Always remember

The ‘Tribute In Light’ is back, so that we may always remember 9/11!

This year will sadly mark the 12th anniversary of the attacks on America on 9/11.

How will New York remember?

With ethereal lights to light the night!

[via Gothamist]Tribute In Light Returns For 9/11 Anniversary

For this year’s 12th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Tribute In Light will come back.

Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg’s office announced, “The ‘Tribute in Light’ will return for one night as a tribute to all those who were lost on September 11th. The lights are located at West and Morris Streets in lower Manhattan. The lights will be on beginning at sunset on September 11, 2013 and fading away at dawn on September 12th. There will be no formal program. The lights are best seen when it is completely dark; sunset is expected to occur at 7:11 P.M. that night and sunrise is expected to occur at 6:34 A.M. on the morning of September 12th.”

The ethereal installation, which involves high-powered lights at a lower Manhattan location, was commissioned by Creative Time after the attacks. Artists Julian Laverdiere and Paul Myoda had proposed the twin beams of light for a NY Times Magazine feature and the Tribute was first lit for the six month anniversary of the attacks.

The funding for Tribute In Light has been imperiled in the past, but is now under management of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

…[Read More]

Fitting.

Touching.

And oh so very beautiful.

May the lights of all who were lost that horrible day…

Never go out.

Never forget.

Not?

Just the horror of that day…

But all those innocent, lost souls, who New York commemorates with lights.

Always remember [Source]

presidential approval ratings

News Mash: People dislike government & politicians, until they get out of government. *hint, hint*

Few like the government.

And…

Everyone knows this?

EXCEPT for those who actually work in the government.

Well, usually…

Given a culmination of our present turmoil?

That’s all a’changin’

[via HotAir] Poll: Faith in federal government hits new low ~by Mary Katharine Ham

Turns out, Democrats don’t think the federal government is worth a damn under George W. Bush or President Obama, but they still want it getting ever bigger and imposing its shoddy solutions on every conceivable problem from now until the end of time. Super.

The percentage of Democrats expressing a favorable opinion of the federal government has declined 10 points in the past year, from 51% to 41%. For the first time since Barack Obama became president, more Democrats say they have an unfavorable view of the federal government in Washington than a favorable view (51% unfavorable vs. 41% favorable). Favorable opinions of the federal government among Republicans, already quite low in 2012 (20% favorable), have fallen even further, to 13% currently.

Pew notes that partisanship, of course, plays a role in the favorability ratings of the federal government, with Republicans rating it higher during the Bush years than Democrats, and vise versa during the Obama years. So, the president most marked by his advocacy of a federal government that can and should do pretty much everything is sitting atop said federal government…

However, there has been a steep decline in the share of Democrats expressing a favorable opinion of the federal government since Obama took office, from 61% in July 2009 to 41% currently.

According to Pew’s graph, that puts Democrats’ estimation of the federal government under Obama at about the same level it was during the last bit of Bush’s second term. Ouch. Their dissatisfaction no doubt has several factors— the critique from the Left that Obama’s not using his power to do enough, their general annoyance with Congressional Republicans, on whom the president is happy to blame, well, everything, and their anger at the fact that Obama seems so frequently foiled by them. This is where you see the frequent declaration that democracy just doesn’t “work” these days because it doesn’t allow the president of their choosing to do whatever he wants whenever he wants to. No one ever seems to stop to consider why the president of their choosing is so very bad at making things happen in Congress.

But hasn’t Obama’s go-to defense—nothing can possibly get done with my opponents in charge of one half of one House of Congress— always had the potential downside of an increase in nihilism about the federal government? As Democrats might see it, if the most inspirational orator in modern politics, the most intellectual man to hold the office in decades, a man of Ivy league insight and Hyde Park breeding cannot make the favored vehicle of Democratic policy work, what’s the point?

…[Read More]

In fact…

The best thing one can do when one has such a crappy job?

Quit. Retire…

GET OUT of politics altogether!

Honestly…

A little space?

Always a good thing.

[via WT]George W. Bush gains poll favor as presidential library sets to open ~by By Cheryl K. Chumleypresidential approval ratings

Former President George W. Bush is finally finding the love.

Recent poll numbers put the previously unpopular president — his second term poll numbers were the lowest for any second term president since World War II, ABC reported — back in the golden graces of the public. And the good news comes at a good time: Mr. Bush is about to open his presidential library for public viewing.

Now, 47 percent of ABC News/Washington Post survey participants say they approve of Mr. Bush’s job performance during his entire eight years in the White House. [<<<<<Tied with Obama>>>>>>] Fifty percent still say they disapprove — but that’s still an improvement.

When he left office, his approval rating was only 33 percent, ABC reported. His disapproval rating, meanwhile, was 66 percent — tied with disgraced Richard Nixon, ABC reported.

Put in context: Most presidents do gain in public favor in the years after leaving office. But it’s not a given: In the years following President Bill Clinton’s exodus from the White House, he actually dropped in public favor by 4 percentage points, ABC reported.

The George W. Bush Presidential Center is set to open May 1, 2013.

…[Read More]

Something to remember, President Obama…

For when your term is up.

After all, I have a feeling once your reign is finally over?

The American people might need a bit of distance from you themselves.

Something to think about, and hopefully consider, Sir.

phenomenalists

News Mash: The parents boycotting new, harder state tests for their kids are phenomenalists? Yup, you bet they are!

apparently…

Some parents in new York?

Practicing phenomenalists, as it were:

[via MyFoxNY]Some NY parents to boycott new, harder state tests By CAROLYN THOMPSON & KAREN MATTHEWS

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – New York state education officials have been sounding the alarm for months: English and math tests that students will take this week and next will be harder than before and scores will drop.

A video from the state Education Department warns, “We expect them to be lower.”

Statewide, students in third through eighth grades have spent hours studying for the tests, but some parents are planning to boycott them.

They will be harder because they are aligned with the Common Core standards, which are intended to boost academic rigor.

New York adopted the Common Core in 2010, but schools have not fully implemented the guidelines.

