The Watering Hole January 24… Compilation

‘Mr. Bill’ …  petroglyph, Pony Hills, New Mexico

Following along on the theme of communication, it continues to amaze me the capability we enjoy to communicate thoughts, photographs and general knowledge through present day technology. Nearly instantaneous sharing of data nearly everywhere, it is not without it’s side effects. Cyber bullying, car crashes and people walking into fountains;  Corporate Consumption Culture, Inc.  is succeeding beyond it’s wildest dreams. It has convinced a large portion of society that it must be in communication at all times, even if it has nothing to say. For a person to feel that watching a movie on their cell phone is more important than paying attention to where they are and what they are doing is very sad, not to mention dangerous.  Myself, out of idle curiosity, I’d like to know the topic of the text conversation the woman who took a header into the fountain was engaged in.

TIA, Total Information Awareness, was the pet project of John Poindexter, disgraced National Security Adviser under Ronald Reagan, a convicted but never punished felon:

They have found a way to compile and store data on everyone and everything, and make the citizenry pay for it. Through your cell phone, internet and cable fees. We saw how fast the telecom industry caved to the “Defense Department” following passage of the Patriot Act. Hell, before it was even passed.

Most new electronic gadgets now come with an embedded GPS chip. For a fee, it can be activated so that you can find out where you are. ‘Big Brother’ will not pay a fee to find out where you are, or if it does you the taxpayer will pay it.

If an individual chooses not to have this level of communication, they are in essence penalized or at the very least disadvantaged. Job opportunities, banking, bill paying, shopping… all become much slower, if even possible, if one tries to use cash, checks, or more traditional means of commerce.

The dumbing down of America continues at a brisk pace, and is being compiled. History will delete anything that doesn’t have the potential to turn a profit.

This is our Daily Open Thread. Your comments on this or any related, unrelated or irrelevant topics are welcome!

133 thoughts on “The Watering Hole January 24… Compilation

  1. At first glance, without reading: a wise Owl.
    Then reading your caption – yes, Mr. Bill, as an Owl~

    (maybe Mr. Potato Head?!)

    These petroglyph’s are so intriguing – wondering the meaning of what, long forgotten symbol, was so important it had to be preserved in such a manner.

  2. Communication: Post Cards.
    Huh, ebb?
    Post Cards – does your town (large or small) still show pride by having them for sending?
    Big vacation towns do, I know, but what happened to nearly every town having same?

    I bring this up – Campbell (pop. 40,000) takes pride in its Water Tower, I have a friend who doesn’t go on line – it is too befuddling. Wanted to send a PC of same- except they don’t seem to exist.
    One store – only one, a Walgreen’s, in the town had Post Cards: of San Jose, San Francisco even one of the wind turbines at Altamonte Pass!
    Campbell, Water Tower – no.
    The Chamber of Commerce – doesn’t answer e-mail or the phone!

    We all know how easy it is to just ‘Google’; find a photo; link and send – instant sharing.
    When one party doesn’t have the where-with-all…it gets tricky.
    And with no Post Card…
    I’ll have to rummage around to find the camera – and the doohinkcus to upload and print- except I don’t have a printer…

    It would be so easy if there were
    Post Cards of the Campbell Water Tower.! (I mention this – because a pair of Peregrines are calling it part of their territory.)

  3. I find that the cell phone can be intrusive. It annoys me when I meet someone for lunch or dinner and the first thing they do is pull out their cell phone and they feel compelled to answer the phone or the text in the middle of a conversation. To me, that is rude and insulting. As for “Fountain Girl”, she was supposedly texting someone with the dates of her birthday and her husband’s birthday, so she says.

    And btw, “Good Morning” to everyone. It is -1.8 degrees this morning at 7:30. Hope my car starts.

  4. -11 degrees F here, Cats. My job in VT just checked in – apparently there is no heat a work; ironically, I ran out propane this am … little frosty … I think I will head across the way for some hot chocolate until my delivery arrives.

    Stay warm and healthy everyone!

  5. Watch out for RFID technology. Not only do your cell phones have something that can be tracked, some of your credit cards may, too. That little “blink” symbol on the back of your Credit/Debit card? It works by waving it in front of a scanner. What I found out by accident is that it works even if you have a debit card, and you do not have to put in your PIN to okay the transaction. I asked my bank to deactivate that feature, in case my card is ever lost or stolen. I’m sure that if the government wanted to, they could track me with their satellites as long as I have that card on me. So, if you ever want to go “off the grid”, make sure you leave that card somewhere you aren’t, or else they’ll find you.

  6. Morning all. Take heart East Coasters. That brrrrr should pass fairly quickly. We had it Friday and Sat and this AM it is 14 and foggy.

