Thursday, March 31, 2011

America Loves Gangsters - Other Worthwhile Trades Largely Ignored

If you were from outer space and looked through a film library you would think most of our society was composed of gangsters and zombies. They are such a primary focus of creative talent. It's fascinating that creative people are so interested in these groups and not in people who really do something good in the world, like doctors and dentists for example. In fact, the only time I can remember a movie about a dentist was "Marathon Man" and that dentist was strictly freelance and not very nice.

Everybody is interested in bad guys, or zombies. Not too much interest in the humanitarian side of the ledger. What does this say about people?

Getting down to brass tacks, Travolta is not a bad choice. Also cool that Gotti, Jr. has given his blessing. I would hate to think of what would happen if he did NOT bless this project. No horse in California would be safe! This movie will play up the father/son angle. It could be funny. Like if Gotti, Jr. does badly as a gangster Gotti/Travolta could say "I'm so ashamed of you. You don't even know how to rob or kill anyone."

One positive thing that people overlook is that these films often provide work for real-life former gangsters and guys who would like to be gangsters. It's like a healthy and legal pretend outlet for them. A whole imaginary world, like kids make up. If they weren't in the movies they would be acting out in real life and getting in trouble.

John Travolta is set to play John Gotti Sr., the mobster known as the Dapper Don, in the indie pic Gotti: Three Generations.

Nick Cassavetes will direct the screenplay by Leo Rossi, which focuses on the relationship between John Gotti Sr., the head of the Gambino crime family who died in prison in 2002, and his son John Gotti Jr., who took over the family business for his father, served time in prison, but then successfully escaped conviction in four subsequent racketeering trials.

Marc Fiore is producing for his Fiore Films. Marty Ingels, the former comic turned talent broker, has come on board the project as executive producer.

Gotti Jr., who's given his blessing to the project, plans to join the producers, Travolta and Cassavetes at a press conference on April 12 at the Sheraton New York Hotel.

Travolta, repped by WME, last appeared in the action thriller From Paris with Love.

[The Hollywood Reporter]

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

U.S. Representatives Seek To Stop Old People From Screwing Us

I did not know much about the AARP and they are just raking it in. All that licensing money? Who knew there was so much money in this? Do that many people read TV Guide and send in those things?

I'm trying to figure this out. If the AARP is going to make money providing this insurance to seniors, that means the government won't be doing it. I thought the Republicans were pissed because this was "socialism" and the government was taking over healthcare. Here are these rich AARP bastards coming in, and yeah they are going to get richer, but they will provide a valuable service, and the GOP guys don't like that either.

Here's what nobody wants to say. I'm tired of hearing about all of these problems the old folks have. Wah, wah, wah. What are you gonna do? If you don't die you get old. Old people have to face the music. Way back when you could be old and it was a non-stop gravy train. Gold watch, pulled up pants, check every month, the works. Made in the shade. That's over. Like free TV.

If you're old, or you are thinking of getting old, you should start putting your money in a box somewhere safe. And stop giving it to the AARP! Look how much money they have! I hope the old people wise up. Wrap up the money box in plastic or something in case there's a flood. Asbestos maybe.
AARP lobbied for the new health care law and now it stands to profit, Republican lawmakers charged Wednesday as they called for the IRS to investigate whether the powerful interest group representing older Americans should be stripped of its federal tax exemption.

Three veteran GOP representatives released a report that estimates the seniors lobby could make an additional $1 billion over 10 years on health insurance plans whose sales are expected to pick up under the new law. They also questioned seven-figure compensation for some AARP executives.

"Based on the available evidence, substantial questions remain about whether AARP should maintain its tax-exempt status," said the report, released by Reps. Wally Herger of California, Charles Boustany of Louisiana and Dave Reichert of Washington.

AARP said profit had nothing to do with its support for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, which expands coverage to nearly all Americans, a longstanding goal of the organization.

"We are very disappointed in the report and reject its conclusions," said AARP President Lee Hammond. "AARP is no more an insurance company than we are an online travel company ... the royalties we receive allow us to keep member dues low."

The three Republican lawmakers are members of the influential Ways and Means Committee, which writes tax law. Boustany chairs the oversight subcommittee, and Herger is in charge of the health panel responsible for Medicare.

"We believe AARP operates in direct opposition to their senior membership," Herger said at a Capitol Hill press conference.

Scoffing at the report, Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan, the senior Ways and Means Democrat, called it a "witch hunt" to punish supporters of Obama's law.

The dual nature of AARP has raised questions before.

The business side of the organization runs money-making enterprises. The most lucrative involves "branding" a series of health insurance plans for seniors and older adults with the AARP name, akin to the Good Housekeeping seal of approval.

The public policy side is a civic organization that acts as a watchdog over Social Security and Medicare, representing 37 million members and consumers generally. Boards overseeing the business and tax-exempt social policy branches have overlapping directors.

Royalties from licensing the use of AARP's name earned $657 million for the organization in 2009, or nearly half its total revenue, according to publicly available records. Health insurance plans accounted for most of that.

"During this investigation it became very clear that despite its privileged tax-exempt status, in many cases, AARP represents a for-profit entity, in fact, an insurance company," Boustany said.

Hammond responded that AARP has a good relationship with the IRS, and does not anticipate any problems. Citing taxpayer confidentiality laws, the IRS declined to comment.

[Associated Press]

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Governor Of Maine Kicks Mural's Ass

Again noting the journalistic instinct at the heart of Daily Downers, here's a follow up on the mural story where the Governor of Maine is fighting communism and brainwashing by moving a really nice mural. This was in the New York Times, and I wrote about it, and this is their way of bumping it back to me. It's going on all the time, and still I am not getting the respect I deserve. Damn.

A mural that favors labor interests at the expense of business interests? Hmmm, who was doing that a long time ago in a country far away?

But idiocy is its own reward, and my favorite part of this is the extension of the initial idiocy, where the Labor Department conference rooms have to be renamed. They were named for labor leaders. Now they should be neutral.

As a response to our problems, this is pretty cool. It's saying, "fuck substance, I'm about style. I've had it with this painting." Doesn't help the average Maine guy with anything, but the Gov is saying "hey, I'm here, I'm into the details, know what I mean?"

What's next? I'm glad you asked that. Lincoln is a pretty polarizing dude. I'm thinking we change Lincoln Memorial to the Kings County Memorial, give a shout out to Brooklyn yo. Peace ahhhhhhhhoooooooouuuuuut.
A mural depicting Maine’s labor history was removed from the lobby of the state’s Department of Labor and stored at an undisclosed location over the weekend by directive of Gov. Paul LePage. Mr. LePage, a Republican elected in 2010, says the mural favors labor interests at the expense of business interests. Last week, he ordered that the mural be taken down and that Labor Department conference rooms named for labor leaders be renamed for mountains, counties or something else perceived as neutral. Robert Shetterly, president of the Union of Maine Visual Artists, called it “an exceptionally cowardly act” to move it over the weekend when no one would notice.

[The New York Times]

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Era Of Peer Pressure As Facebook Ruins Countless Lives

"Look at all your friends Jimmy, look how happy they are. How come you're not with them Jimmy? Oh, they don't like you? You are a social outcast? Oooooh. And look here, everybody can see that right here on Facebook."

