04/09/09 Public Square

a_conversation_by_jeanfrancois

Have something on your mind, no one to say it to? You’ve found the place where you can be yourself. Tell us what you’re thinking.

fnord

55 Comments

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55 responses to “04/09/09 Public Square

  1. I don’t even have hair on my mind.

  2. fnord

    Your mind is spinning so quickly it spun the hair right off! I haven’t noticed that you’re thin skinned, so I’m not concerned about your mind actually being on the loose. That would be scary! 😉 What if the thoughts got tangled with one another in the process of escaping??

  3. OK, on coffe fix now. Cup #3.
    Mind spinning.
    Actually, I believe that I puked my hair off years ago when I was still a drunk.
    I know I damn near puked up my toes a time or two, HA!

    I hope nody freaks out about the Taliban post.
    FBI & CIA…meet the prairiepops!

    BTW, is anybody else sick of hearing about Bristol Palin, Levi Johnston and what’s her name?
    You know ……….
    Bristol’s mamma.

    First the Runaway Bride and little Illian Gonzales, NOW THIS!
    Next news cycle please!

  4. fnord

    Missouri has done it again! Elected a dead man for the second time (not the same dead man twice; another dead man!).

    Does it make Kansas appear less wingnutty when we are neighbors with states like Missouri? Or does it just clump us in the region of all that is laughable?

    In case you want to read about this latest election of a dead man:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7991480.stm

  5. fnord

    6176,

    This is for you —

    http://ubuntusatanic.org/

    I’m lost as to what to think! But then it does have to do with computereze (I think) and techie stuff (I think), just in a different kind of ‘format.’ Isn’t ‘format’ a techie word? Maybe there’s hope for me?

    • Ah, the Satanic edition. When one gets past the themes, it is just another Linux distro based on Ubuntu. IIRC, this was in reaction to the “Christian” edition when it was released. The “Muslim” edition was another reaction to the same.

      In the case of all three of these, the difference they bring to the Ubuntu standard release is thematic (wallpapers, etc.) and some of the applications bundled with the operating system.
      The Christian edition has Bible reading/searching software, activated parental controls, etc. While I’ve not looked at the Muslim edition, I would expect that it has Koran reading/searching software, parental controls, etc. as well. The Satanic edition has, in its current release, incorporated a newer version of the theme engine, which allows for better on-screen graphics rendering.

      I’ve been following the debates about these various releases on the Ubuntu Forums for a while, with both amusement and bemusement. I’ll just close with the observation that the Satanic edition was created by a bunch of folks with the appropriate technical skills who felt the Christian edition (and perhaps the Muslim edition) was an attempt by some to shove their beliefs down the throats of those who didn’t agree with them (a feeling with which I do not agree).

      BTW, the underlying o/s is excellent in all of these. The one with the most “fun” is the Satanic edition, IMHO; but that’s just me.

  6. fnord,

    This could happen in any number of states, if the timing of the death is “right”. In the two Missouri elections, both times the candidate’s death occurred after the ballots were prepared and absentee voting had begun. Given that there was not enough time to obtain a new candidate (if there would have been one in the mayoral election; in the Carnahan matter, it was well known his widow would be appointed to serve if he won), reprint the ballots and then send replacement ballots to those who had already cast their votes absentee (which raises the issue of voting twice in the same election), I don’t know how else to handle the situation.

    Plus, it seems to me, the election of a recently deceased person to office just shows that the voters were willing to take their chances with a replacement as opposed to voting for the other person. A bit of a sad commentary.

  7. fnord

    Sad commentary indeed! But accurate to many elections. For the first time in I can’t remember how long, I didn’t vote two days ago. The polls were open and I didn’t go. I had the opportunity to vote in a school board contest PERIOD. I didn’t want the incumbent reelected, however the opposition seemed like a potential nut case. Although I love and adore nut cases, consider myself to be among their membership, I’m not in favor of more of them holding public office.

  8. jammer5

    Aww, it is a fact of life (death?) dead men tell no tales. Besides, it’s Missouri.