    Wayne, I don’t think RFID has reached that point yet. The systems I’ve worked with operate sort of like radar so ranges aren’t that long…yet.

  7. The ultimate use of RFID will be inserting one in newborn babies under the pretext of positive identification. In the future businesses and government buildings will have scanners at entrance doors to keep track of who is coming and going. Readers will be installed in vehicles which, when combined with GPS, will allow for tracking our every move.

    No longer will the DA have to ask “Where were you on the night of …?”

  8. Hooda,

    I’ve seen the commercials where they have the two truck drivers who have to stop on a road because someone told them that the boxes they were carrying told (the person in the road) that they (the truck drivers) were lost. So I know RFID tags can be tracked from space. I just guessed that my credit card can be, too. Still, if the day comes when I decide to run, I’m leaving them all behind. Actually, I’ll take money out of my account and leave the card with the tellers.

  9. I take some consolation in the fact that I won’t be around to witness that, pachydiplax.

  10. I was in a meeting last week with someone from Intel, describing his current project, which is in pilot form. They are using cameras embedded in very large digital displays used for advertising. The cameras allow them to determine a great deal of information about the people who pass by the advertising, especially when those people actually look at the display even briefly. Based on height, ears, chins and eye sockets, they can get pretty reliable data on demographics (age, gender) and on response to the ads — do the people just glance at the ad or do they stop and look at it (and for how long).

    He gave me a somewhat embarrassed response when I asked if it was a weird coincidence that the ads were in several GAP stores; apparently, Intel doesn’t like any references to Minority Report brought up.

    Keep in mind that this is not vaporware; these are actually in the field here in Portland.

  11. Pachy – Tracking implants under the skin… all the more reason for home births or for birthing centers where the parents can keep an active eye on their newborn.

  12. Colder winters in the Eastern US may be on its way toward becoming a norm. This is an artifact of shifts in the Arctic- and North Atlantic-Oscillations (“AO” and “NAO” respectively.) These shifts in the AO and NAO appear in turn to be driven by MASSIVE warming in the arctic regions of Northern Canada and Greenland: sections of these areas are as much as +21 deg. above average:

    (There is also an article on this in today’s NYT.)

    Quite aside from the fact that warming in the arctic is one of the single most disasterous physical effects of global warming — loss of arctic ice leads to an enormous reduction in the Earth’s albedo, thus becoming a staggeringly large positive feedback; the largest deposits of methane are in the siberian arctic tundras, held in place by the now melting ice, thus making for another huge positive feedback; the Greenland ice sheet accelerates its melt and raises sea-levels — the political feedback is easily as disasterous. As the paid professional liars not just at Faux Noise, but places like the Marshall Institute and American Enterprise Institute have so forcefully demonstrated, a very large number of people are altogether too grotesquely stupid to grasp the distinction between GLOBAL warming and “My Backyard” warming. A cold winter — in their backyard — is quite enough to convince these sad creatures that the science is wrong and should properly be ignored or even suppressed by law.

  13. The RFID used in credit cards and now in passports is only readable at short range. It is perhaps possible that a thief could get close enough to read the info. I briefly considered wrapping mine in tin foil, though I wonder how many stores would accept my card after they witnessed me unwrapping it.

  14. I’d trade putting up with colder winters if I could get cooler summers to go along with it.

    I don’t have an RFID debit card, yet. My account is with a credit union, so maybe they are holding out against the technology.

  15. Gummitch, I don’t understand the Gap store reference.

    • • You have to have seen Minority Report

  16. Never even heard of it, Badmoodman. I’m not a Tom Cruise fan.

    It was a Spielberg film and interesting. Netflix’s synopsis:

    Tom Cruise plays John Anderton, a top “Precrime” cop in the late-21st century, when technology can predict crimes before they’re committed. But Anderton becomes the quarry when another investigator (Colin Farrell) targets him for a murder charge. Can Anderton find a glitch in the system and prove his innocence before it’s too late? Steven Spielberg directs this adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s novel, which co-stars Samantha Morton and Max von Sydow.

  17. FL Gov Rick Scott tried holding a “Twitter Town Hall.”

    • • Gov. Scott probably wanted to appear cutting edge while staying out of anyone’s surveyor symbols.

  18. House, thanks for that link – hmmm I know people like those ladies – “have binocs, will travel”

    Coop’s are stealth flyers – zipping through trees to catch prey…or just sneak up on breakfast!
    Fascinating raptors.

  19. Rick Scott sounds like how dbadass diagnosis the trolls behavior ~ wanting to be ‘one of the cool kids’ and misses by a mile.

    The GoP should just rename itself “Crimes & Misdemeanors” – so many are unscrupulous.

