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Nov. 4th, 2012

"...Mommy said there's no such thing as monsters, but there are..."

I've been trying to explain this to people for a long time.

Their eyes just glaze over, and they tell me to give them the "simple version".

There IS no "simple version" (economics is complicated...) but maybe visual aids will help.


The slides referenced above tell exactly what most economists say is necessary for us to fix our economy.

Romney's plans do exactly the opposite.

Many people want to vote for Romney, because they are under the simplistic (mistaken) impression that because he is a businessperson, his plan will fix the economy.

What his plan will do is "deep-six" the economy, because it only adds to the problems we already have, and does nothing to help them.

It will help Romney. It will help Sheldon Adelson (CEO of SANDS corporation, and Romney's biggest "SuperPAC" sponsor, who has spent about 100 Million to get Romney elected, and stands to make more than 4 billion in tax breaks from this plan, as well as end any pending investigations into his casino business by the Justice Department). It will NOT help ordinary people like us. It will hurt us and make us virtual serfs. The numbers DO NOT add up. Check it yourself:


He seeks to eliminate the capital gains tax for those making less than 200k /year, so that they can use that to fund their retirement. I make less than 200k / year. My annual capital gains taxes are minimal, at best. Most people making less than me do not have ANY capital gains to tax. I was 40 before I paid ANY capital gains tax at all. That means little retirement savings because there is no interest to compound. And, what happens when that money is gone?

He seeks to repeal "Dodd-Frank"; he does not tell you what it is, or why he wants to repeal it, other than saying, "...The recent financial crisis exposed serious weaknesses in a regulatory system that was poorly equipped to deal with dynamic and evolving markets. The government’s response was to layer on new regulations and invent new bureaucracies that do not address the underlying causes of a crisis driven by the over-leveraging of our financial institutions and our homeowners. Rather than dealing directly with those issues, the government gave itself an open check book to write ambiguous regulations that have left our businesses and households uncertain of their obligations and uncompetitive in a
global marketplace." The whole purpose of Dodd-Frank is to deal with those issues. By repealing, rather than correcting, Dodd-Frank, it once again leaves the financial industry open to practice the same abuses that caused the global financial crisis in the first place. According to WIKIPEDIA: "... it brought the most significant changes to financial regulation in the United States since the regulatory reform that followed the Great Depression.... It made changes in the American financial regulatory environment that affect all federal financial regulatory agencies and almost every part of the nation's financial services industry." In other words, to keep them from cheating and stealing, like they did. Most people will not check this. They will not understand that he is clearly not helping them, but rather his own interests.

He seeks to reform legal liability, so that ordinary people cannot sue for damages due to injurious products.

He seeks to allow hydrofracking (which will further poison the water-table), eliminate regulations on coal mining (already one of the most dangerous jobs in America), and allow oil drilling in national parks and off the coast of the US, ruining our environment for all time, just to give more money to ExxonMobil and BP. This is how we achieve energy independence in 8 years. All of this is in his plan. read it.

I HEARD (this is not hearsay, It came out of his mouth) Romney say, at one of his speeches (yes, I watched it on the internet) that we "don't need any more police, teachers and firemen. What we need is more small business entrepreneurship..." Really? Who will BUY the products these small-business entrepreneurs will make? Making a small number of people more wealthy, while the rest of us suffer does not improve the economy. It just creates greater personal wealth and simply maintains the hegemony of the rich. These types of plans do not work; they have not worked in Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines, or Saudi Arabia. What makes anyone think it will work here?

Do not think the wealthy care about you, or the United States. The wealthy can live anywhere, so if the US becomes no better than Rio de Janerio, they will simply , ; If you don't believe that, think about THE PALM in Dubai (google it if you've never heard about it). They believe that nationalism is for the poor. They say Obama is for "income redistribution", but so are they. They claim to support the middle-class, but they really think the middle-class is a myth, used to pacify the masses and not recognize they are all just cows being led to the abbetoir. They believe that there are the "haves", and the "have-nots". Guess which one you are? (hint - do you make over $260,000 a year? )

I cannot believe than ANYONE with ANY intelligence at all would choose to have this person as President. I wasn't worried when Romney was 20 points behind. Now that the race is neck-and-neck, I AM worried.

