The Watering Hole December 13th, 2011 Vulnerability

Breaking News:

A gun and grenade attack in the centre of the Belgian city of Liege has killed at least two people and wounded 47 including a toddler, media say.

Witnesses say a man in his 40s threw grenades at a bus stop in Place Saint Lambert, a busy square. At least two other men are thought to be involved.

Reports say one of the attackers is among the dead. Local media say another has been detained, while a third is involved in a stand-off with police. (more)


An unidentified Scrooge poisoned visitors to two of Berlin’s popular Christmas markets with an offer of tiny bottles of liquor that were laced with vomit-inducing chemicals, police said Friday.

The suspect, who was in his mid-40s, hit two of the traditional holiday fairs Thursday and at the first, spoke to two foreign students, a man and a woman in their mid-20s, in English.(more)

No so recent:

At 9.15am on Friday 4 November, two men stormed into a building society in the east German town of Eisenach. One was wearing a black balaclava, the other a gorilla mask. Both had guns. They demanded money, punching a bank teller before grabbing €70,000 (£60,000) from the safe and hopping on to bicycles they had propped up outside. They knew what they were doing – it was their 14th bank robbery in 12 years.(more)

In a Democracy a lunatics like the Norway killer Breivik and the perps in the first story today will always find an opportunity to do damage, as will the psycho cowards like in case two.

Case three, however, shows some significant difference. The victims of the neonazis were law-abiding, hard working small business owners. As they were of Turkish and Greek descent, police immediately took decisive steps to solve the crimes. All the victim’s family members were thoroughly interrogated and checked for any criminal or drug contacts in their past, family feuds were on top of the list as well. “You know how they are, don’t you”. “All criminals”.”Not like us.” “They kill off each other”. The killings were dubbed “Doner killings” named after the popular Turkish fast food.

Well it wasn’t “Doners” that were murdered, it was fellow human beings. And they were murdered by some of “us”. “You know how we are”. “All Nazis”. “We kill those who are different”. This time we thoroughly earn the badge. Alas, again.

This the Daily Open Thread. Really.

175 thoughts on “The Watering Hole December 13th, 2011 Vulnerability

  1. EV… chuckle… dueling keyboards … go ahead and make this the Daily Open thread.. you put a lot more effort into this than my bird brained splatter… 🙂

  2. There will always be a criminal faction is every society. How society deals with that hard core criminal element speaks loudly about that society’s value systems.
    The U.S. is creating an industry out of criminalizing the lower economic strata to utilize as virtual slave labor.

  3. QOTD:

    “I think people recognize that I’m not a partisan Republican—that I’m someone who is moderate, and that my views are progressive,” – Mitt Romney, 2002.

  4. From TP:

    A poll finds that Americans’ fear of big government is at a near record high, with 64 percent saying that “big government” is a bigger threat to the country than “big business” or “big labor.” The all-time high of 65 percent was reached in 1999 and 2000


    1) There is NO “Big Labor”—there hasn’t been since the Reagan years ( and not just because of Republicans but also because of corporate kiss-ass ‘centrist’ Democrats and laziness and internal and corporate induced corruption by union labor leaders).
    The “Big Labor” pool of possible subscribers has of course been decimated over the last ten years and especially in the last 3 years. When was the last time a union, say the autoworkers or airline workers, won a dispute or even avoided having their pensions, benefits and wages cut by management?

    2) “Big Government” and “Big Business” are demonstrably THE SAME THING!

    $7.7 TRILLION in SECRET near interest-free loans from which several recipients have MADE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS IN WINDFALL PROFITS!.
    The $700, Billion TARP bailout, on top of that.
    BofA, GE, and a host of other corporations and industries (Oil in particular) paying LESS THAN ZERO IN TAXES WHILST MAKING RECORD PROFITS!.








    • If properly accomplished, Big Government has available to it one huge benefit that Big Business will never have: Big Government has the potential of actually giving a shit about something other than money and profit, the potential to actually give a shit about PEOPLE and their well-being. Of course, in order to accomplish something so bold as that, government first has to rid itself of conservatives and of Republicans in general. Every election I cast my vote(s) with that potential consequence always first in mind.

