Lemmings Love Cheap Gas
San Francisco drivers may think that they're getting a bargain filling up on Oyster's gas, but here's the deal lemmings. Even if your wait was just an hour, the only way you're going to get your money's worth is if your car's tank holds more than 80 gallons. Pull the head and figure what your time is worth.
A Frog And His Money
New Federal Reserve regulations aim to put the kabosh on some of the more nefarious ways card companies try to separate you from your hard earned cash, but...hell...I wasn't even aware of some of these slimy practices:
Zap The Grace Period - This is the one that gets used on me all the time--pay your bill on time 6 months in a row and...BANG!...the grace period drops from 25 to 20 days. They'll always try to trip up a "one-month wonder" with this.
Interest on Fees, Interest on Fines, Interest on Interest - They might as well just refer to this as Universal Interest.
Universal Default - This is really, REALLY sleazy! Late paying on one of your cards, and not only will that one jack your interest rate, so will all the others!
Card companies argue that they need these tactics, these penalties, in order to handle the risk associated extending credit to certain customers, but that's not really what it's all about. It's about profit. If all of us paid off our credit-cards in full, on time, then Chase, CitiGroup, Capital One, and all the others would very rapidly start charging us simply for the privilege of having their damn card in our wallets. Count on it!
Alba Gu Brath!
If there is a heaven, my Great-great Grandmother Euphemia is looking down right now and smiling.
The Terrorists You May Not Know
M.A.D.D, Tuscaloosa Chapter -- These un-American busy-bodies want to interfere with your God-given right to drink and drive.
Mobile Women's Auxiallary -- Held a bake sale featuring French crullers!
(ADHS Note: Undercover agent pushing for the next sale to feature 'Patriot Pastries')
Florence Quilting Circle -- Known for their subversive 'Peace Quilts' and for using inflammatory rhetoric like "What Would Jesus Do?"
Montgomery Horticultural Society -- Planted whole gardens with red (commie) roses and yellow ('cut-and-run') daisies.
(ADHS Note: May be susceptible to pressure to plant wholly 'American' (i.e., red/white/blue) gardens.)
But let me begin elsewhere. On Saturday, Vice President Coronary took time to mock some very important documents before a friendly military audience at the West Point commencement, taking issue with the idea of applying them to people captured in the so-called War on Terrorism.
It should come as no surprise that a pig like Cheney mocks the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions. Lacking principles of his own, he seeks to bring down the fine principles of generations past and the lessons they learned. He engages in the most profound ethical relativism because he can't comprehend that unwavering application of our principles is really about us. The 'to whom'--terrorists, enemy combatants, insurgents--is irrelevant.
Indeed, Cheney's characterization of the terrorists reads like an advertisement from some neocon handbook:
The terrorists know what they want and they will stop at nothing to get it. By force and intimidation, they seek to impose a dictatorship of fear, under which every man, woman, and child lives in total obedience to their ideology. Their ultimate goal is to establish a totalitarian empire, a caliphate, with Baghdad as its capital. They view the world as a battlefield and they yearn to hit us again. And now they have chosen to make Iraq the central front in their war against civilization.Substitute 'Bush Administration' for 'terrorists', 'American Hegemony' for 'The Caliphate', and you have the history of the last six years in America. But what is most achingly sad on this Memorial Day, is that our leaders had the power to stop this nonsense and didn't, and in that I see no excuse for anything but shame.
We should be ashamed of a political system favors valueless whores over people of principle. We should be ashamed that many of us can't, or won't, put ourselves on the line to try and do better. We should be ashamed of a Democratic leadership that lacks the will to bring our troops home, and we should be ashamed of ourselves for electing them.
Bloggers I Have Known, Part 3 - Allie McNeil (aka 'Enigma4Ever')
We don't know what happened, but Enigma never returned from a self-imposed winter break, and in case you're wondering how keen a loss that was, the 77 (and counting) comments on her swan-song post should give you an idea.
