The Debt Debate

I normally hit up Anglican Curmudgeon for news about the ever-wacky Episcopal Church (which is kind of like the Russell Brand of mainstream religions). But this piece from Friday about the Great Debt Debate™ really knocks it out of the park:

Given that the House of Representatives has now sent to the Senate not one, not two, but three separate bills to deal with the current debt limit/budget impasse; and

Given that the President’s current proposed budget was a non-starter, which would have continued the year-to-year deficit at an unsustainable $1.2 trillion (with still greater deficits to come), and which even the Democrat-controlled Senate defeated by a 97-0 vote; and

Given that the Senate on their own, under Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid, has ducked their responsibilities, for which (for heavens’ sake!) we pay them each nearly $175,000.00 per year, to negotiate and pass (let alone, say, propose) a budget for the Government’s operations — for over 821 days now (translation to the common tongue: 821 days is two years, three months, and one day); and finally,

Given that the Senate just tabled the third proposal in the last four months to resolve the current crisis, laid before them by their colleagues in the House, with no counter-response whatsoever, and that they did so because both the President and Senate Democrats want a free pass until after the next election, which the Republicans are not minded to give them, at the country’s expense;

Be sure to click here and read the whole thing (assuming Congress hasn’t come up with an agreement in the ten minutes it’s taken to type up this post). Be sure to watch the long (14 minute) video at the end, which is a speech given by Senator Maro Rubio (R-Florida) on the Senate floor. I especially like his exchange with John Kerry. Because look folks, no matter what side of the spectrum you’re from, we have to do something about government spending. And Kerry just proves that he leads an insular Washington existence full of the same old ideas.

Oh, and today George Will (yes, that George Will) has an interesting piece about how the “Internet Generation” is really the “Libertarian Generation”. I don’t know if I buy it, but it’s good to see such views in the public eye.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-07-31

  • YEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSS! IT'S OVER! http://ping.fm/9I2nm #
  • "The fascists of the future will be called the anti-fascists" #
  • Islamist group in Somalia bans samosas after deciding they're too Western http://t.co/dFgfQMI #
  • After attacks, Norway pledges MORE democracy. The US chose LESS democracy! http://t.co/2otfYS6 #
  • RT @jenny_wade: which came first the forehead zits or the bangs? #
  • "We're trying to save life on this planet as we know it today." – REALLY Nancy Pelosi? REALLY? Hyperbole much? #
  • RT @1outside: hallefuckinglujah RT @EW 'Mad Men' season 5 to start shooting next week http://t.co/VnOqu1v #
  • You know what I miss? Those little Bama brand pecan pies. The ones that came in the tiny tin. I guess they don't make those any more? #
  • Raising the debt ceiling to deal with the financial crisis is like raising the blood alcohol limit to deal with drunk driving. #
  • DEMOCRATIC senators are now complaining that Obama won't call them back about the debt crisis? Really? #
  • No surprise here: Internet Explorer 6 users have low IQs, http://t.co/XlMupcA #
  • For those who care: Klinsmann to coach US men's soccer team http://t.co/0h153sQ #
  • @1outside But I thought *I* was the gayest straight guy you knew? (listening to Journey as I type this, however). #
  • @altonbrown Happy Birthday! 🙂 #
  • Apple now has more cash on hand than the US Government http://t.co/KHyuEpB #
  • Woo-Hoo! Only 70 days to the Plaza Midwood Chili Cookoff! #
  • KILLJOYS: Islamist group in Somalia bans samosas after deciding they're too Western http://t.co/dFgfQMI #
  • Lisa's all excited about #SharkWeek #
  • I have just created a new list titled 'Sports' using TweetDeck, follow it here: @jimcofer/sports #
  • I have just created a new list titled 'CLT Tweets' using TweetDeck #
  • Dammit, Microsoft! Why does the "Read\Unread" button have to change position depending on whether it's an email or RSS feed? #
  • Just found out that #asobiseksu is playing the Visulite here in Charlotte on 11/09! How to contain my excitement for 102 days? #
  • I have just created a new list titled 'Music' using TweetDeck, follow it here: @jimcofer/music #
  • @ASeksuFanpage Any idea who might open for #asobiseksu at the Visulite in Charlotte? #
  • WHY didn't anyone tell me about TweetDeck before? WHY? #tweetdeck #
  • @markmaser Easy for you to say! #
  • Holy crap! I can smell Midwood Smokehouse from EBs! #

