Nagging Wife Shot on Thanksgiving Day in a "Redneck" Town

. Sunday, November 30

In Huntsville, Arkansas on Thanksgiving Day, Kenneth Hissom took all the nagging he could take from his wife, then shot her to death. He called 911 to report that he shot his wife, but warned dispatch that he would shoot any police officer that came to his house. When police arrived, Hissom refused to come out without his gun, a standoff that lasted two hours. Police believe that alcohol was a factor in the shooting.

The next day in the same small town, a hotel took down the US flag and raised a Confederate flag in its place. Why? Not because he's black, but because the owners think that Obama is Marxist and an insult to the founding fathers. Incidentally, the Faubus Hotel was once owned by a notorious governor that tried to keep Little Rock schools segregated. Now, a City Council member says that the town is already known as a "backwoodsy and redneck type community" and the raising of the Confederate flag only hurts its reputation more.

I'm glad I don't live in Huntsville. Too much drama for me.

Look to the Sky on Dec 1

. Saturday, November 29

Look to the sky just after sunset and turn toward southwest on Monday, Dec. 1. You'll see a crescent moon and Jupiter and Venus right close by. The sliver of moon will also include a tracing the whole moon as it will be Earthlit. Venus has been particularly bright in the early night sky lately and will continue its bright visibility until January. In the past, when Venus was so bright, people called in UFO sightings and even fighter pilots have shot at it in fear of an alien invasion. Check it out and let me know what you see.

Native American Heritage Day

. Friday, November 28

Today is Native American Heritage Day, a day to honor American Indians and their contributions to US history and culture. Congress passed, then Bush signed into law last month that the day after Thanksgiving, for this year only, be set aside since it is unclear whether all tribes think that this is the best day to have it.

"The measure notes that more Americans Indians than any other group, per capita, serve in the U.S. military. It also cites tribes' artistic, musical and agricultural contributions."

With only a month to plan, little is being done to commemorate the day. American Indians will continue to lobby to make Native American Heritage Day a permanent fixture on the nation's calendar.

Inbox: Compare Now to 1929


This was in my Inbox this morning: Back in the 1929 financial crash, it was said that some Wall Street stockbrokers and bankers jumped from their office windows and committed suicide when confronted with the news of their firms' and clients' financial ruin. Many people were said to almost feel a little sorry for them. In 2008, the attitude has changed somewhat.

NYC Transit on Orange for Thanksgiving

. Wednesday, November 26

CYA is the term I'll use to describe the fact that Homeland Security "may have" intercepted communications back in September that "suggested" al Qaeda "may be" planning to attack NY City's transit system during the Thanksgiving holiday, traditionally the busiest travel holiday of the year. "In an abundance of caution the NYPD has deployed additional resources in the mass transit system."  NYC is now at orange alert status, Homeland Security is basing the warning on "plausible but uncorroborated information." I wonder why we didn't hear about this plausible information back in September, early October when alternative travel plans could have been made? It sure seems like the people of NYC just became sacrificial lambs at the mercy of a shaky intelligence agency. They only thing they seem to be good at is CYA. Oh, the rest of the country is still on yellow alert status, the way it's been since 9/11/2001.

Inbox: Going Green

. Sunday, November 23

True green = no engine!

100 Years to Prove Einstein Was Right

. Friday, November 21

Genius is probably as misunderstood as the theories geniuses come up with. Einstein is the perfect example. In 1905, the Theory of Relativity, e=mc2, described the ability of mass to be converted to energy, and energy to be converted to mass.

Laurent Lellouch, of France's Centre for Theoretical Physics, has finally come up with the calculations needed to estimate the mass of protons and neutrons, which are comprised of quarks and gluons. Finding that gluons = 0 and quarks only 5 percent, Lellouch et al found that it is energy created by the interaction of quarks and gluons that makes up 95 percent of mass.

Up until now, e=mc2 has been used to estimate the amount of energy released per quantity of mass and is the formula used in atomic weaponry. Science has struggled to prove the theory at the sub atomic particle level and understanding of the full implications of the theory have been elusive.

Energy is equivalent to mass. Mass is equivalent to energy.

Science is one step closer to proving the Divine Principle - God. I wonder why they couldn't just take Einstein's word for it.

Shortage of Doctors Growing

. Tuesday, November 18

Just two weeks ago, I visited my general practitioner/primary care doctor for prescription updates. There was nothing medical about this very brief consultation beyond the usual weight, temperature, blood pressure and pulse checks. While in the exam room with me, he sat at a computer and typed his notes while we talked, if you want to call it that. This chunk of time less than 5 minutes cost me $86 since I have no health insurance.

To his credit, my doctor's office is equipped with a lab, x-ray, EKG and procedures room. It wasn't that long ago that these basic diagnostic procedures were only available in hospitals which meant quite a bit of wasted time between onset and diagnosis of anything not visible to the naked eye. Though my particular appointment did not require any diagnostic testing, I'm glad it's there and available.

The cost of the appointment brought a moan from me. But, I know that what my doctor receives from Medicaid and Medicare is a paltry $17 with the same 19 percent reimbursement rate for any service rendered across the board. I don't suppose health insurance of any sort pays him that $86 office charge either.

