Wednesday Open Thread

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    Everybody Funny File... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 08:46:12 AM EST
    India is enraged by our regular everyday arrest and booking procedures, as one of their diplomats gets locked up for allegedly falsifying documents for her domestic servant and paying slave wages.

    India is correct that our regular everyday arrest procedures are barbaric and dehumanizing...but I'd hardly call Indian justice the model of civilized either.  Everybody funny...that's the problem.  

    I do not know if India requires an unclothed-body (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 10:34:56 AM EST
    search of female arrestees  I do know that (at the hotels where we stayed post-Mumbai incident and at the airports and some monuments) a female security person performs a clothed-body search of a female inside a curtained enclosure.

    Certainly... (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 10:54:42 AM EST
    alotta pot meet kettle in India's outrage.  Aside from the strip search angle, I think part of it is a high-class diplomat being treated like a slumdog and caged with "drug addicts".

    Welcome to America Jack...where slumdogs make up 99% of the population as far as the law is concerned.


    You forgot to mention (none / 0) (#80)
    by scribe on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 09:31:29 PM EST
    the cavity search.

    According to USAToday, the Indian government has responded by taking down the vehicle barriers around the US Embassy, revoked the duty-free import permits for food and liquor for the Embassy, and chewed out Kerry.  So far.


    In a subtle shot at Russia's anti-gay laws (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by CoralGables on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 09:09:19 AM EST
    Obama passes on attending the Winter Olympics and chooses Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow as representatives for the US delegation in Sochi.

    France will not have representation (none / 0) (#7)
    by KeysDan on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 10:22:02 AM EST
    from the highest officials, the German President, and a EU Commissioner have indicated that they will not attend Sochi.  If the sentiments reportedly expressed by the Russian actor and Orthodox priest, Ivan Okhlobystin, to cheering fans in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, are reflective of the Russian environment, it does not appear to be a welcoming place even for visitors.

    The  Russian sitcom star and modern day Ivan the Terrible, is quoted as saying "I would put all the gays alive into an oven."   Now, of course, Ivan could have been joking about a warm reception in Siberia, but, then, that does not seem to wash since Sochi is sub-tropical.


    Warm reception indeed (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 10:28:25 AM EST
    All about (none / 0) (#8)
    by KeysDan on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 10:25:40 AM EST
    That explains... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 10:48:13 AM EST
    Edward Snowden being named Master of Ceremonies;)

    All kidding aside, well played Mr. Pres!


    Ivan the Terrible and John Bolton (none / 0) (#21)
    by KeysDan on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 11:57:36 AM EST
    seem to have some common ground on dealing with those they do not like.  The former UN Ambassador, when asked on FOX if Edward Snowden should be given amnesty,  as a NSA official expressed, responded that it would be a big mistake..that Ed should swing from a tall oak tree.  In fairness to Bolton, he did feel that Snowden ought to be convicted of treason as a first step.  Apparently, President Bush felt that Bolton's character,  like his mustachio, was snow white.  But, I think he drifted.

    Sometimes I like the dude (none / 0) (#15)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 10:49:43 AM EST
    Although I think it would've been better if he'd have gone, and had, say, the old cast of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy sitting around him and begging for a chance to give Putin a humanity makeover. But I take what I can get. Good on Obama. Even a blind squirrel, as they say. No no, all good, I have to get in jabs. Go ladies!

    NSA review panel releases findings (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 05:46:32 PM EST
    Pussy Riot Granted Amnesty (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 09:29:37 AM EST
    Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina are serving two-year jail terms for hooliganism for their protest action, called a "punk prayer," in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral in February 2012. The band's third convicted member, Yeakterina Samutsevich, who received a suspended sentence, is also subject to the amnesty bill, the lawyer said.

    Putin did the right thing...  

    Obama needs to step up to the plate and grant amnesty to all non-violent drug offenders who are rotting in prisons.

    RIP Al Goldstein (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 09:40:17 AM EST
    "To be angry is to be alive. I'm an angry Jew. I love it. Anger is better than love. I think it is more pure," he said in an interview in 2001. "There's so much to be angry about, because people are ripped off, the election went to the wrong person, the good guys usually lose and society sucks."

    To back that anger, Goldstein put his wallet where his mouth was, spending millions of dollars on First Amendment lawsuits, hundreds of thousands running unsuccessfully for sheriff in Florida, and millions more in numerous divorce settlements.

    DeStefano remembers Goldstein as an "intellectual who cared about the world and geopolitics." But after a lavish lifestyle, Goldstein fell on difficult times, landing in a homeless shelter and a veterans hospital.


