Wednesday, May 27, 2009


In hindsight it appears ethics and principles don't matter in the highest circles anymore, and those there can simply do what they want and ignore the obvious, even when it clearly makes them look look like unethical people only after power and money, and the public be damned.

Yesterday a federal judge released the wiretap record of the Illnois governor under investigation for abuse of power. In one the now Senator Burris offered to make a contribution, and promised to raise money for and help re-elect the governor in return for naming him the senator for now President Obama's seat. The very thing Burris said be didn't do, we now learn he did do. And the very thing the Senate suspected when they balked on accepting him but then blinked, was true.

Burris looks like what he truly is, a fraud and a liar, and the Senate now look they are, weak without any ethics or principles.

Another example. Sunday during the Monaco Formula One race Phillipe Massa consistently drove his Ferrari over the curbs on one corner. Lap after lap the TV showed he violated the rules and should have been penalized with a stop-and-go or drive-through penalty. But the race marshalls only warned the team, twice, during the race to stop. A third time they warned action would be taken.

But they never issued a third warning despite repeated demonstration to them Massa ignored the warnings. It would have dropped him 3-4 places in the standings. But they wanted Ferrari to win 3rd and 4th place in the race. It's just another example of the FIA and Formula One officials and marshall bending or even ignoring the rules for Ferrari. Just Frerrari.

The most favorite team is Ferrari, who is having a bad year, and Ferrari needs help getting points. It doesn't matter other teams are also not doing as well and some former underdog teams and one new team are doing better than Ferrari. They want Ferrari to win and in the face of obvious infractions or rule violations, they'll simply turn a blind eye.

And in both these cases, those in power seem blind to the public seeing and knowing the reality and truth. We see and know how corrupt their ethics and principles are now, just so you get what you want. Burriss wanted a Senate seat and the FIA wants Ferrari to be the only winner in Formula One.

And their etchics are simple, do anything to make that happened, damn the law and the public.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Judicial Activism

Why do the republicans argue when a person with a more moderate, and especially liberal record, is nominated for a judgeship, especially for the Supreme Court, they called a judicial activist, but when the nominee is a consevative or strict interpreter of the Constitution, they're not called the same.

What don't they understand one extreme is the same as the other. An activist is an activist, it's irrelevant whether it's for the far right or the far left, or even the center. They're an activist for their views, positions, and decisions. Whether it's pro-choice or pro-life, pro-war or anti-war, and so on, it's still pro-something and an activist for that position.

The conservatives insists they're not activists but merely interpreting the Constitution and laws as they were written. How antiquated can you get or be? Do you really think the founders of this nation and writers of the Constitution expected everything to be interpreted as they thought? Are we still living like then?

This isn't 1776, it's 2009. The times are far different. The founders wrote a framework for this nation with the Constitution and Congress has written laws for 230 years now. The Supreme Court has been reviewing cases and issuing decision for the same period of time. The President, Congress and the Supreme Court has interpreted the Constitution to their benefit and view.

So any interpretation is an interpretation. And anyone making an interpretation is an activist for their view. It doesn't matter whether you're a democrat, a republican, a libertarian or any political party, you're all the same, being activists, the only difference are your views and agenda. But you're all still activists.

So to the conservatives, drop the stupid argument and label. It's inappropriate, and really outright wrong. You want activist judges for your views as much as the democrats want activists judge for their views. That's not different, only the politics are different. So lose the pretense and arrogance. It doesn't work.

Like my words will change anything? Not, but it will keep me writing how stupid it is to argue one side is activism but their side isn't. It only shows me how stupid republican keep being thinking they can fool the world but are only fooling themselves. And that's what makes it funny. Nothing is funnier than someone blind to their own stupidity and arrogance.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Comcast again

Update.--May 25th, the problem is still consistently there for the same channels since the original post, only working occasionally. Even over the Memorial holiday weekend the same channel were most "not available". I'm still waiting for 113 for the NASCAR race, delayed from Sunday. So, if someone can give me a reason it's the cable box, despite all the other channels working fine with some HD pixelating now and then, I'm listening.

