Tuesday, December 27, 2011

In November, SPARTY sent me an article, by Bill Moyers, from The Nation. This essay described how the business class in America decided in 1971 to attack the liberal institutions and politicians who had brought prosperity to millions of Americans. Moyers traced the efforts of "Wall Street interests"over a period of years to end the components of our democratic republic which served the interests of the non-rich and the non-powerful.

Liberalism and the Democratic Party spoke for the preferred political faith in those days, because it was the faith of the commonest American people.

The effort of the wealthy interests to wage political warfare on the left, on the unions, on the common people, has been enormously successful. It has now led to the Occupy Movement which has been vigorous in many cities this autumn. This warfare has been blessed with hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate money.

I believe that with the end of winter and the onset of the election for president, there will be a resumption of the anti-capitalism movement. As the public discovers that both parties, and both presidential candidates are now toadies of the monied interests, the level of hostility will probably grow.

Here is where to find the Moyers article:

How Wall Street Occupied America: CLICK

Friday, December 23, 2011

about Christmas

I never thought I would like a fake Christmas tree, but I do. I think ours looks very good. I've gotten over the idea that this representation of the holiday has to be a "real" tree.

Only wish more people would look at other people's Christmas decorations more carefully.


Alice expresses regrets that so many young people have sacrificed Christmas hymns and the pleasure of singing them in company with many others. She thinks it's a part of the rejection of religion.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

without comment

Sheriff: Ohio man cleaning gun killed Amish girl

FREDERICKSBURG, Ohio (AP) -- A man cleaning his muzzle-loading rifle shot the gun into the air, accidentally killing a 15-year-old Amish girl driving a horse-drawn buggy more than a mile away, a sheriff said Tuesday.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Goodbye Vaclav Havel

An "accidental hero" --

"It's interesting that I had an adventurous life, even though I am not an adventurer by nature. It was fate and history that caused my life to be adventurous rather than me as someone who seeks adventure,"

Saturday, December 17, 2011

top story

Killing of Bin Laden Voted Top News Story of 2011

NEW YORK (AP) — The killing of Osama bin Laden during a raid by Navy SEALs on his hideout in Pakistan was the top news story of 2011, followed by Japan's earthquake/tsunami/meltdown disaster, according to The Associated Press' annual poll of U.S. editors and news directors



I am not necessarily in favor of capital punishment. I have heard of some people being executed who, had I been governor, would have gotten a commutation to a prison term. I do admit, however, that when some people in death penalty states are put to death, I don't care. Gary Gilmore, for example. Last month, Paul Rhoades was executed in Idaho, after 20 years in prison and a multitude of appeals, for the murder of a school teacher whom he had kidnaped, raped, shot 9 times, and raped again. His death did not incite in me any sense of regret. And, had the death penalty been applied to Charles Manson or Sirhan Sirhan, , I wouldn't have cared.


When campaigning for President, Barack Obama promised that he would hunt down Osama Bin Laden and kill him.

"And if we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act, and we will take them out.

We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al-Qaida. That has to be our biggest national security priority."

(Oct. 7, 2008)

I'm happy that this happened.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

on my mind

I've been very lazy lately about updating this blog. I used to think that I had to do it every day or two just because people who matter to me might look in expecting to find something to read. Now I've become a shade less neurotic about it.

Here are some things in our world I take note of:
1. The murderers of Sean Stennett (who according to testimony as reported in the news online, must be very very evil people) have been brought to justice. This morning the jury found them guilty on all counts --- mandatory life in prison. It's satisfying to know that men like that, capable of such a flat out vicious killing, are now under control and will not be stalking this community any more.

2. I've been deluged with complaints from Michigan State fans who feel cheated. They lost their game to Wisconsin as most of you know, and according to some voices, this is because the officials made a wrong call. I never thought that Spartan fans would fall back on that old excuse.