Growing up was hard in my time, but I can see how these new broadcast capabilities could really hurt a kid. I love it when people are shocked by these "cyber" bullying stories. We were all kids once right? Do some people forget that kids are complete bastards? Some of the meanest people on the planet? It's almost like having kids blocks out memory for some people and they can't call a spade a spade anymore.

I will say this "sexting" thing sounds cool though. We didn't have that when I was a kid. Also pissed that whenever I see a picture of a teacher that had an "affair" with a male student, the teacher is always SMOKIN' HOT. We didn't have teachers like that. Damn.
Add "Facebook depression" to potential harms linked with social media, an influential doctors' group warns, referring to a condition it says may affect troubled teens who obsess over the online site.

Researchers disagree on whether it's simply an extension of depression some kids feel in other circumstances, or a distinct condition linked with using the online site.

But there are unique aspects of Facebook that can make it a particularly tough social landscape to navigate for kids already dealing with poor self-esteem, said Dr. Gwenn O'Keeffe, a Boston-area pediatrician and lead author of new American Academy of Pediatrics social media guidelines.

With in-your-face friends' tallies, status updates and photos of happy-looking people having great times, Facebook pages can make some kids feel even worse if they think they don't measure up.

It can be more painful than sitting alone in a crowded school cafeteria or other real-life encounters that can make kids feel down, O'Keeffe said, because Facebook provides a skewed view of what's really going on. Online, there's no way to see facial expressions or read body language that provide context.

The guidelines urge pediatricians to encourage parents to talk with their kids about online use and to be aware of Facebook depression, cyberbullying, sexting and other online risks. They were published online Monday in Pediatrics.

[Associated Press]

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Royals Living Large As Ordinary People Remain Ordinary

A secret cake design? Sixteen different types of blooms and foliage? Can you say B-I-T-C-H? Come on. Getting married to this guy, never having to get off your royal ass again. And on top of it all, two cakes.

Maybe everybody should bake them a cake, or be REQUIRED to bake them a cake or you get your head chopped off. The good old days of royalty. You can try to make it nice but the British Empire is built on BLOOD and having heads put on sticks.

There's been a big boom in reality TV but there's not enough reality going on here at all. Everyone's nice-ing it up. Buying commemorative plates. Two cakes are better than one. Oh joy! If they want to make this wedding work they need a good hanging right before to get the crowd jazzed up. I'd like to see Kate Middleton whip a pickpocket. That's how we used to like it!
Royal wedding plans announced Sunday show an admirable spirit of compromise: The main cake will be a fruity, floral masterwork designed with input from Kate Middleton, but Prince William will get his childhood favorite chocolate biscuit cake too.

When it comes to the future king and queen, two cakes are better than one.

Palace officials said the royal couple have chosen a multi-tiered traditional fruit cake decorated with cream and white icing that will be created by designer Fiona Cairns, a cakemaker to the stars – such as former Beatle Paul McCartney – who has built a thriving business since starting to bake at her kitchen table 25 years ago.

The actual design remains a secret, but the cake will have a strong British floral theme, developed with extensive input from Middleton. The master baker will use the Lambeth Method, a popular English style that relies on intricate piping and scrollwork to create leaves, flowers and other decorative elements.

Middleton asked Cairns to represent about 16 different blooms and types of foliage on the cake, each with a different symbolic meaning, a practice that was popular in the Victorian era, palace officials said.

[Associated Press]

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Communists Foiled As Governor Catches On

Trust me, I'm not putting in a picture of this mural but it is totally communist and pro-worker. There's no part of the mural showing the REAL work going on in the executive suite.

The communist artists and painters are still pretty easy to spot. Nothing much has changed in fifty years. You're looking for people who support the working man. At least that's what they say. But scratch the surface. Go ahead, scratch it. There's a commie under there.

I will also say it's great that Maine has a Governor that has time to address an "anonymous fax" so directly. Nothing penetrates my armor like an anonymous fax. Those scare me, so I know how he must have felt.

These unions have had their way for awhile and now it's time for them to get in line like everyone else. A little teamwork please. There is no "I" in team. There is an "I" in union though so I think that's where it gets confusing.
Clashes at state capitols over organized labor have become commonplace this year, with protesters throughout the country objecting to proposed limits on collective bargaining and cuts in benefits. Maine’s governor, Paul LePage, has opened a new — and unlikely — front in the battle between some lawmakers and unions: a 36-foot-wide mural in the state’s Department of Labor building in Augusta.

The three-year-old mural has 11 panels showing scenes of Maine workers, including colonial-era shoemaking apprentices, lumberjacks, a “Rosie the Riveter” in a shipyard and a 1986 paper mill strike. Taken together, his administration deems these scenes too one-sided in favor of unions.

A spokeswoman said Mr. LePage, a Republican, ordered the mural removed after several business officials complained about it and after the governor received an anonymous fax saying it was reminiscent of “communist North Korea where they use these murals to brainwash the masses.”

“The Department of Labor is a state agency that works very closely with both employees and employers, and we need to have a décor that represents neutrality,” said Mr. LePage’s spokeswoman, Adrienne Bennett.

The mural was created by Judy Taylor, who won a 2007 competition overseen by the Maine Arts Commission to commission artwork for the department’s lobby.

“I don’t agree that it’s one-sided,” Ms. Taylor said. “It’s based on historical fact. I’m not sure how you can say history is one-sided.”

Ms. Taylor said she consulted with historians to do the mural, for which she received a $60,000 grant. “It didn’t intend to be pro-business or pro-labor,” she said. “By default, it’s honoring the working man and working woman.”

[The New York Times]

Friday, March 25, 2011

Money Raised For School Flushed Away As Madonna Boogies On

Celebrity charities were invented to generate stories like this to make me happy and laugh. Madonna could do all this quietly, and cut them a check, but no, fundraisers hosted by Gucci, ceremonies in Malawi, and all this other crap to raise money for what? Cars and drivers and golf club memberships for people who have actually done NOTHING. Almost four million bucks and you've got the same hole in the ground.

Also great that Madonna is so busy diligently attending the parties revolving around this charity but just has no idea what they are really doing day to day. It exists to give her a way to display a public face of empathy while she spends time in limos going shopping while others are looting the store. She's got time to raise $18 million and get her picture taken but hasn't a clue.

What a great story. She raised money that was flushed down the toilet and she STILL gets to lecture like a real philanthropist. There's a real education crisis in Malawi? Duh hey, good to know dear! Failure has no impact on the attitude. She gives to high salaried do nothing boobs till it hurts! Those girls in Malawi surely got some trickle down benefits as the hard working Madonna acolytes had their drivers take them to the club. Suh-weet!

Hasn't Madonna given us ENOUGH? Why does she think she has to do more? She should take it easy. She's making a movie about Edward VIII? Was he the King that raised money and gave it to people who hired drivers and joined clubs when they were supposed to build a school?

Why doesn't Madonna have a party celebrating this? Put up these articles as flyers? It only seems fair. How about a Madonnapology party? I would go to that. Call me!

A high-profile charitable foundation set up to build a school for impoverished girls in Malawi, founded by the singer Madonna and fellow devotees of a prominent Jewish mysticism movement, has collapsed after spending $3.8 million on a project that never came to fruition.

The board of directors of the organization, Raising Malawi, has been ousted and replaced by a caretaker board, including Madonna and her manager, officials with the organization said Thursday. Its executive director, who is the boyfriend of Madonna’s former trainer, Tracy Anderson, left in October amid criticism of his management style and cost overruns for the school. These included what auditors described as outlandish expenditures on salaries, cars, office space and a golf course membership, free housing and a car and driver for the school’s director.

