Thursday, May 29, 2014

Shit Really Does Roll Downhill

And how Veterans Affairs (VA) came to find itself in such deep shit

Everyone who has ever had to work for a living knows about how shit rolls downhill.  Nothing unfair about it, that’s how gravity works.  And those who actually started the shit have either retired in luxury or moved onto bigger and better possibilities.

Meanwhile Veterans Affairs is left holding the bag.  When the war first started, not only was it supposed to be short, it was to have paid for itself with predicted income from Iraqi oil.  Ten years and $1.7 trillion dollars later, who would’ve thought.  Worse yet, vets are owed an additional $490 billion in promises and benefits that could reach over $6 trillion over the next forty years.  

And our returning warriors, many of whom are wounded, after the longest war in U.S. history, are in dire need of medical attention.  Like that quick war that should have paid for itself, the VA finds itself steeped in all kinds of shit.  No one was prepared for the huge influx.

Usually, someone high up sees a swarm on its way and they meet with other higher ups and write memos to those below them.  No matter what the agency or business, these memos all tend to say the same thing; “Do more with less,” and, “Think outside the box.”  In other words, be creative about it and don’t bother me with the details.  And even when someone has the nerve to disturb them, they may say something like, “More is less.”   After all, they are the boss and must be right, even when what they say is bullshit. 

But the shit doesn’t stop and eventually, people near the bottom, without power or money for a lawyer end up drowning in everyone else’s shit.  In the case of the VA, however, it’s both painful and irritating.  The people near the bottom get blamed, when the politicians, bosses and CEOs, started everything rolling in the first damn place.  The Upside is, while shit rolls downhill, the smell tends to waft upward.

How it Works...

Monday, May 26, 2014

Secret Interview with a High Level Republican Operative

This Weird Wally (WW) Exclusive happened quite by accident.   The long and short of it is that Wally managed to capture an image of a very conservative and high level Washington insider, exiting a Denver, Colorado, pot shop with a hot young woman on his arm, during the Memorial Day weekend.    Not only did the insider purchase Wally’s cell, he sent his friend off to more shopping and agreed to a chat over lunch.   The insider, who must remain anonymous, shall be known as, Dick.

WW:  Thanks for both lunch and the chat.  I really appreciate it.

Dick:  You have me at a disadvantage, Wally.  But this could be fun.  What do you call yourself, again?  Liberal, is it?

WW:  Progressive, Mr. Dick

Dick:  No need for formalities, Wally.  We’re both equals here.

WW:  Good point, Dick   But more to the point, between you, the American Legislative Exchange Council and the Koch Brothers, there’s a lot of negative shit being thrown about.  And considering the shifting demographics, do you really expect to win elections with that kind of strategy?

Dick:  We only need to win one, and that’s the next one.  It’s no secret that in an off year elections, most liberals don’t vote, you guys think that the presidential ones are the only that count, but us conservatives know better.  We get most of congress, governors and state houses with us, we can kick any president’s ass and nothing anyone can do about it.

WW:  Why do you think my side is working so hard to get minorities, young folks and single women to the polls.  Besides, I got minimum wages and a whole bunch of other issues on my side, Dick.

Dick:  Don’t mean dick, Wally.  I got money on mine and all we need do is appeal to our base. 

WW:  Who do think your base is?

Dick:  Old white guys, for the most part.  And their wives, of course.    The kind of people who like things the way they are, who see Obama as a sign of things to come and are scared shitless by it.  My base doesn’t give a shit about minimum wage or health care.  They’re scared of an unknown future and having lots of guns makes them feel safe.  My rule of thumb is, when people are scared shitless, that’s when they are most likely to come out and vote their shit.

WW:  You’re sounding like a cynic. 

Dick:  Just being real with you, Wally

Anyway, after a longer than planned for lunch, Wally found himself actually liking the guy.  But Wally was also mindful of the fact that he’d never met a sociopath he didn’t like.  Here ends Part I of the secret interview.

To Be Continued.

The Nocebo Effect???

The researcher whose work led scientific credence to claims that those without celiac disease — which causes an immune response in the small intestines in the presence of gluten — still benefit from a gluten-free diet has performed another, more…

Friday, May 23, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend

It’s Friday of a three day weekend and not much going on, as of this writing.   The Veterans Affairs Administration (VA) needs to clean up its act, but things have gotten to the point where it’s going to be a long and painful healing.

Meanwhile, Weird Wally is ready for the weekend.  Besides visiting with friends, he’s reading Natchez Burning, by Greg Iles and might even do a Star Trek: The Next Generation, mini marathon.

But having just read a scary story, the very next thing Weird Wally will do will be to kill the Facebook app on his smart phone. And here’s why, The Scary Story (a must read).  Enjoy your weekend.

Facebook Microphone Update: Electronic Surveillance Experts React To Smartphone Mic Data Collection

Facebook Microphone Update: Electronic Surveillance Experts React To Smartphone Mic Data Collection

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

High Demand = High Tolerance

This is pretty funny: Comey: FBI ‘Grappling’ With Hiring Policy Concerning Marijuana But FBI Director James B. Comey said Monday that if the FBI hopes to continue to keep pace with cyber criminals, the organization may have to loosen up its no-tolerance…

Monday, May 19, 2014

Vote Like Your Life Depends On It

At some point soon, it just might.  