      • Right you are frugal.

        My CAPS (shouting) came from being irked by the options provided by the poll, as though all were distinct and disconnected choices, a tripolar choice when in fact there is barely a binary choice any more ( the Dems as a Party having conceded and then occupied so much of the ground to the Right as demonstrated by the results of 2008 where a very productive Democratic majority still lost seats, followed by Obama who disarmed himself and his authority even before he occupied the WH, and has given ground ever since, thus allowing the Blued Dog’s to sit pretty and leaving the real progressives in the party without support from their congressional fellows or their President).

    • businesses DO robocall my cellphone already–have done for well over a year. Carnival Cruises is one of the worst offenders. The calls don’t just waste my time, they subtract minutes from my plan.

      have to go to ‘skool’ now, see you all later.

      • I get spammed on my cell phone as well, primarily from predatory lenders. I have an app for that. It allows me to report numbers as SPAM to an entire network of people so that eventually they will see “SPAM” when that number comes up.

        The phone itself allows me to block calls although it doesn’t stop them from leaving messages. As a rule of thumb, I refuse any 800 number and add it to the blocked caller list.

    • I just re-upped for the do not fucking call list, which includes my cell number and my wife’s. I am certain that it included this shit as well in the ‘do not fucking disturb me’ category.

    • The do-not-call list seems to work pretty well. I am on that list for all both land lines and both cells. Rarely get adverts but I do report transgressors.

  5. I don’t know which I find more odd.

    I’m not used to Jimmy Inhofe playing the role of “the voice of reason” but I really have to scratch my head over the concept that people actually may be walking the streets and saying that bestiality has been legitimized by the U.S. military. I guess that I have to assume that Mr. Inhofe has been walking the streets back home in Oklahoma.

    • Abramhoff is an influence peddler, first foremost and always. He’s maneuvering to get out of jail, and be wealthy when he does.

    • Oh, that is a good question.

      If the spokespersons for each can say:

      I am capable and I give my consent.

      would that then be o.k.? I’m certain the SCOTUS hadn’t thought that all the way through…

      Then the fundie question: Corporations can’t get pregnant and have children – so then the answer may be a “no” to the marriage question.

    • Short answer, yes. And with two corporations coming together in marriage both bring with them tens or hundreds or thousands of “human” children. One of the corporations is obligated to set many if not all of their children free, unencumbered by the said corporations rules. Before setting those children free, however, as many benefits that the children had at the corporation shall be removed without their knowledge and given to the top wage earners of the corporations. All remaining children in the marriage will have their benefits cut and will have to do with splitting a smaller amount of money and work a little harder so the marriage doesn’t fall apart.

    • Instead of fighting for SEC approval for a merger, why don’t they just elope. Those marriage mills in Reno will do anything for a buck.

  6. There was a GOP “debate” last night. You didn’t know (care)? Well, it was the Jon & Newt Show:

    John Heilemann watched it:

    “If you happened to devote 90 minutes to the Lincoln-Douglas-style debate between Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman that took place yesterday at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire — and you are in tenuous possession of even modest mental faculties — you will almost certainly have had one or more of the following four reactions: (a) Hey, this isn’t a debate, it’s a two-man panel discussion; (b) Hey, this isn’t a debate, it’s a two-man circle jerk; (c) Hey, this isn’t a debate, it’s a two-man exercise in well-intentioned high-mindedness; or (d) Hey, this isn’t a debate, it’s a profoundly cynical two-man political maneuver masquerading as an exercise in well-intentioned high-mindedness.”

    Joe Klein also tuned in:

    “What we got was, with certain admirable exceptions, the appearance of substance. And, more often than not when Gingrich was speaking, what we got was dangerous nonsense passed off as considered thought. A waste of time? No. We learned a lot about Gingrich’s depth of knowledge on foreign policy. It is kiddie-pool deep.”

  7. On Morning Edition today they had a segment from Iowa, interviewing likely Republican voters. Most of them haven’t made up their minds, which is a little understandable. How do you decide which kind of crap you want on your shoe?