Education officials say students must master the harder exams to compete in the global economy.

…[Read More]

And just what, you ask, is a phenomenalists?

Well…

Basically?

It’s a very specific way one views reality.

[via ListVerse] 10 Mind-Blowing Theories About The Universe and Reality ~by Michael Allison

Reality isn’t as plain and simple as we often like to think. Several things we take for granted as true are, in reality, patently false. Scientists and philosophers have done their best to overthrow the theories of common sense—as you’ll see by the ten examples below:

1 Phenomenalism

phenomenalists

Ever wondered what happens to things behind your back? Philosophers have studied this problem intently, and some have reached a simple conclusion: they vanish. Well—not exactly. Some philosophers, known as “phenomenalists”, believe that things only exist insofar as they are perceived. In other words, your cheese sandwich only exists so long as you are aware of its existence. So as for trees that fall in forests with no one around to hear them; they don’t. No perception, no existence. That’s phenomenalism in a nut-shell.

…[Read More - See all '10 Mind-Blowing  Theories About the Universe & Reality' HERE!]

Because when you get right down to it…

Reality?

Not as cut and dried as it may seem.

Especially?

If you are the parents to the stupid children you never bothered to read to growing up.

Then, reality?

Is all about perception.

Surplus

News Mash: When it comes to finances, California is in BIG trouble. Texas? Not so much!

Is it any surprise?

California is in BIG trouble.

And by BIG trouble?

Oh…

I mean financial trouble:

[via Sacbee]Were California’s state government a business, it would be a candidate for insolvency with a negative net RB_Prison_Construction_2009.JPGworth of $127.2 billion, according to an annual financial report issued by State Auditor Elaine Howle and the Bureau of State Audits.

The report, which covers the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, says that the state’s negative status — all of its assets minus all of its liabilities — increased that year, largely because it spent more than it received in revenue.

During the 2011-12 fiscal year, the state’s general fund spent $1.7 billion more than it received in revenues and wound up with an accumulated deficit of just under $23 billion from several years of red ink. Gov. Jerry Brown has referred to that and other budget gaps, mostly money owed to schools, as a “wall of debt” totaling more than $30 billion.

Last November, voters passed an increase in sales and income taxes that Brown says will balance the state’s operating budget and allow the debt wall to be gradually dismantled.

…[Read More]

And, yes…

Just in case you were wondering.

We are talking very specific financial trouble.

And trouble to a degree?

No other city in the U.S. has been forced to suffer…

[via LATimes]Stockton bankruptcy can move forward, judge rules ~by Diana Marcum

STOCKTON — A federal judge ruled Monday that Stockton is eligible for bankruptcy protection, over the objection of creditors who argued the city could come up with more money.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein said Stockton can move forward with a plan to reorganize debt. He twice stated that the creditors had acted in bad faith and had refused to pay their share of the costs for negotiations.

“The creditors got a big black eye today,” said Karol Denniston, an attorney who helped draft the legislation that guided Stockton’s mandated mediation before filing for bankruptcy protection. “Now the stage is set for the real dogfight.”

In late June, Stockton became the nation’s largest city to fail financially. At that time, all eyes were on the port city of 300,000 as experts warned the action could set off a string of similar filings among cash-strapped municipalities. Since then, a half-dozen cities have filed for Chapter 9 protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, including the city of San Bernardino.

During the 90-day mediation period, Stockton’s creditors refused to negotiate unless the city cut payments to the state pension plan, CalPERS.

By law, the negotiations were confidential, but that detail emerged during the three-day trial that concluded last week.

Klein said the creditors could not legally walk away from the table, but he left the door open for CalPERS obligations to be part of negotiations in the coming phases of the bankruptcy.

At issue will be whether U.S. bankruptcy law trumps California law, which says the pension plan must be funded.

…[Read More]

At least?

As of yet.

But fear not, Texans?

You, at least, will never have to be forced to suffer this issues.

[via TheDailyBeast]The Return of State Surpluses Could Point to More Growth to Come ~by Surplus

This spring, budget surpluses are blossoming across America. We’ve noted that the combination of employment growth and tax increases is boosting federal revenues significantly—13 percent in the first five months of the current fiscal year. Combined with a bit of fiscal discipline, the higher revenues are helping to reduce the (still massive) federal budget deficit.

But America’s 50 states aren’t permitted to run deficits. So each year, state legislatures pass, and governors sign, budgets for the next fiscal year in which expenditure are supposed to align with expected revenues. Then, they wait and hope that the revenues actually materialize.

Texas, another resource-rich state, foresees an $8.8 billion surplus over its current two-year budget cycle.

…[Read More]

Because?

You ROCK!

Pffft…

As if you didn’t know that already.

Cause I can tell ya…

I most certainly did.

it might be your only hope

News Mash: Will drone stealth hoodie-hiders keep you safe from drone attacks? Maybe!

Not something ANYONE wants to think about…

The possibility of drone strikes on American soil?

And issued by our American President!

[via Mediaite]Rand Paul On Fox News Sunday: Can President Obama Kill Americans on American Soil With Drone Strikes?

… [Chris]Wallace began by asking Paul about possible judicial oversight over the drone program, but Paul quickly narrowed the topic. “What I’m asking is about drone strikes on Americans, on American soil. The president will not answer that he cannot do this, in fact he seems to be asserting that he can do this… all he’ll say is he doesn’t intend to do this. It is like him to saying, I don’t intend to override the Second Amendment, but I might.”

“I thought you were objecting to drone strikes on American citizens on foreign soil as well,” Wallace interrupted. “Is that not true?”

“I’m primarily asking, the primary question is, Americans on American soil, can the President kill them with a drone strike from the program,” Paul responded, later conceding that he also believes even Americans overseas should be tried for treason before being killed in drone strikes. “You should get protection for being an american citizen,” he said.

…[Read More]

Yikes.

The chances of this happening?

Slim to none.

However if that does NOT reassure you?

