Screw you, Jerry Bruckheimer

Take a hike, you douchebag. And you can take Gary Sinese with you. You are both Republican tools.

Why do I say this?

I was watching CSI: NY tonight. The premise was this: dere’s dis guy (oh, wait, this is NY not NJ, sorry) and he’s using technology to kill people. First, he takes over a car’s GPS and directs the victim to a bad area of NYC, then takes over the On-Star type service to first enjoy taunting his victim, then listening as he dies. Another guy dies when the killer takes over the restaurant ordering system to give this victim a double helping of peanuts instead of the peanut-free dinner that was originally entered by the server. As the victim’s throat closes up the killer is on the phone (who knew killer’s answered 911 calls?), asking for the gory details as to whether the victim has turned blue yet. MUWAHHHH!

Sounds interesting, right? I thought so.

Turns out, this guy was killing specific people; a doctor, the owner of a hospital, and staff members who had the unfortunate job of telling him that he no longer had insurance and they would not treat his advanced stage cancer any more. He chose Mac (Sinese’s character) to “tell his story” because Mac’s father had died of a pretty invasive cancer, too, and he just knew that Mac could relate to him after watching his father die of a similar cancer.

Heady stuff.

I would have forgotten the plot line as just another interesting CSI plot (it’s hard to feel sympathy for a killer, but it’s also difficult to not feel sympathy for a man who maybe had a chance if he could have gotten the chemotherapy and other treatment he needed, a thought provoking dichotomy, to be sure) – until the very end when Mac made a little speech to the killer, who was now in the hospital, getting treatment for his cancer, at the city’s expense, saying that the killer was nothing like his father! His father would have been proud to say that he lived long enough and it was his time to go – and go quietly into the night, happily (singing patriotic songs as the life flowed out of his body, I am sure). Of course, his dad had insurance, which took care of him until there was nothing left to do, but his time had come and it was time to go and go proudly he would. Glad to die, by golly!

One guy has insurance and runs the course of his therapy and the other who is no longer insured (the reason was not given) is cut-off mid-therapy. One might think this could be called a false equivalency.

Not in the eyes of these Republican tools – rich, Republican tools who could pay cold hard cash straight from their personal checking accounts for a heart transplant – several times a year.

I am washing my hands of the far too many Bruckheimer franchises. One viewer down. And I didn’t even have to die to do it.

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Vermont, a state with a population of 621,270 was wiped out in a recent terrorist attack.

Well, not really, but if you figure 40,000 Americans die each year for lack of health insurance, and the Republicans defeated Hillary’s health care reform in 1993, that’s how many people have died. (16×40,000=640,000)

Thanks to the health insurance industry and the Republican Party, they have killed over 640,000 American citizens since 1993. If that were to happen in one day, surely it would be labled a terrorist attack of the worst order. But because they make a profit, people threaten to leave the Union, to start a civil war, to protect … the terrorists!

How Dare the President bid for the Olympics!

There has been much ado, of late, concerning President Obama trying to procure Chicago as the 2016 Olympic site for the United States of America.  Chicago, they say, is just part of the dirty Obama/Chicago Machine.

Let’s see what that dirty, liberal, Marxist, communist, Fascist, hippy President had to say about it:

Union League Club of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

11:35 A.M. CST

THE PRESIDENT: I want to thank the members of the 2016 Chicago bid to get the Olympics. Listen, Mr. Mayor, you and your committee have put together a great plan. It’s a plan that will make America proud.

They say that the Olympics will come to Chicago if we’re fortunate enough to be selected, but really it’s coming to America, and I can’t think of a better city to represent the United States than Chicago.

This is a well thought out venue. There will be — the athletes will be taken care of. People who will be coming from around the world will find this good city has got fantastic accommodations, great restaurants. It will be safe.

And so I — this country supports your bid, strongly. And our hope is that the judges will take a good look at Chicago and select Chicago for the 2016 Olympics.

Thank you all.

