Monthly Archives: August 2009

Michael Brown Consulting on Disaster Planning

This is not satire. Former FEMA Director Michael “Heck of a Job, Brownie” Brown joins Cold Creek Solutions, as a Disaster and Contingency Planning Consultant.

This is from a press release I was e-mailed:

Former FEMA Director Michael Brown Joins Cold Creek Solutions, Offers Consulting Practice for Disaster Recovery

CENTENNIAL, CO – While leading federal relief efforts for 160 presidential declared disasters in his roles at FEMA and Homeland Security, Michael Brown heard one cringe-worthy phrase repeated again and again.

“People always say, ‘I never thought it would happen to me,'” said Brown. “I would maintain that anyone who has a business, or a family, needs to recognize that disasters happen and disrupt life. Businesses especially need to plan for the worst.”

“Michael Brown intimately understands planning and how plans need to be adaptable and changeable,” said Paul Schwappach, principal of Cold Creek Solutions, a technology planning firm focusing on data management. “With Michael’s experience and his unique view into what possibly could go wrong when looking at a plan, we can truly help clients be prepared for the unexpected.”

It goes on (and on and on). It’s actually pretty funny.

Brown, the former undersecretary of Homeland Security, was one of the longest-serving directors of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He led federal relief efforts for disasters including the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001, the Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster and California wildfire season in 2003, and the unprecedented 2004-2005 hurricane seasons. Brown also directed the nation’s response to numerous foreign disasters and terrorist attacks.

Brown and Cold Creek will work to provide clients disaster recovery and business continuity solutions rooted in a perspective that can’t be found elsewhere.

There’s even more ….

Maybe he learned something, but Michael Brown is just about the last person I would want advising me on disaster contingency planning. At the risk of being accused of shamelessly hawking my own intellectual property – you can hear my thoughts on We Had The Will, We Found The Way, at The song asks:

How the hell did we go from Lincoln, FDR, and John Kennedy to Bush and Cheney?
How did we go from the New Deal to Iraq and Katrina?

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Filed under Bush, Dick Cheney, Heck of a job Brownie, Hurricane Katrina, Michael Brown

Truth To The Rumors (joke)

Moonbase Alpha, Luna City, Sea of Tranquility, the Moon, Nov. 44, 2033. It turns out there’s some truth to the rumors that President-for-Life Obama is setting up “death panels.” A task force headed by Abbie Hoffman, Anita Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and Michael Jackson has set up “death lists.”

The Hoffmans, Mr. Rubin and Mr. Jackson are no longer deceased. They were cloned in a secret lab on the moon. The process was started early in 2009, by Executive Order. They are now operating an underground base on the moon. In fairness it must be pointed out that because the moon is an asteroid with no atmosphere, all moon bases are undergound.

The Hoffmans and Rubin were picked because of their well-known radical politics. Jackson was picked because of his expertise in “moon-walking.” The clones of Jackson, Rubin, and both Hoffmans grew up in undisclosed locations and traveled back in time to work on the lists.

This reporter traveled forward in time to meet with them, hence the dateline on this filing is 24 years in the future. This story is dated November 44 because in the future there will be only four months. The first month is February, which is Black History Month. (white history is “White people brought slaves to America. Most of the Declaration of Independence was actually written by Sally Hemmings, Jefferson’s common-law wife. Abe Lincoln, who was 1/4 Black – that’s why he was so tall – freed the slaves. As his cousin Abe Lincoln Jefferson noted, “White people causes all the trouble, black folks cleans up all the mess.”) The other months include August, Obama’s birthday month, November, Michelle Obama’s birthday month, and the new month of Obama, which has both Christmas, New Years, and sometimes, to demonstrate his love for the Jewish People, Obama, who also calls himself “King of the Jews,” the Jewish New Year. All months have 61 days, except for the Month of Obama, which has 182 days, 183 on leap years.)