    A bunch of the people interviewed were fundies, including a number of pastors. They tended to want Perry, Bachmann, Gingrich, in that order. One woman said she loved Bachmann but didn’t think women could lead. One pastor was dubious about Gingrich because he’d switched from Southern Baptist to Roman Catholic. Another made the comment that he couldn’t stand Obama but at least he didn’t trade in his wives like used cars. No love for Romney at all. Not spoken on the air but reported were those who wouldn’t vote for a Mormon.

    • The Fundies hate the Cultist because all the Joseph Smith racket does is help shine the spotlight on the fact that Christianity has jumped the shark …

      • Yesterday Romney said that when the constitution was created marriage was between a man and a woman. A good comeback for the vet he was talking to would be: “There were no Mormons then either!”

        • Oooh, good one. It is a relatively new cult, isn’t it?

          I would have a lot more respect for LDS if they admitted that polygamy was, in fact, an integral part of their religion and that they’d dumped it only so that Utah could become a state. And then they could apply themselves to dealing with all the child abuse among their fundamentalists.

          • Mormonism is so new that documents readily available show what a huckster the founder truly was. Ignoring this fact says a lot about Mormonism and clearly shows how easy it is for older religions to shrug off any criticism of their “facts”.

            • Only difference between Mormonism and Jim Jones was that Jones shot the Congressman instead of buying him.

    • ooooh – what did they do before Legos?
      Great ideas – who knew tiny ammo and automatic weaponry would come in so handy for the depiction of Libya’s struggle?

      It wouldn’t have been complete without the pepper spray cop!

  8. Guardian commentary on the shenanigans in Europe and the vetoing of the latest ‘oh-my-god-save-the-Euro’ plan.

    Sounds familar at all?

    The tabloids are all hailing Cameron’s ‘bulldog spirit’ and ‘Uk veto in the Channel, Continent cut off’…. but dig a little deeper and the sticking point was that the banks disagreed with the European countries (mostly Germany) exerting more fiscal controls over London…

    Cameron spins it as ‘I’m defending Britain!’ – nope, he’s not…

    • Hem, hem, wotcher! Splendid Isolation and whatnot, eh?

      The British banks are broke, if you ask them to accept any, and I mean ANY regulation, their balance sheets explode. Can you say Iceland, Ireland? This is going to be nasty, cos the City is huge. Not tiny like Iceland. Boooooom! Cameron knows it.

      • I’d suggest it’s because The CIty adopted too many US financial practices and can’t make it’s mind up–“hedging your bets” sounds smart, but being indecisive is the same damn thing, really, The trouble is very simple–short term gain requires high risk and timing of when you realise that gain and then, and this is the critical point, put that short-term gain to long-term use is very important.
        BUT, OF COURSE… once having realized short term gains, The City continued to pursue short term gains because HEY! caviar, hookers and Aston Martins and practical immunity form prosecution to keep the short term gain bandwagon rolling because, HEY!, Caviar and hookers etc,

        Fratboy fuckwits!

  9. If there’s a more worthless fucking species than humans anywhere in the universe, I’d sure like to know what it is. Got this alert from the Center for Biological Diversity early this afternoon. Makes me sick.

    The wolf killers are out of control.

    Unhappy with the 100 wolves it killed this year, the state of Montana just extended its wolf-killing season by a month and a half. And the state of Idaho is about to send aerial gunners and government trappers to ratchet up the slaughter after declaring that the 154 wolves mowed down since spring aren’t enough.

    Idaho and Montana aren’t alone in their wolf-killing frenzy since Congress stripped the wolves’ Endangered Species Act protections earlier this year.

    • Wyoming just got the go-ahead to begin killing more than 200 wolves.

    • Oregon is trying to decimate its tiny wolf population. Though just 14 wolves survive in the state, government sharpshooters began shooting at two of them before the Center won an emergency — but temporary — injunction in October to stop those killings.

    Please help us prevent the slaughter of these incredible animals by making a donation to the fund today.

    Idaho Fish and Game plans to use government trappers, helicopter gunners for Lolo wolves
    The Associated Press December 9, 2011

    LEWISTON, Idaho — Wildlife managers plan to use helicopter gunners and government trappers to kill wolves roaming the Lolo Zone, a remote, rugged area in the north-central part of the state…Trapping efforts will begin later this month, coinciding with the current hunting and trapping season for wolves, said Dave Cadwallader, regional supervisor for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Helicopter gunning will begin later this winter . . .