Rocks for an Australian 'David'
Now most of us would look at such an unequal contest and remark, "What's the point?" In fact, that seems to be a pretty American attitude toward politics, but Robin and Dennis are forging ahead undaunted with the goal of raising the public consciousness of the abysmal state of social services. And with their opponent's energies focused on the big picture (he's a 'big picture' kinda guy, you see) the Cartledges' hope to organize a insurrection in the Deputy PM's rear.
So what does this pair of Australian Davids need? Rocks! Tactics, strategies--preferably ideas that don't cost too much money--and I'm honored that they've decided to use a variant of Kvatch's Kommandos to help with distributing the campaign slogan. But I think that Blognonymous' readers can come up with some truly innovative rocks to help these modern day Davids slay a Goliath.
And while we're arming our friends from Down Under, check out the campaign site.
Bloggers I Have Known, Part 2 - Rex Kramer, Danger Seeker
Though I suspect that life intruded and forced you to stop blogging, this frog ocassionally still longs for a good strong dose of America-loving ferver.
Bloggers I Have Known, Part 1 - Neil Shakespeare
A circle of bloggers is a circle of friends. We may never meet in person, but we chat like we've known each other for years. Most keenly felt is the absence of a blogger who started about the same time that you did.
I'm feeling melancholy. I'm listening to "Dirty Shadows" by the Future Sound of London, and I'm in a mood to reminisce.
Neil Shakespeare: Paste-ups Poignant, Powerful, and Profound.
I don't know what happened to Neil, but one day earlier this month his blog disappeared only to be co-opted by another blogger. Neil you may be gone, but you're not forgotten, and I managed to unearth my favorite of your images from the Google cache. Wherever you are, I hope you don't mind.
Creation Science Gets A Home
The world's first 'Creationism Museum' will open this weekend in Petersburg Kentucky. Complete with animatronic dinosaurs and numerous exhibits that refute the junk science of evolution, the museum's goal is to convince visitors that:
...the Bible's history is true, and if its history is true its message of the gospel is true.On a recent tour of the museum, funding director Ken Ham pointed out an exhibit of dinosaurs and humans living together remarking that many 'secular scientists' would dispute the historic validity of the Flintstonic Era. "But we feel that Hanna-Barbera was really onto something here."
Another exhibit depicts Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden along with the Easter Bunny, Santa Clause, and the Maytag Repair Man. "You see, these important figures aren't just myths. They are real scientifically verifiable individuals and, let's face it, if I can convince myself that Noah built an ark the size of Indiana, I can believe in the Easter Bunny."
Google Oracle (Beta)
"Wise Oracle... What job should I take?"
"But Oracle, have you no other answer?"
Don't talk back, or I'll tell your wife that I caught you on your webcam doing the Tom Cruise 'Risky Business' scene in the nude!
(Kvatch notes that the idea of Google advising him on important decisions gives him the heebee-jeebes.)
Don't Try This On A Plane
(Props to anyone who can give us the translation.)
The Real Estate Picture Is Rosy
Am I talking about appreciation on this closet-sized flat I call home? No, not really. Though Sodom by the Sea hasn't seen the deflation of much of the rest of the nation, who knows what the future holds. Oh sure, we'll probably do OK...some day, but the plain fact is that the Frogette and I probably won't stay here forever. The cost of living is just too damn high.
So that brings me to my point: USA Today notes that 'McMansions' are becoming the housing of choice for American families which, ironically, are shrinking. Yes indeed, the average US home has increased in square footage to a whopping 2400, with many exceeding even that cozy size. 3 car garage? No problem. TV room? Media room? Jai-alai court? Sure! If you want it, they will build it.
But I've never lived in more than 1300 square feet, and my current place is not even that large--thank heavens for good closets. 1400 square feet would be a mansion to me. 1600? A palace! So while America convinces itself that it needs 5 bedrooms and a banqueting hall, I'll be looking for that perfect little bungalow that I can settle into for the duration.