A dispute broke out over Sarah Palin. All four wanted her husband, Todd, and at least four (4) of her children euthanized. Jackson wanted her euthanized as well. Anita Hoffman wanted to keep her around because of her value “Yes she mobilizes the wacko far right,” Anita said, “But she motivates the left, and the women and just antagonizes the moderates – every time she opens her mouth.” Rubin and Abbie Hoffman wanted her alive because of her “entertainment” value. It turns out that they really dig chicks with guns, and don’t really care about whales, wolves, nature, or humanity.

“Having been dead,” Rubin said, “we don’t really care about life.” We just want, you know, some action.”

“And why should we care about the county that let us die?” Hoffman added.

The lists include Robert Novak, who cheated by dieing Aug. 19, 2009, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Lou Dobbs, Pat Buchanan, Bill O’Reilly, other right wing commentators, members of their audience and “base.” Anyone who watches Fox News, Lou Dobbs, or listens to Rush Limbaugh is on the list to be “euthanized.”

“America,” Mr. Hoffman explained, “is a “youth-oriented” culture. And it is increasingly dominated by Asians. What we are doing is combining these aspects of life in Amerika, linking them, into a “Youth-n-Asia” program.

Here’s how the program will work. People will lose their health insurance benefits when they change jobs or get sick. Eventually. 47 million Americans will not have Health Insurance. When they get really sick they will face bankruptcy. And 16,000 will die each year, one person every 30 minutes, every half-hour of every day. Wait – that’s what we have today.*

Ken Starr, a spokesman for the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation said “This is intolerable. We can’t have one person dieing every 30 minuutse. While most of these deaths are poor people, we have no way of restricting this to liberals. And then, even it it was one every 30 seconds, it would only amount to One Million per year. We need to kill more people faster, we need to kill 10 or 15 million a year to rid this nation of the scourge of Liberalism. That’s why we need more coal, oil, nuclear power, and resultant mercury and radioactive wastes. That’s why we need to bring back DDT. That’s why we need to support the drug war on poor shiftless Americans who live in inner cities.”

* This is a work of satire. However, there’s a grain of truth in it. It’s not that we have a base on the moon, or have cloned Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, Anita Hoffman, or Michael Jackson. And it’s not that we are capable of time travel. We don’t, we haven’t, and we’re not. It’s that 47 million people have no health insurance and one person dies every 30 minutes because he or she has no health insurance.

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Filed under Abbie Hoffman, Abe Lincoln, Anita Hoffman, Health Care, Jerry Rubin, Michael Jackson

Existential Economics

A new realm of economics. Beyond Political Economics and Neo-Classical Economics, outside the realm of Ecological Economics; this new realm is Existential Economics. This is little more than quintessential American spin on the subject – DeCartes said “I think, therefore I am.” Madison Ave. defines us as “We shop, therefore we is.”

Move over Adam Smith, David Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, Herman Daly, we need to listen to Alfred E. Neuman.

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Filed under Ecological Economics, Existential Economics, NeoClassical Economics, Political Economics

In Bucco Lingua, In the Cheek the Tongue, a Pre-Existing Condition

New York, NY, Aug. 20. Reading thru my insurance policy, I learned that In Bucco Lingua Syndrome, “In The Cheek The Tongue,” aka “Tongue in Cheek” Syndrome is now classified as a pre-existing condition, and it can be used to deny health benefits to anyone, regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, age, etc. A person, or “patient-like entity” with In Bucca Lingua Syndrome only requires treatment for 72 seconds. 72 seconds is the time allocated for a “patient-like entity” to present identifrication and sign away 87.9 % of one’s assets and be given a prescription for aspirin. A “patient-like entity,” also termed a “patient-like asset” or “cash cow,” is a person named on an insurance policy for whom premiums are collected and to whom actual medical care can be legally withheld.

