Category Archives: Society

Donner Coast

I remember the blizzards of 92-93 on the East Coast—the District running out of money for road clearing during the very first storm and resorting to pushing huge piles of snow into the Potomac River. I remember drivers abandoning their cars on the Capital Beltway by the hundreds during the superstorm on March 12th, and I remember panicked Virginians stripping everything but the screws and bolts from local store shelves.

With this year’s second superstorm already battering the Atlantic seaboard, and all the stores already cleared of every scrap of food, do you think people in and around the nation’s capital will resort to cannibalism?

(You can thank the Frogette for inspiring this post.  She was actually snowed in for 4 days back in ’93.)

The Week In Death

J.D. Salinger — Yes I have read Catcher in the Rye, and…no, I didn’t particularly like it. But there is no questioning that the American literary landscape is poorer now that Salinger has passed away. Hopefully rumors of a huge catalog of unpublished works are true and that we’ll now see some of those works in print.

Jean SimmonsJean Simmons — Everyone has a favorite actress from the ‘golden era’ of American cinema. People like to talk about Liz Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Vivien Leigh, Grace Kelly, or Ingrid Bergman. But for me, it was always Jean Simmons, a great beauty and a great, though perhaps not the greatest, actress of her generation. Ms. Simmons died last Friday at the age of 80.

SpiritThe Mars Spirit Rover — Anyone who’s read Ragebot! (or before that Blognonymous) knows that I’m a big fan of the Mars Rovers. Without exception, Spirit and Opportunity are the most successful vehicles of space exploration ever built. Designed to last only 3 months, these complex scientific platforms have been trundling across the martian surface, doing their thing, for over 6 YEARS! Well, early this week, the Spirit operations team at JPL announced that their attempts to get the rover ‘unstuck’ from a sand pit were unsuccessful, and that, henceforth, they would concentrate on keeping Spirit alive through the martian winter. It’s roving is over, but hopefully Spirit will live on as a stationary science lab.

To This We Have Been Reduced – “The needy are animals…”

There’s very little I can add to the unbelievably offensive comments regarding the needy spouted by South Carolina’s asswipe of a Lt. Governor, Andre Bauer. So let’s just start with his own words:

My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better…

I can show you a bar graph where free and reduced lunch has the worst test scores in the state of South Carolina,” adding, “You show me the school that has the highest free and reduced lunch, and I’ll show you the worst test scores, folks. It’s there, period

When I lost my job back in 2009, I *DID* take federal assistance for the first time in my life, and after 23 years of continuous employment. Does that make me an animal? Though not exactly where Bauer was going, I’m sure that in today’s GOP you could find at least one (perhaps many) morons who’d gladly parrot this kind of dangerous thinking. And the ‘thuglicans wonder why they can only seem to win elections when they capitalize on Democratic myopia.

I predict that this loathsome prick will soon be out of a job himself, and I wonder if, then, he’ll be the one considering federal assistance.

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iNews Friday, 1/8/2010

A sampling of recent output from the iNews 9000 Turbo wi-fi headline translator—

Headline: Pacquiao Says He Plans to Sue for Defamation
Translation: Also suing for mispronunciation

Headline: Nestle rebuked by the FDA for misleading labeling
Translation: Must now be pronounced ‘nessel’

Headline: Tiger Woods gets the Annie Leibovitz treatment for Vanity Fair
Translation: Woods repossessed by Liebovitz’s creditors

Headline: Quist – Beating Dems Bigger Than Fighting Terrorists
Translation: Quist delivers 3 hour speech in German

Headline: Accused Holocaust shooter Von Brunn dies in prison hospital
Translation: Never realized dream of dying in Spandau

Headline: Dodd, Dorgan will not seek reelection
Translation: Wrong Connecticut, North Dakota senators retire

Headline: EPA tightens smog standards
Translation: Limbaugh may only eat refried beans Tuesdays, Thursdays and alternate Saturdays

Headline: The Nexus One’s Seduction Secret
Translation: Best. Vibrate. Setting. Ever.
Translation (Turbo mode): Huge growth projected in cellphone sanitizer jobs

Headline: NJ Senate defeats gay marriage bill
Translation: Vote was 14 Aayy, 20 Fuggedaboutit

OMG it’s America’s worst nightmare!

A formerly committed lesbian with a new girlfriend.  Yes folks, Rosie O’Donnell that doyenne of crazy, that queen of uncensored thought has ditched her spouse and emerged with a new girlfriend.  Frightened?  You should be.  The conservatives warned you things like this would happen.  Just think of the consequences.  Who will collect the child support?  Who will raise the children?   And for crying out loud who wears the pants in these types of relationships?  When committed lesbians (once described as bringing a moving van on their first date) start to break up their non-nuclear families can the apocalypse be far behind?

