What is Alan Doing Right Now?

Showing newest 18 of 25 posts from May 2008. Show older posts
Showing newest 18 of 25 posts from May 2008. Show older posts

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Conspiring with Brandon Boucher: Almost Out of Lube

Hello brothers,

We have been vigilante. The oil burns fast in the night. And yet we know it burns not bright enough. For the demon shadows are fierce. And we are armed with little but night.

To be unoriginal here and quote a comedian, Katt Williams said something to the effect of : “you shouldn’t be making life decisions at the gas pump, thinking, ‘shit did I eat today?’.”

It is disgusting and sad but that thought isn’t far out my mind when I’m at the pump and I am quite far from claiming to be poor. So Obama stands for real change. He “gets” me. So I’m absolutely sure this call to Senator Obama begging to represent my voice cannot conscionably go unanswered. Such a noble man. However, can I expect he wouldn’t be familiar with the cries of the common man? Of course our glorious Senator has noticed the obvious increase of popularity in Miller High Life, “The champagne of beers,” amongst us the common at the local market. Other than the theorem that our populace can no longer afford decent, adequate lager why might one expect a doubling of the shit beer offering at the grocery store during the newborn hunger pains of our most recent recession? Surely such obvious symptoms along with bologna, mac & cheese, and herbal douche sales rising are indicators of the Revolution of the Apocalypse as foretold by George Bush Sr.? Who could argue these obvious and indisputable facts of agreement?

Sleep eerily my friends….there is a slimy beast about…. And though we are assured of its presence….it has not yet demonstrated its technique…our desecration is to be felt in its putrid violation! At arms reposed!

Strengthen in your resolve all brothers in light! The code is obvious and has been given broadly in this cipher!

* Conspiring with Brandon Boucher is an irregular feature on Steinberg For Congress

Friday, May 30, 2008

Criminal Intent Where None Exists

Lead exposure linked to criminal behavior. I always knew I should not lick the walls of my dorm room back in college, and a new study show a direct link between childhood lead exposure and criminal behavior later in life. The lead reseracher explains, “We have monitored this specific sub-segment of children who were exposed to lead both in the womb and as young children for nearly 30 years...We have a complete record of the neurological, behavioral and developmental patterns to draw a clear association between early-life exposure to lead and adult criminal activity.” Research points to the increase of crimes in inner-city areas, where older houses still have lead paint, and the study shows that about 55 percent of the now-grown children had at least one arrest, 28 percent involving drugs and 27 percent serious motor vehicle violations. Does anyone other than me wonder if this has to do with lead paint or just the fact that these are poor families who live in old inter-city houses that just happen to have lead paint?

In International News

Osama Bin Laden is dead! A senior government official from India said, "Yes, Osama has finally been killed and it took us 20 bullets to silence him." The elephant nicknamed "Osama bin Laden" with long white tusks, that kinda look like a beard if you are drunk and squint really hard, had killed at least 11 people and injured dozens more. Just as expected another elephant took his place and rampaged through a village in northern India, killing at least seven people and injuring 24 others before it was killed. Meanwhile the CIA cites big gains against the other Bin Laden. Recently director Hayden listed the agency's accomplishments: "Near strategic defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Near strategic defeat for al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. Significant setbacks for al-Qaeda globally." Despite all of this, some analysts say the United States has caught some breaks in the past year, benefiting from improved conditions in Iraq, as well as strategic blunders by al-Qaeda that have cut into its support base. In other words, we are not winning so much as they are just loosing.

Amazon Indians attempt terrorist attack on airplane! Of course they used arrows because this tribe is one still living in near-total isolation from the rest of civilization. Anthropologists have known about the group for some 20 years, but never provided information about their terroristic attempts until now, and only to call attention to fast-encroaching development near the Indians' home rather than to prevent future terrorism. Brazil's National Indian Foundation claims, "We put the photos out because if things continue the way they are going, these people are going to disappear." The tribes often respond violently to contact, and one person trying to help was shot in the face. One person aware of the situation said, "They don't generally have immunity to diseases common to outside society. Colds and flu that aren't usually fatal to us can completely wipe them out." So now we know how to take care of this terrorist threat!

Space News

Buzz Lightyear to fix toilet on the International Space Station? It would seem that over two weeks ago the toilet failed on the ISS, perhaps sabotage? Well the 12" tall Buzz is coming to the rescue and bringing with him Japan's Kibo lab in addition to the spare toilet pump. The bus size lab will be used for scientific research of some kind, and hopefully will not lead to the death of thousands. In addition to toilet sabotage, NASA is investigating why the 50+ year old launch pad sustained so much damage during Discovery's liftoff.

Another space surprise this week includes easy accessibility to ice on Mars, in fact the Phoenix lander is sitting on it. "We were worried that it may be 30-, 40-, 50-centimetres deep, which would be a lot of work," said one scientist. Lets just hope that no one breaks the Phoenix as Buzz will be stuck on the ISS and unable to go to Mars to fix it. Buzz is however on the task force charged with protecting Earth from any Martian terrorists should they be discovered.

Technology in Our Lives

Be ready for monkey's to commit crimes. Using only its brainpower to direct a robotic arm, a monkey grabbed a marshmallow and ate it... without asking! The chief researcher explained; "They are using a motorized prosthetic arm to reach out, grab and bring the food back to their face." If that is still too complicated, see the video bellow.

The technology behind this feat may lead to brain-powered prosthetic limbs for people with spinal cord injuries or disabling diseases that make stealing things very difficult.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Space Politics

When did space become such a partisan issue? It has not been so historically but it is beginning to come one.