  9. jammer5

    A bit of recent history on the stock market, and what the government is/has done. Definitely worth reading :

    On March 23, stocks were headed for a fabulous 7 percent gain. The Obama administration had just come out with a program in which private investors could buy toxic bank assets by putting up almost nothing; the U.S. government would ante up more than 90 percent of the dough. It was a case of no risk and huge rewards; Wall Street was exultant. The president’s economic guru Larry Summers deadpanned that the market was reacting favorably to the program — but, gee, the government really didn’t worry about the stock market, he intoned, as his nose grew to three feet long.

    The federal government has been manipulating the stock market since the beginning of Alan Greenspan’s term at the Federal Reserve in 1987. Indeed, the March 23 bribe offer to Wall Street was a cynical attempt to run up the market to bolster consumer and business confidence and gain support for the administration’s plan. In almost every major economic step it takes, the government has one eye on the market. In March of last year, Wall Street’s Bear Stearns was rescued. The Bush administration rushed to get the job done before Asian stock markets opened.

    http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2009/apr/08/city-light-1/

  10. I did manage to vote Tuesday, although like you, all there was to vote on were the school board races. (Note to nonresidents of USD 259; we have representative district candidates who are then elected by an at-large vote. In other words, there are seven members on the local BOE, one for each “district”; however, all voters in 259 are able to vote for each of them, whether residing within the “district” the member represents or not.)

    There was no one running against the three incumbents facing opposition that I would characterize as anything but a nut case; better the devil you know and all that.

  11. jammer, just like certain actions taken by the preceding Administration, the March 23 action was undertaken with an eye squarely upon its effect upon the stock market, which is (wrongly) believed by many in the general public to be accurately reflective of the overall state of the economy.

  12. fnord

    Thanks 6176 for that lesson! I need all of those I can get. Seems I should have paid closer attention and then would have realized I could have voted in more than one race. However, voting for someone I don’t want to win has never made any sense to me! If I didn’t want to vote for one, rest assured I wouldn’t have wanted to vote for three.

    I still contend the nut cases are better on the outside stirring up trouble than on the inside where they might achieve results in their stirring!

    The turnout reported is beyond sad. I saw in this morning’s newspaper the suggestion the local city council, school board members elections be moved from April to November in an effort to increase those participating in electing those offices. I think that’s a good idea. If people like me, who take the responsibility and privilege of voting seriously, don’t go to the polls…

  13. I also voted. The high note of our local vote is that we dumped one old fart from the city commision and got a younger more proggresive guy in his place.

  14. fnord

    Woo hoo! Congrats to your City and her citizens! Anytime we can get a more progressive in office anyplace in Kansas is worthy of a moment of celebration.

  15. A market rally is underway, in large part fueled by the report from Wells Fargo of a larger than expected profit for the first quarter, 2009. This profit was $3 billion. Some of that was due to the acquisition of Wachovia; some more was due to the high level of mortgage refinancing of existing mortgages. Let us not forget that Wells Fargo received $25 billion in “bailout” funds, and the effect of the recently released FASB on valuation of assets.

    This is, to paraphrase a comment made by a Wells Fargo executive, not a sign that the economy is turning around. Indeed, all other evidence that has been presented points to a continuing contraction within the economy in this quarter.

    Just another piece of evidence that stock market movement does not reflect the state of the current economy.

    • jammer5

      6, Agreed, but with public perception the stock market points to economic well being, government can continue on the same path. And that’s not going to spell relief anytime soon, if ever.

  16. wicked

    Speaking of profits, I heard the Today Show had a segment on the rise in sales of romance books during this bad economy. (I know you guys don’t care. 🙂 But I do!) The NYT also had an article I need to go read.

    At least something is selling. Keep fingers crossed it continues. My two books won’t be out until August and next January, and I’m sending a revised proposal for two more today…if I get busy and get it ready.

    Have fun! I’m “off to work”. (There’s that period. 🙂 )

  17. wicked

    Here’s a link to the Today Show video.

