Watering Hole – July 2, 2010 – Open Thread

Wow!  This is exciting.  (h/t to The Electrical Worker at DailyKos)

The Young Trade Unionists

Speak Up!


111 thoughts on “Watering Hole – July 2, 2010 – Open Thread

  1. Hi, Everybody. Just a quick personal note about TP. I looked this morning and saw that the clothing spammer had managed to get the 24th comment on this morning’s ThinkFast thread. This despite several people (besides me) mentioning that we don’t like seeing the clothing spammer there, and despite me telling them in an e-mail exactly how they can use their moderation filters to stop the clothing spammer.

    So, I will sit out this weekend and if I see the same stuff going on through Monday, I will write to Faiz on Tuesday and tell him exactly why I will never log back into TP, ever. Because if the problems are still there this weekend, then there is no reason for anyone to believe that they consider either the trolls or the clothing spammers to be a problem. Which, in and of itself, is the biggest problem.

    • Being German and knowing a good many insults really helps not to be moderated at TP 😆 Ok, I stop gossipping here. I need to run. It’s pretty probably that I can be around for music night tonight. I have no special actions planned tomorrow and can sleep in, so I don’t mind being up late. We’ll see.

  2. Good morning.

    Interesting article EV. According to his public statements you’d think Bobby would be proud of his work on the oil spill.

    Apparently not.

    In my view, the public’s right to know outweighs a politicians right to keep a secret.

    • zxbe, you bet! But you have FOIA, that should be working in this case, he can hardly claim it’s a matter of national security, can he?

        • The fourth estate is dead in this country. Sure, it flops around a lot, and occasionally gets something right (the leftier media no one is watching, except us), but it’s essentially dead.

          The only question remaining is…who will finally pull the plug? Beck? O’Reilly? Limbaugh? Hmm…

  3. I caught this article and video yesterday on Huffington Post. I think this infuriated me more than just about anything has yet.. I just SERIOUSLY don’t understand why the government doesn’t step in and take over the cleanup from BP and send them the bill. Then put them in jail.

  4. And if you missed the segment on Keith Olbermann with Bobby Kennedy Jr., you really missed some very good information to put this whole mess in perspective. He explained quite clearly why it is NOT in BP’s best interest to cleanup anything, from a legal standpoint.
    Seriously, watch this.

  5. That’s why there’s the 5th Estate, Zooey!
    Unfortunately a majority of the ‘voting’ public watch the cable ‘news’ for their sound bites (bias).

    Curiosity seems to be at a premium in this nation.
    Don’t know if I’d call it ‘trusting’ but few seem to seek out the news – delving deeper into a story to see if it truly is (factual) news, but just take at face value the opinions that pass for news.

    We are a complacent nation – and it’s sinking us further into the abyss. The religious right has got to be tempered.

    Read were AZ is going to spend for advertising that the state is a good place – not the negative place that’s being portrayed ‘by the media’.

  6. muse, I had seen the article on HuffPo as well and it got my blood boiling. Why isn’t this being covered more widely?

    And to the Bobby Kennedy clip, this is a great case as to why corporations are NOT people. They have no sense of morality. Only what is cheaper.

  7. Morning all!

    The MSM in this country are nothing but tools. Glenn Greenwald over at Salon usually has some very insightful posts on the entire topic of the media and poltics. It really has gotten to the point where the only ‘real’ news is to be found on blogs and the occasional TV show, like Rachel Maddow. Sad and infuriating.

    I saw that thing about the dumped sand. Unbelievable! I can’t watch the other vid now, as I’m at work, but I will check it out later.

    Oh, and Jindal is a tool too. He’ll have to disclose that stuff anyway as part of any lawsuits. Makes me wonder WTF he’s hiding. From what I hear, their reponse wasn’t exactly stellar. I keep wondering what we’ll continue to find out about this entire mess in the months and years to come. It’ll be even more sordid than it looks now, I’m sure.

  8. *sigh* Still no icon. It IS the thing under the ‘General’ setting that says ‘Blog Picture/Icon’, right? I’ve uploaded it a couple of times now. I know some of you guys said it can take a while, but I don’t understand how it can take WEEKS. Does some little man somewhere have to look at it first and give it his stamp of approval or something? 😛

  9. silent, did you go under ‘My Account’?

    There you should find “My public profile”.

    A gravatar should be showing on the r/hand side of the page. Directly under that should read “change your gravatar”.

