The Queen!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Click on Cartoon to enlarge it
Cartoon by Paul Szep. Read about him here and see more of his work CLICK

Goodbye Nenno

We're glad you're gone, you animal. 

Every guilty deed
Holds in itself the seed
Of retribution and undying pain.
[Longfellow]



CLICK on picture to enlarge it.
CLICK for the whole story

for what it's worth



WONDERING --

I used to be an admirer of John McCain. I wonder how many people there are among you Birchites who are as amazed as I am at the dishonorable campaign that he has run and/or that he has allowed to be run in his name.

Comments welcome.
(Bud)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Guillotine Time ----

Time to get those guillotines set up on Wall Street. How can we stop the thievery? Now they want us to pay their undeserved bonuses?
=======
from The Guardian

Wall Street Banks Give $70bn staff payout. Pay and bonus deals equivalent to 10% of US government bail-out package

Financial workers at Wall Street's top banks are to receive pay deals worth more than $70bn (£40bn), a substantial proportion of which is expected to be paid in discretionary bonuses, for their work so far this year - despite plunging the global financial system into its worst crisis since the 1929 stock market crash, the Guardian has learned.

Staff at six banks including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup are in line to pick up the payouts despite being the beneficiaries of a $700bn bail-out from the US government that has already prompted criticism. The government's cash has been poured in on the condition that excessive executive pay would be curbed.

CLICK FOR MORE

Monday, October 27, 2008

Goodbye Tony Hillerman

We followed you often into Indian country and you brought us through with a vast new appreciation.  I already miss that next book which will, now, not be written. 

noted without further comment



Boy, 8, fatally shoots self in head while trying out Uzi submachine gun at Mass. gun club show
Associated Press
2:55 PM EDT, 
October 27, 2008

WESTFIELD, Mass. (AP) _ An 8-year-old boy died after accidentally shooting himself in the head while firing an Uzi submachine gun under adult supervision at a gun fair.

The boy lost control of the weapon while firing it Sunday at the Machine Gun Shoot and Firearms Expo at the Westfield Sportsman's Club, police Lt. Lawrence Vallierpratte said.

Monday Morning Friends Report, October 27, 2008


Fall has fallen here in mid-Michigan, and at moments, quite heavily. Today there was sleet. There is a lot of talk around here about the Michigan State victory over Michigan, an event that may or may not be earthshaking. While we knock each other around, Ohio State and Penn State keep rolling along!

The other big source of discussions is the upcoming election. People are trying to decide whether to vote for or against the stem cell research proposal, but the topic of President has been decided around here. Everyone we know is for Obama expect that lady across the street. Can't remember an election year where there seemed to be such unanimity around the birches.
=====
What's happening with some friends:

SCOT - has been feeling under the weather a bit, but recommends this funny little interlude: CLICK ("Monty Python Could Have Written This")

SANDY - has almost talked us into going to France with her tour group next year. Well, she hasn't been pressuring, but there are a lot of wonderful people signed up and we feel we probably should go just for the camaraderie. Could anyone send donations?

MARI - we have it on good authority that we have a new reader, and she is welcome to our ranks -- and we think she might be a Michigan fan, too!

MARSHA - we learn once again that she's a great hostess.

STEVE and BRENDA - expect to close on the house they're buying, in the next week. Congratulations and good luck!

MARIA- reports that the trivia contest is coming up next month. Very excited about this. Last year the "Five Teachers and a Creature" came in 2nd. Damn! Must be better this year!
====

What some friends are reading and talking about:

IRISH MIKE AND AMY - I don't know how they found this out, but they report that the Irish Bookies are paying off on Obama already because they are accepting that he is the winner. CLICK

VODEA - is forwarding the New York Times endorsement of Obama, which you can go read here, if you like. It's very good: < CLICK

IRENE - our Australian correspondent is cheering heartily for Obama. She says:
I'm sure it is not a factor exercising the mind of American voters, but there would surely be an amazing wave of anti-American feeling if Barack Obama does not end up becoming President of the USA. Support internationally for the Democratic Party candidate seems to be near universal and affected very little by whether the non-Americans are conservative or liberal in their own political convictions. The readership of the British based, but truly international, magazine The Economist are hardly likely to be mad lefties but they are overwhelmingly cheering for Barack.


JERRY and BILL both sent this:

What if.......


What if John McCain were a former president of the Harvard Law Review?
What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?

