Archive for December, 2010

Technological terrors

December 31, 2010

Darth Vader used a variation of the title of this piece to describe the Death Star in the original “Star Wars” movie. To me, it has come to describe the iPod. I was given one of these little beasties by my sister. It isn’t a new one, but a used one, and like the saw about a used car goes, when you get a used iPod, you’re inheriting someone else’s problem. The first problem is the worst: the battery is toast. I don’t mean a bit off it’s mark, or dodgy, I mean flat-out gone. When I first got it, it the iPod would not turn on, so I borrowed my sister’s USB-to-iPod adaptor and plugged it in. Eight plus hours later, when I disconnected it, the iPod refuses to do anything. Seeing as how it had been letting me play with it right up until I unplugged it, that leads me to conclude that the battery won’t take a charge. If you have an iPod, you know they’re small pieces of engineering, and I am not too keen to try disassembling one. I found a video that shows how to do it, mind you, I am just not too keen on the idea of using my big fingers to mess with something that small. I’ve looked around and there are several options I can follow to get the battery replaced, but all of them are more than slightly expensive….outside of replacing it myself. Ah, the joys of being on the horns of a dilemma…….
IF I manage to get the battery replaced, then the real fun will start. You see, the iPod already has music on it, but that music sucks, at least IMHO. I found an online manual for the iPod, but when I tried to follow it’s directions for reformatting the iPod, the iPod refused to cooperate. Of course, after that, I have to get the iTunes software and install it on my desktop machine, followed shortly (I hope!) by making the decision what all I want to load onto the iPod. I have plenty I’d love to have on it, I just need to get the time to do it.

What was the line, the most expensive thing you can own is something you get for free? I am beginning to think that is no exaggeration.

Senator Kyl defends Christmas (yeah, right……..)!

December 15, 2010

I think someone needs to contact NASA and ask them to page Sen. Jon Kyl. When Senate majority leader Harry Reid informed Senators that they might have to work up to, and possibly after, their traditional Christmas break, Kyl decided he needed to address the matter. He stated, and I quote: “It is impossible to do all of the things that the majority leader laid out without doing — frankly, without disrespecting the institution and without disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians and the families of all of the Senate, not just the senators themselves but all of the staff,” (Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/15/jon-kyl-harry-reid-christmas-senate_n_796942.html). I’m suggesting NASA handle this because Sen. Kyl is clearly well past the point of being “out to lunch”. Unless the junior Senator from Arizona hasn’t noticed, there are a lot of folks out in the “private sector” he so often claims to love who not only have to work up to the Christmas holiday, they actually have to work ON the holiday!

I hate to have to point it out to this sanctimonious schmuck, but there are a lot of people who’d love to have the schedule the Senate works to. The Senate’s own calendar for the 111th session (http://www.senate.gov) shows that, in a typical 52 week year, they’re not scheduled to be in session for at roughly TEN weeks a year, and that doesn’t include federal holidays that don’t end up getting “stretched” into week-long (or longer!) breaks. This, on top of the $100,000+ dollar/year salary they currently collect makes being a U. S. Senator a pretty good fit to the term “cush gig”.

So how about it, Senator Kyl? Think you can manage to do a bit more work in return for that nice fat salary you’re getting? Maybe you can “feel the pain” of all of those anonymous folks you get driven past each day on your way to work and actually DO SOME FUCKING WORK, YA LAZY BASTARD!!!!!!!

Geez, and people like this wonder why Congress is held more and more in contempt by “average Americans”………

“Where the fuck are all the new jobs?”

December 8, 2010

The current debate over the extension to the Bush-era tax breaks has been in the headline a great deal of recent. Democrats passed an extension of the tax breaks to the lower-end earners, but that legislation was blocked in the Senate by a wall of Republican votes (admittedly, with a handful of Democratic support). They feel that if there is no blanket extension of the tax breaks, there should be no tax breaks at all. One theme that has been hammered out, again and again, by Republicans and other conservative to defend is that tax breaks for the top (roughly) 2% of the population is that without these tax breaks, there will be no jobs growth. My reply is the question that forms the title of this piece.

For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, Bush signed the tax breaks law back in May of 2003 (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jobs_and_Growth_Tax_Relief_Reconciliation_Act_of_2003). Since then, how many new jobs have you seen created? Me, back in ’03, I still had a job, now I’m like a large percentage of the potential US workforce: out of work and looking for something, anything, to do! So, if tax breaks are the great economic stimulus that conservative insist they are, where the fuck are all the jobs?

I’ll tell you were they are: not here in the US!

That’s because the idea that the rich make jobs for everyone else is bull, pure and simple. Reagan called it “trickle-down economics”, and while a lot of conservative love to say Reagan’s tax policies helped spur an era of economic growth, that don’t make it so. The truth of the matter is that what spurred economic growth in Reagan’s presidency was the fact that he never ran into a weapons system he didn’t love, and he was willing to spend to get those weapons. So lots of people made tons of money working in defense plants, turning out all the fancy new toys for our military. They, in turn, had lots of money to spend on things like cars, houses, electronics and all the other “consumer goods” that kept the rest of the economy rolling. So it wasn’t tax breaks for the wealthy that caused the economy to boom during Reagan’s time in office, it was good old fashioned government spending….you know, the thing conservative these days love to hate.

The most disappointing thing of it all is that the Republicans will get away with this. The party that lambasted Obama and the Democrats for their “deficit spending” will use their filibuster power in the Senate to force a tax package “compromise” that will make the hole the federal budget digs $700 billion deeper. But don’t worry, as things get worse and jobs don’t suddenly appear, they’ll know right were the blame lies…..with those “tax and spend liberals” of course!

I’d laugh if it wasn’t such a fucking sick joke on America. So Merry Christmas and a nice big “Fuck You, America!” from the Republican Party. Ho, ho, fuckin’ ho……..