Random Thoughts

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This is how the Democrats get money out of politics
Beyond his campaign’s enormous spending spree, the amount the billionaire former New York mayor has given directly to his campaign shows why he will likely be able to stay in the race for a long time, regardless of where he stands in the polls. The record shows Bloomberg contributed over $200 million to his campaign. His campaign had $11 million on hand going into the year 2020.” — Hmmm $200 million all before a single vote was cast. Which party is the party of billionaires?

Iowa Caucus software firm receives money from Democrat candidates
Among Shadow’s clients is Pete Buttegieg’s presidential campaign, which paid $42,500 to the firm in July 2019 for “software rights and subscriptions,” according to disclosures to the FEC. A spokesman for the campaign says the payment was for a service used to send text messages to voters. The campaigns of Joe Biden and Kirsten Gillibrand, who withdrew from the race last year, also made smaller payments to Shadow.” — Perhaps this is why Buttegieg is confident in the Iowa results before they come out. Conflict of interest????? COME ON!!!

Oregon Unions want to limit self-checkout to 2 kiosks per store
Are self-checkouts an annoyance or convenience at grocery stores? Do self-checkouts steal jobs from grocery checkers? These are the questions a federation of Oregon workers wants voters to answer with their votes. With the Oregon Supreme Court’s certification of the proposed measure’s description, it looks like the federation may have its wish. A petition to limit each grocery store to two checkout kiosks will soon move forward to signature gathering.” — They should mandate everyone use horse drawn carriages too. How many jobs were lost when the internal combustion engine took over?

Bloomberg turns 900 into 2900 in misleading Super Bowl Ad
An honest discussion of this issue would start by clearly defining the problem. Bloomberg fails that test by using a highly misleading number referring to “children,” half of whom were adults, and by using a definition of “gun violence” that includes suicides, a very different problem that is likely to require different solutions.” — He’s good at making small numbers get big. That’s how he got his billions!

Another reason why I smell so sweet
Polyester clothes smell worse than cotton, following intensive exercise by their wearers, because bacteria that cause odor grow better on polyester, according to research published ahead of print in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.” — I’m like an inert gas… colorless and odorless

Loretta Lynn says country music is dead
Some of these country singers aren’t really country … I think some of them should be singing pop music and leave country alone,” she wrote, according to” — I’ve been saying this since the early 1990’s

Dogfights in space
But it was apparent early on that an American satellite that trackers call USA 245 was the real target. Cosmos 2542’s original orbit allowed it to pass within a few hundred miles of the KH-11 every 11 or 12 days, noted Michael Thompson, an American graduate student who moonlights with a small space company and, in his spare time, tracks satellites.” — It’s time for SPACE FORCE!!

Time should run out on Tik Tok
A doctor, sporting scrubs and grinning into her camera, instructs them on how to respond if a condom breaks during sex: The pill Plan B can be 95 percent effective, the video explains.” — Doctors need to find a cure for Cringe Inducing Video Syndrome

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State of the Union Address is must see TV this year
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be seated over President Trump’s left shoulder Tuesday, less than two months after the Democratic-controlled House impeached him — and just as the Republican-controlled Senate will be deciding whether to keep or remove him from office.” — I expect to be thoroughly entertained!

Purell is not so pure
The FDA also noted that it is unaware of any adequate and well-controlled clinical trials in the published literature that support” GOJO’s claims.” — When will people stop putting this goo on their hands… It does NOTHING!

The feds come calling for TollFreeDeals
Over a 23-day period in May and June of last year, for example, defendant TollFreeDeals connected 720 million calls to US numbers. According to the Justice Department, 425 million of the calls lasted for one second or less—suggesting that many were unwanted” — I get 8 to 10 bogus calls almost everyday. Send these people up the river for 720 million years.

Murdoch’s trying to out Drudge
It’s a news aggregator just louder and more obnoxious than Drudge

NASA makes the longest of long distance tech support calls
It’s a challenge to diagnose and fix problems on the twin probes due to their sheer distance from Earth. Voyager 2 is located about 11.5 billion miles (18.5 billion kilometers) away.” — 17 hour delay between sending and receiving. We need this for cable news channels

Orwell’s 1984 Cemented in Yale University Academics
Yale announced last week that it will stop teaching its famous survey course, “Introduction to Art History: Renaissance to the Present.” Taught for decades by Vincent Scully, one of Yale’s most celebrated professors, the course was a riveting introduction to pulse of humanism. It is being cashiered for all the usual reasons. Its focus is too white, too European, too male, too “problematic,” as Tim Barringer, chairman of the art history department, puts it.” — “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”–George Orwell 1984

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Stop recycling your plastic and save the Earth!
If the world fully converted to nonbiodegradable bioplastics starting in 2020, the carbon sequestered over the next 30 years could amount to more than 10 gigatons—which would be a good start.” — Single use plastics as a carbon sink. Huh… that’s thinking outside the plastic box.

