Thursday, May 29, 2014


It is kind of pathetic how Abdel Fatteh el-Sisi (aka Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and some other transliterations from the Arabic) extended the voting period because hardly anybody was bothering to vote for him.  Well, that's what happens when everybody knows the outcome in advance.  (Hell, I could be hanging out at the souq with my homies, drinking qasab.  Why bother?)

Chocolate King Petro Olekseyevich Poroshenko seems to be the new leader of Ukraine.  Okay, he's just another oligarch, but he seems to be pro-EU and his main factory is in Russia.  Go figure.

Europeans don't much bother to vote in elections for the European Parliament, but the populist anti-EU crew seems to have been more active than in the past.  Except for Hungary, I don't see the right-wing crazies winning any governments in Europe — albeit, adopting the Euro so early was a total screw-up.  It is easy to understand why, say, the UK and Germany don't want their labor markets overrun by Romanians and such like, but when you make your bed, you have to lie in it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I was interested to read that five Chinese army officers have been indicted by the Justice Department for penetrating the computer networks of American corporations, presumably stealing technological secrets and whatnot.  Then I thought about the whatnot.

If you can penetrate a company's system, you should be able to gather information that is, potentially, more valuable than a diagram of the next great widget.  You can discover when that widget will be brought to market, and the impact it may have on the price of that company's stock.

If Chinese hackers can do it, I imagine more local hackers can do it as well, opening up a whole new realm of insider trading.  If the Chinese army can do it, so can Global Octopus Investment Bank.  I am guessing that the system is more rigged than ever.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Net Neutrality

I am not too concerned about Netflix paying more to broadband carriers so it's programs don't stop to buffer all the time.  Presumably, Netflix customers will pay more, and it may take a few extra seconds for my three or four readers to access this blog.  Big deal.

The real problem is that half of the country (including my half) has absolutely no choice of broadband providers, and the other half has either two or none at all.  Doesn't our government give a damn about monopolies anymore?

Some problems may best be solved by nationalizing them.  Well, it won't happen here.

Sunday, May 11, 2014


Death in Oklahoma

If Clayton Lockett was guilty of the crime of which he was convicted, nobody deserved "cruel and unusual punishment" more than he did.  On the other hand, if we really object to "cruel and unusual punishment," he got screwed.

I wonder how many death penalty nominees don't have a usable vein.  I'm guessing there are quite a few.  I guess putting them out in front of ten or fifteen sharpshooters aiming at their hearts (one, traditionally, but not necessarily accurately, shooting a blank) is just too brutal for modern sensibilities.

If you really want to kill them, I suggest, just fucking kill them.  A single shot to the brain, delivered by the fucking governor, should do the trick.

The Climate Change Report

Why do Republicans deny human involvement in climate change?  The usual answer: money.

Exxon-Mobil, Anadarko Petrolleum, Marathon Petroleum, Haliburton, and every major coal company give almost exclusively to Republican candidates.  Oh, and let us not forget Koch Industries!

The Minimum Wage

I don't believe that anybody working full-time should have to depend on SNAP (aka food stamps).  Raising the minimum wage pushes wages higher for all lower-wage workers, and if it means the loss of the dollar menu at Micky D's, who cares?  Eaters of burgers and fries will be able to afford half a buck more for their carbs and grease.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Polio and the CIA

Polio is back.  It almost was gone — almost extinct — but it's back.

The epicenter is Pakistan, where health workers vaccinating children are victims of Islamist attacks.  The problem, it seems, is that health workers vaccinating children against polio probably were working as CIA informants in the search for Osama bin Laden.

Neither the Obama Administration nor the CIA has refuted those accusations.  Most likely, the accusations are accurate.  Most likely, the USofA has sacrificed the health and the lives of who knows how many children for the sake of killing one man in hiding.

The informants could have been selling leather-bound Korans, or doing market research for some mass producer of chapatis, or anything else.  Why polio?  Who gave the okay?  It's dreadful.  It's horrible.

Me, I'd call it a war crime.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Supremes on public prayer

By the usual vote of 5 to 4, the Supremes affirmed that the town of Greece, New York, can continue to intone Christian prayers as a prelude to town meetings.  Me, I couldn't care less.

I don't see why some sucker, babbling to his imaginary master, does me or any other atheist any damage.  Let them babble on.  Town meetings tend to be morons babbling to morons — and since morons are a large part of the population, and no supernatural father figure is listening, much less striking the rest of us down, why stop them?

Let them babble on.  The court seemed to infer that secularists could apply to do the invocations. blah blah blah, but what in hell would they say?  Me, I have nothing.  Well, maybe this:

"Dear Nothing:  While I sincerely believe that nothing will result from this invocation, I will do it just for the sake of being a pain in the ass to the many Christians and the rare Jew who usually invoke here.  Uh...  well...  I guess that's good enough.  Bye."