Sunday Roast: Gravity Glue…again

“The Man” in Boulder was trying to mess with Michael Grab aka Gravity Glue guy, because stupid reasons, but the prosecuting attorney told those cops to piss off, which I like in a prosecutor.

If you go to Grab’s video list on YouTube, you’ll find all kinds of awesome balancing going on.

Is it just me, or does anyone else’s hands get super cold watching him convincing those stones to do what he wants them to do?  Brrrrr….

This is our daily open thread — Enjoy it while you can, cuz 2016 is coming…

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The Watering Hole, Saturday, May 30th, 2015: Hello, Cuba!

Cuba has finally been removed from the “State-Sponsored Terrorism” list, leaving only 3 nations on the short list: Iran, Sudan and Syria.

And about fucking time. C’mon, we at least have to make some concession to the fact that OUR abomination of a hellhole, that stinking albatross around America’s neck that seems to get little notice anymore, that unholy, immoral “Pit of Despair” known as GTMO, occupies part of THEIR country. We – the United States of America – cannot claim much of a moral high ground when we are deliberately and indifferently crushing hundreds of souls, day by day, year by year, simply because the greatest nation on the face of the earth ever doesn’t want to admit to or clean up the horror it spawned.

Sorry, where was I? Oh, here’s a few articles on Cuba’s elevation in status:

As The New York Times’ Julie Hirshfeld Davis reminds us, President Obama gave official notice of his intent to Congress on April 14th, 2015, beginning the 45-day “Congressional notification period”, which expired yesterday. An excerpt:

“Cuba’s removal from the terrorism list was harshly criticized by several declared or prospective Republican presidential candidates and members of Congress, a sign that the détente may become an issue in the 2016 campaign.
Former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, who is widely expected to run, called the decision “further evidence that President Obama seems more interested in capitulating to our adversaries than in confronting them.”

The House speaker, John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, said the administration had “handed the Castro regime a significant political win in return for nothing.” He vowed that the House would ensure that sanctions on Cuba would stay in place.”

One Washington Post article mentions that Jeb also said “I call on Congress to keep pressure on Cuba and hold the administration accountable.” [Does he mean the Cuban “administration”, or the Obama “administration”?] On Congress’ role, the article says:

“Removing the terror designation lifts only some of the numerous U.S. trade barriers against Cuba. An economic embargo remains in effect, and reversing it requires a congressional vote. President Obama has said he hopes to work with Congress to get it lifted.”

Why does President Obama, after all this time, still hold out any hope that Congress will work with him towards any goal? I mean, to Congress, Obama is just continuing his communist/socialist/Muslim/dictator/America-hating/atheist agenda, right? (sigh) Moving on…

A very informative WasPo article by Ishaan Tharoor helps to explain how a country qualifies for the “State-Sponsored Terrorism List”, and why some nations that one would think belonged on the list aren’t. The article also discusses nations who were previously on the list but have been removed. i.e., Iraq (maybe because we totally fucked up their country and left it in no shape to sponsor terrorism?); Libya (maybe because we killed enough members of Mohumar Gaddafi’s family that he finally cried Uncle Sam?)

FoxNews.com has this article, which adds a bit to the Speaker Boehner knee-jerk bluster:

“The communist dictatorship has offered no assurances it will address its long record of repression and human rights at home,” Boehner said in a statement.”

Fair enough, but ONLY if Boehner promises to end the Republicans’ long record of repression and human rights violations in OUR country AND theirs.  Better ‘tend to that log in your own eye’, Boehner.

This is our daily Open Thread – have at it!

The Watering Hole, Friday May 29, 2015 – Music Night

Two of these three gents started their careers in bluegrass and went on to become giants in country music. Both accomplished multi-instrumentalists, Ricky Skaggs and Marty Stuart have their roots in Southern Appalachian music. Coincidentally, I saw both perform when they were teenagers at a bluegrass festival in Delaware. Skaggs was playing with Ralp Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys and Stuart was palying with Lester Flatt and the Nashville Grass.

Brian Setzer, and American born rock guitarist made his name in the post punk scene in England with the Stray Cats. His career has evolved to include rockabilly and big band sounds. Here are the three of them on stage in Nashville.

 

The Watering Hole; Friday May 29 2015; Constitutional IQ’s

It seems obvious to me that what I choose to call Constitutional IQ is a yardstick of sorts, one which measures a candidate’s (or elected official’s) appreciation of constitutional details when putting forth a proposition for action. For my purposes here, I assume that those who comprehend and appreciate constitutional premises fall into the positive range where the pinnacle is, say, +100. Similarly, those who willingly (or unknowingly) disavow constitutional guarantees fall into the negative range where -100 is as low as anyone can ever attain.