Federal Reserve keeps printing cash
The Federal Reserve added $90.8 billion in short-term money to financial markets Tuesday.” — They’ve been printing cash since September 2019. How can this be good?

Four years a home does not make a house
According to a civil lawsuit Kroon recently filed in King County Superior Court, the 2016 letter was “the first time the City had notified… the Kroon family that Fire Station 38 was not – as the City had represented – a residential dwelling.” — The wisdom of government never ceases to amaze.

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Weblog [blog]

New York Times endorsement cop-out
Senator Warren is a gifted storyteller.” — duh

Why news organizations should not be public companies
Alden’s strategy of acquiring struggling local newsrooms and stripping them of assets has built the personal wealth of the hedge fund’s investors.” — a mirror image of what Tribune did when it was a media conglomerate.

Republicans and Democrats are bathing in the same water
Democrats, too, have made up their minds, and that would be equally upsetting but for the mountain of actual evidence on which their judgment rests.” — Sometimes I feel like I’m standing between dimensions.

They know who you are and you can’t stop them
When people can be identified and their data correlated at a speed and scale previously unseen, we need new rules.” — I’ll start worrying when ads online stop asking me to buy what I just purchased.

Intentional Communities… as opposed to unintentional communities?
According to Sky Blue… ” — Yes, there is a person named Sky Blue. The article was the best ad for nut butters I’ve ever read.

America’s parallel universes are taught in school
The books have the same publisher. They credit the same authors. But they are customized for students in different states, and their contents sometimes diverge in ways that reflect the nation’s deepest partisan divides.” — Maybe… just maybe if they taught the facts and leave the nuances for college our kids would learn more.

The return of SARS
The number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus—part of a class of pathogens that can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS—has more than tripled to 218 cases, according to Chinese state media and health authorities.” — 218 cases? Let me know when it’s 10,000. Then I’ll worry.

I wish I understood monetary policy
Global banks’ use of funding from markets rather than from customer deposits has grown rapidly in recent years, mostly in the form of short-term funding, which was a central problem of the 2008 financial crisis, according to a body that monitors global financial risks.” — I need a bigger mattress I think.

Were we better off when our life expectancy was 46?
The bad news is that the aged are too often degraded as irrelevant, useless, burdensome, ugly if not grotesque—or, not to put too fine a point on it, a pain in the butt.” — So I’ve got that to look forward to.

Random Thoughts

Seems the entire world is exploding

Under reported are volcanic eruptions in Alaska, Mexico, and Peru that occurred prior to the eruption in the Philippines. All unexpectedly started spewing hot ash almost 5 miles into the air.

Where do you hide from an exploding planet? HEY… ELON MUSK… get that rocket to Mars ready NOW!!

A volcano in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands spewed ash into flight paths, prompting a warning to pilots by the National Weather Service.

A volcano in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands spewed ash into flight paths, prompting a warning to pilots by the National Weather Service.

Shishaldin Volcano erupted at 5 a.m. Tuesday, the Alaska Volcano Observatory announced, and sent up an initial ash cloud to 19,000 feet. Clouds initially obscured the mountain, but satellite imagery confirmed the ash cloud, U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Hans Schwaiger said.

A volcano in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands spewed ash into flight paths, prompting a warning to pilots by the National Weather Service.

Anchorage Daily News

Mexico’s Popocatépetl volcano burst to life on Thursday in a spectacular gush of lava and clouds of ash that hurled incandescent rock about 20,000 feet into the sky.

The dramatic explosion of the active stratovolcano, a little over 40 miles southeast of Mexico City, was captured on video by Mexico’s National Center for Disaster Prevention, CENAPRED.

Explosive activity continues. Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) Buenos Aires warned about a volcanic ash plume that rose up to estimated 24000 ft (7300 m) altitude or flight level 240 and is moving at 15 kts in S direction.
Random Thoughts

Interesting video on the state of modern media

Random Thoughts

Republicans are truly responsible for Trump’s impeachment

For those with short memories or who were born after 1980 don’t remember or were never taught the details of President Clinton’s impeachment back in 1998. The short version is that Republicans had a strong dislike of Clinton, investigated him for things that had nothing to do with his presidency, and finally impeached him on one count of perjury and obstruction of justice. His impeachment happened ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY ALONG PARTY LINES. This is why President Trump was impeached yesterday.