Now don't any of you go filling the empty-nesters heads with any of that "downsizing" nonsense.
Incarceration Nation Part 4 - California Budget Priorities
Though we could say that our budget priorities are screwed up--I mean...who wants to admit that locking people up is more important than educating them--when you're spending $10B on your prisons, you've got to take the money from somewhere...everywhere.
Justice Thomas Takes A Vow of Silence
Justice Clarence Thomas has taken a vow of silence, making it clear that he will not speak from the bench again until someone clips the string of the Court's 'Chatty Cathy', Justice Breyer. Though it was not immediately made clear how the justice would pose questions to attorneys, one of Thomas' pages, speaking on condition of anonymity, remarked, "Does it really matter? The man hasn't uttered a word in court since February of 2006."
BlognonyBITS - FOX News and The Devil's Ice Skates
Filmmaker Michael Moore's brilliant and uplifting new documentary, "Sicko," deals with the failings of the U.S. healthcare system, both real and perceived. But this time around, the controversial documentarian seems to be letting the subject matter do the talking, and in the process shows a new maturity.I suspect that when I see it, I won't describe Sicko as 'uplifting', but is this really FAUX News, the outlet we all know and hate? Have the times changed this much?
Sure you know obscenity when you see it?
|Tania Derveaux, a candidate in upcoming Belgian Senate elections this summer has had it with her opponent's ridiculous promises of 400,000 new jobs. So she's promising to produce 40,000 blowjobs for her supporters. Sign up at Ms. Derveaux's campaign site, vote NEE, and if she wins you can collect your spoils in real life...or Second Life.|
|...and although I'm sure that the good book would have something to say about Ms. Derveaux's campaign, if you live in Hong Kong you may not get to find out. You see 800 residents have demanded that the book be restricted as 'indecent'. All that sexual and violent content, you know.|
Eulogy for Falwell
Seeking to eulogize
With mounting frustration
A man whose crass actions
Divided the nation.
But lacking in outrage
His death no sensation,
In place of expected,
Sought after elation
I'm feeling a kind of
And so just perhaps I'll
Give in to temptation
Reflect for a moment
On Falwell's vocation.
Seems that the crackpots
From Westboro Baptist
Will try for a Lynchburg
They're going to preach
That Falwell expressed
Not nearly enough of
The hate they attest
Christ has for gays, women,
Blacks, Jews, and the rest.
And so with the scum of
Topeka I find
We are quite ironically
Of the same mind
Agreeing that Falwell
Will not find salvation
But is quite more likely
In line for damnation.
Your Environmentalism On Your Arm
Now setting aside for the moment that a bag announcing that it's not plastic is akin to one's saying, "I'm not really an environmentalist, but I play one on TV," Blognonymous wonders about the utility of a bag that really can't haul much of anything. Sure, if you're in Walgreen's buying toothpaste...no problem. But you could just as easily use your purse, backpack, or whatever if all you're trying to do is avoid a plastic bag.
On the other hand, though it can't hold a decent sized load of groceries, it is big enough for a screenplay, and after all it only costs $10.00. If you can find one. If not, they're going for $90 to $400 on eBay.
Thanks to Lo @ Braless Living LA for the inspiration.
BlognonyBITS - Fire The Miserable Bushtool
Says he's gonna force the World Bank board to vote.
Joan Walsh pretty much sums it up for me...Good!
Fire Bush's miserable tool--kick him to the curb!
When you secure a $50,000 raise for your girlfriend,
Your talents should be put to better use...like on K Street.
Updated 2007/05/17, 7:58 PM:
Lizzy of OCD GenX Liberal lets us know that the only reason Wolfowitz resigned, but is staying on until June 30th, is so he can collect a $400K payout. Which begs the question: Why doesn't the World Bank just say, "Thanks Paul but...you're still fired. Just clean out your desk before these nice men show you to the door."?
