143 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to Zooey

  1. I’ve gone off on a lot of tangents recently while doing research. I’ve spent undo hours going deeper and deeper into subjects and discovered some interesting things. One such little detour occurred recently looking into the background of people who are endorsing Herman Cain. Somehow I worked my way into looking for an article published in the Chicago Tribune in 2006. Though I haven’t found that particular article I looked at another article about the subject of my search published in 2010. It’s this article that has prompted this post.

    The subject of my search was former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. He resigned from Congress in 2007 after being the longest serving Speaker. Now read about the perk he gets as former Speaker:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-use-this-hastert-0218-20100217,0,640306.story

    • That’s criminal. But no less so than staff members working for a lobbying firm and then recycling back into politics.

      Government funded by the people for the wealthy….

      On a side note, I got to thinking about Exxon (or other oil companies) making millions of dollars and paying no taxes and getting subsidies. While American tax money pays for the military that keeps their shipping lanes safe and secure. There is no end to the financial screwing of the American people by the corporate elite.

      • Pachy, that’s the beauty of research, you start down one road looking for something and the next thing you know, you’ve made some turns and detours and all kinds of great and interesting things reveal themselves.

      • Several years ago (2005 – 2006) I wrote an essay that I titled The Death of a Nation. The section labeled “Fiscal” was introduced by a pair of quotes, one by George Bernard Shaw, the other by Dubsy Bush (I won’t say which is which, no need to):

        “A modern gentleman is necessarily the enemy of his country. Even in war he does not fight to defend it, but to prevent his power of preying on it from passing to a foreigner.”

        “My pan plays down an unprecedented amount of our national debt.”

        After discussing the soaring deficits, the impact of two off-budget wars, along with various other pending but massive financial approaching storms, I summarized the situation thus:

        Right wing conservative think-tanker, pundit, and nutcase Grover Norquist is President of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), and as such he helped the Heritage Foundation write the Republican’s 1994 Contract With America. Shortly thereafter, Norquist led a right wing charge to “de-fund” the left, declaring that “We will hunt [these liberal groups] down one by one and extinguish their funding sources.” Norquist is the effective author of what’s become known as “Starve the Beast” – seen as the method of choice whereby right wing Republicans feel they can dismantle and destroy once and for all the Social legacy which emerged during Roosevelt’s New Deal, a legacy which includes Social Security plus later additions Medicare and Medicaid, plus any and all programs which are people-oriented as opposed to business-oriented. The theory is that if budget deficits become so high, and the national debt so huge that together they threaten the very existence of America, then the only way to ‘fix’ the problem is by (a) privatizing virtually all federal obligations (except for the military, of course) and (b) discarding all social welfare programs of any sort, including Social Security, the New Deal’s remaining benchmark.

        Suffice to say, the consequences of such a philosophy, if enacted, would destroy the nation as its people have come to know it, to perceive it . . .

        [. . .]

        The more one studies and ponders the consequences of Bush’s fiscal and war policies, the more obvious it becomes that the poor and the ever-shrinking “middle class” have been set up to take all of the hits, to protect the wealthy from political excess. Add into that equation the fact that those guilty of political excess also stand to profit immensely by virtue of said excess – at the expense of the rest of the nation – and the picture becomes perfectly clear: our so-called “leaders” are nothing more than bandits: wolves dressed like sheep.

        . . . But, in the final analysis, who’s really to blame if not that same cluster of poor and middle class that, for reasons known but to themselves, supported and continues to support the Bush bandits? The wealthy – the top 1%, give or take – can’t elect patronizing shysters all by themselves. They can make things a lot easier, true enough, by paying big bucks for campaign advertising, and they do. They can also assist electoral efforts by helping ‘their’ shysters steal votes at the polls courtesy of bogus and paperless voting devices, and they do. But the bottom line still belongs to the common everyday person who listens without hearing, who looks without seeing, and who votes without thinking. That person is, in the final analysis, the true enabler . . .