To This We Have Been Reduced – Your Own Personal Bailout

…and no I don’t mean the kind where the government decides to throw a little of that fat bailout cash at you.  No… I mean the kind that you really should be considering for yourself if you’re seriously underwater on your mortgage.

This report from the University of Arizona College of Law does a good job of summarizing how American’s who owe more on their homes than their homes are worth should really consider just walking away—that the financial well-being of one’s family may depend on it.  Consider this example (emphasis added):

Unfortunately for Sam and Chris, the housing market began to collapse in 2007. Though they still owe about $560,000 on their home, it is now only worth $187,000.  A similar house around  the corner from Sam and Chris recently listed for $179,000, which, with a modest 5% down, would translate to a total monthly  payment of less than $1200 per month – as compared to the $4300 that they currently pay.  They could rent a similar house in the neighborhood for about $1000.

Assuming they intend to stay in their home ten years, Sam and Chris would save approximately $340,000 by walking away, including a monthly savings of at least $1700 on rent verses mortgage payments, even after factoring in the mortgage interest tax reduction.  The financial gain for Sam and Chris from walking away would be even more substantial if they took their monthly savings and put it into an investment account.  If they stay in their home on the other hand, it will take Sam and Chris over 60 years just to recover their equity – assuming, of course, that they live that long, the market in Salinas has indeed hit bottom, and their home appreciates at the historical appreciation rate of 3.5%.

Underwater and Not Walking Away, Page 10

The report goes on to discuss the many factors that cause individual homeowners to decide not to take a step that so many companies seem willing to take, even willing to build their business models around—In other words, government indemnification against losses.

It’s a sad fact that so many Americans are in this state, even more sad that they seem to be unable to do the one thing that makes imminent financial sense.

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Obscure company dumps Tiger Woods

Accenture has severed ties with golfer Tiger Woods, following a deluge of negative publicity surrounding Woods’ conducting extramarital affairs with over a dozen women.

“After several years of the endorsement deal, we’ve decided to end the relationship,” said Accenture spokesman Art Andersen.

However, Accenture’s reason is not because of Woods’ admission of infidelity. In a recent poll, 1,200 persons contacted thought Accenture is a meat tenderizing liquid.

“The average person has no idea what Accenture is or what we do,” said Andersen.

“You’d think for all the money we’ve been paying Woods, that today Accenture would have the same name recognition as Rachel Uchitel. I mean, who do I have to sleep with to get that kind of notoriety?” he wondered.

In other news, Connecticut has severed ties with Senator Joe Lieberman, following a deluge of negative publicity surrounding Lieberman’s extramarital affairs with over a dozen insurance companies.

To This We Have Been Reduced – Too Poor To Bank

What does it mean not to have, for lack of opportunity, access to something as simple as a bank? For one, it means you are probably stuck with predatory check-cashing and pay-day loan companies for getting access to ready cash—and sure this is no secret, but consider in addition: You have no access to something as simple as a humble savings account, and this means that you can’t even keep what little savings you do have safe from theft, fire, or other disasters. You have no way of keeping your savings from being eaten away by inflation. You’re money is not insured by the FDIC, indemnifying you against fraud and malfeasance. Many online services are unavailable to you because they require a legit checking or savings account as proof of identity and as a guarantee of income. You can’t take out a loan or pay your bills without wasting time and effort. In short, life is a grinding, money sapping, poverty enforcing bitch!

A FDIC survey, reported in the Washington Post, estimates that almost 1/4 of American households, almost 60 million families have limited or no access to banks or other traditional financial services.

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iNews Friday, 12/4/2009

A sampling of this week’s output from the iNews 9000 Turbo wi-fi headline translator—

Headline: European Union celebrates first day of Lisbon Treaty
Translation: Carrie Prejean opposes “pro-Lisbian” EU

Headline: Pollard enraged by Schalit deal, urges PM to kill Hamas prisoners
Translation: Israel grants inmates right to publicist

Headline: Tiger Woods regrets ‘transgressions’
Translation: Woods regrets flunking evasive-driving course

Headline: More women claim affairs with Tiger?
Translation: Wife finds Tiger’s score card

Headline: Comcast announces deal for control of NBC Universal
Translation: Comcast Sheinhardt Universal

Headline: Obama’s West Point War Speech: A Quick Response
Translation: A Cadet Joe Wilson screamed “You lie!”

Headline: More alleged mistresses discovered in Woods scandal
Translation: Tiger Woods has saved or created 150,000 mistress jobs

Headline: Actress Meredith Baxter reveals she is a lesbian
Translation: Carrie Prejean – “Elyse Keaton is Portuguese?


ERITAS: Palin backs Swiss vote – Supports ban on “missile-shaped Muslim churches”