In 1932, Germany elected the NAZI party to power because they were unhappy with the Weimar Republic. Runaway inflation, high unemployment, and a reduction in military forces were the main reasons for this change. Adolf Hitler, then the leader of the NAZI party, became chancellor and Prime Minister of Germany. We all know what happened next. The funny thing is, all of Hitler's plans were in his book, "Mein Kamf" (yes, I read it - google it, it's online...) , but almost no one in Germany took the time to read it. The ones that did said they didn't think he would actually DO those things. Sound familiar...?

If you are thinking of voting for Romney, do us all a favor and read his plan first; then think about it before you vote. If you are not voting for Romney, send this to all your friends. Maybe we can grow SOME sense in people before Tuesday...

Dec. 25th, 2011

(no subject)

Frank R. Buckles died last February.

(If you don't know who Frank Buckles was, you need to read ALL of my posts. I explained who he was, in great detail, some time ago...)

I knew about it.

CBS NEWS just got around to telling about him dying this morning, when they listed all the people who died (died)this year.

What I want to know is, Where was CBS NEWS in February...? This would have made a great profile for CBS SUNDAY MORNING, but instead, the last surviving Doughboy gets shoehorned in just after a butter sculptor, and just before Amy ("I ain't going to rehab") Winehouse.

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown...

Dec. 8th, 2011

Jerry Robinson, R.I.P. (January 1, 1922 – December 7, 2011)

Another founder of the comics industry has passed. Jerry Robinson, who worked with Bob Kane and Bill Finger on early Batman stories, and laid claim to creating the Joker, though Bob Kane always disputed it, died today.


There may have been controversy over the Joker, but it is for certain that Robinson created one of the most important characters in the DC universe - Dick Grayson, otherwise known as ROBIN-The Boy Wonder. All teen sidekicks of the era were based on Robin (in the case of SPEEDY, directly stolen...), and was the most popular character at DC with the youth readers for many years.

Although Robin may have also been directly responsible for the death of Superhero comics in the mid-1950's (read SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT, by Fredric Wertham), he also kept Batman from becoming the otherwise dark and grim character (I know what you're thinking, but it could have been MUCH worse!)that he would have become without Robin.

Thank you Jerry...

Aug. 3rd, 2011

What a long strange trip it's been...(revisited)

If you read my posts regularly, or even semi-regularly (as I am a semi-regular poster), you might remember that I had written on Jul. 15th, 2007 about my trip to Seattle and G-Girl's purchase of a (very well) used laptop computer from a dealer at the public market.

We brought the computer home, I completed the upgrades, and gave it back to G-Girl. The computer, now officially (and affectionately) named "Seattle", has served G-Girl well and faithfully since 2007.

On our most recent trip, she commented that with Microsoft eliminating Windows XP, there will be no hope of upgrading Seattle's OS, and that it is too old for a new battery. She was upset that it may be time for Seattle to retire.

I thought about this, and re-read the post on how I talked her into buying Seattle. I guess that was the best $200 she ever spent...

Jul. 24th, 2011

I guess Federal law doesn't apply if you're shooting a Black Man...

Posted on SLASHDOT today:

"USA Today reports that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction of a man who threatened to shoot President Obama, saying his Internet message board comments amounted to free speech and ruled that prosecutors 'failed to present sufficient evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt' that the man 'had the subjective intent to threaten a presidential candidate.' Walter Bagdasarian was found guilty two years ago of making threats against the presidential candidate in comments he posted on a Yahoo.com financial website after 1 am on Oct. 22, 2008, as Obama's impending victory in the race for the White House was becoming apparent. Bagdasarian told investigators he was drunk at the time. The observation that Obama 'will have a 50 cal in the head soon' and a call to 'shoot the [racist slur]' weren't violations of the law under which Bagdasarian was convicted because the statute doesn't criminalize 'predictions or exhortations to others to injure or kill the president,' said the majority opinion, written by Judge Stephen Reinhardt."

