Friday, August 21, 2009

From JMG: Best Scam Ever

For a mere $110 the kind atheists at Eternal Earthbound Pets will take care of your beloved animals after Jeebus has raptured you up to everlasting glory.
You've committed your life to Jesus. You know you're saved. But when the Rapture comes what's to become of your loving pets who are left behind? Eternal Earth-Bound Pets takes that burden off your mind. We are a group of dedicated animal lovers, and atheists. Each Eternal Earthbound Pet representative is a confirmed atheist, and as such will still be here on Earth after you've received your reward. Our network of animal activists are committed to step in when you step up to Jesus. We are currently active in 20 states and growing. Our representatives have been screened to ensure that they are atheists, animal lovers, are moral / ethical with no criminal background, have the ability and desire to rescue your pet and the means to retrieve them and ensure their care for your pet's natural life.
JMG says: "In the name of the Black Catholic Priestess Brenda Lee, how I wish I'd thought of this. Best. Scam. Ever."

San Francisco w/ Spencer

Spencer rode shotgun to the city with me to day to pick up a document from the Brazilian Consulate (Milton & my marriage certificate that needed to be authenticated). We spent soem tiem at City Lights, Alta Plaza Park, Along Filmore St. nosing about some shops and a cappuccino stop, Lyon Street Steps, and home via the Golden Gate and wine country... a

New do, and glasses... being 54 isn't so bad...

the wind was kicking up

@ Lyon St Stairs

A good one from Huffington

Bill Maher: New Rule: No Shame in Being the Sorry Party


AP/Al Grillo

Bill Maher: New Rule: If Mitt Romney, Karl Rove and Sarah Palin all think America has never done anything wrong, we must be doing something wrong. Look at them: an empty suit, an empty heart and an empty head. It looks like the news team on Good Morning Hell. And what they've been competing about lately is who would not apologize the most. America is infallible, and apologies are horrible things that must never, ever be given. Except by me when I make a joke about the Pope. Click here to read more.

More Ridge

Ridge: I Was Pressured to Raise Terror Alert Level Before '04 Election

Olivier Knox, Agence France-Presse: "Former US homeland security chief Tom Ridge charges in a new book that top aides to then-president George W. Bush pressured him to raise the 'terror alert' level to sway the November 2004 US election. Then defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld and attorney general John Ashcroft pushed him to elevate the color-coded threat level, but Ridge refused, according to a summary from his publisher, Thomas Dunne Books."

Quote of the day

If church doesn't like booze or homosexuals, I'm not joining! I couldn't imagine heaven without both! - Christopher Guerrero

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Information Regarding CSUS Furlough Policy

Dear Students and Parents:

During this next academic year, faculty and staff have been required to take a 9.23% reduction in pay. In addition, your student fees have recently gone up 20%, this on top of a previous 10% increase from the spring of 2009. Along with the staff, we faculty have been asked to take responsibility for the debt incurred by a lack of state funding due in part to mismanagement by the leadership of the CSU system. Faculty and staff are now required to take off days throughout each semester. We are not to do any work during those days. For faculty, the number of days is nine, and for staff it is 16. To compensate students, some faculty will not be giving as many assignments, and the method of testing may be given in a simpler format. In addition, students will get more free days during the semester to study or work.

What will result from the furlough days is this: less work will be completed by both faculty and staff. For example, you may need assistance from a department secretary, but they may not be there or will be overwhelmed by the work they do have. Furthermore, you may wish to get in touch with a professor, but they won’t be available.

Specifically for my students:

  • Assignments (quizzes, essays, lesson plans, theses) will not be able to be returned as quickly as has been done in the past. You will probably observe this in other classes as well.

  • I will not grade, answer email, or prepare classes on weekends or furlough days.

  • I will no longer have office hours. I will, however, be available both before and after classes to meet with you as well as by appointment on non-furlough days.

  • Students will be expected to take more responsibility with their learning objectives and goals (e.g. study independently and grade/provide feedback for each others’ work, etc.)

  • If you need assistance from me, I will do my best to provide you with my recommendations.

  • If you ask for help on a furlough day, you will have to wait until a non-furlough day for a response.

  • You will be provided with a list of my furlough days in order for you to plan accordingly.

Although I love what I do and respect and admire my students dearly, it is no longer sensible for me to continue to work on days on which I am not getting paid.