  20. There is a scene in the movie where the character is, as I remember, on the run and trying to remain anonymous. He cuts through a Gap store where retinal scanners identify him and he is bombarded by ads targeting him by what he has previously purchased.

    I’m not a fan either but it is a good movie.

  21. Anyone know who Ritorna Vincitor is over on TP?

    Not I. The ‘voice’ sounds some-what familiar but I can not pinpoint.

  22. I’m off TP until at least this Spring, and I’m not very good at figuring things out by “voice” anyway. (Actually, I’ve surprised myself at how bad I am at that, since I’m pretty good at spotting student plagiarism on just such differences.)

    But the name is of a piece from the Opera Aida: “Alone in the hall, Aida is torn between her love for her father, her country, and Radames. (Aida: Ritorna vincitor / “Return a conqueror”).”
    (From Wikipedia — I had to look this one up.)

    Some of the trolls certainly love the over-dramatic nicknames, so the operatic theme might be a clue.

  23. I was just replied to by a ‘Democoochie’. Think I can catch anything from that? 😀

  24. Which thread house?


    I don’t think the Opera guy at TP is a troll – zxbe are you sensing a troll in that one? [Ritorna vincitor]

  25. Thanks, House – who the hell cares if RayGun was knighted – wasn’t the founding of our country to get away from such things? :>

    You were spot-on St. Ronnie ruined CA then went on to Sainthood of the first order – fck’g up the country.

    tombaker1’s come back “he also attained the order of Non Compos Mentis.

    very prestigious.”

    laughing still, at that one.

  26. Something one of the heads of a gun company said (via TP) made me think of something:

    BROWNELL: The NRA has always been active in the public interest. They’ve been a defender of the Second Amendment. It’s not because of financial interest, it’s because they defend the Second Amendment, what the founders, the original people that wrote this, were intending, what they actually wrote down. So they defend the Second Amendment. They don’t necessarily say, “We’re going to do this because someone is writing me a check.” […]

    We need leaders to lead organizations, and the one place they get leaders is the military. The other place they get leaders are politicians and really the third place they get them are entrepreneurs. You can’t just get leadership from one area because then you’ll become pretty myopic in that area as an organization.

    After doing my own research on the Internets (at the suggestion of a troll, thank you), I learned that the NRA was founded in 1871..well, let me just quote it:

    Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871. The primary goal of the association would be to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis,” according to a magazine editorial written by Church.
    After being granted a charter by the state of New York on November 17, 1871, the NRA was founded. Civil War Gen. Ambrose Burnside, who was also the former governor of Rhode Island and a U.S. Senator, became the fledgling NRA’s first president.

    I only added the second paragraph to note that this same Gen Burnside is where we get the word “sideburns”.

    It was not created for the purpose of “defending the Second Amendment.” Would you like to know the name of the organization that actually was founded to do what this guy thinks NRA is supposed to do? Surprise! You’ve all heard of it. The American Civil Liberties Union. If you think your Second Amendment rights have been violated, you should go to the ACLU, not the NRA.

  27. And the trolls on are such a kick of creating new aliases so frequently, it’s really hard to tell who’s who anymore.

    • Badmoodman sez:
      ThinkProgress use to be cathartic but has devolved into one huge time suck.

      I agree. I’m spending less and less time over there.

  28. zxbe, your instincts could be correct (about a troll in liberal’s clothing) – keep ‘listening’ they throw-off the cloak sooner or later!

    AssHat T_P is a total creep – irritating as hell. I try, really try not to read it – just flag.

  29. Also, for those out there who think that the Second Amendment was written for the purpose of defending us against bad government, I would correct them by saying that this is the purpose of the First Amendment guarantee of a free press. The Second Amendment was about national security (not personal defense, and not as a check on our own government.)

  30. One of the things I don’t like about Disqus is that even though you can minimize an individual comment, you can’t do it en masse to all that commenter’s posts. If you could it would make it better. But then the problem is that whenever you refresh the whole screen (in case you would like to follow a conversation intact) it undoes all those minimizing actions and you get those comments visible again.

    I guess Disqus will always suck, but it wouldn’t suck so bad if it had better features like that.

  31. The Second Amendment was about national security (not personal defense, and not as a check on our own government.)

    Too True!
    “Amen” to that!

  32. I actually edited out completely one of my own comments at TP when I realized (after doing the research for the comment above) that I was wrong. I didn’t feel like getting into another argument with a troll, especially after I did exactly what I should have done in the first place. I thought the NRA was founded to promote gun safety, but it was founded to teach better marksmanship. Still, it wasn’t founded to “defend the Second Amendment.” I know that much was right.

  33. zxbe says:

    And the trolls on are such a kick of creating new aliases so frequently, it’s really hard to tell who’s who anymore.