What if McCain were still married to the first woman he said 'I do' to?
What if Obama were the candidate who left his first wife after she no longer measured up to his standards?

What if Michelle Obama were a wife who not only became addicted to pain killers, but acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?
What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?

What if Obama were a member of the Keating-5*?

* The Keating Five were five United States Senators (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senator )
accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_scandal)
as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savings_and_Loan_crisis ) of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

What if McCain were a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

What if Barack Obama had an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter? What would people be saying?


If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?

You are The Boss... which team would you hire?

With America facing historic debt, 2 wars, stumbling health care, a weakened dollar, all-time high prison population, mortgage crises, bank foreclosures, etc.

Educational Background:

Obama:
Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in
International Relations.
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude

Biden:
University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science.
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)

vs.

McCain:
United States Naval Academy - Class rank: 894 of 899

Palin:
Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study
University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester
University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism


GIGI - forwards this commentary: "WHY THE BLUE STATES SHOULD SET UP THEIR OWN COUNTRY."


Dear Red States:

We've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us. In case you aren't aware, that includes California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. It may even include Florida and Ohio, they are seriously considering it. We've given them until Nov. 4th to decide. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country. Since we're dropping the middle states we're calling it United America, or simply the U.A.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood. You can take Ted Nugent. We're keeping Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel. You get WorldCom. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get Ole' Miss. We get Harvard and 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama. We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms, and the highest concentration of pregnant unwed teenagers. Please be aware that the U.A. will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq, and hope that the WMDs turn up, really we do, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire. We'd rather spend it on taking care of sick people, and educating our children.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's quality wines, 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT. With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia. We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the war, the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazy Redies believe you are people with higher morals then we Bluies..

Finally, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.


IRISH MIKE - "Colin Powell finally addressed the issue. What is wrong with an American being Muslim?"


GIGI - recommends an article saying that the newspapers owe us more discussion of the real issues not the mud: Urgent Issues, Buried in the Mud CLICK
====

What some folks are smiling about:

JERRY -


A READER (who will remain anonymous) - sent this racist humor.
Suppose a new student enrolls at your school. Her name is Le - a .
How would you pronounce the child's name???
Leah, Lee, Lay, Lei?? Nope, all wrong!

It's pronounced 'Ledasha' oh yes...you read it right. The dash is not silent.
Her mother is irate because everyone is getting her name wrong. When asked about the pronunciation of the name, the mother replied, 'the dash don't be silent.'
I wonder who she is going to vote for??????


Really makes you wonder if McCain appreciates some of his fervent supporters.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

comment heard in Carolina

"I go hunting with my kid, but just to watch, supervise. I haven't killed a thing since Vietnam. No interest in it. I can't stand the smell of blood or cordite."

HOME

Tonight, we are back home again in Michigan under the birches. In a day or so we will all be back in the swing of things and BIRCHES will be begin to look up-to-date again, Palin willing.

We have been toying with the new religion of Palin, and will see how that goes. We know that it is a form of self-centered-ness, just perfect for a modern religion in which everything is aimed at justifying one's own superficiality.

It could not be a more comforting Michigan fall evening. It's raining here, it's very blustery and dark and the leaves are everywhere on the lawn.

Friday, October 24, 2008

note about ARBORETUM

If you haven't been to Arboretum lately to read some of Scotsw anti-Palin rants, you should give yourself a treat CLICK

... noted without comment ...

Roadside display in South Carolina.
Click on pic to enlarge it.


So, let's all you guys out there zipper up before you get yourself in trouble. :)

Vacation report, Oct 24

Still on vacation! BIRCHES will be posting again with more regularity next week.

We are in South Carolina, a wondrous place of drawls and smiles, but I thought you readers might like to know this. While we have noted that Obama seems to be widening his leads in many many states, including the state to our immediate north, the news here in South Carolina is much different. The newspaper The State is reporting that its poll shows MCCain ahead here by about 20% points.

Perhaps, "The South shall rise again!" and in this state, the South will look pretty much like it did in the old days.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Light Through the Leaves


"How absurd men are! They never use the liberties they have, they demand those they do not have. They have freedom of thought, they demand freedom of speech."
- Soren Kierkegaard

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday silly Sites

Worst embassy attacks (shown on several pages): CLICK

Fascinating series of pictures of earth and moon taken by Deep Impact spacecraft from 31 million miles away. CLICK

Saturday, October 18, 2008

report from vacation ....