I must remark, however, that they should not blame Michigan, because our team did everything in our power to help State become the Big-10 Champions, including losing to them and beating Nebraska. We are going to a "better" bowl than they are because we were invited. I heard on a local TV channel that some people are wondering if Michigan bought its way into the rankings, but I think you'd better wait for any shred of evidence at all before you make that accusation.

3. We went with good friends to the Saginaw Bay Orchestra Christmas concert at the magnificent Temple Theater last night. The show was a "sold out" --- the first one. We all liked the event hugely, and I especially appreciated the Saginaw Valley State University choir which joined the band for some really fun musical pieces. (There is still hope for this woebegone post-industrial city. A successful symphony is one such hope!)

The concert was pretty much an exercise in Christianity, and that's no doubt appropriate since Christmas is, after all, a Christian construction.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

kicking the newton

I am used to seeing the mean stuff that the Republican propagandists dump on the Democrats. Well, here's a comment that goes the other way. When Gingrich proposed that the children start cleaning their own schools, our minds went back (as do the conservative minds) to the old days when children worked regularly.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cops with gas

Having seen the video of the policemen pepper spraying the students at UC Davis, and watching them trying to provoke those students who sat placidly on the ground without resisting, I am angry. In the first place, calling the police onto a college campus to interfere with a peaceful demonstration by students is a radical act unbecoming an administrator.

Secondly, if I were a student pepper sprayed under these conditions, I would certainly sue the cops holding the spray cans. Exceeding one's authority as an officer of the law is negligence; and battery -- even by a law officer -- is a felony.

How about never closing?

I have heard of several attempts by employees of retail stores to protest against the early openings that now accompany the "black Friday" madness/shopper rampage. These openings are going to deny vacations and holidays for many workers.

The most recent I have heard of was by some Best Buy employees. I understand that there are Facebook petitions that buyers and workers can sign, although I haven't been to any of those sites.

With the killing off of unions and the failure of government to intervene (government, after all, being now in the employ of the corporations that would compel workers to give up their holidays) there is really no reason why the big retailers cannot stay open all the time 24/7/365. To pay for the cost of this, they could pay their workers less under some guise that the government would accept as a waiver of the minimum wage laws.

Maybe Best Buy, for one example, could certify itself as a national security industry, and Walmart could certify itself as an arm of a foreign country, China, and therefore exempt itself from American law.

Let's just go back to an indentured servant economy; as the conservatives would say, "if you don't like it, don't take a job there."

Monday, November 14, 2011

ALICE'S corner

I heard some commentary this morning about Herman Cain answering every question with, "I'll consult advisors." If we look back, Rick Snyder said similar things when questioned about his plans for Michigan if he were elected. And the Saginaw News in it's endorsement of Snyder in effect said that they didn't know what he planned to do but they thought he was the better candidate. Scott Walker in WI, Rick Scott in FL, Rick Perry of TX, the governor of Ohio (can't spell it), Rick Snyder here in MI and Herman Cain all have close ties to the Koch brothers, and most have attended the ALEC seminars in CO. There must be a joke in there somewhere about so many of them having either Scott or Rick in their names. Is it CODE or something? :)


This is my older sister. She is the best activist in the family.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

short quiz

Short quiz:
What's happening here?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

No, you are not Penn State.

Being a fan of University of Michigan sports, because I graduated from that school, I am familiar with the feelings that go along with sports scandal. UM has had its share, especially in the basketball arena. There are people who have tried to excuse and apologize for the behavior that cast a dark shadow over my school. I have tried never to be one of those people.

When sports scandals damage the reputation of a great school like Penn State, students should rally in the direction of recovery and reform. Throwing stones, starting fires and screaming "We are Penn State" all night does even more harm to the University.

My good friend Bill has said many times that there is no sense of respect greater than going onto a campus. I agree. On campus, you wander into the promise of the future. You can feel the spirit of learning emanating from classrooms and diags. Nothing that happens in the secret places of the locker rooms, and no dishonor on the sports field, should be allowed to continue to damage that magical allure of university and student, teaching and learning, from adolescence to adulthood.

