Atlantis Alumni

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Enron 2.0

Merrill, Bear Stearns, Citigroup and the list goes on. Did you know Siemens, the large German tech giant was paying out millions in bribes? The list of slime can go on and on. I'm sure we'll find out much more when the TARP bailout dollars stop.

A pearl of wisdom: "Once you cut off the head of the snake, the rest of the snake dies." I can't tell where this particular snake starts or stops however I can tell you the rattling part was definitely Enron.

We all know what happened to Enron. And with all of the financial firms dropping like flies I think we are really seeing Enron 2.0. Much of the legislation ala Phil Gramm started (ground zero if you will) at Enron. It starts with massive deregulation and was doubly enabled by a government with a blind eye.

The question is this: how much of Enron 2.0 did the blind eye fail to see?

I have one suggestion: stop bailing out companies. It isn't helping. And we need to see the whole snake. We can't do that if buttloads of cash keep getting in the way and smearing our perception of reality. Reality is that many Americans are paying for Citigroup to continue to fly in private jets and other companies that don't make anything and cost ALOT are still at the government trough.

Obama, don't bail out any more companies. It isn't working and it isn't what the government should be doing. This isn't protecting constituents and it is creating more problems.

PS Save us some cash and haul ass out of Iraq. By the way, how's it going in Afghanistan? How long do you think it will be before you figure out the same thing Moscow did; it's a war you can't win for people you probably won't like. Stop war, stop bailouts!


Monday, January 26, 2009

Has anyone noticed?

Has anyone noticed we (the American Public) seem to keep talking about how layoffs are piling up, we seem to be getting nowhere fast with all of the money the Bushies gave big business and (wait for it): executives still seem to be taking home millions of dollars?

What the f--k? I don't get it! These a-holes are essentially making our dollars worthless, it looks like we are on the express train to the Weimar Republic and they are still taking home huge paychecks! I don't see Merrill or B of A or Bear Stearns management having trouble making mortgage payments. I sure as hell am.
I see it in the workplace every day. Every day all I hear about is how co-pays are going up because all companies needs to stay competitive, how every single employee's profitability is getting looked at and how pay decreases are actually pay increases if you squint real hard and pretend the numbers are really reversed and the bullshit pay system actually works. And yet I've seen NO management get laid off or even show the slightest downturn in their paychecks.

It's really effecting my morale. I think large companies now know they have employees by the testicles and are doing everything they can to fuck us as much as possible as often as possible. I won't get into too much detail however the garbage I see in email is starting to really stink and I feel like I have no options but to sit and take it up the kazoo.
By the way, a huge fucking depression really does show how weak quite a few managers are. Not all management is mediocre but most are. The ideas I've been seeing in some big companies are really bad. And what's worse, nobody seems to be asking the folks that really know what's going on, the grunts that do all of the work. I swear, if you've seen some of the clusterfuck ideas I've seen, you scratch your head and wonder how many managers were actually dropped on their heads at birth and drank baby formula from a Chinese chemical factory.

How many of you out there feel like they've lost control of their future as well? God I hope we don't have to rely on politicians to un-screw the country.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Keep The Separation Of Church And State Wall High

Art Leonard on why there should be no religious invocations at inaugurations, or before sessions of congress, and no "In God We Trust" on our money:

I just believe in a really high wall of separation between church and state, which I believe protects my religious freedom as a Jew in a country where the vast majority are Christians. It also protects the religious freedom of American Muslims, Buddhists, and adherents to the scores of other non--Christian religions represented in our diverse nation, as well as the small but significant portion of the population which avows no religious faith. The First Amendment is there to protect all of us, and breaches in its protection on civic occasions are objectionable to me, and should be to anybody who cares about the promise of America as an egalitarian society. I wish Obama could be convinced of that.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

No Gay Pope On HBO's OBAMAthon

The openly gay cleric Reverend Gene Robinson, by all acocunts, gave the invocation at today's Obama party on the Mall in Wahington, but you'd never know it if you watched HBO becuase they didn't show it.

The back of the fucking bus, the last pew in the church, at the end of the line...fags and dykes once again in the national much for Obama.


