September 30, 2010 archive

The Wall Street Crash comes full cycle for the long-term unemployed

  The new weekly unemployment numbers came out Thursday, and on the surface they didn’t look bad. Initial claims, continuing claims, and extended benefits were all down.

 It looks like a win-win…until you start thinking about it.

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WOW: “The True Cost of the War”

The above, without the ‘wow’, was the title of a Congressional Hearing in the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs: 30 September 2010.

In this hearing, opening statements to the give and take talk back and forth from the Representatives to the Participants, it lays out Very Clearly how this Country has Failed it’s Veterans not only as to these two present occupations but the long term as we older vets already know, from Korea and Vietnam forward. There was a Support the Veterans since after WWII and all the positives that brought us, even then they got caught up in the lack of funding and obstruction to veterans issues as to care and much more.

Autumn . . .


 O.K., I’m taking a semi-break from it all today, I mean from my disgust with this Administration and being lectured to, being scolded, by the very people who, had they listened to Progressives like many/most of us, wouldn’t be in the crap election fix they appear to be in right now.  

 Well, not a total break:  a couple of days ago Bill Maher put out a great column in which he asks:  When Will Obscenely Rich A**holes Stop Crying About Taxes?.  A must read, indeed.  

 But for the most part, through the next few days, I’m going to try and let my blood pressure take a vacation from the high political climes it’s been living in the past week or so.  Instead, I’m going to try to focus on this beautiful weather we’re now (finally) having here in Birmingham, think about Autumns past, and, hopefully, cheer the Tide on to victory over the pretty boys from Gainesville (note the non-cocky attitude:  either team can win).



  The Kurodani Temple Gate. Kyoto. Nov 2009.

 As for Autumn, here’s a post from my just for fun site/blog, Autumn:  Excerpt:


“I remember one cool autumn night in Kyoto, around 2003 when I and my traveling companion had just flown across the Pacific, gone through the Rites of Immigration, Customs and Baggage Claim at Kansai International Airport, taken the “Haruka” train from the airport to Kyoto Station, been picked up at the station by Japanese language teacher from college and taken to his and his wife’s home in North Kyoto.  We ate some, drank a little beer and sake and then turned in after a long, long, long day.  The last thing I remember hearing as I drifted off . . .”

 Lots of photos, too.  Consider yourself invited.  Enjoy.  Feel free to share your Autumn memories below…

 Oh, and Roll Tide.



Alaska Walruses Without Ice

“an unusual gathering on a barrier island in Alaska. ”  They’d normally be out on the floating ice after foraging, but there is no ice this year near their feeding grounds.  Arctic sea ice is at the 3rd lowest point in recorded history.

Walruses Swarm Beaches as Ice Melts

National Geographic


Biologists with the USGS say the situation can be very dangerous because walruses are easily startled, and can stampede. Some walruses, particularly calves and juveniles, can get crushed to death by larger walruses moving about.


I’ve been thinking about that insanity definition. This has not been the first time the White House has taken the left out behind the woodshed. Repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results in a common action found in many places but there is one group that most often comes to mind.

The underlying message from a president that once said “Make me do the right thing” has become “Leave me alone.” The classic case of a person calling for isolation from loved ones is a very common form of denial. “Don’t tell me what to do. I’m doing fine. Go take a look at your own shit” is what is often heard by family members of sick and suffering addicts.  

To the casual observer it would seem like this man is trying hard to get into “Presidents Anonymous” but the sad fact is that there is no 12 Step Program for president’s in a nation where all elected officials are prowling the back alleys of K Street and mainlining enormous amounts of special interest cash. Sadly there isn’t even an Al-Anon for progressives so we don’t have a clear definition on how to address this.  

R.I.P. Tony Curtis

Actor Tony Curtis dies at Las Vegas-area home

AP, September 30, 2010

The Oscar-nominated actor died Wednesday evening of cardiac arrest at home in the Las Vegas-area city of Henderson, Clark County Coroner Mike Murphy said Thursday. He was 85.

“He died peacefully here, surrounded by those who love him and have been caring for him,” his wife, Jill Curtis, told The Associated Press outside their home. “All Tony ever wanted to be was a movie star. He didn’t want to be the most dramatic actor. He wanted to be a movie star, ever since he was a little kid.”

Open Diller


A Doctor Responds

In response to my prior piece about Medicare and doctors, I received an e-mail from a physician.  I will summarize her response below.

The Final Act


{UpDated} ATTN: Keith, Rachel and The Few Others: “Stop Loss” Time Running Out

Please Help get the word out as we are Quickly Approaching the October 21st deadline for the Soldiers and their Families who were Stop Lossed, in order to fight in the long extended occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and many still haven’t made contact, some can’t for various reasons like homelessness, because of the economy, may live in rural area’s as many who serve do, etc.!

The few others I mention in the subject title are those media types who actually, like you two, use their intelligence in their profession of journalism and are true journalist and reporters.

Anyone close to Keith, Rachel and these others, if they may not see this or the others who’ve called for actions, who might read this Please Pass It On To Them. We Advocates and Activist, especially us Veterans, can only do so much, we don’t hold the microphones or the print media and blogs etc. are only seen by a very few eyes where as hundreds of thousands to millions watch or read what you report and that snowballs in many ways. It might really help if you made mention on every show from now till the 21st or 20th at least, not help us but help these soldiers and their families who were back door drafted to fight in these two wars of choice!

Unintended Consequences of Health Care Legislation

Something not particularly well known about Social Security Disability is that after two years, a disabled person, regardless of age, is eligible for Medicare.  An eligible person isn’t just given the option, he or she is automatically moved to the program unless he or she specifically declines it.  Until that point, a disabled person usually has to make do with Medicaid and all of its maddening restrictions and budget shortfalls.  One would think that the ability to transition to a better program for health insurance would be reason for celebration.  In some ways, it is, but in unexpected ways, it has not proven to be been appreciably better.

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