Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WikiLeaks: More Proof that Idiots Run the Store

Whine, whine, whine! Alarmed voices all across the diplomatic
map caution and complain that these leaks compromise
diplomacy, international relations, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
The revelations include many petty, other-than-germane remarks.
But what did we expect? That these stellar figures comport
themselves professionally, including dignified demeanor and
verbal restraint, focusing on solving difficult if not downright
intractable issues? (--Oh, of course NOT.)

But I did.

Sadly, idiots of various stripes are still running our little
store, with small profit to the rest of us. Outside the U.S.,
certain nations occasionally put up no confidence votes and
entire representative bodies have had to resign. Since we don't
possess such a mechanism here, how about this:


"Complete" entails national, state and local elections.
Yes, it's only a fantasy. But that show of no confidence
surely would make many "Idiots" take notice.

Then maybe some of them would better mind the store.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Chertoff's Christmas Comes Early

Recent polls claim most Americans have
no problem with the scanners now used
at some major U.S. airports. Since the
Chertoff Group promotes these machines,
our former Homeland Security boss must
be jumping for joy. That uninformed people
don't perceive danger is not proof against
future shock.

A Primer Regarding Human Exposure to Radiation:

(1) To this day there is no "expert"
agreed-upon safe human exposure radiation level.
(2) All radiation, whether high or low,
is cumulative. Why do radiation techs at
hospitals or doctors' offices leave the
room or wear protective gear when patients
are X-rayed? Why should you wear a lead lap
apron while getting dental X-rays? Why are pilots
publicly objecting to going through airport scanners?

There is only one answer here: too many accumulated rads
can kill you by causing cancer. If radiation
exposure wasn't cumulative, it would be safer,
because future cancer risk due to radiation would
be manageable.

Radiation medicine has saved many thousands of lives,
including mine. But radiation alters/kills healthy tissue
as well as tumors, so the blessing is definitely a
mixed one.

Going through the scanner avoids the official molestation
AKA the TSA Patdown, which is why "Opt Out" was a non-event
this Thanksgiving. But frequent fliers or those who require
repeated medical X-rays got more dangerous dosing than they
obviously realized.

Dear Mr. Chertoff, don't wear yourself out from jumping for
joy or laughing all the way to the bank. Profits from
the Rapiscan scanners will eventually dwindle, as people
learn that even a little radiation is a dangerous thing.

Meanwhile, it looks like your Christmas came early.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mortgage Companies, DO Income Verification

Apparently the banking and real estate industries
have NOT learned their lessons. The Great Recession
of 2007-2010, largely fueled by strange, unsecured
loans and other exotic "financial instruments" (which
yet were profitable all along the transaction highway)
is not quite over, despite good numbers in the markets.
If only the extremely well-to-do feel no pain, but the rest
(the majority) are suffering, claims of recovery are specious,
to put it politely.

Over a week ago I heard a quite alarming radio ad over
Chicagoland's CBS feed, promoting "the biggest no-brainer
in the history of Earth! Get FHA refinancing of your
house note, no income verification required!" (--No brainer,
indeed.) I contacted an executive at the station complaining
why this was an ad which under fair practices, truth in
advertising law, etc., should not have been accepted.
I was told no income verification loans ARE/WERE legal,
he'd had one in the past, etc.

Now it shouldn't have been necessary to remind this nice
gentleman that, just because HE didn't default, the
practice is therefore economically-speaking, more widely safe.
But I did. He agreed to check out my concern, and I hope
he has.

Hey, mortgage companies, do your damn job! DO INCOME

It's the economy (AGAIN), stupid.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Opt Out" for Good: Take the Train

I'm way ahead of you one-occasion boycotters--
I stopped flying in 1988,when my Continental flight
suddenly dropped 5-10 thousand feet during a nation-
wide winter storm. Landing at Denver Stapleton,
I found an airline PR person and directed him to a
window. We looked out at my plane which was to
continue on to Chicago, my destination. I asked for
the ice to be removed from the wings. When he refused
I demanded overnight accommodations and a Greyhound
ticket to Chicago, which I got. The plane did make
it safely back to Chi, but several flight attendants
had also left that plane, I later read.

