A Jade Element December Rambling

Carried Away by The Jade Element- My eldest niece is the lead singer.

There was some anti-gay marriage pledge that the GOP candidates were supposed to sign this month. Of course, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum agreed to it, as one would expect. But the third was Mitt Romney. Not only is his position unfortunate, but it also cements that “pandering” problem he has. Beyond that, pandering didn’t work in 2008, and in fact, backfired. Oh, and this was widely circulated, but I still like it: the best message for marriage equality.

Where Roger Ebert stands on the Occupy movement, which is not dissimilar to my position. Or Ken Jennings’. Still, it’s impressive/amazing that Occupy Albany was still going strong earlier this month, a model operation; it has gotten permits from the city and everything. Then it got closed down – badly, as these things usually are. Expect the energy will not dissipate.

Bertrand Russell’s Liberal Decalogue, courtesy of Chris Black

When Blackwater, or Xe, or ACADEMI changes its name again.

Harry Morgan died on Pearl Harbor Day. Here’s his New York Times obit. I’m old enough to actually remember him in December Bride and its spinoff, Pete and Gladys. Of course, I watched him in Dragnet, where he was a great counterpoint to the dry Jack Webb. But of course, he’s best known for playing Colonel Potter in MASH. He was one of those you look familiar people who actually had an earlier role on the show as a crazy colonel, before showing up as the MASH commander a season later. Ken Levine remembers Harry; he wrote for MASH and its lesser sequel AfterMASH.

When I was watching MAS*H a couple of decades ago, Col. Potter seemed to be particularly bad spirits. It turned out that he was “the last survivor among several of his World War I U.S. Army buddies, and thus inherited a confiscated bottle of French cognac.” That was the very first time I remember hearing the word tontine, which generally refers to an investment plan.

I must admit knowing Christopher Hitchens more for his fight with cancer than his previous writings; still, an interesting guy. Arthur comments here, and Kevin Marshall provides a number of written and visual reflections of the man.

How to talk to someone with cancer, something I’ve had some experience with.

A fond farewell to the hard-wired phone; from “Superman” to “I Love Lucy,” a look back at the role this outdated device played in television and film

Mark Evanier remembers Batman artist (and much more) Jerry Robinson and one of the first superstars of comics, Joe Simon, as well as the 100th anniversary of the birth of Spike Jones; I forgot to bring my kazoo.

I’m sad Vaclav Havel died; he headed a free Czechoslovakia, and, just as remarkably, its division without bloodshed.

Music video Carried Away by The Jade Element. My eldest niece is the lead singer.

The Uffizi and Upside-down

Re: the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – Surely Joan Jett deserves to be there. I’m still hoping that Chaka Khan gets in sans Rufus. My real problem is that they, and Heart, all predated three of the male groups that got in: GnR, Beastie Boys, and the Chili Peppers. Unfortunate. But happy about Freddie King in as early influence, and Donovan and the sole woman, the late Laura Nyro.

Animated Comic Covers by Kerry Callen


Christmas Jumper: Name of beer leaves a bad taste
Head brewer Roger Green insisted the name had been a complete coincidence after the beer started life with a pump clip showing Santa in a big woolly pullover. However, that explanation failed to stop the dark ale from making headline news… Roger Green, of the Beachy Head Brewery in East Sussex, insisted there was no malice behind the title and that its meaning had been misconstrued. Relatives of people who have died at the notorious 530ft (162m) suicide spot near Eastbourne…

On the fifth day of Christmas my council gave to me….5p a mile Tribute was paid to the late Councillor Roger Green of Wisbech who had advocated the extra 5p a mile for councillors on official business. “One of the amendments that the late Cllr Green had made great play of was that the mileage had been held at 40p.”

Plane-parts suppliers charged in $6M Ponzi scheme in Fort Lauderdale
Victor Brown, 54, of Hollywood [Florida], and Roger Green, 78, of Stuart, were taken into custody Wednesday on charges of racketeering and conspiracy to commit first-degree racketeering, authorities said. [A bunch of variations on this story.]

It was the sixth time in eight days the Roger Green-coached Lady Tigers have won.