With that in mind, we can begin by citing the basic premises of the American Constitution’s intent, premises which are briefly noted in its Preamble as follows:

We the people of the United States, in order to

form a more perfect union,
establish justice,
insure domestic tranquility,
provide for the common defense,
promote the general welfare,
and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,

do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Notice that the general term “people” is not broken down into categories; there is no mention of origin, or whether immigrant or native born. Nor is there any mention of gender, race, ethnicity, or even of sexual preference. There is no mention of religion and certainly no mandate, nor is there recognition of any preference of belief, and no penalty for non-belief. My best guess is that each and all ‘non-mentioned’ concepts and realities were deemed by the founders to fall under the blessings of liberty umbrella.

There is also no mandate anywhere in the entire document (as amended) that ‘hate and fear’ be deemed drivers of American constitutionalism, although today if one listens to the current crop of Republican 2016 presidential candidates, one might assume that their collective vision of the Constitution requires that each and all of its premises are most assuredly driven by same.

For example: Republican candidate Rick Santorum invariably finds fault in so many of the nondescript blessings of liberty that it becomes difficult to fairly judge his constitutional IQ. Here, for example are ten of his most bizarre theses which, when coupled with his 5 Worst Smears — Attacking Gay Rights, Working Women & Church-State Separation amply demonstrate his constitutional illiteracy. And since all of the above amount to just a surface scratch on his political agenda, it’s a mark of utmost courtesy on my part to assign him a constitutional IQ somewhere in the range of -50.

And then there’s presidential candidate Rand Paul whose recent remark that the issue of abortion rights would be best handled “by the states” rather than “under the 14th Amendment” and his ambiguous answer to the question of “when does life begin” were, as commentators on the left and the right have pointed out, somewhat confounding since Paul has sponsored a Senate bill that aims to undermine Roe v. Wade by defining life as beginning “at conception.” Tossing aside the fourteenth amendment in favor of a panoply of religious arguments doesn’t sound like something a genuine constitutional advocate would ever even contemplate. On the other hand, he does recognize the privacy premises of the fourth amendment, so I’m guessing Rand Paul’s constitutional IQ to fall somewhere in the vicinity of -10.

Meanwhile, Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s contribution to the 2016 Republican clown car is engaged in his current task of doing whatever he deems necessary to convince the religious right that he’s one of them. In one of his recent gigs, he attempted to convince anti-choice leader that he really Didn’t Mean What He Said About Abortion Being Between ‘A Woman And Her Doctor’. And according to the head of the Susan B. Anthony list, Walker said that “using the language of the other side to support our own position is a good thing, but you can only do it if people aren’t trying to call you out and quoting you out of context.” Right. Use any excuse possible to convince the far right religious movers and shakers that the blessings of liberty do not apply to those who violate a religious opinion while undergoing procedures that are constitutionally acceptable and protected. Clever, Scott, very clever. For that I assess your constitutional IQ at -104!

OK, that’s about all I can handle today. And gee, I haven’t touched on Ted Cruz, or Lindsey Graham, or Carly Fiorina, or any of the rest of the current and projected stars in 2016’s Theater of the Absurd. I do suspect, however, that the three listed above have viably demonstrated their sub-basement constitutional IQ’s. I also assume the rest of the field to be extremely competent at doing the same. I cannot, in fact, recall a single instance where any one of the 2016 clown car candidates has ever spoken in support of a more perfect union, or unencumbered justice, or domestic tranquility, or an unencumbered common defense, and definitely not any level whatsoever of general welfare. They are all, however, definitely supporters of the blessings of liberty — for corporate entities and for the ultra-wealthy 1% who enthusiastically fund their bogus loyalties and will apparently stand any unconstitutional ground imaginable — for the right payoff.

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PS: This just in. Marco Rubio  points out that Gay Rights are ‘A Real And Present Danger’ To Freedom, thereby earning himself at least a -35 in the constitutional IQ department.

The Watering Hole; Thursday May 28 2015; Bernie

Bernie Sanders, in his first campaign speech, spoke volumes concerning details of the course this country MUST take to enable its return to those long-past days of prosperity, and in the process he said absolutely nothing with which I do not unanimously and enthusiastically agree. He is absolutely the 180 degree-opposite of the entire of the Republican clown car occupants, both announced and not yet announced, and I suspect his IQ is greater than the aggregate sum of . . . well, you know.