    Linda Taylor (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 09:52:19 AM EST
    The real "welfare queen" (yes, she really existed):

    Four decades later, Reagan's soliloquies on welfare fraud are often remembered as shameless demagoguery. Many accounts report that Reagan coined the term "welfare queen," and that this woman in Chicago was a fictional character. In 2007, the New York Times' Paul Krugman wrote that "the bogus story of the Cadillac-driving welfare queen [was] a gross exaggeration of a minor case of welfare fraud." MSNBC's Chris Matthews says the whole thing is racist malarkey--a coded reference to black indolence and criminality designed to appeal to working-class whites.

    Though Reagan was known to stretch the truth, he did not invent that woman in Chicago. Her name was Linda Taylor, and it was the Chicago Tribune, not the GOP politician, who dubbed her the "welfare queen." It was the Tribune, too, that lavished attention on Taylor's jewelry, furs, and Cadillac--all of which were real.

    As of 1976, Taylor had yet to be convicted of anything. She was facing charges that she'd bilked the government out of $8,000 using four aliases. When the welfare queen stood trial the next year, reporters packed the courtroom. Rather than try to win sympathy, Taylor seemed to enjoy playing the scofflaw. As witnesses described her brazen pilfering from public coffers, she remained impassive, an unrepentant defendant bedecked in expensive clothes and oversize hats.

    Linda Taylor, the haughty thief who drove her Cadillac to the public aid office, was the embodiment of a pernicious stereotype. With her story, Reagan marked millions of America's poorest people as potential scoundrels and fostered the belief that welfare fraud was a nationwide epidemic that needed to be stamped out. This image of grand and rampant welfare fraud allowed Reagan to sell voters on his cuts to public assistance spending. The "welfare queen" became a convenient villain, a woman everyone could hate. She was a lazy black con artist, unashamed of cadging the money that honest folks worked so hard to earn.


    When I set out in search of Linda Taylor, I hoped to find the real story of the woman who played such an outsize role in American politics--who she was, where she came from, and what her life was like before and after she became the national symbol of unearned prosperity. What I found was a woman who destroyed lives, someone far more depraved than even Ronald Reagan could have imagined. In the 1970s alone, Taylor was investigated for homicide, kidnapping, and baby trafficking. The detective who tried desperately to put her away believes she's responsible for one of Chicago's most legendary crimes, one that remains unsolved to this day. Welfare fraud was likely the least of the welfare queen's offenses.

    For those who knew her decades ago, Linda Taylor was a terrifying figure. On multiple occasions, I had potential sources tell me they didn't think I was really a journalist. Maybe I was a cop. Maybe I was trying to kill them. As Lamar Jones tells me about his brief marriage to the welfare queen, he keeps asking how I've found him, and why I want to know all of these personal details. If I'm in cahoots with Linda, as he suspects I might be, he assures me that I won't be able to find him again. He's just going to disappear.

    Those who crossed paths with Linda Taylor believe she's capable of absolutely anything. They also hope she's dead.

    That is Really Interesting (none / 0) (#65)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 10:49:14 AM EST
    From Wiki:
    The Washington Post reported that Linda Taylor, to whom Reagan was referring, was "known as the Welfare Queen, for she is credited with taking in more than $150,000 a year in welfare benefits...[police detectives allege that she] had at least 26 aliases, with identifications to match; was listed at more than a score of telephone numbers; could show her address at more than 30 locations in and around Chicago; owned a portfolio of stocks and bonds under various names and a garage full of autos, including a Cadillac, Lincoln and a Chevy wagon; had three Social Security cards; was wed to several husbands who had died; had recently wed a 21-year-old sailor at a nearby naval training center; and was about to leave on a Hawaiian vacation." [7]

    Linda Taylor was ultimately charged with committing $8,000 in fraud and having four aliases.[8] She was convicted of illegally obtaining 23 welfare checks using two aliases.[9] She was sentenced to two to six years in prison.[10]

    This woman had talent, I wonder what she could have accomplished has she used those skills constructively.  Christ, I can barely run one ID, I can't imagine trying to juggle 26 with the cops one step behind me.


    It's an amazing article (none / 0) (#66)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 10:51:44 AM EST
    I'm still not done reading it.

    Think about this - what she did was BEFORE most people and most offices had computers (at least, sophisticated ones).  That would have made her scams easier in some respects, but harder in others.

    The baby trafficking aspect, though, is really creepy.


    I don't think many people doubted ... (none / 0) (#75)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 06:42:04 PM EST
    ... that Reagan's "welfare queen" story was rooted in some factual basis.