In Bucco Lingua Syndrome is endemic among people who watch Saturday Night Live, Mad TV, the Daily Show, the Colbert Report, who as children watched Get Smart, or who live in, grew up, or went to college in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, parts of New Jersey, New York City, Boston, Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass, Madison, Wisconsin, Burlington, Vermont, and parts of California. It is also known to have effected people from Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Utah, but only those who left those places for New York, New Jersey, California, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen, George Carlin, Robin Williams, Chris Rock, Dave Chappell and Bill Maher are the most famous celebrities who have had it.

There is no cure. However, it leads to a heightened sense of fairness and joie de vivre. It it not statistically known to negatively impact life-span. I was not diagnosed with it, but then again, I can’t afford to see a doctor.

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Filed under Bill Maher, Chris Rock, Dave Chappell, George Carlin, Health Care, In Bucca Lingua, Lenny Bruce, Robin Williams, SNL, Woody Allen

In Defense of Fat

A large percentage of Americans are “large.” A significant percentage are “significant.” At only 30 pounds above my ideal weight, above the weight I was in college, I’m neither. But it’s noble being fat, it’s selfless to be obese. Sure the basic reason is people eat more calories than than they burn off, and when you do this over time you gain weight. Over a long time, you gain a lot of weight. One extra pound a year for 50 years is 50 pounds. For an American man of average height that would be 190 to 200 pounds. And to hit 350, 450 pounds, by age 20 or 30, you’re talking about a gain of 200, 300 pounds in 20 or 30 years, that’s 10 extra pounds a year. But that’s the scientific explanation. As any bored high school child will tell you, preferably over a pizza or nachos with soda, science is boring.

Forget science, let’s take a step back and think about beauty and sexiness. Let’s think about Monica Lewinsky. While she was, is, “chunky” or “big boned,” and while she looks good in a beret, she never made it as a sex symbol. The height of her fame was not characterized by pictures of her in a bikini or less on the bedroom walls of teenagers across the country. She may have been interviewed for Playboy, but unlike Marilyn Monroe, another special friend of another President, she wasn’t asked to pose. You’re not likely to see her in the Swimsuit Issue of Sports Illustrated. If their models define feminine sexuality, and Playboy and SI hope they do, then fat chicks don’t define feminine sexy.

So what we’re seeing, in part, is a deliberate existential challenge to normative popular culture on the definition of sexiness. This image: very pretty girl, long hair, large boobs, tiny waist, tottering on stiletto heals, in a very short skirt – barely wider than a belt – the Barbie Doll image of sexuality – is falling, perhaps because it’s top heavy. It is being challenged by our sisters, our daughters, our wives, our selves And we, who love our sisters, daughters, wives, and selves are rising to the challenge. It is being replaced with the matronly woman. A robust and mature woman. To whom you say “yes, ma-am,” when asked to do something.

Fat chicks are challenging our notion of beauty and sexuality. Fat guys in Speedos, mostly from Germany, Russia, Yugoslavia, and Hungary, are joining in the challenge. They have a dream, to echo Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “they have a dream that one day their children be judged by the content of their character, not by the quantity of their skin; they have a dream today.”

There’s more.

Toxic organic chemicals, such as DDT, PCB’s, meythyl mercury, which are in our food and water, albeit in trace amounts, which are linked to health effects like Parkinson’s, and cancer, concentrate in fats and fatty tissues: breasts, brains, beer bellies. Obese people, by concentrating these substances in their very bodies, are doing the rest of a favor and taking them out of the biosphere.

Obesity is linked to a shorter life-span. Fat people are sacrificing themselves so the rest of us may live longer. By using more resources now they enable us to use fewer resources later, but we’re resourceful, we’ll think of something. Vegan food, no doubt…

So to my fat friends, I say, thank you, let me give you a big hug.