Bush To Travel In 'Cone of Silence'
The White House Office of Criticism Deflection announced today that during his September visit to Australia President Bush will travel in the 'Cone of Silence', a moving football field-sized area where no discussions critical of Bush, his presidency, or God's country, The United States of America, can take place.
A technological marvel, the 'Cone of Silence' was developed by NSA in the early days on the War on Terror and was first deployed at the APEC summit in Pusan, South Korea, in 2005. Future Presidential trips may include another innovation, the 'Cloak of Invisibility', designed to shield administration officials from having to view protesters or the activities of other types of low-life rabble rousers.
An Old Climate Plan Is New Again
That should put a crimp in demand
And in doing so foil
Our huge thirst for oil
Over a decade long span
But where was the word "conservation"
A push to avoid the gas station
Nowhere it seems
The plan's central theme
Is alternative fuels for the nation
So the plan is all just a scam
And Bush's words mostly a sham
Because what Big Oil craves
Is for us to behave
And to burn all the fuel that we can
Bush is recycling his nonsensical State of the Union remarks. The only difference now is that his 17 month timetable may allow the administration to derail California's push to regulate vehicle emissions on it's own.
EPA Mileage Stats: Everybody Plays, Almost Everybody Loses
But look more closely. Hybrids weren't the only vehicles to come up on the losing end of the EPA's new MPG calculation methods. Conventional autos come up short as well. So...where the Toyota Camry Hybrid lost 5 MPG on average (a bit under 13%), its pure gasoline cousin the Camry lost a bit over 11%. And, in the case of the Ford Escape, the EPA adjustment was less detrimental to the hybrid version.
So...if you're thinking about using this as an excuse to eschew hybrids. Think again! Nobody won with this revision...except consumers! Better information about how good, or in this case how bad our cars perform, is a win for everybody but Big Auto. So suck it up and buy that hybrid anyway. You'll still get 25% better mileage than a gasoline powered version of the same car (or much more--the Civic Hybrid for example), and that translates into fewer tons of greenhouse gasses headed for our atmosphere.
Monday Evening Internet Surveillance Blues
"Sherman...set the Wayback Machine to 1994!" Congress passes CALEA, the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act which mandates that all phone networks (digital and analog) be wired to support almost instantaneous access by law enforcement. And what do we expect happened after the 2002 deadline for that phase of CALEA passed? You guessed it! Court approved wiretaps doubled.
But, not content to stop there, the DoJ lobbies the FCC to reinterpret CALEA as applying to the Internet as well. The FCC caves, and a divided Federal Appeals Court upholds the decision. So now, with no new law on the books, the DoJ has got a mandate to force ISPs to provide the same type of surveillance capabilities that exist for phones. Email, clickstream, downloads, uploads, IM, VoIP, all available to the FBI with a court order.
I'm feeling safer already. Now...where the f*ck is that encryption program?
Monday Morning Postal Rate Blues
But I don't really have a problem with higher postal rates. I'll bet that, in inflation adjusted terms, rates are lower today than just about any time in history.
I do wonder, though, what moron decided on 41 cents? On top of previous rate changes to 37 and 39 cents no less! I mean...does the USPS have a penchant for odd numbers--a thing for selling 2 cent stamps? Here's a thought: How about just making the price a nice even 50 cents and then not raising it again for a decade?! Oh...and while we're on the subject, before the next USPS rate hike go out buy some of the new "forever" stamps. Sheesh!
Biometrics, Your Finger, and the Feds
My spouse installed these nifty locks, and all I got was a severed digit.
Finally! All those fingerprint databases really pay off.
Florida Democrats Screwed By Their Own
You see the national Democratic leadership is mulling a proposal that would treat the outcome of Florida's primary as merely advisory. In fact, they're thinking of allocating the electors with a caucus at a later date. It's a punishment you see for Florida's screwing up the carefully laid out schedule put together by the parties.