        Sadly, it’s not that difficult for the most ordinary of old farts to appear prescient these days. All one really has to do, I guess, is keep up with the events as they go down and then think a little bit every now and then.

        Scary scary.

  2. Zooey….

    and…

    Quote of the Day:

    “David Axelrod has always been skillful at creeping into your room in the middle of the night and slicing out your heart, somehow without leaving behind a single fingerprint or drop of blood that ties him or his candidate to the crime,” – Obama biographer David Mendell, predicting the Obama campaign’s negative campaign against Romney.

  3. Happy Birthday Zooey!…..

    May the road rise to meet you.
    May the wind be always at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face.
    And rains fall soft upon your fields.

  4. Thank you for all the lovely birthday wishes, songs, and pictures ( 😯 ), everyone!!!

    BnF, that looks to be the perfect wine for all occasions, especially birthdays. πŸ˜‰

  5. While the Euro crisis is our focus, they really believe they can get away with this?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/02/uk-military-iran-attack-nuclear

    Is it likely though? Absolutely. Obama is quite the guy for that. A surgical strike, done by an ally, which throws the Iranian Uranium enrichment plans back a couple of years, would fit the foreign policy we’ve seen from him. Ruthless and effective when it comes to taking out adversaries. As I am really not fond of the idea of Iran having nuclear weapons, the jury is still out whether I would approve or not. It really depends on what’s in the IAEA’s report. Even the risk for Israel is minimal, Syria’s Asad has other problems and the rest of the neighbors won’t really care.

    I need to think about this a little more.

    • For those who think such horseshit nonsense is a viable course, I suggest and advise that they also simultaneously attack all other nuclear powers, including Pakistan, China, Israel, N. Korea, Britain, France, Russia, India, and the United States.

      Yeah. That should work. And H. KochCain would agree, I’m sure.

      I swear, Homo sapiens sapiens has got to be the most stupid and worthless life form ever to evolve. Makes me think Omar Khayyam was describing our very species when he wrote, 900 years ago,

      A Moment’s Halt–a momentary taste
      Of BEING from the Well amid the Waste–
      And LO!–the phantom Caravan has reach’d
      The NOTHING it set out from–Oh, make haste!

      Yep. That be us all right.

    • Aside from the political fallout (pun intended) among Islamic nations, this is a terrible idea in many ways. From a logistical standpoint, what I’ve read indicates that the Iranian sites are deep bunkered and simply don’t lend themselves to a “surgical strike.”

      In general, the US is quite popular among the Iranian people, and I firmly believe they will eventually throw off their totalitarian rulers. If we nuke them (which we haven’t done since WWII and our reputation still suffers from that one, we will ensure enemies for generations to come.

      Why should nuclear arms be any worse for Iran than for Israel? Israel has apparently developed a missile that can reach Iran. Let them sort out their amenity among one another. We have no, zero, none business messing with Iran.

  6. Crap like THIS makes me think I’m a far better “Christian” than self-professed “Christian” Michele Bachmann, in spite of the fact that the last time(s) I darkened the door of a church were for, resp., a wedding and a funeral back in 1995!

    I wonder: do christer wingnuts actually believe someone as vicious and uncaring as this bitch has anything at all to do with the revered teachings of their religion’s namesake? If so, surely they were raised under a rock.

    At a campaign stop in Iowa, a Latino college student asked the presidential hopeful what she would do to the children of undocumented immigrants. Bachmann reiterated her hard-line stance that the federal government should not grant them citizenship and said she “would not do anything” for them.

    “Their parents are the ones who brought them here … they did not have the legal right to come to the United States,” she said. “We do not owe people who broke our laws to come into the country. We don’t owe them anything.”

    When the subject turned to immigration at another campaign stop that day, Bachmann suggested passing a law that would bar citizenship to children born in the U.S. to parents who are undocumented immigrants. “We’ve got to end this anchor baby program,” she said.

    As a faux christer preacher told me many years ago after hearing we had adopted a newborn baby born to an unmarried young woman, “the sins of the parents shall be visited upon the child!” What a crock of shit. And then there are those who wonder what happened to me, why I’ve “fallen away” from the teachings of Jesus.