Did President Clinton perjure himself and obstruct justice? Yes. But, would he have committed those crimes if the independent counsel’s fishing expedition never occurred? No. The only reason he was impeached is because during the course of the investigation it was uncovered that Clinton was getting “serviced” by a White House intern. He lied about it and tried to hide it and committed crimes in the process.

The republicans at the time, and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, should have stopped the investigation once it careened out of control and away from it’s original mandate. But, they didn’t because of their strong dislike for the man and they never could let go of the 1996 election where Clinton beat President George H.W. Bush.

The impeachment of President Clinton has been in the back of the Democrats’ minds ever since. Along comes President Trump. Brash, boastful, unapologetic, and most importantly a REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT. Add to that the fact that he defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, not by the popular vote, but by an Electoral College win.

So here we are once again. One political party cheapens the process of impeachment and 20 years later the other party makes it worse. None of this is good for the republic and neither side is abiding by their oath of office to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States…”.

When will this madness end?

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Have yourself a depressing little Christmas

The original lyrics to the song, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” are pretty depressing but honestly so much better that the version performed by Judy Garland or Frank Sinatra that have become the season’s classics. Here are the original lyrics:

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
It may be your last
Next year we may all be living in the past
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Pop that champagne cork
Next year we may all be living in New York
No good times like the olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who were dear to us
Will be near to us no more
But at least we all will be together
If the Lord allows
From now on, we’ll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now

Entertainment Weekly

It’s an old story but I just found out about it from a story in the Chicago Tribune.

I wish someone would perform it with these lyrics.

Random Thoughts

Climate change is real and thank goodness man caused it.

When I was growing up in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s we were concerned about climate change. Temperature changes, arctic ice sheets, over population, and the concern of whether or not the human race would survive. The story then was that we were already past the tipping point. We were doomed.

But, thanks to human ingenuity and our continued ability to flood the Earth with new humans somehow we were able to hold back the advance of nature and change the climate more to our advantage. We are now flourishing more than ever. Thank goodness for fossil fuels and the over production of carbon dioxide.

Yes. The above is a poor attempt at satire. Below is the propaganda we were fed as kids. The only difference is that we were being told that the scientific “consensus” was that the Earth was cooling instead of warming.

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When will idea of Socialism finally die?

Younger generations in the US keep favoring “Socialism” even though they have no real idea what it is or what it does to a society. The history of Socialism and Communism are not properly taught in schools today and instead children are being softly propagandized of the benefits of a utopian socialist society. It doesn’t exist and never has. Every place this ideology has been tried it has failed and failed miserably. It has killed more people than all the world wars combined.

Here is a personal perspective from a former Venezuelan who watched his country and his father die due to this invalid ideology.

Since the election of Chávez in 1998, the government has removed eight zeros from the constantly inflating currency and twice changed its name. It is expected that in 2020 there will be still another currency with even more zeros lopped off—with one new currency unit equaling hundreds of billions of old bolívars since Chavism started. The International Monetary Fund has indicated that inflation could be anywhere between 1 million and 10 million percent by the end of 2019, but it’s hard to know for sure since the government has stopped bothering to publish many basic economic indicators.

Venezuela now has the lowest average minimum salary in the world: just $2 a month, one-tenth the figure for impoverished Cuba. There are general shortages of almost everything, including gasoline, despite the fact that Venezuela has the largest petroleum reserves in the world. The water and electric systems are collapsing: Major national blackouts started in early 2019, with some parts of the country going dark for weeks. Telephone and internet services fail constantly, due to the electrical disruptions and a lack of system updates. Most patients who require cancer treatments or dialysis are just dying. Our former “capital of Heaven” now has no gas, no light, no food, no water, no jobs, no money, no medicine, and no hope.

It’s no wonder people are leaving. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that more than 4.3 million people, or around 14 percent of the population, have fled Venezuela, and the total could pass 5 million by 2020. This kind of massive refugee crisis is a first in the Americas, and it’s creating serious regional problems. The number of murders has grown from 5,000 a year before Chávez to around 25,000 today, though the government has stopped publishing those figures, too. That’s about a half-million murders—a whole city dead—since the advent of Chavism.