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Friday’s Random Roundup

Here’s a couple of news stories and odd stuff I’ve found on the Internet this week:

– What is “multiculturalism”, anyway? See, I don’t mind “celebrating diversity”, so long as that celebration takes place within the framework of the majority culture. That’s why I laugh at people who complain about “them thar Mezzicans, not speakin’ the Anglish”: you could easily have said that a century ago about the Italians and the Irish. “Them thar Mezzicans” came to the US for a better life. They’ll have kids here one day. Those kids will speak Spanish at home, but English almost everywhere else. And then they’ll have kids, and those kids will speak English almost exclusively, except for a few scattered phrases here and there… just like how the grandkids of Italian immigrants speak only English, except for a few words like “paisan” or “mangia mangia”. So, needless to say, I find it downright alarming that Muslims in the UK feel empowered enough to start creating “sharia zones”, where drinking, smoking, drug taking, prostitution, gambling, music concerts, commercial banking and “free mixing between the sexes” are prohibited. How could Britain allow people with views incompatible with Western culture immigrate to the UK? Why would people who despise Western culture want to move there? Is it all well and good to accept the fruits of the British economy, but reject wholesale British culture?

– Speaking of Muslims, there’s an island in French Polynesia called Tematangi that is almost exactly opposite the globe from Mecca. Since Muslims are required to follow qibla (to face Mecca when praying), Tematangi makes it all kinds of complicated to do that.

– And speaking of “multiculturalism”, England’s local government is provided by councils, which vary in size based on the  population. In London, each borough (except for the City of London) has a council. In smaller cities, a council might be similar to an American city council. In rural areas, they might be more like a “county commission”. Anyway, the liberal area of Brighton and Hove elected England’s first Green Party council recently, and one of the first things the newly-empowered Greenies tried to do was have “Meat-Free Mondays” in the city worker’s cafeteria. It didn’t go over well.

– One more “multiculturalism” issue: liberals insist that there’s no such thing as a “liberal bias” in the mainstream media. However, it sure is interesting that the New York Times referred to Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian terrorist, as a “gun-loving,” “right-wing,” “fundamentalist Christian” who was opposed to “multiculturalism” in multiple articles online and in print. Yet, at the same time, the paper has not once referred to Nidal Malik Hasan (the Ft. Hood shooter) as a Muslim. In fact, the only hint the Times gave that Hasan might be Mulsim was that he was quoted as shouting “Allahu Akbar!” when shooting. But there’s no liberal bias, right?

– A few quick science stories: the Higgs Boson particle, one of the great mysteries of modern physics, might have been found. HIV treatment in Africa is getting so good that life expectancy is almost back to normal. And the NHS, Britian’s national health service, might have come up with a nifty way to cut waiting times: by just letting sick people die.

– And lastly, Musee Grevin in Paris just unveiled a wax statue of Brad Pitt. It’s not creepy at all.

Succor

The world can be a harsh and unforgiving place, and life can sometimes seem to want to grind you into the dirt. That’s why people covet “comfort items” like an old sweater, comfy slippers, mac and cheese… or, ya know, Zooey Deschanel:

Zooey Deschanel
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Random Celebrity Trivia!

This is mostly about celebrity relationships, but there are other things as well. Culled from sources all over the Internet:

– Actor Ken Jeong (The Hangover, Community) is a licensed medical doctor! Internal Medicine is his specialty. He was born in Detroit, but moved to Greensboro, NC when he was young (his father was a professor at North Carolina A&T State University for 35 years). Jeong got his undergrad degree from Duke and his MD from UNC in 1995.