I do find it odd that this prime candidate for President — standing tall in these, my “old timer” years — is every bit as inspiring to me as the POTUS on my date of birth, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, became in my growing-up retro view. Curious too that both Roosevelt and Sanders popped up at times of parallel turmoil. Roosevelt overcame it and changed America in the most positive way imaginable, and now Sanders is proposing to do the same.

Here’s his speech. If you’ve not seen it, I strongly suggest you find the time to do so. It’s a minute or two short of 40 minutes in length, but suffice to say that he lays out more substance in those few minutes than all Republican candidates since FDR — combined — have managed.

A further Sanders tidbit is this interesting lunchtime discussion he had with CNBC’s John Harwood in which Bernie lays out some of his income tax revision propositions. And finally this Daily Kos post entitled Bernie Sanders blows Wolf Blitzer’s mind with a simple idea (guess it doesn’t take much) in which Sanders explains how to eliminate college tuition with a small tax on Wall Street money transference.

As the Kos article concludes, “By the way, who says he [Sanders] can’t win??” Not I.

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The Watering Hole, Wednesday 5/27/15: Running for President

I’m Briseadh na Faire, and I’m running for President. Here are a few of my positions on issues important to the American People today. Between now and November 2016, I will post additional policy and platform statements.

Taxes. The problem with trickle-down economics isn’t that it doesn’t work. It is that we have not fully implemented it. We’re still taxing the very rich. We have to change our tax laws so that all income over $1,000,000 a year is not taxed at all. That’s not just wages, but unearned income, too, like dividends and capital gains and interest and rental income, etc. And corporations shouldn’t be taxed at all. After all, taxes on corporations just punish corporations for making a profit. So we must stop discouraging corporations from making profits. That way, everyone wins.

Speaking of profits, there’s lots of ways we keep corporations from making profits and creating jobs. Take the minimum wage. Seriously. Take it, and don’t give it back. People should be paid what they’re worth, not what the government forces job creators to pay. Labor should compete on the open market. Everyone should be free to market their labor, to set their own price. And that includes kids, too. Why force them to go to school. Hell, studies show most of them aren’t learning anything any way. Kids should be free to go out and make money for themselves, if that’s what they want.

Of course, women, on the other hand, were created by God for one purpose: to bear children. Men weren’t. Women need to return to the role God planned for them from the beginning: to be man’s companion and to bear his children. Once we take women out of the workplace, it will free up millions of jobs. Now THAT’S a jobs program that benefits everyone! Unemployment will drop to zero virtually overnight.

The environment. Everyone wants to regulate the environment. But I’m here to tell you it can’t be done. God controls the environment and you cannot regulate God. We need to stop trying. We need to get rid of all those laws that try to regulate the environment because that’s an offense to God. I mean, NO WONDER we’re having all kinds of weird weather lately. By trying to regulate God, we’re incurring God’s just wrath!

God gave man, man, not woman, mind you…God gave MAN dominion over all the earth – to subdue the earth and use its resources for our gain. If we tie up vast amounts of resources in public lands, lands owned by the government, we’re not following God’s command. We must take those lands away from the government and put them to good use creating jobs, giving us energy independence, and creating wealth and security for everyone. This is just being good stewards of the earth that God gave us.

And speaking of God…yes…it is about time we accept the fact that we are a Christian Nation. Now I know all about the First Amendment…and I quote, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, end quote. But we’ve got a long history of the President issuing executive orders. And, when I’m elected President, that’s just what I’ll do. I will issue an Executive Order establishing the One True Church as the official religion of the United States of America. I’ll keep the tax-exempt status for the One True Church. But all other churches will be shut down because they preach a false doctrine and that does nothing but incur God’s just wrath and punishment. And, frankly, I think the United States has been punished enough.

So, come 2016, vote Briseadh na Faire for President. I’m the only candidate for President who knows what’s best for America; the only candidate who acknowledges up front that I will break each and every one of my campaign promises, and, when I do, you won’t be disappointed!

[Briseadh na Faire – it’s hard to pronounce.]

I’m Briseadh na Faire, and I approve this message.

[BriseadhNaFaireforPresidentisnotaffiliatedwithanyPolitcalActionCommitteenorhasreceivedtheendorcementofTPZoonoranyotherindividualbusinessnonprofitorganizationorgod.]

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Non-sequitur:

Why is it that the strongest part of a roll of toilet paper is always the perforations?