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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

And now for something a little different

 Some cool videos demonstrating the artistic tool competence of the iPad

And a well produced documentary that I wish would get more attention...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

stuff and things...

So here's an embeded Youtube video from an author I've recently discovered that says a lot of things that make sense .  I probably could write a discertatation on this and maybe I will one day, but for now I'm tired and I'm pretty sure video with a living heartbeat  behind it is more effective then type.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

History Repeating Itself?

Given how front and center race has insidiously become in the politics of 2010 it may be important to look into past.  Kevin Phillips was Richard Nixon's political strategist and he made comments that should be pretty offensive to anyone, but ultimately Nixon won, albeit a short lived victory in the anals of history.

"From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that… but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats."

With Bush's election after the Clinton era of extreme economic prosperity it would seem that there may have been something to this.  In spite of Clinton's indiscretions most minorities were easily able to discern the weak man from his political accomplishments and saw Bush as just another hot headed, obtuse, Republican that was probably a bigot and someone that had no real ideas to get excited about.  "The People"  chose fiction over fact and were later emboldened by a man that unabashedly attacked people that didn't look like him without any evidence that they had anything to do with the specific terrorism that affected America.  In otherwords the War declared on Iraq turned out to be international hate crime.  Many Whites really didn't care about the macro-view of the decisions that were made, the loss of life even as it became clear and undeniable that there never were "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq.   My guess is had it been Sweden or Finland (who had the same number of WMDs as Iraq) the American opinion of the attack would have been far different, but that's another story.    

 Fast forward to now and it's clear that the current president doesn't indiscriminately hate brown people, has pulled the economy out of the free fall of losing close to a million jobs a month and it is now gaining 150,000 + jobs a month, Health Care Insurance companies hate the President (They loved GW Bush for allowing them to dig deeper into the pockets of the public)  At least half of the voting public, vast majority being White, hate the current president.  They have voted for and elected more than one candidate that has taken campaign contributions from White Nationalist organizations, made multiple racist and/or sexist comments publicly and/or privately revealing their world view.  The political environment has become toxic because of this and certainly political campaigning over the last two years (from Limbaugh, Fox News, or actual candidates) has divided the country down race lines. 


Thursday, November 04, 2010

How the Health Care Bill Will Save Us Money

After months of heated debate and partisan rhetoric, the time has finally come. Nobody is completely happy with the health care reform bill, and many people still have their doubts even if they voiced support for the plan.

Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) had been voicing strong opposition because the bill lacked a public option, in the end however, he changed his stance in order to fight for something, anything, which looks remotely like reform.

According to the CBO, a non-partisan body organized to provide cost estimates on pending legislation, the health reform package would cost $940 billion over a ten-year span.  It should be noted that this averages out to just $94 billion annually, and the program fits completely within the U.S. budget. 
According to the CBO projections, this bill will cover 32 million of this nation’s 47 million uninsured; bringing the national total to nearly 95 percent coverage.  It will reduce the deficit by roughly $138 billion over the first ten years, and by $1.2 trillion over twenty years.
Since the health care package is a fully “budgeted” item, it does not really cost the U.S. anything.  Unlike the wars and bailouts, which are largely non-budgeted, the sources of funding for this legislation have already been lined out.
Since the proposal is already budgeted, the costs are a non-issue.  Instead, we must focus on the savings.  By implementing this program, which is hopefully just the first in a series of comprehensive reforms, the U.S. will see average savings of $13 billion per year for the next ten years.  If we simply follow this program for twenty years, without more progressive updates, we will save nearly $120 billion each year on average.
Under the previous system private insurance would virtually bankrupt the economy within twenty years.  Under the revised system we can begin to contain those growing costs.
Republicans, and their conservative media cohorts, have already questioned the validity of the CBO estimates.  Stopping short of actually calling the CBO liars, the editorial board of Investor’s Business Daily, instead implicates that the Democrats intentionally misled the government’s best economists.  The column then proposes that, without any data to back up its claim, the real cost is 166 percent higher. 
Representative John Boehner (R-Ohio) stated on Fox News, that the CBO score was a ”fallacy” at the very least. 
The Democrats, according to him, are simply lying about the figures.  The Democrats are trying to steal from the public, and the rich, and defy the Constitution.
Basically, other than making baseless personal attacks, the Republicans have little real opposition to speak of.
The fact of the matter is, this country is horrendously in debt.  One reason for that debt is the fact that our government had no way of keeping medical costs down. 
Most countries have universal coverage, it works smoothly, people pay taxes, there is no fleecing of the rich, and there are no horrible evil underpinnings.
The bill's passage demonstrates that Washington is willing to do something other than collect endorsement checks from corporate interest groups.