    But even as an 18-year-old living in a then-GOP-friendly San Gabriel Valley, I understood that by highlighting stories such as Linda Taylor's as the rule rather than the exception, Reagan was none too subtly reinforcing the latent racism of anxious and frustrated white voters, who were all too eager to embrace the ludicrous notion that her felonious behavior was somehow representative of that found in the African-American community as a whole -- a community they further saw as gratuitously indulged and over-coddled.

    That's what Reagan's critics were objecting to, and quite frankly in painfully obvious hindsight, I can't blame them in the least.

    From kicking off his 1980 campaign stretch run in Philadelphia MS, to his veto of the re-authorization of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (thankfully overridden), to his administration's staunch and longstanding support of South Africa's Apartheid white government in the face of growing domestic opposition to such policies even within his own GOP ranks, I think Ronald Reagan has an awful lot for which history has yet to call him to account, as far as U.S. race relations are concerned. Personally, I think he retarded the scene.

    And I'm speaking as one of those then-young white voters who saw very clearly what the guy was doing, and who nonetheless voted for him anyway -- to my now-everlasting regret and chagrin.



    There's a kind of hysteria (none / 0) (#92)
    by jondee on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 09:41:41 AM EST
    involved in these ongoing revisionist attempts to prove Reagan didn't have his head so far up his as* that he could've passed for a U Boat commander trapped under the Arctic ice with a broken compass..

    See: the Gipper was once almost right about something..

    Some years down the road, when Elder Mitten's 47 percent is officially confirmed to be 4 percent, we'll probably see one or two longwinded vindicating articles like the one above.


    A most colorful comment! (none / 0) (#93)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 11:29:57 AM EST
    Adam Liptak re Judge Leon's (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 06:57:07 AM EST
    decision on N.S.A.:


    Thanks for the link (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 10:47:32 AM EST
    I'll have to wait until next week to read it tho, apparently I've maxed out on my complimentaries at the times. I refuse to subscribe anymore because of things like, oh I don't know, shilling for the Iraq War worse than any publication this side of Wolfowitz Gazette.

    Sorry. I thought people opening a link (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 10:58:48 AM EST
    here escaped the draconian limits.

    Delete your Cookies (none / 0) (#59)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 08:13:43 AM EST
    Nice call (none / 0) (#68)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 12:06:02 PM EST
    My Luddite tendencies sometimes prevail. Gracias.

    My wife's little bank (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 08:08:03 AM EST
    It's rare that I'm proud of a financial institution, but this week they turned down a multi-million dollar account because a chunk of the money comes from fracking investments. Three cheers for a fanancial institution that actually lives up to its mission statement in the face of, for its relatively small size anyway, big money. New Resource Bank (link), go online and check them out, and give them some biz if you're so inclined.

    Being able to look in the mirror... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 08:57:13 AM EST

    Ethics may be on life support, but the b*tch ain't dead yet.


    You "should" open an accound to (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 10:26:34 AM EST
    show your love!

    Lets not get crazy... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 10:29:30 AM EST
    it's still a bank, and if you don't know me by now Oc.

    But for normal people not allergic to the concept of banking, New Resource sounds like the move.


    When do you fly south? (none / 0) (#52)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 11:56:45 PM EST
    January 18th... (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 01:30:10 PM EST
    Plan is a couple days in Cabo, couple days in La Paz, and the Todos Santos Music Festival as the grand finale.

    Can't come soon enough!


    Isn't Southern Baja pricey? I've (none / 0) (#71)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 03:28:50 PM EST
    not been there.

    First time for me... (none / 0) (#72)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 03:34:50 PM EST
    and yeah, I hear its pricey too.  Good thing we both like street meat.  And I'm a broked*ck NY'er used to living the good life on the cheap...I'm sure we'll manage.

    8 hour layover on the way home in LA before I catch the red eye...know anybody with a medical mj card who wouldn't mind meeting me at LAX? ;)


    I think sarc, but don't know if he partakes. (none / 0) (#74)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 06:07:56 PM EST
    We are spending two nights in Ensenada. Somebody has to support the local tourist industry.  

    Most of Cabo is run by the (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by fishcamp on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 07:25:36 AM EST
    US dollar and not the Mexican Peso so yes it is expensive. Cabo is fun and beautiful so you will be fine.  Next time, kdog, you might think about the less expensive resorts south of Cancun.  They are close to several Mayan ruins and great fishing right in the surf in front of your hammock.  Or you could just come here and CG could come down and we could pirate attack ragebot's boat on our way down to keys dan's lair.

    Way ahead of ya fishcamp... (none / 0) (#82)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 08:14:38 AM EST
    Riviera Maya was my first journey south of the border...here's the happy recap from the archives.