Now, a recent survey of primary care physicians found that 60 percent of them are planning to cut back or quit medicine entirely. They are overworked, overwhelmed and underpaid, and responsible for so much paperwork that more time is spent filling out forms than spent with patients. There are far more specialists than primary care doctors, and the shortage is getting worse.

Including Obama's proposed health care changes, the only thing addressing this critical issue is the proposed switch to electronic medical records. It's surprising to me that such a highly technical field as medicine still uses the antiquated pen and paper for records keeping. But, I doubt that streamlining the paperwork will be enough to address the issue of the shortage of general practitioners and internists.

I don't know much about the issue of health care that Obama will throw on the table next year. But, I do feel that it is an issue worth keeping a close eye on.

Race Crimes Like Kicking the Dog

. Sunday, November 16

A sociologist believes that the recent rash of race crimes around the nation are as ineffective as "kicking the dog." The displaced anger is suspected to be aimed at Obama's election win that is perceived to shake the foundations on which our country is built. Cross burnings, college student beatings, children chanting "assassinate Obama" and graffiti soliciting bets on the date of Obama's assassination are just some of the crimes reported from sea to shining sea.

Look, enough. Obama is half black, half white, and that generally means that he is not accepted by either. That he was elected president does not mean that all the fluff during the campaign is anything more than just fluff. To think that there will be this major shift across the board in any racial standing is as illogical as thinking that we'll all move to the moon just because someone's been there. Why? Because race is irrelevant.

The color of skin, the shape of eyes, the language spoken will not determine whether a person starves to death or not, and that is the biggest challenge we are all facing right now. It's time to evolve, people.

Inbox: The Human Statue of Liberty

. Thursday, November 13

New in my Inbox: This photo was taken in 1918 at Camp Dodge in Iowa. It is 18,000 soldiers. Click on the photo to see the full sized image. Amazing!

NY Times Spoofed

. Wednesday, November 12

There is no doubt that this is the headline that everyone wants to see, and yesterday, people in NY City were treated with this spoof of a NY Times Special Edition paper available for free. Well, it's not true. The NY Times is never free. The particularly convincing take-off of the popular news paper was put out by a group called The Yes Men, a liberal group of pranksters. The paper includes stories about Bush indicted for treason, Rice apologizing for the weapons of mass destruction lies, and America finally getting national health care. Without the tongue in cheek, some are saying that the spoof paper is a "vision of what some want to see when Obama takes control."  That sort of ruins the joke, don't you think?

Crusade Against Saggy Pants

. Monday, November 10

Saggy pants. I don't get it. Nothing, and I mean nothing, turns me off, disgusts me, makes me cringe more than seeing someone's ass hanging out, whether it be the good ol' plumber's crack or this.  I am very glad to see underwear, but it does make me wonder just how clean they are. About the only possible positive I can see in this "fashion statement" is that there is little to no hope of running away from the police wearing pants that will fall down if not held up with at least one hand. Perhaps arrest rates have gone up.

I'm not alone in my sentiments either. Dallas Councilman Dwaine Caraway told summit attendees that he wouldn't want someone to show up to his house for a date if their pants were sagging. It would be disrespectful. I hope you get through to them, Councilman, but I fear your plea for decency will fall on just as deaf of ears as they did when pleaing for short hair back in my youth. Take heart. The men of my generation grew out of the long hair fashion statement, so maybe this generation will learn to pull its pants up too.

Until then, I'll join you in yelling at the boxers I see exposed. If they can show their buns in public, then I can yell at them about it too. Beware, kids. I have a voice that can break glass! You will hear me, deaf or not.

Money Found in Wall Stashed During Depression

. Sunday, November 9

Meet Bob Kitts, a contractor hired by Amanda Reece, the property owner who hired Kitts to do some remodeling on an 83 old home near Lake Erie in Ohio. In the process of tearing out a bathroom wall, Kitts found two metal strong boxes suspended by wire. Opening the boxes, he found envelopes with return addresses as "P. Dunne News Agency," and tearing a corner of one envelope, he saw the corner of a $50 bill. Nice guy that he is, he called Reece to tell her of his discovery of what ended up being $182,000 in Depression Era money.

As incredibly happy as they both were at this incredible find, things went south from there. Kitts felt 40 percent was equitable for his share of the find, but Reece only wanted to give him 10 percent. $60,000 went missing, and Reece spent $14,000 on a trip to Hawaii. As soon as a court case was filed to settle their dispute, the Dunne heirs staked a claim as well. In the end, both ended up with only a few thousand dollars.

Easy come, easy go.

Top 10 Annoying Sayings

. Friday, November 7

Oxford Researchers, "irregardless" if "you could care less," have updated their database called the Oxford University Corpus that contains overused and tiresome phrases used in everyday life. Here's the most recent list of phrases that made the Top 10:
1 - At the end of the day
2 - Fairly unique
3 - I personally
4 - At this moment in time
5 - With all due respect
6 - Absolutely
7 - It's a nightmare
8 - Shouldn't of
9 - 24/7
10 - It's not rocket science
I think they're a little behind the times and have missed quite a few jewels that irritate the crap out of me. "Whatever!" is the one at the top of my list. I bet you have a few in mind as well. Care to share?