  10. It’s a snow leopard, which was actually the original incarnation of my nick on a role-playing board many years ago. I’ve kept the nick ever since and figured this would be a good choice, especially for a Zoo. 🙂

  11. This is disgusting. $80 billion for war spending and cutting back on education and refusing to extend unemployment insurance. Our government sure loves war and the only way to get the young ones to volunteer for war is to deny them a proper education.

  12. Teachers and their huge salaries get in the way of the war profiteers moving their money to Dubai.

  13. War, damn war and f-d up war. Education be damned.
    The country will never wake up from this stupor.

    We’ve plenty o’ money – just f’g re-direct it to solving our domestic troubles. Get rid of the repigges or hog-tie ’em so tight they squeal.

  14. Very curious (not) that the trolls ignored the post where they would have had to side with Michael Steele. But they were active on the posts before and and after.

    Clearly they have no problem carrying the crazy talking points of any other right-wing lunatics. But not Steele.

    Could they be any more obvious racists?

  15. Sending you all Blessings today..This will be my only post..Do hope you all have a great holiday…

    I will not be posting because I am going to blast music and continue on with my hopeful moving project and most important of all because I am so enraged with piss ant palosi and the house for passing a 80 billion more for war whores supplemetial that my brain is fried and my hair on fire…

    Last I heard the pres. had asked for 33 billion..What the hell is this.? I give up, my new strategy is to kick all their asses out and start over from the git go…All sides are corrupt with the exception of a handful and besides being angry I feel hopeless as I am sure most of the country do’s..The government officials keep saying why “they” hate us about all foreign countries they keep bombing the shit out of..Wellll, let me tell them, I am not a hater or foreign and I sure don’t care a rats ass for most in our government at all…Time to get serious about marching and getting rid of all who support wars…Hell I may even try a few new spell’s and lighting enough candles to torch a city block to stop this total madness…Rant on going off the net…Wishing you all Peace, Blessings & Justice, something most of our elected murderious officials have no idea of ever creating or supporting…

  16. I know, zxbe. Or maybe Steele was so obviously a lying sack of shit that even they couldn’t defend him. How do the piggies get away with such blatant lies and no one calls them on it?? Oh yeah, our lovely so-called ‘media’. Never mind.

    • According to TPM, it looks like the GOP is going to do a pile-on to get Michael Steele to resign. Michael Steele so doesn’t give a rip what anyone thinks. I really do believe he is only in this for himself. It will take someone physically pulling him off the stage to get him to leave.. (Like on the old vaudeville stages where the guy with the hook would drag someone off).

  17. The thing about Steele is he’s actually good for our side.

    If they do get rid of him, I don’t think they’ll go with another African American. It would come across as tokenism. They won’t want to put up a white man as that would play into the “party of white men” meme (which is mostly true anyway). So it will be a white woman. I doubt that it would Palin. Mary Matalin perhaps?

    • What about Ann Coulter? 🙄
      She does a great job of showing just how vile ad heartless, utterly lacking in compassion or empathy, these people truly are..

    • Mikey Steele is the gift that keeps on giving — to Dems.

      I hope they have to pry his fingers off the edge off of his solid walnut desk and literally push him out the door. 😀

      And I hope we get some notice it’s happening, cuz I’m all out of popcorn.

  18. Afternoon everybody!

    Is anybody else missing yesterday’s Open Thread? It was there when I left this morning, but it disappeared on refresh. I tried to access it from History, and it says the page doesn’t exist?

    • House, no worry. We pulled it temporarily, because of confidentiality concerns. You’ll find an explanation in a post to commenters in a short while.

  19. HoR – Zooey will explain what happened to the thread.

    Zooey – yes, this is a depression and if the tea baggers and the republicans that support them gain more seats in Congress in November, it will only get worse. We can’t allow that to happen so it will be vital to Get Out The Vote (GOTV) in November otherwise, we will all be living in warm climates so that we can build and live in tent cities without freezing to death.

  20. I don’t need an explanation if I’m not the only one who doesn’t see it.

  21. Here’s a question – Why is Stan Ovshinsky’s former company Energy Conversion Devices (ECD) currently selling their entire production output to Europe (Germany, Portugal, France, etc)..


  22. Zooey
    July 2, 2010 at 11:33 am
    House, it appears that a troll was lurking yesterday and gathered some information on one of the commenters to use on TP. We decided at that point to make the post invisible, and discuss how to proceed from there.