    All in all I think my favorite region of Mexico was also the cheapest...Huasteca de Potosina


    Ensenada's cool, but it definitely ... (none / 0) (#83)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 08:37:39 AM EST
    ... has gotten very touristy, compared to the 1970s and '80s. We used to stay at a house near Estero Beach south of town and the airport before the beach was literally washed away by a huge Dec. 1983 winter storm, which left a jumble of exposed rocks in its wake. Three decades since, the beach has never really returned.

    Ha! Yes, no med MJ card in the SUO home. (none / 0) (#86)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 12:49:45 PM EST
    kdog, what date is your layover?

    Sunday 1/26... (none / 0) (#87)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 01:09:58 PM EST
    I get in to LAX at around 3:30ish and depart again at 11:30ish.  Any suggestions for a cool place to go not too far from the airport?  I was thinking maybe Venice Beach.

    Venice Beach is always entertaining, (none / 0) (#88)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 01:39:23 PM EST
    buncha bars with music. Keep in touch, I might be able to get a hall pass for that night...

    Will do Sir... (none / 0) (#89)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 01:48:05 PM EST
    that would be very cool, if it's no bother.

    playa del rey (none / 0) (#90)
    by ZtoA on Sat Dec 21, 2013 at 04:32:08 AM EST
    Great beach. Tanner's is a wonderful coffee shop. It's closer to LAX than Venice Beach and very laid back. There is a great juice place there too, and a couple of good restaurants. There is a paved beach walk that runs for miles and miles (thru Venice and Santa Monica at least) that goes thru Playa and into the Marina Del Rey.

    Over the bridge at Playa going to the north into the Marina area is a bird refuge. I've walked it many times. I thought LA was just a big city - all concrete like midwestern industrial cities (unfair, but that was my prejudice) but the walk to the north of Playa is alive with pelicans, egrets, and many water fowl. It is beautiful and magical. You can walk  up to Venice beach too if you have the time. The paved walk way is very LA in that it has four lanes! There is a yellow line de-marking the direction of the traffic, the outer lanes are for walkers, and the passing lanes for bikers. Oddly it makes sense.

    I spent my last birthday on Venice Beach. It was wonderful. It is full of tourists and oddball folks, but on that day last January it was just full of those who live there and thrive on the tourists and they were amusing themselves. In my experience all beach people in LA are very friendly and easily get into interesting conversations. Tanner's in Playa is good for coffee and espresso, but Venice beach is not so good for coffee. But if you want to get a medical marijuana card there is a facility for that in every block. The hawkers are out there saying "hey, its legal" (you can't miss their bright lime green outfits). My favorite one has its 'office' in the same shop as where you can get tattoos and piercings. I hesitate to recommend it ...but The Whaler on Venice beach is a favorite of my daughter's crowd and is, actually, a lot of fun. It is on Venice beach.

    Hope you have way too much fun!


    Much obliged ZtoA... (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 08:23:03 AM EST
    We'll see how much cashish I got left when I land...it would be cool to get a medical mj card as a souvenir, and have a relaxing Pacific sunset spliff to end the vacay.

    If I'm near busto perhaps I'll check out Playa Del Rey instead.


    My son was just turned down (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by jondee on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 01:45:40 PM EST
    for a rep job by the motherfrackers because ( I kid you not, this is what he was told) he "failed the compassion test"; meaning he wouldn't sell a rat's as* to a blind man for a wedding ring.

    Needless to say, he takes after his mother.


    Compassion Test? (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 02:10:51 PM EST
    I know you said you're not kidding, but you've got to be kidding.

    Whatever the f*ck it is...if the frackers said fail, that must mean he passed with flying colors.  Be proud Papa, ya done good!


    A little healthy competitiveness (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by jondee on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 06:48:49 PM EST
    is just one small ingredient in the formula for a good life; these hyper-capitalist mutants have made it the tip of the tail that wags the dog.

    What the eff are they teaching in the business schools these days?


    Crime pays (none / 0) (#69)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 01:11:31 PM EST
    What else COULD they be teaching with the "post-grad" work we're seeing.

    Makes the banker from IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE seem downright fair and decent.


    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 221 (none / 0) (#3)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 08:33:46 AM EST
    My friends do know me (none / 0) (#18)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 11:16:13 AM EST
    And he plays a valve trombone, too (none / 0) (#19)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 11:19:05 AM EST
    Had no idea Copeland could blow some horn, too. Hmm.

    Primus Scored South Park's... (none / 0) (#30)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 02:55:40 PM EST
    ...theme song.

    I totally forgot that (none / 0) (#31)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 03:06:37 PM EST
    Thanks for the reminder. I hate getting old. Most of the time. ;-)

    One of the good things (none / 0) (#55)
    by fishcamp on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 07:02:17 AM EST
    about getting old is Medicare.