I believe in education and know that we can have a great semester despite the daunting conditions as long as students are willing to step up and do what they’re required to do to reach their goals.


Daniel C. Orey, Ph.D.

Professor of Mathematics and Multicultural Education

Core Faculty Member, Independent Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership

California State University, Sacramento

I guess we knew this...

Tom Ridge: Homeland Security Faked Terror Alerts For Dubya

Former director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge admits in his new book that he was pressured into faking terror alerts in order to help George W. Bush win reelection.
Dave Weigel, writing for the Washington Independent, notes that in the past, Ridge has denied manipulating security information for political reasons. In 2004, for example, he said, "We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security." The Bush administration was forced to admit in the days after the 2004 alert that it was based on intelligence three or four years old. Officials then claimed there was a previously unmentioned "separate stream of intelligence" that justified the warning -- but offered little tangible information to support their new story. ThinkProgress recalls, the AP reported that "even 'some senior Republicans' privately questioned Ridge's timing of a terror alert that came just three days after the Democratic National Convention."
JMG adds: Not really surprising, is it? Most of us were suspicious at the time. Let's see if the GOP leadership of today takes any responsibility. Yeah, hold your breath.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Well I Never! British Doc Slams Sen. Grassley and Anti-Healthcare Reform Group as "Ludicrous... False and Distasteful"

Well I Never! British Doc Slams Sen. Grassley and Anti-Healthcare Reform Group as 'Ludicrous... False and Distasteful' -- BuzzFlash News Alert


Lord Ara Darzi, a British surgeon and former minister for the UK's National Health Service (NHS), spoke with National Public Radio's Steve Inskeep this morning about American opposition to healthcare reform. After explaining that a lot of the supposed facts about Britain's healthcare system being tossed around by those who oppose change here in the U.S. are based on outdated figures from before the British government reformed the healthcare system, Darzi reacted to a couple of clips from American news.

First, Inskeep played an audio clip of Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) talking about how, if Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) were a Brit, the NHS would refuse to treat his brain tumor or would not treat it as aggressively, because of his advanced age.

"I'm sorry to say that's the most ludicrous thing I've heard. I've heard that written down, but I've never heard it in real speech," Darzi said, adding that Grassley's remarks are "not just false, these are lies which have been used to set fear against reform."

Next Inskeep played the audio from a Club For Growth ad which suggests that the British government has figured out how much six months of life is worth, and that if one's medical procedure costs more than that "you're out of luck." Darzi rejected that insinuation outright, and reminded Inskeep that a Brit's life expectancy is longer than an American's.

"I'm not standing up here and saying we have the best healthcare system that you should copy, that is not the intention of me getting on the radio to you. It's, I'm making clear that what you're hearing is not just false and distasteful, it just far [exceeds] what I expected someone in these senior political roles to be disseminating fear against the system."


For more from NPR on the British healthcare system, listen to today's segment, Is Britain's Health System Really That Bad?

Quote of the Day

"Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about it."

Oscar Wilde

Had a few extra tiles...

Putting some tiles on the wall for the outdoor shower...

Monday, August 17, 2009

This Gem from Buzzflash: Turn It Off

Don't Like the Right Wing Propaganda Blaring Everywhere you Go From a TV. Turn It Off with a TV B Gone Universal On/Off Remote for North America. (At User's Risk Regarding Laws and Property Rights.)

BuzzFlash Accepts MasterCard Visa AmEx Discover and PayPal!
Turn Off TV! Like, Really. Revolutionary Clicker that will Turn off Any North American Television from 1-20 (possibly as far as 50) Feet Away (As Long as You Can Point Invisible Laser Light at Television). Can't Stand FOX in a Bar? Your Relative Giving You a Headache by Watching CNBC But Hid the Remote? Listening to Hannity in a Laundromat Giving You a Headache? This is a Remarkable, Inexpensive Device! BuzzFlash Will Soon be Launching a Campaign with It, But Use It Now.
TV B Gone's Review (excerpt)
Directions for using your TV-B-Gone:

1. Point it at a TV set

2. Press the button (no need to hold the button down)

3. Keep pointing it at the TV until the TV turns off (which may take up to 69 seconds)

(You must point it at the TV -- and it does not go through walls, so you can't turn off the TV of someone loudly playing a Kojak rerun a 1 AM in the motel room next to yours.)