    “My goal is not to wait,” Cadwallader told the Lewiston Tribune in a story published Friday. “Let’s layer all of those tools over the top of each other and try to implement each of them.” . . .

    This spring, shortly after Endangered Species Act protections were lifted on wolves, the department used helicopter gunning to kill five wolves. The effort was suspended because of its high cost and low success rate, which was blamed on wolves and elk moving to lower elevations where snow had melted . . .

    State officials expect the intensified efforts will irritate wolf advocates, who are already skeptical of leaving wolf management up to states such as Idaho and Montana.

    Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, called the extra wolf control measures frustrating and above and beyond the careful management state officials promised before delisting of the animals.

    “The states were talking about measured actions and it turns out as soon as federal protection were lifted they are using every possible means they can to kill as many wolves as they can and there is nothing measured or rational about this,” Suckling said.

  10. Humans make weasels look nice. The only species on the planet that makes extermination of other species a goal. And takes great pleasure in doing it. Hopefully some dolphins will survive the coming holocaust and do a better job of managing things. At this point, even cockroaches have more sense.

    • I asked a cowboy in AZ one time why he hated wolves so much. “Because they eat cattle,” he said.

      I borrowed an idea from environmentalist “radical” Edward Abbey and said, “I only hope they eat enough of the fucking things. Enough to stay healthy, to keep their coats smooth and shiny, and to multiply, to prosper.”


        • I’ve been round and round on that one too. National forests lease grazing rights to ranchers for next to nothing, and for no good reason. Of course, hunters also hate wolves “because they kill deer and elk.” They fail to note that wolf packs maintain herd strength, health, and integrity by taking out the sick and the weak, that they leave the ‘big guys’ that hunters crave mostly alone. Falls on deaf ears because “wolves is killers.” In AZ a decade or so back, when Mexican Gray Wolves were being reintroduced to an area that was nearly all publicly owned with only a few scattered peripheral ranches, one rancher came out publicly in favor of wolf reintroduction. He started receiving death threats not long after his views made the news.

          In the area around Flagstaff (AZ), mostly national forest but with no wolves, ranchers themselves have been known to wantonly kill elk during dry times when the available graze is scant, because when elk eat the grass first, the cows miss out on lunch.

          If it were up to me, I’d completely and totally disallow cattle on public lands and reintroduce proper predators to control the deer and elk populations. I might allow an occasional hunter, but not very often as hunters typically serve no useful purpose. Nor do ranchers, for that matter.

    • Don’t forget the scorpions. Some species can, almost, survive by cannibalizing each other and they seem to thrive in radioactive environments. sigh…

      There are days when I think that mammalian evolution should have stopped with the big cats. Given the fact that big cats preyed on early hominids and still include the occasional human in their diet? I’m forced to conclude that they agree.

  11. Taking his ball and going home, Harrumph..

    (CNN) – Donald Trump pulled out of the debate he was scheduled to host on Dec. 27 with conservative media organization Newsmax, according to a statement from the real estate mogul.

    • It was an act of Chinese sabotage of the US honey industry – it was on NPR today.

      And I bet we’ll find a Cuban-American sleeper that Castro funded in 1963, who has been eeking out a living selling cars in Miami ever since. He was recently supplied with the insecticide by a Hezbollah operative smuggled in off a Chinese sub who is now spotting for the new missle launchers across the strait in Havana.

      /channelling my inner Batshit off

      • Close, but the “NPR” gave you away. Authentic Batshit comes from some woman who approaches one in the hall, elevator, or parking lot and, despite hundreds of people in the general vicinity, no one else can see/hear her.

        • Karl Kassel leaned into my car at a stop light this morning and told me…. I thought it was a bum looking for a sub on a can of High life…

  12. I wish I believed in the hot and painful hell, as I’m certain the bee killer and the living wage stealing religious tipster would end up there.

  13. Hahahahahahaha! Newt proclaimed that the GOoPers shouldn’t attack each other. All for the good of the party I’m sure. It couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that any honest appraisal of Newt must include the words “corrupt” and “adultery”.

