a humanitarian mission to liberate the occupied territory known as Kansas will have to be undertaken by peacekeeping forces and by non-governmental organizations that will deliver human rights relief to a badly oppressed people.
Yes, Kansas is full of God-botherers who have no money, no jobs, no health care, dwindling access to education, fracked-out water supplies, no real quality of life to speak of, but they have Jeebus and Sam Brownback and his tax cuts for the wealthy and his failed state government and his promise to make God-bothering look like a trip to a dry well on a prairie filled with nothing.
What does it say about a country where this kind of thing can happen in the year of our bothered God 2015? People need jobs and basic necessities. We see state legislatures tie themselves up in knots trying to legislate against abortions that simply don't happen anymore and they call that good government.
If you live in Kansas, my heart goes out to you. My head wonders what the hell is the wrong with Kansas, but I am not without sympathy.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Monday, January 12, 2015
This is what landed in my in-box this morning, courtesy of the Washington Times.
"The Day America Will Die."
"The fallout of this historic event will be horrific for the unprepared."
Now, the Moonie Times is a reliably conservative rag. You can't get the news out of them for any amount of trying, but you can get fear mongering and nonsense. You can get endless ads and garbage. How do they survive? What happens when the Moonie money runs out?
The real villains are the clowns at Weiss Research. They paid the Moonie Times for the right to deliver this to people and to spread their irresponsible and hysterical fear-mongering.
This is pretty much all you need to know about Weiss Research, courtesy of the Securities and Exchange Commission. For sophisticated investors, it is easy to dismiss their outlandish claims. For not so savvy people, and you have to wonder how many of them have also been duped by the Moonie Times, how does this not equal predatory advertising and illegally trying to influence events through scare mongering?
Shouldn't we identify such firms? Why are they allowed to practice their trade in this country? And why doesn't the blowback hit the people at the Moonie Times who take money from such firms in exchange for SPAM e-mailing people? It's amazing what people think they can get away with.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
WASHINGTON — An 18-month congressional investigation into the Internal Revenue Service’s mistreatment of conservative political groups seeking tax exemptions failed to show coordination between agency officials and political operatives in the White House, according to a report released on Tuesday.
The I.R.S. has admitted that before the 2012 election it inappropriately delayed approval of tax exemption applications by groups affiliated with the Tea Party movement, but the I.R.S. and its parent agency, the Treasury Department, have said that theerrors were not motivated by partisanship.
Republican lawmakers, dismissing the Obama administration’s denials, have suggested that the delays were not only politically motivated but also orchestrated by the White House.
It's a few days before Christmas so, you know. Time to dump the bad news and run for the hills.
Seriously, though. Despite the fact that Benghazi, Solyndra, Obama's birth certificate, and what happened at the IRS didn't pan out, I'm sure there's an abuse of power scandal out there that the Republicans can use to impeach him next year. Because, as we all know, both sides do it and everything is Obama's fault because of his socialist, Kenyan ursurping ways.
Monday, December 15, 2014
The Smoking Gun has been looking into the aftermath of the decision not to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson, who shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Someone over there figured out who Grand Jury Witness Number 40 was. Her name is Sandra McElroy and she happens to be well, you're not going to believe what this crazy bag of nuts did:
Sandra McElroy did not provide police with a contemporaneous account of the Brown-Wilson confrontation, which she claimed to have watched unfold in front of her as she stood on a nearby sidewalk smoking a cigarette.
Instead, McElroy (seen at left) waited four weeks after the shooting to contact cops. By the time she gave St. Louis police a statement on September 11, a general outline of Wilson’s version of the shooting had already appeared in the press. McElroy’s account of the confrontation dovetailed with Wilson’s reported recollection of the incident.