    And easier qualifying times (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 11:23:23 AM EST
    for anyone that wants to try and run from Hopkinton to Boston on Patriot's Day.

    Here's a review of Mr. Copeland's appearance (none / 0) (#53)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 11:58:50 PM EST
    Summerfest. Quite bizarre. A whole 'nother audience showed yp.



    Go Liz! (none / 0) (#20)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 11:49:46 AM EST
    Sen. Liz Warren wants to ban employers from checking potential employees credit scores.  Mikey likes it.

    While you're at it Liz, can we add a ban on checking piss too?

    While the line between due diligence ... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 01:28:13 PM EST
    ... and unwarranted snooping may be a fine one, kudos to Sen. Warren for wanting to paint it neon yellow.

    Would employers find it acceptable if a prospective employee asked to see the company's audited financial statements for the previous three years, to ensure that the firm won't go belly up while they're working there? I think not.



    This is a huge (none / 0) (#22)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 12:06:26 PM EST
    start as far as I'm concerned.  They can also check your salary history....so much for any real negotiation.

    Employers can lie all they want to get you to come on board, but you'd better dot every p and cross every q or you'll be rejected for "mis-representing" your history.

    I'm job hunting right now. I have to come out of self-employment so I can have medical insurance in this new era of ballooning costs.  And I feel violated every time I sign over my right to privacy for the sake of getting a job.  

    However, I'm also a realist and know that changes don't happen overnight.  If we can get this much right (and this part doesn't affect me because I have a perfect credit record) maybe we can move on to the other more important things like drug testing.


    Uh... (none / 0) (#23)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 12:12:14 PM EST
    I should mention that drug testing also doesn't affect me.  I wholeheartedly support drug legalization, all drugs.  For me, personally, I hate mind altering chemicals, alcohol included.

    Hear hear... (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 12:41:46 PM EST
    on all fronts...all that should matter to an employer is if you can perform the duties of the job. Period, case closed.

    I don't know if the credit score thing would affect me, as I do not know my credit score...not how I keep score;)  The drug testing thing would, if the drug test is something a trip to GNC for the magic juice can't handle...but I've managed to beat everyone I ever had to take for a job, despite my well-known affinity for the green sacrament.  

    It's just the principle of the damn thing...judge a person by the content of their character, not the contents of a stupid file or bodily waste.


    How (none / 0) (#26)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 01:40:30 PM EST
    about sugar?

    Sugar (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 03:15:35 PM EST
    is a substance that is required for life.  And it's one of the foods that people have a tendency to demonize...like fat.  I'm not sure what you're asking.

    Refined (none / 0) (#34)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 03:20:36 PM EST
    sugar is known to alter moods and, imo, sometimes perception. I've seen it.

    Some people become as dependent upon it as others do for their daily martini with a twist.

    I don't demonize it.

    I mentioned it only because you wrote that:

    For me, personally, I hate mind altering chemicals, alcohol included.

    And I wondered if you hated sugar also - since, as I wrote, for some people near and dear to me, it is a mind altering substance.


    Sugar is poison (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Peter G on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 05:28:04 PM EST
    if you have diabetes.

    I'm not a fan (none / 0) (#40)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 03:59:12 PM EST
    of abusing sugar either.  

    But I wasn't trying to make a righteous statement or pass judgment on anyone. I'm sorry if I somehow made a statement that you could misinterpret that way.

    I was just saying that FOR MYSELF, I'm not big on chemicals that even in tiny doses can alter my mind.  However, I pass no judgment on anyone who wants to use the chemicals unless they're using them to such an extent that they're harming others.

    BTW, alcohol (ethanol) is very closely related to sugar.  Sugar addiction has been shown to be a precursor to alcohol addiction.


    BTW (none / 0) (#42)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 04:09:57 PM EST
    "Natural sugar" found in fruit is just as likely to cause mood swings as refined sugar if used in a great enough amount.

    I have experienced quite a sugar roller coaster from having a smoothie (made at home with no "added" sugar).


    I didn't (none / 0) (#44)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 05:16:50 PM EST
    mean to imply that you were being self-righteous.

    I merely wanted to add that there are other substances besides those normally associated with mind-altering drugs that can be just as disorienting and addictive.

    A sort of relatively lighthearted aside:

    About a week ago, TalkLeft was down for a number of hours.
    A number of people, kdog and myself among them, felt a sort of disorientation - a heightened sense of our dependance - not very unlike that experienced by an addict deprived of their "fix" imo.

    The term, "political junkie", became coined, I believe, for the same reason.