I have been on the campus at Penn State. It's a wonderful place. It's an exciting place. It's a great university. It was there before you arrived, or I visited. It will be there a long time after we are all gone. So, children, no! Screaming your chants mindlessly does not make you Penn State. On the contrary, it makes you less of a Nittany Lion.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Good Bye Andy Rooney

I didn't get old on purpose, it just happened. If you're lucky, it could happen to you.(photo: In Europe, 1943, the Year I was born.)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Notable Retirement

American soccer goalkeeper.
At times has been called by soccer writers as the greatest goalie in the world. He has served as goalie for the U.S. MENS TEAM, 120 times. He's currently playing with the Seattle Sounders in the MLS, but has announced his retirement when this season is over.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

the answer

Here's the answer to the last little quiz: How do you know my baby is both blind and stupid?

"Everybody loves my baby, but my baby don't love nobody but me." (1924)

The Loyal Opposition

A Virginia Republican Committee member has resigned after circulating this. So, I don't quite get it. Whatever happened to freedom of speech? Or isn't this a matter of legality?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

money grab

See how the wealth falls into fewer and fewer hands.
Click on the chart to make it larger.

New Little Quiz

According to a song written in 1924, and done by Glenn Miller in 1944, and by Doris Day in 1955, how do we know that My Baby must be visually impaired and stupid?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

News from here

Beautiful barista/bartenderess MARI has gone all zombie for Pub Crawl.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011



This morning I was listening to an NPR report about a portion of the Jobs Bill ($35 billion) that would have provided for hiring police, firefighters, and teachers. It was voted down, with every single Republican Senator against it. Republicans keep talking about how taxing millionaires would kill jobs. To pay for the bill there would be a tax increase of .5% on millionaires, and of course that would be a 'job killer', according to the Republicans. But, If passed, Michigan's portion of that bill would have been $945 million, and that actually would have created thousands of Michigan jobs.

October 24, 2011

LANSING, Mich. - For the second time in as many weeks, a piece of President Obama's "Jobs Act" came to the floor of the Senate, and once again, it was blocked. The $35 billion bill, known as "Teachers and First Responders Back to Work," would have prevented thousands of layoffs in public schools and police and fire departments across Michigan. It would have been paid for with a 0.5 percent tax increase for millionaires. CLICK

Tuesday Morning Coffee Oldsters.

But, interesting and cute despite the age.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

on vacation

There's no explanation for this. They wanted a picture, they got a picture.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

We are home from the beach. Now I have to tend to my Blog again. I did read a couple of books as I sat and listened to the ocean make love to the shore. Holy cow! Maybe I should become a writer, too.

I just read about Michigan's former Attorney General who says that in retirement, he is "enjoying being a Democrat while living like a Republican." I understand his comment when I am in a place like Litchfield Beach. It's more beauty and comfort and leisure than I'm sure I've earned. My very good friend, Marsha, helps me stay humble, though. She called me a jerk, and I have to confess, she's right.

I'll probably post a couple more pictures of our "vacation" in South Carolina. I've become apprised of things I did not know while gone because I didn't keep a close enough eye on news and events. I am finding out that some Michigan fans are looking for a place to put the blame for our loss to MSU. Just being a Michigan fan as opposed to the other choice, is comfort enough for me. I am currently very proud of our team and its coaches for restoring our good name. Not every team has a good name, it seems.

As for the elimination of Ka-daffy, I wish it could have been done without our President 's illegal actions.

We've been missing our kids and grandkids!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

more about killing Awlaki

Let's see where we agree and disagree.

1. I do NOT agree that the US is not fighting a war. In fact, I think it's a silly mincing of words for anyone to say that.
2. I do not agree that the killing of enemies is preferably done one way rather than another. I can't see any point in arguing that A a-A was not an enemy of the US.
3. I do not agree that foreign citizens who are captured by the US in conflict (Prisoners of War) are entitled to the same rights as American citizens.
4. I DO agree that there is a very serious constitutional question involved in hunting down American citizens and killing them. I think this should be settled. I keep wanting to hear the arguments for and against this, but no one I know will talk about that.
Frankly, I am disappointed that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have been calling for Congressional hearings on this matter. It needs to be discussed and debated. Probably it needs to be sent to the Supreme Court and settled.