Most strikingly, the plans to build a $15 million school for about 400 girls in the poor southeastern African country of 15 million — which had drawn financial support from Hollywood and society circles, as well as the Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Centre International, an organization devoted to Jewish mysticism — have been officially abandoned.

Trevor Neilson, a founder of the Global Philanthropy Group, which Madonna recruited last November amid signs of upheaval at her charity, said he told her that building an expensive school in Malawi was an ineffective form of philanthropy, and suggested instead using resources to finance education programs though existing and proven nongovernmental organizations.

Madonna has lent her name, reputation and $11 million of her money to the organization that she founded with Mr. Berg. She has been a regular visitor to Malawi, attending at least two ceremonies at what would have been the site of the school in Lilongwe, and has adopted two children from the country.

On Thursday, in conceding the shortcomings of her charity, Madonna issued a statement saying she was still intent on using the organization, which has raised $18 million so far, to advance improvements in the beleaguered nation.

“There’s a real education crisis in Malawi,” she said. “Sixty-seven percent of girls don’t go to secondary school, and this is simply unacceptable. Our team is going to work hard to address this in every way we can.” She and her aides offered no explanation of why, given her high interest in the project, she had not noticed the problems as they began unfolding.

Mr. Neilson said that an examination found that $3.8 million had been spent on the school that will now not be built, with much of the money going to architects, design and salaries and, in one case, two cars for employees who had not even been hired yet.

“Despite $3.8 million having been spent by the previous management team, the project has not broken ground, there was no title to the land and there was, over all, a startling lack of accountability on the part of the management team in Malawi and the management team in the United States,” he said. “We have yet to determine exactly what happened to all of that $3.8 million. We have not accounted for all the funds that were used.”

A written report by the Global Philanthropy Group, a copy of which was provided Thursday by the Kabbalah Centre, was critical of two former officials of the organization: Philippe van den Bossche, who has worked for Madonna since 2004 and was the executive director of Raising Malawi from 2005 until October, and Anjimile Oponyo, who worked at the United Nations Development Program when she was chosen last year to head the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls.

Ms. Oponyo said that she was barred from talking about her association with the foundation, and that she could not comment on the allegations in the report of mismanagement — including whether she benefited from an extravagant compensation package that included that car and driver and golf club membership.

In an e-mail, Mr. van den Bossche said he, too, was prohibited from commenting; Madonna has a history of confidentiality agreements with employees.

Mr. Neilson said that Madonna was involved in a film project — she is directing a movie about King Edward VIII — and was not available for an interview.

Raising Malawi will not disband and will instead use its money in different ways to help the poor in a country where Madonna has sought to become a major philanthropic presence, foundation officials said.

Madonna attended a fund-raiser hosted by Gucci in New York in 2008, whose guests also included Tom Cruise and Gwyneth Paltrow, and was on hand for what turned out to be a purely ceremonial groundbreaking and the laying off the first brick at the school. Other donors to the project include the Yankee Alex Rodriguez.

The report faulted Mr. van den Bossche for his roles both in overseeing the planning of the building and in creating the educational curriculum. The report was similarly critical of Ms. Oponyo. “Her charisma masks a lack of substantive knowledge of the practical application of educational development,” it said, “and her weak management skills are a major contributor to the current financial and programmatic chaos.”

[New York Times]

Thursday, March 24, 2011

We Need Hell To Keep Folks In Line

I can't take it with these guys trying to rewrite the rules. They don't like the religion so they'll just modify it a little.

It may be true that love has a role in Christianity, but come on, HELL is a powerhouse in there. Why do you behave yourself? Sure love may have something to do with it, but it's also the fear of hellfire (and also getting caught) that keeps you in line. When an actor asks "what's my motivation?" the answer is "shut up and read your line you dunce." But when a Christian asks "what's my motivation?" the answer is "shut up or you'll go to HELL." Come on.

Look, there's no place in religion for change and these guys should just knock it off. It's all about clinging to traditional values even when they are a waste of time. Like rooting for a lousy baseball team. They are lousy, but they are YOUR team. If you don't root for them when they're lousy you can't really celebrate when they win.

If these guys keep pushing it, with these newfangled ideas, I don't need to tell you what will happen. Losing a job is easy compared to an eternity in flames. Or so I've heard. I mean read. Nobody I know personally has been in hell.
When Chad Holtz lost his old belief in hell, he also lost his job.

The pastor of a rural United Methodist church in North Carolina wrote a note on his Facebook page supporting a new book by Rob Bell, a prominent young evangelical pastor and critic of the traditional view of hell as a place of eternal torment for billions of damned souls.

Two days later, Holtz was told complaints from church members prompted his dismissal from Marrow's Chapel in Henderson.

"I think justice comes and judgment will happen, but I don't think that means an eternity of torment," Holtz said. "But I can understand why people in my church aren't ready to leave that behind. It's something I'm still grappling with myself."

The debate over Bell's new book "Love Wins" has quickly spread across the evangelical precincts of the Internet, in part because of an eye-catching promotional video posted on YouTube.

Bell, the pastor of the 10,000-member Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., lays out the premise of his book while the video cuts away to an artist's hand mixing oil paints and pastels and applying them to a blank canvas.

He describes going to a Christian art show where one of the pieces featured a quote by Mohandas Gandhi. Someone attached a note saying: "Reality check: He's in hell."

"Gandhi's in hell? He is? And someone knows this for sure?" Bell asks in the video.

In the book, Bell criticizes the belief that a select number of Christians will spend eternity in the bliss of heaven while everyone else is tormented forever in hell.

"This is misguided and toxic and ultimately subverts the contagious spread of Jesus' message of love, peace, forgiveness and joy that our world desperately needs to hear," he writes in the book.

For many traditional Christians, though, Bell's new book sounds a lot like the old theological position of universalism — a heresy for many churches, teaching that everyone, regardless of religious belief, will ultimately be saved by God. And that, they argue, dangerously misleads people about the reality of the Christian faith.

The near-relish with which some Christians stress the torments of hell, Bell argues, keep many believers needlessly afraid of a loving God, and repel potential Christians who might otherwise be curious about the faith's teachings.

"The heart of the Christian story is that God is love," he said. "But when you hear the word 'Christian,' you don't necessarily think 'Oh, sure, those are the people who don't stop talking about God's love.' Some other things would come to mind."
[Associated Press]

GOP Wants Children of Striking Workers to Starve

Note to young Daily Downers readers: do not make the mistake of choosing working-class parents who might go on strike. Decisions have consequences and if you decide to have a mother or father who is being exploited by his or her employer, don't expect the taxpayer to fill your bowl with gruel.

[A] group of House Republicans is launching a new stealth attack against union workers. GOP Reps. Jim Jordan (OH), Tim Scott (SC), Scott Garrett (NJ), Dan Burton (IN), and Louie Gohmert (TX) have introduced H.R. 1135, which states that it is designed to “provide information on total spending on means-tested welfare programs, to provide additional work requirements, and to provide an overall spending limit on means-tested welfare programs.”