There are options:

[via Discovery]Stealth Hoodie Hides Wearer From Drones

Surveillance cameras are ubiquitous, especially in the U.K.. and in the United States, Congress has already approved the use of drones for domestic surveillance [Not to mention possible drone attacks?!?!?!]. Then there’s the “Stingray” tool used by the FBI to track cell phones. It’s enough to make even those who’ve gotten nothing hide feel nervous.

New York-based artist Adam Harvey doesn’t like it one bit. So he’s taken it upon himself to design anti-surveillance clothing to foil government snoopers.

SEE MORE PHOTOS: Stealth Clothing Averts Government Snoopers

Harvey has been looking at the effects of such surveillance on culture for some time. Last year he designed a kind of face makeup called CVDazzle to avert face-recognition software.

In the spirit of fooling cameras – and messing with surveillance – Harvey has now come out in a set of hoodies and scarves that block thermal radiation from the infrared scanners drones use. Wearing the fabric would make that part of the body look black to a drone, so the image would appear like disembodied legs. He also designed a pouch for cell phones that shields them from trackers by blocking the radio signals the phone emits. For those airport X-ray machines, he has a shirt with a printed design that blocks the radiation from one’s heart.

Libyan Rebels Flying High With Minidrone

The materials the clothes are made are specialized and expensive, so these aren’t the kinds of fashions that the local discount store will have – at least not yet.
…[Read More]

So just remember, when it comes to protecting your American sovereignty?

I got two words for you:

Think. Hoodie!

Frighteningly?

it might be your only hope

ban stairs next

News Mash: Lawmakers threaten gun-control bills, but will such measures affect gun crime?

Being from Texas?

Not a big shocker, I suppose, that I am very much pro-gun…

Despite the fact that I do not own one.

Nor am I a big fan of shooting a gun.

HOWEVER?

I am an absolute supporter of the constitution, I am behind anyone’s right to legally own one…

And for this very reason:

[via The Blaze] Proponents of stricter gun control measures regularly call attention to the number of people who have killed in gun-related crimes:

Heres the Cato Institute’s Interactive Gun Map

However, what these people often neglect to mention is the number of people who have been saved by firearms. That is, gun control advocates rarely — if ever — acknowledge the possible benefits of owning a gun.

But is there an upside to owning a gun, as defenders of the Second Amendment claim? Of course there is. Indeed, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when we say numerous would-be murderers, burglars, and rapists have been thwarted by guns.

But let’s try to visualize this.

In the spirit of the Journal News, the New York newspaper that published a map featuring  the names and addresses of legal gun owners in three counties, the Cato Institute has put together a map documenting the instances where a gun has helped innocent Americans protect themselves from criminals.

“Gun control proponents cannot deny that people use guns successfully against criminals, but they tend to play down how often such events take place,” Cato notes. “The purpose of this map is to draw more attention to this aspect of the firearms policy debate.”

http://www.theblaze.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/screengrab.png

…[Read More]

The fact of the matter is…

As long as guns, or any type of weapons for that matter, exist?

There will be violence & death…

And as much as the mainstream media likes to bluster to the contrary?

Not ALL of the violence and death is gun related:

[via The Economist]

ban stairs next

[Read More]

By lawmakers threatening to take guns out of the hands of people who legally have the right to use them, claiming that will put an end to gun violence committed by those who ILLEGALLY have access to guns, is about as naive as the thinking by lawmakers (for example) that by shutting down the download site Pirate Bay, it would somehow discourage illegal internet downloaders in some way.

Because as both you and I know?

Oh…

That brilliant idea didn’t work all that well either.

Just something to consider, lawmakers.

Don’t try to punish those who illegally take advantage, by going after those who are doing it the legal way to begin with…

WARNING: This will gain you nothing…Other than a bunch of p*ssed off people who will never vote for you again. (Which, might not be such a bad idea)

Think about it.

winner and still champion

News Mash: Texas WINS when it comes to revenue. While California? Yeah, probably not so much.

For those who say that there isn’t a big difference between California politics, and Texas politics?

Well…

You obvious have NO clue about either California politics, or Texas politics.

HERE (below) a very good example of California politics:

[via CalWatchDog]10 predictions for California 2013 ~ By Steven Greenhut

SACRAMENTO — California’ Democratic leaders are giddy about the future now that they have gained everything they wanted in the last election — voter-approved tax increases and a two-thirds supermajority in both houses of the Legislature, thus rendering Republicans little more than an annoying irrelevancy that can no longer block tax hikes.

Will Democrats just ramp up the taxing and spending spree or will some semblance of a “moderate” Democratic caucus emerge to offer a limited check on those tendencies? Either way, it’s hard to find good news for taxpayers or business owners, although the state’s public-sector unions ought to be stocking up on champagne.

Given that backdrop, I offer some subdued predictions for the New Year.

Prediction One: Gov. Jerry Brown and the legislative leadership will continue to argue that the state government is on a bare-bones diet, and therefore continue to look for additional revenue to fund it regardless of mounting evidence of waste and excess.

“Today, the state’s highest-paid employees make far more than comparable workers elsewhere in almost all job and wage categories, from public safety to health care, base pay to overtime,” according to a recent Bloomberg series. Payroll data by the news agency shows that “California has set a pattern of lax management, inefficient operations and out-of-control costs.” The most stunning example: A highway patrol officer with a pay and benefit package of nearly a half-million dollars.

Prediction Two: The state’s optimistic budget projections will not come to pass. This isn’t much of prediction given that they already are falling short. As Controller John Chiang explained, “November’s tax receipts fell 10.8 percent short of expectations contained in the 2012-2013 State Budget, although they were above the year-ago level. Total revenues year to date are now 2.6 percent less than anticipated at this time, with shortfalls among all of the major sources.” And he found that government spending continues to outstrip revenues.

…[Read More - See ALL Very Interesting 10 Predictions HERE!]

“But in this day and age, state revenue surpluses are all but impossible,” you say.

Huh.

And yet?

HERE (below), one can easily see…

When it comes to revenue?

