Grab Bag

From time to time I will throw up a grab bag post, where many different events are covered, things that you can weigh in on. Some days there is lots going on and since I don’t feel like writing 5 separate posts (lazy? probably, but since the site host-we call him Ebeneezer-pays peanuts and keeps us all in working conditions where your average Bangladeshie sweat shop worker would say ,”no thanks”) ya get what ya pay for.

1) Dow 13,000, a big deal, or not? It has taken us a while to get back here (4 years), does this translate into any confidence with our present economic situation or does it validate (raising my hand) the notion that even in tough times with one hand tide behind it’s back by intrusive over taxing government, our industries and the companies that poplulate those industries can still kick ass wrt to earnings and making money?

2) Ohio school shooting, is it creepier that the shooter picked his victims randomly? Given that he only had a .22 cal pistol and only 10 rounds of ammo, to kill 3 people seems really unfortunate and just bad luck. In the hand s of an unaccomplished shooter, being rushed and amped up on adrenaline, I would have expected most shots to have missed entirely. Should he be tried as an adult? And what is to be made of the orchestrated attempt by the media to paint this guy as a right winger? They mention his interest in NASCAR, his love of hunting, and his confederate flag tattoo, gee, how did they miss that time 3 years ago when he went to church?

3) Some prominent GOP congress critters have decided to pack it in and not run in November, leaving the door open for Dem challengers and dashing GOP hopes of grabbing both houses of congress. Olympia Snowe (senator from Maine) and David Drier (rep. from California) have had their fill, both citing rancorous political sniping within the ranks as their reasons for bailing. Drier’s seat will almost assuredly go to a Dem,. probably ditto with Snowe. Some might have the attitude that since Snowe was a reluctant and fair weather Republican, that it would be no great loss. But consider this, Although Scott Brown could also be placed in to that category, is it better to have a RINO, where you at least have his ear and can persuade him on some of the issues, or someone like Elisabeth Warren, where she will always go with the loony left, on everything?

4) Is anyone else just a bit creeped out at how we have handled the Israel/Iran problem, the lengths at which we have publicized every conversations we have had with Israel and how we are bending over backwards to talk Israel out of a military strike? You would think that conversations with our allies would be kept private, that any hesitance we might have in launching a strike would be held close to the vest as not to give Iran any heads up, and that whatever disagreements exist, we would not broadcast them for world dissemination. I also love the current attitude held by this administration that ,”We really don’t know the mullah’s intentions and whether in fact that even want to build a bomb, and how close they are”, talk about burying your head in the sand. Since 5% percent uranium is all that is needed for nuclear reactors, they are now manufacturing 20% uranium (weapons grade is 85%).

This is not to say that I am all for a military strike immediately (the element of surprise on that has long since passed) and sanctions have currently at least got their attention. But Israel is basically on their own, they know that, it has always been that way, and if they decide that it is necessary to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, you can bet that they have weighed all the options ahead of time.

Update: I’ll throw in one more, again, not worth a post by itself but interesting nonetheless: North Korea had agreed to a suspension of uranium enrichment and to a moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests, a big deal or are we being played yet again?

In exchange for this magnanimity the US promises to deliver 240,000 metric tons of food aid. Here’s my question, why does the US always get stuck with the check? Don’t pacific rim nations, Japan/S. Korea/Taiwan etc., have more of a dog in this fight then us? How about the world bank funding all this food aid, even the UN, if it’s better for the rest of the world when N. Korea tones it down, how about they share in these good faith gestures?

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  1. Kimpost

    1) I’m slightly optimistic. The Dow and that the growth of Q4 2011 just got upgraded a couple of points are both good news, but it’s a loooooong way to go. I think it will be a bumpy ride.

    2) Don’t try anyone under 18 as an adult, ever. But I realize that’s mostly my sense of morality speaking. I’m sure that there are people out there who wants to paint him as an extremist. Some might even use yet another shooting as a reason for stricter gun control, but I haven’t seen much of an orchestrated attempt from the media to paint him as a right-winger. Has that really been big this time?

    4) I’m not sure how to handle the situation. If I remember things correctly the US could stop Israel from striking simply by not allowing them to fly over Iraq, but I think that the US gave them a go-ahead for that months ago. Israel will probably do something. I don’t however think that Israel, regardless if they have weighed all the options or not, would do the “right” thing whatever they do. The debate on that is strong even inside Israel. Complicated shit this.

    I’m almost surprised that Iran hasn’t built schools on the sites yet, while inviting foreigners to the locations, effectively taking the option of bombing off the table. But I guess they don’t want to push things that far. But then again I don’t understand why Iran just doesn’t leave the nuclear non-proliferation act. Guess they don’t want to face an eternal blockade or something, what do I know…

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  2. Seattle Outcast

    1) Big deal, but it’s offset by the massive unemployment that the WH continues to pretend isn’t an issue

    2) As long as he’s strung up on a rope by the time it’s all over I don’t really care how they try him. He’s damaged goods now, will only get worse as he gets older.

    3) Don’t count your chickens before they hatch

    4) The current admin has pretty much given Israel a hearty “fuck you” at every turn, I don’t expect any changes

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  3. mrblume

    Don’t try anyone under 18 as an adult, ever

    Precisely. Alternatively, if you must, don’t have a separate system for minors at all. But the persistent trying of kids as adults whenever people feel particularly enraged (which is, apparently, always) is costing the system legitimacy.