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Filed under Uncategorized

Lou Dobbs wins coveted Father Coughlin Award

New York, August 12. CNN Commentator Lou “Loser” Dobbs (click here) edged out Rush “I Hope He Dies” Limbaugh, Bill “Bubbles” O’Reilly and Glenn “Porn-Man” Beck in the competion for the coveted and prestigious “Father Coughlin” award. The award, sponsored by the KKK, the Aryan Nations, and others is given to the broadcast personality who “embodies the malignant spirit of Father Caughlin, who uses hate speech to incite violence, obfuscate the real issues, hijack the debate, and fire up the base.”

In explaining their decision Derrick William “Billy Bob” Roberts and Karl “The Roverer” Rove said, “We like Limbaugh, we like his stuff. It’s good. Catchy. While he has a dedicated following, most of his listeners can’t read and don’t vote. Limbaugh is an overweight drug-addict, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but he’s tired and a has-been.”

“Beck had potential,” they continued, “but Fox News is marginal. With Obama in the White House and Democrats in the House and Senate, we are trying to shore up the support, but he is too new, too green. He doesn’t make sense, which isn’t a problem, but people don’t watch Fox News .”

“The problem with Limbaugh and Beck is that they are no longer firing up the base. People have moved on. They’re out of work, they got no health care. They can’t afford gas for their SUV’s, they are beginning to realize we can’t drill our way out of this, so they ain’t listening anymore. They moved on. Worse, we are actually seeing Beck and Limbaugh energizing the Liberals – the Olberman – Maddow – Stewart – Colbert – SNL audience. That’s growing. When they report the stupid things Limbaugh, O’Reilly, and Beck say

“But Dobbs, he’s different. He’s on CNN. That’s a different audience than Fox. More educated. Liberal. Sympathetic to the Palestinians. Likely to believe all that crap about global warming.” People think CNN is a real news organization. They don’t see Dobbs as a plant.”

The Father Caughlin award is co-sponsored by CNN, Time, which owns CNN, the companies whos executives sit on the Boards of Time and Fox, and the companies who’s advertising sponsors Dobbs, Limbaugh, Beck, and others.

*** This is a work of satire.
These nicknames make no sense. Lou “Loser” Dobbs, Rush “I Hope He Dies” Limbaugh, Bill “Bubbles” O’Reilly and Glenn “Porn-Man” Beck. What was I thinking? A cheap laugh? I left out Pat Buchanan. He grew up listening to Coughlin.

But Beck, Dobbs, Limbaugh and O’Reilly should not be broadcasting hate speech and inciting violence. under the rubric of news. This must stop. There’s a reason that the KKK runs around hiding under sheets and hoods. They know they’re wrong.

Boycott Fox, CNN, and the networks that promote Dobbs, Limbaugh, and Beck, the networks that pronote racism and incite violence, and the advertisers.

The good news is Dobbs ratings are declining, which maybe why he is yelling more and why he called Howard Dean a vampire.(click here)

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Filed under Bill O'Reilly, CNN, Father Coughlin, Fox News, Glenn Beck, Jon Stewart, Karl Rove, Keith Olberman, Lou Dobbs, MSNBC, NPR, Rachel Maddow, Rush Limbaugh, Saturday Night Live, SNL, Stephen Colbert

I Pay But I Don’t Get It

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I have a good job. I buy the health insurance my Human Resources Dept tells me to buy. (This is not, by the way, a “free market” as described by Adam Smith, David Ricardo, John Maynard Keynes, Milton Friedman, and the other neo-classical economists.) I pay enough that I could be driving a Mercedes – hell I could be driving a Hummer – and going about 2400 miles per month (at current gas prices).

But my coverage stinks. It’s rationed by insurance company beancounters. If I see their doctors – and a complete physical takes about two hours and 30 seconds – two hours waiting and 30 seconds in which the doc says “You’re breathing. That’s good. You’re blood pressure is high, if it gets higher we’ll put you on meds.”

But that’s ok. As long as I don’t get sick I’m ok. That’s why my blood pressure is high. I’m worried about getting sick. Or losing my job. In either case I’ll lose my house.