I guess the 9th Circuit Court doesn't know about Schenk v. United States (1919:

During World War I, when the United States was at war with Germany, Congress passed the Espionage Act, outlawing any attempt to foster insubordination or obstruct the draft. Charles Schenck, general secretary of the Socialist Party, was arrested for conspiring to print and circulate leaflets that would obstruct and hinder the enlistment service of the United States. Schenck argued that the Espionage Act violated his rights to freedom of speech and press. The Supreme Court held that in a time of war, extraordinary conditions may take effect where Congress has the right to forbid printed materials or speech aimed at hindering the war effort. The test for "a clear and present danger" was formulated to deal with questions regarding freedom of speech.(From ThinkQuest (http://library.thinkquest.org/11572/cc/cases/schenck.html))

We ARE in a time of WAR, right...?

Jul. 16th, 2011

TORCHWOOD Miracle Day questions...?

I finished watching part II or Torchwood Miracle Day, and it raised some questions in my mind - Don't worry, none of what I'm going to say is a spoiler for Miracle Day, though it MIGHT be a spoiler if you haven't seen "Children of Earth"...

(1) They all keep saying Torchwood is gone. Let's review - In "Children of Earth", the SAS blew up Torchwood CARDIFF by putting C-4 into Jack and sending him home. It is logical to assume they did this because (a) they were not sure where exactly the entrance to Torchwood CARDIFF was (they know it is "down by the river", but not the exact location of the "door" (elevator), and (b) because it is MUCH easier to blow something up from the inside than it is from the outside.

What about Torchwood London (where Ianto said he used to work), and Torchwood GLASGOW? Or any OTHER Torchwoods we haven't heard about? The Jack trick only worked in COE because Jack is immortal. The SAS still doesn't know where the "doors" are to London, Glasgow, etc. So how could they ALL be dead? Did Russell T. Davies forget that Torchwood exists outside Cardiff?

(2) How did the SAS succeed in blowing up Torchwood anyway? They couldn't have put more than about 5 pounds of C-4 in Jack, or he would have noticed the weight difference when he walked.

C-4 is a high explosive, but not powerful enough to destroy Torchwood in smaller quantities. C-4 is most dangerous due to domino effect - its explosion ruptures gas lines, causing fires and more explosions, it disrupts electrical lines, starting fires, etc.

Torchwood MUST run on some alien power source, so what would the C-4 disrupt? Last week, a terrorist tried to blow someone up using the same method. Terrorist go boom, person he was trying to kill - safe. The terrorist's own body reduced the force of the explosion. How then, was a small amount of C-4 (remember, the terrorist knew his was in there, so he knew what was causing the weight difference - they couldn't put THAT much in Jack without the weight differential being a problem. Because of the animals and other dangerous things down there, the place would have to be pretty tough, so I have trouble believing a small, unnoticeable amount of C-4 would do it...

Explosion muffled by Jack's body, no power or gas lines, hardened complex; What EXACTLY made Torchwood Cardiff blow up to the degree it did?

May. 19th, 2011

Planning for the Apocalypse...

We've all heard about those people who are saying that the world is coming to an end either this year (if you believe that Minister on Family Radio) or next (if you believe the Mayans).

We know that it will not be destroyed through flood, as we were promised that would never happen again.

Fire is a possibility, what with California wild fires, global warming and Japanese radiation, but unlikely.

But the CDC has found the answer, and wants us prepared. The end of the world will be a...



Feb. 25th, 2011

Random musings...