END 11:36 A.M. CST

Oh, wait, that wasn’t President Obama who said that, it was President Bush,  on January 7, 2008.

Must have been something to do with the tens of thousands of jobs that would be created over the next eight years and the millions of dollars that would be injected into this craptastic economy by dozens of countries worldwide.  We definitely don’t need that!


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The Watering Hole: September 30 – Hydroelectric

This is our open thread. Please feel free to offer your own comments.

On this date in 1935 Hoover Dam (called Boulder Dam at the time ) spanning the Colorado River between Arizona and Nevada was dedicated. It left behind Lake Meade and a recovering western economy. Water passed through its turbines at near terminal velocity which was only dampened throttled in order to eliminate cavitation which would have reduced efficiency and caused erosion of the turbine blades. The dam was a key factor in America’s WWII effort only foreshadowed by the TVA. The Manhattan Project was a mere afterthought in the war effort.

Boulder Dam 1942 - Ansel Adams

Boulder Dam 1942 - Ansel Adams

Update: I changed “only dampened” to “throttled” in order to describe the process in ME terms. My engineering degree is in EE and we use another set of terms. As I understand ME terms, damping describes a static process of flow restriction while throttling describes a dynamic process with feedback that controls the feed velocity of a fluid or gas. WTM

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The Watering Hole: September 29 – Oysters

This is our open thread. Please feel free to offer your own comments.

I had a bit of a setback today as I cut my hand while shucking fresh oysters.  The modern way to shuck the things is to use a towel. When I was 8 years old, I worked in a German Restaurant in Baltimore where oysters on the half shell were on the menu. I was issued a lapboard with a vee shaped holding dam and a one inch hole in the center for the actual shucking. A bucket caught the results. Prior to sitting down for work, each of the shuckers was given a bushel of oysters to separate and clean. If business was brisk, additional bushels would be cleaned and separated as the evening wore on.

When we would go to Market for the Thanksgiving feast, mom would yell out “Butch, make sure that your father does not get the dead oysters – they are horrid!” (Butch was the my family name as I was named after Dad who never could learn to shuck an oyster or clean crustaceans or  fish.)

In this modern age, one is encouraged to use a towel to hold the oyster during the process. In any case, the place to attack the beast is at the hinge. Here is a video of the modern technique:

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Thoughts on The Impending Civil War

Who benefits?  As the Republican Party continues its call for armed insurrection, the question lurks behind closed doors. Who benefits from a bloody civil war?

Obviously, weapons manufacturers – and the defense industry in general. War brings scarcity in manufactured goods, prices skyrocket, and manufacturers in every industry will reap tremendous profits. The insurance industry cannot lose – no one insures for losses related to acts of war.

Those with large real estate holdings will take a hit – but devastated areas can be bought for pennies on the dollar. Eventually the construction industry will have a boom rebuilding demolished cities.

Politically, the Republican Party sees Civil War as a way of regaining power. And the big money interests are on their side.

On the other hand, for the past 8 years the powers that be gave unprecidented power to the Unitary Executive to spy on the American People, and even went so far as to have Regular Army stationed on U.S. soil for the sole purpose of putting down a civil insurrection.

The chess table is set. White to move.

The Watering Hole: September 28 – Penicillin

On this date in 1928, Alexander Fleming rediscovered the fact that Penicillium fungi secreted a substance that killed bacteria. He christened the substance Penicillin.

Alexander Fleming

Alexander Fleming

It was not until the advent of WW II that the research for medically significant quantities of Penicillin began. Through 1943, quantities existed for tens of doses.  This was complicated by body mechanisms that caused up to 4/5 of the dosage administered to be secreted by  the bowel, kidneys and sweat glands. Because of this, the massive doses required could result in allergic reactions in a medically significant portion of the population. The discovery of excretion inhibitors reduced the allergy reaction from around 50% (After up to 9 treatment cycles.) down to about 5%. New antibiotics have been developed that increase the doctor’s toolkit against bacterial infection. This affects both the allergy cycle and the fight against antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.