Ho Hum Obama

I don't like what I'm hearing coming from the Obama camp. Basically, many of Obama's campaign promises are now going to have to wait because of the economic crisis. For example, the gay community is being told that the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell will have to wait so that there is no "distraction." Meanwhile, Obana has said that efforts to achieve better tax fairness in this country by letting the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire, that too will have to wait because of the economy. I'm just not pleased with what I'm seeing, but I didn't vote for Obama so perhaps my disappointment will not be as severe as for those who did.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's old but hilarious

This little Youtube off of Rachel Maddow is just too good. If you aren't having a great day, just watch this to improve it just a little bit....


Weezer "Troublemaker"

I don't feel like posting much lately...but I'm enjoying listening to music...I like this song and video.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Franken Bashing O-Rama

The above link takes you to a Politico hit story by Alexander Burns. Here is a quote:
"Marty Seifert, the Republican leader in the Minnesota House of Representatives, said Franken’s long record of antagonizing conservatives would make it difficult for him to connect with voters who supported Coleman."

This is the same Marty Seifert that voted for voter ID cards (a nice touch from Karl Rove). He also voted against trading with Cuba and voted against stem cell research. He also voted against a long term study by the University of Minnesota on lung cancer among taconite miner on the Iron Range. By the way, the long range study by U of M passed however every single Republican in the Minnesota legislature voted against it save one (Larry Howes). Mining is such a dangerous job and it is key to our country's energy reserves, compared to what we've wasted in Iraq short changing miners is like short changing veterans.

The babble goes on and tells everyone how Rush Limbaugh disapproves of Franken and how the Republican party has already established Franken's low approval rating.

Fascinating. Read the article. I've read all of Al Franken's books. I've read almost all of his magazine articles and I had listened to his Air America show quite a few times. The guy is absolutely brilliant, has a cutting sense of humor and has a complete grasp of US and Foreign policy. He is also connected to almost every major political mover or shaker in the country. Please don't tell me that this guy isn't good for all Minnesotans. Did I mention he went to Blake School and Harvard? By the way, his Dad and Grandfather didn't get him in, he got in himself.

Is there no off switch to the Limbaugh/Palin/Coleman/weak ass Republican State Leader chatter box? I am begging the American people to wake up and remember, nothing good comes out of the folks that are stabbing at a guy like Al Franken. Al has worked for every dollar he's received and believe it or not, they've all come honestly and because quite a few Americans like what he has to say. Apparently some Minnesotans feel the same way.
Look, if the recount came out in Coleman's favor, Al would have already bowed out and said fine, I'm done. What Norm Coleman is doing right now is being a sore loser. He lost. Look, even if he somehow retained his seat much of his time is going to be spent dealing with some legal issues and possibly Senate censure. Oh ya, the Republicans forgot that part. See, they'd rather do what's right for the Republicans and not for Minnesotans or the United States.

Let's look at the non-cyclical wreckage we have left from the Republicans:

War without end.

War with endless costs.

Largest deficits in history.

Largest National Debt in history.

Most capital destroyed in shortest period of time.

A likely global depression or extended recession.

and quite possibly a whole bunch of really wealthy people with dollars that are worth nothing because we've outsourced all of the manufacturing and so called "shit jobs" to someone else.
Jump here to Joe Conason's brilliant article on the GOP Franken Bash-Fest. He essentially says that if scumbags like Rush and O'Reilly think Al stole the election, prove it. It's a great article by Joe and worth the read.

Minnesotans, wake up and send Al to the Senate. Really, the bottom line is he's a good guy and he can't fuck up any worse than Norm.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Palin is still here....

Why do we have to keep hearing from this person?

From AOL:
"Palin, who has long criticized media coverage of her campaign performance, also said she is interested to see if reporters are equally tough on Caroline Kennedy as she pursues the appointment to the likely-vacant Senate seat in New York."

Every morning I peruse the headlines in 5 or 6 news sources (yes Sarah, I can name them: Google, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Hartford Courant, The Huffington Post and periodically AOL (AOL really isn't news, it's like reading the front page of the National Inquirer)) and each day I see more blathering from the Governor of Alaska. Apparently now she's mad at Katie Couric and Tina Fey.

I'm still trying to figure out if/when/who is going to show this woman out of the national spotlight and back to the back water she crawled out of. I hope this Walmart Politician isn't what the Republican's are pinning their hopes to.


PS I agree with Krugman's assessment of the economy. Let's hope the smart people Obama is surrounding himself with haven't revealed everything the Republican's won't agree to yet.

