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.