    We have some ideas in the works and all will be revealed soon.

    oh wow, that’s insane…it’s just like them, eh? Eugene’s third rule of troll psychopathy.

    There is NO level of depravity to which a troll will not sink

  23. No good comes from interacting with trolls. I’ve been down this road elsewhere. It’s always the same pattern; attention seeking; dishonest debate; moving the goalposts; off topic stuff; waiting for any shred of personal info that can be used to get a reaction; sock puppets (when you know the troll is talking to themselves on multiple ID’s, it’s when you know they’re truly deranged – and should be avoided).

    They are psychopathic in my opinion. Skip the posts. Don’t engage them. And I know I’m guilty of the occasional swipe at them, so I’m reminding myself as well: don’t feed the trolls.

  24. Oh great, a troll problem on the day I first show up to comment…

    dbadass, I’m 25 years out of practice, but I used to work in a fish market. Can you ship some to Oakland?

    • wrocky, first of all welcome. Unlike TP we immediately take action when a troll is identified. So no worry they’ve never got any traction here.

  25. From the article ‘Muse linked:

    “The dollar has proved not to be a stable store of value, which is a requisite for a stable reserve currency,” the U.N. World Economic and Social Survey 2010 said.

    The report says that developing countries have been hit by the U.S. dollar’s loss of value in recent years.

    Maybe the dollar hasn’t done as well as these UN economists had hoped, but neither did anybody else’s currency. As much smoke and mirrors as the US dollar has backing it, it still has more behind it than a totally fabricated ‘world currency’ would have. The question a country or a bank must ask itself, is whether putting their money into any other currency would be as safe, or even profitable, should it gain value while it is held. The dollar is really no different from any other investment vehicle, it can go up or down while it is held.

    Now, the potential good part of that scenario: The UN is unhappy that some developing countries have lost value in held dollars, since the start of the recession. Let’s say Country A sells the US blue widgets. We like their blue widgets so we pay them in dollars. Now Country A doesn’t want dollars, but needs green widgets. Up to now, we would just go to Country B, who make good green widgets, use dollars to buy their green widgets, and trade them to Country A for the blue widgets we like. We still want the blue widgets, but now Country B wants red widgets for their green widgets, and won’t take dollars either. We then are forced to make either green widgets here, or red widgets, to trade for the blue widgets we like, unless we decide to make our own blue widgets. Regardless of what decision we make, if they won’t take dollars, we go back to making things again.

    Another possible good thing: we could have cause to take the issuing of currency away from the Federal Reserve, and end the gravy train for the banksters! The agency printing the money should not be in charge of loaning it!

  26. A quick thought before I take my mother grocery shopping (yeah, use that against me, trolls).

    When it came time to pick their new chairman, the final vote came down to either Michael Steele or Kenneth Blackwell. Blackwell, as you’ll recall, was the Secretary of State of Ohio during the 2004 elections and he did everything he could to disenfranchise the Democratic vote.

    I would not be surprised if they install Blackwell as their new chairman precisely to head off charges of racism. I don’t think he’s any more qualified than Steele, but that’s because I think they’re both idiots. I think that when Republicans try to promote people of color, they do it for the wrong reasons. The people they pick are simply too incompetent to do the jobs for which they are chosen.

    For us (well, for me in particular), Barack Obama is a president who happens to be a black man. The Republicans see him as a black man who happens to be president. (I have to go now.)

    • For us (well, for me in particular), Barack Obama is a president who happens to be a black man. The Republicans see him as a black man who happens to be president. (I have to go now.)

      Well said Wayne. That is EXACTLY how I feel.

  27. I’ve asked this question many, many times of many people in many venues and have never really gotten an answer that makes universal sense. Maybe someone here has an idea or can point to someone else with an idea.

    What IS money, really?

    When I was in college, early sixties, I could spend a US dollar and purchase rougly 3.5 gallons of gas. Today if I do the same, spend one US dollar on gas, I get about 0.35 gallons. The gasoline is pretty close to the same, smells the same, looks the same, works the same. The dollar looks about the same too. But something’s obviously different. What?

    I know, sounds silly, but still … 🙂

    • frugal, Not a silly question, not at all.

