Friday, February 27, 2009

Tea Party in Seattle

Well, that was fun! Speakers were better, but the sound system still needs improvement. The crowd was great, though--I could hear the cheers two blocks away! Our fearless leader even called up Patty Murray's office (got the voice mail, of course) and the crowd added a long, loud BOOOO to the message. Many teabags were collected with clever wrappers stapled to them, to send to Congress. Along with a copy of the Constitution, since it appears they may need a refresher course. That may be a bit optimistic of the organizers, in my opinion. The Democrats couldn't be bothered to read the Stimulus bill either.

Some pics of the crowd. The day was sunny, but cold. More than last time, says the MkI Eyeball Estimator.

This gentleman had a most wonderful hat, with teabags dangling from it.

A real tea gown! And note the picnic basket behind her. It had chocolate in it. Never say I fail to report the important stuff!

Tea, in an antique teacup. We can be very elegant in Seattle.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Snark-rich Environment

It SNOWED this morning in the (usually) soggy Pacific Northwest, so I am in a fine mood for snarking.

DOD reviews casket-viewing rules for Dover: The media, of course, have been frothing about being excluded from taking photographs of the flag-covered transport containers when they come off the plane at Dover AFB. Once they have that, then America will know the True Cost of War(tm), since they obviously haven't been paying attention to the running body count the Media inserts into every possible location. "The Girl Scouts will be having a cookie drive Saturday at the Main St. Library, and casualties in Iraq reached yet another Grim Milestone." Depending on how the rules are interpreted regarding family permission, and how that permission is obtained, this could be Gates appearing to give in but not really. If there are multiple deceased being transported, and any single family can veto the paparazzi, I don't think there will be many more Dover photographs than before. And should there be a single one and permission given, how does it show the Mass Futility of War to see one casket in a giant transport hold? I'd say, while still tragic, it makes the opposite point. I also hope that the media is BARRED, full stop, from contacting the families themselves. Ideally, there should be a checkbox on a form, yes/no, that the military organizations involved handle. Oh, and if I was in charge, only photographers that had been embeds during the hot part of the fighting could apply for permission.

Ban Guns to Save Mexico: Maybe this is just because I never had an expensive Harvard education, but wouldn't it be simpler to enforce the laws we already have, specifically the border ones? That way all these eeeeevil American guns won't go to the drug cartels down south, and oh yes, bonus, we don't get the drugs, or the kidnapping and murdering from the drug cartels, or even the illegal immigrants up here. I'm a jeenyus! Well, maybe not a Biden-level jeenyus ... (but who is?)

Bus Drivers Make How Much?: As a regular bus commuter I have all respect for the drivers, but I *know* they don't make enough to buy $800K houses, and the ones I know would rupture something laughing at the very idea. And this lady wants a bailout from ME. Since I bought a house I could afford, I still have money. So she wants it. How is this fair?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tea Party!

Where: Seattle, Westlake Plaza
When: Friday February 27, 12:15-1:15pm

Arranged by the Seattle Sons and Daughters of Liberty, who brought you the first Seattle stimulus protest reported by yours truly. This is part of the nationwide Tea Party protest. I'm gonna bring the camera this time. The cell phone is great for emergencies, but it is not quite suitable for a Citizen Reporter.

We are encouraged to bring teabags to send to Washington DC, and any and all tea paraphernalia, crumpets, fancy hats, etc. I can so do this. My dark secret? In Seattle, famed for coffee-drinkers .... I don't like coffee. I drink


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Funnies

-No Need For Bushido Martial arts rule #1: do not walk by a guy who just caused an earthquake.
-Girl Genius Gil's past comes back to haunt him.
-Schlock MercenaryIt is very important to specify EVERYTHING in contracts with mercenaries.
-Crowfeathers Meanwhile, back at the ranch... algebra?
-Lackadaisy Oo look! Not an update to the main story, but a nice Valentine's flashback. As in the massacre.
-Dresden Codak How to remove a Laplacian Demon.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Things to Do When I am Benevolent Dictator

I think I would make an excellent Benevolent Dictator. Mostly because I am lazy. While I would want my Benevolent Will to be done, I would prefer that it be self-propelling and not require a lot of oversight or direct violence on my part. (That would cut into valuable Death-Ray Maintenance time or Personal Submarine Tinkering time. Not acceptable.) Here are some of my Evil Ideas(tm) for when I take over.