    Other than a few obvious ones (like “He Who Shall Not be Named”, as we call him here), I do not bother trying to figure out which trolls are which, and which ones are just one person posting under different names. They give themselves away a lot when one of them compliments a second one directly about something stupid the first one said. What I try to do (or, at least, what I am trying to get myself to start doing) is find an argument against whatever argument is being made (assuming an argument is being made.)

    My belief is that if we all know the right counter-argument to make when we hear someone in our real lives say something wrong (or downright ignorant), we can educate that person and possibly even turn them politically. It can be done. I’ve done it. I got a lifelong Republican to start voting for Democrats once I pointed out to her how the party she’s been supporting for more than thirty years has been lying to her. (I only told her to think twice about voting for Republicans; I did not tell her to vote fort Democrats.) That experience encouraged me to keep trying. (Yes, I’m a naive, idealistic romantic at heart. Hence, the silly song parodies I write in my spare time.)

  34. I apologize for tying the subject of RFID chips and government surveillance with the bible but all of this new technology and government data collection on we the people, etc, etc gets a bit trippy, when I think of these verses from the book of Revelation:

    And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads. — Revelation 13:16

    And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. — Revelation 13:17

    I don’t want to come across as a crazy Christian or conspiracy theorist but what else could those above verses mean if not some type of cashless society in the future?

    Some Christians believe this has nothing to do with a physical mark but what is in your mind (forehead) or what your deeds or actions are (hand).

    What kind of blew me away was watching CSPAN one day last summer and the American Enterprise Institute held this big discussion about switching our paper currency over to a digital currency. They had former members of the Federal Reserve and I believe the US Treasury on saying how this would be a better, more convenient and efficient system. The modernization of our currency in the 21st century.

    Now, in reading those two verses from Revelations, what if the government (s) all went to a digital currency and possibly some type of RFID chip or card in the future and decided to tie everything into it?

    Meaning in order to buy or sell, have health insurance, collect social security, have a bank account, drive a vehicle, have a job (ID), everyone must have this chip or card….

    Sorry, for the long winded comment and I apologize to those who are not Christians or believers in the bible, but damn, the book of Revelation was written how long ago? and then look at todays technology…..

    PS: Zoey, for some reason in the past I could never register here, as it said my email address was already in use. I’m glad I figured it out. Think Progress has really become a haven for the trolls.

    • I’m glad you finally made it over here, IP. Welcome!

      WordPress can be really annoying sometimes. We have the Zoo email on the “About” page, if you ever have problems you think we might be able to address.

    • Cats, I think we’ll be seeing more and more infrastructure failures, leading to more and more needless death and destruction.

  35. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads. — Revelation 13:16
    And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. — Revelation 13:17
    I don’t want to come across as a crazy Christian or conspiracy theorist but what else could those above verses mean if not some type of cashless society in the future?

    First, let me extend my own welcome to The Zoo, Insidious.

    Second, I’m not sure I agree that this means a “cashless society”. I think the “mark” could be interpreted as a symbol that allows you to conduct transactions at all, and with cash if necessary. If you don’t have the mark, the vendor would not be allowed to sell you something.

    And as for our government doing away with paper currency and switching over to “digital currency”, all I can say is “I hope not.” One example of what could go wrong – Diebold Electronic Voting Machines. How can you ever be sure someone isn’t taking your money away electronically? If you have physical pieces of paper in your possession, you have proof that you have the money. Even a debit card would not be sufficient proof.

    Not only that, all one of our nation;s enemies would have to do is detonate a nuclear warhead over key parts of the country and create an EM pulse. The EM pulse would wipe out all electronically stored data. of course, the effects of the blast itself might make needing money moot for a while, but still. ANY kind of EM pulse would do the damage. They would need to have secret, heavily shielded backup sites all over the country in order to restore everyone’s accounts properly.

    And, BTW, intelligent comments, however long-winded, are always welcome here at The Zoo. (Did you know we had a theme song? I know, I know. I’m whoring my parodies again. 🙂 )

  36. Does anyone know if Nielsen (of Nielsen ratings fame) still does their ratings the way they used to? Because they should be obsolete by now.

    Our cable box will tell Comcast what we’re watching. That’s why I reject Nielsen ratings as proof of who’s watching what. Since they did away with over-the-air broadcasting and everyone has to have some kind of cable box, we don’t need organizations that ask people to write down what they watch. The cable companies can do that instantly. TiVo knew pretty quickly how many people replayed Janet Jackson’s nipple exposure. The cable companies already know what we’re watching.

    If they want to know what people are watching, they only have to compile the few cable companies’ data to find that out, and they would get an accurate number, not some estimate of “shares” and whatnots (which made no sense to me.)

