Friday, November 16, 2007

Religious Hirearchy

Ok, this one is funny, not serious. The Buddas are what crack me up.

Chris Mathews

To expand on my post yesterday, specifically about Mathews, check out this series of posts for an eye-opening look into this well respected 'journalist'.

You know, challenge your assumptions and stuff.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Politcal Media (and HRC!) Rant

I admit I am torn about HRC. Well the right tries to paint her as a socialist I have yet to see an argument that gets even close to making that case once you look at what she actually said. I do believe that the level of neurotic obsession with Bill and Hillary will make it hard to ever get any sort of respectable reporting out of the media, however...and I don't know that that will be helpful.

Just look at all the bullshit stories about her hairstyle, clothing, cleavage and her laugh and the continued obsession with her marriage. When do we get the adolescent coverage of Rudy's multiple marriages? Or Fred's? Don't hold your breath.

Some of these pundits, even 'respectable' ones like Mathews or Russert, just have this fascination with the Clintons that just doesn't make sense. It is like an addiction and they can't let go. And don't even get me started on Fox 'News'.

Maybe if the media could stop being gossip mongers and actually do real journalism we could start to really get to know the candidates positions, not just what the anchors think about their hair. When the hell did news anchor's go to shit anyway? I have a theory that it was when they started to become stars. Bastards.

Don't construe this post with my support for HRC, as I said at the top I am torn. I would much rather see Edwards as candidate but if it turns out to be HRC as the candidate I'll be behind her versus any of the crazies the Republicans have as possibilities. Honest-to-god, they are trying to out-torture and out-manly each other. It's sad. Rudy can't say two sentences without making something up and he's the front-runner!

Can we maybe get some real coverage on these people's actual policies? I know it doesn't make as exciting television as Hillary's cleavage or Edwards' haircuts but it is a bit more important, I think.

Watch Atlanta Run Out of Water

You can all join in the fun! Just scroll down to the table here and watch the resevoir level slowly drop. Wee!

Hmm..maybe more prayer will fix the problem?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Overhyped Threats

A hostile country led by anti-American ideologues appears close to developing its first nuclear weapon and, as a U.S. election approaches, the president and his advisers debate a pre-emptive military strike. Newspaper columnists demand action to stop the nuclear peril.

Iran? Nope:

The country was China, the year was 1963 and the president was Lyndon Baines Johnson.

However, the same is happening with Iran. Can we get some perspective here? Why are people listening to the same idiots that over-hyped the Iraq threat and are once again beating the drums? Here is the article.

At the risk of pissing of Shana again, can we elect some adults this time?

Mitral Valve Prolapse

Have I written about this before? Well, even if I have, some of this is new.

I was diagnosed with Mitral Valve Prolapse in the mid 1990's after waking up several nights in a row thinking I was having a heart attack. MVP is pretty benign and most people that have it don't even know it. I just happened to show symptoms for it, which mimic that of a heart attack in some ways, so that's nice. My particular level of it is very responsive to lifestyle changes. Basically, as long as I eat somewhat regularly, get sleep and stay mostly away from coffee and the like I don't have any symptoms.

So I was looking into again today for certain reasons and I came across this study that says most cases of MVP have been misdiagnosed. Where they originally thought upwards of 35% of the population has it they discovered that number is closer to 2.7%. And, even better, the association with stroke or heart attack, particularly in those under 45, doesn't hold up. Basically they refined the diagnosis process and are able to achieve more accurate results.

I had an echocardiogram done to diagnose mine originally. The article I linked to has a number to call for a referral to a cardiologist affiliated with this study to be re-evaluated. I'm thinking maybe I should do it?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Suitcase Nukes

On noes! If we don't bomb Iran, day give da terrorists a suitcase nuke! Oh noes!

Or maybe not.