A Republican started NASA through the National Aeronautics and Space Act in 1958. Then a Democrat said the now infamous words, "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth," in 1961. Over the years who is in office has seemed to have little effect on the U.S. Space Program and during the 80s and 90s the space program was largely neglected as compared to the height of the space race in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Our current president has pushed for a Vision for Space Exploration, but the public is largely unaware and the federal funding has been relatively unchanged. On a local level those running for U.S. congress often promote the space program should they have a NASA facility or related contractor in the district... providing jobs. The public seems to have lost interest in space as a whole, and few people vote with space as the most important issue on their mind. Yes there are a handful of Space related 501(c)(3)s that do their fair share of lobbying/informing the federal government on the issues, and a few that reach out to the public a little, but the push is not that strong.

Recently, space is getting political but not for its own good. The first formally political organization looking at space in 50+ years is Space Democrats. A group of less than 100 space minded individuals, many of them NASA employees or contractors who are just itching to get a Hatch Act Violation. In fact news has just come out about one Hatch Act violating NASA employee who was hit for soliciting funds for state and local elections through his blog back in 2006. So the group's mission is states: "Space Democrats is a social activist network dedicated to electing Democrats who support progressive space policies that maximize the positive impact of the US Space Program on the nation and the world." Yet a number of the members are Obama supporters, and even strong democratic bloggers attack Obama's space policy. Meanwhile, when the Obama and Clinton policies are put head to head, its clear that Clinton's is better... yet the Space Democrats have yet to make a single comment on Clinton's plan on their website. This would lead me to believe that only is this group partisan, but that they have already chosen a candidate to back!

I would like to thank Space Politics a website based purely on the facts of what is going on "inside the beltway" as related to space. This is a great resources of space politics related news without the biases. Also thanks to things like The Space Show, who is out there working to educate the public. I won't even get into NASA's failed PR campaigns... but its sad when I have encouraged more people to join the cause "Support Space Exploration" on Facebook than NASA employees paid to promote space exploration!

Space is our future, lets not ruin it by making it overly political... lets use it as a way to bring us together as a nation rather than to pull us apart!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Republic... If You Can Keep It

A recent discussion on tax policy has led me to wonder what would happen if states paid the federal government tax based on population and it was up to each state to determine how it would raise the money for said taxes. The tax money the states pay would go towards services the federal government would provide, and of course congress (aka, the representatives from each state) would then get to pass laws deciding what aspects of the federal government should exist and appropriate money to those services that the states desire. I have a strong feeling that such an arrangement would lead to a desire for the federal government to provide less services thus shrinking its size and power, and giving more control to the states.

This would give states the opportunity to do things there own way, such as allowing the state of Oregon to have its universal, single-payer health care system that the federal government said no to, allowing the state of California the ability to legalize marijuana, or the state of Massachusetts to recognize same-sex marriage. This argument is not about making the states more independent, as they are already suppose to be able to make their own laws for their residents! In addition, this allows Americans the choice to live in one of 50 states, that each offer different opportunities and legal constructs. Not saying I'm looking for a change, but I would be interested to see what would happen.

In International News

Is it all just Karma? Renown foreign policy analyst Sharon Stone thinks it might be. She recently said, "I'm not happy about the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans because I don't think anyone should be unkind to anyone else... And then this earthquake and all this stuff happened, and then I thought, is that karma?" What else would you expect to hear from someone who embraces Scientology? Then again, Myanmar recently had a tragic natural disaster and they have been unkind to Aung San Suu Kyi, the opposition leader and Nobel laureate who has been under arrest since May 2003 without a trial, which has long been the symbol of the regime's brutality. Perhaps it's also just karma that a French skydiver keeps failing to set a new record for highest jump and fastest free-all. First France denied him permission, then the weather in Saskatchewan was bad, and now the balloon floated away after being inflated. Perhaps he clubs baby seals in his free time. Or this might just be good Karma to prevent him from dying?

While many in the United States are just concerned about capturing or killing al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, the CIA is also focused on who will succeed him. CIA Chief Hayden says, "If there ever was a sense of invulnerability I think killing or capturing him would shatter it once and for all." But then he goes on to ask, "How do you pick the next overall leader?" I'm gonna go with closest high level relative or if no relatives are available, someone with close person ties. That is what happened in 1999 when the revered head of Iraq's largest Shiite opposition group was assassinated leaving Moqtada al-Sadr, a 25-year-old video game aficionado in command. And in a way it has been for the best. While he is an ardent nationalist, commanding the support of hundreds of thousands of devotees who like to kill U.S. troops, he is also working on his image of brutal thug to (if all goes his way) religious political leader. Perhaps bin Laden's successor will also choose politics over terrorism? It tends to ensure a longer life; a la Yasser Arafat.

Your Government at Work

Doctors think thousands of youngsters may face lifelong health problems because the temporary housing supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the Gulf Coast in 2006 contained formaldehyde fumes up to five times the safe level. Great, since FEMA cut corners in 2006, we will have to deal with a larger drain on federal health care funds. Whats worse is due to this news story, everyone with a health problem will blame the federal government. The CDC is expected to spend hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars to research the issue. So far money spent investigating the issue has been wasted as results have been inconculsive. Next disaster, no trailers, just suck it up in a tent.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Day Formally Known as Decoration Day

On this Memorial Day we commemorate those members of the armed forces who died in service to service to our country, and we often thank those who are currently serving despite that we should probably be thanking them more often! Many do not realize that this was the 140th anniversary of first Memorial Day.

"Decoration Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery."

On the 43th anniversary of the holiday, the first Indy 500 was held on May 30, 1911. I wonder why 80,000+ people decided that this would be the best way to spend the day, but it has since become a national pastime. Armed with this information, I can proudly say that the car I drive celebrates the 130th Memorial Day, and is thus a constant way of honoring those who served!

Memorial Day in the News

President Bush paid tribute Monday to America's fighting men and women who died in battle at Arlington National Cemetery: "On this Memorial Day, I stand before you as the commander in chief and try to tell you how proud I am. They're an awesome bunch of people and the United States is blessed to have such citizens. I am humbled by those who have made the ultimate sacrifice that allow a free civilization to endure and flourish." Perhaps the most important line he spoke: "It only remains for us, the heirs of their legacy, to have the courage and the character to follow their lead and to preserve America as the greatest nation on Earth and the last, best hope for mankind."