    I was just curious. I wondered how Comcast would know I haven’t turned on MSNBC since I heard Keith was let go. Then I realized I shouldn’t have to tell them, they already know.

  37. The Second Amendment was about national security (not personal defense, and not as a check on our own government.)

    I’ve not taken the time to run this down & confirm or deny, but I have seen the argument made that the 2nd was also (if not primarily) pushed by the slave states, who worried that in the event of a slave rebellion they would not be able to count on the Federal gov’t. to suppress it. Anyone who runs across such documentation (one way or the other) I’d like to have something more substantial.

  38. Since they did away with over-the-air broadcasting and everyone has to have some kind of cable box, we don’t need organizations that ask people to write down what they watch.

     • • My wife and I were a Nielsen household for 2 years and that ended about 2 years ago. I can assure you that we were not writing down what we were watching. Instead, Nielsen personnel come in with extensive electronic monitoring devices for each viewing platform (TV, DVD, VCR, etc.) you have in your house. Devices were programmed with our demographic profiles and we also included people who we knew would be viewing our TV, such as relatives. The only manual input we did was for guests who showed up and then you only had to enter sex and age information for that person, up to 10 people. The engineer assigned to our house was a real nice young guy and every 6 months Nielsen cut us a check for about $80 just for the trouble.

  39. Gary,

    I admit that this view was something I thought of on my own and not something I read somewhere. It just makes sense to me. The Founders did not believe we should have a standing army, hence, the requirement that any budgeting for an army be for only two years. (Interestingly enough, one could argue, based on the wording of the Constitution, that a permanent Navy was okay, but that’s another story.) So, when they drafted the first twelve amendments (only ten of which became “The Bill of Rights”, with an eleventh one that was ratified just a few years ago but has already been violated repeatedly), they noted that “A well-regulated militia [i.e., Citizen’s Army] being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” (And that was from memory, so if I got it wrong, please forgive) They never said in the Constitution that it’s a good thing our citizenry is armed in case our government goes off the rails again. They had no idea if this framework for a country would even work. But I will acknowledge that some of the Founders thought that having an armed citizenry would have the side benefit of keeping a check on our government. It wasn’t the original purpose, but it was another reason to support it. But, no matter what any gun supporter says, the Second Amendment was never about personal protection. Never.

  40. One thing that has so pisses me off is the total avoidance in the media and inaction of our government with the housing scandal, including illegal foreclosure, entrapment and deception by the banksters (servicers).

    When I learned that it was Fannie Mae along with Freddie Mac, Bank Of America, Country-Wide and other financial institutes who founded MERS back in 1995 it became crystal clear why the government refuses to help homeowners.

    Over 1 million homes were repossessed in America in 2010, a record 2.3 million other homes were in the foreclosure process. Experts believe 2011 will top these numbers. We are witnessing the largest land grab in this country since the White man stole the land from the Indians.

    Sometime I wonder if this were all not planned and plotted? The creation of MERS, the repeal of Glass-Steagall…And now in Minnesota, for over five years I have heard of a powerful entity called the Met Council, whose members are unelected and who have a 30 year comprehension plan, which Cities must abide to or lose local funding.

    Part of the Met Councils Utopian plans has been to increase high density housing in the form of apartments and high rises. My City, the Mayor, the City manager, the City Council and unelected City staff have quietly been pushing this for years.

    What better way to get this agenda rolling than to have countless of City blocks riddled with foreclosed homes.

  41. I’m listening to Ed Schultz on delay (KPOJ). His attitude is that nothing else is going to change at MSNBC except for Keith not being there.

  42. badmoodman,

    I know that in years past, before the electronic age exploded, they really did ask people to write everything down and mail it in to Nielsen. I shouldn’t be surprised that they came up with a more reliable way of tracking what people actually watched. I don’t doubt that there were actually fewer viewers of PBS than the Nielsen ratings suggested, since no one would have been able to tell what you were actually watching. (“Let’s not tell Nielsen about the dirty movie we watched. Let’s tell them we watched “Masterpiece Theatre”.”)

  43. I’m listening to Ed Schultz on delay (KPOJ). His attitude is that nothing else is going to change at MSNBC except for Keith not being there.

    Maybe as far as he’s been told. I don’t trust them. I have mixed feelings about eh Comcast purchase of NBC/Universal. On the one hand, I’m glad one of our nation’s largest defense contractors no longer owns a media empire. They never should have been allowed to buy it in the first place. On the other hand, I am also against media consolidation, and this is all the merger was about – consolidating as much media (television, cable, movies) into one company.

    Where are the Teddy Roosevelts of the world when you need them? We need to be breaking up monopolies, not creating bigger ones.

