Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Unsolicited crap from the woefully uninformed

Selecting the right group of people to send propagandist messages even devolves down to family members choosing who to send emails. I found myself the startled recipient of this load of fucking garbage from an aunt.

There are times when I am compelled to write back, and today I returned the broadside to this poor-ignorant-praise-Jesus-aunt.

[Extracted from the email]

Don't overlook the abuses committed by our troops and mercenaries hired by our government (see Halliburton, Blackwater). You want a good idea of what they're doing? Check out this video that was taken by our soldiers.

American soldiers threaten and taunt injured Iraqi dog

You can shrug that one off because it's just a dog? Then how about this one:
Iraqi Kid Runs For Water

Here's another heart-warmer:
Fuck Iraq

Remember, these are submitted by AMERICAN SOLDIERS.

Sincerely


I'm looking forward to her rebuttal.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bush mulls exit plan - through Iran

Say what you will about the cretin in the White House - he did have an exit strategy for Vietnam.

No wait - that was his Pop that had an exit strategy for him. And he fucked that up too.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Bush's Homeland Security can't find the real Cubans

Cubans sneak ashore during US security drill

The drill was to intercept Cuban migrants. There were 325 agents from 85 agencies participating in the drill, and they found the actors portraying Cubans. Meanwhile, two boatloads of real migrants snuck ashore.

[Border Patrol spokesman] McDonald said, "We're not embarrassed at all. It's not uncommon for them (Cubans) to have landings."

If you listened hard enough, you could hear Bush say "heckuva job, McDonald."

Friday, March 09, 2007

Now if we can get Catholic priests to follow suit

Priests to Purify Site After Bush Visit
By JUAN CARLOS LLORCA Associated Press Writer
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) - Mayan priests will purify a sacred archaeological site to eliminate "bad spirits" after President Bush visits next week, an official with close ties to the group said Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Vatican felt the need to remind people to support the Church, especially during this Lenten season.

To sum up - don't pretend you can't see those collection plates heading your way.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Just a day in the Republic

Walter Reed freed up a bed, Mr. Vice President.
Cheney has a blood clot - U.S. public calls for pulmonary embolism surge
Good news - pulmonary embolisms are third leading cause of death in U.S.

Sometimes a plane crash is just a plane crash.
Indonesian jet bursts into flames
Bad news - some of the Aussies on board escaped.

Laurie Kellerman hits the big time
Fired Attorneys Allude to Justice Threat
Scrappy AP reporter sums up what real reporters have already dug up.

Finally, a legitimate deferral.
Libby Found Guilty in CIA Leak Case
Dear Army,
I can't serve because I'm doing 15 to 25 in the federal pen.
Sincerely, Scooter


Is it that hard to reach consensus in a party of three?
Saudi Arabia Warns Against Attack on Iran over Nuclear Issue
Can't we just let them duke it out via their proxy war in Iraq? And if Israel doesn't like it, too fucking bad.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

From the world of baseball

Highlight of news in and around the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues:

Cash-strapped Devil Rays and Royals Eliminate Shortstop Position

Texas Rangers not mentioned in Sosa's game against Royals
Sosa gets first hit in spring training

Make-A-Wish Foundation in Quandary
Dying 9-year-old asks for Barry Bonds to get kneecapped.

Ed Farmer goes after Buck Showalter for calling him "belly-itcher"
And White Sox fans finally learn the cause behind the long-running Farmer-Showalter feud.

Dying Yankee's fan gets great news
Wally Pip, diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS), "Best news a dying Yankee fan could get!"

At the time of this posting, Opening Day is in 28 days, 21 hours, 31 minutes, 50 seconds.

Friday, March 02, 2007

New American Pension Plan - Work Until You Drop Dead

Government employees sit smugly as an unremitting stream of news stories swim past detailing the demise of private sector pensions. Cf. United Airlines. To refresh your memory, a federal judge ruled in May 2005 that United Airlines can walk away from $6.6 billion in pension obligations, affecting 119,000 people.

And county, state, and federal employees clucked their tongues and thought "That's too bad. Good thing I've got a government pension."

I'm not sure why they're so self-assured. Here in Illinois, the teachers are painfully aware that Blagojevich & Co., and George Ryan & Co before them, and yes - Jim Edgar before them - are underfunding the pension plans. Oddly, if an individual spent money that was scheduled for another account that would be embezzling. And if that individual isn't a major-party donor, then that individual gets sent up the river.

There are 4 states that have scandalously underfunded pension plans:
Oklahoma
West Virginia
Rhode Island
Illinois

Great. Alabama, Mississippi, even Kansas are doing a better job. And Kansas thinks humans hunted dinosaurs to extinction.

There are bigger horror stories at local levels. Take San Diego. They're going to see the big Orange County bankruptcy (December 1994) and raise it.
Let's see if I can sum up: Increasing focus on the pension plan problem resulted in GASB 45, which calls for retiree health care insurance to be included in pension plan costs. San Diego supervisors reported that this would up their unfunded liability from $1.2 bln to $1.8 bln on a $7.3 bln pension plan. Two supervisors brought forth a plan - essentially cutting health care provisos for future retirees that would save $1.2 bln. Naturally, the retirement association fought back by voting not to let Jacob vote on anything regarding retirees' health benefits.
Meanwhile, the San Diego Diocese is already at the bankruptcy party. The diocese has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just ahead of 140 lawsuits claiming sexual abuse by priests. This could be 20/20 hindsight, but it seems a little false economy on the part of the diocese.

To get an idea on what other states are facing, check out Pension Envy and Lobster Traps at Whiskey & Gunpowder.