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/3041344

    Look under the “Book News” Heading to the right.

  18. Bad Biker

    This is Rufus, posting for Will. He’s cleaning up the mess he made with last night’s dinner, so he’s not around to catch me typing. I can’t let on that I know how to read and write or he’ll want me to get a job or something like that.

    Now last week, Will referred to me as “Rufus the Dufus.” Well, I’m not a dofus, but I play one so that I can manipulate Will. For example, I pretend to scratch my rear so Will will give me medicine each night. Since I am smart enough to spit out the pills, he mixes them in with Alpo and Dog Chow. That’s how I get the good stuff instead of plain old dry dog food. He hasn’t caught on yet.

    Well, I took Will for a nice walk yesterday and we had fun, but he says he’s too busy today for a walk. Catshit! If he got up a little earlier, we’d have time for a good long walk. Lazy human.

    Would one of you folks tell will that he is way over due for a haircut? He is starting to look like a refuge from the Grateful Dead traveling entourage again. Send that boy off to the groomers before the fashion police get him.

    Anyway, Will was cruising that “other” blog this morning and laughing at the cons. Apparently, someone with of the initials of NP was at his best, insulting liberals, gays and bragging about his gun. Just think, Will could have gone for a walk instead of messing with that crap.

    (Shhhhhhhhhhhhh!) Will just walked in and I have to pretend for a while.

    Okay, he’s gone – he was just putting up the laundry – not checking on me.

    Well, I just wanted to clear up that stuff about being a dufus and all. Now you know, but don’t let on to Will that you’re in on the scam. It might cost me my Alpo.

    Gotta go chase the cats – they are in on the scam too, but we have to go through the motions of fightin’ like cats and dogs to keep Will in the dark.

    I’ll stop by some other time to let you in on the life and times of WSC.

    Be good, or don’t get caught.

    (BTW: That was my line, Will stole it from me.)

  19. Rufus, good to hear from you. We’ll keep your secret.

    So NP is up to his old tricks, huh? No surprise; wonder what set him off (but don’t wonder enough to go “visit”).

  20. g-stir

    I just found out “over there” that not only is Obama responsible for the gun/ammo price increases, but there is a suspicion he is also coming after your lawn mowers, shower curtins and electric can openers! I’m runnin’ to Wally World to stock up and avoid the shortages.

    Phew… That was close!!

  21. fnord

    Rufus,

    Good to read you! I have a story about the dog who lives at my house. It’s a long story and I’m a hooman with a terrible habit of making a short story long. Bear with me.

    First, I am the hooman Ginger (dog), Tigger (T I double grrr E R) and Pita (cats) fool — often! I fear I’m more gullible than most hoomans.

    Last week during gale force winds two sections of wood fence blew down at our house. The other hooman here stretched some plastic netting stuff across the expanse and Ginger has stayed in the back yard as if that was a real fence.

    Until this morning.

    Several doors down lives a gorgeous dog named JJ. He is a big happy dog, one ear flops while the other stands erect. Ginger and I talk to JJ through his fence when we’re out walking. We’ve always liked him and wish he could go with us on walks. His hoomans are never to be seen — not out in the yard playing, not walking him… He seems lonely.

    So mid morning my doorbell rang and it was a neighbor bringing Ginger home! Seems JJ had escaped, was running loose and Ginger couldn’t resist the temptation to join him. Pretending that was really a fence stopped when JJ was right there on the other side. In addition to returning Ginger the neighbor told all kinds of bad tales about JJ. This neighbor and JJ’s yard back up to one another and I guess JJ is a digger and goes under his fence so he can dig in new territory. This neighbor doesn’t like JJ at all. Further, animal control had been called several times but JJ always managed to be back in his own yard by the time they arrived. Neighbor was hoping this was the time JJ would be caught!

    An hour went by — no animal control, JJ scampering and frolicking free, stopping by the pretend fence to see if he could entice Ginger to come play again. The only reason she didn’t was because I too was outside and she knew better.