Much of the bill is based upon verifying that those who receive food stamps benefits are meeting the federal requirements for doing so. However, one section buried deep within the bill adds a startling new requirement. The bill, if passed, would actually cut off all food stamp benefits to any family where one adult member is engaging in a strike against an employer:

[Think Progress]

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

With Friends Like These

I love how politicians are such complete asskissers. They want to blend in with EVERYONE. Every election they come around and kiss ass in Israel. When someone wants to be Mayor in New York they wear a yarmulke. And all the Jews go, "yeah, he's alright, we'll vote for him." Sure. The Jews control the whole world. They could give a damn who the so called people elect.

Here is Sarah Palin, going to Israel, a country she definitely can't see from Alaska. I'm cracking up trying to imagine the dinner conversation.

"That's a kreplach."


"No, no, kreplach." (aside, under his breath, in Hebrew) "I would do it with her."

What's funny is a lot of these right wing religious people, they want to be friends with Israel because they believe in all of this apocalyptic rapture nonsense and they think if they're down with the Jews they'll be easy to find and Jesus will be swooping down to rescue them. She even snubbed her home court of Bethlehem.

Not so fast Sarah Palin! If God is a Jew you will not be able to take the Last Rites on your deathbed and expiate all of your sins. Plus you can't just join the Jew Club. There's only one way in. You're born a Jew. So forget it. You will be held to ACCOUNT!

What I wouldn't give to grab her by that hair. Sorry that just slipped out. I mean the words!
Sarah Palin is headed back to the U.S. after a two-day whirlwind trip to Israel.

As expected, the former Alaska governor had dinner Monday night with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, becoming the fourth 2012 hopeful in the last three months to sit down with the top Israeli leader.

On Monday, Palin bagged a planned trip to Bethlehem literally yards from a checkpoint into the city. No explanation was given.

Per the Jerusalem Post, Palin told her hosts that she planned to return for a week-long visit next time and would meet with more media and politicians then.

[yahoo! news]

Some Stones You'd Prefer to Keep

This is just nuts.

SURGEONS castrated a pensioner who went to hospital to have gallstones removed. Andreas Hoffman is suing medics, who cut off both his testicles, for £100,000.

The 68-year-old said: "The doctors got rid of some lumps. Only they were two that I had grown rather fond of and wanted to retain."


There were complications during his surgery and he was put in a coma for two months. He discovered his right testicle was gone when he awoke.


The hospital admitted that the right testicle was taken off because the first incision on the gallstone operation had cut through vital tissue.

They have not said why the second one was removed.

[Daily Record]

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Six Months of Unemployment = Trapped In A Vortex Of Lies And Hopelessness

As you know I love these "lists" but in this case I'm just going to print the first of "22 secrets HR does not want you to know." Mind you this is the FIRST ONE. It's not buried in there. The first one.

I have been laid off and out of work and it is a painful experience, especially when YOU are responsible for other people. That lays on you like an anchor. Except they drop anchors into the sea! They are not meant for ye to bear on the land!

What are you supposed to do when you are out of work for more than six months? And how many people fall into this category? What should they do? I would say - lie on your resume. For sure. The next article will be a list of ways to get caught lying on your resume and it will say "change the date you lost your last job." And it will just go on and on in a spiraling vortex of lies and hopelessness. Maybe we could give these long term unemployables jobs informing the next wave of unemployables of their fate. It just goes on.

What You Should Know About Résumés

1. “Once you’re unemployed more than six months, you’re considered pretty much unemployable. We assume that other people have already passed you over, so we don’t want anything to do with you.” –Cynthia Shapiro, former human resources executive and author of Corporate Confidential: 50 Secrets Your Company Doesn’t Want You to Know
[shine @ yahoo!]

Baby Seal Killing: Not Just for Humans Anymore

Did I do something to upset you?
Most people think sea otters are lovable, cute, and cuddly. That's because most people aren't baby seals, who have a keen insight into the wicked, deadly, raping ways of "playful" otters.

Writing in a recent edition of the journal Aquatic Mammals, Heather Harris of the California Department of Fish and Game and colleagues document nineteen occurrences of [sea otters forcibly copulating with and killing seal pups] in Monterey Bay between 2000 and 2002, leading to the deaths of at least 15 seals.

Harris and her colleagues describe one incident in vivid detail:

"A weaned harbor seal pup was resting onshore when an untagged male sea otter approached it, grasped it with its teeth and forepaws, bit it on the nose, and flipped it over. The harbor seal moved toward the water with the sea otter following closely. Once in the water, the sea otter gripped the harbor seal’s head with its forepaws and repeatedly bit it on the nose, causing a deep laceration. The sea otter and pup rolled violently in the water for approximately 15 min, while the pup struggled to free itself from the sea otter’s grasp. Finally, the sea otter positioned itself dorsal to the pup’s smaller body while grasping it by the head and holding it underwater in a position typical of mating sea otters. As the sea otter thrust his pelvis, his penis was extruded and intromission was observed. At 105 min into the encounter, the sea otter released the pup, now dead, and began grooming."


Geniuses Around The World Are Flummoxed By Intersecting Problems

One thing we have focused on here at Daily Downers, with prescient accuracy as it turns out, is the key to our energy policy. Which is avoiding solar power and other intelligent solutions at all costs. Now it's becoming even clearer.

We will either have to go to war to take over some of these pesky oil producing states once and for all, or we will have to cave in and go all treehugger and solar. Nuclear power has been set back as people insist on looking at the downside as opposed to the upside. Of course natural disasters can upset the nuclear apple cart, but you can't fuel an energy hungry nation without it, so if we're going to pull the plug on nukes, attacking the oil producing states is looking more and more viable to this analyst.

This writer thrives on intersecting problems. I don't just sit around writing books, I figure things out. Maybe we should be subsidized as one of those "think tank" operations? Can we do that? Apply somewhere? Someone let me know.
The world is in crisis mode right now, from an unthinkable natural disaster in Japan to civil unrest throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

As if these events were alone not unsettling enough, there is perhaps an even bigger crisis coming down the pike that could “shake global markets,” says Forbes columnist Gordon Chang: The fight over global energy resources as fears of supply shortages put pressure on already high energy prices.

“The real problem for the globe right now is you’ve got problems in Libya, you’ve got problems in Japan and they’re intersecting," says Chang, author of Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World and The Coming Collapse of China. “This is not over yet because you have the gulf aflame right now,” with the governments of Yemen and Bahrain teetering on the brink of collapse.

Saudi Arabia is also a concern since it provides about 10 percent of the world’s oil. So far, the protests in this oil rich country have been minimal compared to the other Arab nations. Should the intense turmoil spread to Saudi Arabia, Chang and other experts foresee a very dire outcome for the global economy.

"It is really the fear of disruptions of supply that is creating the risk-premium" in energy prices, he says.

[yahoo! finance]

Monday, March 21, 2011

Improvements For Society Abound With Use Of Tasers

Years ago a cop would have to deal with this kind of thing differently. If there's one thing I hate, it's a guy who is double parked, but even I would not advocate Taser-ing the guy. A good slap would be enough, no?

What I love about this is that in the end, it doesn't seem like it was that important. The car never moved, or the whole blockage of the street must have gone on much longer than it would have otherwise, because they probably had to double park with the cops and an ambulance there or whatever. Maybe even TRIPLE park. I have seen that.