    That roller coaster effect (none / 0) (#58)
    by fishcamp on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 07:27:24 AM EST
    caused by natural sugar in your smoothie could be from using ripe fruit.  Some fruits can go from fructose to glucose when ripening.  Natural fructose can be easier on your system I have noticed.  Bananas, pineapples, and grapes can have more glucose than other fruits when ripe.  Probably some folks on this blog may know more about this but I try and use fruit that is on the edge of being ripe.    No sugar and no red meat have helped me to stay healthy for a long time but I can still turn into a grumpy old man when necessary.

    I don't think... (none / 0) (#28)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 02:07:31 PM EST
    a potential employee's sex life should be part of the interview process either.  How much sugar you get is your business;)

    Leap of logic (none / 0) (#33)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 03:20:25 PM EST
    to compare sugar to things like marijuana, meth, cocaine, heroin, etc.

    HFCS, on the other hand... (none / 0) (#36)
    by unitron on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 03:29:23 PM EST
    ...apparently does have some addictive qualities.

    Not proven (none / 0) (#39)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 03:57:40 PM EST
    HFCS and addiction - myth vs. science

    And HFCS consumption has been falling since 2004, but yet we still have an obesity crisis in this country, so it doesn't seem that HFCS is the boogeyman that some want to make it out to be.


    Leap of logic... (none / 0) (#37)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 03:46:41 PM EST
    to compare marijuana to meth, cocaine, and heroin.

    Sh*t...leap of logic to compare cocaine to heroin.


    Both (none / 0) (#38)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 03:53:22 PM EST
    are mind altering drugs in small doses.

    You'd have to eat a truckload of sugar to equate it to drugs.


    Teresa, since you don't give (none / 0) (#35)
    by NYShooter on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 03:24:19 PM EST
    any sort of particulars regarding your job search it's kind of hard to know what, exactly, your complaints are.

    Certainly, an employer is entitled to know something about you in considering whether to enter into an employment agreement with you. I'm just guessing, but, I think your complaint is that you feel some employers may step "over the line" in what they want to know about you. If you've experienced something like that a few examples might help us better understand whether, or, if, you've been "violated" in your job search.
    As an employer myself I can tell you that most employers, especially over the past decade, or two, are very aware of the limits imposed in questioning perspective employees.

    For example, when an employer contacts us for a reference about an applicant they're considering hiring, our lawyers warn us quite strictly about what we can, and cannot, tell them. Any information passed along about one of our prior employees, other than confirming their employment, and the dates involved, opens us up to lawsuits by the employee, or the perspective employer.

    Please don't think I'm questioning your experience, there are a lot of jerks out there, many of who don't know, or don't care, about the laws protecting job applicants. I'd really be interested in hearing some more about your experience.


    And I won't give (none / 0) (#41)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 04:06:49 PM EST
    any particulars about my job search.  Well, unless you're hiring ;-).  Feel free to email me offline, if so.

    I did mention that I think it's wrong that employers can find out via background checking companies like Lexus Nexis what salary I made.  That's a biggie for me.

    There is nothing about my salary that should affect my job performance.  Unless the employer is also compelled to provide salary history for the position I'm applying for, I should not have to provide my own salary history.

    I feel like I'm being mildly attacked here and I have to wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I'm looking for work because I can't afford the everything from soup to nuts insurance under Obamacare.  Well, guess what.  It's a reality of my life.  I can't afford Obamacare.  I'm dropping coverage in January.  I'm looking for work that provides benefits.  If that bothers some, well, I'm sorry.  It is what it is.


    I don't (none / 0) (#43)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 04:30:54 PM EST
    I don't mind criminal background checking, checking references, etc.

    I mostly mind:

    1.  Salary checks, which have nothing to do with job performance and everything to do with negotiating wages.

    2.  Credit checks.  

    And I worry about the granularity of all the checks.  If you're excluded because some detail doesn't match something they think they know about you, you should at least be told why, by law.  

    Here's an example:  I recently obtained a second bachelor's degree. I calculated my GPA based on coursework from all of the schools I attended.  However based on all of the background checking I found out I had to go through for one job, I worried that HR people would only look at the final school I attended and think I lied about my GPA.  So henceforth, I'm actually understating my GPA (which is high either way) so that this detail isn't seen as a lie (it isn't), since I have no way to explain that the calc is based on transfer credits, rather than just the credits earned at the final institution.

    It's the granular details that could prevent me from "passing" a check in this buyer's market job economy that really make me paranoid about background checking.

    The best way, maybe almost the only way, to get a job is still word of mouth.



    FYI (none / 0) (#63)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 09:51:48 AM EST
    When I was offered a job here long ago, I mentioned to the admin that I was a week out from buying a house and that they could not run my credit.  She said no problem and they never ran it.