Obama's Republicanesque Economic Plan

Obama wants "broad bipartisan support" for his stimulus plan, so in order to get Republican support his plan includes tax cuts and tax incentives to businesses. Sounds like the Bush approach to the economy to me. What about infrastructure spending? As some critics have pointed out, Democrats to boot, giving businesses tax credits does nothing to promote consumer spending.

Krugman weighs in:

...the Obama plan just doesn’t look adequate to the economy’s need. To be sure, a third of a loaf is better than none. But right now we seem to be facing two major economic gaps: the gap between the economy’s potential and its likely performance, and the gap between Mr. Obama’s stern economic rhetoric and his somewhat disappointing economic plan.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Democrats, Oy Vey!

So, Senator Reid, please allow Senator Burris to take his place in the U.S. Senate. The side show is tawdry. He is a qualified and respected public servant. Why should he have to suffer just because he was appointed by Blago?

Meanwhile, in New York State, Democrats have elected a leader in the state senate. Yet three rogue conservative anti-gay Democrats will continue to stand in the way of marriage equality in that state, delaying the prospect of gay marriage in New York.

Democrats! Oy Vey!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The UK's Atheist Bus Campaign

Incensed at believe or you will go to hell messages placed on buses in the UK by religionists, atheists have now mounted their own campaign for sanity. Good for them!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Melissa Etheridge Is Dead Wrong On Rick Warren

Out lesbian rocker Melissa Etheridge has defended Obama's selection of Rick Warren for his inaugural. But over at Huffington blogger Cathy Brooks tells why Etheridge is wrong:

It's not that Warren doesn't seem charming. It's not that he's necessarily even a bad person. It's that in accepting him the way she did, she is giving an implicit buy-in to his not-always-well-camouflaged bigotry. And by putting him at the lectern for the inauguration Obama does the same.

Scientology And Jett Travolta

From the (London) Times Online:

Critics of Scientology suggested yesterday that Jett may have been suffering from autism, a condition that the church does not recognise because it considers mental illness to be psychosomatic and argues that it should be treated through spiritual healing.

Joey Travolta, the star’s film-maker younger brother and an autism activist, reportedly clashed with his brother about what was wrong with Jett. Joey Travolta worked on a documentary called Normal People Scare Me and helped to found Actors with Autism.

Joy Of Toy Trains Slide Show

The Philadelphia Inquirer's "Philly Online" web site has a slide show focusing on the train show that I participated in last weekend. Have a look here and see if you recognize anyone!


Monday, January 5, 2009

Busy Weekend

I'm just catching my breath after a busy weekend as an exhibitor at a local train show. I had a good time but it was a lot of work.

What to make of the Travolta dead son story? ...And the Bill Richardson fiasco? ...And how about the invasion of Gaza?

Can't I go away for a couple of days without things blowing up?


Saturday, January 3, 2009


The great Buddy Miles, who died last year (1947-2008), doing a Neil Young cover.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Obama's Opportunity To Be Bold

Paul Krugman writing in today's New York Times notes that the Republican Party has employed a racist "Southern Strategy" since 1981. The complete failure of George Bush's presidency, Krugman argues, coincides with the abandoment of the Republicans by more tolerant American voters.


Mr. Obama therefore has room to be bold. If Republicans try a 1993-style strategy of attacking him for promoting big government, they’ll learn two things: not only has the financial crisis discredited their economic theories, the racial subtext of anti-government rhetoric doesn’t play the way it used to.

Will the Republicans eventually stage a comeback? Yes, of course. But barring some huge missteps by Mr. Obama, that will not happen until they stop whining and look at what really went wrong. And when they do, they will discover that they need to get in touch with the real “real America,” a country that is more diverse, more tolerant, and more demanding of effective government than is dreamt of in their political philosophy.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Disappointed in "Milk" The Film

Dan can't understand why I am not a fan of the film Milk. The film left me wanting something with more passion, more excitement, and more anger over what happened to Harvey...and what is happening to gay people today. Nancy Goldstein writing on Huffington gets it right. She's disappointed in the film also:

Van Sant's gentrified Milk reflects gay activism's increasingly apologetic tone. We don't always need to be burning police cars to prove our cred, but we shouldn't be inviting homophobes to the table, then singing their praises if they don't spit on us. It's not about hugging Rick Warren and being satisfied that at least he's being nice about denying us our civil rights. Politeness has become homophobia's most popular mask.