Bessie made it! There’s hope for us all!

by lestro

or “headline of the day

The news came over the radio in the clipped jargon of police officers:

Queens. Loose cow. 103 Precinct. 109 Avenue. E.S.U. reporting a loose cow at the location.

And, by getting loose in Jamaica, Queens, on Wednesday afternoon, this cow may have earned herself a reprieve from the slaughterhouse from which she escaped, officials said…

It seems due to her quick thinking escape, she is now going to be transported to a vegan farm Upstate that takes in animals found running loose in the City (something I thought was simply a story you told kids when their dog had to be put down…)

The spokesman confirmed that officers handed the cow over to Animal Care and Control officials.

“The cow did not go to the slaughterhouse,” said the police spokesman, who said the details of the capture were still being analyzed.

The police spokesman — apparently as uplifted as anyone about the cow’s new lease on life — said he suspected the cow, by escaping, had acted to save its own life.

“I think it’s because it made it out,” he said.

Let that be a lesson to us all. Just because it has been determined that we are to be slaughtered and fed to the masses does not mean we can not all change our destinies by trying to break free from our bondage.

All those other cattle who didn’t bother to question the bloody grate under their feet are now burgers, but this one – this radical cow who refused to do what she was told –  will live out her days in peace.

We can all learn something from that.

Sweet Caroline, are we really talking about qualifications?

by lestro

Ever since she let it be known that she wanted to be the next senator from the Great State of New York, the biggest question on pundit lips has been ‘Is Caroline Kennedy qualified to be Senator?’

Come on, really?

She even got the dreaded Palin Comparison when in the early stages of all of this, a handler “whisked her away” after a reporter asked why she though she was qualified.

Honestly, how qualified do you really have to be to be a senator? Their job is to talk to each other and try to find compromise.

How about, “I’m older than 30, have been a citizen for more than nine years and I live in the state I am looking to represent. Which, coincidentally, puts me ahead of the person I am looking to replace…”

Fuck, we elect athletes and actors to the senate. The whole point of our system is that anyone can do it.

And let’s not forget that Kennedy would be taking over for someone who also had absolutely no qualifications other than her last name and wasn’t even from the state, but went on to do a pretty good job as senator. Read more of this post

Gay penguin celebrities and their kids

by twit

via Neatorama, the recently notorious gay penguins in China have turned out to be great parents:

A pair of gay penguins thrown out of their zoo colony for repeatedly stealing eggs have been given some of their own to look after following a protest by animal rights groups.

… ‘We decided to give them two eggs from another couple whose hatching ability had been poor and they’ve turned out to be the best parents in the whole zoo,’ said one of the keepers.

‘It’s very encouraging and if this works out well we will try to arrange for them to become real parents themselves with artificial insemination.’

Read more of this post

An Important Relationship in Trouble

by the Squid

According to Sharon Rivkin, there are seven signs that a relationship is in trouble, and in reading it, I began to feel that I am in trouble with a very important relationship in my life: my relationship with New York State.

I was raised in upstate New York and so was my extended family.  A few of us have left the state to live, but we all came back.  Now, with the sagging economy, dysfunctional legislature, massive $12 billion dollar deficit, general low wages and industry leaving the state in droves, I have begun to seriously look at this relationship and I am beginning to think it is about over.

1) Fighting has become the rule rather than the exception

Who would have thought that once the bulldozer called Eliot Spitzer left office, soon followed by the tough Republican Joe Bruno, that New York state legislature would become MORE dysfunctional.  New York’s State Senators all seem to be petty, power-hungry egomaniacs who are looking to serve their own self-interests before those of the citizens of this state.

2) You find yourself looking outside the relationship for comfort, care and understanding

While New York was getting pounded with an ice storm, Charlotte, North Carolina, had temperatures in the 50’s.  Taking the Presidential election in context, North Carolina was in play for the Democrats because people are leaving NY and other Northeast states for the South with its low taxes, pleasant weather, low cost of living and perception of growth both in industry and social prosperity.

And if you look at the tax rates for other states, five have no taxes at all, while others allow personal exemptions or overall lower tax rates.

Why would someone want to stay in a place where jobs/companies are leaving, taxes are high, weather is fickle and people running the state are self-serving pariahs?

3) You can’t remember what attracted you to your partner in the first place

Much like point two;  I have forgotten why I came back to this state.