Weird Wally (that would be me) didn’t get serious about blogging until 2007.   And that was about the time he got his head out of his butt and took a look around.  Something was up, but not yet obvious and Wally took to blogging to help him figure it out.  Although nothing more than an online journal, he learned to question authority, and in the process, finally started paying attention.  A lot of other people also started paying attention, but we could not believe what we were seeing.

Besides the irrational tax cuts and big bank deregulation that no one really wanted, we also saw a gigantic increase in corporate welfare, billion dollar no-bid government contracts, and a senseless war in Iraq.  And not too long before the financial crises of 2008, President Bush and other Republicans were pushing hard to privatize social security and hand the money over to Wall Street.  Fortunately, that didn’t happen.  But would President Obama be sitting in the Oval Office today, were it not for the financial meltdown of September 2008?  

For a while, we believed that our votes actually made a difference, but as Obama’s first term progressed, he didn’t stand up for much and many began forgetting what he once stood for.  Nobody from Wall Street went to jail, foreclosures continued, wages remained stagnant and the rich kept getting richer.

Meanwhile, with the help of a super-secret society, known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), many states were busy finding ways to keep minorities, single moms, seniors and single women in general, away from the polls, and voter suppression was just a start.  ALEC also promoted cutting state taxes for large corporations, fighting unions and keeping worker wages as low as possible.

In Washington, DC, things were equally as bad.  The Supreme Court had gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965, immigration reform stalled and in Congress, the House voted over 50 times to repeal “Obamacare” and Republican politicians cowered to talking heads like Rush Limbaugh and people on Fox News and denied that they were all just bunch of women hating racists, anyway.

But as things started getting uglier, Wally could not yet believe how ugly things already were.  Black men and women who were unarmed were getting shot by cops and regular citizens alike.  Seems like, if you shot and killed an African-American, all you have to say is, that person was “black and I feared for my life,” and if you’re white, you might just get away with it.

Even as Obamacare shows major signs of success and the president is getting his mojo back, no one from Wall Street has gone to jail and the “too big to fail banks,” continue to keep private their profits and make public their loses (by way of the tax code, monetary policy and government subsidies), I’m pissed, but will vote this November in spite of it.

Had Romney been elected in 2012, he and his administration would have ignored ALEC and its attempts at voter suppression and a lot of states would be throwing people off voter rolls unhindered.   As it is, it’s an uphill struggle. 

So if we don’t vote in November, there’s a good possibility we won’t ever have to stress about it again.  A lot can happen in only two years.  Meanwhile, keep an eye out and please pay attention, because you never know.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Wall Street Secrets Revealed

Wall Street Has Always Been Corrupt Or About To Be Corrupted (via Market Shadows)
Courtesy of Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform Wall Street Has Always Been Corrupt Or About To Be Corrupted “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Upton Sinclair – I, Candidate…

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Corporate Welfare Really Sucks!

Are we screwed?

At first glance, everything looks so boring that it’s hard to care.

And that’s the secret.  When we don’t care, we don’t give it a second glance and that’s how a lot of crap gets by us.  Meanwhile, while we’re not looking, there is a lot going on and massive underplunder is afoot.  Worse yet, we can’t even believe what we think we’re seeing.

We are told, for instance, that society is mainly composed of makers, takers and the rest of us.  The makers are the job creators and we should be grateful to them and praise their very existence.  The takers, on the other hand, are busy living off everyone else.  Meanwhile, the makers are hard at work creating jobs and prosperity for all.  Even as the takers just sit around all day getting high and making babies.  And those people, we are told, are not to be pitied.  If anything they need to be taught a lesson, even if it hurts them badly.

Welfare queens, pimps, drug addicts are usually thought of as brown or black.  People of color.  And they are unlike most of the country.  They are, after all, minorities; well, at least for now.  But everyone seems to know what they're up to.  Even Cliven Bundy, the infamous “welfare cowboy,” wants to tell all who will listen,that he knows “something about the negro.”

And even while grazing his cattle for free on government land, he looks down on, what he sees as, the takers, never realizing that he too, is a taker.  Difference is, he thinks he owns the land.

Even the so-called takers look down on other takers.  The elderly and physically challenged tend to look down on the mental and emotionally challenged, who in turn, look down on people who sit around all day making babies.  But regardless of category, all who depend on government for either income or subsidy will get hurt.  Its budget cutting time and let’s screw the takers real good.  They deserve it.

But who are the real takers?

Ever hear of “corporate welfare?”  Such a thing exists, and it is huge.  In 2006, the government spent about $59 billion on traditional social programs like food stamps and housing assistance, while spending $92 billion on corporate subsidies.    And it’s gotten worse every year ever since.

Corporate subsidies take many forms, from tax breaks to free money for big banks, and a lot in between.  A good example of corporate welfare is the $52 billion “Uncle Sugar” gave to the oil, gas and coal industry alone, in 2013.  In return, the government received absolutely nothing.  No-thing.