And then in the end they drop the charges? They must have felt like they had done enough, but still, I'm not sure this is right. If you're going to Mace the guy and Tase him, you should at least be doing that in the course of arresting him, right? For a real crime? And if he committed a real crime he should have been charged. Instead it's like..."eh, fuhgedaboutit." Why bug the guy in the first place if it's no big deal? Sign me, confused. My advice? For the time being when the police ask you to move you should move.
A Brooklyn man says he was left with a painful reminder from an encounter with NYPD cops: A prong from a Taser had to be surgically removed from his back.

Jonathan Zimmerman, 26, is suing the city and the two officers, saying that after he double-parked, he suffered through an excruciating Tasering that left him with a dime-sized scar.

"I was hurt because I don't think I should have gone through what I went through that night," he said of the April 2010 ordeal.

Zimmerman, a security guard, said he was sitting in his car with a female friend outside her Bedford-Stuyvesant home when uniformed cops wrote him a ticket for double-parking.

After he and the woman started to argue with the cops about the summons, one officer ordered him out of the car. He refused.

He says the cop yanked the keys from the ignition and Maced him while he was still strapped in his seat belt. Next Zimmerman felt something "very, very painful," he recalled. He was zapped, pulled out of his car and Tasered two more times, he said.

An NYPD spokesman said cops ordered Zimmerman to move his car but he instead talked back and had to be restrained. Doctors later dislodged an inch-long spur from his back. All charges against him, including resisting arrest and disorderly conduct,were dismissed.

[New York Daily News]

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Forget Your Worries, Salvation Is A 'Comin'

Now I can relax. The Republican Party is about to be reinvigorated by Donald Trump. Every Democrat I know is worried. There are a lot of unique things about this guy that make him qualified to be President. He has a track record of running casinos into the ground, and yet he is lionized in many circles as a business wizard of some kind. So if your companies are going bankrupt and people still walk around saying you're a genius, you've got some kind of marketing skill or hypnotic abilities and our next President is going to need that in spades.

In the 1980s, Trump had problems making loan payments even as he was building a third casino in Atlantic City. Things were bad, and he couldn't pay for the two existing casinos, so he built another one. An average businessman might have said, "duh hey, if the two I've got are going broke maybe I should cool out on a third one." But Donald Trump is not an average businessman.

In the 1990s, the Trump Plaza went belly up, and Chase Manhattan Bank forced him to sell the West Side railyards. In 1995, he launched a publicly traded company, which went from $35 to $3 a share within three years.

In the new century, the publicly traded Trumpco went bankrupt and the investors lost all their money. The old Trumpco went public after re-emerging from bankruptcy, only to go bankrupt again for good in 2009. In the 2008 financial crisis, Trump failed to pay a loan to Deutsche Bank and said the crisis was an "Act of God" and he shouldn't have to pay the debt. This is another quality the next President will probably need - the ability to come up with creative ways to stiff creditors.

On the other hand Trump is somehow estimated to be worth $3 billion, since his private deals have gone better than anything he has tried to share with the general public. The next Act of God I would like to see would be a debate between Trump and Sarah Palin - and if Trump wins everyone will get that hairstyle so barbers better start practicing now.

It's possible that the hairstyle is a distraction from the fact that the guy has a GIANT head. What's in there? I think it's nice that he got this foufy hairdo so no one will notice the head and feel inferior since he's probably got an extra brain in there. So he's selfless in a way.
Donald Trump boots contestants off his TV show with a famous two-word catch phrase: "You're fired." He may want the chance to say the same to President Barack Obama.

The real estate tycoon with the comb-over hairdo and in-your-face attitude plans to decide by June whether to join the field of GOP contenders competing in 2012 to make the Democratic incumbent a one-term president.

Trump insists he's serious. He rejects skeptics' claims that he's using the publicity to draw viewers to "Celebrity Apprentice," the NBC reality program he co-produces and hosts.

"The ratings on the show are through the roof. I don't need to boost the ratings," Trump told The Associated Press in a recent interview. "But the country is doing so badly. I wish there was someone in the Republican field I thought would be incredible because that's what we need right now."

If he runs, Trump would follow a well-worn path of wealthy businessmen who have sought the White House before. Recent examples include Christian Broadcasting Network founder Pat Robertson in 1988, tech mogul Ross Perot in 1992 and publishing executive Steve Forbes in 1996.

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire New York City mayor, also has hinted at national political ambitions even as he says he won't enter the race.

[Associated Press]

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Personal Downer

Years ago someone said to me, "you can buy stock in this company that's going to open stores all over selling specialty coffees. They're going to make espresso, cappucino, and sell some stuff to go with it, and they'll make syrup coffees and whatever. They charge like four or five dollars for a coffee."

At this point in time if you wanted an espresso you could get one in a place for a buck and a half. You got a coffee in the diner for less than a buck. "How many idiots out there will pay four or five bucks for a coffee? This won't catch on as a chain like McDonald's or anything. Maybe as a boutique thing." I passed.

My friend bought the IPO for Starbuck's and I did not. He held on to the stock from issue until about 2002. By that time the stock had split FOUR times, and he held onto every share and really maxed the thing out. And he bought a lot of Starbuck's stock.

People love to line up and pay six times more than they ever did for a cup of coffee and they become totally ADDICTED to it. Who knew? How could I have figured that out, and how is it that my friend was POSITIVE that America would be so into it? Damn. And then look what this barista says. "Karma works." So this means my friend had better karma than me with this coffee bullshit? How discouraging is that? What can I do about some karma thing that's embedded in my existence? Just seems unfair. How do baristas know this?

The other thing I passed on investing in was all those cell phone companies, but that's another story. That's why I have to get back on the ship now.
Gourmet coffee and skilled baristas may raise coffee prices but we still need them for the perfect cup. Here are some of your baristas’ secrets.

1. Drinking two quad-shot, 22oz, vanilla lattes every day is bad for you.

Very, very bad for you.

2. Sometimes the owners of independent coffee/espresso carts buy cheap coffee and sell it as a respected brand.

Not that any of our customers noticed.

3. Please believe me.

If you asked for decaf, I gave you decaf. You don’t need to ask me repeatedly. I am not out to get you.

4. If you’re not at Starbucks, don’t order like you are.

If you want a Venti Caramel Frappuccino, you’re in the wrong place. Order from our menu.

5. You are the reason for the wait.

Customers spend the whole time talking on the phone and only think about what they want when they get to the register. They are the reason the line takes forever.

6. Be nice.

No matter how tired you are, it’s nice to say PLEASE when you’re ordering your first coffee of the day.

7. Just because they’re vegan doesn’t mean our cakes are good for you.

They are LOADED with white sugar.

8. Yes, I went to school for this.

Starbucks sends employees to barista school for two weeks.

9. There is an art to pulling a perfect shot of espresso.

The ideal shot takes 18 to 22 seconds to pull. If a shot isn’t perfect, I won’t serve it.

10. Tip

I’ll carry that happy feeling over to my interaction with my next customer. Karma works, and it only costs you a buck.
11. A bigger cup doesn’t mean more coffee

Starbucks’ Venti (20 oz) and Grande (16 oz) each contain two shots of espresso. The Venti just has more milk. So if it’s caffeine you’re after, size doesn’t matter.

12. Latte art isn’t merely decorative.

If a heart or a pinwheel design holds in the milk it means that the consistency of the foam is good and the shot was pulled well.

13. A real macchiato has just a stain of milk foam and no sugar.

I’ll make someone an authentic drink and they’ll say, where’s the milk? Where’s the syrup?