(found at  

 What is the CBO? (from Wikipedia)

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is a federal agency within the legislative branch of the United States government. It is a government agency that provides economic data to Congress.[1] The CBO was created as an independent nonpartisan agency by the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974.
With respect to estimating spending for Congress, the Congressional Budget Office serves a purpose parallel to that of the Joint Committee on Taxation for estimating revenue for Congress, the Department of the Treasury for estimating revenues for the Executive and estimates required for the Congressional budget process. This includes projections on the effect on national debt[2] and cost estimates for legislation.
Section 202(e) of the Act requires submission by CBO to the House and Senate Committees on the Budget periodic reports about fiscal policy and to provide baseline projections of the federal budget. This is currently done by preparation of an annual Economic and Budget Outlook plus a mid-year update. The agency also each year issues An Analysis of the President's Budgetary Proposals for the upcoming fiscal year per a standing request of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. These three series are designated essential titles distributed to Federal Depository Libraries and are available for purchase from the Government Printing Office. CBO also prepares reports and issues briefs and provides testimony often in response to requests of the various Congressional Committees. It also issues letters responding to queries made to it by members of Congress.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate jointly appoint the CBO Director, after considering recommendations from the two budget committees. The term of office is four years, with no limit on the number of terms a Director may serve. Either House of Congress, however, may remove the Director by resolution. At the expiration of a term of office, the person serving as Director may continue in the position until his or her successor is appointed.
In short the CBO is a budget evaluation board created within the constitution, in 1974, to make non-partisan projections about budget costs.  My problem is that Republicans dismissed the CBO as if they were Moe and Joe from the local pub and dismissed the reports as if they were cooked up over the weekend by Democrats when in fact the board is comprised of Republicans and Democrats.  The Republican projections used were in fact cooked up over a weekend, as I recall, and they feel that those are "Accurate." (no surprise there to me) It's pretty obvious to me that there's a fundamental distrust of President Obama because he's Black (i.e. "There's no way this can be true since it came from a Black guy.")  

There's NEVER been a congress that just outright scoffed at the projections of the CBO publicly.  Just as importantly there's never been a President that's been as attacked personally on such a large scale.  A picket poster displaying Obama as an African tribal warrior in a less than heroic stance at more than one Tea Party rally(that's not even the half of it.)

Tea Party organizers never call any of these individuals out and tell them that the Tea Party movement isn't a race propaganda movement.  The posters/pickets continue to show up...really it's not about race? 


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What's with the Political stuff?

Ok, this is a blog/journal about science-fiction/fantasy stories, but also science-fiction/fantasy stories many times are used as metaphorical constructs of the real world often times making social commentaries on the state of the world or the world viewed from one perspective at the time the stories are created.  Science-Fiction/Fantasy looks at the for what is and what it could be at least most good science-fiction/fantasy does.  If you look at Lord of The Rings the recurring motif of the story is the idea of people supporting other people that they typically would not support against the evils of absolute power, lust, greed and selfishness.  Another recurring motif is the realization that the barriers standing between people are artificial and in all cases detrimental to everyone involved.   Most people don't see fantasy/science-fiction in this way and that's good, because no one wants to be preached to and feel judged it's also bad because people tend to view the ideas presented as overly idealistic or naive and then go back to their highly discriminatory or "Sheeple" way of life multiplied by millions of brains enacting what is in fact the real socialist/facist agenda that's been in place since the inception of this country on a day to day basis.