    I decided the only way to make sure Ginger would stay home and not be the one caught when animal control showed up was either take away the temptation by getting JJ back home or making Ginger stay in her house. I decided to get JJ home. He came to me, rolled over immediately for a belly rub, and I got the leash on his collar. He happily went until he saw his house was close then pulled, pulled quickly enough and hard enough that I was standing there with the limp leash with his collar attached to the other end while he went running away.

    Because I had heard some of the neighbors were hoping JJ would be caught I wasn’t wanting attention to my deed. I just wanted JJ safe, Ginger safe… So now I’ve made things worse! JJ is without his collar!

    I walked slowly in his direction, and sat down on the curb at a safe distance away from his house. He came and once again rolled over for a belly rub. I got him back on the leash, and tightened his collar!

    He and I returned to my house where I got a length of that flexible, won’t tie in a knot, metal over plastic stuff with hookers at each end. (I’m just positive from that most accurate description you can tell exactly what I’m talking about!) I returned him home, affixed him to his home’s porch railing — he can go about 25 feet and up onto the covered porch.

    I don’t know how many neighbors saw, how many are now upset with me because of what I did.

    Right now I’m wondering how I can sneak JJ some water.

  22. fnord

    g-stir,

    How in the world will you know for sure what you need to stock up on? Is it like everything in the entire world that anyone could ever want or need that President Obama is coming for? Are there some items he’ll just make the costs go sky high? Worry and bother! How will we know?

  23. g-stir

    fnord— I don’t have a clue, I just make this crap up because I’m frequently bored.

    Nutmedia- it’s an ugly picture.

  24. wicked

    I’m in a tizzy trying to find the right version of printed material I need, so a very short break is welcome.

    g-stir, I think those on the other side are a tad bit SCREWED UP. ahem Sorry for the shout. I think they’re confused. Obama isn’t the cause of the rising price of ammo and weapons, their paranoia is. Don’t we go through this same insanity each time a Democrat is in the White House?

    I hope their ammo rusts and their weapons fall apart. I know that isn’t nice, but I’ve had it with their cries of violence. Frankly, I think they like violence, since they manage to cause the majority of it.

    I’ve also had enough of their homophobia and was sorely disappointed in the comment of someone I had respected. I won’t say who, but something is pulling him slowly to the dark side. I have some suspicions but can’t share. Nope, won’t do it.

    Now, to work!

  25. When one reads http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090409/ts_alt_afp/financeeconomyusbankgrowth;_ylt=ApY3X4TnaqhBBdFrhOgoV_KyBhIF it is difficult to be upbeat.

    Looks like my optimistic projection on the economy made last November (IIRC) on the blogthatshallnotbenamed was, in fact, too optimistic.

  26. Economic war games? While I believe it’s about time, this report is sobering:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20090409/pl_politico/21053;_ylt=AjnsDCnWDtOFH2HNFJ2FZjKyFz4D

    There is a real, imo, connection between economic upheaval and traditional “warfare”. It’s good to see that there are these kinds of simulations being conducted, as by doing so, there is identification of questions which will need to be answered.

  27. jammer5

    This from one of the “other” bloggers:

    “And the really annoying thing is that I have 4 10 round magazines for one of my pistols when they could really hold 13.

    The stupidity of liberals…”

    What could one possibly say that could come close to explaining something as nonsensical as that? 40 rounds, as compared to 52, isn’t enough to do whatever deed he thinks needs done? Is there live anywhere anymore? The age of reason sure seems a long way off when one reads things like that from a supposed intelligent human.

  28. g-stir

    Jammer- I thought the same thing when I read that post. The individual in question isn’t mature enough to be trusted with a water pistol (IMHO). I used to think guys got carried way with cars, and I have too, but start on guns and some are definitely out there!

    • jammer5

      Ya, just what do these people think is coming? Some kind of invasion by religious zealots? Me thinks they need to take a hard look in the mirror.