The last living World War I veteran, Frank Woodruff Buckles, was honored at the Liberty Memorial during Memorial Day weekend. The 107 year old was 16 when he enlisted, spent his tour of duty working mainly as a driver and a warehouse clerk in Germany and France, rose to the rank of corporal and after Armistice Day he helped return prisoners of war to Germany.

One Billionaire has decided to honor those who serve our country by sending them all expenses paid to Las Vegas! The first group of 40 went over Memorial Day weekend, but their are plans to bring more of our wounded warriors to the Sin City.

President Bush becomes an honorary member of Rolling Thunder.
The group who's mission is to publicize POW-MIA issues has held its "Ride for Freedom" along the National Mall during Memorial Day weekend for the last 21 years. As he accepted his new leather vest, Bush said, "You've done a lot for the country, and the troops appreciate you, and the veterans appreciate you, and your president appreciates you."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Happy Towel Day!

Towel Day is an annual celebration on the 25th of May, as a tribute to the late author Douglas Adams (1952-2001). Being a Sunday some refer to this day as "Bring Your Towel to Church Day" and on weekdays it is referred to as "Bring Your Towel to Work Day."

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy explains the importance of having your towel:

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have. Partly it has great practical value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very, very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with."

Ironically today is also "Nerd Pride Day" and "Universal Day of the Jedi" both because of the Star Wars Premiere happening on May5, 1977.

Remember to Carry Your Towel!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Provincial Lunar Government

As some people may know I have made the joke before that I am running to be the Governor of the Lunar Territories. Every day I see the need for this position more and more.

Recently a new paper entitled "Space Settlements, Property Rights, and International Law: Could a Lunar Settlement Claim the Lunar Real Estate It Needs to Survive?" was published in the Journal of Air Law and Commerce, dealing with the topic of real estate on the moon. As Dave Wasser of the Space Settlement Institute points out, "real estate would be a catalyst for privately funded space development. Without the ownership of Lunar real estate there is little economic incentive for private industry to invest the billions of dollars to get there - and stay there."

While the article discusses the ability to have rights to land through Civil Law (think Roman Law) under which property ownership is based on possession rather Common Law (think Feudal Law) where the government grants or sells the land, I do not see this as the solution. Such a system worked in Roman times when people were 1) actually sitting on the land, 2) often defended their land with lethal force, and 3) had a government to fall back on to settle disputes. I believe that there should be a government formed for the moon that could collect taxes and provide services but of course could live on Earth for the time being and work more as caretakers for the Moon responsible to the future residents and those with economic interests. This could be set up in a way similar to a provisional government.

This government could create means and methods to sell lunar real estate, collect taxes, and in exchange provide goods and services including assisting with relationship building and developing economic incentives for lunar exploration and lunar related businesses. Check out what NASA says about Space Colonization, the thoughts of the United Societies in Space.

So who's going to help me make this happen?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Planes, Blame and Automobiles

You thought air travel was bad before, but now fares go up daily and new fees are created every week. High fuel prices have already led to a hand full of bankruptcies, and now analysts think US Airways and United may be next. So what can be done? Well if you missed it, many airlines have been changing $25 to check that second piece of luggage, and now American Airlines will be charging $15 for the first bag. This change is only likely to hit about 20-25% of passengers and will raise an estimated $300 million... but the increase costs of fuel are over $3 billion. So look forward to less employees, less planes flying, and higher fairs. Don't like it? Well tell our government to allow nuclear powered airplanes!

High oil prices are also screwing things up for Ford Motor Company; they have decided to cut production of trucks and sport utility vehicles through the rest of this year, and layoffs and plant closures could be coming next. No one seems to want to buy these gas guzzlers! From an economics point of view, one analyst said, "Ford is doing the right thing. I expect other manufacturers will follow and I expect other manufacturers will continue to focus on the offshore consumer, which is where most domestics are focusing right now." Domestic companies are focusing on offshore consumers and people here are buying smaller foreign cars... I guess its true what they say about the grass always being greener on the other side.


Hundreds of immigrants willingly boarding crowded buses to leave the country they came to in hopes of a better life? Obviously I'm not talking about the Texas border as I used the word willingly... but if you read yesterday's post, you already know what's going on in South Africa! The poor are going after the migrants, blaming them for their problems of crime and unemployment. The army is out in force to stop the violence... but in simple terms... its not working. Perhaps they will come here to the United States?

Last month the Russian Soyuz capsule had a bit of a botched landing as it returned from the International Space Station, i.e. it landed hundreds of miles off course. Now we know it was caused by "the failure of an equipment module to separate from the capsule on time." What that means, we may never know. If this does not convince you that NASA needs more funding so that we do not have to rely on the Russians to get to space, I do not know what would!

Last week was a big victory for gays in Cuba and in California... now there is a victory for gays in the military. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did not strike down the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, but it did rule that the military cannot automatically discharge people because they're gay. So now military officials "need to prove that having this particular gay person in the unit really hurts morale, and the only way to improve morale is to discharge this person." So if they can just pick on a minority instead, that would be fine!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Big Oil, Big Money, Big Lies

Oil executives from many of the major corporations testified before congress this week as part of an investigation on the high cost of oil and gasoline and the profits the companies are making, including the multi millions these guys are making. Talk about a waste of time and government money. What we usually hear is that the high costs are being passed on to the consumer, but then again some of us can see the truth with the companies making $36 billion in profits during the first quarter of this year alone. So what was this going to accomplish? Nothing... but elections are coming up and this way politicians can claim they are doing something to help the little guy while really just wasting more tax dollars.