So Floridians enjoy voting in your primary...that won't count...and that no candidate will waste time on because, let's face it, would you spend money in a state where the outcome might be tossed in favor of the will-o-the-party-elite?
And you thought that only Republicans liked to rig elections.
Too much irony for a Friday afternoon?
The House of Representatives has added an amendment to the Intelligence Reauthorization Bill making FISA, "...the exclusive means by which domestic electronic surveillance for the purpose of gathering foreign intelligence information may be conducted". But the headline reads:
Bill bans illegal govt eavesdropping
Huh? Say again. I'm sure this bill will move Bu$hCo to dismantle the program. Could Blognonymous humbly suggest that taking the administration to court might be a better move than making what is already illegal...illegal.
Buy our product or we'll sue you!
Here's the deal: The DMCA requires that when Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology is present, it must not be circumvented. But the DMCA doesn't say anything about the lack of DRM or whose particular solution has to be used. Well..unless DRM supplier, Media Rights Technologies, wins a suit that says that simply because their solution "has been proven effective", media giants like Apple and Microsoft must use it. Got that? "Use our product or we'll sue you!"
I'm expecting a lawsuit from the major auto manufacturers any day now saying that not only must I buy a car, I must buy their car!
Silencing the Scams
|"Here is my honest opinion on how they may begin to finally pull their party out of the doldrums of public opinion: Put a muzzle on the President."|
Don't blame me. BHFRIK of Club Lefty said it, I just took it to its logical conclusion.
San Francisco Chronicle Looks To Blognonymous For Inspiration
We here at Blognonymous are honored to be a source of inspiration for the Chron and don't mind at all that they didn't even give us a godda--...I mean...didn't reference us.
God Bless America...and Paris Hilton
"Paris Whitney Hilton is an American celebrity and socialite. She is an heiress to a share of the Hilton Hotel fortune, as well as to the real estate fortune of her father Richard Hilton. She provides hope for young people all over the U.S. and the world. She provides beauty and excitement to (most of) our otherwise mundane lives."
- Excerpt from an online plea for clemency to Gov. Arnold Schwarzengger at Free Paris Hilton.
And thanks to Mags of You Forgot Poland! for the inspiration.
Failing at Business, Lesson 5 - Summer Gas Prices Edition
|On the left...||On the right...|
70 cents per gallon less--and right across the street?! So sure, maybe Shell is desperate to hold on to a prime location, and maybe they're paying a fortune in rent, but you'd think that they'd want to offset the cost with SOME sales.
|"Women bring a unique perspective to the presidency."George W. Bush|
|"If I have Philip shoot him, it's certain to cause an incident."Queen Elizabeth II|
Your Genes Belong To You...
Though this is great news, the cynic in me wonders how this managed to slip by the radar of the insurance industry? Did they just not know about it? Or perhaps the negative publicity associated with opposing GINA was simply too risky since opposition could only mean one thing. Either way, the bill now heads for the Senate.
...But Your Compact Discs Do Not
Retailers who deal in used CDs have never had it easy. Back in the 80s and 90s music industry reps would routinely deny stores promotional material if they were found to be trading in used CDs, and the FTC has more than once investigated the industry and it's trade group the RIAA, but now the momentum seems to be behind an industry who want to basically "rent" you your music. Just look at the Florida law... It mandates that you only get 'store credit' for your CDs. In other words, the industry is OK with you selling your CDs as long as the only thing you can do with the proceeds is buy more of their crap.
Humanity In All Its...Uh...Splendor?
|<< But doesn't|
|...sort of remind you|
of this photo? >>
Retroactive Immunity for the Telcos
In other words, if Bu$hCo gets its way, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and all the rest can tap your communications, give all the data to the government, do it without judicial oversight (e.g., warrants), and no court in the land will be able to stop them or to even hear a case on the issue.
Ain't retroactive immunity a beautiful thing?
BlognonyBITS - Alternative Minimum Facts
is 'class-warfare', but allowing it to become increasingly
regressive over a period of decades is not.