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  4. hist_ed

    1) Meh, just a number

    2) Kimpost and Blume-so this guy killed 3 people deliverately. He should get out of jail in a few years? Regarding his gun .22s can be VERY accurate. At short range it would be tough to miss.

    3) Bet the GOP still gets the Senate. There are 23 Dem held seats and 10 Republican. 2006 was a sweep for the Democrats; they took a lot of Republican leaning seats. They will lose some next year.

    4) Yes. You’d think Obama would be happy about an Israeli strike. He doesn’t get blamed and a problem maybe gets solved. Oh and we don’t control Iraqi airspace any more. The Iraqis do. They coudn’t stop Israel of course.

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  5. salinger

    2) this happened a few miles from me. I have consulted at and have friends who teach at that school. It is a very very sad state of affairs. I feel sorry for the victims, the town and even the shooter. He’s definitely got severe problems and has already confessed. He won’t be seeing the light of day anytime soon. When asked his defense attorney described the boy as scared. I am proud of the actions taken at the school – (they had a plan for such an event and followed it), of the coach who risked his skin to chase the shooter out of the building and the professionalism of law enforcement in this rural community during this unthinkable tragedy. If you pray remember this little town in your prayers if you’re not the praying type then give a kid a hug.

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  6. HARLEY

    1.) this is short term, as gas prices rise and tensions in the mideast rise, with more and more clarity that the economic growth is slowing yet again, we will see about mid April some profit taking and selling off.

    2.) string the lil fucker up, he knew exactly what he was doing. I was bullied in school too, and I did think about doing the same.. and no i never did…responsibility with weapons and with tool;s..was taught to me as was the lesson that what does not kill you makes you stronger….

    3.)Given the total fucks we have running for the GOP nom, i think we as citizens need to refocus on the house and senate races.

    4.) I think Obama wants Israel to conduct a strike, and reap the whirlwind of the arab worlds reaction, then he can go in as peace maker…and on some level i think Iran wants to be hit too… that might take some pressure off their own homefront.

    5.)The new Avengers Trailer popped today, any one else get wood?

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  7. Kimpost

    6) The EU and several individual countries regularly give aid to North Korea. China, South Korea and Japan are large contributors of food for instance. As are you guys, of course. Overall I think that the food aid has been necessary, and that it probably has helped save hundreds of thousands of lives.

    But it’s always a complicated thing, giving aid to dictatorships.

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  8. Kimpost

    2) Kimpost and Blume-so this guy killed 3 people deliverately. He should get out of jail in a few years?

    Dunno. Ideally he should get out after he has served his time, hopefully fully rehabilitated coming from a perfect prison system with limitless resources. *cue the violins* In any case I think that juveniles should be tried as such. I admit that I’m not tough on crime as many Americans define it.

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  9. Mississippi Yankee

    1) I find it awfully odd that in Sept. 2008 McCain was in the lead and the Dow was holding it’s own. But then OVER .FUCKING. NIGHT. the latter dove and destroyed the former. No persons or entities have ever been named, officially, for that abrupt change in the stock market.

    Flash ahead to the run-up to the 2012 erection. Could there be unseen hands once again manipulating our economy? World events especially reported by global papers such as the Financial Time, Haaretz, Asian News International… ect. certainly does NOT support why this market rise is occurring. Not with record unemployment, sky high gas prices and a total nation-wide mistrust of elected officials. Plus the global ramifications of the EU in a downward spiral, complete unrest throughout the Arab world and a nuclear armed Iran.

    If you (any of ya’ll) think I’m being paranoid and you’re not being manipulated … Good Luck!

    3) That miserable cunt Snowe and her double-cunted sister- in arms Susan Collins have been on the democrat party payroll for a very long time. If you wonder about her motives please consider the fact her staff had no clue as to her decisions to not run for re-election. She informed them just hours before her official announcement.

    4) Obama will use any and every means to stay Israel until AGAIN Sept. See a pattern yet?

    ExtraCredit) REALLY? Sending them food again in exchange for future promises, REALLY?

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  10. richtaylor365 *

    5.)The new Avengers Trailer popped today, any one else get wood?

    I am hesitant. Comics was such a big part of my childhood, The Avengers (my favorite characters were Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch), Spiderman, Daredevil, The Silver Surfer. I think If I go see it I will be disappointed, kinda like banging the prom queen at your 20 year HS reunion, it never lives up to the hype.

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  11. hist_ed

    Extra cretit: posted on Hal’s thread about this. The norks have cheated every single time. The food aid mostly doesn’t reach ordinary people. Time to stop.

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  12. richtaylor365 *

    I admit that I’m not tough on crime as many Americans define it.

    I know what you mean. I find that as I get older I am more willing to re calibrate my long standing convictions on many things (most survive the scrutiny and remain solvent) but others like crime and punishment I have evolved somewhat. But remember this, juvenile law is designed and written to treat those that are incomplete, those young brains that have not fully formed their morality and reality indicators, and are without those triggers that adults have. Culpability is less of a criteria because if you do not know right from wrong, don’t know the cause and effect of your actions (the implied impetus behind juvenile law) then you really aren’t responsible for your actions. This works fine for someone pre teen, but distorts the process entirely for someone 17, old enough to have those triggers already formed and the mechanisms intact for discerning his actions.

    It does not sit well with the folks and makes a mockery of justice when someone old enough to know better commits a serious crime, but is then released at 25, which what usually happens for juvenile offenders.

    Sans any mental illness, this kid knew what he was doing, knew that firing a gun at a live person was tantamount to murder, and was old enough to know what the taking of a human life entailed. Given what little I know about this case, I think he should be tried as an adult.

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