  29. For a little humor, please take a look at:

    http://tinyurl.com/chsew2

    and a few of the comments thereto. (I especially like the one about doing partial equations.)

  30. fnord

    When you’ve removed a lightbulb that burned out and the metal end stays in the fixture, what do you do? It’s up in the screwy in place.

  31. fnord, you find the breaker to that circuit and turn it off. Then, you use a pair of needlenose pliers to grasp the metal that is (hopefully) protruding a bit below the base of the fixture, and, using the pliers, turn the base left (clockwise) to loosen it and remove it. Or, if you’re a darned fool like me, don’t turn off the breaker, and then proceed as set out above.

    It is helpful when doing this to have someone else present to hold a flashlight (if needed for illumination).

  32. Clarification: when I mention turning the base, I mean the metal base of the bulb.

    If you can’t get it out that way, there are some other possible remedies, such as (in an extreme case) removing the fixture, but I’ve not had to do that in a very long time.

  33. wicked

    fnord, there are two safe ways that I know of, both involving shutting off the electricity to the fixture. The first is to use a raw potato. Stick it into the broken base and screw it out.

    I never seem to have a potato of any kind when I need one, so I’ve gone to turning off the electricity to the fixture and carefully using a pair of pliers (sometimes needle-nose) to grasp the edges of the metal around the lightbulb base and turning slowly. You’ll have to move around that base, grasping and turning in small steps, but it does come out.

    Either way, watch for any broken pieces sticking out! And DO NOT FORGET TO TURN OFF THE POWER.

  34. fnord

    So if I wait for the flashlight holder, he can probably do the deed. 😉

  35. Another handy hint from the peanut gallery;
    If you have a piece of scrap wood the right size, or even one end of a cucumber, stick that dude up in there and turn. Left-loosey.

    Before you put the next bulb in, be sure to put just a dab of grease or vaseline on the threads of the bulb.

  36. A wordpress quirk?
    I changed my gravatar and when I go elsewhere to comment, I see the new gravatar. Here at home it still shows the old one? What duh…….?

  37. fnord

    sekan, I saw your avatar (the one from Mediocrity!) here on this blog when I read from “Comments,” then on the front page it was the one playing the banjo. Should we cue the music from The Twilight Zone?

  38. wicked: I’d forgotten about the raw potato, as there is never one around when this procedure is required.

    sekan: basically the same comment, substitute a cucumber for potato. And, will KY jelly work? 🙂

    fnord: I think you may be correct.

  39. Change of subject: looking at the radar right now, I’m glad I don’t live in Andover or Augusta; there are some nasty looking returns headed right up the SG – BU county line, extending East a bit. In downtown, the temperature has dropped, the wind has picked up in speed, and the skies have assumed a most unfriendly appearance.

  40. fnord

    It turned from day to night (almost) here. Thunder too! But it does appear the storm may already be east of me.

    It got hot today — at least when you’re running after dogs it felt hot, and that is a recipe for strong storms.

    I checked the radar and the brightest red colors are to the east, but there is some yellow coming from the south.

  41. Thunder downtown, too; has gotten quiet (wind wise); I have a feeling things might get interesting here shortly (radar shows storms moving to the NW).

  42. wicked

    Thunderstorms: A sure sign of spring in Kansas. Here’s hoping none of us have to dive for cover.

    Once again… (everybody sing along)

    Aaaaahaaaaaah, Kansas!

  43. David B

    So I am not the only one relapsing and having panic attacks… “I picked a really lousy day to give up cigarettes…”

    ““The economy and fear of what’s going to happen is having a huge effect,” said Sarah Bullard Steck, a Washington therapist who also directs the employee assistance program at the Commerce Department. “People are coming in more” with “severe anxiety” or “more marital strife, some domestic violence, some substance abuse.”

    Alan A. Axelson, a Pittsburgh psychiatrist, said he was seeing first-time patients and infrequent ones experiencing “relapse and needing more therapy and medication” even though, he said, “Pittsburgh’s actually doing pretty good economically.”’

