Saturday, April 18, 2009

Blog #84: Gov. Perry Talks Seceding

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Gov. Perry Beating the Texas Heat

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Gov. Perry Talks Seceding from Union

“May the fleas of 1,000 camels infest your linen closet,” the unemployed Texas worker emailed Governor Rick Perry. In a desperate attempt to seem relevant to what he perceives as his conservative base, Governor Good Hair as Molly Ivins used to call him, made a guarded attempt to reserve the right to have Texas secede from the Union in reaction to President Obama’s stimulus package. He threatened to reject parts of the package, but of course the Texas Legislature is showing the retention of its sanity by busily talking of its acceptance of all its parts.

Scholars at both the University of Texas and Texas A&M have declared that there is no such provision in Texas joining the Union that the Governor referred to in his threat of secession. Governor Good Hair is undoubtedly losing sleep at night over his upcoming reelection campaign, as retiring Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson is planning to enter the Republican primary running against him. Writer, humorist Kinky Friedman is taking the first steps to run as a Democrat in the race.

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Conservative Republicans Seeing Red?

Conservative Republicans are seeing many shades of red these days. For one thing, the Department of Homeland Security released a memo citing the possible return of right wing extremist hate groups like those we experienced back in the early 1990’s when various military style groups were collecting weapons and training in various woodland areas around the country. This type of DHS planning is typical of the type of contingency planning any group which has responsibility in a particular area must do, the Pentagon undoubtedly has studies which would drive the left wing up a wall. However releasing the report to the press outraged the gun hoarding right wing. Perhaps they are feeling a wee bit of none too well-concealed guilt.

The DHS memo also cited the record breaking sales of weapons, and particularly assault weapons, which are being bought up in the fear of the Obama administration re-instituting a ban against weapon sales. As the gun lobby cries foul and the constitution, we would remind them that the only weapon our constitution framers knew was shot and powder muskets, which I’m sure would be alright with the most ardent Brady disciple. It is assault weapons that the Attorney General has talked of re-instituting the ban on, and there is no legitimate use for assault weapons outside of a state of war or insurrection. Perhaps insurrection is what these whiners have in mind, but no sensible government is going to sit by and let weapons of war become common street fare. By not renewing the ban the Bush administration had taken us down that road and we must extricate ourselves from this situation as soon as possible or watch as news of other mass killings fills our nightly news.§

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One Happy Eight Year Old

Enjoying Her Constitutional Rights

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Fox Promotes Tea Bagging

Wednesday was tax day which found the Fox Views channel attempting to bring back some of the glory of the original Boston Tea Party with its anti-income tax sponsorship of Tea Bag Parties. About the only thing the campaign proved was the fact that in the U.S. these days tea is consumed by the tea bag. Somehow this modern day attempted reenactment which consisted of protesters depositing their tea bags on sheets of canvas (to ensure ease of cleanup afterwards) lacked the drama which had distinguished the original colonists dumping of large stores of tea into Boston Harbor. Let’s face it, imagination is a scarce commodity in Republican quarters and especially in Fox Views strategy meetings. And if you don’t trust your imagination, you can’t effectively use it. (Editor’s Note: From this point forward Little Eddy’s Blog will refer to the Fox cable channel as Fox Views rather than Fox News, because although Views rhymes with news, Fox’s slanted views bear little resemblance to real, unbiased news.)

Meantime here are the Urban Dictionary’s definitions for tea bagger:

1. teabagger multiple meanings. 1) one who carries large bags of packaged tea for shipment. 2) a man that squats on top of a woman’s face and lowers his genitals into her mouth during sex, known as "teabagging" 3) one who has a job or talent that is low in social status 4) a person who is unaware that they have said or done something foolish, childlike, noobish, lame, or inconvenient. 5) also see "fagbag", "lamer", "noob"

2. teabagger A misinformed, right-wing corporate media consumer who often fails to understand that BOTH major parties represent a corrupt plutocracy that steals from the middle class by taxing labor and profiting from corporate tax subsidies.

A teabagger also often fails to acknowledge that George W. Bush and his neo-conservative minions perpetrated one of the boldest and most egregious executive power grabs in the history of the United States. Furthermore, teabaggers mistakenly continue to blame a newly elected President Obama for all that ails the United States of America, based on a grossly flawed perception of reality (including latent racial prejudice) and despite the fact the U.S. economy collapsed on the previous administration's watch.

For complete Urban Dictionary tea bagger definitions go here! §

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CNN’s Borger Twitter-sizes Gingrich

Gloria Borger, one of the key political analysts on CNN, accused the Republican party of “twittering away their credibility.” She took exception to Newt Gingrich’s twittered criticism of President Obama over the hostage crisis.

Gingrich on Twitter last Saturday: "Obama is making a major mistake in not forcefully outlining the rules of civilization for dealing with pirates. We look weak."

By Monday, after the safe rescue of the captain, Gingrich was, er, a tad more laudatory: "The Navy seals did exactly the right thing in rescuing the American captain. President Obama did the right thing in allowing the Navy to act."