    But the credit could be important for some positions.  I am an accountant, certainly a company has the right to see how well I run my own books before they decide to let me run theirs.  The problem is they can't specifically target certain folks. Ditto for drug testing, it makes sense here for our manufacturing plants, but in order to do that they have to test everyone.  I am not defending it, at all, but I understand it.

    On the GPA, just don't include anything that could consider an employers.  If they are going to look it up,there is no point in mentioning it.  back when that was on my resume, I put something like major related GPA, because that was higher than my general GPA, and because only a complete psycho would actually figure it out.  It was one of those, if they figure it out, they won't want me and I didn't want to work anywhere that was that an@l retentive.
    Office buildings are packed with 2.0ers.

    I don't understand this salary check, do you not know the salary range before the interview or what you are worth ?  And where in the hell can you find out how much someone makes, I would love to know what a couple folks around here make.  Not sure what it has to do with anything, it's like finding out what someone paid for a house I am interested in, useful information but it's not something that one can bring into a negation with the purpose of lowering the price.  

    You are worth what you think you are worth.  No employer can changes that no matter what kind of numbers they dig up.  And do you really want to work for a company that doesn't understand that ?

    The best way to get a job is using recruiters IMO, as many as you think your area/field needs to make sure nothing slips though.  Even though I am not looking, I have 3 recruiters I keep in contact with who occasionally send me an opportunity.  I am happy here, but I want to make sure nothing golden opens up without me having a crack at it.

    Recruiters are paid by the employer, which tells me the company doesn't mind spending cash to get good employees.  They take care of scheduling and the salary/benefit negotiation, and because they get a percentage of your salary, they are motivated to get you the best deal.  Plus they will be frank with you, and let you know what they think so you don't end up getting to little, or shooting for the moon and getting nothing.  And if it's a recruiter that has been in the industry a while, they usually have contacts all over and can find out the nitty gritty on the position, like why it's available, how other people like working there, and what kind bonus/promotion/raise history others have had,


    Scott, I never put GPA on an application or resume (none / 0) (#78)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 07:00:00 PM EST
    I mean really, who cares? But now in addition to college history, my most recent employer made me provide college transcripts and GPA.

    I guess 'made' is not the word...but employment was conditional on that.


    It Was on Mine... (none / 0) (#84)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 09:46:38 AM EST
    ...straight out of college, same with a lot of things, filler for someone with no experience.  Now I find myself removing semi-important things to narrow it down to one page.

    I've had the same experience this year (none / 0) (#77)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 06:57:19 PM EST
    It has been so long since I had to go through a real job application process like the one I went through early in the year. I had to get college transcripts, when I have not been to college since the mid-80s and have all those years and more, of work experience directly relevant to the job I was applying for. In fact, the job I was applying for was the same job I had done for 7 years as a contractor. Also had to convert GPAs that were in a different scale to the 4 point scale, all the while knowing that if I made a mistake they would accuse me of lying.

    It is a long way from the job I got in 1987 by knowing someone at the company, and being interviewed by someone that was also a Cubs fan. That was my last interview before last January. All other jobs since then sprang from that one job, and word of mouth.


    You can (none / 0) (#57)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 07:25:07 AM EST
    Look up average salaries for the position you are applying for in your area (and average salaries for that position at a particular company). (And actually, that is something you should research before you go into an interview, and if you can't find the information, you definitely should feel free to ask!)

    Try a site like Glassdoor.com


    Breitbart is reporting (none / 0) (#45)
    by ragebot on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 05:36:09 PM EST
    that Walmart has sold out of its Occupy Wallstreet posters priced at only $US42.75 and cheap at twice the price.


    Last night (none / 0) (#48)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 07:18:55 PM EST
    I attended a "Hip Hop" dance performance at a dance school for kids.

    Their ages were from about six to sixteen.

    They were great.

    The only thing I felt was somewhat bizarre was that they were dancing to a great beat, but the lyrics included "mthfker", "all fkd up", and "nggr".

    It didn't mean a thing to anyone.

    It didn't mean much to me either - but I took it in.

    I thought of Lenny Bruce being jailed for uttering those words.

    I have no point to make about it.
    Just reporting a rather unique (for me) happening.

    It was a different era. (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 09:02:33 PM EST
    When Lenny Bruce was being jailed for talking dirty words in public, married couples on TV had to be shown sleeping in separate twin beds. I'm so glad we don't have to deal with that sort of inane prudishness any more.

    That said, I'm really not a big fan of all the cursing heard nowadays in public, records, movies, etc., if only because it tends to cheapen the overall impact of those words when one does use them.

    A few years ago, while in L.A. on business, I went out to lunch with my 75-year-old mother in Pasadena. At a nearby table, there was a couple of 30-something white guys in nice suits (who probably worked at the nearby Bank of America Card Center), who were having a very loud and animated conversation peppered with lots of F-words -- "Eff this, eff that, eff them, that effin a-hole, etc." I mean, it was used as a noun, a verb, an adverb, an adjective, you name it.