      I wondered myself. When I was in school the dollar as well as many other currencies were still linked to the price of gold, or at least to something that was produced and you could lay your hands on. Since then currencies have become almost virtual since Nixon abolished the gold standard in 1971. Today you buy a house and it costs 100’000 then someone decides it’s worth 150’000, but you never test that because you don’t sell anyway. So the worth is hypothetical and makes the worth of your dollars hypothetical also. But you can get a loan on the difference and spend that hypothetical money. So, what is money? I said in many words: “I don’t know either.”

  28. I’m going to be guilty of gossip, supermarket tabloid gossip, that is. I was standing in line waiting to pay for a few groceries and I glanced at the tabloids and low and behold, there appeared on “The Globe” the headline that Barack Obama was not born in the USA, and claiming that there is no birth certificate. My cousin, an artist, used to create pictures for The Globe, such as, the person with two heads or half man/half horse, that kind of stupid stuff. It paid good money for him to play with a few photos. Such bunk.

  29. It’s insane, isn’t it Frugal. Maybe we should be taking a chicken to the doctor after all. At least that’s a food source. No nutrition in a dollar bill.

  30. As near as I can tell, money is a unit of trust. That would also be why other countries are not so keen on the dollar as a reserve currency as in past times.

  31. Franken’s first year in office. Bitter Norm Coleman is apparently upset because Franken doesn’t choose to be on TV all the time. He instead chooses to focus on working for the constituents.

    “Avoiding controversy and keeping your head down is a good thing perhaps in a campaign, but ultimately being a senator is more than that. I don’t see much of him. I can’t say that he stood out for staking a position on a major issue or anything,” Coleman said.

    He added: “We’ve seen very little.”

    Actually I think Al has been in the limelight when needed, and avoided when it was nothing more than self-serving.


  32. zxbe – Senator Bob Casey isn’t on TV much either. That means he is doing work for the people instead of grandstanding like John McCain, DeMint and many other worthless Sentors. We do hear from via email and snail mail.

  33. “What IS money, really?”

    A unit of exchange to facilitate trade. Nothing more or less.

    • Money is something on which society puts a value, and by having more of that ‘something,’ one has more choices and power available to them.

      Unfortunately for some, they can never get enough money, power, and choices, and if they can, they will crush anyone in their way.

  34. Actually, I would like to have the money AND the chicken, too.

    It’s close to dinner time in the EST zone so I’ll be heading out. I might not make to music night because my husband and I will be going out for awhile this beautiful evening. If I don’t make it back here, have a great holiday weekend everyone.

    ~~~ Cat kisses.

  35. Owning a business really drove it home when you are trying to figure out exactly how much is appropriate to charge for services. The thought of trying to do that with a barter system (the only alternative to money I could think of) would be a nightmare. And not just because I would not want to be paid in chickens, foot massages, etc.

    • I think of money as a tool — something that works for me, ideally.

      The problem comes when you succumb to greed and miserly behavior. That ensures that you will always work for money.

      Of course, things are all out of whack these days. People not only don’t have money for extras, they don’t have money for essentials. The stress is really showing on our disorganized society.

  36. Those are all good answers.

    Next Q: Where do I go to get some? I think I’d like to have, say, a suitcase full of units of exchange. I don’t need a lot, but if I had some units, who knows, maybe I’d exchange them for something useful.

    Who decides what a given unit is worth, btw, relative to say a unit from somewhere else, or maybe a pound of oatmeal, that sort of thing?

    A few decades ago, I had a couple of Mexican fifty peso gold coins. They were exchangable for about 300 US dollars each; at the same time, fifty Mexican paper pesos were worth maybe three US dollars. Of course, a US gold Dollar wasn’t quite linear with a paper one either — it took a few hundred paper ones to snag one gold dollar. At the same time, a pound of oatmeal was maybe worth one paper dollar, roughly the same as a gallon of gas.

    If it would be up to ME, I’d mandate one unit of exchange from anywhere always was worth the same, would always purchase the same amount of oatmeal anywhere in the world. Then, that done, I’d give it an easier name. “Money” maybe. And then …. well, you know. Some politician or banker would figure out a way to screw things up. They always do. 🙂

  37. Oh, one other thing: what’s so wrong with providing people who have few or no units of exchange with enough of same that they could live safely and comfortably, have food, shelter, and medical care as needed? What would that hurt? Wouldn’t doing so actually increase the “value” of a unit of exchange?

    I should ask motormouth sometime. He’d know.