Texas, yeah…

Can do WAY MORE than just swing the impossible:

[via HotAir] On the (all-too-rare, harumph) occasion that a particular state ends up with a budget surplus, that state winner and still championmight use the leftover money to pay down debt, add cushion to a rainy day fund, put down payments on infrastructure projects, and etcetera. Several GOP governors are currently looking into their respective states’ tax codes and revenue streams in an effort to encourage competition and economic growth, but Texas Gov. Rick Perry is adding to that competitive drive with yet another economy-boosting idea. Showing off his sense of fiscal discipline and an understanding that the private sector spends money more productively than the public sector, he plans to propose a constitutional amendment that would allow the state to return unspent revenue back to taxpayers. Via Fox News:

Gov. Rick Perry will use his State of the State address to call for amending the Texas Constitution to allow the state to return tax money it collects but doesn’t spend back to its citizens, according to an excerpt of the speech released to The Associated Press.

Perry, who is scheduled to deliver the speech Tuesday morning to a joint session of the Legislature, will tell lawmakers that he has “never bought into the notion that if you collect more, you need to spend more.”

“Today, I’m calling for a mechanism to be put in place so when we do bring in more than we need, we’ll have the option of returning tax money directly to the people who paid it,” the governor plans to say. “Currently, that’s not something our constitution allows. We need to fix that.”

…[Read More]

Texas wants to GIVE back.

Whereas California?

Though, yes it is just a prediction…

The chance of them EVER having a surplus of revenue?

No. Very. Likely.

Jeez…

*taps chin*

Though one can only ponder why?

ok who leaked it

News Mash: Iran nuclear reactor ‘dangerous’…Who would have seen this one coming?!

I would have never…

EVER thunk it.

The Iranian nuclear reactor, could actually BE a big problem?

No?

I am so…

(*shakes head sadly* Cause no, not at all…)

Shocked right now!

[via NYTimes]SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH — The showdown over Iran’s nuclear program is likely to accelerate in 2013 as sanctions tighten, Israel threatens military strikes, and the centrifuges keep spinning. While most attention will be focused on the two most oft-discussed sites of uranium enrichment — Natanz and Fordow — a third site on the gulf could prove to be this year’s most dangerous nuclear wild card.

The reactor building at the Bushehr nuclear power plant.

Tucked between two sleepy coastal fishing villages, the Bushehr nuclear power plant has long been seen as the “acceptable” face of Iran’s nuclear program. Built by Russian engineers and monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency, it is already producing electricity, and most nuclear experts agree that it does not merit the same level of concern over weaponization as Iran’s other nuclear sites.

Bushehr, however, could turn out to be the most dangerous piece of Iran’s nuclear puzzle for another reason: haphazard planning and ongoing technical problems mean it could be the next Chernobyl, igniting a humanitarian disaster and explosive economic damage across the oil-rich region.

Technical problems in the past 12 months have raised serious concerns about Iran’s capacity to competently operate the facility. The plant was shut down in October to limit potential damage following the discovery of stray bolts found beneath its fuel cells, the Reuters news agency reported, citing a Russian industry source. Western officials expressed concern about the plant after an I.A.E.A report in November stated that Iran had informed the agency about unexpected fuel transfers. Last week, the emir of Kuwait, Sheik Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, called upon Tehran to work more closely with the I.A.E.A. “to ensure the safety of the region’s state and its people.”

Meanwhile, Russian scientists have delayed the transfer of operations to their Iranian counterparts.

…[Read More]

Even Iran knows…

THIS will not turn out well for anyone.

Maybe especially?

It’s own people.

[via FreeBeacon] Iranian officials have instructed residents of Isfahan to leave the city, renewing concerns that a nearby nuclear site could be leaking radioactive material.

An edict issued Wednesday by Iranian authorities orders Isfahan’s one-and-a-half million people to leave the city “because pollution has now reached emergency levels,” the BBC reported.

However, outside observers suspect that the evacuation order may corroborate previous reports indicating that a uranium enrichment facility near Isfahan had been leaking radioactive material.

Tehran went to great lengths in December to deny these reports, telling state-run media outlets that “the rumors about leaking and contamination at Isfahan’s [Uranium Conversion Facility] are not true at all.”

November reports indicated that a radioactive leak might have poisoned several workers at the nuclear plant, which converts highly toxic yellowcake uranium into material that could be used in the core of a nuclear weapon.

The head of Iran’s emergency services agency said at the time that residents have no reason to worry about possible contamination resulting from a possible leak.

Stories about the potential leak soon disappeared from state-run news websites, Trend reported in late November.

Iranian officials denied that a leak has occurred and blamed Western media outlets for creating “tumult” in the region.

Wednesday’s evacuation order is now fueling concerns that Iranian officials are trying to hide something, including further fallout from a possible radioactive leak.

…[Read More]

Deadly devices of mass destruction?

Never a good idea…

When put into the hands of those individuals?

Who have little to NO regard for human life:

[via IsraelNationNews] Iran’s nuclear weapons program remains the number one threat over Israel, Prime ok who leaked itMinister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Thursday.

Speaking to Israeli ambassadors and consuls at the conclusion of their annual gathering in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said, “The number one threat has been and remains Iran, our commitment has been and remains to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”

Netanyahu presented to the ambassadors his assessment of the current situation and predicted that in the short term the turmoil in the Middle East will continue, but “in the long run there is a possibility for change if Iran is prevented from achieving military nuclear capability.”

He noted that as of right now, Iran has yet to cross the “red line” he set during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in September – if it reaches enough uranium enriched to the 90% level.

At the same time, Netanyahu noted, pressure must continue on Iran to get it to drop its nuclear weapons ambitions.

The comments came in the wake of reports that Iran’s ability to attack Israel has been compromised significantly in the past year.

According to a study by Defense Ministry officials, Iran’s attempts to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the weakness of Hizbullah has taken a great toll in manpower and funds from the Islamic Republic.

The officials, quoted in Maariv, said that neither Syria nor Hizbullah are in any position to not only start a war with Israel, but would also be largely unable to respond on behalf of Iran in the event of an Israeli strike at Iran’s nuclear facilities. Syria is too badly divided at this point to respond, and without the material support in men and weapons from Damascus, Hizbullah would be too feeble to respond effectively.