Why The Writers Strike

UNIVERSAL: Well, in a Nutshell...
"Every day after picketing, I come home and work on my long, elegant essay articulating why we're on strike. It's meant for the general public and attempts to summarize the issues. But today, I overheard something that took care of my essay in one fell swoop.

Guy (into cell phone): The writers are on strike out here.


Guy (into cell phone): Because the corporations are dicks.

I don't need to finish my essay. Instead, I can rest up for picketing tomorrow.
-Irving Belateche

From here.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Myers-Briggs Personality Test

I meant to post this a while back with the left brain/right brain stuff. This is the famous Myers-Briggs test that gives you your four letter personality code.

Take it here. Ignore their descriptions and go here for a much more in-depth description. Select your type and start reading. At the bottom there are career and relationship descriptions as well.

When you take the test go with your first impulse when you read the question. If you analyze it you may change the result. Also, the degree to which you are a particular type can change depending on your mood, etc but you will almost always be the same type or close to it. For example, I just retook the test and ended up as an ESFP, when I took it two weeks ago I was ENFP. However, both times degree I was a N or an S was very low (16% N the first time and 1% S this time) so I straddle that particular type. The other three are pretty strong and don't change much, although I was introverted when I was younger.

Anyway, here is my type:

Extraverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving
Strength of the preferences %
33 12 50 67

Last week:
Extraverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving
Strength of the preferences %
56 1 100 56

NOTE: ENFP is my usual type. I don't know what was going on when I came up ESFP, particulary that 100% Feeling thing. The ENFP numbers are about what I usually come up as.

What is yours and does the description match how you perceive yourself?

Phone Calls

I hate them. Never been a fan of them. Its something about talking to a disembodied voice that makes it hard for me. I pick up _alot_ from visual clues when talking that helps me process what they say in the proper context of what they actually know, mood, attitude, gut feeling...that sorta thing. But on a phone, I just can't do it. It makes me feel...self conscious.

So I prefer email or face-to-face. Mostly email when it comes to business because I can think out my reply (you know, let the emotion go) and have a record of it.

Outside of business relationships I prefer face-to-face because that is when my personality really comes through. It is hard to make sarcasm work in email.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Byzantine Process

Just what is a "byzantine process" anyway? Wasn't Byzantine an empire? How can an empire be a process?

As far as I can tell it is a process that excludes newcomers. I guess that makes some degree of sense.

Anyone have a better definition?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Income Tax and that Top 1%

So I've always been torn by the arguement that 'the top 1% pay the majority of taxes' and the arguement for a flat tax. I came across this article that fills in the what is left out.

Federal income tax alone for 2005 brought in 45% of the federal governments income (2.143 billion). It is true that the top 1% (average salary $1.6 mil/year) paid about 40% of the federal income tax part of the pie. However, what is often left out of that arguement is payroll taxes, which is where the middle class gets fucked and the rich don't. Payroll taxes (Social security and the like) are capped one you hit $94,200/year in salary. Anything above that isn't taxed. Social Security taxes made up 37% of the entire federal income in 2005. 37%. That's 37% coming from the first $94,200/year of salary. Do you make more than that?

So to put it another way, for someone earning exactly $94,200 their effective tax rate is 6.2% for payroll taxes. For the average 1%er at $1.6mil/year, their effective tax rate is around 0.36%! Wow, no wonder they leave out payroll taxes when making that arguement.

A lot of the 'raise your taxes' stuff is talking about raising that cap on payroll taxes and making it an actual progressive tax. When the right rolls out the 'they will raise your taxes' boogyman, if you are in the middle class making under or around $94,200 you won't see a dime more taken out. If anything, alot of the plans circulated by the left lower taxes on the middle-class. Stop voting against your best interestes and research this stuff.

Challenge your assumptions.

Daylight Savings

Despite popular beliefe, daylight savings time has nothing to do with farmers.

This is a pretty good run down on the history.

In fact, farmers generally oppose daylight saving time.

I was surprised to see that.

Challenge your assumptions.