So while some politicians are busy trying to convince us to piss all over those beneath us, we might try looking high up, for a change.  At the very people whom we are distracted from ever thinking about.  Those who can afford lobbyist, accountants and high end law and public relations firms.  And although we might have to strain our eyes, if we look high enough, we just might see that that trickledown effect we often feel on the tops of our heads, well, for starts, it ain’t money.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

When The Chimps First Went To War

Scientists at Duke University have applied complex social networking programs to peer into the mysteries of a vicious four-year war that took place between tribes of chimpanzees at Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park. The results, said New Scientist…

Friday, May 09, 2014

Wall Street Pissed at Pope

Pope Francis called on “legitimate redistribution” of wealth by the world’s governments to undo the “economy of exclusion” underlying capitalist society. The pontiff appealed Friday to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the heads of major…
Six months ahead of crunch US mid-term elections, Republicans seeking to capture Congress have rehashed well-worn political scandals that they hope will portray the Obama administration and Democrats as abusers of executive power. Republican leaders…

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

An Open Letter to President Barack Obama

This Weird Wally Repost is happening because Weird Wally changed his mind.  Back in March when this letter was written, WW was pissed and going to stay home on Election Day.  But although the big banks are still coming up with new and barely legal ways of getting money for nothing, it will only get worse if people like myself, don’t vote.  Republicans are counting on minorities, single moms, unemployed, seniors, and the usual none voting suspects to stay home.  They figure we're so lazy and apathetic we’ll neither notice nor care.  But do you want the country and your life controlled by a bunch of miserly old white men who only want to stay in control?  If so, we’ll all get what we deserve.

FYI:  Keep an eye on the housing and rental markets.  Wall Street will make a mint and the rest of us will pay.

Dear Mr. President:
I have always been a fan of yours and voted for you in the two previous elections.  As the 2014 elections approach, however, it is very possible that I will sit this one out.  I realize how important this coming election will be.  If, for instance, the Republicans take control of both the House and Senate, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be wiped out and voted into nonexistence.  Worse yet, Social Security may well become privatized and Medicare, morph into a voucher system that is of little real use to us average citizens.  I won’t even bother to go into what they might attempt to do with foreign policy and voting rights.

Despite all of the above, I am so very unhappy with the way our government is working.  For one thing, I still don’t understand how the ACA works.  Had there been a “public option,” included in the ACA, I would have understood, at least, one thing about the ACA.  But without a public option, I understand none of it.

As a retired African-American male, I appreciate what your Administration is doing to fight voter suppression and your taking "Chained CPI," off of the table in future budget negotiations.  But Chained CPI, never should have been on the table in the first place. 

Having said all of that, I'm very upset over the fact that with all the corruption and illegal activities that happened on Wall Street just before your first election, no one of any significance has even been charged nor gone to prison.  Granted, a $20 billion dollar fine sounds like a lot of money, but to a company like JP Morgan Chase, it's simply a cost of doing business and not serious enough to change either behavior or the culture.   Now, had the CEO, Jamie Dimon, been sentenced to a minimum of 5 years, Wall Street might have finally paid attention and started cleaning up their acts.   And more to the point, why not push for a revival of something like Glass-Steagall?

Since I'm neither super smart nor super informed, I think there are other Americans like myself, just waiting to be inspired.  And a few CEO Indictments plus an even small possibility of a Glass-Steagall look-a-like getting to first base, would be more than enough to fire me up.

Walter Lide

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

The United States offered Tuesday to send a team of experts to Nigeria to help find more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls amid a wave of outrage over their abduction. US Secretary of State John Kerry made the offer in a phone call to Nigeria's President…

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Author, physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking co-wrote a dire warning to the human race about the danger of unintended consequences from our current fascination with artificial intelligence (AI). In an open letter with three other scientists published…

Friday, May 02, 2014

Video Proof That Elephants Never Forget

Although this video has been around since 2011, the staff at Weird Wally’s Worldview (www) didn’t see it until a few days ago.  Shirley and Jenny are two retired circus elephants who haven’t seen one-another in over twenty years.   When they are finally reunited at the sanctuary, all is caught on video.  It’s bad enough that these majestic creatures are held captive and chained while serving their time in circuses, but there are people who hunt them down and kill them, out of vanity or for ivory.  And that just puzzles the hell out of us.


Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and Nick Mason call for Rolling Stones to boycott Israel (via Raw Story )
Two founding members of the legendary rock band Pink Floyd lashed out at fellow rockers the Rolling Stones on Thursday, chiding the Stones for scheduling an upcoming show in Tel Aviv, Israel. published a column co-written by vocalist Roger…

Thursday, May 01, 2014

A reader submitted article that chills one to the bone. The depravity of some withing the human species is just sickening,,, In 2010, long before the mass killing that now engulf Nigeria began, there was a masked man hoisting an AK-47, a stack of religious…
Economist Paul Krugman recently joined Bill to talk about the new academic book rocking the best-seller lists: Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. In this clip, Krugman says that our debates on income inequality, and how to combat…