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General elections in Germany

This is Super Sunday over here in Germany. Apart from the general elections two states, Schleswig-Holstein and Brandenburg, are heading for the polls, too.

The ruling grand coalition between chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats of foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is not expected to be continued. Merkel has clearly stated that the Christian Democrats are planning to come together with the FDP a libertarian group headed by Guido Westerwelle. Westerwelle himslef has clearly stated that the Christian Democrats and nobody else is worthy of his party’s attention. Social Democrats, however, stated that “The Left” will never be considered as a partner in a ruling coalition and “The Green Party” is not willing to enter a coalition with Westerwelle and Merkel. Confused yet?. Well, bottom line is: If the Christian Democratic Union and the FDP cannot get enough votes for a coalition, the shit has hit the fan.

Eventual spoil sports will be “The Left”. Demonized by almost all others as a remainder of the old SED (Socialist Unity Party) of the communist German Democratic Republic, they are considered to be the untouchables. Bollocks really, when you think that former chancellor Willy Brandt, Social Democrat and Peace Nobel Prize laureate, was governing considerably left of todays Left Party’s agenda. What remained of worker’s rights after the likes of England’s Thatcher and Germany’s Kohl were done with them, had been further trampled on by Blair’s “New Labour” and Schroeder’s “Agenda 2010”, so what calls itself The Left these days is a fairly Social Democrat movement.

We’ll see what it’ll be in about three hours from now and I will keep you informed here when the first results come in.

Voter turnout up to now seems to be poor. This is generally helping smaller parties, because mainly the truly disgruntled will go out and vote. We’ll see.

Film director Roman Polanski arrested in Zurich

Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski

Internationally renowned film director Roman Polanski has been arrested in Zurich yesterday night on an arrest order dating back to 1978, when Roman Polanski was indicted and convicted for rape of a minor.

Polanski was supposed to be guest at the Zurich Film Festival tonight where he would have received the lifetime achievement award “Golden Eye”.

Update will follow as available.

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Saturday night in the cesspool

Bottoms up!!

Bottoms up!!

Photo by nwmuse

Did you ever have one of those days?  I had one yesterday, but it’s gone now.  🙂

Tonight’s the night for being mellow, so you know what that means — the wait-staff chimps have the night off, and the bar is open.

Relax and enjoy the company, tell a story or joke, post some music, it’s up to you.


Onward, Christian Soldiers

There are those who fear our government is indoctrinating our school children to worship President Obama. They quickly point to the evils of indoctrination under Hitler, Stalin, and Kim Jong Il. Fear the Madrassa; love the Jesus Camp:

Perhaps this is the way all American school children should be taught regarding how to feel towards the President of the United States:

The new face of the uninsured


Kimberly Young
Kimberly Young


A 22-year-old woman from Oxford, Ohio, died from swine flu on Wednesday. Kimberly Young graduated from Miami University in December and continued to live in Oxford, Ohio, within Minority Leader John Boehner’s congressional distrct. Reports now indicate that after initially getting sick, Young put off treatment because she was uninsured.

It will be easy for some to blame Kimberly…she chose not to have health insurance…she chose not to go to the emergency room sooner…emergency room treatment is free…

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The Watering Hole: September 26 – Francis Drake

This is our open thread. Please feel free to offer your own comments.

On this date in 1580 Sir Francis Drake returned to England from an around the world trip. For Drake, this was not a mere pleasure trip! Along the way he captured serious amounts of bounty and disrupted the Spanish colonization of the Americas. He even laid out the basis for the United States’ claim to California which came to fruition after the Mexican American War  because he was the first European to lay claim to those coasts. Furthermore he forced Ferdinand, the Spanish King,  to take over Portugal when he discovered that Spain was participating in the spice trades which were exclusively granted by Papal decree to Portugal. The alternative was excommunication!

Replica of the Golden Hind - Image by I, Jose L. Marin

Replica of the Golden Hind, London - Image by I, Jose L. Marin

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