…[Read More]

And to be clear?

When I say I mean they have little regard for human life?

I mean anyone’s life…

Even their own.

Does this worry the rest of the world (Who have been in denial that this Iranian Nuclear Program is an actual issue, up until…)

Now?!

Cause, yes, it really should.

End of the world as we know it

Poetic Celebrity Parody – The End of the World As We Know It!

Gonna freak you out
With my mad sense of humor
With all of this ‘end of the world’ talk about
The end of days coming sooner
Than we could hope
I’m no dope
In fact ‘politically’I’m the ‘bomb’
Some crazy people actually believe in this upcoming ‘tragedy’
That why I just have to be

Be the one to poke them with fun!

End of the world as we know it [Source]

When it comes to ‘end of the world’ humor…

Can’t beat Australian!

Yep

Aporia Politico: Obama won!

And…

Since he DID win (congrats to him), and since I had a bet with AFTLadybug on the election results, looks like I owe her a story.(My payment for betting on the wrong candidate.)

Here you go, my friend…

Easy Target ~by Amber Brock

Imagine yourself amidst a vast African savanna. You are a beautiful Kudu, a brush antelope. Dusty brown in color, with small caged white lines in your fur, which encases your stocky body, one built for the run across miles of immense wilderness plains.

And the African savanna is nothing if not immense.

It is an amazingly hot day, grazing day out on the savanna. Dozens of big, brown and burly Cape Buffalo, who have had enough of the heat, herd slowly in the direction of the watering hole and with a single-minded determination, which only big, horned bulls can pull off.  Giraffes forage near a tree thicket, but soon leave their shadowed tree-covered grove to amble their own way, now just as desperate for a drink. Gazelles socialize with a large herd of Zebras, and they wander through the brush. They too hear the cool waters calling and set out to follow behind the Buffalo and the Giraffes, all intent on the same destination.

Relief.

The sky is a startling blue today and the sun is shining. It’s a scorching day. Sweltering.  The heat is almost too unbearable to suffer; however nothing that a quick, cool gulp of water wouldn’t cure.

You too begin to make your way towards the watering hole. Your mind utterly focused on your destination now, and your immediate, growing need, for a cooling drink as the African sun beats down, unrelenting, upon you.

The need for water has become an almost all-encompassing, living, breathing entity.

So focused are you on your need for relief, and in your rush to catch up to the others, you neglect to see how close you are to a particularly nasty thicket and a thick thorn painfully wedges itself right above your hoof.

Perfect.

Now, not only are you hot, dying of thirst, but you are now hobbled as well.

And quickly falling behind.

The animals up ahead of you now begin to break slightly to the right, instead of continuing on the obvious direct pathway towards the watering hole, they take a detour. In unison, they go the long way around a dense cluster of tress, surround by a jutting outcropping of rocks, instead of venturing directly to the watering hole immediately on the pathway to their left.

How ridiculous?!

You find yourself slowly approaching this crossroads.

Do you break with the group and continue on the direct-most path towards the watering hole, or do you flow with the herd?

Dolts, the lot of them—Why didn’t they just take the shorter path? They could be there by now, enjoying the crisp, cool waters!

Taking the path to the right would add far too much time and trouble to your endeavor, the pathway to the left is ever so much quicker.

Plus, your foot hurts.

On top of all that, as if that wasn’t enough, you know that it is bound to be crowded at the watering hole, if you ever get there, should you go the way of the herd.

Why not take the path of least resistance?

Why not?

You are, after all, in a hurry and in pain. Seriously–how could showing a little time-saving ingenuity hurt?

The wind slightly stirs, dancing atop the tips of the grassy plains. Your already laborious steps slow, your first few steps on the pathway to the left.

Was that a soft growl you heard? Or was it just the wind?

You look around you quickly, but see nothing but a tree-shadowed, thicket-cloaked outcropping of rock just to your right. And the vast, empty, expansive savanna which now surrounds you, both behind you and to your left.

You are all alone. A fact which now bristles the hair on the back of your neck to stand on end. You take a quick, tentative step back as a sudden, inexplicable fear settles in. Your heart speeds up.

Danger.

You cannot see it, you cannot hear it, you cannot smell it, but oh, you can feel it.

Almost immediately you flinch when your hobbled leg protests the quick movement back in retreat, and brings your mind back to the present.

Sure, you could turn back easily. Turn back and go the way of the others, the detoured route around the outcropping rock to the watering hole. A watering hole now probably crowed to the point where any enjoyment to be had, of basking in the cool waters on a hot savanna day, can go the way of hippo poo…

Carelessly swatted away, with so much as a flick of a tail.

Or?

You could continue onward. The calming, cool oasis of the water hole is just up ahead, only a few feet really. And since you don’t actually physically register any real and present danger, with any of your five senses, or have a rational explanation for the burst of inexplicable fear you felt earlier, you discount it. You dismiss it completely.

The water is calling you.

Relief is just up ahead.

There is absolutely nothing to fear.  Any ‘uneasy ‘ feeling you felt just seconds ago, you tell yourself, was all in your mind…

Right?

 

RIP beautiful Kudu, who never made it to the watering hole & was in fact eaten by a Cheetah.

A Cheetah who had been perched in a tree by the jutting, outcropping of rock…

Just waiting for?

An Easy Target.

In fact…

Just because I am that magnanimous?

*no*

I will give you TWO:

Know By Intuition ~by Amber BrockThe scent of the Kudu carrion covered the African savanna.

You took in one cool gulp of water from the watering hole, and dodged a leaping, frightened fish, before you raised your head and looked quickly about. You felt bad for the Kudu, sure you did, but as a Gazelle, you were well aware these things sometimes happen. And they happened here, on the African savanna, especially if you were not prepared for them.

You eyed the water suspiciously when dozens of fish took to the air to your left, and counteracted by side-stepping a bit more to the right.

You bumped into an oblivious Zebra, calmly drinking water. Blind to the goings-on around him.

Silly Zebra.