A grudging kudo, if there ever was one.

Would it have been better if the president of the United States had publicly engaged with a bunch of teenage thug pirates? It's beneath Obama's pay grade and dignity – not to mention how it would have added fuel to an already incendiary situation.

So how about just admitting that the administration performed admirably in this crisis?

Here's the problem: If Republicans can't allow that the president did his job well in this unambiguous case, why should we believe their complaints about anything else? If they can't pat him on the back for this one, why should we even listen to their arguments about the budget, about health care, about energy?

If Republicans want Americans to see their arguments as credible – as they may well be – they need to present themselves as the credible opposition.

Good first impressions count for them, too. And so far, Republicans are Twittering them away.

Right on and well put, Gloria Borger. However, the very fiber of the Republican backbone seems to rule out any meaningful consideration of Ms Borger’s stance. How could the party of Selfishness, crying as they are about Obama’s stated intention to raise the tax rates of the very wealthy back to the rates held under Ronald Reagan, how can they possibly be taken seriously by a long overtaxed middle class who have finally been given a glimmer of hope for a fairer tax situation? And if Palin, Jindal, and/or Gingrich are the best the Republican Party will have to offer in 2012, bring the election on. §

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Take that Microsoft

He didn't want the PC, which has "second-rate Korean components," and asked for the money instead. "I'm poor but I'm not retarded. Alright, these computers suck," he says. Thus Homeless Man joins Microsoft’s bevy of happy pc purchasers.

In a follow up Forrester Research which tracks customer service reported the following: Apple notched an 80 percent, or “good” rating, in Forrester’s customer experience index, which is an average of responses on topics like whether companies meet customer needs and make products that are easy and enjoyable to use.

Gateway scored a 66; Hewlett-Packard, a 64; and Compaq (a brand owned by H.P.), a 63 — scores that Forrester considers “poor” rankings in the customer experience index. Dell got a miserly 58 percent, a “very poor” rating.

Full details here!

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Will Wonders Never Cease?

President Obama began the week following Easter by doing what for a modern day politician is the unthinkable, he actually kept a campaign promise. We’re trying to be cute here, of course. Mr. Obama is not suddenly beginning to fulfill campaign promises, he’s been doing that since his first day in office. But it should be noted that he began this week removing all restrictions on Cuban family members to visit their island of origin and allowing for economic support to freely flow to family members still in Cuba. What a precedent, delivering on a campaign promise? No telling just where that road might lead. It’s too bad Republicans never were able to master this simple task. If they had perhaps their approval record wouldn’t be so far in the dumps these days.

In fact, in the wake of 911 George Bush and the Republicans had the support of the American people as no president of recent times has had it. But under the astute direction of Bush’s crackerjack political advisor, Karl Rove, who was following a playbook right out of Machiavelli, they squandered this support in favor of instigating a phony war, and then attempted to use that war for political purposes to aid in securing George Bush’s reelection. That is why some of us think it so unseemly when we hear Rove trying to trade on his so-called presidential bona fides as a pundit on television. He’s a pundit alright, one that only Rupert Murdoch and Fox Views could respect and give air time to. He is still offering critiques of the Obama Administration as if the regime he had worked for had had all of the answers and had executed them flawlessly. Rove’s opinions are of interest only to those who after eight years still believe the Bush administration was taking the American people down the right road. As good ole Honest Abe once said, “you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people ALL of the time.” Thank you Mr. Lincoln for that observation. And thank you Karl Rove, for each and every one of your meaningless, self serving ruminations. And let us hear a cheer for the Fox Views Channel. §

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Pirate Bay Loses in Court

From Torrent Freak comes the news: Just minutes ago the verdict in the case of The Pirate Bay Four was announced. All four defendants were accused of ‘assisting in making copyright content available’. Peter Sunde: Guilty. Fredrik Neij: Guilty. Gottfrid Svartholm: Guilty. Carl Lundström: Guilty. The four receive 1 year in jail each and fines totaling $3,620,000.

The implications for this verdict are quite strong, for unlike the original Napster which fell to defeat in US courts, the Bay hosts no pirated content on its servers. It is basically a search engine, joining people who have content with those who want same. Don’t you just know that Google’s ears are buzzing with this news. The Swedish Fab Four insist that the Bay, whose servers lie beyond the Swedish Court’s reach, will continue its mission. And of course the verdict will be appealed.

What the Torrent Freak story did not address was the story it published (and Little Eddy picked up) last week that The Pirate Bay was sold to Warner Bros. None of today’s stories mentioned that reported purchase, and Sunde’s promise to carry on seems to negate it. The court’s statement:

“The court has found that by using Pirate Bay’s services (shudder, shudder) there has been file-sharing of music, films and computer games to the extent the prosecutor has stated in his case,” said the district court. “This file-sharing constitutes an unlawful transfer to the public of copyrighted performances.”

Peter Sunde has already explained that this decision does not mean the end of the line in this case. There will be an appeal which means we are still far away from the ultimate decision - possibly years away. Any appeal from either side must be submitted to Sweden’s higher Court by 9th May 2009.