"Well, the presidential race is getting interesting. In an effort to clear up his reputation as a flip-flopper, Mitt Romney will give a speech on health care. And then, right afterward, he'll give a five-minute rebuttal." —Jay Leno
Click to enlarge.
See more of Adam Zyglis here: CLICK

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Killing Mr. Awlaki

I've been having discussions on Facebook and in person with various folks -- my son Scot in particular, and his friends, and coffeehouse friends as well-- about the matter of drone killings. The assassination of Anwar al Awlaki is the meat of the discussion.

Scot's opinion is that it is absolutely unconstitutional for the US to hunt down and summarily kill an American citizen.

Sparty's opinion is that we shouldn't be dropping death from the skies on anyone.

The conversation is open here on BIRCHES, because I would like to hear more.

I read this comment in the NEW YORK TIMES, and thought it represented somewhat my own attitude, although I think I have better reasoning than Mr. Floar has given here.

Regarding the Oct. 1 news story about the assassination of al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki “In secret memo, Justice Department sanctioned strike”:

I had been a member of the American Civil Liberties Union since the administration of the first George Bush. However, my conviction that the ACLU was dangerously wrong in contending that Mr. Awlaki’s killing violates the U.S. Constitution and international law forced me to withdraw my support.

The militant fanatics of al-Qaeda have, in effect, declared the entire planet a war zone, since they are prepared to attack us anywhere, and at any time, they can. Nor were we ever likely to be able to extradite Mr. Awlaki from Yemen, a U.S. “ally” in name only. Arresting and trying Mr. Awlaki would have been nice, but in the real world it just wasn’t going to happen.

Mr. Awlaki had declared himself our enemy. In killing him when and where it could, the United States did what was possible rather than what was preferable. The ACLU should remember that we live in a highly imperfect world.

John W. Floars, Woodbridge

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Small quiz

Here are two gents who have made the news. Can you identify them and tell what they have had in common?

Monday, October 3, 2011

OUR TOWN: Less deadly than handguns, anyway

Patricia A. McCloy, 67, of 2210 Patton was sentenced to six months probation for two counts of assault and battery Oct. 7 at 2202 Patton in Saginaw. McCloy pleaded no contest to the charges and in exchange, prosecutors dropped two initial charges of felonious assault (or assault with a dangerous weapon, a pitchfork). McCloy was ordered to pay $266 in court costs.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

history quiz

Loyal readers. Here's the latest little history quiz.

Tell what you remember about the circumstances surrounding this picture. You can do it by email or by "comment".

from the "Loyal" opposition

#Occupy Wall Street

If you've heard about it and want to read more about it, and look at some pictures, go here:
The resistance continues at Liberty Square and Nationwide!

Friday, September 23, 2011

In Saginaw and the surrounding area, the police have recently seized 36 guns (as well as gambling paraphernalia, cars, money, and people). When things like this happen, the police always say something comforting like, "It's good to get those guns off the street." Or they say, "These are guns that aren't going to kill anymore people."

I appreciate the sentiment. It is nice to have some guns off the street, although I doubt that those guns will be noticed. As fast as they are seized, they can be replaced.

Counterbalance the efforts of law enforcement against illlegalities such as guns, drugs, gambling, and violence, and you have an industry that is perpetual, eternal, and ever-threatening to good folk like us.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

more Mari

readers recommend

While we were away on our travels, some loyal followers sent the following: (If you need the cites for the articles, ask me.)

IRISH MIKE sent a link to an article in Rolling Stone which discusses the effort by the Republican Party to reduce the number of votes cast by their opponents.