Enjoying our visit in South Carolina. This evening, we go to the Carolina-LSU game where we hope to have the double pleasure of seeing South Carolina win and the LSU coach (Les Miles) lose.

All is well.

Wacko-of-the-Week, October 18, 2008

REV. ARNOLD CONRAD
another two-bit minister with more mouth than theology.

In a public place, where everyone could hear his nonsense, the Reverend was praying for John McCain, which probably can't do any harm, and then he lost control of his senses and went into verbal diarrhea.

I would also pray Lord that your reputation is involved in all that happens between now and November, because there are millions of people around this world praying to their God -- whether it's Hindu, Buddha, Allah -- that his [McCain’s] opponent wins for a variety of reasons.

And Lord I pray that you would guard your own reputation, because they’re going to think that their god is bigger than you, if that happens. So I pray that you would step forward and honor your own name in all that happens between now and Election Day.


A really astute Christian, even one of these modern Xhristians who thinks God dabbles in everything but their own lives, would accept that one God covers all, but not this guy. He thinks there is more than one and that his own is in danger of being embarrassed. This ought to start a war on Mt. Olympus.

He also thinks some God backs McCain. Who the hell told him THAT?

Padre Conrad also seems to forget he lives in a democracy. If we had an omni-potent, omni-seeing, omni-present deity to decide our elections, we wouldn't elections at all, now would we? Oh, wait, that would be monarchy and the divine right of kings, wouldn't it?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Barney Fife Award #9 (Denton County Sheriff's Office)


++++
Let's just quote the news report. The thing speaks for itself:



October 8, 2008
SANGER,TX - A controversy has arisen out of Denton County involving a 13-year-old boy, a cell phone and a text message. That message has landed the middle schooler in juvenile detention on child pornography charges.

Text messaging has become part of our everyday lives.

But at Sanger Middle School, it has become a problem and in some cases, pornographic.

"He doesn't know what a felony means. He doesn't understand what pornography means," said one parent.

She is a mother of a 13-year-old boy arrested Monday and suspended from school and spent the night in a juvenile detention center after an eighth grade female student texted him a naked picture of herself.

"He's a 13-year-old child. He's in middle school. He's supposed to be out there having fun, hanging out and playing football, which he loves to do. Instead, he's having to sit at home with mom and dad," said his mother.
...
So far only the 13-year-old boy has been arrested.

some beaches are less bright than others

I see that in Australia, girls are being warned not to try to encourage boys by walking around the beaches with their telephone numbers displayed on their backs.

This is almost like the old joke of the girl arrested for being a prostitute because she had a mattress strapped to her back.



In any case, I am going to the beach next week. I will take a good book, some sunscreen, a beach towel, and a notebook and pencil. In my condition, any possible advantage is a definite plus.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

vacation

Going on Vacation
for awhile.
There will be fewer posts on Birches over the coming days, but there will be some.

Planning to stay a few days at a pink house at the beach. This is the only chance Birches ever gets to act rich, thanks to a friend.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


See more of Steve Benson's work CLICK
Click on the cartoon to enlarge it.

Monday Friends Report (Yeah, late again) Oct. 14, 2008




BIRTHDAYS - we know about in October:   MIKE CARROLL - BILL FROM WNNCO -SPARTY - FELIX - MARSHA

DIG S - Is moving to Los Angeles. We'll miss him, but hope he keeps in touch!

IRISH MIKE - sends photo of son and girlfriend at Northwestern game. Well, they're MSU fans and they were treading bravely in enemy territory. MSU won!

SANDY - still in California.

BUD and PAT - heading for Carolina for awhile. Going to the beach. Feel free to be jealous.

LINDA - has openly stated she has more qualifications for Vice President than that other woman, and she's so vehement about it, no one would challenge her.

SPARTY - sends a very nice note about the terrible collapse of the U. of M. football team. This promises to be the most miserable season ever for the vaunted Wolverines.

GIGI - "I want McCain to stop valling me his friend. I'm NOT his friend!"