As one of the elder, more respected Gazelles in your herd, you’ve been around the savanna once or twice and you can pretty well instinctively predict how such instances would now play out.

After all, accurately predicting certain outcomes has helped you stay alive.

Once again you dodge an airborne fish.

You stepped back quickly from the watering hole, and walked to stand at the opposite side of a Zebra immediately to your right. You adjusted your position to one a bit more secure. You took your position once again at the watering hole, with a Zebra between you and the ‘flying fish’ and lowered your head and began to drink.

In regards to the death of the Kudu?

Oh, never doubt that more predators would soon descend.

The scent of carrion would bring them all in droves: Lions, Hyenas and Bears – Oh, my!

OK. Maybe not the bears, wrong latitude, but you get the picture.

Pretty much if a predator eats meat, is hungry and had a good sense of smell? It would travel to this location, and quickly, to see if they could take advantage and try to steal a free meal.

You eyed the water once more, and took one final drink. You took in as much cool water as you possibly could, to sustain you this hot summer day, because you knew it was time to make your escape before the other predators got there.

And they were coming.

A long, distant roar of a lion was carried to your ears on the sweltering savanna wind.

The hair on your neck stood up in an escalation fear.

Many of the other animals, which surrounded the watering hole, seemed to have come to the same conclusion. They heard the same sounds, felt the same fear and they began to withdraw to make their much needed escape.

Time was of the essence now.

Despite the hotness of the punishing savanna day, there was now no time left to linger in the cool oasis of these waters.

The immediacy of imminent danger drew ever closer.

Giraffes began to break from the pack and started to head the long way around the watering hole, to escape the proximity of the scent of carrion which lingered dangerously in the air.  Cape buffalo, no fools, lumbered behind them.

Zebras, however?

Fools.

The Zebras decided to take the fastest, most expedient route away from the smell of the carrion and put as much distance between them and the predators that approached from behind, as quickly as possible… And they decided to do this by physically crossing a shallow section of the watering hole.

Bad idea.

For, while it was true that dozens of possible predators approached from the rear, unfortunately for the Zebras, there were some predators that were already there.

The current of the water seemed to shift against the wind.

You intuitively knew what was to come. Your Gazelle  mind already pieced together all the pieces of the puzzle, which was why you didn’t brave the waters yourself, even before you consciously accept the ‘why’ of it.

You turned to follow the way of the Cape Buffalo and the Giraffe, the ‘long way’ or no.  When the first “SNAP!” sounded, soon followed by a whinny of anguish, you didn’t need to turn and see what had happened, you now already knew.

For you see, you didn’t have to see the eyes that lurked beneath the ripples in the water to know that they were there. The ripples were enough. Just as the rapid multiply elongated dark shadows beneath the already dark surface, were enough; the hot day, the cool water, the leaping frightful fish, the heady smell of the carrion and the positioning of numerous prey items just waiting to be taken along the waters edge?

The conditions were too perfect for them not to be near.

This clear and present danger you did not need to see beforehand to know, for what you knew, you simply knew by intuition.

You knew what the unfortunate Zebras had just found out: The Crocodile did not have to make a long journey in order to try to take advantage of a meal.

Nope.

You see, the Crocodile?

They had been there waiting all along.

What?

*blank stare*

You were not specific regarding the storyline topic.

So…

I figured the whole ‘circle of life’ theme would work in this instance.

Cause I definitely feel life I just got munched on a bit.

*pouts*

Anyway, congrats to you AFTLadybug, for being right on your prediction. Hope you enjoyed your winnings!

And congrats to President Obama.

*sighs*

mother nature decides

Aporia Politico: Think you consciously rule your political decisions? Pffft, think again!

Who you will choose…

In the upcoming Presidential election?

Probably as less to do with do with intentional ‘conscious thought’, on your part?

And instead far more to do with your biological make-up…

Than you could ever possibly imagine.

ScienceDaily (Nov. 1, 2012) — New research from the University of South Carolina provides fresh evidence that choosing a candidate may depend largely on our biological make-up. That’s because the brains of self-identified Democrats and Republicans are hard-wired differently and may be naturally inclined to hold varying, if not opposing, perceptions and values. This study showed a strong link with broad social connectedness with Democrats, and a strong link with tight social connectedness with Republicans.

“The differences are significant and real,” said lead researcher Roger Newman-Norlund, an assistant professor of exercise science in the Arnold School of Public Health and the director of USC’s new Brain Stimulation Laboratory.

The study focused on the mirror neuron system, a network linked to a host of social and emotional abilities. After declaring their political affiliations, the subjects were given questionnaires designed to gauge their attitudes on a range of select political issues. Next, they were given “resting state” MRIs which made it possible to analyze the strength of connections within the mirror neuron system in both the left and right hemispheres of their brains; specifically the inferior frontal gyrus, supramarginal gyrus and angular gyrus.

The results found more neural activity in areas believed to be linked with broad social connectedness in Democrats (friends, the world at-large) and more activity in areas linked with tight social connectedness in the Republicans (family, country). In some ways the study confirms a stereotype about members of the two parties — Democrats tend to be more global and Republicans more America-centric — but it actually runs counter to other recent research indicating Democrats enjoyed a virtual biological lock on caring for others.

“The results were a little surprising,” Newman-Norlund said. “This shows the picture is more complicated. One possible explanation for our results is that Democrats and Republicans process social connectedness in a fundamentally different way.

…[Read More]

But?

Many people will revolt against this idea.

Who, after all, doesn’t want to believe they are FULL conscious control of all their decisions, right?

Kinda freaky to believe that your opinions, thoughts and ideas might possibly be per-determined by that which you have NO control over…

Your biology.

Unlike like your favorite foods to eat. That’s a very decisive personal choice, which has nothing to do with anything other than free will.

*sniffs*

Right?

*no*

Research says even THESE preferential cultural choices could pose as an accurate reflection of…

Political affiliations?

And are therefore just one more depiction of your biology (preference) dictating your life?

Oh…

Yeah – Probably.