The executives were quick to point out that they spent billions to find and produce more oil, and tried to talk about tight supplies and growing global demand.... but in reality its just a matter of the companies making lots and lots of money. Sure executives had excuses about profits now versus investments later and they place blame on government restrictions and taxes... come on, who didn't see that one coming? One Senator asked, "Is there anybody here that has any concerns about what you're doing to this country with the prices that you're charging and the profits that you're taking?" After a moment of silence one executive said, "Senator, we have a lot of concern about that. And we're doing all we can to put downward pressure on prices." At which point I burst out laughing. Really want to solve the problem? Stop using oil, then companies will have to cut prices and eventually lead to new problems of them having to get rid of tons of employees. In the end, executives will still make millions and politicians will still waste time and tax dollars on useless hearings.

In International News

South Africa has seen a surge of anti-immigrant violence, crazy no? Well for the first time since the end of the apartheid in 1994 the military is going in to fix the problem. I'm not quite sure how this is a good idea... but I'm not running South Africa. (Yet) The target of the attacks has been Zimbabweans, Malawians, Mozambicans and those from other neighboring countries who came to the country looking for work. Doesn't this story sound familiar? I'm some what amazed we haven't had any anti-immigrant violence here in Texas!

Witches and wizards wacked in western Kenya. Hundreds of young men gathered together to beat and burn, and in some cases slice, 11 people accused of witchcraft. One local said, "The villagers are complaining that the wizards and witches are making the bright children in the community dumb ... These witches are not doing good things to us." Odds are nothing will happen to those involved as villagers have refused to identify the people who carried out attacks. Perhaps we should accuse oil executives of witchcraft and see what happens?

Israel and Syria are holding peace talks through Turkish mediators. Who would have thought that would happen, especially without a major war first? Government statements say, they "have declared their intent to conduct these talks in good faith and with an open mind," with a goal of reaching "a comprehensive peace." The White House was dumb-founded as was former President Carter who is expected to try to take credit for this. Meanwhile, rival Lebanese leaders are also talking peace, and signed a deal in Qatar to end the political conflict that has been ongoing for the last year and a half. Peace in the Middle East? Or more problems from a stronger Lebanon?

Science In Our Lives

Stop smoking, start having seizures? Pfizer Inc. has made hundreds of millions since developing the anti-smoking drug Chantix, but a recent report cites hundreds of problems including dizziness, loss of consciousness, seizures, and abnormal spasms and movements. So the FAA has banned the drug, and I wonder why more people haven't since the report says, "We have immediate safety concerns about the use of varenicline (Chantix) among persons operating aircraft, trains, buses and other vehicles, or in other settings where a lapse in alertness or motor control could lead to massive, serious injury." Meanwhile the U.S. Public Health Service mention links to depression and suicidal behavior, but recommend doctors prescribe the drug because it is the most effective at helping people get off cigarettes.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Blind Faith in the Economy

The United States has been discriminating against the blind for decades! It's impossible for the blind to distinguish between different denominations of U.S. paper money. The American Council of the Blind, a group that obviously has way too much of the paper money that they can't distinguish against and seems to be doing fine so far, sued the U.S. government about six years ago. The government argues that blind people have adopted to deal with the problem, and I whole heartedly agree. Through the use of credit cards there is no need to use paper money anyways! The court said that "the government might as well argue that there’s no need to make buildings accessible to wheelchairs because people with disabilities can crawl on all fours or ask passers-by for help." I agree that the whole ADA act should be thrown out the window... its not the federal governments job to ensure easy access to private property! What next, congressional bills should be put in picture form for the illiterate?

An unrelated development... ammo prices have been drastically increasing over the last few years. China has been buying up millions of tons of copper, lead and zinc, the components to make ammo, leading not just to higher prices but to limited availability. One hunter described the problem: "If you have three of four children, and they all go out on a hunting trip, the cost of ammo can be a bit of a burden." Meanwhile, some law enforcement agencies are saying they have a hard time finding ammo to buy, forcing them to dip into reserves that they were saving for when Zombie attack. Rumor has it that blind people often have problems telling different brands on ammo apart... coincidence? I think not!

In International News

A new report on Iran is saying what my graduate paper said years ago. The report said, "If Tehran's nuclear program is unchecked, there is reason for concern that it could in time prompt a regional cascade of proliferation among Iran's neighbors." My paper written 3 years ago and at a negligible cost to tax payers said, "If Iran were to acquire a nuclear weapon, it could lead to an arms race in the Middle East." Amazingly, Michael Eisenstadt, also testified on that same point before the House Committee on International Relations in 2004, and Kori Schake and Judith Yaphe published this in 2001 through the National Defense University. I'm glad to see that the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London has now figured this out as well.

Kids are still starving in Ethiopia. I'm not surprised. One example of the problems is the 3 year old who weights less than 10 pounds... in a cruel twist of irony her name is Bizunesh, which means "plentiful." Her mother says, "Before there was maize, different kinds of food. But now there is nothing ... I beg for milk from my neighbors." The U.N. World Food Program estimates that about 8 million Ethiopians receive aid each year because "they never have enough food, whether harvests are good or not." Perhaps they should take a lesson from the Native American Indians and move when food is not available? If prisoners can be fed based on American standards for less than $1.75 a day, how is this famine possible? GDP per capita is lower in Liberia and the Congo... but I'm not reading any reports of starving people there!

Sex in the City is to sexy for Israel. Jerusalem and Petah Tikva said no to having posters or billboards about the movie displayed due to the word "sex." When told if they just removed the word things would be good to go, the distributor complained, "We told them, the way you don't remove the word "Coca" from "Coca-Cola" and just leave "Cola." At this rate, Israel is likely to soon ask the Man to remove the bomp from the bomp-a-bomp-a-bomp and the ram from the ram-a-lam-a-ding-dong.

Science in Our Lives

Dinosaur footprints found on the Arabian Peninsula
. So far only a few fossils have been found in the area including, isolated bones from the Sultanate of Oman and possible fragments of a sauropod from the Republic of Yemen. One scientist describes the importance of the discovery: "It's rare to see such a big example of a dinosaur herd. This is interesting social behavior for reptiles." "I'm really excited by finding out that the whole herd is walking at the same speed, with the younger ones having to walk a bit quicker — making short steps at a higher frequency — and the big ones walking at the same speed with long steps at a lower frequency. It just works out wonderfully well." Before this find, some people believed that Dinosaurs used buses when traveling as a large group.