  14. I better say this before I have to scram. I’m doing family taxi tonight.

    Shayne’s daughter could give Chloe Agnew of Celtic Women a real run for her money!
    (Only girl singer I know to compare to in that vocal range.)

  15. I copied this from TheBlaze, to which I didn’t wish to link for obvious reasons:

    “Former speaker of the house and GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich has been called many things by MSNBC host Chris Matthews during his time in the political spotlight, but a “gaseous state” is indeed a new one.

    To kick-off his latest tirade, Matthews played a clip of Gingrich in which he stated:

    What you have today is that the rich in Wall Street and the powerful at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had so many politicians beholding to them that in fact nobody was going to check them. And so they got away with things that were absolute baloney. It’s a tragedy.

    To which Matthews blasted, “He’s [Gingrich] not a human being, he’s a gaseous state. Isn’t he? I mean Joan, this is like a gaseous state around the world. I mean, this is Newtism.””

    “Gaseous State”! I love it – I wish that I could refer to Newt that way in the paper

    • Can you call him a “professionally corrupt serial adulterer”? i wouldn’t want you to jeopardize your gig but we seem to have a serious dearth of those willing/able to accurately sum up Newt’s career and character.

      I almost smashed my TV the other night while watching the local “news” and they kept calling him “the former Speaker”. It’s technically true but they just can’t seem to find the backbone to add in the little part about him being forced out in disgrace.

      • I agree, Pete. If they’re going to refer to him as “the former Speaker”, they have to phrase it, “the disgraced former Speaker”. To omit that is to give him respect to which he is no longer entitled. Because of Newt, and because of himself, “disgraced former Speaker Jim Wright” had to wear that label in the news. So why should Newt get a pass?

      • pete, since we (Wayne and I) already managed to draw the ire of the former mayor here, I’m keeping it a trifle more civil. But I can’t help thinking that, if Mitt Romney had been willing to abandon his nice guy image, he could have responded to Newt’s barb (about Mitt’s losing to Kennedy having kept Mitt from being a career politician) by reminding Newt that, had not run afoul of the Ethics Committee and eventually been pressured to resign by his own party members, NEWT would have been the career politician.

        But don’t worry, I’m presenting several reasons why Newt Gingrich is not presidential material in upcoming columns, for as long as Newt lasts without imploding.

  16. My son just got a neat new toy aimed at getting cable tv out of the house. It’s a Network Media player and we spent the last bit playing with it. Now we need to get another one for downstairs. It has full HDMI output so I gets to use the full video capacity of my teebee and ties in nicely with the home entertainment system so I get Dolby surround sound where available. Easy access to Netflix and Amazon as well as music channels and lots of other neat stuff.

    One of the 1st things I tried was Shane’s dtr’s YouTube. The sound was much better. That young woman is going to go far.

    • With the rise of TV on line I think the cable companies are going to regret their resistance to ala carte’ service. I canceled cable, for the last time, in 2002 but I have hobbies and I’m easily amused. I haven’t gone with Netflix yet but I’m not even close to going through the free stuff on Hulu. I’m more than willing, should the need arise, to pay a bit more per show for just stuff that I want.

      Every month or so the local cable company calls me. i used to ask; “can I get just Discovery Channel and SyFY?” Of course, they would say “no” and I would hang up. Recently I have switched to asking; “can i get a package that doesn’t include FAUX”News”?” They say “no” and I hang up.

      • This box cost $50 which about 3 months of cable for me. The only reason I’ve kept it is for the kid shows but there are plenty of them available. Plus my son has collected just about every Transformer episode, Thundercats, Scooby doo and several others. With the kids stuff on Netflix, the little monsters have plenty to chose from. As I investigate what’s available, I’ll pass it on if anyone is interested.