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/09/health/09stress.html?_r=1&hpw

  44. fnord

    DavidB,

    Giving up cigarettes is probably the hardest thing I ever did. I was a mess. bush was in the White House which made me waaaayy more worried than the current situation. I’ve actually relaxed a bunch since the inaguration and bush getting back to Texas. I think I held my breath for the last five years of his presidency and wondered what he could mess up next. 😉

    If it’s time you will quit, it won’t be easy but you can do it. Don’t beat yourself up if this isn’t the time, you’re trying and that’s something you should feel proud about!

  45. wicked

    DavidB,

    Are you using any stop-smoking aids? I ask because my oldest is in the process of stopping, and I was on the road to do that, but must find the right time and way. That’s a big MUST for me for several reasons.

    I did group hypnosis about 20 years ago, and it worked, until then-hubby started up again and I gained almost 40 lbs. My daughter is using the patch, but she admits to cheating a very few times a day. I have a box of patches, but I also have a hypnosis DVD that didn’t work well for me a couple of years ago. I’m taking St. John’s Wort for the depression that hit when I tried before. I don’t get homicidal, I just cry constantly…when I’m not falling asleep. Can’t fall asleep when you’re driving multiple people to and from work and school. I’ve stocked up on Tootsie Roll Pops to keep my mouth and my hands busy, but I’m waiting to get my new treadmill set up. Not smoking slows my metabolism, causing the weight gain and the sleepiness, so the treadmill is for taking care of both of those.

    Maybe we need a stop smoking blog? 🙂

  46. An interesting post at the blog, “Underneath Their Robes,” says, “Souter has not yet hired his law clerks for October Term 2009. Even though Justice Souter typically hires last among the current justices, he’s generally done by April. We are now well into April, and there has been no word of Justice Souter hiring clerks.”

    http://underneaththeirrobes.blogs.com/main/2009/04/dddd.html

  47. Is everyone being careful? I run a Mac and feel relatively safe.

    ————-
    “Massive Computer Virus Awakens

    The dreaded conficker worm—the PC virus believed to have “burrowed” into millions of worldwide computers—has been activated and is communicating with encrypted data through affected machines’ peer-to-peer filesharing software, the Associated Press reports. Though expected to awaken on April 1, the worm slept an extra week and activated only this week and is now working to connect to various large web domains including MySpace, eBay, AOL, MSN, and CNN.com…”

    continued at —
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheat-sheet/#cheatrow_4659

  48. David B

    I am wearing a nicotine patch. The next step is to apply it over my MOUTH! That may work….

    Thanks for your support…

  49. jammer5

    David B,
    I quit one day by tearing up the pack I had and substituting tooth picks. Quitting requires the deep ingrained knowing you want to quit. If that isn’t there, the patch is useless. You have to substitute something for the gigs. I went through a forest over ten years ago and haven’t wanted to smoke since.

  50. wicked

    Toothpicks? Hmmmm…. Straws might work for me. Cut in half. I did the nicotine inhalers, long ago. Didn’t work.

    I’d try substituting smoking for sex, but then I’d need a cigarette afterwards. 🙂

    Seriously, I gave up sex for Lent some years ago and discovered I didn’t need it after all.

    Okay, David, give me a day or two, and I’ll be right there with you. We’ll be busy this weekend switching three rooms, so there won’t be time to smoke, if we can even find an ashtray in the mess I foresee.

    Smoking outside only can help. Maybe. Then again, I did get a laptop…

    I substituted with sunflower seeds.

    Here’s one: Inhale deeply through nose and blow out through mouth slowly.

    Take up Yoga. It’s calming.

  51. Wicked, do you have a website from here in good ol’ Kanass that you would like blogrolled?

  52. wicked

    sekan, thanks for the invite, but nothing I have or visit (that you don’t) is appropriate for the venue here. Not that the subject matter is inappropriate in itself, just that it has absolutely nothing to do with politics and the like. I have to steer clear of that in my “other life”. 😉