[via The Blaze] “Using data from its Trendsetter app, which cross-references polling data with influence and page ‘likes’ from Facebook, Engage shows that politics is often determined by the cultural choices we make daily,” BuzzFeed’s Ruby Cramer explains.

Most of it seems pretty unsurprising (i.e. Chik-fil-a and Ben & Jerry’s)

“Whether you support Obama or Romney, that support is more often than not a manifestation of where you live, what you watch and where you fit in culturally,” Engage president Patrick Ruffini told BuzzFeed.

“This is where we think other attempts to ‘match’ you to candidates based on issue quizzes go wrong,” Ruffini added. “Voters don’t necessarily behave rationally. We think the subcultures you inhabit say an awful lot about your politics.”

And if you enjoyed the above charts, you’re in luck. Engage plans on releasing about a dozen more infographs based on the politics of social media.

“Americans have tended to associate more with like-minded people from across the country and the globe, and less with the person who lives right next door,” said Ruffini.

…[Read More]

It’s science/reasearch like this, which makes me wonder…

If everything we do is a scientific reflection of a ‘bigger picture’ of who we are, and the decisions we make?

If so, I must say…

I feel a tad less in control of my life, and more like a big puppet at the whims of ‘Life’s Little Strings’ (i.e. Mother Nature), than I did just an hour ago.

*sighs*

Stupid Mother Nature…

She never lets me decide at ANYTHING.

*pouts*

whoo hoo

Aporia Politico: If the November 7th riots happen? It’s not due to ’cause’, but…Opportunity.

With the end of this exhausting political season just around the corner…

Who is not ready for it to FINALLY come to a close?

Seriously–Who?

It has been horrible, but even as horrible as it has been…

As ready as we ALL are, I am sure, for it to just be done?

Surprisingly the actual end of the Presidential election could be just the start of our problems.

A fact very dependent on who wins:

[via InfoWars]New Threats to Riot if Obama Loses Election ~ by Paul Joseph Watson

UPDATE: Obama Supporters Threaten To Kill Romney If He Wins Election

Despite the issue receiving national media attention, Obama supporters continue to threaten to riot if Mitt Romney wins the presidential election, raising the prospect of civil unrest if Obama fails to secure a second term.

The new threats continue to dominate Twitter and the vast majority make no reference to press coverage of the issue over the last week, illustrating the fact that they are a legitimate expression of how many Obama voters plan to respond if Romney comes out on top, and not merely a reaction to media hype.

An Infowars.com story written by Michael Snyder which was picked up by the Drudge Report over the weekend and has since gone viral documented how Twitter was flooded with messages from Obama supporters threatening to riot…

[Read More]

It should be noted?

Which camp is calling for riots should their candidate lose.

Despite this however…

The party in question should not take this demoralizing, and very telling, fact to heart.

Especially given?

That certain individuals seldom need a cause to wreak havoc…

They just need an opportunity.

No matter the occasion:

[via USAToday] 11:01AM EDT October 29. 2012 – SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco Giants fans celebrated the team’s World Series win with a massive open-air party near City Hall Sunday night. However, small groups of onlookers went on the rampage early Monday morning, lighting a bus on fire, throwing bottles and injuring several people.

More than 10,000 people were estimated to have gathered to watch Sunday night’s game on giant screens set up in the city’s Civic Center area. The fans erupted into a gleeful throng after the Giant’s won in a rare World Series sweep.

Fireworks went off across the city, horns honked and people poured into the streets to celebrate.

Most went home within an hour or so. However several small groups left the area and began to create havoc around the city’s main thoroughfare, Market Street, in the Mission neighborhood and near AT&T Park where the Giants play.

Several fires were set in the middle of streets and photos and videos of a city bus burning were posted on Twitter.

…[Read More]

In other words, those that are going to riot…

Are going to do it.

Period.

Causes and beliefs have little to do with.

So if Obama DOES lose, and rioting havoc ensues?

Don’t blame the Dems. Put the blame solely where it belongs…

On the brainless idiots performing criminal acts.

journalist

Aporia Politico: Halloween 2012 – Journalists Love Obama Edition!

Jay Leno?

Is a very funny guy. He’s also?

A very smart guy.

What do I mean?

He has come up with idea for the perfect costume for Halloween, this hot political season:

[via The Blaze] Scrounging for a cheap, last-minute Halloween costume?

“Tonight Show” host Jay Leno’s got you covered.

“Here is a very inexpensive costume idea,” Leno said Friday. “Wear a re-elect Obama button and go out as a journalist.”

While Leno cracked himself up with the joke, he apparently sensed his audience’s uncertainty. When they did laugh, Leno turned to his band leader and said, “took a while.”

Of course, you wouldn’t even need an Obama button if you were lucky enough to grab a spoof “Journalists for Obama” T-shirt at the Democratic National Convention last month.

…[Read More - Click Here To Watch Video!]

It’s so funny…

Because it’s so true!

The mainstream media is behind Obama 100%!

Who doesn’t know this?

I mean, come on – It’s just that obvious.

And yeah…

More than a little sad especially when we are talking about HOW obvious.

[via FreeRepublic] Bill O’Reilly opened his show tonight asking if recent events in Libya will lose the election for President Obama. O’Reilly appeared to be losing patience with how Obama keeps dodging questions about what happened in Libya and who told which administration officials what to say. O’Reilly also blamed the media, and Brian Williams in particular, for not actually bringing these issues up in interviews with the president.

O’Reilly brought up a report that said urgent requests for backup in the Benghazi consulate were not followed up on by the CIA. During a radio interview, Obama claimed that he was not “personally aware of” any security requests. O’Reilly sighed and criticized Obama for not being able to explain exactly what happened in Libya. He could not comprehend why the president is still unable to clarify the situation, considering how much misinformation was put out by his administration.

Of course, the media has not been very quick to hold Obama’s feet to the fire on this one. O’Reilly brought up Williams’ interview of the president and how the NBC newsman took a pass on actually grilling Obama on what happened in Libya. After playing the video of Obama talking with Williams about Libya, O’Reilly sighed again and said the president is just regurgitating the same answer about Libya, criticizing Williams for not following up.