What I mean by all of this is that it's not just minorities that are discriminated against...and people know what I mean when I describe these things like "If you're not blond enough..." or "If you are blond you must be...", "If you are blond and have big boobs, you absolutely must be...", "If you're 'attractive' you must be..."(not going to mention that if you have a heterogeanous population you can't have one stnadard of beauty, but America does because helps certain people, or  you're "Not 'Smart' enough...", "Not thin enough...", "Not conservative enough...", "Not trendy enough..." you get marginalized or even targeted for social extermination that's really the definition of socialism and facism because there's one group that exclusively doesn't get marginalized in this kind of way and it's W.A.S.P males.  Seriously, W.A.S.P males the same people that have been getting a pass since the drafting of the Constitution...if you don't fall into this category you could get lumped into a stereotype and painted with a big ass bull's eye tomorrow.  I can't believe there are still women that accept the trophy wife role. 

Here's more racism within politics being paraded around as "Anti-PC."  Brown Latinos better watch their backs in Nevada the Teabaggers just keep getting the green light to discriminate indiscriminately.  I truly hope Sharon Angle doesn't win.  She just seems like a total headcase that shouldn't be in charge of anything more that Sunday school scheduling.

Tea Party Racism at it's best:

The level of blatant racism that's been unleashed to the general public is definitely driving me batty, but I'm sure I'll be back after the election, regardless of the results.

A look back to two years ago and the beginning of the Tea Party movement where the familiar "Obama is a Muslim",  "Obama is not a US Citizen" rhetoric began.  Undeniably racist origin.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

What has President Obama accomplished so far?

(Consider this a baby viral as I picked it up on another website.)
 What has President Obama done so far?

So what all has Obama done since he took office?

I'm sick and tired of people asking "What has Obama done?" So here's a list of things he's done since he's been in office. Remember: He was elected President. He wasn't elected Jesus! The list is still growing. Let me know if I missed anything.

1. Saved the collapse of the American automotive industry by making GM restructure before bailing them out, and putting incentive money to help the industry.

2. Shifted the focus of the war from Iraq to Afghanistan, and putting the emphasis on reducing terrorism where it should have been all along.

3. Relaxed Anti-American tensions throughout the world.

4. Signed order to close the prisoner "torture camp" at Guantanamo Bay.

5. Has made the environment a national priority, and a primary source for job creation.

6. Has made education a national priority by putting emphasis and money behind new ideas like charter schools, but speaking directly to school children in telling them they have to do their part.

7. Won the Nobel Peace Prize.

8. $789 billion economic stimulus plan.
(Obama put $789B into the US/ Bush put $800B and tons of American blood into assassinating Saddam Hussein to settle a personal vendetta)

9. Appointment of first Latina to the Supreme Court.

10. Attractive tax write-offs for those who buy hybrid automobiles.

11. Authorized construction/opening of additional health centers to care for veterans.

12. Beginning the process of reforming and restructuring the military 20 years after the Cold War to a more modern fighting force. this includes new procurement policies, increasing size of military, new technology and cyber units and operations, etc.

13. Better body armor is now being provided to our troops.

14. "Cash for clunkers" program offers vouchers to trade in fuel inefficient, polluting old cars for new cars; stimulates auto sales.

15. Changed the failing/status quo military command in Afghanistan.

16. Closed offshore tax safe havens.

17. Deployed additional troops to Afghanistan.

18. Ended media "blackout" on war casualties; reporting full information.

19. Ended previous policy of awarding no-bid defense contracts.

20. Ended previous policy of cutting the FDA and circumventing FDA rules.

21. Ended previous practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug manufacturers for cheaper drugs; the federal government is now realizing hundreds of millions in savings.

22. Ended previous practice of having White House aides rewrite scientific and environmental rules, regulations, and reports.

23. Ended previous policy of not regulating and labeling carbon dioxide emissions.

24. Ended previous policy of offering tax benefits to corporations who outsource American jobs; the new policy is to promote in-sourcing to bring jobs back.

25. Ended previous policy on torture; the US now has a no torture policy and is in compliance with the Geneva Convention standards.

26. Ended previous practice of protecting credit card companies; in place of it are new consumer protections from credit card industry's predatory practices.

27. Ended previous "stop-loss" policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan longer than their enlistment date.

28. Energy producing plants must begin preparing to produce 15% of their energy from renewable sources.

29. Established a National Performance Officer charged with saving the federal government money and making federal operations more efficient.