-If a person is able to work, refuses to work, and gets government money to live on past a certain amount, they don't get to vote. If they go to work, they get their vote back. People who like being beachcombers but don't take government money, they can vote. (Yes we can take the right to vote away, ask any felon.) The government will maintain a list of jobs that such people can do to fulfill this obligation.

-Assets will be considered when determining assistance levels. If a claimant has no income but a big honking flat screen TV, that item will be assessed and the value deducted from the final amount. Up to them whether or not they want to sell it, but it can be sold and the money used for food, and why should the government shell out money if it isn't absolutely necessary?

-The Fairness Doctrine, if enacted, will be drastically limited in execution. None of this silly equal time nonsense. No, a challenge can be made to a given program's statements of fact, but only the rebuttal and supporting evidence can be presented. No frothing, no opinion, no moving the rhetorical goal posts. This counter-statement would be presented in the same time slot as the offending program, and in the same format except that television would only have plain text displayed on a screen, and radio would have the same content read by that annoying synthetic lady that does the touch-tone phone menu options. We're talking data here, not production values.

-Every employee of a company larger than 20 people will be allowed one nerf-bat attack per year, on hearing any of the following terms either directed at them or within their hearing; leverage, paradigm, customer-centric, mission statement, inclusive, diversity, monetize, innovate (Microsoft only), or TPS cover sheet. This list can and will be updated.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This is what I have to put up with

Since the Seattle PI (ostensibly the Other Paper, but really just a rebrand) is on life support, the only paper of record here is the Seattle Times. It features a lot of intellectually droopy writing, and the columnists are even worse. Here, for your delectation, is a fisking of a recent effort by one Nicole Brodeur. She's been writing for the Times for what seems like eons, so they must like her stuff. (Full article here.)

In the span of a few months, Jamee went from being a hotshot mortgage broker with a six-figure income, a home of her own, a BMW, a Suzuki motorcycle and a second house in the works, to being the newest resident of Jubilee Women's Center.

I would think a hotshot mortgage broker with any brains would have something my people call a "savings account". Especially with a six figure income.

Homeless. Broke. No options.

The option Jamee had was to spend less than she made. Oh, and not run a balance on the credit card(s). Same option I had, and used.

"I had to lose it all to figure it all out," she told me the other day. "I live in the moment now."

You were living in the moment then, sister. That's why you are in a homeless shelter now.

It's a tune we're all humming along to these days. But some, like Jamee, are singing loud.

Yes, this line actually got by the editor. I am of course assuming they have, and use, an editor. Again, I am not stupid enough to go from six-figure conspicuous consumption to living out of my car in less than a year, and neither are my friends, but Nicole Brodeur has no interest in writing about sane, mature individuals.

Jubilee, a nonprofit facility housed in a former convent on Seattle's Capitol Hill, is seeing more clients like her: Educated, accomplished women who always volunteered at social-service agencies and never dreamed they would ever become clients.

"How can I be overdrawn? I still have checks left!" One bright point--since they volunteered at social service agencies, they should know how to fill out the forms correctly.

But thanks to the banking crisis and the fast-moving flames of corporate layoffs, there is now a new homeless woman: Smart, savvy — and in shock at her fate.

Has to be the banking crisis. Couldn't possibly be due to lots and lots of bad choices, because they are "smart" and "savvy". I will have to get a new dictionary. Mine has very different definitions for those terms. Smart and savvy people realize accidents happen, and plan for emergencies. And when their income dries up, they STOP SPENDING MONEY.

One day, one of the banks she did loans with closed. By the end of the week, four were gone. When those deals dried up, so did her commissions.
Awash in mortgage and credit payments, she gave everything up and moved in with her mother in Tacoma. She became a personal banker, then got laid off. She finally took a job as a custodian at her own church, which gave her a room to stay in.

Something sounds funny here. She must have had a LOT of debt. People are walking away from mortgages all the time now. It also sounds like she resisted, at least at first, a "lower prestige" job. Look, if you are desperate you take anything legal. I know, I've done it. It isn't permanent, and it might give you some respect for people working those low-wage jobs. Yeah, you won't be able to afford a Beemer on that kind of paycheck. That's kinda the point.

"I used to help people get into houses, and consult them on ways not to get into this predicament," she said. "But when it came to me, there was nothing I could do about it."

So, maybe she wasn't that good at her job? Maybe that's why she is having trouble finding employment? Naaah. Couldn't be.

Time to clean up the blog--I've got guests!