“Instead of citing some inconsistencies from the administration about the Libyan attack, Mr. Williams dropped the subject, totally dropped it, after one misleading question… [and] implied that American intelligence stands behind the theory that the Libyan attack was, quote, ‘spontaneous.’ That was not a fact, but was presented as such by Brian Williams.”

O’Reilly reiterated that the media needs to actually grill the Obama administration on what happened in Libya, instead of giving him a pass on a major foreign security issue.[Read More] [via Mediaite] [See Obama Dodge Benghazi Attack Questions Here! Will the media ever call him on it? Pffft, no...Here's your button.]

Subtly.

Guess some in the media have never heard of it.

Blatantly ignoring  that which makes you favored candidate look bad…

Because you know it is SOOOOO horrible?

Hmm.

Does NOT a good reporter make.

Just saying.

What it DOES make however?

Best. Halloween. Costume…

EVER!

Have a safe and Happy Halloween, this crazy political season!

cue faux feminist outrage

Aporia Politico: Mates are chosen via menstrual cycle, so what, Presidents chosen this way is…Outrageous?

*shakes head sadly*

Honestly…

What’s with the false outrage?

I don’t get it.

DO women makes choices hormonally?

Pffft…

Duh.

Science has said this for a WHILE now, so this news should NOT be a shocker.

Find me ONE female animal that exists in nature that does NOT do this?

That would be a shocker.

[via LiveScience]Women with less-masculine husbands or boyfriends are more likely to lust after other men during the fertile part of their cycle than women partnered with butch guys.

A new study reveals that heterosexual women whose partners have less-masculine faces report more attraction to other men during ovulation. Women with masculine-looking partners said their eyes wander less, perhaps because the traits women tend to find sexy when they’re fertile are already present in their partners. However, while those women weren’t looking elsewhere, they also weren’t more attracted to their own manly partners while fertile, suggesting that women’s reasons for wanting sex, not overall desire, might be what varies throughout the cycle.

…[Read More]

[Additional Info: Menstrual Cycle and Facial Preferences Reconsidered]

I do NOT understand why this is news.

More importantly, why some women are trying to make a big deal out of it.

It’s a survival thing, honey-bunnies…

It’s not personal.

[via PopSci] After public blowback over a CNN article about a study suggesting that women vote according to their menstrual cycle, one of the study’s authors, and the journal itself, are standing behind the research–if not the actual CNN story that prompted the backlash in the first place. (That story has since been pulled, but you can still read it here.)

The thrust of the forthcoming study is that single women who are ovulating are supposedly more likely to vote for Barack Obama, while women who are married or in committed relationships are more likely to vote for Mitt Romney. That’s by a pretty wide margin, too, the study suggests: as much as 26 percent. (The full study, “The Fluctuating Female Vote: Politcs, Religion, and the Ovulatory Cycle,” is available here under “Selected Works.”)

Such dramatic findings have raised questions about the validity of the study; some even wonder whether it should’ve been conducted at all.

…[Read More]

Jeez.

And with that said?

When it comes to women and their (economic) survival?

Yeah…

Romney probably the best of choices.

Just wanted to throw that out there.

Gallup.com

the economy

Aporia Politico: This election season revolves around the economy. Too bad for Obama it’s not butter!

The upcoming Presidential election (November 6th)…

Will pretty much be decided by one issue:

The economy.

Or, as some other will say?

Our presently decided…

Lack thereof.

[via The Hill] Mitt Romney blasted President Obama on Friday as shrinking from “the scale of the times” and having failed to make up ground on the economic challenges he inherited.

Romney made his remarks in a rare prepared speech on the campaign trail in Iowa, where he vowed “big change” for the economy.

“Four years ago, candidate Obama spoke to the scale of the times. Today, he shrinks from it, trying instead to distract our attention from the biggest issues to the smallest — from characters on Sesame Street and silly word games to misdirected personal attacks he knows are false,” Romney said.

And the Republican presidential nominee used Friday’s economic report that showed a sluggish 2 percent GDP growth to argue the president had failed to turn around the economy during his first term.

“Today, we received the latest round of discouraging economic news: Last quarter, our economy grew at just 2 percent,” Romney said. “After the stimulus was passed, the White House promised the economy would now be growing at 4.3 percent, over twice as fast. Slow economic growth means slow job growth and declining take home pay. This is what four years of President Obama’s policies have produced.”

…[Read More]

And because the economy WILL be the deciding factor?

Well, Obama has been pretty reticent when it comes to actually discussing it.

Cause, yeah

He can’t believe it’s not butter.

Uh…

I mean better.

[via NBC Chicago] If you see a yellow-ish sculpture of a man’s head rolling through the Loop Friday afternoon, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you: It really is a bust of President Barack Obama made of butter.

The butter head stars in the latest performance art project from Industry of the Ordinary, helmed by Chicagoans-via-England Adam Brooks and Mathew Wilson as a way to trigger response to pop culture and art. (Locals might remember Brooks and Wilson for the ice sculpture of the Ten Commandments they carted down Michigan Avenue in 2005 en route to the Art Institute of Chicago.)

For this project, they hired Ohio artist Bob Kling, known for his butter cow sculptures, to carve Obama’s face from a mound of the unsalted emulsion. Kling worked several days in a cooler in Chicago’s Fulton Market District to perfect the final product.

Why butter? Wilson said it’s one of those peculiar American traditions that’s perennially celebrated in the country’s culture. The bust of the president, he said, aims to cause a response at “a pivotal moment” in the country less than two weeks before the Nov. 6 election.

“The piece is, itself, not pro- or anti-Obama,” Wilson said. “It seeks to provoke a reaction.”

A different ‘Head of State’…

Is that what we need to get the economy on a roll to actual improvement?

Will the candidate with the right economic plan, be the one to get YOUR vote?

Not sure, but ONE thing is.

Tasting good on toast shouldn’t be enough to sway your vote, one way or another…

And if it does?

*sighs*

You deserve EXACTLY what you get:

Soggy toast.