All told, a dozen states have approved new obstacles to voting. Kansas and Alabama now require would-be voters to provide proof of citizenship before registering. Florida and Texas made it harder for groups like the League of Women Voters to register new voters. Maine repealed Election Day voter registration, which had been on the books since 1973. Five states – Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia – cut short their early voting periods. Florida and Iowa barred all ex-felons from the polls, disenfranchising thousands of previously eligible voters. And six states controlled by Republican governors and legislatures – Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin – will require voters to produce a government-issued ID before casting ballots. More than 10 percent of U.S. citizens lack such identification, and the numbers are even higher among constituencies that traditionally lean Democratic – including 18 percent of young voters and 25 percent of African-Americans.

SPARTY sent on a reference to a recent New Yorker article that suggests that many Americans have become deliberately perverse, preferring to suffer inconvenience and even harm to themselves rather than see other people be happy.

I was struck by this passage commenting on a new book by Thomas Freidman and Michael Mandelbaum in which the authors wring their hands when comparing U.S. public services with those in China and Europe:

The reason we don't have beautiful new airports and efficient bullet trains is not that we have inadvertently stumbled upon stumbling blocks; it's that there are considerable number of Americans for whom these things are simply symbols of a feared central government, and who would, when they travel, rather sweat in squalor than surrender the money to build a better terminal. They hate fast trains and efficient airports for the same reason that seventeenth-century Protestants hated the beautiful Baroque churches of Rome when they saw them: they were luxurious symbols of an earthly power they despised....Americans are perfectly willing to sacrifice their comforts for their ideological convictions. We don't have a better infrastructure or decent elementary education exactly because many people are willing to sacrifice faster movement between our great cities, or better informed children, in support of their belief that the government should always be given as little money as possible....

.....the crucial point is that this is the result of active choice, not passive indifference: people who don't want high-speed rail are not just indifferent to fast trains. they are offended by fast trains, as the New York Post is offended by bike lanes and open-air plazas: these things give too much pleasure to those they hate. They would rather have exhaust and noise and traffic jams, if such things sufficiently annoy liberals. Annoying liberals is a pleasure well worth paying for....

In the long story of civilization, the moments when improving your lot beats out annoying your neighbor are vanishingly rare.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


We are home from our trip to the States of WASHINGTON and OREGON. We had many very good experiences and saw some fantastic sights. This is a trip we've wanted to make for quite a few years. Having left a lot undone and unseen, we hope to go back there sometime.

I will be updating BIRCHES in the next day or so, but this evening, it's off to my 50th reunion. I've never really cared much for the class reunion idea, and have only attended the first 2, years and years ago. But now, I'd like to see whom I've outlived.

my favorite and most beautiful barista

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Saturday, August 27, 2011


We have been away for a week, and naturally, I have managed to be inattentive to BIRCHES.

Maybe things will get better this week. I know that one or two of BIRCHES followers have checked in and found nothing new there.

On our schedule as a family, is a get-together with some we haven't seen in quite awhile. Also, we will be canning tomatoes. And we hope we'll have a date with the Skuzzas.

On our vacation, we spent some time with family up north. It's always nice to be in the woods in summer time. We haven't had enough of that lately.

So stick with us, and remember there is room for your "corner" on BIRCHES.

One thing that has been on my mind recently is the thought there is simply not enough work to go around. We have reached a point that mankind has struggled for since time without beginning -- a state of relative worklessness.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Note to MARI:

I can't find my camera.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rick sez

"Maybe I ain't well educated as good as W Bush but remember, I'm better'n George Washington. He didn't go to school at all."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

report card

I decided to try to describe what a public school teacher is, according to prevailing notions:

1. A person getting a pension they don't deserve.
2. A person getting better health care coverage than they deserve.
3. A person with job protections they don't deserve.
4. A person who only works 6 hours a day, if you can call that work.
5. A person who lives too well at taxpayer expense.
6. A person who gets three months off with pay.
7. Someone who will walk out on strike if you don't give them what they want.
8. A perpetual complainer.
9. A person who can't do anything practical. If they could, they wouldn't teach.
10. Someone who looks after kids during the day time. A glorified baby sitter.
11. Someone who tries to teach the children something of value.
12. Someone who does what they do out of love for the job.
13. Someone I remember fondly who helped me when I was troubled.