From the inventor, Mitch Altman:


Thanks for buying my invention, TV-B-Gone, a universal remote control that is designed not only to turn TVs on and off, but also to enhance your life. How you enhance your life is totally up to you, but mind if I ask you a couple of questions? Cool, thanks!

How much of the TV that you watch do you really like a lot? If you could choose whatever it is that you'd like to be doing right now, anything at all, what would it be? Was your answer, “Watch TV!”? Whatever your answer was, my wish for you is that you have time in your life to do it. Please make time in your life for what you really like. Better yet, please make time to do what you love. Wouldn't that be great? Don't know what you love? Try out a few things, see what happens.

Me, my life got so much better from watching TV less. As a result, I had enough time to invent TV-B-Gone! My idea was to give others a similar chance – so I created a fun way to get the message out there that turning a TV on or off really is a choice. Anywhere, anytime. Please, go out there and choose.

My wish is that your TV-B-Gone remote control will give you a lifetime of practical fun.


A BuzzFlash note: when you turn off a TV on private property, you do take a risk of being kicked out or perhaps even arrested. It's better to ask first to change the channel or turn the television off. BuzzFlash does not condone the breaking of any law or anyone getting into a fight or arrested over guerilla turn-off-television (or specific programming) tactics. That is a risk the user chooses to take. Remember, you must be within about 20 feet or less of the television and have the invisible laser lens aimed at the television. Because of different codes on televisions, it may take up to a minute to turn off as the keychain TV B Gone device goes through different codes. It can also be used to turn televisions back on. This is a universal North American television on/off remote.

What is the Instant Reactivation Feature?

The new TV-B-Gone model allows you to press the button at any time to restart transmission of all of its infrared codes. Since the codes for the most popular TVs are closest to the beginning of the sequence, you can shut off more TVs faster, without waiting the full 69 seconds, as with the original version.

What is the flashing LED (and can I turn it off)?
This light indicates that the unit is sending out its signal. If you don't want the flashing LED on, simply double-click the button to start the TV-B-Gone.

The batteries are replaceable.


BuzzFlash will be leading a campaign in relation to television watching in the news in the near future, building it as we progress together. And we will be focusing on right wing media propaganda stations. We won't be complaining or correcting them, because they don't give a damn. BuzzFlash has other ideas in mind, starting with turning them off.
Read The Full Review >>>
Other Reviews
Quotes from satisfied customers:

“I just received my TV-B-Gone® keychain... and I LOVE it!!!! It's just too much fun!!”

—Dan, Elk River, MN

“My TV-B-Gone® just arrived last night, and I have already started turning off TVs!! Today at lunch, I went to a Hotdog place and sure enough two TVs were blaring in the background. Needless to say, I had to test my new toy and what do you know, both TVs were turned off in a matter of seconds. The best thing yet was that not a single person noticed. People kept on talking like they had better things to do with their time!!”

—Matt, Salt Lake City, UT

“I am a nurse at a nursing home, and I use TV-B-Gone® to make my job easier, since each room has a different TV, and now I don't have to search for everyone's remote control.”

—Patricia, San Jose, CA

“My dad is hard of hearing and the excess noise from random TVs is really tough for him at restaurants. I bought him a TV-B-Gone® for Christmas, and now he can join in on our conversations.”

—Eric, Hernando, FL

“Thanks for a 'useful' product. I teach at a high school and when I am in the halls and notice classrooms with televisions on, I turn them off. Great fun. I have fun with it everywhere I go. I have bought two. One for a backup. Keep up the good work”

—Tommy, Estes Park, CO

“I would like to say thank you for making such a great product, today my TV-B-Gone® remote came in the mail. Me, my wife and kids went to the mall to eat and above our head there was this jumbo TV with some adult themed videos playing. I pointed my remote and clicked... It turned off. What joy! Other people that were there with their kids were amazed... “Where did you get that thing?“ I laughed and gave them your web address. Thank you for giving me the power to control what pops on other people's TV while I have my kids with me - bless you!”

—Glenn, Chicago, IL
Learn More >>>

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Quote of the day (thanks Madison)

"All human attainment moveth upon a lame ass, whilst Truth, riding upon the wind, darteth across space." ~The Prophet Muhammad

I could rewrite this, something like:

Al university administration or behaves like a...