One thing I don’t worry about is that my octagenarian father has good health care. He worked hard all his life. He takes care of himself. And he’s on Medicare. It’s great. Efficient. Government run. Not sexy like the Apollo Mission to the moon, but very important. And for the health care that my kids teachers get. They go to public school. The teachers are in the unions. And the health care is good. The kids too get good health care. Even if their parents work but don’t get health care, then, thanks to Presidents Clinton and Obama, and despite the efforts and vetos of President Bush, they get health care.

But one of the things that really gets me, the thing that makes my blood boil – which is why I’ll need blood pressure meds – is that close to 50 Million Americans – one out of six – have no health insurance. And it’s people between the age of 18 and 65. People who work, or would work, if they could find jobs. This is wrong on many levels.

The other thing that is killing me – almost literally – is that people who make $Millions – insurance industry executives, and lobbyists and rich “Philosophers” Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, and O’Reilley – wait, they’re not philosophers, they’re not Thinkers – they’re actors – and they are telling me what’s good for me. That’s un-American. They are sending people to disrupt “Town Hall meetings with Representatives from Congress.

On March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry, speaking at St. John’s church in Richmond, Virginia said “give me liberty or give me death.” Those guys have taken my liberty and are giving me death.

Dear President Obama, Senators, Reps. in the House,

We elected you and the Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate to fix the problems created and exacerbated by the neo-cons and the Republicans, and to do this by governing from the left of the center.

You have your work cut out for you.

Good luck.

I have your back.

But I can’t support you when I’m drowning.

(first published on Daily Kos)

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Filed under Health Care, Single Payer

Good News, From a Marxist – Trotskyite Perspective, About the Whale Hunts.

Hunting whales for food violates international law (WSPA, National Geographic). It’s illegal. Iceland and Norway ignore the ban. The Japanese claim to adhere to it by claiming to hunt whales for “scientific” reasearch. After the experiments are complete, they eat the subjects. The experiments seem to be in methods of killing and butchering whales. But here’s a news flash – scientists don’t eat the dogs, cats, chimps, rats, and fruit flies on they which they experiment. Systematic “scientific” study of different recipies is not permitted by the treaties that ban commercial whaling. The Inuit, Pacific Coast Native Americans and aboriginal Icelanders claim it’s their culture. This may be true, however, as Captain Paul Watson, of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has observed, their traditional culture includes neither modern factory ships, nor commercial sales of whale meat to the Japanese.

But there is good news, at least from a Marxist – Trotskyite perspective, about the Whale Hunts.

Mercury causes brain damage – which is why I don’t eat tuna.

PCB’s disrupt endocrine function – which is why I am giving up all fish. And I would go hungry rather than eat whale meat.

Eating whale meat is like eat rats that have been killed with rat poison. Not a good idea.

The “good” news is that whale meat is so full of mercury, PCB’s, and other toxins (Informaworld, Human Health Significance of Organocholorine and Mercury Contaminants in Japanese Whale Meat, Simmonds, Haraguchi, et al, Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health) that it will kill the whale eaters, perhaps before they kill all the whales. Maybe the real question the Japanese “Scientists” are answering is “Which will happen first: epidemic Parkinson’s in Japan or Extinction of the Whales?”

Maybe this explains Lou Dobbs’ nonsensical rants about Obama’s birth. Maybe Lou Dobbs is not a racist, maybe he has eaten so much tuna and whale meat that he has mercury poisoning. And maybe it explains George W. Bush, Norm Coleman, Anne Coulter, Larry Craig, Bobby Jindal, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Michael Steele, and all the rest. Maybe they’ve eaten so much whale meat, tuna, and mercury laden caviar that they have Minamata Disease – mercury poisoning. After all, they are as mad as hatters.

What do you think?

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Filed under George W. Bush, Lou Dobbs, Sarah Palin, Sea Shepherd, Whale