Monday, May 19, 2008

American Spending Habits

Some call it pocketbook patriotism, other call it a waste of money. To some there is a belief that American-made items are more likely to be safer and higher in quality, with the recent dog food scare I can see where there is coming from. Other just feel that buying American is better for the country because it keeps jobs and money within our borders. Then again, that defeats the whole specialization aspect of mass production, and the jobs created and money spent on transporting goods. Some extreme consumers feel that its a matter of national pride, and one woman who buys American products whenever possible says, "I was raised to support your country... July Fourth should truly mean independence. We shouldn’t become dependent on the rest of the world.” I wonder if anyone has ever told her that fireworks were invented in China?

Meanwhile, the sheer number of disasters lately have led to donor fatigue. Thats right, Americans are tired of giving away their money. One academic says, "Hearing about too many disasters makes some people not give at all, when they would have if it had been just one disaster." So is it a lack of sympathy, a sign of the economic woes at home, or just a realization that aid money might be be lining the pockets of foreign politicians? So rather than send that donation to a foreign country, just give it to a local non-profit... or heck... give it to me!

In International News

Japan has yet another cartoon ambassador
. Hello Kitty will represent the country's tourism ministry in China and Hong Kong. This coming on the heels of the foreign ministry naming blue robo-cat Doraemon as Japan's "anime ambassador." While Hello Kitty first appeared on a plastic coin purse, she can now be found on some 50,000 products in 60 countries. Reports of people saying hello to pussy cats have been surrounding Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan leading us to believe that she is part of this Hollywood crowd. Not the image I would expect Japan to want, but then again, sex sells.

Zimbabwe is still having problems thanks to its disputed election. Rumors are circulating that the military is plotting to assassinate opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, but the government spokesman said the allegation has "no foundation whatsoever — except in his own dreams." Humans Rights Watch says, "The African Union should publicly demand that the Zimbabwean government halt its campaign of violence, torture and intimidation." If the violence continues, many more of Tsvangirai's supporters will likely die or disappear before the next vote.

Osama bin Laden must miss having a captive audience as another message was released; this one denouncing Arab leaders. Bin Laden says to ignore Islamic prohibition against raising arms against fellow Muslims and to fight the Arab regimes that are "protecting" Israel. Specifially he calls out, "those (Arab) kings and leaders sacrificed Palestine and Al-Aqsa to keep their crowns." So I guess the question most Muslims have on their mind is... which leaders should we not attack since they have all be assisted by either the United States, United Kingdom, or Soviet Union (Russia) at some point in the last 60 years.

Science in Our Lives

One small step for scientists, one giant leap for human - animal hybrids. Prime Minister Brown writes, "I believe that we owe it to ourselves and future generations to introduce these measures, and in particular, to give our unequivocal backing within the right framework of rules and standards, to stem cell research." The embryos for use in stem cell research could improve or save millions of lives. Some groups want to see this practice banned, as the laws could lead to the creation of genetically modified "designer babies." I for one welcome the designer babies as they will fetch a much better price on open markets.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Having a Gay Ole Time

You may have missed it, but the California Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. The Chief Justice and 3 other judges decided that domestic partnerships are not a good enough substitute for marriage. The City Attorney arguing on behalf of San Francisco said, "Today the California Supreme Court took a giant leap to ensure that everybody — not just in the state of California, but throughout the country — will have equal treatment under the law." Of course, some people disagree with the court. So now there will be a state wide referendum in November on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Polls over the last two years show the vote at neck and neck. The state already gives registered domestic partners the same rights and benefits as married spouses. Once again, I stand by my argument that the government should just get out of the marriage business!

Interestingly Cuba jumped on the Gay Parade recently as well. Mariela Castro (President Raul Castro's daughter) is currently attempting to get the Cuban National Assembly to adopt what would be among the most liberal gay and transsexual rights law in Latin America. Marriage is not part of the package, and Mariela explains this by saying, "In Cuba marriage is not as important as the family and at least this way we can guarantee the personal and inheritance rights of homosexuals and transsexuals." Cuba has a vibrant but generally discreet gay scene including a popular gay beach in Playas del Este. I'm not exactly sure what makes a beach gay, but then again I don't understand why people think the cigars down there are so amazing... perhaps its related?

In International News

Chavez rattled his saber when he warned Columbia not to allow a U.S. military base on its border with Venezuela. Should a base be put there, the Venezuelan government will revive an old territorial conflict and stake claim to the region known as La Guajira. Chavez said, "We will not allow the Colombian government to give La Guajira to the empire." Its nice to see that foreign nations are finally accepting the United States Empire, it should be outlined in the next edition of the Rand-McNally Atlas.

The Saudi's increased oil production, but President Bush says it's not enough
. He asked Saudi King Abdullah for an injection of oil supply to help ease the pain, and said, "High energy prices are going to cause countries like mine to accelerate our move to alternative energy." Will this be seen as enough of a threat to the Saudi economy to open the taps? Probably not.

Mess in the Middle East

Days after Israel celebrated it's 60th anniversary, Palestinians marked the 60th anniversary of their uprooting with rallies, sirens and black balloons. Of course, the Palestinians have had an internal split for the last year... the Islamic militant group Hamas has ruled Gaza, while the West Bank is run by moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas commented, "On this beloved land, there are two peoples, one that celebrates its independence and one that suffers its nakba." Does he mean the Palestinians and the Israeli's or the two Palestinians groups who are not on speaking terms?

There is some good news from the Middle East as Qatar held a interfaith dialogue involving Muslim, Christian and Jewish scholars. One attendee said, "For some it's their first chance ever to hear, not only an Israeli but to hear a Jewish rabbi speak ... And so one of my responses is trying to tell them the story of the Jewish people, which often they have not heard. The Holocaust." One Qataris preacher said, "This openness to other faiths creates confusion among our people and jeopardizes our identity." Who wants to bet that the real reason behind all of this is for Qatar to bolster its bid for the 2016 Olympics.

Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden says that al-Qaida will continue its holy war against Israel until Palestine is liberated. The tape said, "The Palestinian cause is the major issue for my (Islamic) nation. It was an important element in fueling me from the beginning and the 19 others with a great motive to fight for those subjected to injustice and the oppressed." However, he neglected to mention which faction should have control. The Israeli Foreign Ministry dismissed the message and said, "We do not relate or pay attention to the words of this terrorist lunatic." The U.S. Intelligence Community, however, is expected to spend a few million dollars to investigate the message.

Science in Our Lives

Ok, you are not going to believe this... but a 9-year-old girl who went to hospital in central Greece suffering from stomach pains was found to be carrying her embryonic twin. Yeah, crazy... I know! The embryo was a formed fetus with a head, hair and eyes, but no brain or umbilical cord. This isn't the first time such a thing has happened... check on the picture to the right! So once the um... "growth"... is removed... is this considered an abortion?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Getting Louder with Steven Crowder: Bill O'reilly

http://view.break.com/501946 - Watch more free videos

Alright. I've taken aim at the left for a long time, and I should mention that I don't really subscribe to any political platform (though I'm sure you can tell which way I lean).

I decided to do something different today. If you haven't yet watched the video above, I suggest you do so now. Simply put, it is one of the funniest videos I have ever seen in my life.

Bill O'reilly is very entertaining. He is a man hated by the left, and often a nuisance to the right. Let's face it, the Republican party has never really benefited much from O'reilly. He makes us look bad. Sometimes he brings up some valid points... But mostly, he's just a jerk. This video is the perfect example.

Anytime someone tries to paint me into that whole "Bill O'reily Republican" box, I slap them in the face and deny his existence. Kind of like Peter did... Only O'reilly should never be compared to Jesus.

Not really much going on this week. Hilary and Obama blahblahblah. I figured we could just all use a laugh.

I'll be back next week, bringing something with a little more "umph".

Take care and God bless America!

*Getting Louder with Steven Crowder is a weekly segment on Steinberg For Congress

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Win Some, Loose Some

We are the champions... of competitiveness. Thats right, for the 15th straight year the United States ranked as the most competitive country, followed closely by Singapore, Hong Kong, Switzerland, and Luxembourg. The Swiss project director said, "The big question is whether the United States will be No. 1 after this year. Everyone is catching up very quickly, but so far the U.S. economy is showing a lot of resilience." The domestic economy of the United States, being the world's strongest, keeps the U.S. on the top of the list, thanks to all the investment, stock purchases and commercial service exports. But times may be a changing.

But some people are losers. Specifically those who live in Picher, Oklahoma. A tornado ravaged the town, but state and local officials have decided that "Rebuilding here is not going to be a real option." The area already had mine collapses, acid water, and lead contamination before the tornado made things worse. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff describes the situation: "It really is like a small nuclear bomb went off." What makes it even better is how a resident of the area described what happened, "It felt like evil... It didn't feel like Mother Nature. It felt personal."

In International News

China suffered a major set back as a 7.9 earthquake has led to the death of about 15,000 people. In addition the economy is taking a hit, not only is the aid cost over $125 million, stock markets have been closed, and about 10 million people have been directly affect by the quake. And we thought what just happened in Myanmar was bad? There is still about 25,000 people trapped and thousands more missing. The up side, this will keep China's economy down a little to prevent too much completion for the United States.

Mexico's acting federal police chief was assassinated and it would appear that a police officer was involved. The suspects are involved with the Sinaloa drug cartel, and the leader of the group had been assigned to a federal police , and is suspected in the killing of another federal police officer just days before Millan's death. A U.S. State Department spokesman said, "We are shocked by the escalating violence against Mexican law enforcement officials." Am I the only person not shocked by this?

Meanwhile in Columbia, 13 top paramilitary warlords were extradited to the United States as they continued to traffic cocaine while in custody and failed to cooperate with authorities after being incorporated into a government-run peace process. President Uribe said, "The country has been generous with them, but the government cannot tolerate their return to crime, their failure to truly and efficiently collaborate with justice." Really, drug dealers and warlords keep retuning to crime? Again, am I the only one not surprised? To top it off, one academic explained the problem with extraditions: "It becomes harder to ask them about their ties with politicians... The agenda of the United States is drug trafficking, and our agenda is crimes against humanity, the political scandal and learning the truth." So its almost as if they were moved out of the county to protect a politician... naw, couldn't be! Could it?

Science in Our Lives

Windmills are not just for ruining the migratory patterns for birds... as a new government report lays out a possible plan to gain as much as 20% of the national electricity by 2030 from the beasts often attacked by Don Quixote. In order to do this we must build about 75,000 wind turbines, much bigger than the ones which exist today. In addition there would be major infrastructure expansion costs, and people living in the areas where they are being proposed don't want them. So why would states bother doing this? Well the federal and state incentives do help. Why not just build more nuclear power plants you ask? Heh... I've been trying to figure that one out for years!

In Local News

Ants are taking over Houston! Ok, it sounds like a B horror film, but the "crazy rasberry ants" came off a cargo ship and are not causing havoc. One woman in Pearland describes: "There's just thousands and thousands of them. If you've seen a car racing, that's how they are. They're going fast, fast, fast. They're crazy." While they do eat fire ants... they also kill plants and beneficial insects, and bite humans! To make it even better, they are attracted to electrical equipment and have ruined pumps at sewage pumping stations, fouled computers, and caused fire alarms to malfunction. To make it even creepier, the ants pile up their dead, sometimes using them as a bridge to cross safely over surfaces treated with pesticide.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

You Can't Make This Stuff Up!

A special report of news from the last few days that sounds too crazy to be true... but it is!