FELIX : "Ya know...I never trust someone who is compelled to keep calling me 'my friend'. "
=====
What some people recommend for your reading:

SPARTY - "Are We Rome - Tu Betchus" CLICK

BILL FROM WNNCO - How Congress caused the financial crisis. CLICK

DASHMANN - an article which blames the Democrats for all the financial problems: CLICK

Monday, October 13, 2008

McCain-Palin and Oil Mania

John McCain is naturally making some Michigan (and other Great Lakes State residents) very, very nervous. He has called for the off-shore drilling of oil. It fact, it is part of the litany of McCain and Palin crowds that they should shout: DRILL, BABY DRILL!

Michigan
has a lot of shores
to go off-shore of.
How much oil is there under Lake Michigan?

McCain says that the states should decide for themselves whether to have off-shore drilling, but who believes that line? He wants oil and he wants it in huge amounts - enough to end American importation of oil from the Middle East. And he wants it now.

It won't take long before he wakes up and discovers that the Great Lakes are not just state waters, they are an international boundary line, and the Federal Government could pre-empt state control of those waters. If the Federal Government wishes to allow drilling for oil in Thunder Bay or Lake Erie, it will!

We who care about the environment, and who believe that this country needs to move on from oil to the new technologies, should all be very nervous. Instead of drilling, we should be changing.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday silly Sites


A series of pictures of a TV screen which seem to say something about us, and our news proclivities. Interesting. CLICK

Cool: Polish Movie Posters. CLICK


Beautiful bridges of many eras. CLICK

Saturday, October 11, 2008

[Graphic, Rich, New York Times]


Here are some words that have been floating through my thoughts recently. They're kind of old-fashioned words, I guess but I know what they mean, and I bet you do, too.

1.Demagogue, 2.Rabble-Rousing, 3.Incendiary, 4.Reactionary, 5.Mob Action, 6.Incitement

Wacko-of-the-Week, Oct. 11, 2008

This Week's Award to MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD and the IRANIAN GOVERNMENT



Now that George Bush has opened talks with the enemy in Iran, they seem to have caught the confusion bug that Bushies carry around with them .

On Tuesday, Iran announced that it has forced an American military plane with American military personnel to land in Iran after it had violated their airspace. CLICK

On Friday, it turned out that the plane was (a) Not American, it was Hungarian (b) Not military (c) had no American military aboard (d) had not defied Iranian airspace but strayed off course. CLICK

Well, hell, what's a little international dust-up right in the middle of a worldwide financial panic and the collapse of the capitalist economy?

=======
RUNNERS-UP:
Lavarr A. Milton, 21, and Guy O. Walker, 18, have been charged with robbing a gas station in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, and three others in the Louisville area, according to police. They were arrested after they stopped a police officer in the early morning hours and asked directions. CLICK

Friday, October 10, 2008

For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind...
CLICK

letter from SPARTY : "Race in election"

"An interesting discussion tonight on the Rachel Maddow show about the "Bradley Effect" in elections (recall that in 1982 Tom Bradley had a sizeable lead in the polls for mayor of LA but lost the election): resulting rule is that a black candidate running against a white candidate should have a lead of greater than 5% or he/she will lose.

"Maddow interviewed a political scientist from Princeton, Melissa Harris-Lacewell, who has studied this issue. She says it is operative in districts where there is a overwhelming white majority. Where that isn't the case (in the campaign for the U.S. Senate in a state like Illinois, for example) a black candidate suffers little when running against a white candidate. In fact, in districts where there is a sizeable minority population there is a reverse Bradley Effect - white support for the black candidate is greater than would be thought likely. She says there is evidence of a significant Bradley Effect going on in three states (she didn't name them) but a reverse Bradley Effect in 12 states.

"Maddow asked her what the McCain campaign should be doing in order to encourage the Bradley Effect, and Harris-Lacewell said imply his differentness by suggesting he has Muslim connections and suggest he also has connections with terrorists - anything to make him, in addition to his race, to be so different that he's dangerous."

Thursday, October 9, 2008


CLICK

entertainment news a phantom pregnancy

For those of you who turn to BIRCHES for the latest entertainment news, here's an important report.



Someone says JAMIE LYNN SPEARS, who sometimes travels with her own bedclothes, is pregnant again.
Someone else says she isn't.

We cannot yet be sure if she is or ain't, although no one around here is claiming to be the father, although lots of us wold love to try, because we're preverts like that.

We'll keep you posted. Stay tuned.

Two Questions

Here are a couple of questions worth mulling.

1. What effect would it have on the election if, in fact, there IS a big terrorist attack on the U.S. in the days before the election? The threat is obviously out there.