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Disney Execs Torture Children

They say that from great suffering comes great art, but this is taking things one step too far.

The child actor who provided the voice of Bambi in the animated Disney classic says he was tricked into thinking his real mother was in danger when he recorded the film’s heartbreaking central scene. Donnie Dunagan, now 76, was 6 years old when a Disney executive told him as he sat in front of a microphone: “Your mother is in trouble; we’re going to put you on the speaker, call for your mother.” Bambi’s plaintive cries as he searches for his dead mother have since haunted generations of filmgoers. Dunagan says he has forgiven the unnamed Disney executive, although “he probably shouldn’t have done that.”

[The Week]

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Clouds Are Distinct For Each Socioeconomic Group

Good thing these guys are getting tax breaks, that's all I can say. I'm sure they will be investing in creating jobs and stimulating the economy and all that other good stuff that is the rationale for continuing the Bush tax breaks.

But...wait...the tax breaks have been in effect for...about 8 years...and...there are no that breaks don't create jobs? All of these guys saying we need tax breaks to create jobs are wrong? Rich people don't invest all their money in creating jobs?

If you read this excerpt, it explains this perfectly. There is a "cloud of caution" over the millionaires. They are still worried things may not turn around, so the money is staying under the mattress now, and it's funny but it looks to me as if that's where the money has been for the last decade as well so it's nothing new.

I actually see this "cloud of caution" myself, but on most days it's obscured by the "cloud of holy shit the whole world is falling apart" that I see right in front of it.

What recession? The millionaire population jumped in the U.S. by 8% last year, fueled by the stock market recovery, according to an industry report on Wednesday.

The number of U.S. households worth at least $1 million rose to 8.4 million in 2010, compared to 7.8 million the prior year, according to a report by Spectrem Group.

"The affluent market grew in 2010 due primarily to the stock market rebound, but despite their growing portfolios, attitudes remain significantly different than in 2007," the report said.

"The size of the affluent market increased in 2010 but did not reach the highs obtained in 2007," the year that the recession began, according to the report.

Last year marked the second consecutive year of increases, the group said, following a 16% surge in the millionaire population in 2009.

"The millionaire comeback continues," said George H. Walper Jr., president of Spectrem Group.

But he added that many millionaires are still operating under a cloud of caution.

"While investors are feeling positive about their own portfolios, they are not convinced that the economy has recovered," said Walper. "Our ongoing polling and research indicates that investors remain unconvinced that we are back on solid ground."

[CNN Money]

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happiness Kills

The Captain is pleased to announce that by bringing you down he's performing a vital public health service! So wipe that smile off your face if you know what's good for you.

Being miserable is the key to a longer life, says one of the most extensive studies of its type ever undertaken.

Psychologists found that the most cheerful individuals, with the best sense of humour, die earlier on average than their counterparts with the set jaw and furrowed brow.

And there’s more bad news. Adults who work harder and retire later are also more likely to make it into old age, particularly if they are ‘committed’ to their jobs.


‘Participants [in the study] who were the most cheerful and had the best sense of humour as kids lived shorter lives, on average, than those who were less cheerful and joking,’ said Dr Leslie Martin, of La Sierra University in Riverside, California.


The researchers discovered that the happy souls went on to take more gambles with their health over the years. They were more likely to drink, smoke and eat badly.


[Dr Howard Friedman] added: ‘We found that as a general life-orientation, too much of a sense that “everything will be just fine” can be dangerous because it can lead one to be careless about things that are important to health and long life.’

[Daily Mail]

92 Yr. Old GOP Lawmaker Says Hitler Had Some Good Ideas, Insane Should be Sent to Siberia, and Admits He Has No Idea How to Do His Job

It's a sad day in America when a lawmaker is forced to resign for speaking truth to power and telling it like it is. Sending the mentally ill to Siberia is an excellent idea - that way, Sarah Palin can keep a watchful eye on them from her house.

CONCORD – Rep. Martin Harty, a Barrington Republican, has resigned his House seat in the wake of fire he drew for remarks on mental illness and population control.

Harty, who turns 92 this month, came into spotlight last week after telling a voter during a phone call that he thought the best treatment for the mentally ill would be a one-way trip to Siberia.

He also said population growth and mental illness could be controlled with eugenics, a form of genetic engineering commonly associated with Hitler's Germany.

In his letter to Speaker of the House William O'Brien, Harty apologized not for what he said, but for the disruption he caused. Citing what he called "slightly unfavorable publicity" over his statements, he said "Sorry my big mouth caused this furor."


In resigning, Harty wrote, "I was just getting the hang of it some, but with all the slightly unfavorable publicity I've been getting the last few days, I'll never be an effective lawmaker. So I herby submit my resignation form the House. Sorry my big mouth caused this furor."

Last month, in a letter to Foster's Daily Democrat, Harty wrote, "so far I really don't know what I'm doing . The few votes I've made so far I really didn't know what I was voting for or against. Just looked at the people around me and went along with them."

[Union Leader]

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ivy League Or Bust For Manhattan Suckers

At one point one of my wives was worried about our kids going to the right schools, and we lived in Manhattan, and she started talking about "interviews." I really did not understand any of this, and it turns out that she was talking about interviewing my KID, who was three at the time, to get into a pre-school. My comment was "let's move" and we did.

How crazy is this? First off, if the lawyer knows the kid is going to an Ivy League school anyway, what's the problem? Personally I would like to meet this kid because I'm wondering how ANY four year old is clearly marked intellectually for an Ivy League school. No pressure, right? That's good for kids, pressure at four. Can she do calculus? Maybe they should have buried this kid in textbooks until she cried, and that would have made Mama happy.

As far as I know, admission to Ivy League schools has nothing to do with pre-school, and this whole thing is just a way for pre-schools to sell their line of crap to gullible parents at $19,000 a pop. My friends who went to Harvard got in because they did well on the SATs. Period. Had NOTHING to do with pre-school. In fact, my smartest friend who went to Princeton skipped pre-school entirely and started smoking weed and listening to Zeppelin and he ended up building his own H-bomb, which he sold to the government for pennies on the dollar.

Does anyone really believe Harvard is going to contact a pre-school? It's amazing how anyone who is such a suck up to the Ivy League lifestyle could be so stupid, but there you go.

Finally, what if this little girl does NOT make the Ivy League? Maybe the parents should sue the child for being too dumb and embarrasing them? Or maybe they will sue Harvard and demand admission? In any case, I will be keeping track for the next 15 years or so to see how this turns out and in the meantime I hope they find a place for this lawyer and his pathetic client UNDER the courthouse.

A Manhattan mom is suing a $19,000-a-year preschool, claiming it jeopardized her daughter's chances of getting into an elite private school because she had to slum with younger kids.

Nicole Imprescia yanked 4-year-old Lucia from the York Avenue Preschool last fall, angry the tyke was stuck learning about shapes and colors with tots half her age - when she should have been prepping for a standardized test.

"This is about a theft where a business advertises as one thing and is actually another," said Mathew Paulose, a lawyer for the mom.

"They're nabbing $19,000 and making a run for it."

Impressed by the school's pledge to ready its young students for the ERB - a test used for admission at top private elementary schools - Imprescia enrolled her daughter at York in 2009.

A month into this school year, she transferred the child out of the upper East Side center because she had been lumped in with 2-year-olds.

"Indeed, the school proved not to be a school at all, but just one big playroom," the suit says.