30. Established a new cyber security office.

31. Expanded the SCHIP program to cover health care for 4 million more children.

32. Expanding vaccination programs.

33. Families of fallen soldiers have expenses.

34. Federal support for stem-cell and new biomedical research.

35. Funds for high-speed, broadband Internet access to K-12 schools.

36. Immediate and efficient response to the floods in North Dakota and other natural disasters.

37. Improved housing for military personnel.

38. Improved conditions at Walter Reed Military Hospital and other military hospitals.

39. Improving benefits for veterans.

40. Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants.) after years of neglect.

41. Increasing opportunities in AmeriCorps program.

42. Increasing pay and benefits for military personnel.

43. Increasing student loans.

44. Instituted a new policy on Cuba, allowing Cuban families to return "home" to visit loved ones.

45. Limited salaries of senior White House aides; cut to $100,000.

46. Limits on lobbyists' access to the White House.

47. Limits on White House aides working for lobbyists after their tenure in the administration.

48. Lower drug costs for seniors.

49. Making more loans available to small businesses.

50. Many more press conferences and town halls and much more media access than previous administration.

51. Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to permit US government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals.

52. New Afghan War policy that limits aerial bombing and prioritizes aid, development of infrastructure, diplomacy, and good government practices by Afghans.

53. New federal funding for science and research labs.

54. New funds for school construction.

55. Ordered all federal agencies to undertake a study and make recommendations for ways to cut spending.

56. Ordered a review of all federal operations to identify and cut wasteful spending and practices.

57. Phasing out the expensive F-22 war plane and other outdated weapons systems, which weren't even used or needed in Iraq/Afghanistan.

58. Reengaged in the agreements/talks on global warming and greenhouse gas emissions.

59. Reengaged in the treaties/agreements to protect the Antarctic.

60. Removed restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research.

61. Renewed loan guarantees for Israel.

62. Restarted the nuclear non-proliferation talks and building back up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocol s.

63. Returned money authorized for refurbishment of White House offices and private living quarters.

64. Sent envoys to Middle East and other parts of the world that had been neglected for years; reengaging in multilateral and bilateral talks and diplomacy.

65. Signed national service legislation; expanded national youth service program.

66. States are permitted to enact federal fuel efficiency standards above federal standards.

67. Students struggling to make college loan payments can have their loans refinanced.

68. Successful release of US captain held by Somali pirates; authorized the SEALS to do their job.

69. The FDA is now regulating tobacco.

70. The missile defense program is being cut by $1.4 billion in 2010.

71. The public can meet with federal housing insurers to refinance (the new plan can be completed in one day) a mortgage if they are having trouble paying.

72. The "secret detention" facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere are being closed.

73. US financial and banking rescue plan.

74. US Navy increasing patrols off Somali coast.

75. Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any president in his first six months in office.

76. Improved relations with Iran.

77. Improved U.S. policy on climate change.

78. Set timetable for exiting Iraq (already started removing troops).

79. Improved relations with Russia.

80. Improved relations with the Islamic World.

81. Made progress towards grater cooperation on limiting nuclear proliferation.

82. Economic stimulus plan has created jobs. (Unemployment rate decreasing).

83. Drastically slowed down the recession.

84. Saved Wall Street.

85. Passed the Lilly Ledbetter Act (equal work for equal pay).


87. Forced the arrogant General Stanley McChrystal to resign and replaced him with the more competent General David Petraeus.

88. Ended the Iraq war that Bush got us into like he promised and formulated a plan to keep an eye on things there with 50,000 troops.

By the way, the recession ended in June 2009. I'm sorry to the job situation didn't improve overnight, but he stated that it would take awhile. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell aren't helping matters; neither are Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, or any of those Tea Partiers.

Once again, this is a lot to accomplish in such a short amount of time. He was elected President, he wasn't elected Jesus.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

BP and it's history...Dan Lawn Profile

Bp's history of egregious atrocities against nature and free nation's economies goes all the back the the freaking Exxon Valdez. Bp was actually in charge of the safety of the drilling site/pipeline of the Valdez. There was one engineer that attempted to expose them prior to the spill to no avail.