    It finally became too much for Mom, and she got up abruptly from the table, walked over to where the two gentlemen were seated, and said loudly so that lots of people could hear her, "Do you effin mind? We're trying to enjoy our effin lunch over here!"

    Then she calmly walked back over to our table and sat down again, as though nothing had happened.

    To be honest, I'd never heard her use that word before -- and its impact didn't go unnoticed by other restaurant patrons, either, who gave her a round of applause. And those two masters of the universe quickly and sheepishly finished their lunch, and never said another effin word.



    Good (none / 0) (#54)
    by lentinel on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 04:45:49 AM EST
    for your Mom!

    Aloha and Happy Holidays.


    Same to you and yours. (none / 0) (#76)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 06:43:39 PM EST
    Stay warm. It's 85 over here this afternoon.

    And in other news, ... (none / 0) (#50)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 09:19:54 PM EST
    ... The Advocate, arguably the most prominent LGBT publication in the country, has named Pope Francis its "Person of the Year."

    And a very Happy Birthday to His Eminence, who turned 77 today. He's certainly been a refreshing and welcome departure from the recent occupants of the Throne of St. Peter.


    Oddly... (none / 0) (#51)
    by desertswine on Wed Dec 18, 2013 at 11:08:15 PM EST
    he shares a birthday with Keith Richard, who turns the magical age of 70 today. How did that happen?
    Keith Richards (born 18 December 1943) is an English musician, singer, songwriter and founding member of the English rock band The Rolling Stones. Rolling Stone magazine credited Richards for "rock's greatest single body of riffs" on guitar and ranked him 10 on its list of 100 best guitarists.[

    Pope Francis (none / 0) (#56)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 07:22:24 AM EST
    DOB: December 17, 1936, so no, he doesn't share a birthday with Keith Richards.  But close!

    Some fun Pope Francis info:

    Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Flores,[16] a barrio of Buenos Aires. He was the eldest[17] of five children of Mario José Bergoglio, an Italian immigrant accountant[18] born in Portacomaro (Province of Asti) in Italy's Piedmont region, and his wife Regina María Sívori,[19] a housewife born in Buenos Aires to a family of northern Italian (Piedmontese-Genoese) origin.[20][21][22][23][24] Bergoglio's sister María Elena told reporters decades later that their father often said that "the advent of fascism was the reason that really pushed him to leave" Italy. She is the pope's only living sibling.[25] His brother Alberto died in June 2010.[26]

    Bergoglio has been a lifelong supporter of the San Lorenzo de Almagro football club.[27][28] Bergoglio is also a fan of the films of Tita Merello,[29] neorealism and tango dancing, with an "intense fondness" for the traditional music of Argentina and Uruguay known as the milonga.[29] In the sixth grade, Bergoglio attended Wilfrid Barón de los Santos Ángeles, a school of the Salesians of Don Bosco, in Ramos Mejía, Buenos Aires.[30] He attended the technical secondary school Escuela Nacional de Educación Técnica N° 27 Hipólito Yrigoyen[31] and graduated with a chemical technician's diploma.[32] He worked for a few years in that capacity in the foods section at Hickethier-Bachmann Laboratory.[33] In the only known health crisis of his youth, at the age of 21 he suffered from life-threatening pneumonia and three cysts. He had part of a lung excised shortly afterwards.[31][34]

    Pre-religious life

    Before joining the Jesuits, Bergoglio worked as a bar bouncer, as a janitor sweeping floors, and also ran tests in a chemical laboratory

    Resurrection (none / 0) (#62)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 09:48:41 AM EST
    Who knew that it was a double entendre?

    Steinberg had to prove that during the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance the word "resurrection" could be used as a double entendre, connoting both the divine event and the humble mortal fact of an erection. Steinberg quotes from one of Boccaccio's fourteenth-century tales in the Decameron, in which a pious young girl inflames the desire of a monk named Rustico, causing in the latter a "resurrection of the flesh."


    Washington State courts Airbus (none / 0) (#79)
    by Politalkix on Thu Dec 19, 2013 at 09:24:54 PM EST
    This is a good development. When Boeing executives are happy to flirt with other states and countries to get the best deal, after all the support they received from people in the state of Washington over the years, it makes sense for the state of Washington to also flirt with Airbus link to broaden the state's airplane manufacturing base.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 223 (none / 0) (#85)
    by Dadler on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 11:27:07 AM EST
    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 224 (none / 0) (#91)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 21, 2013 at 06:05:41 PM EST