    Based on what I’ve seen, it ain’t me that’s fallen away.

    • Saw the new show Rock Center with Brian Williams and they had a segment on Birth Tourism where the mom comes over from China and gives birth to a Chinese baby American. Some women use it to get around the “one baby rule” in China, other women love the US and want their children to be Americans and have an easier time to get into Harvard and other schools.

      The women say that their children will contribute to American society some day, but of course, there are Republican lawmakers that want to change the 14th amendment to prevent this. While here in the States, the women are stimulating the economy buy buying things.

      The focus of the story was Chinese women, but do Mexican women want a better life for their children less than Chinese women?
      China doesn’t recognize dual citizenship, so these children are ostracized in their own country in the hopes of immigrating to America in the middle school years.

    • Bachmann isn’t the only one heartless when it comes to children (the current administration sees no real value in keeping families together. I’m hanging my head in shame.

      Lost in Detention

      Study: 5,100 Kids in Foster Care After Parents Deported

  7. The body count is now 5 and Herman Cain’t:

    [T]wo sources have now confirmed to PJ Media that a female employee of the National Restaurant Association told associates she had been brought by Mr. Cain to his Crystal City, Virginia residence where she alleged “he had taken advantage of me.” Both sources claim to be politically conservative.

    http://pjmedia.com/blog/breaking-pjm-sources-report-details-of-alleged-cain-incident/?singlepage=true

          • I agree. Her friends and family know the truth and it can serve no purpose for her to come forward. It’s all a distraction from the Republicans not passing any jobs bill or infrastructure bill or anything else of value.

    • I moved my money out of Chase last year because they decided I should pay a $12 fee every month, I guess for the privilege of keeping my money there and bailing out their sorry asses.

      I’ve never been disappointed with my credit union, even though it’s a single office in Moscow. I can still do my banking at the credit unions here, using the shared branching service!

      • I’m curious – does your CU deal with coins?

        1) accepting rolled coins for deposit
        2) selling rolled coins (quarters)

        Mine doesn’t – that’s a minor drawback as I’m fortunate enough to have large supermarkets that are willing to sell rolls of quarters.

        • I know they accept rolled coins, because I cashed in a bunch of rolls in Idaho. I don’t know about selling rolled coins back.

          It’s weird that they wouldn’t sell you a roll of quarters, since it doesn’t cost them anything but a quick transaction.

        • Reminds me of an SNL fake commercial – “We Make Change – that’s what we do. Come with a twenty, and we’ll give you a ten and two fives, or three fives and five ones. It’s that simple!” LOL

        • I’ve never had an issue like that with my credit union, and I’ve been with them for 27 years. My only gripe is that they terminated their safe deposit boxes. The branch closest to me is being demolished (hmm, because of a light rail project?), they didn’t have boxes at the rest of their branches bar one, and they were going to terminate that service as well. I can imagine that installing new boxes is expensive and takes up a fair amount of real estate. Still, it made me pout.

      • I moved my money out of the Bank of Montreal back in 1983 when they wouldn’t let me cash in a savings bond – with penalty mind you – without a big fight. Of course that was pretty much all the money I had at the time but I needed it for my next school year. I use an Alberta only bank, which has been very good to me. I have an account there that I started in 1983 and they can’t add extra fees and crap because it’s grandfathered in. New accounts aren’t quite as good but overall, I have never had one problem with them for nearly 30 years.

        I can see how moving your money isn’t always that simple, but it seems like a good way to send a message – fuck you!

    • It is an encouraging movement. Now we need to see the same kind of action against the cable “news” networks. The most effective message would be to cancel cable and inform them that it’s because you don’t want to pay the “news” networks to lie to you and that you want ala carte service so that you will only pay for channels you want.