This post was originally written April 26th.

They just never seem to make things good. Starting this weekend, the annual spring channel loss is happening, several local channels, both digital and high definition, and several expensive package channels, about a dozen in all, depending on the day and time. So now I wait for the late afternoon and hope the channels return, but often they don't for days.

And Comcast, as usual, doesn't say anything. Just no channels. Which? Well, 10/110, 11/111, 13/113, 505, 537, and others. All I get is the standard, "Please wait. The channel should come up shortly." Except it never does for hours or days. It's not enough call, because it's the same routine. "Please reset you box.", then "Please recycle the power to the box.", and then "We'll schedule a technician to replace the box."

The key is it's not the box. It's the signal through the system to the box. It's not getting here for whatever reason. And so I lose Saturday baseball, NASCAR races, and other events of note along with some independent channels. Sometimes it's last for a few weeks, but usually a few months.

That's life with Comcast. Typically less than stellar but at stellar costs to the customers. Ok, overblown, but a few simple things could easily help which they don't or won't do to help the customer. And Comcast knows they're like the only doctor in town for hundreds of miles. Bad as he is, choice isn't an option.

You pay the bill and hope things change or improve, but know they don't.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Splineless and stupid

The Democrats in Congress have shown how splineless and stupid they are by approving the amendment to allow guns in National Parks (NPs) and National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) because the fear the gun lobby and the NRA. Yet, they'll sacrifice the public safety and security by allowing anyone to carry a loaded weapon in a NP and NWR, in plain view of everyone else. What and who's the threat, the innocent people visiting and enjoying the NP and NWR or the man with the gun?

This also means all the NP and NWR law enforcement rangers have to use more caution and concern when meeting people in the backcountry because they just have and maybe use a weapon. And they can't do anything because it's legal. They can only stop them when the use the weapon. Like they're going to stop someone firing a weapon?

And what about all the backcountry hikers? Will they worry about meeting others on the trail? Or what if they hear some using a weapon? It's illegal to discharge or use a weapon in a NP or NWR except under rare circumstances, so what's the need to carry one?

The truth is the need for anyone to carry a weapon in any of the country's NPs or NWRs has never been proven. And where there is a legitimate need for someone to carry one, like Alaska, there are already regulations defining the process and permit. You can if you can demonstrate a need as part of your work. But do we want anyone to carry a weapon because they want to?

And is everyone who legally carries a weapon into a NP or NWR a sane enough person to know when and where to display it and know it can't be used? Will they decide if someone or something pisses them off they can't resort to their weapon? And if someone starts displaying and pointing it, who will stop them?

The point is we don't need loaded weapons in NP's and NWR's. It sane to just keep them out, as was the case accepted by previous democratic and republican presidents, store and transport them unloaded and locked. But the Democrats didn't seem to think the American public and the foreign visitors deserve to be safe. They're more afraid of guns and the NRA than the average citizen.

They're not only splineless and stupid, they obviously don't have any balls either. And I'm not being discriminatory about which Democrats who voted for this amendment or signed into law. What happened to protecting the American people? Apparently the NRA runs the show here. All they do is point an imaginary gun at the Democrats and they ask, "How high do I jump and vote?"

Like we need these folks representing us? And when the someone is robbed at gunpoint or injured or dies from a gunshot in a NP or NWR from some who legally carried it into the NP or NWR, we'll know who to blame? Won't we Democrats? You allowed it, so accept the responsibility.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Healthcare Reform

It's the buzz topic of the year, everyone, including the President, wants to bring our healthcare into the 21st century, like it's not already there. And it's now in the Stimulus package funding to convert medical records to electronic format in common standards easily exchanged across computer systems to enable doctor, hospitals, insurance companies and the government to share information about you.

Note, about you. You don't get anything from this, but the industry, insurance and companies and the government does get everything about you. They will know and share everything you did with the doctor, every hospital visit, every drug, every medical procedure, test and operation, about you. You give and share and they take and privatize.