A man dressed up as Darth Vader, complete with garbage bag cape, and assaulted local Jedi in Whales. Vader hit Master Jonba Hehol, Jedi church founder, with a metal crutch, but was given a suspended sentence. The Judge obviously understood that had Vader meant to do serious damage, he would have used his lightsaber. The Jedi church uses "insight and knowledge as a guide to living a better and more worthwhile life." According to a 2001 census, 390,000 people in the United Kingdom listed Jedi as their religion.

The Vatican has a chief astronomer... and if that isn't news enough, he says that believing in aliens does not contradict a faith in God because they are sill God's creatures. The good reverend said, "How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere? Just as we consider earthly creatures as 'a brother,' and 'sister,' why should we not talk about an 'extraterrestrial brother'? It would still be part of creation." He also believes that God caused the Big Bang. Well the Church was wrong in 1633 when it prosecuted Galileo for his theory that the Earth was not the center of the universe... of course it took until 1992 for Pope John Paul to declare that the church was wrong.

A seal tried to have sex with a penguin! Why is this news? Well its the first time a mammal and a different vertebrate have had a sexual encounter. One Scientist observing this odd form of pornography said, "At first we thought it was hunting the penguin, but then it became clear that his intentions were rather more amorous." It would appear that the seal subdued the penguin, then alternated between resting on the penguin and thrusting its pelvis at the bird in vain attempts to insert its penis for 45 minutes as it tried to flee. I'm not sure if I should be more amazed that the 240 pound seal had the ability to go at it for almost an hour or saddened that it took that long for the seal to realize that it wasn't gonna work out. In conclusion the same scientist noted that sexual harassment is common in the animal kingdom and said, "There are many things that we do not understand about ourselves... by continuing with research efforts on other vertebrates we could learn a great deal about the whys behind human behaviors."

Match.com for your new cat? Get the last story out of your head you sick perverts! Shelters are now using a Feline-ality program to help rate animal personalities and to ensure they jive with the family's situation and desires. And since people tend to be the problem more than the cat, adopters fill out a questionnaire and the results tell them which set of personality types would be best for them to consider. One expert sums it up, "There are so many cats out there, why not get one that fits?" Like a good pair of shoes.

Lets all give a big round of applause to Yves Rossy who made his first public flight in his self-made jet pack. This sets a new level for expensive kids toys for years to come! He stepped out of a plane at 7,500 ft, experienced some freefall as he unfolded the wings strapped to his back, glided a while, then triggered four jet turbines and accelerated to 180mph. His next mission will be to fly across the English Channel which will probably be on Discovery channel if all goes well for him. So far the device has cost $125,000 and countless man hours.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Conspiring with Brandon Boucher: The Fat Ugly Truth

It started with the abomination presidency of Lil’ Bush Jr. He doesn’t talk in public so much anymore. I got my wish on that one, but the reason behind his agoraphobia is so obvious. Even Bush is getting rot gut just telling us how well taken care of every one is. If I don’t hear something more substantive than promises of stimulated economy heaven and minimum wage increase fix-it-all, like say for example, a serious answer to the bad debt, people and banks are fucked problem, I’m going to jump ship on the news for a new life with the Teletubbies. They treat me like I’m stupid but at least they tell me they love me after 30 minutes of not lying to me.

So here we are. Bush is already packing his shit to retreat to his natural environment amongst the cattle, rednecks and other dumb animals. John McCain stands with a reserved dignity, possibly a side effect of aging, upon the sullied throne of the Republican Party. Ready and willing to stare down any enemies of the glorious red white and blue with nihilistic and apocalyptic iron will. Gifted from the altar of the glorious golden Democratic ass…. a shining, unblemished idol whom people recall only as the guardian of the Golden Age….We have been given pseudo-revolutionary Senator Obama on the one hand. His platform is simple: “change”. We don’t know what exactly, but we can rest comfortably knowing he trusts reputable spiritual advisors with solid heads on their shoulders to keep him on the right track. Don’t forget “eight years of experience my fucking ass” Senator Clinton. Sleeping in the White House two rooms away from your husband violating ugly interns for eight years is the perfect finishing touch to any resume.

I only see this thing ending in a most undesirable and doomed procession of incompetent and baffled political shame and degradation regardless of the outcome of our electronic ballots, which don’t offer the opportunity to verify ANYTHING as accurate or true by the way..

So I guess the one thing we should all take from this is obvious….. The Jews and the Gay Mafia have finally decided to operate in the open with unrestrained use of their vast resources in the banking and television industries to unite the world under one currency in hedonism and sodomy while at the forefront of it all they poison our drinking water to make us docile and sterile while more and more frustrated and suicidal men with blue balls pay into the Viagra death fund wherein the pills make one susceptible to imprint and remote programming via subconscious mental triggers upon the nearing anniversary publication of “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

Remember, when you vote they fill the booth with a clear, odorless gas that penetrates the mucus membranes of the eyes, mouth, nose, ears, rectum, penis, and vagina. The origin and purpose of this gas is still unknown……..we are looking into the possibility of mind controlling nanotechnology….more to come….

Open eyes my brothers!

* Conspiring with Brandon Boucher is an irregular feature on Steinberg For Congress

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Thanks To A Bad Economy... I Got A Plasma TV

Rice prices are going up thanks to growing demand and new foreign customers.... and many other circumstances. So what is causing the increase? Well there is drought in Australia, foods in Asia, cyclone in Myanmar, declining U.S. dollar, export protection in the Middle East & Asia, jump in fuel costs and increased buying power in China and India. See, we are all connected... circle of life... if you will. The head of the California Rice Exchange says, "It's nuts... We've sold an ungodly amount of rice, the price has nearly doubled - and this is the crop they're just beginning to plant." So does this mean that U.S. rice farmers are going be rich? Not so much, thanks to high fuel and fertilizer prices; one farmer said, "This is probably the first year in a while that we'll do more than break even." Corn subsidies related to ethanol production have lead many farmers to switch crops... thus leading to even more expensive rice. You can thank government intervention for that one!