Create a harvesting plan for retirement assets, by Roger Green
Retirement planning does not end at retirement. The need to grow assets for income remains important for most – especially those who have not accrued enough assets to last them throughout today’s longer retirement periods.

A Sense of Proportionality

Getting lost is the fact that OWS changed the conversation. The narrative that wealth trickling down works has been largely rejected. The notion that your can’t fight back against the banks has been proven to be false.

Things in the world have been annoying me, and I think there’s a common theme: everything seems to be perceived as equal as everything else. I go to a news aggregator and I see the latest on the wars, a bad weather event, and the most recent person voted off a reality show, and it’s all treated similarly, as though they have the equivalent news value.

There has been a run of misstatements by US politicians recently, and they are not the same at all. US Senate Majority leader Harry Reid recently talked about being done before the Easter recess, then quickly corrected himself to say Thanksgiving. In a debate, Republican Presidential candidate Rick Perry has a brain freeze and can’t remember the departments he’d eliminate, and some pundits declare his candidacy over; it WAS bad but human. GOP candidate Herman Cain not seeming to know that China had gotten nuclear missiles – over 40 years ago! – or the US position vis a vis Khaddafy’s Libya seems less like a gaffe, which I think means a relatively trivial matter, and more like a fundamental shortcoming.
Re; the Occupy Wall Street, et al movement. There were basic truths about income inequality that fueled the protests. But recent polling suggests that the OWS has become less popular, not, I submit, because of the wrongness of the original premise, but because of the obfuscation over whether or not the protesters had the right to essentially live in public parks, and the manner in which they were removed by the police. In fact, it has been the heavy-handed response by authorities in many cities, such as NYC; Oakland, CA; Burlington, VT; Portland, OR; and Chapel Hill, NC, which has actually energized the movement, rather than defeat it. Of course, I know from too many rallies that “the people, united, can never be defeated.”

Getting lost by critics is the fact that OWS changed the conversation. The narrative that wealth trickling down works has been largely rejected. The notion that you can’t fight back against the banks has been proven to be false. There’s a pushback against the idea that unions are all costly, terrible mistakes. There is an economic disparity, and if there is a class war, it isn’t the 99% waging it. So a poll of whether one supports the movement is facile at best.
Another issue: the alleged sex crimes at Penn State. Jaquandor hit on much of it when he noted that PSU isn’t the victim here; children allegedly are. And I should say here, I suppose, that Jerry Sandusky is innocent of the charges against him until proven guilty. What I am compelled to note, though, is guilty or not, Jerry Sandusky is an idiot. Who thought it was a good idea to agree to a phone interview on national television? His lawyer, who had a child by an underage girl more than 30 years his junior? His lawyer is an idiot too.

I read an article by a local retired journalist, which I cannot now find, that suggests that people have watched so many “real” people interviewed on TV after a tragedy that they feel some sort of obligation to do the same. This is a false assumption, and especially when one has been indicted. Sandusky, from everything I’ve seen of him, seems to think HE’S the misunderstood victim here. Some free legal advice: Jerry Sandusky should say NOTHING, at least until his trial.

What the heck is behind Congress considering a bill counting pizza as a vegetable? A paean to some fast-food lobby or hostility towards Michelle Obama’s efforts towards healthier living? Or something else?

I believe in intellectual property rights, but the Stop Online Piracy Act, proposed in the House of Representatives, and the companion bill PROTECT IP (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act) is a pair of oxymoronic newspeak titles, just like peacekeeper missiles and the USA PATRIOT Act. As an intellectual property attorney I know puts it, the proposed law is “insidious and dangerous. It will change, some say break, the internet as we know it, by turning the internet into a limited portal where you can’t do much more than buy what they want you to buy, and only from them, and to read only what they want you to read, and for a price.”

Yet the legislation has a good chance of passing with bipartisan political support, despite the opposition of Google, AOL, eBay, Facebook, Linked In, Mozilla, Twitter, Yahoo, and Zynga. This is bad law, and could easily affect those not in the United States as well,

Done ranting. Or, I’ve run out of time.

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