Rasmus Fleischer, one of the founders of Piratbyrån commented, “The sentence has no formal consequence and no juridical value. We chose to treat the trial as a theater play and as such it’s been far better than we ever could have believed.”

For the full story of the Bay’s loss in the Swedish court direct your cursor and click here! §

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How would you like some nice candy, little girl?

Photo from


StumbleUpon Stumbles Back Home

According to Michael Arrington at TechCrunch, the website StumbleUpon, sold to eBay a scant two years ago, has been bought back by its original creators. This seems like a most canny move, as it is beyond me to see how a website which allows you to discover websites could benefit and enrich the coffers of a marketplace site like eBay.

You’d think that the founders (Garrett Camp, Geoff Smith and Justin LeFrance) would be quite content to go into semi-hibernation at eBay and contemplate their vacation homes for years to come. But like so many already-wealthy entrepreneurs, some fire kept driving at them to keep themselves challenged. It may be the deep rooted insecurity that leads most entrepreneurs to try to build companies in the first place - getting bought doesn’t necessarily give them the self confidence they thought it would. Or it may a simpler explanation - the certain knowledge that StumbleUpon hasn’t yet become whatever it is eventually destined to be.

So when the opportunity came for the founders to buy the company back from eBay and start over, they took it. The struggling eBay had been looking to sell off StumbleUpon for months, even hiring investment bank Deutsche Bank to help them get back their $75 million, but there were no takers. That left the door open for the founders to buy it back themselves.

For the complete Arrington article go here! To celebrate the change of ownership I opened StumbleUpon in Firefox to see where it might take me. It knows my tastes pretty well, it took me to a photography page hosted by Flicka, to a Writer’s page, followed by the home page of TheOnion. On The Onion’s page an online video celebrates the latest shoot’ em up game where the player shoots various people point blank in the head. The gratification is indeed instant as the shooter causes head after head to blow apart to smithereens.

But my favorite page was The Dr. Seuss Parody Page which may be found here! On it you’ll find topics like Freudian Analysis of Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss’ Inferno, Reproductive Habits of the North-Going Zax, and well, you get the idea. We found How the Gingrinch Stole Congress by The Capitol Steps to be most amusing, a few lines of which follow:

Every Who

Down in Whoville

Liked Elections a lot . . .

But Newt Gingrinch,

Who lived on Mount Gridlock,

Did NOT!

The Gingrinch loathed voting, the whole campaign season!

Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.

It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right.

It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.

But I think that the most likely reason of all,

May have been that his brain was two sizes too small.

The full poem lurks here!

And here is what would result if Dr. Seuss wrote for Star Trek: The Next Generation... Author: Dave Fuller

Picard: Sigma Indri, that's the star,

So, Data, please, how far? How far?

Data: Our ship can get there very fast

But still the trip will last and last

We'll have two days til we arrive

But can the Indrans there survive?

Picard: LaForge, please give us factor nine.

LaForge: But, sir, the engines are offline!

Picard: Offline! But why? I want to go!

Please make it so, please make it so!

Riker: But sir, if Geordi says we can't,

We can't, we mustn't, and we shan't,

The danger here is far too great!

Picard: But surely we must not be late!

Troi: I'm sensing anger and great ire.

Computer: Alert! Alert! The ship's on fire!

Picard: The ship's on fire? How could this be?

Who lit the fire?

Riker: Not me.

Worf: Not me.

Picard: Computer, how long til we die?

Computer: Eight minutes left to say goodbye.

You get the idea. The full poem may be found here! We conclude with the disclaimer found on the Gingrinch Stole Congress page.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed here are not necessarily the opinions of Dr. Seuss, or those with an interest in his estate, or anyone related to him, or anyone he met only once on a crowded train traveling from New York to Chicago, or his former next-door-neighbor's dog Max. Some stanzas of the preceding work were directly stolen from Dr. Seuss' classic work, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," without the permission, expressed or implied, of Theodor or Audrey Geisel, or Random House, Inc. This work was created solely for the amusement of the authors and should not be copied, distributed or otherwise duplicated by any means (electronic or telepathic included) without the expressed written consent of whoever owns the copyright to the book the authors plagiarized to create this masterpiece. Any evidence to the contrary should be construed as purely accidental and not the intent of the authors (who, by the way, receive no monetary benefit for having written the poem, but had to pay an overpriced lawyer dearly for this disclaimer). The authors accept no responsibility for any nightmares or other psychological problems caused by reading this work to liberals already suffering from Post Election Stress Disorder.

The only thing dated in the above disclaimer is the fact that it implies that it is liberals are suffering from PESD. This time around it is conservatives who are suffering from Post Election Stress Disorders. HIP, HIP, HOORAY! §

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And so we reach the end of another Little Eddy Blog. This week’s camp reminisces were squeezed out by our breaking news. Next week, god and google willing, we’ll be back for yet another episode. More camp memories plus more reactions about the headlines of the week. If you saw something that tweaked your interest, then join us next week for another edition. Bye now.

The Real Little Eddy

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