      • For my b-day last October, my daughter and her hubby got me a little gizmo about the size of a hockey puck called a Roku. It picks up the signal from our Linksys wireless router and is hooked into the TV. All sorts of stuff is available, including Netflix and Amazon, and because Debbie is an Amazon Prime subscriber and also a Netflix person, there’s a WHOLE LOT of free stuff that we can watch whenever we care to, including lots of old TV shows and series, stuff like Columbo, Hawaii Five-O, Have Gun Will Travel, Mission Impossible, Rockford Files, to name just a few. I’d frankly forgotten how well done some of those old series were, and lemme tell ya, we’ve been enjoying that little gizmo! 280 episodes of Hawaii Five-O will take awhile to plow through! I see Dr. Who is also available — haven’t ever watched it, but will give it a whirl one of these first days. Beats the hell out of cable, that’s for sure.

        • My grandson is a serious old Western fan. His favorite is Gunsmoke. And the littlest runs around doing the old Peter Gunn theme.

          • Gunsmoke is available, we’ve watched several early episodes when Chester was Matt’s sidekick. I don’t know how many seasons are available, but suffice to say there are quite a few, and at no charge. Haven’t checked for Peter Gunn, but will. Always enjoyed it, way back when.

      • Your are welcome, Shayne. Anything she records I would love to hear. I’m no expert but would she be considered a coloratura soprano? Normally my high range of hearing is less than adequate but she comes thru loud and clear.

      • Count me in on the ‘want to hear a lot more’ ledger! Her voice reminded me of June Anderson and/or Kathleen Battle, two of my longtime favorite sopranos. Has your daughter ever done Carmina Burana? If not, she ought to!

        What a bright future that young lady has!

        • She toured with a camp choir in Europe when she was 14 and they did Carmina Burana. She sang Stetit Puella for her freshman honors credit but I don’t have it recorded. I am the worst at any kind of camera work.

      • Humans simply don’t stand up well to repetitive motion and/or sitting hunched over a project. I’ve pretty much given up building model airplanes because my neck just won’t hack it any more. Plus, the glue gives me a killer headache. Luckily, I haven’t crashed one in awhile and modern production techniques have resulted in just about any model one can imagine being available as a pre-built option.

    • I saw that earlier. I won’t opine on the guy’s sexuality but he sure does seem to have found himself a nice little scam getting paid to run around saying homosexuals are “icky”. Once again we see that any Reich-wing organization that includes “family” in it’s name is really about fighting against equal rights and protection under the law. They also seem to condemn families far more than they promote them.

  17. FRONTLiNE – Watch the Full Program Online

    “From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians” tells the epic story of the rise of Christianity. The four hours explore the life and death of Jesus, and the men and women whose belief, conviction, and martyrdom created the religion we now know as Christianity.

    • One thing that has always irked me is how the man is referred to as Jesus Christ. Christ comes from the Greek Kristos meaning King, as in King of the Jews an appellation he consistently denied. Seems very weird that an entire new religion is based on worshiping the King of the Jews.

  18. I just watched that Mitt Romney put up and I don’t think it was a coincidence that the phrase was used by KKK. I think Mitt knew exactly what he was doing and is using a dog whistle to reach those people thinking he can get way with saying he didn’t know.

  19. Quick movie review. The new Conan the Barbarian. Your basic sword & sorcery tale (we used to call them hack & slash) having little relation to the actual Conan stories but still a good movie if you like that type. Infinitely better than Ahnuld’s crap. On a gratuitous violence scale it is up there around an 8.5 but it is fast paced and no real lingering for effect. A fair amount of half nekkid people running around but they were barbarians so its to be expected. One of the better efforts for the genre.

    • This one is atypical. I was an intern at Sea World in San Diego and had some up close time with seals and sealions. They are highly intelligent and can be trained but they are not an animal that one gives the run of one’s house or turns one’s back on. I have a three-inch scar on my right cheek (my face wasn’t damaged) to show for the experience. The only thing keeping the average trained seal from ripping out the throats of its captors is strictly enforced dominance and the bucket of fish. Plus, if there’s a female in estrus within about five miles? Forget it!

      • There’s a show on Animal Planet called Growing Up at 8 AM here every morning where they feature people raising abandoned animals for zoos or to release back in the wild. Yesterday they had clouded leopards. But it’s good at convincing me that wild animals are wild.

      • This seal pup wandered in on its own – not a pet or captive to this household.
        He got in through the cat door.
        That had to be startling to see a pup on the couch.

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