Sunday, November 28, 2010

on the foiled Portland bombing

I have heard that the phrase that TSA insiders use to describe their procedures at airports is 'Security Theater'. The whole setup is there to make us (i.e. the sheep) feel like something very profound is being done to keep us safe. Well, at least safe from bombers who have used shoes and underwear, or might be carrying their own water bottles.

The other evening, we were actually watching the local news, that was lovingly carrying a live feed from Pioneer Courthouse Square. At one point earlier in the week, Karen actually said she'd be interested in going down there to see the lights. The actual lighting came off without a hitch, so we, like everyone else, were shocked to hear the 'breaking news', a short time later, and you know the rest.

What we now know, is that the FBI was following and coaching this guy for months, even to the point of making sure that he was not permitted to fly to Alaska last June, to get a job. Nice way to keep the Portland plot going, guys. In fact, it's not a stretch to put this entire program into the 'entrapment' category. Make sure the target stays disaffected and paranoid, so that, when the time is right, he can be exposed as a tribute to the fine work of the FBI, in 'keeping us safe' from the bad guys.

In the meantime, the objective is fulfilled - now us good citizens of Portland have 'the fear'. OMIGOD, I could have been down there in the Square. OMIGOD, I could have seen this entire disaster live on TV, traumatizing me forever. OMIGOD, we came 'this close' to.... Well, you get the idea.

My contention: 'Insecurity Theater'.

Just sayin'.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

post-Thanksgiving progress

Today we successfully passed thru the turkey-soup phase (it was delicious, I think everyone would agree). At this point, the leftovers are moving into consistently-smaller containers, so all is according to plan.

All the various serving dishes and utensils are now back in the customary places, and the dishwasher is finally empty. Chairs and tables are back to normal. It's all good.

Today we began our long-planned move out of our upstairs bedroom, down into the basement room, which is actually much nicer than your average basement room, especially if you are below average.

We are about to commence a major rennovation of our entire upstairs, that will probably go on for MANY months. Demolition will start in another week - our task now is to move everything out, including stuff that hasn't shifted position in almost 20 years. The shed is beginning to fill up.

The good news is that the Goodwill pile is growing hourly. I am doing a major cleansing, especially of old t-shirts.

Also, we planted our winter garlic crop today - three kinds. We'll see.

Very tired. Oh yes, amid all the other hubbub, Karen and I actually went to Best Buy last night and looked at laptops for her. They were out of stock of the big bargain we wanted, so we came home and bought it online. Tonight, we went to another local store and picked it up. It's a Gateway - this one. Should be able to handle email, craigslist, and Word, eh?

I'm tired, and tomorrow morning I am doing my monthly radio show. You can listen live at (10-11 am PST). Adios for now.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

tin-foil hat or coincidence?

So, on the NBC Nightly News, there was a scare-piece about the dangers of contaminated imported seafood. The report made it clear that seafood from Asia is likely full of anti-biotics, sewage contaminants and god-knows whatever other nasty stuff.

Why report this? One part of me says "it's just their way of insuring that folks are informed about potential dangers". The other part of me says "there must have been 'encouragement' from the Gulf seafood industry, so that Americans won't be reminded of the possible oil contamination of our native fisheries."

I obsess on the conspiracy, so that you don't have to.

we used to have a 'funny' saying....

Often spotted in days of yore as grafitti:

"Time is Nature's way of keeping Everything from happening at once."

So there I was, calmly eating my morning cereal, when the cat jumped up on my desk, indicating the desire to go outside immediately. As I walked up the stairs, the following things happened simultaneously:

1) The tea kettle started whistling madly, demanding immediate attention.
2) The cat stood by the door, mewing 'LET ME OUT NOW'.
3) My cell phone rang with a burning question from a client in New Mexico.
4) A shredded-wheat remnant got stuck in my throat.

Suddenly what appeared to be a laid-back mid-week morning became a whirlwind of activity, for approximately 1 minute. Now my heart-rate is back to normal.

Monday, November 15, 2010

as Ronald Reagan said, 'trust, but verify'

He was talking about nuclear disarmament, but it also applies to vacuum-cleaner bags.

I got an email from a mail-order place that we had ordered from before, touting their pre-holiday deals and free shipping. Since we need bags, I thought, "well, this is surely convenient."

I clicked thru the email to their site, found the bags and got ready to place the order. Before clicking submit, though, I thought I'd go to Amazon and see if there's anything cheaper, just for grins.

I found a deal that was $5 cheaper ($10.25 instead of $14.95) and this deal also had free shipping.

Same product. Same vendor.

It's almost enough to make me think that, maybe, not everything that you receive as email may be totally true.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

childhood's end

We are planning a major renovation of our upstairs space, starting with Dylan's old bedroom (he's now living, happily we think, in Ashland). To that end, we have been cleaning out his room, boxing up his books, collections, trophies, drug paraphernalia, stuffed animals, broken video-game controllers, and all the other assorted 'junk' (our term) that accumulated over the course of 18 years.

This morning, we moved a lot of stuff out of the room and into the shed outside. As I stood looking at that pile of boxes, I thought 'there is his childhood'. Someday, when he has the time to poke thru them, he will no doubt have a lot of surprises and memories. For now, though, they wait for him in a dark corner.

An example of his art (and tendency to accumulate bizarre bits of stuff, for later use.

Friday, November 12, 2010

move to the center

Thom Hartmann made a great point on his radio show yesterday.

In 2006, when the Democrats had a major electoral victory to take over Congress, and in 2008, when the Democrats had a historic electoral victory with both the Presidency and the Congress (creating the certainty of their controlling two Supreme Court appointments), does everyone remember the tsunami of media punditry insisting that it was time for the Republicans to recognize the mandate and "move to the center"?


Monday, November 08, 2010

the really bad news

Why, oh why, did the Democratic party not spend any energy in educating 'the 2008 base' that 2010, being a census year, is a reapportionment year? Now, Republican-dominated State legislatures will be redrawing disasterous district boundaries, that we will have to live with for the next 10 years.

Even low-information Democrats *might* have been educated enough to get them to turn out and vote, but no.

It's great that Obama got 2 Supreme Court justices, but that's little comfort for the knowledge that Congress is going to be solidly Republican for a decade.

Why is the Democratic party so freaking poor at the big stuff? Or, for that matter, any stuff?

I'm about done with them.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

missing from pundit-land

Listening to all the wise talking heads, telling us why the election turned out the way it did (that is, an explosion in the membership in the Crazy Caucus).

Lots of blather about Obama and the 'mood of the people', but not a word about the simple fact that MANY votes were cast as the result of deliberate misinformation (i.e. lies), that were very successfully planted into the brains of under-educated, fearful citizens, thru the vast, new power of vast amounts of untraceable corporate money and a corrupt, complicit media.

The winners in this election were Misdirection and Money. Plus, all the millionaire talking heads get to keep their jobs, with benefits.

Monday, November 01, 2010

a half-baked idea

This occurred to me last night - haven't thought it thru but, on the surface, it seems like a stroke of genius.

Of course, I could be wrong. Again.

You know how, during the oil shocks, we considered the notion of a windfall-profits tax on the oil companies? The idea there is that an industry that makes unreasonable profits thru being a beneficiary of other forces ought to fork over some of those gains to the public treasury.

Shouldn't the same thing apply to media conglomerates, who are receiving billions of dollars in political advertising, simply because they are the gate-keepers to the PUBLIC airwaves?

Just asking...