Before and since I've travelled by train; but only
by train, car or bus since 1988 for national travel.
During that 20 plus hour ride one can read, sleep, get
plans organized, thought out and written down, etc. Oh,
and seriously stretch your legs too. You can cut down on
hotel expenses by building sleeping on the train into
your schedule.

Frequent fliers/business travelers? Videoconferencing
has been on the rise, and could sharply escalate now
that many across the U.S. are personally, uncomfortably
aware of just how intrusive the TSA security practices
have become. Remember the shoe stores and their
radiation machines? You stepped up on them and saw
your foot bones. That's unnecessary harmful radiation,
(as all radiation exposure, high or low, is cumulative)
which explains why those things are gone. The new scanners
now in use at our major airports have a direct
financial connection to Chertoff, our Homeland Security
Department former boss. He and his private security firm
partners sell these very machines....CONFLICT
OF INTEREST, anyone? Chertoff was promoting these
scanners WHILE Bush's Cabinet officer.

Don't mind strangers sliding their hands up your inner
thighs, over your buttocks, and even between your
legs as part of a public inspection? Then you're among the
80% of Americans so in love with their money and middle-class
conveniences that they would permit such a violation of privacy
and dignity--the whole spectacle is pathetically nasty, really,
for anyone with an ounce of self-respect and/or modesty.
THIS IS OFFICIAL MOLESTATION, there is no other better term
to use here. If there ARE no other accurate methods to avoid
terrorism, we are NOW a third world country, all the flag-waving
and bragging to the contrary.

The day these intrusions make their way to buses and trains is
when I look for another nation to call my own....

That really WOULD be opting out for good.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Errorville USA: Post November 2nd, 2010

Errors everywhere! I wouldn't even care that much,
except the innocent will be victimized by such arrant
stupidity. Now that the dust is settling somewhat after
our recent national elections, let's examine the most
egregious errors one by one:

(1) "Smaller government is better government,
saves us all money." --No, there are actions
only a larger government can take, such as providing
a humane safety net, massive research projects, defense,
and emergency large-scale bailouts (when the banks and
Wall Street are too greedy/stupid to refrain from practices
which threaten the whole Earth's economy).

There's something called a county hospital, which
takes in poor as well as paying patients. Some fiscal
conservative who suddenly finds himself short of money
to pay for private care better hope he lives close
enough to a county hospital which accepts non-paying
patients or his health's on the line....p.s., these
are government-financed county hospitals! Ditto the
libraries, fire and police departments. (--Oh, and the
public schools, but of course, nobody needs those, MOST
Americans can afford excellent private
education for their offspring.)

(2) "No more stimulus or extended unemployment money!
We don't want to leave massive debt to our children."
Once more, with feeling: if the unemployed have no
income, they won't spend, and although a totally
consumer driven economy isn't the best possible
economy, it's the one the U.S. has had for FIFTY
plus YEARS, so deal with it, extend unemployment
benefits. As to the stimulus: whatever one's political
REQUIRED major reconstruction to our bridges, roads, rails,
etc., for well over TWENTY YEARS. Remember the deaths
in Minneapolis when that highway bridge collapsed? More
such tragedies await due to inaction. --So stimulate that!
--Hire people to fix a literally broken America, which
actually resembles the Third World more and more each

Memo to deficit hawks: the deficit goes up and down, over
time. A mere ten years ago the U.S. had a surplus with no
tax cut for the wealthy, but then we got Bush II and his
expensive, immorally/ineptly handled wars....and a huge
tax cut for the rich, about the time NYC needed funds
to clean up after 911. Our grandchildren aren't automatically
doomed to drown in debt; the nation's fortunes have changed
within a five-year time frame more than once in our history.

(3) Mass media morons make matters even worse, enlighten
no one, exaggerate everything, do little original sourcing,
repeat colleagues' mistakes, ad nauseum, ad infinitum.
When "journalists" query the President at White House press
conferences, they repeat each others' questions which Mr.Obama
has just answered, while NOT getting to the heart of several
important issues. Instead, in this last press conference, the
President was largely baited about democratic party losses and
his own re-election prospects. (Say, does this mean we never
got rid of yellow journalism?--Could be that term has more than
one meaning.) Edward R. Murrow and David Halberstam are
surely spinning in their graves.

Yep, look for it on a world map: Errorville, otherwise known as
the USA.