In the weeks after Brown’s shooting--but before she contacted police--McElroy used her Facebook account to comment on the case. On August 15, she “liked’ a Facebook comment reporting that Johnson had admitted that he and Brown stole cigars before the confrontation with Wilson. On August 17, a Facebook commenter wrote that Johnson and others should be arrested for inciting riots and giving false statements to police in connection with their claims that Brown had his hands up when shot by Wilson. “The report and autopsy are in so YES they were false,” McElroy wrote of the “hands-up” claims. This appears to be an odd comment from someone who claims to have been present during the shooting. In response to the posting of a news report about a rally in support of Wilson, McElroy wrote on August 17, “Prayers, support God Bless Officer Wilson.”
After meeting with St. Louis police, McElroy continued monitoring the case and posting online. Commenting on a September 12 Riverfront Times story reporting that Ferguson city officials had yet to meet with Brown’s family, McElroy wrote, “But haven’t you heard the news, There great great great grandpa may or may not have been owned by one of our great great great grandpas 200 yrs ago. (Sarcasm).” On September 13, McElroy went on a pro-Wilson Facebook page and posted a graphic that included a photo of Brown lying dead in the street. A type overlay read, “Michael Brown already received justice. So please, stop asking for it.” The following week McElroy responded to a Facebook post about the criminal record of Wilson’s late mother. “As a teenager Mike Brown strong armed a store used drugs hit a police officer and received Justis,” she stated.
Here's the thing, though. Sandra McElroy wasn't there. She didn't witness anything.
“Witness 40”--a 45-year-old St. Louis resident named Sandra McElroy--was nowhere near Canfield Drive on the Saturday afternoon Brown was shot to death.
She just made it up.
It turns out that McElroy is the crazy person who shocked everyone with her testimony. She's also the person who started a bogus fundraiser and has what could generously be called absolutely zero credibility. Read the whole thing--it will cause you to question absolutely everything and then nothing about our system of justice because, quite frankly, if the people who wanted Darren Wilson to get away with murder hadn't been blessed with Sandra McElroy, they simply would have gone out and manufactured their own version of her, no question about it.
McElroy is why the Justice Department needs to send fifty lawyers and some seriously skilled detectives to Ferguson, Missouri, pronto.
Friday, November 7, 2014
Epps Jr. has been accused of inappropriately touching two middle school females in Montgomery County. It's all on videotape, apparently, and his actions caused Montgomery County Public Schools a tremendous amount of embarrassment (which is what we call legal liability) when it was revealed that he had worked at nearly 60 different schools in the district.
In the old days, you would call him a pervert or worse. Now, you just call him a contractor:
So, how did Epps Jr. manage to gain access to nearly 60 schools in a day and age when student safety and wellbeing are two of the highest priorities? MCPS administrators were quick to point the finger at the 44-year-old's employer, Rockville-based Netcom Technologies, Inc.
In May, Netcom, Inc. hired Epps Jr. from a temporary staffing agency. Yet, instead of running its own independent background check, Netcom, Inc. accepted the paperwork the temp agency had on file. MCPS says those documents were grossly inaccurate.
"Going forward, Netcom has said [it] will do full checks on any temporary employee hired to work in a school. We are also reminding all of our contractors who work in our schools what their obligations are under the law and requiring they re-run checks on their employees working in schools," MCPS spokesman Dana Tofig said in an email sent to ABC 7.
Netcom, Inc., which has earned tens of millions of dollars in contracts from MCPS over the last 20 years, did not return our phone calls seeking comment.Going forward, Netcom Inc. will still make a lot of money putting perverts on their payroll and pretending to know something about the people they hire. Profit margins being what they are, does anyone really expect this company to sweat a little butt grabbing? That's for the lawyers to work out.
Epps Jr. has made a career out of butt grabbing. Let's hope someone finally registers him as a sex offender (another failure documented in the article) and keeps him away from school kids.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
How could you be this bad of a politician?
Martha Coakley has figured out how to lose, as a Democrat, in an overwhelmingly democratic state. She should change her party affiliation to Republican and move to Mississippi.
The way things are going, they'll nominate her for the presidency or something like that. I mean, damn. Whose side is she on?