Friday, August 12, 2011

quick quiz

What can you tell us about this picture?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

SCOT's Corner

America has a political problem, but we've seen this coming for some time, haven't we? A party increasingly contemptuous of knowledge and science, built on a voter base beholden to superstition and a quasi-relgious ideology, is one of our two main parties. It serves the purposes of billionaires, and the capital class, but trades on its proletarian appeal to masses of anti-government idiots with their racist anti-Mexican talk, their obsession with guns and abortion, and jibberish about cutting taxes.

Which wouldn't be so awful if the Democrats weren't philosophically adrift. This is Obama's great failure. He is a good man, but perhaps not as great as the man we need.

Monday, August 8, 2011


My son, a college student, was lucky enough to get a part time job as a laborer in a warehouse, which includes driving a forklift truck. I am glad he got the job, but it put me to reminisce of when I was a college student working as a laborer. In the summer 1972 I was making $5 per hour. It was enough to pay for my college expenses for a year. Now 39 years later my son is also a laborer helping pay for his education and making $8 per hour. Not nearly enough to pay for his education at a state university. The point that got me thinking is that over 39 years, wages have increased for a laborer by only $3 an hour.

In 1972 you could buy a new car for $4,500. Today that same car would cost over $22,000.

A loaf of bread $.25, a gallon of gas $.36, and so on. The purchasing power of one 1972 dollar equals $5.21 in 2010 dollars.

If my math is correct, in 39 years inflation has increased by over 500%, yet a laborer’s wages have only increased by 63%.

Just reminiscing.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I predict

I predict that in 10 years, there will not be, in most states, any graduation requirements or government issued high school diplomas.

I also suspect that only a small percentage of students will be educated in state supported schools, if there are any such schools left at all.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

things to cut: veggies or stamps?

In Saginaw County, where I live, one in five people (20%) are now on food stamps. More than 1/3 of children here (37%) are now being fed with food stamps.

This may go on for a long time; well, at least as long as "the people" agree to keep the food stamp program. Now, if you would like to see some real misery, start chopping that program.

Go here to play with an interactive map that shows it all. CLICK

Goodbye and good riddance, James Ford Seale.

Another really bad man has died in prison. This is how he would like to be remembered, I'm sure. He has gone to his own great nightmare.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I am in the throes of a new evaluation of our President, and need some rapid assistance in maintaining my loyalty to him.

Can you tell me how it can be construed that in this Debt Ceiling "crisis" Obama did not sell out the Progressives?

P.S. I'm serious.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I'm diverging from my recent decision to stop beating a dead horse in order to briefly beat this one.

The problem for Breivik is that he is insane, but for the rest of us the problem with Breivik is not that he is insane, but that he is insane and armed to the teeth.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


What Bruni says in his New York Times editorial about Michelle Bachmann.

"She’s like a coat rack with dozens of hooks. You can hang almost anything on her."

... by which I think he means that she is so colorful and doctrinaire in her right-wing attitudes, that any outrageous idea can be easily attributed to her.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

history quiz

A little history quiz.
Tell what you can.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fairness takes a stumble.

IRISH MIKE relates the story of a dentist who is bragging that he will get about $50,000 in benefit from the Rick Snyder "jobs" plan.

How many jobs will a dentist create with that money, Mike asks?

If and when this transfer takes place, it will come indirectly from some retiree's pension, via the Michigan Treasury.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

STEVE's Corner

One of the least astute members of Congress is James Inhofe a Mossback Republican from Oklahoma where outrageous Republican politics is SOP.

And here, Inhofe admits that the environment he has done so much to damage is now fighting back by damaging him.

Steve says: "The text is beautiful." READ IT HERE: CLICK

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

incandescent thinking

Here is another battle that will have to be refought.

Some Republicans, and we should assume that as authoritarian personalities they will eventually all flock to do as they're told, are suggesting ending the move to the new lightbulbs. Here at BIRCHES we are aware of people who have gone out and stockpiled the old kind.