4) There is little intimacy in the relationship

As a resident, I believe New York has forgotten about me and the other upstate residents.  The top three leaders of the state are from one of the five boroughs or Long Island.  There has always been a downstate vs. upstate rivalry, but that was partially kept in check by the very powerful upstate Republican Joe Bruno.  Since his retirement, I believe the upstate voice has been diminished considerably.

Read more of this post

Goodbye Blue Sky (or: The Democrats Eat Their Young)

by lestro

Just before Pink fully bricks himself in behind his wall at the end of the first act of Pink Floyd’s epic of isolation “The Wall,” the band kicks into the hauntingly beautiful “Goodbye Blue Sky,” which contains the following passage:

Did you see the frightened ones
Did you hear the falling bombs
The flames are all long gone
But the pain lingers on

It’s a song about the mental scarring left over from Pink’s father’s death in the war and it is another mental brick that Pink uses to complete his Wall after he starts to go mad.

Unfortunately, it could also be used to describe the current situation in the Democratic Party as the psychological and financial wounds of the relatively bitter primary campaign continue to haunt the party in a year that should be a grand triumph and victory over the opposition, which has systematically run just about every aspect of our government into the ground, while shitting on our ideals and principles as a nation.

But instead of being able to capitalize fully on the obvious national desire for change, the Democrats are doing everything they can to shoot themselves in the foot again. The flames from the campaign battle may be long gone, but the pain certainly lingers on.

Read more of this post

The “Gotcha” Debate

by lestro

For the 21st time this primary season, the Democratic party candidates gathered for another “debate,” this time in Philadelphia and in advance of next week’s Pennsylvania primary, another in a long line of firewall states for Hillary Clinton.

As Charlie Gibson put it, it was round 15 of a scheduled 10 round bout.

And really, it wasn’t much of a debate, as everything has already been covered and on policy matters and goals, there is very little difference between the two remaining democrats.

Instead, much of the debate, if it can really be called that, consisted of the moderators, one of whom owes his career to a Clinton, asking questions of questionable importance about non-issues and bullshit. It’s no wonder Obama labeled it the “Gotcha Debate.”

Part of the problem, of course, was that neither moderator really seemed up to the task and each had trouble coming up with anything new to ask – though Stephanopoulos did find a new attack on Obama, something about an Obama supporter who used to be a member of the Weather Underground, a domestic “terror” organization (for lack of better term) that died off soon after the end of the Vietnam War.

Even Gibson, who is usually very good, stumbled, and right off the bat. The first question was about the possibility of a joint ticket and Gibson quoted the Constitution, which says that the second-place finisher in the presidential election would be vice-president.

“If it was good enough in colonial times, why not in these times?” he asked.

Never mind the fact that the Constitution was amended to change that in 1804 because they realized how silly that was soon after the two-party system developed or that this is a primary, not a general election…

Both candidates performed as expected, with Clinton taking shot after shot at her Democratic opponent and Obama trying to remain above it while repeating his message of trying to change the whole politics as usual thing.

So the debate really became one of style with Hillary having the opportunity to show off her Wonky side, very effectively answering direct policy questions (most of which she answered first, leaving Obama, who agrees with her on many of them, trying to agree with her while saying something different) and Obama showing his vision and attempt to move past the politics as usual.

Read more of this post

Top Ten Things About to Fall Down

by twit

Thank you Popular Mechanics, for this lovely roundup of “The 10 Pieces of U.S. Infrastructure We Must Fix Now” and apparently, are doing not much, if anything, about…

Chicago’s Circle Interchange

going nowhere”

Brooklyn Bridge

Repairs aren’t due to start until 2010″

Industrial Canal Lock in New Orleans

Construction is expected to take 12 years”

Atlanta Water System

Municipal lines running beneath the streets lose massive volumes of waterA similar situation is found throughout the country.”

Seattle Viaduct

still no decision” hmm… sounds familiar

Herbert Hoover Dike

a 1-in-6 chance that [it] will fail” The Army Corps of Engineers has been working on improvements, but funding is limited”

Idaho’s Dover Bridge

an outrageously low “sufficiency rating” of 2 out of 100 in the National Bridge Inventory.” but the Seattle Viaduct gets a 9… which means “basically intolerable,” apparently…

Wolf Creek Dam

despite the ongoing construction work, the danger of collapse hasn’t been significantly reduced, and probably won’t be for years”

Sacramento River Levees

Ongoing efforts to investigate and repair the levees have been met with opposition from local officials”

Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport

among the worst in terms of near-misses on the runway”

More fun:

Read more of this post