Melissa Gilbert, Jonathan Gilbert (Laura Ingalls and Willie Olesen from Little House on the Prairie) and Sara Gilbert (Darlene from Rosanne) are all legally (but not biologically) related. Melissa was adopted by actor Paul Gilbert and his wife, Barbara Crane. A couple of years later they adopted Jonathan. A couple of years after that the couple divorced. Barbara then married Harold Abeles, and they had Sara Rebecca Abeles in 1975. Sara changed her last name to Gilbert in 1985 when she started acting.

– Oh, and Paul Gilbert’s name at birth was Ed MacMahon!

– Believe it or not, George Clooney is one of the closest living relatives of Abraham Lincoln, being a direct descendant of Lincoln’s aunt. Tom Hanks (and, some say, Camille Hanks, Bill Cosby’s wife) are also members of this family.

– Speaking of politics, Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Douglas MacArthur and the George H.W. Bush family all descend from a 17th century Masachusetts farmer named Benjamin Barney.

Charlie Chaplin’s father-in-law was the playwright Eugene O’Neill. Not that the connection did Chaplin any good: after Chaplin (then age 54) married Oona O’Neill (then age 18), O’Neill refused to speak to her.

Continue reading “Random Celebrity Trivia!”

Atlanta Peeps: Check In!

So, a couple of weeks ago, the missus and I went to The Thirsty Beaver, a Charlotte dive bar, for the first time. The bar shows Hee Haw re-reuns on the TV, and is jam-packed with 1970s kitsch, including a velvet Willie Nelson painting and ancient Schlitz signs. But my favorite thing was a BJ and The Bear poster tucked away in a corner.

Lisa had never heard of the show, so when we got home I went to YouTube and found the show’s intro, which I posted on her Facebook page. And, under the “related videos” section of the page, I saw the intro for season 2 of Lobo, the BJ and the Bear spin-off:

Dig that late 70s\early 80s Atlanta footage! I especially dug the bits filmed at the old Omni Complex, complete with a shot of the skating rink. That really takes me back to going to Hawks games with my dad as a kid, and the pizza place there at the Omni, which had the world’s best meatball subs!

I’d also forgotten that Nell Carter (billed as “Nell Ruth Carter”) was on the show! And whatever happened to Amy Botinwick? Man, she was hot!

Good times!

Website Update

Hi folks!

I have, ONCE AGAIN, disabled the AllConsuming widgets in the sidebar (the “I’m reading” and “I’m listening to” widgets). This is because AllConsuming is ONCE AGAIN having some kind of issue which causes the widgets not to load properly. This was not only greatly increasing page load times for my site, it was also causing other widgets not to load (especially the “Share This” widget, which allows you to easily share my posts on Facebook to Twitter). When (if) AllConsuming gets their act together, I’ll put them back.

In the meantime, does anyone know of a FAST and RELIABLE WordPress plug-in that allows me to post the books I’m reading and the music I’m listening to?

Thanks!