That's what it's all about, control over information of people. You and me. And it's about money and profit. But not their money. Your and my money. Taxpayers' money. They want us to pay for something we don't need or want. It's that simple. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the savings are greatly exagerated to sell you the plan.

The article in this week's Washington posts describes the people and forces behind this are the industry, putting the right people in the right places and lobbying for the money, our money, to foot the bill they can use to make more money, profit, not for you or me, but them. It's a healthcare scam and sham at the highest levels.

You won't get better care, but better "managed" care, meaning they'll have instant information to make those decisions about your healthcare and medical needs. The won't let the doctor decide because they'll control what's approved and paid, and everything else is at your expense. All instantaneously through your electronic medical records shared with everyone.

And they won't guarrantee the information won't be secure and won't be stolen or computer system hacked. That's for government to ensure and pay for, again our money. They'll want the government to pay for the cyber security systems since it's our information. And the government will contract corporations to do that. And we'll write the checks.

And they won't guarrantee you won't be able to control the distribution or dissemination of your medical records. You'll lose the privacy over yourself, and the right to say who does or does not get to see your medical information. It will be shared through the corporate healthcare computer networks to whomever can pay. You will be lost among the many equally lost.

Overstating the case? Probably a little. Ok, more than a little. But the basic ideas are there. The forces behind this is corporations under the guise of government. For information, money and profit. And definitely not you and me, except our money.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Calling Mr Cheney

Your undisclosed location needs you. What don't you understand the Republican party doesn't want you, and especially doesn't want you speaking out. The American people don't want you, let alone want to hear you. And the world only would like to put you on trial for human rights and Geneva Convention violations.

You're the past, please go into it and shut up. You can't set the record straight, it's all there documented for everyone to see. You can't explain the past, it's there in the evidence of your actions. You can't hide, but that shouldn't be grounds for opening your mouth. And you can't sit there on talk and news shows putting trying to put spin and a face on illegal activities.

President Obama has to do what he thinks is right for this country and nation, and some of that involves continuing some of the Bush-era practices with detainees, but some of that involves making public what you kept secret. He has a right and a responsibility to the American people to show what you did. You can't undo what you did, but he can show what evil you were and still are.

There's a saying about being silent for opening your mouth only proves what other people thought. Maybe you should heed that advice and simply disappear into history. The American people have put you behind them and into history, showing up as a ghost only makes you look and sound worse. So, please go where you were the 8 years you were Vice President, but this time keep the door closed.

Or better, take a vacation, to Sri Lanka, or Somalia, or Venezula, anyplace they'll treat you as you should be treated. Otherwise, I'm one for having you put on trial for war crimes and human right violations. And then you'll really be in an undisclosed location where we could care less.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Well, it's been about two month since the Seattle Post-Intelligencer closed, the second daily newspapers in Seattle. That left the Seattle Times and the Tacoma News Tribune (TNT). The Seattle PI went to an free on-line format, which is interesting but nothing out of the ordinary except for its coverage of local issues and sports. The real question is what the loss of the print edition of the PI has done for the other papers and readers.

For me, I don't read the TNT except the Sunday edition. It's a good paper but when you continually find most of the paper is comprised of ads and the number of pages in the daily and now Sunday edition is down, it's hard to find good reasons to pay the price beyond the Sunday edition.

The Seattle Times is another matter. I used to buy the PI 3-4 days a week along with the other three papers I still buy. I found the two papers very close in their coverage of the news, only differing in the importance of the story for placement, the slant of their editorials, and their investigative reports. I preferred the PI because it's the Democrat of the papers, with the Times being the Republican paper.

I've read that the circulation of the Times has increased 33-50% since the demise of the print edition of the PI, meaning 50-67% of PI readers switched to the Times. In short, people want print, and while they may disagree with the Time's editorial stance and view, they'll read it for the news. I haven't heard the TNT has changed much since it long focused on the south Puget Sound area, from Federal Way to Olympia.