The plan nationally is still in place to do away with the old incandescent bulb and replace them on the market with new energy efficient bulbs. The new bulbs have saved a colossal amount of energy nationally over the past few years. And it is a social benefit that grows and grows with every day and year.The light bulb industry had endorsed the new bulbs and manufacturers have been ready to make the change. Now, with Republican tub-thumping, even they are beginning to go back to their old ways. They see it as a violation of consumers' rights to make a free choice. So, we have to gear up for a renewed fight over this issue.

In so many ways, how disastrous was the last congressional election for this country? This is just one more example.

Click here: BULB

Friday, July 8, 2011

In my present mood, I would vote for anyone who opposes Obama in the Democratic primaries.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Brenda's Nominee for Wacko of the Week, and possibly the Wacko of all Time

There seems to be several possible ways to play with the name of I.C.("eye" see?) Chrisco, whom Brenda has chosen for the honor of receiving "Wacko of the Week" designation. I see my way clear to support this movement. But, dear followers, read it for yourself and laugh:

"Came across this new story and thought this guy deserved a nomination for your latest wacko! From the yoga convention to the tarp, the details are what get me! Oh my!"

doing justice?

I'm no longer a smoker. I imagine if I were still a smoker, I would smoke in a variety of places where "you're not supposed to." Eventually, someone would have to arrest me, or possibly someone would just beat me up.

Why? Because in their wisdom, the people of the state have chosen to make the behavior as illegal as possible without being totally illegal, and now they will have to pay the costs of enforcement.

I heard a recent story about a man urinating behind a grocery store. Now he's classified as a "sex offender" and must register his residence for the rest of his life. I heard a story this morning about a man who visited a whorehouse and was arrested. Since he was on probation for a different offense, this violated his probation, and now he's back in prison. So, as my friend Bill from Wnnco says, now society will pay $32,000 a year to host this prisoner who heretofore had a paying job, just because he paid to get his jollies in the wrong place.

Our prisons are full. We keep building more. Isn't there someway society could begin to make better punishments and better choices than just locking up anyone who might have infracted our particular whims?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

For your amusement

Just for thehellofit, I decided to post this mugshot I thought was special. This is Craig Vanderwort of California who rigged an explosive device that went off and injured someone else.

Friday, July 1, 2011

This is not pessimistic

I do not think that American public education will survive the current war upon it in any form like the system we knew in the past half century.

One cost will obviously be in the refusal of good students to go into teaching. The slow step by step improvement in the status of teachers, their salary improvements, their benefits, their job security via tenure, etc., are being ended in many states. Skilled teachers now employed will have their standard of living cut and their retirement benefits, the pensions and health care, scrapped.

There is more and more movement toward home schooling of children and toward private schools. With the introduction of modern technology into the educational process, I think that school classrooms as we have known them will be phased out. Parents will no longer be able to use schools as babysitting services and will need to provide other means (if they choose education for their kids at all) to educate their offspring. I think there will less effort to educate kids in a variety of skills and subjects. Instead, parents will select certain "tracks" that they want their children to follow. Many will not get training in literature or writing skills. Many others will not get math instruction. Science, so odious to so many, will be in the curriculum of many fewer.

I believe in the next 20 years we will see the abandonment of many more school buildings. There will be no need for them.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

a lesson here

This is why, when the bullet train is built, which will cause a boom in American economy, it has to be built without crossings, just like the interstate highway system.

SPARKS, Nev. – Two truck drivers and a train engineer watched helplessly as a semitrailer skidded the length of a football field before it smashed through crossing gates and into two double-decker cars of an Amtrak train at a highway crossing, killing at least six people.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

teacher teacher

Just wanted to come onto the blog-o-sphere today and make an observation.

I know there are bad teachers. No matter how high or low you mark the measuring board, some of those teachers won't measure up. It's like other professions, you know. Some are failures.

But I bet there's not one of you people out there who might read this who has any idea at all, I mean none, about how you can judge the skill or dedication of any particular teacher.