An environmental engineer who worked on design and construction of the Valdez Marine Terminal, Dan Lawn joined the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation as one of the first inspectors of terminal and tanker operations. He was the first regulator notified the night the Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef. For over ten years before the spill, Dan documented the failures of the oil industry to prevent spills and to adequately prepare for clean-ups, and warned the state about the potential for a major disaster in Prince William Sound.

For his efforts, Dan was harassed, intimidated, and wrongfully demoted by the state. Finally, in December 1996, he won a decision from Alaska's Supreme Court ordering ADEC to reinstate him to his former duties overseeing the Valdez Marine Terminal. He is now represents ADEC at the Joint Pipeline Office's Valdez office.

-Dan Lawn -

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Recovery Act is Working...

...Contrary to popular belief the Obama plan is working, but if you've been watching the news you already know that the rate of jobs lost per month has dropped dramatically (800,000 per month at the end of Bush era and now somewhere around 60,000 per month.) Bailing out banks allowed multiple billion dollar corporations to not collapse. It's nice to see a graphic with the shrinking job loss numbers.

"Fly on the Wall" Healthcare conversation...

So I had a conversation with someone that initially said that they didn't believe that a Public Option would be helpful and that a Physician's association would be best suited to make decisions for the masses. That the reformed Healthcare system should be modeled after the Veteran's Administration healthcare system and that stringent regulation of existing healthcare without opening the the geographic boundaries of Healthcare competition/coverage is the answer. I couldn't disagree more with most of that, but it does seem like, as for how we both view the current Healthcare system and what a working healthcare insurance industry would look like, we're on the same page. It seems like we're interested in a similar or the same destination, but are interested in two different sets of directions to get there. She would not give me permission to re-post what she said, but here are my two statements on the issue just to give a bit of a fly on the wall perspective on where HealthCare Insurance reform needs to go:

It seems like we agree, in essence, on 90% of our opinion on the current state of US health insurance system. The one thing that I'm more than willing to accept that maybe you aren't is that there's no "For Profit" insurance provider that will A.) Allow Doctors to determine needs without extreme pressure to do what the insurance companies want {Look at what they did with the attempting to roll back mammogram testing through a completely valid Medical Association} and B.) There's no "For Profit" Health Insurance company that will even attempt to run their company like the VA there's a high enough profit margin in it for them. Additionally even if doctors were to run the system there will be an organizational structure, probably with a profit agenda, that will look and operate like a health insurance company, just called something else.

Understanding these things is what informs me that a Public Option is really the only efficient way forward to keep private insurers honest, pop their overinflated profit margin balloon and balance the cost of MediCare which insures the oldest people in need of the most and most expensive health care. My major problem is that abortions, lip augmentation, Botox injection, breast implants and other completely elective procedures should not be covered under a "Public Option" and those things have been included previous Acts. With a Public Option broad interstate rights for Insurers only helps, because they won't be able to charge 3X the rate of the Public option and they'll be forced to find new ways to differentiate themselves. That could mean medical transportation or, membership to more exclusive exercise clubs, or heavy discounts on expensive, but fresh organic produce. It's just a better outcome.

Like I said I think we are in agreement on a lot of things. I just don't know that a board of physicians, that are used to getting paid hundreds of thousands if not millions per year in some cases and enjoy "Rock Star" social status are the best group of people to put in charge of health care in the U.S. They have all kinds of reasons to make all kinds of decisions that aren't necessarily always in the best interest of patient care and we already see that happening now. Just as importantly again, organization of an AMA sponsored Healthcare system is going to look like insurance AND in all likelyhood would be outsourced to the same former private insurance companies that are leeching millions of people every year now. Hospitals that are run by Physician's associations locally in many areas where I live have already had management service reigns handed over to "For Profit" entities creating the same kinds of problems that existed before and worse so there's no reason for me to believe that that's not how a national medical association would handle ownership of national health care insurance.

I would prefer to roll the dice with smart people that get paid well, but still live in the real world receiving the same benefits for themselves and their families mediating some portion of the decision making. From my standpoint having a Public Option introduces all of the regulation that's necessary. For private insurers the only mandate they could have is to provide health care that people don't feel cheated by or whither away which is radically different from current mandate of "Take as much as you can."