Jim

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-07-24

  • Watching the Yankettes, eating pork rinds and Sriracha. What's hotter: Sriracha or Hope Solo? #
  • Ah well. The Yankettes choked harder than Greg Norman. But at least BREAKING BAD returns tonight! Who else is excited about that? #
  • That was SOOOO intense!! #breakingbad #
  • Gus said like… six words tonight, right? And was absolutely TERRIFYING. #breakingbad #
  • Hooray! I have a Spotify account! Listening now… #spotify #
  • Best band… or best band ever? #asobiseksu #
  • "Well? Get back to work." HOLY CRAP! As intense as today's World Cup… only BB was crammed into 43 minutes and involved a box cutter! #
  • No pop song has ever been made better by the words "featuring Kanye West". #
  • Aaaaannnddd the NotW casualties have started: http://t.co/DBlq7O1 #
  • Wow… the new Facebook app for Android doesn't totally suck! #shouldhaveupgradedsooner #
  • http://t.co/aMDsGsv Lykke Li – Jul '11 #
  • @PBR_Charlotte Foo Fighters? No. #
  • @1outside History of Rome podcast! SEXY :p God bless the history nerds! #
  • Pretty impressed with #thehour last night. Anyone else watch? #
  • "Smile, little lamb." #damages #
  • Mmmmmm.. peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich! 🙂 #
  • @1outside Actually Murdoch has been an American citizen since 1985. Not that I claim him or anything. #
  • I love you, Ellen Parsons. #
  • WOO-HOO!!! Owners approve new CBA! #
  • Mexican prisoner raffled 'luxury cell' to other inmates at Cereso Hermosillo jail | Mail Online http://t.co/FcET5Cq #
  • Chinese villagers mistake malnourished monkey for alien | Mail Online http://t.co/2kOcEng #
  • Man dies two weeks after being bitten 19 times by black widow spider | Mail Online http://t.co/FfQFVGk #
  • McDonald's Manager Accused Of Punching Customer – News Story – WSB Atlanta http://t.co/CwHFtjh #
  • Neowin.net – Hunch.com: Infographic on Mac users versus PC users http://t.co/YZ6LbUN #
  • mental_floss Blog » Now You Can Dial Your Own Telephone! (1954) http://t.co/QLKwhDK #
  • For a TV show set in Long Island, NY, USA's #necessaryroughness sure makes me homesick! 😉 :p #
  • @calman3000 Somebody's drunk tweeting! 🙂 #
  • Just wasted an hour at this site: http://t.co/b9NoxHi #
  • OMG! ASPLODES! RT @alisonbrie: Marion Cotillard – ooh la la! RT @nicosun5: Who is an actress that would turn you gay? #
  • Here comes the glurge! RT @Charlottejobs4u: The Spirit of Jim Morrison Lives in Amy Winehouse: http://t.co/4n0fHpe #amywinehouse #RIP #
  • Getting deep in to the G&Ts now… #

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Photo

Sigh. Sometimes I miss the 80s:

madonna_amadeus
(click to embiggen)

Madonna at the premiere of Amadeus, 1984.

Music News

A couple of quick music news items today:

– Man, the guys from New Order really hate each other, don’t they? In this piece from The Guardian, journalist Rob Fitzpatrick sits down with Peter Hook on one phone line and Gillian Gilbert, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner on the other to try and figure out what happened. There’s still something that happened on the band’s last tour of Brazil that no one will talk about, but it seems that the seeds of discontent were sown much earlier, and involved Haçienda, the famed nightclub built with New Order money. According to Hook, band manager Rob Gretton suggested to the band that they buy the rights to the Haçienda name, and so Hook gave him £5,000 to do that. According to the rest of the band, Hook “stole” the name for himself. Hook counters that he faithfully attended Haçienda business meetings for years, while Sumner and the others didn’t, and didn’t care about the club at all until 1994, until it became possible to make money off the club’s name. It’s all depressing and sad. Read more here.

– I was a fan of The Smiths for a few years back in the 80s and early 90s… but I’ve never been much of a fan of Morrissey’s solo work. It all seemed so… self-indulgent, in the same way that the rest of 10,000 Maniacs seemed to keep Natalie Merchant’s propensity for sad, mopey songs in check. Anyway, it looks like Moz is really starting to lose it. David Tseng, founder of Morrissey-Solo.com, one of the largest and oldest Moz fansites on the web, flew 5,000 miles from LA to Copenhagen to attend a Morrissey show. But he was thrown out (without a refund!) before the show began? Tseng’s crime against Moz? Allowing commenters on his website to say less then flattering things about Moz. So if you have your own music fansite, make sure to heavily edit what people post… or just don’t support such a whiney and needy “artist” in the first place. Read more here.