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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Superlatives

I have lived for a time in three different states, Texas, Colorado and Washington. In all three, at different times, conservative anti-tax groups in each state have declared that state as the fifth most heavily taxed in the nation. How could that be. Three states, all the fifth most taxed. I figured out the trick when I lived in Colorado, and an article in the Denver Post made the claim. I had moved there from Texas and still occasionally read the Dallas paper, which had made the same claim for Texas. Apparently the tax rate calculation for Texas included the wellhead oil and gas lease payments from public lands, added to the regular property and sales taxes. In Colorado the group doing the figuring was more creative. They counted the taxes not collected on federal lands as a sort of property tax and the state and federal income taxes all as state taxes. The same sort of selective figuring also is done to Washington's tax rate. All this is to relate to my reader that it makes a difference on who is doing the ratings and what their motivations are.

I read that Barak Obama is the most liberal Senator serving. Who figures these things out? I suspect there is a rubber ruler that measures liberalism. I remember John Kerry was the senate's most liberal in 2004. He's still in the Senate. What happened? Wasn't Al Gore the most liberal politician in 2000? Until there is an agreed upon standard, then such ratings are worthless, but we'll hear the claim anyway.

I am the fifth most popular blogger named Bert on the internet, and nobody can prove me wrong!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Obama: Press Party Pooper

I did enjoy seeing the lazy national press stuffed on the Obama plane, and then flown away leaving the actual candidate in DC to meet with Hillary. Ha! The chattering class managed to sneak a few blackberry emails out of the plane before the system was shut down. The press B squad camped out at Senator Clinton's house, miles away from the actual meeting. The press much prefers to eat grilled ribs, play grab-ass and drink Scotch with McCain, even if it compromises their objectivity. Obama is a bore for the boys in steerage. The most they can hope for on an Obama flight is a domestic beer and caterer's sandwiches. Obama doesn't even have a little ranch to seduce the press.

Now the news scribblers and talking heads are venting their spleen in whatever media will allow. They are hurt. How dare the Obama people take advantage of the laziness and cow-like willingness of the press corps to be attracted to shiny, jiggly things. Thirty years ago a couple of investigative reporters" followed the money", and the rest of the media has been living off this reputation since.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Observation

There is a small web based industry growing up around creating maps of the island in the TV series "Lost". Google Lost maps for links. I've looked at a couple, and not being a religious follower of the show, I just found them confusing. They all seem to be too small, and don't display any of the smaller islands.

It's Official! The Mariners Suck!

Our family used to go to the old King Dome and watch the Mariners get beat. Tickets were cheap and expectations were low. Seattle was well on its way to being the Chicago Cubs of the West coast. Then came '95 and we had a taste of success. Underdog success, the most addictive sort. That was then, this is now.

With some real talent and a player payroll that is ninth in the majors the Ms have the worst record of all thirty clubs. Watching the games is as bad as the days when the bullpen could be counted on to blow any lead, no matter how large. I can now relate to the hapless Mets of old.

This wouldn't be so bad if I didn't like baseball so much. There's still college football, but that's months away.

sigh..............................

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Using My Real Name

I've got this silly idea that blogging under my real name will act as a governor on my tendency to fly off the rails. I feel that aliases make it too easy to post crap so that won't come back and bite one on one's ass. I do have aliases left over as a legacy from an earlier life. I've been surfing the nascent web since Mosaic was the only HTML browser available, and even before when usenet and FTP/Gopher and a 200 baud modem. Anything but text would eat your minutes up in no time.

I'm not going to advise anyone what they should do to hide their identity. I don't publish my cell phone number or street address, but those and financial information are about all I care to hide.

Negotiating With Terrorists

Obama has a dangerous path in front of him. More fraught with peril than organizing an Easter Egg Hunt between Haamas, the Banai B'rith and a bunch of Rastafarians will be Barack's negotiations with Hillary and her people. The Hillerites are pissed, and Obama could easily become the target for their disillusioned rage. Senator Clinton has been treated shabbily by the media and viciously by the right wing noise machine.

Obama's skills will be tested in the next few weeks and we shall see his governing talents on display.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Politically Muscular Christianity's Chickens Come Home

The decline of the Republican right wing due to their obvious inability to run either the domestic economic policy or foreign relations has an unanticipated upside. As they fall, they are seeming to take the mean spirited, petty and nosey professional evangelical christians with them. According to the head honchos of the Southern Baptist church the membership will be halved by 2030 if trends continue. Sure there are a lot of mega-churches out there, but those only last until their ringmasters get caught in either compromising sexual or financial shenanigans.

They did to themselves. Hitching their wagons to the rising wingnut star politicos they doomed themselves to fall as their political partners fell. People drift away from fundamentalism because it is so..... um ... unchristian. There is no love seen in their public persona. It's all about the rage and resentment, with each church trying to out jack-ass each other. Fundamentalism has followed the AM talk radio formula that guarantees to grow stale and fail in the long run.

I won't live long enough to see christianity to fall to European levels of unimportance, but I can see it coming. Happy, Happy Joy Joy!