One small email to La Malkin, who is kind enough to post a link, and my viewmeter stats go up by a factor of ten. Then Castle Argghhh! piles on and even more visitors stop by. Eeep! This is a blog that attends to the darker needs of a very small demographic -- conservative scientists who like webcomics, and the people who tolerate them-- with excursions into whatever strikes my fancy, so as you might expect the traffic isn't high. Welcome! I'll try to be more entertaining. And more frequent.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Protest for the Rest of Us

Conveniently located in downtown Seattle, so I went to check it out.

I believe the lady in the pink dress, under the arch, is the organizer, but I wasn't there for the beginning and introductions. I have no idea why the cherrypicker was there.

Of course my cell phone cheerfully notified me it was full, thank you, just before some liberal nutbar decided we'd had enough expressing our opinions and he needed to tell us how wrong we were (complete with Nazi salute, too.) He was escorted peacefully off-stage. There were two cops wandering around, but you could tell they were not expecting any trouble from us.

I tried to get some pictures of the funny signs, but the cellphone, as I said, was not a team player. One said "Not all Thieves wear Masks". No paper mache giant heads, inflated body parts, or people dressed like pink homeless ladies. Just nice pleasant people (except for the national socialist wannabe), kids in strollers, people of all ages. And colors. I am not a certified crowd estimator, but it seemed like 100+. I got there perhaps 30 minutes in and couldn't stay long. I have to work so I can pay taxes for the Stimulus Bill.

Update: Welcome, Malkinites!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Funnies

-No Need For Bushido The Tao demands that Cho kick ass.
-Girl Genius Happiness is a Mad Science lab on every floor of your castle...
-Schlock Mercenary A *slight* programming error in a super-robot is, happily, someone else's problem.
-Crowfeathers A confused cockroach. Yes, really.
Not Updated (sob!)
-Dresden Codak
-My Ninja Family
- Argghhh-onauts. Sigh.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Unhinged Snark

Partly unhinged this week because I did something I shouldn'ta done to my back, and in the process of getting better I had to take medication that reduced my ambition to the drooling point. All is well now, but I confess to a certain lingering resentment for the distant ancestor who thought walking on two legs was a really neat idea. Cats do not have these issues. Plus they still have tails, most of them. (Another point of resentment).

One bright light in the morass of tar that is the recent Congressional Stimulpalooza bill. They are handing out 1.6 billion, yes, Billllion, for "Science". Those are NOT scare quotes. That is exactly how the line item appears in the thick wad of paper, for those who were privileged to see it. Gateway Pundit has the evidence. Nothing else is specified. 1.6 Billion dollars of MY TAX MONEY for something in quotes. Hey, I can do "Science" with the best of them! (I can also do science, no quotes, but Congress isn't throwing money at that.) What the hell are these bozos thinking, if you can dignify it with the term? And how do I get them to stop "helping" me??

But let's not forget what day it is. Happy thoughts indeed for Sweasel and her sweetie Uncle B, who have been lashed together to the mast of Holy Matrimony. Let's see them try to forget their anniversary, eh folks? And here is proof that scientists can be soppy romantics too ... an astronomer gets the planet Venus to send an appropriate message in Morse code.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sunday Funnies

Good Comics, You Get Cookie
-No Need For Bushido A slight one-week delay, but we are promised Choness (=twisted fortune cookie wisdom).
-Girl Genius Meanwhile, back at the Castle...
-Schlock Mercenary where a rookie discovers being good at killing means you have to deal with being good at killing.
-Crowfeathers Arkaine makes a discovery.
These People are Not Entertaining Me Fast Enough
-Dresden Codak
-My Ninja Family
-Lackadaisy has a 3-D preview update, but no comic.
- Argghhh-onauts claims busyness, I suspect a new shipment of thongs at the PX.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Universal Healthcare: What we can look forward to

Guy gets hit by a motorcycle. The poor bastard died after 14 hospitals refused to admit him. This isn't in Uzbekistan, but Japan. An allegedly modern country.

...the hospitals said they could not accept him, citing a lack of specialists, equipment, beds and staff...

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Sunday Funnies

-Dresden Codak finishes the Philosophical D&D panel, anyway.
-No Need For Bushido Ina plays chess, General Atsumori plays checkers.
-My Ninja Family has not updated recently, alas.
-Girl Genius The Baron offers Othar a job. Othar thinks wistfully of Certain Death.
-Schlock Mercenary and the Longshoreman of the Apocalypse.
-Lackadaisy has not updated (pout).
-Crowfeathers Comparing oranges.
-xkcd More derangement.
- Argghhh-onauts? I think it's a myth ....