The avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to vote.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday Morning Stupid

Today's stupid award goes to Michael Barone and his idiotic column in the Washington Examiner.  Not content with lying about what the American people want, he slanders Europeans by portraying them as helpless victims because two world wars were fought on their ground.  Perhaps it's because almost every family lost at least one male member, and usually more, during those wars that helped them realize that everyone deserves a chance to live a healthy life after they are born whereas those who are against health care for everyone believes that right solely belongs to proto-humans.  Once they are born they are to fend for themselves.

I am perfectly capable of understanding the ins and outs of health insurance, but not everybody has the time or the vocabulary to understand the fine print that prevents them from getting treatment or finding out after the fact that that whatever they needed to get well is not covered.   And the insurance carriers depend on this.

When one is sick, one usually wants to get better or at least know why they don't feel well.  What they don't want to do is fill out endless reams of paperwork, produce identification, pay their copay and then have to justify their problem.  That was supposedly the theory behind HMOs.  Health care without any hassles.  What a concept.

Today has a runner up and surprise, surprise, it is also in the Examiner.  Being a military brat and attending schools either on base or just outside of it, I had to say the Pledge of Allegiance whether I wanted to or not.  I hated it and thought it had very little use except to give the teacher more time to take attendance and assemble the day's lesson.  When you recite it every day of the school year for six or seven years, it ceases to have meaning and becomes a chore.  If you asked most kids to explain every line, they can't do it.  I used to look enviously at the seniors in high school because they were given the option of sitting it out.  When I became a senior, I sat it out.
For two days in late January, a Roberto Clemente Middle School student refused to stand for the pledge and remained silent in her chair, according to details released Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland and confirmed by a Montgomery schools spokesman.

The teacher first threatened detention and sent her to the counselor's office, according to the ACLU. When the same incident occurred the following day, the teacher called on a school security officer to escort the student to the counselor's office again.

"The law is crystal clear that a public school cannot embarrass or harass a student for maintaining a respectful silence during the Pledge of Allegiance," said Ajmel Quereshi, an ACLU lawyer.

When the student's mother approached school administration for guidance, an assistant principal recommended the student apologize for her "defiance," according to the ACLU.
Saying the pledge doesn't mean a thing since actions speak louder than words and since I joined the Army two days after graduation, I think I'm pretty patriotic.  I was willing to lay down my life to defend American citizens right to freedom of speech, or the right to be quiet.

It baffles me how so many people believe that repetitively saying something shows respect. I wonder how many of the people who believe that the girl should be punished have said the pledge since they graduated. I'll bet it isn't many and that most of them don't remember the words, have never served in the Armed Forces and believe that by wearing a stick pin or have a yellow ribbon on their car that they are patriotic.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Morning Stupid

Today's stupid award goes to those businesses that believe shareholders are more important than their own workers.
“American business is about maximizing shareholder value,” said Allen Sinai, chief global economist at the research firm Decision Economics. “You basically don’t want workers. You hire less, and you try to find capital equipment to replace them.”
One would have to be pretty stupid not to understand the consequences of getting rid of your employees so the shareholders can make few more dollars.  And what would those consequences be?  Uhh, no job translates into no money to buy the products or services of said company.  Company eventually goes bankrupt due to lack of sales and shareholders lose money.  All because of greed and an inability to see the forest for the trees.

Meanwhile, the GOP and the teabaggers babble endlessly about people needing to pull themselves up their bootstraps, learn new skills as education funding is cut to to the bone, stop depending on government "handouts" and get another job.  When even Wal-Mart posts a loss, how many jobs can there be?  Not many and not for a long time. But the bonuses to the executives continue.

Blaming the president and Congress is easy, but they aren't the ones who outsourced jobs overseas and/or are hiring temporary workers for less pay and no benefits so shareholders can get another 50 cents.  Isn't capitalism a great system?


Monday, February 15, 2010

Also Worthy of The Title Is

Dick (I shoot my friends in the face) Cheney. Actually, he was yesterdays winner.   Mr. Cheney says he is a fan of torture and for some reason that doesn't surprise me.  What does surprise me is that he thinks waterboarding a man who tried to burn his own balls off would be intimidated by water.

Having suffered a third degree burn on my inner thigh, I can promise you that lying is not an option.  The pain is constant and time is one of the few things that makes the pain go away.  Holding burn cream in front of him would be incentive enough.  Inhumane, but effective.  Mr. Cheney is so in love with his versions of "enhanced interrogation" that sometimes his connection to reality is tenuous at best.

Mr. Cheney exhibits sadistic qualities at every opportunity and is regularly rewarded by the media.  If Bush didn't take his advice, why should Obama?


Today Belongs To

Ann Coulter.  Yup, the she-man opened her mouth and stupidity spurted out as she supported her imaginary lover.  During the reign of error we were constantly told that if we couldn't respect the man, we had to respect the office.  She does neither.

Our current vice president is neither the White House dog, nor is he a "drunken Irishman".  The latest meme from the almost never right is to accuse whoever they disagree with as being drunk.  How original.  Oh well, if you can't refute facts you might as well resort to name calling.