For the GOP, repealing the AMT entirely is a
principled tax simplification stand, but presidential
predictions of a balanced federal budget by 2012 depend on the AMT.
A Vanity Plate Meets Its Fate
Pretty extreme, you think...or maybe just pretty stupid. With such a lax standard, all of those God fearin' South Dakotans who use their plates for proselytizing may soon find DMV missives of their own in the mail. Remember it only takes one complaint.
And while where on the subject, I wonder how the South Dakota DMV would feel about:
Future Headlines - Bill O'Reilly Uses His Superpowers for Good
FCC ISSUES NEW GUIDELINES, PLACES RESTRICTIONS ON 'IPM' INSULTS PER MINUTE
O'REILLY ARRESTED FOR 'IPM SPEEDING', SPRAINS MOUTH DURING HIGH-SPEED PURSUIT
O'REILLY ENTERS REHAB, CLAIMS INSULTS ARE A 'DEMON I'VE FOUGHT ALL MY LIFE'
SCIENTISTS ACHIEVE 'GREEN' BREAKTHROUGH, PROMOTE 'BLABBER POWER' AS NEW ENERGY SOURCE
FAMOUS PUNDIT LEAVES REHAB, DEDICATES REMAINING YEARS TO ENERGY PRODUCTION
O'REILLY SIGNS FIRST EVER DEAL TO POWER 20,000 GARY INDIANA HOMES
Warrantless Wiretapping's In The Constitution
So, as a public service, we here at Blognonymous decided to put the director's assertion to the test, and here's what we found:
Article II, Section 1, Paragraph 1
The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.
Article II, Section 2, Paragraph 1
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and...
Article II, Section 2, Paragraph 2
He shall have power.
And you thought those Evelyn-Wood speed reading courses were of no value.
FISA Court or Rubber-stamp?
Nope... 0. None!
2,176 requests were accepted, and the remainder were withdrawn with the exception of one that was resubmitted. In fact, since 2001, only 4 requests total--4 for Pete's sake--were rejected.
Now you might be asking yourself what purpose the court serves if all they're able to do when the administration comes calling is shout, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" like some kind of cheap hooker. And I'll bet Bu$hCo is asking themselves why they bothered to authorize NSA to illegally sidestep the Court, when every indication is that the court would have responded with a cheerful, "Yes sir, Mr. President. Whatever you say Sir!"
Guess that whole executive oversight thing is really working out...for the administration.
Simply stated, you divide the number of meals by the cost to get the ToRoI. And here are how some of my favorites stack up:
|Indian||Chicken Saag with a double portion of rice||4 for $12.25||.326|
|Thai||Yellow Vegetable Curry with a single portion of rice||2 for $6.95||.288|
|Mexican||Burrito the size of your head||2 for $6.95||.288|
|Pizza||Medium (14") combo pizza||4 for $15.10||.284|
|Chinese||Mongolian Beef with double portion of rice||3 for $12.45||.241|
|Burgers||Single 1/4 lb. cheeseburger from a local joint around the corner||1 for $4.95||.202|
|Sushi||California roll w/a side of salted soy beans||1 for $7.20||.139|
So... in the end the subcontinent has it all over the other options. Especially when you consider that I was conservative in saying that I get just 4 meals out of an order of Saag. (I often get 5.) Sushi though tasty, is something your really should go out for. As take-out it sucks value-wise and...usually...freshness wise, but on the other hand it is probably the best for your health.
So there you have it. Your mileage will vary.
Time Congress Accomplished The Mission
Presidential veto? Big-f*cking-deal! Once the ball is back in Congress' court the way forward is clear. Send Bush a second bill that contains just $20B dollars for one purpose, and one purpose only, to get our troops home, and make it clear that if he vetoes that bill, there will be no general defense appropriation this year--NADA, DIDDLY, BUPKIS!
Bush, Gates, and Petraeus can then fund the war out of their own damn salaries...end of story!