So, do I buy the Times now? I still buy the Sunday edition since it was a combined PI-Times edition and is now just the Times. I miss some of the PI's work in the Sunday edition, which has gotten smaller with the same amount of ads. It's always funny to see the stack of ads from the TNT and Times to be 3-4 times thicker than the actual papers. I now buy Times 1-2 times per week replacing the PI, but less so for what I missed with the PI. It had some unique features I valued.

I don't visit the on-line PI, because as I've written, it's mostly a recompilation of other news sources with their own smaller, local news and sports reporting. They've also dropped some of their unique print edition features. I know it's a matter of economics, especially surviving in the greater media and newspaper corporation which owns the PI, but losing some of your bread and butter isn't smart.

Overall, I find the PI Website cluttered and ordinary. It looks the same as many others, trying to squeeze as much as they can into a small Web footprint with links to the various sections and subjects which are also extensive compilations squeezed into a small footprint. It seems you get tired just scanning for what's there, let alone looking for something specific. Their Website wears your eyes out.

What's lost and dying fast is the simple act of reading a newspaper. It's why I buy them 4-5 days a week. I love sitting down with an early lunch and simply going through each one page by page. I don't read everything, but I'll read every headline and often part of the story. I even look at all the ads and other stuff on the pages. The print edition focuses you on the news of that page.

I also read 2-4 on-line papers the other days and the Washington Post most days (it's not available local in print form, which I would buy if it were, and yeah I could subscribe but it wouldn't be there with the other papers at the same time). I've become accustomed to their Website format and know what and where to look for sections and stories. But I find I spend less time reading passing stories I would read in print. I'm working on that to scan more articles, but it's the not same when it's already there in front of you.

And yes, I know it's the nature of the Internet and Web, about visual and content presentation. I just haven't full adapted and adjusted to news Websites yet. I will, and am learning to scan, read and print the more interesting stories, but it's also why the PI Website isn't worth the time unless it for specific issues or stories. The rest of the news there is easily available elsewhere.

Sorry PI, it's the reality of the world and news today. I'm sure you can trace your troubles back two decades and maybe more for answer where everything went wrong. That's dust now on the print presses you're not using, but surviving now will take foresight, not being common and repitative in the news world, something you seem to be lacking to date.

So, that's where I see newspapers are at these day. They will change and I will change. It's the nature and news of the world today.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Al Jazeera English

I watched a documentary yesterday about Al Jazeera English TV station's effort to break into the cable television programming, and be available to subscribers. I've already written that I want to see and will pay for Al Jazeera English on Comcast's schedule. It's only fair and reasonable. The documentary yesterday made some good point why they should and why the opposition is wrong.

First, the opponents say Al Jazeera English is like the Arabic channel, propograndist at best and anti-American at worst. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The station used the BBC model for their programming, management and operations and hired non-Arabic people as managers and consultants, some of whom have experience in the Middle East on both sides, even working for or with the Americans.

Second, their reporting is objective. The fact they label stories truthfully doesn't deter from the facts and videos of what they report. They reported on "The War in Gaza", and not something like "Israel defends its Homeland." It must be remembered Israel invaded and attacked Gaza, a soverign territory under Palestinian control. Al Jazeera English reported it correctly.

Third, it does provide fair and balanced reporting against the Fox news type reporting, which is America only, meaning Israel can do no harm and portray the Palestinians as the enemy when in truth both sides are wrong, Israel just has the far bigger and better weapons. Al Jazeera English reports it as it is, not spun or tilted to favor any side.

Fourth, it does provide coverage in areas where none of the other media outlets have reporters or can get reporters into. Al Jazeera had the only reporter in Gaza when Israel attacked. Israel then banned and prevented all reporters and media outlet from entering Gaza. They could only report what Israel told them and from the few overlooks outside Gaza.

Fifth, they provide an avenue for American to expand their knowledge and understanding about the world. It's not our world to view as we see fit. It's everyone's world and we just 5% of the population. The other 95% have equal rights to be seen and understood, and we have the responsibiliy, even obligation, to listen and understand, and then provide what works for everyone, not just us.

So, that said, I want Al Jazeera English on my TV. If it's not there, I'll simply view through their Web outlet. TV worth watching.