2. What effect would the defeat of Obama have on his supporters if they perceive the election has been stolen from him either because of voting manipulations as in Florida, or because of a racist vote which is hiding in the background?

Thursday Morning Smile Maker (64)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

recommended


Go to (click on) ARBORETUM to read a very good essay on: "What Obama Should Have Said" by Scot S.W.
[And leave a comment there, if you like]

a personal note on a public matter

from Bud: 

Those who know me, and readers of this blog, will recall that I used to admire John McCain.  Still, there is no chance that I would vote for him this year for President. He is not the person I thought I used to know, and with Sarah Palin, he's become a totally lost cause. I can't think of a worse insult to hand America that his hugely dishonest and demagogic running mate from chilly Alaska.  

People seem to assume that if a voter isn't for the Republican, he must be for the Democrat, but this is not necessarily so. 

During the Democratic primaries, I didn't make any choice between Obama and Clinton.  Living in Michigan, I would have a right to vote in any primary I wished, but the Democrats took away that choice here by not running a real election.  Most candidates dropped out and the ones who stayed in, didn't campaign here.  

In the past, I have voted for Ralph Nader. I know he's ugly, I know he's cranky, I know he's obsessed.  But every time I see him or read his words, I find myself agreeing with him.  

Yet, I have decided to vote for Obama this year.  I detest the Republican Party in all its crookedness and bigotry and plutocracy. I think their people have become anti-democracy, anti-tolerance, anti-science. Most of them are abusive, and disrespectful of the aspiration of common folks. They tolerate the bigotry of racists and elitists.  If Eisenhower could see today's Republican Party, he would leave it. He had too much dignity, too must honor, too much honesty for this pack of neo-cons and know-nothings; and he would never have tolerated the thievery.


So I will leave Nader to his loss even though I like his ideas. Instead I add my voice to those who say: Change! Change or we're doomed. And at this point, Obama is the only likely change agent for America. I don't believe any of the scandal and sleaze manufactured against him. He's not a terrorist or crazy man or disloyal muslim --- or any of that. At the debates, he's been the adult in the room.

guillotine time (#4)


[Premise: If the American Middle Class understood what has been done to it in the past few years, they would be setting up guillotines on Wall Street.]
====

Lawmakers angered by posh AIG retreat

Associated Press
October 8, 2008
WASHINGTON - Less than a week after the federal government had to bail out American International Group Inc., the company sent executives on a $440,000 retreat to a posh California coastal resort, lawmakers investigating the company's meltdown said yesterday.

The tab included $23,380 worth of spa treatments for AIG employees at the St. Regis resort south of Los Angeles even as the company tapped into an $85 billion loan from the government that it needed to stave off bankruptcy.

The retreat did not include anyone from the financial products division that nearly drove AIG under, but lawmakers were still enraged over the thousands of dollars spent on catered banquets, golf outings and visits to the resort's spa and salon for executives of AIG's main U.S. life insurance subsidiary.

"Have you heard of anything more outrageous?" asked Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, noting that the bill included $23,000 for spa services. "They were getting their manicures, their facials, pedicures, massages while the American people were footing the bill."
Who Won? 
"THAT ONE !"

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

guillotine time (part 3)

RICHARD FULD, the CEO of the Lehmann Brothers disaster, explained to Congress On October 6, that he hadn't received $480 million in compensation as Congressman Henry Waxman claimed, but that it was actually closer to $250 million.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday Friends Report, Oct. 6, 08

Everyone is still talking about Palin. Everyone is also talking about the economy. There is such cynicism about both. We are also talking about the weather. An almost perfect Michigan September has turned into a chilly and much more gloomy October.
For a lot of folks, the football season is a big topic. Michigan State is doing great, MIchigan is having a tough time, and South Carolina has a season that may turn out great!
=====

SCOT - tells that his dog Riley is home from the hospital, and after operations and medications, he is slowly coming back to normalcy normality. Here is his beautiful self, and yes, he knows he's handsome.



BILL from WNNCO - sends this picture, which he took, and which can be more easily read if you click on the pic and enlarge it:


MARSHA- recommends an article about research, which may show that the way people vote is sometimes based on genetics. CLICK

DASHMANN - recommends a newspaper commentary on Palin: CLICK

DIG S and JERRY - sends this flow chart (click to enlarge):

Sarah Palin's Debate Flowchart

ALICE - who didn't want that dog that moved in with her is now calling it "My Dog" and speaking about it fondly. We have heard this story before. When was that? Hmm

MARSHA: posing for photo on a victory weekend. South Carolina defeated Ole Miss.