    On second thought, cancel that. 🙂

    • Frugal, you’re preaching to choir. I see nothing wrong with making sure everyone has their basic necessities in place — food, shelter, health care, education. That’s a good foundation.

  38. I see my new avatar showed up, btw. It’s a photo taken through my front window on March 2, this year, of the sunrise moonset. The mountain peak is Round Top mtn, of of the several peaks in the Wet Mountains, a small segment of Colorado’s front range.

    Life can be good. If only there was a unit of exchange value on views from one’s front window, I’d be incredibly ‘wealthy’ — or something like that!

  39. Zooey — yes, the choir indeed. But I do wonder, always, why on the open market does greed always seem to win? Do rich folks really believe that if poor folks are well kept, healthy, and happy, that the rich are somehow diminished in return? Are the rich less wealthy if, say, a homeless veteran is offered a place to live? If children with no food at home can eat a nutritious lunch at school? Etc. etc. Rush says yes, of course, but I’ve never been able to figure that one out. Makes little or no sense.

  40. Haha, those were great, EV. Thanks for the memories! 🙂

    Frugal, that pic is awesome. I envy you having that view from your house. Beautiful!

  41. Though if hunt is coming over here to stalk people, it makes the whining they were doing about my “holding different posters to different standards” pretty dishonest.

  42. I wonder if “Glenn Beck U.” is going to offer a course on advanced crying.

  43. EV, those were hilarious. But they missed the classic insult scene from Hook with Rufio and Peter Pan.

  44. I had forgotten just how much fun shopping for a car was. With luck, this will be the last time I have such a good time.

  45. hooda: I had forgotten just how much fun shopping for a car was. With luck, this will be the last time I have such a good time.

    Last time I did that was 1995. So far, so good! Don’t drive a lot anymore, a blessing for the old van I suppose, but then the other day I washed it and waxed it, full spitshine, armor-all inside, upholstery cleaner, vacuum — after I finished I told a guy I was thinking of listing it for sale as a ‘slightly used 2011 Econoline’ and he thought I might just get away with it.

    Treat ’em right, they’ll serve you well. I couldn’t sell it though. The cat has decided it’s hers for naps, for getting away from the madding crowd. Cats are like that, someone once said.

  46. Ugh, hooda. Hope you got a good deal at least. I suppose the dealers are having all kinds of sales this weekend, so I hope it worked in your favor.

    I still love the Holy Grail one. It’s such a classic. 😀

  47. hooda: I had forgotten just how much fun shopping for a car was. With luck, this will be the last time I have such a good time.

    I had two totaled last year by drunk drivers (my car was parked at both times).

  48. Paws, I found a Sable with 75k miles on it that looks showroom fresh. The last Sable I had finally went to the junkyard after 270k miles. With luck, this one will last me about ten years.

  49. s’ok, EV. I used to have that rif about memorized. The kids and I loved that movie almost as much as Holy Grail and Princess Bride. I actually got called to the Principle’s office when my 1st grade daughter got mad at a teacher and used the great fart line on her.

    Tho I do wonder who did the bleeping. The only questionable word in the whole thing would be fart. (The near sighted gynecologist crack was my favorite)

    • My younger son made the “I fart in your general direction” the favourite insult of his school. I explained to the teacher Monty Python’s movies were great to learn proper English. She didn’t agree 😆

  50. heh. My ex thought it inappropriate that my daughters both learned to love Monty at a young age. She almost shit a brick when she heard the ‘Every Sperm is Sacred’ song.

  51. Geez, I was watching that Peter Pan clip and thinking ‘what’s with all the bleeping? Wasn’t that a kids movie?’ I’m not as familiar with it, but I was sure they weren’t using any naughty words there. Very odd.

    Ha! I loved Flying Circus. I discovered that when I was about 10 and thought it was about the most brilliant thing EVER. 🙂 Which it was, of, course. :mrgreen:

    Hooda, glad you found something reliable. I’m driving a 2002 Frontier which has about 145K on it now, and still going strong. I had some serious repairs a couple of months ago, but that was mostly due to a rat and not to any fault of the vehicle. I plan on driving it until I’m forced to replace it.

  52. Finally did the “compass” thing.

    Not surprised that I am closest to center of the group.

  53. I am pretty much the most moderate person I know by American standards.

  54. glamourdammerung
    July 2, 2010 at 4:06 pm
    I wonder if “Glenn Beck U.” is going to offer a course on advanced crying.

    I hear they offer free Vicks Vaporub…

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