Today, I went to J&R Music World, a major NYC music, movies, electronics, etc. retailer (I remember when J&R was only a small record store in a dilapidated block across from city hall, that nobody wanted, and the Rock and Soul were in the basement of the building, with the walkmans upstairs...Now, it is some of the most expensive real estate in Manhattan, and J&R has almost the entire block...), and had several thoughts as I shopped:

(1) Bob Marley and the Wailers have released a new live album. Yes, Bob Marley. The one that's been dead for almost 30 years. That Bob Marley. This goes along with iTunes getting the Beatles...And the record companies think that people aren't buying their product because of piracy...Makes you think, huh?

(2) Although XBox Kinect is going to kick the Wii's ass, don't play with it in public. There is no way to do so without looking like an idiot...

(3) For a really big store, J&R only had one out of the three items I went there for, and that one was overpriced. They are complaining that there are no customers because of the recession. I think they need to stop listening to the accountants about how to run the store, and get some merchandise...

Oct. 26th, 2010

Creation and the death of Fan-run Cons...

I woke up this morning, and realized just how much I missed the old Thanksgiving CREATION Con.

For those of you too young to know, remember, or did not grow up in the NYC area, I am not referring to the over-commercialized, anything for a buck, “circle of gold” kind of CREATION in existence today. I am referring to when CREATION was a REAL convention.

Back in the day, around 1974-1979, CREATION was a fan-run, once-a-year, three-day event, starting the Friday after Thanksgiving. At that time, I didn’t spend Thanksgiving Day thinking about turkey, or giving thanks; I spent it checking to see what back-issues I needed in order to complete a particular run, getting my con stuff together (price guide, autograph book, money, etc.), and going to bed at 9:00pm so that I could leave my house at 6:00am the next morning in order to arrive at the Statler Hilton / Penta Hotel / NY Penta / Hotel Pennsylvania (yes, it changed names several times over the years…) by 8:00am and be on line for the 10:00am opening.

The hotel was in a great place, directly across the street from Penn Station. They used the 17th Floor for the dealer’s room, one ballroom for a film room, and another for the programming (I think there MIGHT have been another on the Mezzanine for program, but I can’t remember for sure…).

In any case, the convention ran all day and most of the night, with panels, stars from media and comic artists / writers, and serials (Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Spy Smasher, The Phantom Empire, etc.),movies (Creation was where I first saw THEM. My friends and I – who I met at Creation - sat on the subway at 3:00am going home singing, “ANTS, ANTS, ANTS” to the tune of “Spam, Spam, Spam” the whole way…).

Although it felt good to reminisce, I also thought of the darker side; teens today will never have the same experience I did at fan-cons, because they are dying out. WORLDCON in Montreal last year barely managed 2000 people, while DragonCon got 30,000 plus and San Diego (Comic-Con International) got over 50,000! LunaCon, PhilCon, Eastern Media Con, EMC con, etc. all dying. Arisia seems to be doing well, but that appears to be an anomaly.

Why are these conventions all failing, but the big pro-run shows are doing well? There was a panel at MediaWest Con (another one dying) on this topic, and most fans seem to think this is because there is no new blood coming in, and what does come in is only interested in Cosplay, very little of which you see at the fan cons. The young ones see little value to paying an admission fee and sit around and talk with other fans when they can do this for free on the internet.

As someone who spent a good part of his youth at cons (Star Trek and Creation when I was a teen, Regional Cons and the WorldCon in college (Road-Trip, anyone???), International Cons in Grad School (the first time), San Diego Comic-Con, DragonCon, EMC Con, and most recently, MediaWest Con, I really do not understand this attitude. I wonder, too, if there is still a place for fan-run cons? Can one survive in this economic and social climate? I certainly hope so…

Oct. 20th, 2010

I'm an AWFUL person...

I just took an online quiz which is supposed to tell you which of the Doctors on HOUSE M.D. you are most like.

At first, I just said the worst things possible, but then I got interested and went back to correct my answers so that they are how I really feel.

I came out as Gregory House.

But he's an AWFUL person. Every woman I know HATES him.

Oh well.

You can take the quiz at:

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