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Monday, Mar 30th

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Editorial

The Burro-Burrow Test: Too High a Hurdle?

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There is a great story about an editor at UPI long ago, back in the 1970s, who inserted advice to journalists in a foreword to that organization's style guide for writers:  A burro is an ass, a burrow is a hole in the ground:  you are expected to know the difference between the two.

What great advice for Republican candidates vying for their party's coronation!  These guys are already phenomenally low in wattage as illumination of any real issue goes, so, that simple advice should be hugely helpful to them, too!  Anyone claiming to be a journalist today should take a brush-up quiz on that one, too -- along with the mandate to keep opinion out of news, to just report the facts without endless analysis, rather than slip in personal notions, dressed up as The News.  But then again, that Fox case says mainstream media's free to lie, so, what's the big deal -- opinion is much easier to cover and generate, for sure.

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Playing the Odds

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We have no idea what oddsmakers in 'Vegas would say to the chances of the Holy See being seen in Gucci sunglasses, or spotted wearing Prada loafers to boot, and commissioning a new, top-secret cologne, as the papal nose knows quality, nay?  And yea, a lot has come to pass, in that pass of time.  In more than 2-thousand years of acquiring wealth and property of all kinds, it is likely his holiness can afford it, have a tiny reward on this Earth.

The Catholic Church's precise wealth is unknown -- their specialists, truly, are often quoted saying, "Only God knows" -- but it's likely on the far side of eternally vast:  One could safely bet on that, especially after the miracle of compounding kicked in, across all that immense slate of time.  The rest of us try to have our prayers answered in much smaller ways.  We have no special Prefecture for Economic Affairs to help us manage our holdings of liquid assets.  There's scarcely a need for such intricate super-infrastructure in managing our liquid wealth:  some juice, a little milk, a few pops, a couple beers.

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More Facts, Set to Stun

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You remember the paralyzing ray, the sound effect, the beam of light flashing across the screen toward its target and -- bingo!  Zapped! All consciousness we had was momentarily checked out, no longer in the building, not on the planet, but caught up in Star Trek, caught and stunned, captured by the light of the ray.

This is how it's been feeling in encounters with media of any kind on this world, and with almost half of its citizens.  First, the flash of light, then, the ticklish electrical sensations begin, like swarming ants on the skin, the intensity gaining strength as the beam -- its first few nanoseconds aboard -- plays havoc with the body's bio-current, then, pulses stronger, threatening to shut down the computing center, up over the eyebrows... Then it does: blackout.

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Colossal & Tiny Meanings of Life

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After a long, dusty, dirty spell on Political Row, taking in the various forms of Republican roadkill -- best they can muster in this, the Year of GOP Mass Hysteria & Ignorance, c. 1312 -- it is a soothing relief to bathe a while in modern, scientific waters, sponge off some grime, replenish logic and sanity lost in skirmishes with the heavily duped and dumbed-down.

There is nothing like strolling among some new discoveries and thoughts to help illuminate parts of the path one might be on, to help leave behind the same old, lame, old laments, and be rid of the filth oozed from intractable GOP obsessions with constant obstruction at all levels, at all costs, not matter what price all the People must pay.

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Youse girl friend could be bacon real easy

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The President signed a new law this week overturning a right-wing court ruling banning the Obama Adm from bringing trade cases. At the ceremony he announced an official action before the WTO to force China to resume the sale of rare earth metals. These exotic metals are required to produce anything more advanced than what might be made by a 18th century blacksmith. The US was a major producer of rare earths until the Bush Administration allowed China to purchase, close and strip all the mining and refining facilities in America. China did this worldwide and now controls 97% of the supply.

Obama did slap China with 99% tariffs on tires and steel pipe early in his administration. He’s been blocked from similar actions since then by the corporate dominated courts. Enough Republicans were publicly shamed during this election year into supporting today’s law allowing Obama to resume these trade actions.

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Down the Rabbit Hole, into the Job Jar

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Every time I look up from what I'm doing, another Republican is charging off into some self-made fray, seated backwards, on a mechanical pony -- the kind bolted to the floor, requiring a quarter to rock back and forth -- shouting incoherently, trying to make the metal animal charge faster, trying to make it back up, all the way.

The screeching and screeds are usually about mandating religion in the schools and some neo-creationist harangue, or else revising the history books to show how wonderful and not-at-all demented they themselves are, or about GOP men's rights to dictating vaginal probes into women's vaginas and their God-given rights in specifying women's health care, or else it's some frothy meringue regarding how the non-job-creating but-still-so-called "job creators," corporations and the rich, should be spared paying any taxes as their forbears once gladly did.

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Stop Making Sense: Reprise

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It is difficult to know where to start, to know where the most appropriate jumping-off place might be.  Instead, we will simply stand up, move to the popped-open door, gauge the height off the ground as being good enough, hook up the static line, check ourselves and the package, and just jump -- parachuting in with some stray facts and thoughts, ammo that will come in handy in the incessant political wars.

The pallets of ammo were too big to send in this trip, but the treasure-map directions to get to these word-artists' palettes are safe, they are right here, good as gold.  Meanwhile, not to worry, the enemy will never find the secret stash -- facts, truth, and logic -- as they've been overlooking them for decades, right under their noses, if they'd cared to look.  All this time, we figured we'd just not yet stumbled on the secret code or right sequence of facts to unlock their arm-linked, lock-stepped, right-wing minds.

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