=====


FELIX - has returned from a stay in Virginia and sends this picture, one of his favorite places in the world.
Near Mt. Rogers, VA
fall 2008.

MIKE CARROLL almost from Carollton - has celebrated his birthday. The party was thrown by his children. It was a well-attended affair, and he says he was completely taken by surprise.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Thousand Points of Fight


The wonder of democracy is the ample opportunity to fight over stuff. We wouldn't have it any other way, would we?

Here are a few of BIRCHES' ineffectual jabs, arrows shot from the woods:

1. Sarah Palin will destroy her future as a national candidate by turning to the sleazy tactics she has started. Of course, she didn't think of this approach all by herself, but she lends her name and future prestige to the effort, and that will consign her to the back burners with other sleaze artists.

2. If John McCain wants to challenge Obama as "paling around with terrorists" then he should do it face-to-face on Tuesday night like a gentleman rather than a coward.

3. Around here, we simply do not believe that 700 billion dollars can be pumped into the Wall Street money churn and come out pure. It will be stolen in large part by the same people who have gotten rich off stealing from borrowers.

A Light Through the Leaves


"Everybody sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences."
- Robert Louis Stevenson

Sunday silly Sites

Is Barack Obama really a muslin? CLICK

Select a biodegradable coffin for yourself, click on the pic, and order it if you wish: click

Some German boys make a circle and beat on themselves. CLICK

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Wacko-of-the-Week, October 4, 2008


Jonathon Guabello

Fort Myers, Florida

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This week, FELIX has nominated the winner of our treasured award. The story contains all the ingredients of a good salacious, nasty romance: (a) quarreling (b) boyfriend-girlfriend (c) living together "in sin" (d) alcohol (e) drugs, and of course (f) GUNS!!!!

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As you study the portrait above of the poor rejected Romeo, you have to think of an evening of drinking, of a lady who is very tired, of a poor fella who wants to screw, and of the heat that is caused when these ingredients are stirred up in the cauldron of late night hours.

When she refused his proposition, he shot himself, staggered about the apartment and collapsed onto the stove, knocking himself out. This put an end to his threat that if she called the police, he would kill her. One minute, lust, the next hatred. tsk-tsk. That is real roller coaster of emotion.
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And, once again proof that guns are needed to protect one's home against ... well, against one's friends and family evidently.

Read all about it here: CLICK - as there are more wonderful details.
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RUNNER-UP:



House Minority Leader, John Boner, and House Minority Whip, Eric Cantor, for having the unmitigated nerve to go before the national press and stand there with God watching, and blame someone else for the fact that they defeated the bailout bill. Why? Because a lady had hurt their feelings. READ IT HERE, CLICK Even for Congressmen, this is an audacious case of bald-faced lying, and nobody in the country is believing them.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Republican Humor ( 61)

This is the latest contribution by Bill from Wnnco.

Remember, if you have some Republican humor to share, send it around.
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One sunny day in 2009, an old man approached the White House from across Pennsylvania avenue, where he'd been sitting on a park bench.

He spoke to the Marine standing guard & said, 'I would like to go in & meet with President Barack Obama.'

The Marine replied, 'Sir, Mr. Obama is not President & doesn't reside here.'

The old man said, 'Okay,' & walked away.

The following day, the same man approached the White House & said to the same Marine, 'I would like to go in & meet with President Barack Obama.'

The Marine again told the man, 'Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Obama is not President & doesn't reside here.'

The man thanked him & again walked away.

The third day, the same man approached the White House & spoke to the very same Marine, saying, 'I would like to go in & meet with President Barack Obama.'

The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man & said, 'Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Obama. I've told you already several times that Mr. Obama is not the President & doesn't reside here. Don't you understand?'

The old man answered, 'Oh, I understand you fine. I just love hearing your answer!'

The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, 'See you tomorrow, sir.'

Our intrepid leader speaks

The memory is still sharp --

"I remember meeting a mother of a child who was abducted by the North Koreans right here in the Oval Office."

The Human Condition

As a nod to friend, Bill, whose rule of life is that every personal interaction can be explained by one of two constants:
Why in the world would three 17 year old boys want to have sex with their teacher? Hmm