In International News

Relief aid or political propaganda in Myanmar? One human rights worker said, "We have already seen regional commanders putting their names on the side of aid shipments from Asia, saying this was a gift from them and then distributing it in their region. It is not going to areas where it is most in need." To ensure the military keeps its power, foreign aid workers have been barred entry into the country, and are working to pass a constitutional referendum that guarantees 25 percent of parliamentary seats to the military and allows the president to hand over all power to the military in a state of emergency.

Sudan and Chad are at odds with one another
. Sudan severed diplomatic ties with Chad, so in response Chad closed its border with Sudan and stopped all bilateral trade. A government official explained: "After Sudan unilaterally broke ties, the Chadian government has a right to take all measures necessary to ensure the security of its territory and its citizens, protect its economic and cultural interests to avoid any surprise." This isn't the first time these two countries severed diplomatic ties, and its not likely to be the last.

The fighting continues in Lebanon, but not in Beirut. At least not right now. But the hostility is defiantly still there. One Sunni Muslim discussed the situation with Hezbollah, "They abandoned their cause against Israel and have come to kill us." While Israel is glad to see the infighting in Lebanon rather than the attacks happening within its own country, one must wonder if this just gives the terrorists more practice for when they take on other countries later?

Your Government at Work

So I got my economic stimulus check today and plan to do my best at stimulating the economy though the purchase of a plasma TV this week! But a few hundred thousand taxpayers will not be getting anything. Most of those who will be effected include legal immigrants and soldiers based abroad who filed jointly with spouses who's immigration status does not allow them to have a Social Security number. One Indian chemical engineer who was effected by this said, “We live within this economy, work, pay taxes, do everything by the book. Whatever the reasons for giving this economic stimulus package, they apply to us as well.” The provision was aimed at preventing illegal immigrants from getting rebates... Whoops!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Fighting and Dying and Fighting Again

Is the Lebanese civil war not yet over? I mean... I thought it ended many years ago, but then again I also thought the U.S. - Iraq war ended in the 90s. Hezbollah is not to happy with attempts to disarm them and thus clashes have broken out between the Shiite Hezbollah and the Sunni Lebanese government. The Lebanese Army released an official statement saying, “The continuation of the situation as is is a clear loss for all and harms the unity of the military institution." No kidding? The army has also largely stayed out of the broader political struggle. They says it is for fear of exacerbating the situation, but maybe its because the army’s commander is the two factions’ consensus candidate for president. Once again, politics triumphs peace!

The United States is attempting some saber rattling, and made the statement, "We urge Hezbollah to stop their attempt to defy the lawful decisions taken by the democratically elected Lebanese government. We also urge Iran and Syria to stop their support of Hezbollah and its destabilizing effects on Lebanon.” One expert explains the situation, "The government tried to show force by shutting down Hezbollah. Hezbollah showed force by pushing back the government." So for now the international community waits and watches...

Perhaps the fighting is in honor of Israel's 60th anniversary? Or is it due to the Olympic torch being at the top of Mount Everest? Ok, maybe these events are not related, but the head of the Chinese National Climbing team did yell “One World, One Dream” as his torch was lit atop the summit... interestingly enough, he said it in English! Meanwhile in Israel, the event included an actual riot and fight between Jews and Arabs to remind people of the country's history. As the Associated Press puts it, "Six decades after rising from the ashes of the Holocaust, the Jewish state is still plagued by threats from abroad and an identity crisis at home. Its 41-year occupation of Palestinian territories has invited international condemnation. Yet it also is a thriving democracy that has provided a haven for the world's Jews." Meanwhile, Russia thinks its the Soviet Union and rolling heavy artillery through downtown Moscow.

Science in Our Lives

Despite years of research and millions of dollars spent on research and development, people still go hungry. Seeds are getting better, techniques are improving, but soil around the world is getting worse. The winner of the World Food Prize gives the following tip: "The first thing to do is have good soil. Even the best seeds can't do anything in sand and gravel." While modern super corn can grow at rates of 9,000 lbs per acre, African farmers only get about 500 lbs because of infertile soil. My solution? Fertilizer. In fact the poor country of Malawi figured this out. Three years ago the president invested 8 percent of Malawi's national budget in a subsidy program to get fertilizer and better seeds to small farmers. The country went from having 1/3 of its population on food aid to being a food aid donor. World solution... stop sending food to poor countries, send shit.

However, we must consider the one of the dirt problems could be coming from the over abundance of dead bodies in the world. With increasing land values, science has led to a solution so that all those pesky dead hookers in your trunk can be flushed down the drain! Alkaline hydrolysis uses lye, 300-degree heat and 60 pounds of pressure per square inch to destroy bodies in big stainless-steel cylinders that are similar to pressure cookers. This method takes us less land space than traditional burial and is green friendly without producing the crematorium emissions! Of course church groups are already against the idea, saying "We believe this process, which enables a portion of human remains to be flushed down a drain, to be undignified." Expect this to soon be an option at your local funeral home!

Your Government at Work

Despite that most people do not know it and many of the employees do not want to believe it, the FBI and ATF were merged under the Justice Department to coordinate the fight against terrorism. So what does this mean for you the tax payer? Well, the agencies have spent the last five years fighting for control, duplicating efforts and wasting time and money. The FBI has refused the merge national bomb databases and started a competing bomb-sniffing dog program, the ATF bought counterfeit cigarettes from under cover FBI agents because of parallel investigations of tobacco smuggling, and agents from both agencies have threatened to arrest one another at crime scenes. A retired senior official said, "A lot of these things require a little adult supervision from the Justice Department or Congress, which will resolve a lot of the food fights these two agencies find themselves in." Perhaps just scrap the two agencies as independent and make them into one organization? No wait... that would just be to simple and eliminate too many high paying leadership jobs where people don't actually do any work.

Want me to address something?

Connect with me at SteinbergForCongress@gmail.com on Facebook or MySpace... I'm happy to give my opinion on any topic!