Imprescia's court papers suggest the school may have damaged Lucia's chances of getting into a top college, citing an article that identifies preschools as the first step to "the Ivy League."

"Lucia Imprescia, for the record, will get into an Ivy League school, York Avenue Preschool notwithstanding," said Paulose, of Koehler & Isaacs.
"The child is very smart and will do well in life."

[New York Daily News]

Serpent Bites Forbidden Fruit

Turns out silicon melons are poisonous to snakes. With any luck, Charlie Sheen will make this same mistake.

Israeli model Orit Fox was making an appearance on Spanish TV channel Telecino when the serpent struck.

She was clutching the tame reptile and went to lick its face when the snake took offence and chomped down on her surgically-enhanced bosom.

Fox was taken to hospital where she given a tetanus shot and discharged.

But the snake wasn't so lucky.

[The Sun]

It's Pronounced "Franken-STEEN"

Hopefully "EYE-gor" will adjust to Santa Clarita, CA's temperate climate without too much trouble.

[Matt Yglesias]

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ignorance Is Sound Policy Choice For Americans In This Particular Case

This would never happen in the U.S., right? There could never be a natural disaster like this? That would affect a nuclear power plant? And you could safely say terrorists would never strike a nuclear power plant since they are so secure. So there's really nothing to worry about.

You can't always look around and learn things. When something happens in Japan, you might think, "hey that could happen here too." Well it can't. It's not the same. Everything is different in Japan. It's a different country. It's a different type of ocean over there.

People do tend to flip out over stuff like this, and it can make people wary of something dangerous like nuclear power. But what's the alternative? Solar power? Gas made from corn? I mean come on. All you have to do is put the reactor in the right place. The U.S. is also more savvy with nuclear power, because America really invented it. It's not the same as making cars alright? Just calm down.
As Japan rushes to contain what could be a major nuclear meltdown in the wake of Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami, the crisis could be a major setback for the U.S. nuclear power industry.

As the Washington Post's Jia Linn Yang reports, politicians on both sides of the aisle, including President Obama and GOP leaders in Congress, have advocated the construction of new nuclear plants stateside in recent years.

Already supporters of nuclear energy are on the defense. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday the crisis in Japan shouldn't deter the country from investing in nuclear power. But he also insisted now is not the time to be having such a debate.

"I don't think right after a major environmental catastrophe is a very good time to be making American domestic policy," the GOP leader told Fox News Sunday. "We ought not to make American domestic policy based on an event that happened in Japan."

[yahoo! News]

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Communication Proves To Be Impossible As Heroes Are Fired

Hey how about TALKING to these guys? They have to be FIRED? Read this thing, it's just unreal. Lady says they should not have picked up the backpack with a bomb in it. Well how do you know there's a bomb in it? Did these guys have X-ray vision on their resume? I knew I should have ordered those glasses from that comic book ad years ago!

This guy Twohig says they were "messing around with the bomb." Come on. How much messing around could they have done? Plus who could resist under these circumstances. It's inhuman!

Plus think of all the things you could do besides firing them. How about making this part of their training now, as in, when you hire these guys you tell them how to handle suspicious backpacks? As it stands they saved lives and are now being punished.

You know what? Good. I'm glad! Let this be a lesson to you. This whole do-gooder thing is not what it's cracked up to be. It's fraught with peril. Keep your head down. That's my advice. And if you see a backpack, and you're on the job, think about what's more important. After all, the backpack may just have books in it. How many people leave backpacks around with bombs in them? That's pretty rare. I would think most people with backpacks filled with bombs would remember to take them home for safekeeping.

On the other hand, if you're not on the job and you see a backpack, you can do something provided you have a good relationship with your boss otherwise.
Three cleanup workers who were hailed as heroes after finding a live bomb along the route of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade said they later lost their temporary jobs after supervisors questioned their handling of the situation.

The men were employed by Labor Ready and doing temporary work for the Spokane Public Facilities District when they found a backpack containing the bomb about an hour before the scheduled start of the Jan. 17 parade.

They alerted police, who were able to defuse the device.

"For the first two days, basically all we did was get chewed out," worker Mark Steiner told Spokane television station KHQ. "We did this wrong. We did that wrong. I don't know what you consider calling 911 wrong after two minutes after we found it."

Steiner, Brandon Klaus and Sherman Welpton had been hired to perform cleanup work during the parade and noticed the backpack on an outdoor bench.

Stacey Burke, a spokeswoman for Labor Ready, said the men were performing contract work for the facilities district and remain eligible to get more work through the temporary employment service when they ask.

"They can still find employment through us," Burke said, adding they had done some work since the bomb was found.

Kevin Twohig, head of the public facilities district, told The Spokesman-Review that the three men "we're messing around with the bomb."

"I think they put themselves at more risk than they needed," Twohig said.

Burke said the men should not have picked up the backpack.

"I would not wish for them to pick up a backpack that has a bomb in it," she said. "I'm sure they didn't know what it was."

The identities of the men were withheld until a suspect, Kevin William Harpham, 36, was arrested Wednesday near Addy.

Steiner told KHQ the three men were not trained to deal with suspicious packages.

"We'd go out, and we'd clean up parking lots," he said. "Who knows what happens when you see a backpack sitting there? The first reaction is to pick it up and that's what we did, and we opened it, saw wires sticking out of it and called police."

[Associated Press]

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Republicans Want to Put Retarded Kids in Guillotines

OK, so that headline isn't "technically" true (actually, it probably is, but the Captain can't prove it). What they're really trying to do is put programs for children with special needs on the chopping block.

These tough times call for shared sacrifice. This goes double for people too lazy to be rich, too weak to walk on their own two feet, and too "mentally disabled" to be useful members of society.

And you really have to admire the GOP's political courage to propose funding cuts aimed at the mentally disabled, their most natural constituency.

The House GOP's budget, which passed last month, takes a hatchet to programs for disabled kids and Special Olympics athletes. The proposed cuts could force the closure of at least one Special Olympics program, which is funded through the Department of Education. Dubbed Project UNIFY, the program serves more than 750,000 students in 43 states and draws from techniques used in Special Olympics training for activities in public schools.

The program includes sports teams that pair disabled athletes with nondisabled athletes; developmental activities for young children with disabilities; and anti-discrimination programs to combat bullying in schools. Special Olympics president and CEO Tim Shriver has said the program is at the forefront of a national movement to fight bias against the disabled and, in a recent interview on MSNBC, he denounced the GOP cuts: "It wasn't a haircut—it was a guillotine job for the programs for health and education for children with special needs."

[Mother Jones]

Hitler's GF Dresses Up as Ted Danson

Here's a recently discovered photo of Eva Braun in blackface.

More newly unearthed pics of the lovely Ms. Braun available at the link below.

[Daily Mail]

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Because the Archdiocesan Review Board Said So, That's Why!

I don't even understand what this is about. An archdiocesan review board said this was nonsense. You know how long those boards have been around? A looooong time brother. Long time. Better men than you have been caught by these boards. There's a diocese and an ARCHdiocese. You know what I mean?

You can't knock the Church. They recently let the Jews off the hook. I wrote about it here. They are compassionate people. How many priests ARE there in Philadelphia? What percentage of the priesthood does this represent there? It's hard for me to interpet this number without more information.

This kind of sounds like Wall Street. The priests are suspended without facing criminal charges. Guy steals $50 from a bakery and they put him UNDER the jail.
The Philadelphia District Attorney calls the suspension of 21 priests ‘unprecedented.’

