Thursday, Nov 26th

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Alex Baer: Year-Ender Benders and Synapse Slips

year endSo, here we are, just about to be slammed up alongside The Big Day, and I haven't a clue what to get you for the advertised Consumption Festival, for the co-opted Pagan Fest, for the sparkly Celebration of Lights, now that we've turned the corner on the darkest day of the year...

If only we could have already turned the corner on the darkest year in some years, too.

Of course, I suppose we should have all been braced for some fine holiday jeer, once Dick Cheney remorselessly rode back into town, sharing with us his trust-less leer and his lopsided sneer, riding in his throne of delusion, high atop a fetid holiday float constructed of bile and manure, throwing out razor-bladed candies for the kiddies, and certificates of replacement freedoms to be made good some day, drawn up on the backs of harrowing sets of torture photos and memos.


Bruce Enberg: It's Only Common Sense

Common senseIt's been widely reported that Wall Street bankers won a guarantee of bailouts from Obama's budget. It's true that they did get the 'Push Out Rule' eliminated from the Dodd - Frank Act so that they can continue to use depositors' money to back risky financial instruments. It was junk like derivatives based on collateralized home loans that crashed the banks in 2008. But, this doesn't guarantee the banks themselves will be bailed out, only that the FDIC will pay out the insurance on deposit accounts up to the legal limit.

There were six other provisions attached to the House Bill that would have gutted Dodd - Frank, but thanks to Senator Elizabeth Warren those were all killed. So if the Wall Street banks crash again the FDIC will be able to take a meat ax to them the way they do to smaller banks. That won't keep crooked bankers from sucking billions from them between now and then, but there is such a thing as 'Claw Back' to recover ill gotten gains when this happens. It just depends on who is in charge at the time, President Warren for example could be such a person.


The Rank, Reeking Horror of Torturing Some Folks

Gitmo prisoners"Let me put it plainly: these people do not belong on my television. They belong in prison, for the crimes of theft, torture and murder. They shattered the lives of thousands of American soldiers and millions of Iraqi civilians. They savaged the American economy paying for it all, and several of them got very rich in the process.

They should be in orange jumpsuits and fetters, picking mealworms out of their gruel while shuttered in very small, very grim, very inescapable metal rooms."

I wrote that back in June of this year because I thought I knew the whole deal. I saw all the pictures from Abu Ghraib, knew about the so-called "Black Sites" where innocent prisoners were sent to be torn apart, read all the books, and listened to the words of those who endured these seven hells and lived. Quite a crowd of people, including several prisoners who cannot be accounted for to this day, did not survive to tell their tale.


Alex Baer: Digging Deeper into the Cosmic Stuffing

sad turkeyAtheists, agnostics, and religionists can all agree on at least one thing at Thanksgiving: The staggering, blinding, on-target brilliance of the phrase "mixed blessings."

We mere mortals can only stand in awe, slack-jawed and agape, at the stunning mind that spotted that shared genetic trend-line, and first put that blunt, apt description into play.

(This is as good a time as any to remind myself that my screenplay -- there are now nine people in the country, by actual count, who are not working on a screenplay -- Slackjawed & Agape would be a fine name for a law firm of hapless lawerly bunglers -- or maybe a pair of washed-up private detectives who drive around in a souped-up muscle car, exploring catch phrases, cornering escaped grammarians, arresting suspicious syntax...


Bob Alexander: Greetings From Planet VeeGah

vegan dietIt’s been over a month since we watched Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret and turned ourselves into veganistas. And It’s been … um … interesting.

On the culinary front it’s been a pretty easy ride. Y’see, right after we watched the movie we didn’t march into the kitchen, swing wide the doors to the refrigerator and freezer, and toss all our meat, dairy, and eggs into the garbage. That’d be crazy. We spent money on that stuff!

But soon … there went the last of the butter … hello, Earth Balance Buttery Spread. Not bad at all. After the last egg had been scrambled, I found a recipe for a great breakfast hash made from mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, garlic, fried potatoes and tofu. Yeah … tofu. I have been making fun of tofu for years. But when it works … it works.


Alex Baer: Aping Nuclear Wisdom with Monkey Business

monkey nuclearThe fun thing about humanity is that there's always something brand new to deliver ground-breaking terrors right to your front door. Sometimes it's a concept that rocks the boat or quakes the bedrock beneath us, Other times it's left to inventions, products, and gizmos to break the ground out from under us, pitching us into our self-made quagmires and quicksand.

As a bonus, we comfort ourselves by reassuring our consciences that there's never any direct charge for free delivery of such nightmares and broad-daylight terrors. Some part of us knows the delivery price is always worked into the cost, and then, we hope somebody else pays the cost -- and also pays the price.


Alex Baer: It May Even Rain Later On This Year

gridlock in WashingtonAs predictions go, here's an easy one: I predict things will get factually bumpy where politicians are concerned. I also predict you'll detect today's Mystery Guest on Spot the Weasel, the game show that offers fabulous conundrums the longer you play!

Are you ready? From the time tunnel of 2009, Clue Number One: "Our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term." In case there was any confusion about the issue, there was additional clarification right away: "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."


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