  44. Comcast is trying to ‘WalMart’ entertainment: I believe that’s called vertical integration.

  45. Speaking of failing infrastructure AP is reporting a 54″ water main burst in DC. They had to close I-95S due to the flooding.

  46. An article on the 78 yo grandmother (and distinguished Professor of Political Science at CUNY’s graduate center) Frances Fox Pivens, one the Rodeo Clown’s recent targets for proxy violence:

    Piven’s Poor People’s Movements may be of interest to folks here:

    (And don’t be bashful about clicking the “I want to read this on Kindle” link, either, regardless of whether you have a Kindle or not.)

    • Gary, I downloaded samples of all her work (which was available) to my Kindle as soon as I heard about Beck smearing her/trying to get her killed.

  47. I got another e-mail telling me the troll still thinks he was right about the 30-round clips being legal to buy, even if the ban was still in effect. Of course, he stresses that they had to be made before 1994, a point which I acknowledged. However, I saw no evidence that Loughner purchased a clip made before 1994, so the tragedy would have been less severe had the ban still been in effect. But I won’t waste my time telling him that.

    I expect him to try to counter the other two arguments he lost, too. AS expected, he tried again on the ACLU one. Claims I’m “moving the goal posts”. No I wasn’t. I argued that, contrary to what he said, the ACLU never argued that mentally ill people ought to be allowed to own guns. Again, not worth my time.

    I expect a ding (indicating a new e-mail) about the third point any minute now. I also noticed he waited a day so that the thread would be old and not visited by anyone. I guess he wants to have the last (wrong) word on the subject. I’ll let others tell him why he’s wrong.

    • I was just thinking that, Wayne! 😆

      Re Keith O, my son said he tweeted that he’ll be tweeting “something” at 8 pm ET. Normally, I would think this rather ridiculous…

  48. Wayne, if you are still referring to ‘bradycardia’ – he’ll go back and back, flailing, until he does a ‘victory dance’.
    He’s the same troll we showed, with its own words, to be a liar. (fakedrhunt).

  49. Thanks, ebb. Like I said, he claimed that I’m trying to move the goal posts. I didn’t. He did. he tried to claim he was making a point that he wasn’t trying to make.


    Hopefully it won’t be a “Why are you reading this when you should be watching Lawrence “No Relation” O’Donnell?” message. Apparently he’s bound by some agreement similar to what Conan O’Brien had to do – no talking about the specifics for at least a few months. But he is free to blog (though his baseball blog won’t be back there until Feb), and he is free to do radio (which he did all along.)

  50. Zooey,

    Tell your son to let us know (through you) what Keith says. I don’t do “The Twitter”.

    I see He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named is up to the last letter of the alphabet. What will he do when that sockpuppet is banned? Hasn’t he figured out yet that he gives himself away with his Olbermann obsession?

    • Wayne, I likely won’t be home then, but if it’s not posted by anyone else by the time I get home, I’ll post it.

      That idiot wants to make sure everyone knows who he is. Attention is welcome in any form in which it comes. It’s pathetic of course, but it’s more pathetic that anyone thinks he actually stands for anything — especially the crap he spews. It’s all a game.

  51. I’ve never seen Cenk so tongue-tied! His first guest is Ed Schultz, on what used to be Ed’s time slot, to promo his new time slot. Cenk is having trouble speaking clearly for some reason.

  52. Wayne, I think the way trucking companies work now is to read the bar codes on packages to place them on a particular truck. The individual trucks are tracked using a celluar (or satellite) system that also transmits operational data about the trucks’ power-train.

    Walmart, who helped push bar code usage at the retail level, appears to be in the forefront of RFID integration in supply chain management.

    I meant to post this much earlier but I got called away to help wrangle some rats and mice. Its a good economic sign when the demand for rats and mice by pet stores is increasing, or so I’m told by the rodent raisers.

    Welcome insidiousprophet, I must confess , I’m disgusted with TP like others here.

    • Two tweets from Keith:

      1) Citizens Of The Free World: Greetings! …….. (more to come)
      2) My humble thanks to all Friends of Keith for the many kind words. The reports of the death of my career are greatly exaggerated

      • Something I didn’t notice on Keith’s twitter page last Friday:

        At 3:25 PM: ShowPlugLast: And back where we started on Fridays with Thurber: The Peacelike Mongoose.

        A little more than an hour later, at 4:30 PM: ShowPlugSupplemental: We will have a slight change in the Thurber selection tonight

        Things changed in the space of one hour. He may have known the lawyers were working on settling out his contract, but he didn’t know until late afternoon that his show was ending THAT NIGHT.