Monday, October 20, 2014
They must be feeling the need for attention or something along those lines in Sweden right now. How could they be shocked that the Putin-era Navy of the former Soviet Union is incapable of doing anything underwater without losing another submarine or failing to cover up their activities?
It's tough out there for a former superpower with no money and a fading and rusting naval force.
I'm reminded of what happened with the disaster aboard the Kursk, a submarine that sank in shallow waters (if you could have stood the Kursk on its nose, it would have extended up out of the water in which it sank). Russia was dealt a humiliating blow when this happened, forced to decline assistance from numerous NATO countries with the money and technology to do what Russia simply could not do, and that's why I suspect that what's happening near Sweden is a repeat of some sort of blunder, triggered by incompetence and outdated technology.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
What is the United States supposed to do when people don't follow simple instructions?
Kenneth Bae, an American citizen detained in North Korea, said he feels like the U.S. government has abandoned him, according to a pro-North Korea newspaper.
Bae gave an interview to Choson Sinbo, a newspaper based in Japan, which has been given access to Bae in the past.
The newspaper published a picture of Bae wearing a blue prison garment in an interview that it said took place on July 30.
Bae said that he heard the U.S. government is doing everything it can to have him released and thanked the American and North Korean government for allowing him to speak to his family over the phone and medical treatment.
The Department of State strongly recommends against all travel by U.S. citizens to North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or DPRK). This replaces the Travel Warning for North Korea of November 19, 2013, to update information on the risk of arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens in North Korea.
Travel by U.S. citizens to North Korea is not routine, and U.S. citizen tourists have been subject to arbitrary arrest and long-term detention. North Korean authorities have arrested U.S. citizens who entered the DPRK legally on valid DPRK visas as well as U.S. citizens who accidentally crossed into DPRK territory. The Department of State has also received reports of DPRK authorities arbitrarily detaining U.S. citizens without charges and not allowing them to depart the country. In the past 18 months, North Korea detained several U.S. citizens who were part of organized tours. Do not assume that joining a group tour or use of a tour guide will prevent your arrest or detention by North Korean authorities. Efforts by private tour operators to prevent or resolve past detentions of U.S. citizens in the DPRK have not succeeded in gaining their release.
The Government of North Korea has detained, arrested, and imposed heavy fines on persons who violated DPRK laws, such as entering the country illegally or attempting to contact private DPRK citizens without government authorization. Travelers to North Korea must enter the DPRK with a valid passport and valid DPRK visa. Foreign visitors to North Korea may be arrested, detained, or expelled for activities that would not be considered criminal outside North Korea, including involvement in unsanctioned religious and/or political activities (whether those activities took place inside or outside North Korea), unauthorized travel, or unauthorized interaction with the local population.
North Korean security personnel may regard as espionage unauthorized or unescorted travel inside North Korea and unauthorized attempts to speak directly to North Korean citizens. North Korean authorities may fine or arrest travelers for exchanging currency with an unauthorized vendor, for taking unauthorized photographs, or for shopping at stores not designated for foreigners. It is a criminal act in North Korea to show disrespect to the country's former leaders, Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung, or to the current leader, Kim Jong Un.
If DPRK authorities permit you to keep your cell phone upon entry into the country, please keep in mind that you have no right to privacy in North Korea and should assume your communications are monitored. It is a criminal act to bring printed or electronic media criticizing the DPRK government into the country. If you bring electronic media, including USB drives, CD-ROMs, DVDs, or laptops, into the country, you must assume that North Korean authorities will review the information on those devices. Please be sure that the information contained on those devices does not violate the laws or regulations of the DPRK, as penalties for knowingly or unknowingly violating North Korea's laws are much harsher than U.S. penalties for similar offenses. Sentences for crimes can include years of detention in hard labor camps or death.
In other words, don't go to North Korea. Period. End of story.
Friday, June 20, 2014
Of course they're perfect--why wouldn't they be?