Take a GOOD Look

. Wednesday, November 5

Leave it to Caledonian Comment to come back from holiday with a bang, and he is the one who found this photo of President-elect Obama caught with quite a different expression on his face than the American people usually see. Have you ever heard the saying, "be careful what you wish for - you just might get it"? Well, here's proof of what America just got.

Sunsets: The New Tourist Attraction


A small city in Japan decided to market itself in a novel way - by building its tourist industry around the sunset.

With the help of a website, the little city of Matsue saw a jump of 41.5 percent in foreign visitors to watch sunsets. The site averages 7,000 hits a month, and dozens of people visit the park built especially for viewing the sunsets on a daily basis.

The city set up its web site with "what it believes is a first-of-its-kind sunset forecast, giving weekly previews of whether there is a view to enjoy."

Next on the agenda is a "sunset summit" that will highlight various ways to use the sunset as a tourist attraction, a huge condo complex, and concerts and events planned around the sunsets.

Jurassic Park Headed to Reality

. Tuesday, November 4

This little guy was cloned from a cell frozen for 16 years by extracting the cell nucleus and transplanting it into a live egg cell. Teruhiko Wakayama, the Japanese science team leader, is now headed out to find a nucleus to extract from the remains of mammoth elephants in the hopes that implanting the cell into the egg of a live elephant will produce a mammoth. "I have high hopes that we will be able to find a fine sample. It's said that there are more than 10,000 mammoths lying underneath Siberia" that died during the Ice Age, said Wkayama.

Palin Not Guilty

. Monday, November 3

I heard it on the radio driving home tonight, so I don't know the details. But, it seems the entity higher than the one finding Palin guilty of wrongdoing when she fired whoever it was she fired ruled that she is NOT guilty of any wrongdoing.

Um, take that to the bank? A-hem.

Musician vs Wyeth now in Supreme Court


This is Diana Levine, a guitarist and pianist who had to have her right arm amputated because of a "botched" injection of Phenergan, an anti nausea drug made by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. A Vermont jury awarded Levine $6.7 million saying that the warning of risks of improper administration of the drug was not clear on the label. The case is now before the Supreme Court to decide the issue of whether the federal government can limit consumer lawsuits in cases where people have been harmed by prescription drugs. Wyeth is arguing that drug makers cannot make changes to labels without FDA approval and states cannot bring charges against a federally approved drug. As I recall, it wasn't that long ago that Wyeth faced a lot of negative press when the drug PremPro came under fire for actually causing cancer and osteoporosis in menopausal women instead of reducing the risks as the giant drug maker claimed. Levine is just another notch in its long list of people harmed in the mad rush to market drugs not fully researched. Lab rats, that's all we are; and there is no doubt people have far fewer rights than large corporations.

Obama: How Deep Does it Have to be Before it Matters?

. Saturday, November 1

That is the question I am going to ask you with a very heavy stomp of my foot for emphasis. If you've been watching or reading the news, you recognize the photo to be the entrance to Obama's aunt's Boston apartment. Aunt Zeituni Onyango lives in public housing and holds a job with the housing authority, and a four year old standing order to leave the country after her request for asylum was rejected. Said aunt attended his senatorial swearing in ceremony and has contributed to his presidential campaign - illegally, since only citizens can contribute. Also coming to light is the frequent visits Obama paid family members in Kenya, even one to introduce his wife-to-be to them. Family members have also traveled here to visit Obama and other friends.

Again, another angry stomp of my foot. How much more can this country learn about this man that screams of anti Americanism and still ignore it? His own past associations right here in the US negates any possibility of a non-classified National Agency Check clearance, and is at the top of my list of things that raise quite a few red flags in my mind. I had to pass a NAC in order to work in a position that served the families of deployed soldiers, and that did not require access to any military information whatsoever. I wouldn't want the safety of this country in the hands of such a person.

Nevermind that he has been caught in more lies during this campaign than I've told in my entire lifetime, and the backstabbing way he's conducted his campaign. Forget that everything he's proposing has been tried and failed before. And pay no attention to the list of characters of ill repute and intention that he has closely associated with. Don't ask where all this campaign money is coming from at a time when the whole country has sewed shut its collective wallet during the worst economic period since the 1920s.

Look, I have no more evidence than you. I base my opinions on the same news stories you read. I am no more able to glean what is true from what is fabrication than you are. All this "evidence" is circumstantial, though a good news source would validate the claims made.

But, consider this: It is possible to win a murder trial based on circumstantial evidence, even without a body as proof that a murder occurred. The evidence has to pass the test of "beyond a reasonable doubt" in order to return a verdict of guilty.

I've seen more than enough evidence to reasonably deduce that Obama should be laughed out of the room for even thinking about running for the highest office in the land. What an arrogant, self-serving narcissist!

And just how naive can Americans be? How deep does the pile of evidence have to be before it matters to you?