  53. The reason the do Nielsen ratings is so media buyers buy commercial slots know how many and what demographic is watching what. And there are other companies now doing the same thing because Nielsen wasn’t always that reliable. I only point this out because contrary to what Fox and the trolls say it was never intended to be used so that one news channel could brag that they are the most popular and so the trolls can use it for lame arguments. Because industry people know that the networks and their local affiliates get more viewers than any of the cable news shows. I get updates from Variety almost daily that tells which shows cleaned up the night before. Yesterday was football, shocker. And that information is used for the people who schedule programing at the channels but not for Fox or the trolls. Funny I’ve never seen an update saying Fox News won anything. OK, /rant.

  54. Its a good economic sign when the demand for rats and mice by pet stores is increasing, or so I’m told by the rodent raisers.

    That would mean the sales of snakes is up!

    How exactly did you happen to be required to ‘wrangle’ rodents Pachy?

  55. Timmah Pawlenty — Action Hero!!

    A little MSNBC Lean Forward imagery, an Inception type soundtrack and a sprinkling of wax museum figure T-Paw. Wow, just wow:

  56. Shayne,

    Here is some of last week’s cable news ratings from TV By The Numbers. I was motivated to check this by Keith Olbermann’s departure from MSNBC Friday night. I want to track if ratings go down overall or vary in other ways due to the schedule changes at MSNBC. I’m also watching to see how long Piers Morgan can hold his ratings. and it already doesn’t look too good.

    5:00 PM Beck——–1636—-1780—1764—–1968—-1865

    8:00 PM O’Reilly—-2783—-2918—-3091—-2978—-3305

    9:00 PM Hannity—1757—-2076—1974—-2183—–2365
    ————-Piers——718—-1025—-1028—-1273—–2099 debut

    The one thing that sticks out to me, and has for some time, is how many viewers Hannity drops off from O’Reilly’s numbers. I actually believe if Beck had his time slot, he’d do better than Hannity. BTW, the times are CST.

  57. Since his show is no longer the last one on a given night, should Lawrence O’Donnell change the name from The Last Word to The Next Word?

  58. House, my neighbor, an interesting character to be sure, used to work at a place that raises mice and rats until 2008. The man who raises the rats went from 20 workers then to just him and his father now. My neighbor became friends with the owner and runs chores for him now. Over the last two years they have tried raising fiddler crabs (used by fishermen) and various crops while keeping just a relatively few mice.

    I sent pictures of this place to the Zoo, maybe someone could post one or two of them here tonight.

  59. Pachy, we tried raising guinea pigs and selling them to the pet store where my wife worked, about ten years ago. There’s no money in it if you care about the animals at all. She still adopts the hamsters, gerbils and others that are unsellable from the store where she works now. She keeps about four or five all the time, plus several parakeets and other critters.

  60. house, from what my neighbor has said about the local operation they were shipping out 10,000 + mice per week. I learned today from the father that they sell mice as new born, pinkies, fuzzies, jumpers and full grown, either live or frozen. In addition to reptile breeders and pet stores they used to supply research organizations. They raised rats too but currently they’re buying rats for resale cheaper than they can raise them.

  61. Zooey, he must have originally picked out a Thurber that was continued to the next Friday, then had to change to one he could finish that night.

  62. Zooey, when transferring the rats into “our” trays today several did get loose and one scurried into the front wheel and hid behind the brake assembly. I have yet to touch any of the critters we have transported but I did learn that with mice you can pick them up in you hand with no problems. The rats are only handled by their tails and they didn’t struggle at all while dangling.

    The rats are relatively small compared to big city rats I’ve seen. My cat has caught larger wild rats outside. He always leaves his prey outside the door to let me know he works at night when I let him stay out.

  63. Rachel has been on 7 minutes and I’ve already enjoyed her more than the full hour of O’Donnell.

  64. I’ve been ‘nipped’ by guinea pigs, because once you’ve handled their food, you smell delicious! They don’t really bite though, unless seriously provoked.

    Hamsters are the biters…

    • My sister’s hamster bit the hell out of my index finger, when I tried to pick it up when it escaped its cage. At that point, I told my sister she better catch that stupid thing quick, cuz I was no longer motivated to keep it safe from my cat.

  65. Thanks House. One of my points is that it’s complicated and the figures the trolls spew out from Fox’s propaganda don’t always tell the whole picture.

    • Lawrence O’Donnell just said that the WaPo said Obama WILL NOT endorse the deficit commission’s recommendations to raise the retirement age and reduce SS benefits.