No matter what you call it -- bonuses, incentives, market or performance pay -- the Department of Veterans Affairs gave out a lot to senior managers in recent years despite sometimes deadly waits for health care and other problems faced by American veterans.
A top VA official confirmed to a congressional committee on Friday that 78% of VA senior managers qualified for extra pay or other compensation in fiscal year 2013 by receiving ratings of "outstanding" or "exceeds fully successful," and that all 470 of them got ratings of "fully successful" or better.
Such widespread laudatory performance appraisals occurred shortly before CNN started reporting in November how veterans waited excessive periods for VA health care, with some dying in the process. The VA has acknowledged 23 deaths nationwide due to delayed care.
This has another name--institutionalized mediocrity. No on at the VA should get a bonus for another two years, if at all. Let this drive the people who place money over service from the agency; everyone who rises through merit and competence should be rewarded with a bonus for being part of the solution.
If all 470 of the people at this level in the Department of Veterans Affairs are that good, then the VA should be the most successful agency in the entire government. Or, if not, then it is an agency rife with corruption and incompetence that has gone undiscovered because of flawed leadership.
Fire them all. See if that fixes anything.
I've said it before--this wasn't about being embarrassed because a few old vets were waiting to see specialists. This was widespread fraud, plain and simple, driven by greed. These administrators covered up bad numbers everywhere so they could lavish bonuses on each other.
Fire. All. of. Them.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
James O'Keefe has, once again, failed to accomplish anything other than annoying some people who actually work for a living.
Tell me again how this smarmy, useless excuse for a human being still gets scads of press and attention while failing every single time he tries to carry out a cheap and incompetent selective editing assignment?
No fraud in the history of this country has ever had more attention than this clown. Conservative media, you own O'Keefe, and what's shocking is that he is still ringing the bell and they're still lapping up everything he does. It's as if him playing around with a rape kit and sex toys was just a mild, juvenile prank to these people.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
I was wrong about what caused the South Korean Sewol ferry to sink:
The South Korean ferry disaster that killed more than 260 people last month was caused in part by excessive cargo and a failure to tie that cargo down properly, the joint police and prosecuting team investigating the disaster said Tuesday.
It marked the first time South Korean investigators said what they believe led to the April 16 sinking of the ferry Sewol, which was carrying 467 passengers and crew -- including more than 300 high school students on a field trip -- when it capsized.
Through experience, I can tell you that the problem on the southern tip of South Korea is that there are numerous incidents where North Korean infiltration ships have run afoul of the coastline and of the commercial shipping that travels through that area. If the ferry was not so incompetently managed--as is evident from that hapless fool of an underwear-clad captain getting off the ship before several hundred teenagers drowned--and so greedily overloaded, then a North Korean infiltration ship scenario would have been more plausible.
The general consensus in South Korea is that this was their 9/11. That may be the case. But, really, it's something that happens again and again--incompetence and greed are to blame, not a terrorist or the dark hand of a sinister conspiracy.
Thursday, April 24, 2014
|Kiowa armed scout helicopter|
Really, what did you think you were getting from a company named "Kustom Products Inc.?"
The investigation into Kustom Products, Inc., began when Army National Guard mechanics found defects in a critical nut that secures the rotor on the Kiowa armed scout helicopter in 2008.
Later, investigators said they determined that crucial clamps needed for military transport planes, which were required to be sourced from a U.S. company, instead were outsourced by Kustom Products to an unapproved Chinese supplier.
Did you think the guy who called his company "Kustom Products" wasn't going to screw you blind in order to make some cash? Who awarded this contract and are they still using their brilliant powers of deduction to choose qualified companies with whom to do business?
How would you like to be the pilots of said helicopters? You're flying missions, you're putting your life on the line, and some greasy sleaze ball working for Kustom Products Inc. is shoving wads of government money in his pocket while your aircraft flies apart in mid-air. And this was no simple nut--this was the Jesus Nut. As in, the nut that holds the rotor to the shaft and keeps the helicopter flying.