Good Stuff From Truthout

The Brutal Truth About America’s Healthcare

How the US health care system really measures up to England's; militia activity on the rise in the US; Dick Armey resigns from law firm over health care protests; Brazil helped US overthrow Allende; improving economy spells trouble for Republicans; Senator Jim Webb secures release of American prisoner in Myanmar; You personal information available to anyone on internet; and more ...

Sunday 16 August 2009

The Brutal Truth About America’s Healthcare
Guy Adams, The Independent UK: "They came in their thousands, queuing through the night to secure one of the coveted wristbands offering entry into a strange parallel universe where medical care is a free and basic right and not an expensive luxury. Some of these Americans had walked miles simply to have their blood pressure checked, some had slept in their cars in the hope of getting an eye-test or a mammogram, others had brought their children for immunisations that could end up saving their life. In the week that Britain's National Health Service was held aloft by Republicans as an 'evil and Orwellian' example of everything that is wrong with free healthcare, these extraordinary scenes in Inglewood, California yesterday provided a sobering reminder of exactly why President Barack Obama is trying to reform the US system."

Report: Militia Activity on the Rise in US
Arthur Bright, The Christian Science Monitor: "Right-wing militia groups are on the rise in the United States after nearly a decade of obscurity, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which monitors hate groups and extremist activity. The report, released Wednesday, warns of 'unmistakable signs of a revival of what in the 1990s was commonly called the militia movement.'"

Dick Armey Leaves Firm Amid Health Care Flap
David Mark, The Politico: "Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) is resigning from DLA Piper law firm amid a wave of negative attention his grassroots organization, Freedom Works, has drawn for helping to organize protesters at health care town hall meetings with members of Congress. In an interview with POLITCO Armey said that he was concerned about the media scrutiny the health care protests were drawing to the firm he has been associated with since retiring from Congress."

Brazil Played Role in US-Backed Overthrow of Chile's Allende, Document Shows
Andrew Zajac, The Los Angeles Times: "President Nixon's determination to eliminate the socialist government of Salvador Allende led him to offer financial support to efforts by the Brazilian military to undermine the Chilean leader, according to a newly declassified summary of a White House meeting between Nixon and the president of Brazil. 'The president said that it was very important that Brazil and the United States work closely in this field. . . . If money were required or other discreet aid, we might be able to make it available,' stated the synopsis of Nixon's December 1971 conversation with President Emilio Medici."

Good News Could Spell Trouble for GOP
Patrick O'Connor, The Politico: "Don’t expect Republicans to credit President Barack Obama for the recent signs of life in the long-ailing U.S. economy, but don’t expect them to applaud more bad news either – at least not publicly. The still-reeling economy is riding a rollercoaster of economic indicators these days. A better-than-expected jobs report sent stock markets higher earlier this month. But Friday’s lower-than-expected consumer confidence number sent those same markets lower, and employers are continuing to shed hundreds of thousands of jobs each month, albeit at a slower pace than earlier this year. Many economists are predicting a jobless economic recovery over the next of year, as businesses begin to get back on their feet, but hold off on adding jobs."

Senator Jim Webb Wins Release of US Prisoner in Burma
Charles McDermid, The Los Angeles Times: "Virginia Sen. Jim Webb has gained the release of an American prisoner on the fast-moving first day of a trip to Myanmar in which Webb held face-to-face talks with reclusive junta leader Senior Gen. Than Shwe and also a rare meeting with jailed pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Webb's two-day trip comes just days after a military court ruled Suu Kyi was guilty of violating the terms of her house arrest by harboring the uninvited American John Yettaw and sentenced her to another 18 months of house arrest. Yettaw, a 53-year-old resident of Missouri, was sentenced to seven years, including four of hard labor, for swimming across a lake to Suu Kyi's villa in Yangon."

Online, Your Private Life is Searchable
David Sarno, The Los Angeles Times: "When Maya Rupert wrote an article frowning at several Southern states for officially celebrating Confederate History Month, Internet critics lined up to fire back. But this time, they arrived with more than harsh words. The 28-year-old Los Angeles attorney's detractors dug up a photo of her and posted it, along with details of political contributions she'd made, in an online discussion of the article she wrote for the L.A. Watts Times. They called their finds evidence of her bias on the emotionally charged subject."
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