      Now all he has to do it say it…

  66. The operation at the rat farm appears to involve daily looking in each container for the particular mice you need. When we returned with the rats, father and son were collecting the size mice that will be delivered tomorrow. Dad had a 3 gallon bucket with at least 25 fuzzies in it climbing all over each other. When the operation was in full operation my neighbor’s job was washing out the dirty pans. I’m told the mice shit and wood chips makes good plant fertilizer.

    Years ago, outside Washington, DC, I saw an indoor lobster farm. Much more interesting with the machinery that circulated the water between tanks and maintained the proper salinity. The guys that worked there all wore white lab coats and didn’t have to worry about snakes and other critters looking for a meal.

  67. I work with folks involved in TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return) of feral cats here in Prescott. Many folks with any amount of property like having a few around, because they are good at keeping down the rat and mice populations; with a bit of shelter that is easily provided, they can stay warm in winter and have safe places from the coyotes.

    But they won’t just stop with the rats and mice. One couple described seeing one of their local ferals run down and kill a jack-rabbit, a creature quite a bit larger than the cat. I’ve no reason to disbelieve these folks, but up until that story I would have rather pictured things going the other way. Jack-rabbits are some mean bunnies, and tough as shoe-leather.

    • Gary, my younger sister is involved with a local spay/neuter program for feral cats. Great idea, by the way.

      I’ll probably need to find out what’s involved in the program, since on my way home this evening, the mama feral cat ran in front of my car and I noticed she’s heavily pregnant — again. She’s a good mama and raises her kittens to be good hunters, but she’s just raising too many of them. The winter has been tough on them, as has the road, but soon they’ll be out of control.

  68. 1,000 Rats Rescued From ‘Hoarders’ House

    About 1,000 rats are waiting at a San Jose shelter in hopes of finding a new home.
    The Humane Society drove the critters up in an 18-wheel truck over the weekend from Los Angeles, where they were rescued from a home featured on the A&E reality TV show “Hoarders.” More than 30 volunteers and nonprofit staff helped move the rats into Andy’s Pet Shop, which agreed to temporarily house them.

    A recent update reads the adoptions are very slow in happening. The one pregnant upon arrival have delivered nearly 400 babies…

  69. Zooey, a couple years ago I walked inside and saw a 5′ long snake slither behind the washing machine. I spend an hour working it back outside with a shovel. Snakes don’t like extremely hot weather and it was much cooler inside! I knew not whether it was poisonous or non-poisonous and wouldn’t let the cat play with it like he appeared ready to do.

    One of my college drinking buddies was a biology professor and had a grant to study gopher tortoises. One of his tortoises with a transmitter attached to it was eaten by a snake. He had to capture the snake and wait for it to pass the transmitter (which was unharmed) so he could use it on another tortoise.

    Last year I tried growing 6 tomato plants outside but between extremely hot temperatures and a severe lack of rain I got nothing. I may have to try some of that mice shit on an indoor crop of some sort this year. 😉

    • Pachy, how large was this gopher tortoise dinner? Poor thing. 😦

      I didn’t get any tomatoes this year either. All I got were little hard green balls that never ripened. I think the summer was just too short. Or I didn’t have enough mouse shit.

  70. Apologies – this story was from November 2010 – but as of today there are still way too many…the pet shop is hoping to widen the ‘adoption’ area to other states.
    Good luck with that – there are way too many rodents free and caged – uncertain one could find homes for so many.

  71. Zooey,

    Tell Shane that I have a recipe.

    My cat passed it on before she passed away. It was energy efficient – catch them, bring them up on the deck, kill them, enjoy! The male cat skipped the final step.

  72. When I was a kid I wanted a hamster but I’m over it. But a hedgehog, well that would be nice.

  73. Ed always has that asshole Amy Holmes or whatever on there and she is so ridiculous. She always has some bullshit distraction from the real issue. Today when discussing Cantor refusing to call birthers crazy she came up with some crap about Hillary Clinton carrying a newspaper that said Bush knew about 9/11. I’ve had it. I didn’t watch O’Donnell but both Rachel and Ed cheered on MSNBC and how it won’t change. It already has.

    • I only watch certain segments of the Ed Show online. You’re right about his vapid wingnut guests on the roundtable segment (or whatever it’s called). I never watch that part, because nothing ever really happens except an argument.

  74. I’ll bring this over to Tuesday’s open thread, when that is up. For now – want to get it down:

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011
    Sea Shepherd Successfully finds the Nisshin Maru

    After a 26-day pursuit covering over 4,000 miles, the Steve Irwin caught up with the Nisshin Maru at 1800 hours on January 25th, 2011 AEST.

    “We finally have this serial killing death ship where we want them, and from here on in, we intend to ride their ass until the end of the whaling season,” said Captain Paul Watson from onboard the Steve Irwin. “This whaling fleet belongs to us now – lock, stock, and smoking harpoon gun.”

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