      The local cable provider calls me about once a month and, if I decide to answer, I just ask if I can purchase only the four channels of my choice. Then the nice lady or gentleman asks me why I don’t want more channels and I tell them that it will be a cold day in Hell before I pay one fraction of one cent to Rupert Murdoch.

    • Utterly amazing. If you’ve ever had the chance to see it live —- totally blows you away. Watching the huge numbers swirling can knock a viewer a bit off balance.

      We’ve been privileged to watch a tandem Peregrine hunt in the midst of Starlings. The Falcons ‘herd’.

      Thanks for sharing that video. Starlings are native in Europe – watching them over that body of water was amazing! They are considered an invasive species in North America – no matter they are here to stay!

      • I’ve never witnessed this in person, but I did have a bunch of starlings invade my trees near my Seattle home one year. Noisy bunch. It was only one year though, they didn’t ever come back.

      • I was about to say something similar in regard to the starlings — nasty pests they are here, but in Scotland not so much. Still, I bet they shit all over everything in Europe just like they do here.

        Watching the Peregrines herding and feasting, though, that would be most cool.

  8. uh oh – seems all is not well in the Cain household:

    11-03-2011 5:45 PM ∞ t witter
    Cain’s Wife Won’t Appear On Fox Friday
    Herman Cain’s wife, Gloria, will not appear on Fox News on Friday, the New York Times reports. As the scandal surrounding Cain has unfolded, the Republican presidential contender promised that the public would soon meet his wife.

  9. Well? I just walked in the door with my brand new computer. This is actually a first for me. Every previous computer that I’ve owned has been refurbished, passed down, clearance sale, or pieced together from mismatched components. I don’t know if I’ll get everything set up to surf tonight but, when I’m, back, I’ll be twice as fast.

  10. We finally have our internet and phone (sort of) back. I’m posting this from home, so the Internets are available again. I called Jane at work and left a message. She e-mailed me back that she tried to call me back but it got directed straight to our Comcast voicemail. We’ll have to look into that. But I know we can make outgoing calls, which is more important.

    • Based on what we already know, I’m not expecting the results to improve much with ANY amount of prep. The next debate is Wednesday night on CNBC, so now he’ll have to kick ass or he’ll REALLY look bad.

        • Cain and Gingrich are up before then, Saturday night.

          The Cain/Gingrich Lincoln-Douglas Debate
          8pm ET on C-SPAN
          Location: The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center in Houston, Texas
          Sponsor: Texas Tea Party Patriots PAC
          Participants: Cain, Gingrich

          • Oh a one-ring circus. That could be entertaining.

            Lincoln-Douglas Debate —- oh my they are so damn full of themselves.
            Cain is no Douglas
            and for certain
            Grinchy is no Lincoln.

  11. I’ve already shared this elsewhere, but I should say it here as well:

    HAPPY Z’DAY!!!

    (By the bye, did you know you can sing “Happy Birthday” to the tune of “The Star Spangled Banner”?)

  12. Well? That wasn’t too bad. The new computer works! I haven’t yet installed my favorite Linux operating system but, in the meantime, I’m not really hating this windows 7 stuff. The computer is so much faster than my clunky old one that I won’t be able to make a fair comparison until I can compare both on the new machine.

  13. The whales migrate and are readily seen (except by me on Sunday when they seemed to have taken the day off)!

    Everyone knows to keep their distance: kayaking; surfing; catamaran; tour boats.
    The whales have gone further off shore (thanks you eff’g clowns for getting too close to these magnificent creatures who know feel the need to distance themselves)

    Whale nearly swallows surfer and kayakers.

  14. Police: Judge won’t be charged over video beating

    …won’t face criminal charges because too much time has elapsed, police said Thursday.

    William Adams, who presides over child abuse cases, is still being investigated by the state’s judicial conduct commission and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, which on Thursday requested that he be removed from its cases until the investigation concludes.

  15. Went this evening to a Christmas-y open house thingy where nwmuse was part of the musical entertainment.

    Such a wonderful talent, our muse! And a lovely treat for my birthday, which started with an early dinner at Mo’s. Yum. πŸ™‚

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