Yes, the Jesus Nut. Harold Ray Bettencourt and his family screwed the government and provided faulty Jesus Nuts to the military. What a proud, proud life these people have led up til now.
Charged in the indictment are company owner Harold Bettencourt; his ex-wife Susie Bettencourt, the firm’s office manager; their sons Bo and Nick Bettencourt, sales managers for the company; another son, Pete Bettencourt, who fulfilled a number of the government contracts; employee Toni Densmore, who also fulfilled contracts; and employee Josh Kemp, a purchasing agent.
And--get this--they're still in business! Check out their website:
Harold and the boys have plans, you see. Come back! We're getting it all together so, you know, come and shop with us if your life does not depend on anything we may or may not provide to you in exchange for way too much money. If you're in Coos Bay, look them up. They'll sell you a Jesus Nut, even though they can't get their own website to work. Cheap!
As a side note, if you do business with a company called Kustom Products Inc. and their website looks like this, run! Run, Cletus! Run! They don't know what they're doing and the stuff they sell you will still be wrapped in Chinese shopping bags. Run!
This is but one of many fraudulently run and incompetently operated companies that have profited handsomely from America's permanent wars. In a few years, these people will simply be folded in with some other fly-by-night clown car operation and they'll be back at the Federal teat, making money hand over fist and laughing at the idea that a maintenance crew on the other side of the world is going to have to work long days and nights trying to figure out which one of their shoddy parts is going to fail and kill someone.
It would be a very, very good idea for someone to try to get a handle on military procurement, but the Pentagon is severely dysfunctional in that area. I am convinced that for every one of these companies that have been caught that there are at least ten others getting away with this practice as we speak. Hell, I may have even worked for one of them once. But I never handled a Jesus Nut.
Monday, January 6, 2014
Now that Jay Mohr has been handed his ass back to him for fat-shaming Alyssa Milano, we have to deal with his personal breakdown in public? Because he was a jackass to another man's wife who had just had a baby?
This generation is full of people who haven't figured out that you kinda have to watch what you say when you become a public figure. We have few, if any, real broadcasters anymore because people don't learn from the mistakes of others and censor themselves actively when they have a half-bright idea. When there's a microphone in front of you, suppress your inner douchebag. That's got to be a given at some point.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
P.J. O'Rourke is "back" writing things online and, well, it's not going so well.
His new column at the Daily Beast is out and what you see above is the "payoff" or bottom part of his effort to get people to read things he has written. The whole thing is straight out of something rejected by the Borowitz Report. Vladimir Putin is gay and that's why he hates gays? Hilarious shit, man. Hilarious shit. Andy Borowitz must be fuming and thinking of a zinger about Bill Clinton right now. Wait--stop me if you've heard this one before. Bill Clinton spent 2013 trying to figure out how to get himself off of RedTube, gave up, and had a three hanky meltdown. Ha! Oh, these things write themselves.
Who the hell talks about RedTube? Is that even a thing? And you gotta love a guy who goes out with a John Kerry joke. Talk about mainlining the zeitgeist through the eyeball.
Anybody can be a humorist these days. Anyone.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Politico sent out someone to slut-shame the Obama Administration and deliver a Puritan tsk tsk today for not bursting into tears in front of a half of a room full of nutty Congressmen, and my takeaway from this was to laugh and ask a childish question?
How many times did Bush say he was sorry when everything got fucked sideways?
How did Donald Rumsfeld respond when asked by men in uniform in a combat zone about the vehicles they were using while fighting the Iraqi insurgency? Rumsfeld said "you go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want." And men and women died because of that.
Yeah, the Obamacare website isn't great. It is a Federal contracting and Information Technology problem someone has to solve. But, to sit there and harrumph and demand a sorry (which won't be accepted by grumpy wingnuts anyway) for something that doesn't even begin to compare to lying us into a war, letting an American city drown, exploding the Federal debt, torturing people on foreign soil, and tanking the world economy.
I mean, goddamn, son. Perspective much?