Friday, February 12, 2010

How To Become A Third World Country

Today's stupid award goes to Detroit's inner city high schools.  Unemployment is almost 50%, so instead of changing the curriculum to prepare students for high tech jobs, they've decided that classes on how to work at Wal-Mart are more appropriate.

High school is supposed to help you prepare for the future as an adult and to encourage you to dream of a bright future and living better than one's parents, not teach you to the lowest job standards possible.

Remember when Sears employees couldn't qualify for a Sears credit card because they didn't make enough money?  Do we really want to return to those days?  If the only jobs available are at Wal-Mart and McDonald's eventually no one will be able to afford to live anywhere except under a bridge.

Short sighted thinking got us into this mess and more of the same will not get us out of it.  If we don't start providing decent educations to our children we will only fall further and further behind.  Is that what everybody wants?  Pretending that the future doesn't exist and relying on the failures of the past is setting the country on the path to destruction.  It's like being fed a slow acting poison.  You're dead but you don't know it until it's too late.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Three Days In One

This one is a doozy.  Waterboarding a four year old girl because she either couldn't or wouldn't recite her ABCs.  And as Andrew Sullivan so helpfully pointed out, the original story referred to waterboarding as a CIA torture technique.  Whatever my dad's faults might have been, raising his hand in anger wasn't one of them.

Crazy is as crazy does.  Or something like that.  The new version of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Diseases (DSM) is trying for some lovely new definitions.  From classifying Shyness as a disease, they have moved on to childhood temper tantrums.  Two year olds beware!  All a toddler has to do is have a tantrum several times a week and if confirmed by a doctor before the age of ten, instead of surviving the Terrible Twos the toddler will now have a permanent diagnosis of "temper dysregulation with dysphoria".  Mother's little helper will be a whole new class of drugs.

Did you eat too much at the Pro Bowl party two weeks ago and then did it again during the Super Bowl?  You now have a binge eating disorder.  I wonder if Thanksgiving and Christmas count towards that?  But my favorite new disorder possibility is "risk syndromes".  There is nothing wrong with the person.  Yet.
For example, a moody teenager who displays "excessive suspicion, delusions and disorganized speech or behavior" may be labeled as having psychosis risk syndrome. The panel estimated that a quarter to a third of people who suffer from those "symptoms" go on to develop a psychotic disorder, and the writers acknowledged the new category could lead to inaccurate diagnosis of some who are not at risk.

"Given the severity of psychotic disorders, and evidence that early treatment may mitigate its long-term consequences, we believed that it was important to begin to recognise these conditions as early as possible," wrote Dr William Carpenter of the American Psychiatric Association's psychotic disorders work group.
Deviation from the norm must be stopped!  All children should exhibit proper behavior at all times! Or they will be medicated until they do.  Does anybody remember Zager and Evans?  We won't have to wait for the year 3535 before everything we think, do, or say is going to be in the pill we took today. BBB

Sunday, February 7, 2010

First Post

I started a new blog because my first one had drifted away from my original intentions.  I have many things that interest me, but politics soon overwhelmed all of the them.  And since I think that much of today's culture consists of things that are so stupid that most of us wish we could whip out a magic wand a la Harry Potter and dispose of the boggarts by yelling "Riddikulous!", I decided to devote this blog to those items and leave my original blog to my many other interests.

So, almost five years later I've decided to try and centralize those items that reflect the decline of logical thinking and the increase in lemming activity.

I have the same feelings about Obama as I did about Bush.  They both reflect the worst that politics has to offer.  Neither one had or has had any interest in helping the majority of Americans unless it was time for an election or they were consolidating the power of their donors and wanted to keep the populace as quiet as possible until the deed was done.

Our so-called elected "Representatives" are about as useful as throwing gasoline on a fire.  They neither represent us nor do they maintain the checks and balances the Founding Fathers envisioned for them.

And the Supreme Court?  The current version is determined to make Dred Scott look like a high point of jurisprudence.  Corporations are not people, they are businesses run by people and should not have the same, or more, rights than a kindergarten teacher.  Besides having more money than most individuals, they now have more influence in an election.  Like a double double at In-N-Out burger.  They get to buy votes as a corporation and the same individuals who decide who the corporation backs also get to throw in their two centsmillions any time they want.  And the best part?  Most of those people sit on more than one board of directors, so they have even more influence.  Isn't that lovely?

Public figures do stupid things all the time so this blog won't always be about politics, but it will be about things that make you go "huh?"

I'm a couple of days behind, so let's start with Tom Tancredo and his "literacy" tests.  I'm all for them.  Especially for the people currently in power.  What the almost never right party of "No, because I said so!" Republicans and the "I can't find my balls with two hands and a flashlight" Demowienies have in common, is a complete lack of understanding of how to run this country effectively.  And they have communicated that to their die hard followers.  The sky is what we should be aiming for, not running into the ground like a plane without a pilot.

Yesterday's favorite was Michael Steele's "after taxes a million dollars isn't a lot of money."  I'm willing to give it a try since I know plenty of people who are living on less than ten thousand a year and they work for a living instead of giving speeches on subjects that affect less than two percent of the American population.

I'm sure that with a little more research there will be more to come.  Unfortunately.

BBB and Debsweb