You haven't got a clue, do you? I know Rick Snyder doesn't either.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

ALICE'S corner

Here are the answers Alice came up with for "snitching on the welfare cheaters":

Afgan Prez; oil CEO's subsidies; farmer's ethanol subsidies; Top 6 banks-no taxes; companies that build in cities and pay no taxes; sports franchizes that have their stadiums subsidized; airlines whose fields and terminals are built with our dollars and then charge huge fees to pay CEO's who haven't invested a cent and collect gigantic salaries; drug companies that do not have to deal wholesale prices to the Government(except for the veterans administration). Think of more later. Read FREE LUNCH by David Cay Johnston for many more.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I plucked this from someone else's blog and reprint it here for your reaction. This is the source: http://50isnotmiddleage.blogspot.com/
So why do I have to pay taxes for education when I already put my kids through school. Why should I pay for other's educations?


Other people's children clean the office you work in, the hospital you go to for help and the streets you walk or ride on.
Other people's children run the gas station where you buy gas for your car.
Other people's children gather produce from the field, slaughter the animals, process the meat, deliver it to market and package it for sale in the supermarket or butcher shop.
Other people's children check out your groceries at the store, bag it and take it to your vehicle.
Other people's children assure your safety by patroling the city streets, directing traffic,an upholding the laws of your community.
Other people's children fight fires in the forest and in your community.
Other people's children patrol the rivers and lakes of your community.
Other people's children maintain the roads, sewers, airports, as well as staff the railways and buses.
Other people's children build your Lexus. Ford, Dodge or Kia at US assembly plants.
Other people's children prep the food, cook the food and serve the food at the resturant you go to for lunch or dinner or celebrations.
Other people's children are the Geek Squad at Best Buy that fixes your computer.
Other people's children are dental hygeinists, CNA's, physical therapists, occupational therapists.
Other people's children cut lawns, clean and maintain pools, sweep the city streets.
Other people's children serve your coffee at Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts.


Why don't all of us from around here pack up and move to a place with better weather? We're too old for all this up-and-down, aren't we?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

best headline of the day

Man with dead weasel accused of assault

Ohio State

I don't think I'm naive about college sports, but shouldn't we expect good behavior from athletes, or at the very least, the coaches, without being considered born yesterday?

There are rules. So, just think how naive the NCAA is, that it creates these rules and actually enforces them at times. It is no good to tell me that everyone is corrupt. The fact is, there 's a standard of good behavior which has been duly promulgated by the experts, and which we expect our publicly supported universities to obey. It's not that we SHOULD expect it, it's that we DO expect it -- on paper. Coach Musclehead may not like it sometimes, and he may find ways around it, but he ought to set a better standard than deviousness, or deceit and corruption, to field a team.

Win at all costs is not a standard I can accept. And how sad that great universities should be sullied like this. Ohio State should be better than its Pryors and its Tressels.

Goodbye Jim Northrup

" ... if you believe what every single person who has ever spoken about Billy Martin has said, that personal disagreement between the two of them probably speaks pretty well of Jim Northrup’s character and demeanor." CLICK

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Come to think of it, I don't give a fiddler's fart what Sarah Palin knows or don't know. If she kin add or subtract or do cyphers or even read her name ain't no skin off me.

What I hafta wonder 'bout tho' is the tons of people defending her ignorance. She seems to be the heroine of the know-nothing, the Queen of the boneheads, the champion of the dropouts. This is good enough for the Republican Party.

Best headline of the day

2 people die as bear flies through SUV

BILL'S Corner

1. A thony Weiner goes to prove my point once again. Men aren't simply nasty, they have a gene for it!

2.Another example of What Men Do.

"Erick and I spent Sunday, 6-6-2011, at Grattan Raceway for a track day event with the Superbike Track Time group. I know, I know....Yes I did take a day off work and survived.
"Had a good day with both of us staying upright. ... As we all know I am already brain dead so I have no nerve sensations. For Erick it is just excitement. For me it is part of the continuing exit strategy."
(Click on pic to enlarge it.)