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Tuesday the suspension from ministry of 21 priests cited by a Philadelphia Grand Jury report last month as ducking what the panel believed were credible accusations of abuse.

A statement issued by the Archdiocese says Cardinal Justin Rigali has suspended the priests from active ministry pending a further review of allegations of child sex abuse raised against the priests but dismissed by an archdiocesan review board which ruled those complaints not credible.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams calls the move a good first step.

“Where those investigations go, and how they result will be more definitive of what the actions of the Archdiocese will be,” Williams said.

The announcement came on the eve of Ash Wednesday, the start of the Roman Catholic Church’s 40-day observance of Lent, a time of penance, prayer and sacrifice.

One Catholic journalist who is following the latest developments quotes one veteran priest as saying, “We are in the midst of an earthquake” as news of the removal of the priests began to circulate in the archdiocese Tuesday.

Also, due to the statute of limitations, none of the priests will face criminal charges.
[CBS Philadelphia]

Trophy Girls

Yesterday was International Women's Day, and Captain regrets letting that important day pass without honoring the fairer sex with an appropriate tribute.

[The Hairpin]

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Network Hypocrisy Exposed As Sheen Continues Endless Celebration

It is time to bring some facts to the table here. The reality is, the people making this TV show knew what they were getting into, and they have made A LOT of money as Charlie partied. So now they are getting moral and firing him because of his behavior?

Charlie Sheen is not a teacher, an airline pilot, a subway motorman, or a cop. He is not a school bus driver, or in any way responsible for the safety of others. He is an ACTOR. As an actor, what the hell difference does it make how he behaves? If he was on this stupid show right now they would have to sell extra TVs to accomodate the audience of idiots that would stand in line six deep to watch this crap. And look at the sacrifice this guy made, going to the plastic surgeon to cut up his face to make it better. Would YOU do that?

The other thing that is great here, Charlie Sheen is right, they can't "process" him. The Average Joe will not be able to say this to his boss, but every Average Joe should revel in this and say, "those bastards couldn't PROCESS ME MAN!" And then drink and feel better.

Who paid Charlie Sheen the money to hire these gorgeous hookers and buy that blow? The same people that are firing him. Today, the downer is, the network dorks won. I am rooting for Sheen in the courts, if not personally right this minute, because my kids are watching me type.
Charlie Sheen has blasted his former bosses at "Two and a Half Men" after they fired him on Monday afternoon.

In his first interview since learning the news, Sheen told Access Hollywood's Billy Bush that his former bosses at Warner Bros. Television, which produces the show, did not contact him to break the news - he found out via technology.

"I got a text or something. Here's another thing -- these guys are such yellow cockroaches that they didn't even have the decency to call me. I put 5 bill[ion] in their cheap suit pockets and another half a bil' in what's-his-cheese's pockets and this is the... respect I get?" Sheen told Bush. "It's just deplorable and they should be ashamed of themselves!"

Sheen blamed his firing - not on his recent media onslaught - but on his former bosses not understanding the actor.

"Whatever. I guess if you can't process a guy, or realize his value, you must terminate him," Sheen told Bush. "That's real high-brow thinking, really evolved thinking. I don't know. It is what it is. I'm more worried about my children [Bob and Max] right now than any of this nonsense, you know."

Sheen confirmed to Bush that he plans to move forward with potential legal action against his bosses for breach of contract.

[NBC Universal]

Monday, March 7, 2011

American Morons Face Stiff Challenge From UK

This is one of my favorite story categories. People who have everything and just blow it. They can't get through the day, rich without a job or a care in the world, and they can't handle even that. It's incredible.

Here's a great one. This Prince Andrew, he has to be raking in the dough for doing absolutely nothing. And here he's VOLUNTEERING for something and he can't even do that without having this dimwit ex-wife dragging him into her nonsense. In the old days the great kings of the past, murderer's row, they knew how to handle this kind of thing. Off to The Tower!

To me borrowing the money from a sex offender, that's not as bad as just being unable to get through life with everything on your side without making an ass of yourself in public and going broke. God forbid she would have gotten a real job.

The kicker is that "with Andrew's help" she settled all of her debts, about $8 million. How the hell do you owe $8 million? What was she doing for all this dough? "With Andrew's help" means the good people, British subjects all, paid for her Ladyship to blunder through life, through the good graces of HRH Prince Andrew.

If I could get this royalty deal I would TAKE IT, even though right now I will say I think it's bad. We'll see.
Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah were in the spotlight Monday for their ties to a wealthy U.S. sex offender — he for being pictured with an underage masseuse at the man's home and she for accepting money from the American to help pay off her massive debts.

Andrew's ex-wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, confirmed in an interview Monday in the Evening Standard newspaper that she did receive financial help from convicted U.S. sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. But she claimed to have known nothing about his background and vowed to repay the 15,000 pounds ($24,500) he advanced to settle a debt to her former personal assistant, Johnny O'Sullivan.

"I am just so contrite I cannot say," the duchess was quoted as saying. "Whenever I can I will repay the money and will have nothing ever to do with Jeffrey Epstein ever again."

The payment was handled through Andrew's office, the duchess said, and she wasn't directly involved. There was no immediate comment from Andrew's office.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron gave his backing to Andrew, who has also been under fire for hosting the son of Tunisia's dictator shortly before a popular uprising overthrew the leader and his relationship with Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, one of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's sons.

Some politicians had urged that the prince be sacked from his position as the U.K. trade envoy, although Business Secretary Vince Cable noted that the government had no power to fire him — he's a volunteer, not an employee.

Much of the controversy in Andrew's life has involved his marriage to Sarah in 1986 and their divorce 10 years later. They have two daughters. A key moment in the break up was the publication of photographs of a topless Sarah being kissed by a boyfriend.

Since then, the duchess has made and lost large sums of money, and she got into more trouble last year after an undercover newspaper reporter filmed her apparently offering to sell access to her ex-husband in return for 500,000 pounds ($724,000).

In Monday's interview, she said with Andrew's help she had settled all of her debts, which had been estimated at around 5 million pounds ($8.1 million).

[Associated Press]

Robots No Longer Satisfied with Blue Collar Jobs

First the machines came for our manufacturing jobs, which they took over with great ease while throwing countless millions of once proud, hard-working, middle-class Americans into poverty and despair in their wake.

Now the machines are setting their sights on white-collar, professional careers and they're proving themselves to be vastly superior at doing them than their feeble human predecessors.

Computers are getting better at mimicking human reasoning — as viewers of “Jeopardy!” found out when they saw Watson beat its human opponents — and they are claiming work once done by people in high-paying professions. The number of computer chip designers, for example, has largely stagnated because powerful software programs replace the work once done by legions of logic designers and draftsmen.

Software is also making its way into tasks that were the exclusive province of human decision makers, like loan and mortgage officers and tax accountants.

These new forms of automation have renewed the debate over the economic consequences of technological progress.

David H. Autor, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says the United States economy is being “hollowed out.” New jobs, he says, are coming at the bottom of the economic pyramid, jobs in the middle are being lost to automation and outsourcing, and now job growth at the top is slowing because of automation.

“There is no reason to think that technology creates unemployment,” Professor Autor said. “Over the long run we find things for people to do. The harder question is, does changing technology always lead to better jobs? The answer is no.