Dave Stancliff 2014-06-15 blogarama.com

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Horney dinosaurs, 6-fingered family for Brazil, & Cheney clobbered by Fox’s Megyn Kelley

Mercuriceratops (Danielle Dufault/Naturwissenschaften)Good Day World!

I’ve got a few interesting topics to share today.

First. How the heck do scientists know the recently discovered dinosaur Mercuriceratops used it’s horns to attract mates?

Do they have a time machine or what? It seems weird that they’ve just discovered this “new” dinosaur and already know about his sex life.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m a tad skeptical about their assumption. (Story)

In other news:

SIX-FINGERED FAMILY ROOTS FOR BRAZIL’S 6th WORLD CUP

Silvia Santos, facing camera, embraces her daughter Ana Carolina at their home in Brasilia, Brazil.

All the members of the Silva family were born with an extra digit on each hand as a result of a genetic condition known as polydactyly.

Rather than recoil in the face of constant stares by curious onlookers the 14 members of the family spanning four generations seem to embrace their physical differences with pride. (AP Text and Photo/Eraldo Peres)

MEGYN KELLY RIPS DICK CHENEY OVER HIS HORRIBLE IRAQ TRACK RECORD

Have you seen the video where Fox’s Megyn Kelly destroys Dick aka Darth Cheney?

After quoting Cheney's recent op-ed on the war, in which he said of President Obama, “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many,” she put this scorcher of a question to him:

"Time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong as well in Iraq, sir. You said there was no doubt Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. You said we would be greeted as liberators. You said the insurgency was in its last throes back in 2005, and you said that after our intervention, extremists would have to 'rethink their strategy of jihad.' Now, with almost a trillion dollars spent there, with almost 4,500 American lives lost there, what do you say to those who say you were so wrong about so much at the expense of so many?"

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Romancing Costco: America’s love affair with a trendy retailer

Good Day World!

Have you ever been to a Costco?

I have a friend who shops there for nearly everything.

Whenever he travels he always locates the nearest Costco. When we went to Kauai with our wives a few years back, guess what? There was a Costco there.

We both agree that whoever does the taste-testing for the food and drink products must get stoned on high-grade weed first. Everything tastes great there! The non-food products are always top rate stuff that’s reasonably priced.

Costco’s are also trendy. Check it out:

Retail Politics: Hillary Clinton Heads to Costco, Skips Walmart on Latest Book Tour.

How Costco explains the Obama presidency

“The Obama administration's romance with the second-largest retailer in America is stronger than ever - and might just be the most successful union of a politician and a supermarket in American history.”

Here’s Some Facts About Costco Wholesale Corporation:

“Costco Wholesale Corporation is a membership-only warehouse club that provides a wide selection of merchandise. As of July 2012, it is the second largest retailer in the United States, the seventh largest retailer in the world and the largest membership warehouse club chain in the United States.

Costco is headquartered in Issaquah, Washington, United States and was founded in 1976 in San Diego, CA with its first warehouse in Seattle. Today, Costco has a total of 652 locations (as of May 16, 2014) throughout the world. There’s 451 locations in the United States.

Founded by James (Jim) Sinegal and Jeffrey H. Brotman, Costco opened its first warehouse in Seattle, Washington, on September 15, 1983. Costco employs about 174,000 full and part-time employees. As of February 2013, Costco had 71.2 million members.The majority of Costco locations are not unionized.

The non-union locations have revisions to their Costco Employee Agreement every three years concurrent with union contract ratifications in locations with collective bargaining agreements. Only remotely similar to a union contract, the Employee Agreement sets forth such things as benefits, compensations, wages, disciplinary procedures, paid holidays, bonuses, and seniority.

The employee 'agreement' is subject to change by Costco at any time and offers no absolute protection to the workers. As of March 2011, non-supervisory hourly wages ranged from $11.00 to $21.00 in the United States.” – WIKIPEDIA SUMMARY

_________________________________________________

COSTCO AND THE OSAMA BIN LADEN RAID

On May 1, 2011, the top members of the Obama administration were hunkered down in the Situation Room, planning the mission that would lead to the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. And what kept the White House going late at night?

"A staffer went to Costco and came back with a mix of provisions — turkey pita wraps, cold shrimp, potato chips, soda." That's right, Costco played a small but important role - who knows what kinds of decisions Obama would have made if he were hungry - in one of the most important moments of his presidency. White House food critic Tom Sietsema analyzed the food choice at the time:

“The choice of a wrap rather than a slice of bread to bundle the turkey strikes me as very Bush-era, wraps being so yesterday. Maybe there wasn't an option at Costco -- which, by the way, is more than one food professional's not-so-secret source for choice cuts of meat, chicken and cherries in season.

The food is all very easy to eat. Nothing requires a utensil, or much concentration, unless the shrimp included tails. Had the first lady walked into the room, no one would have felt obliged to hide what they were eating; the turkey and shrimp would have met her approval. As for the potato chips and soda ... hey, everything in moderation.” (Via The Washington Post)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tiny Albania’s Weed War Makes Ours Seem Like a Walk in the Park

Is Albania Europe's new marijuana capital?

Good Day World!

Over the years, you may have heard about large marijuana busts in Humboldt County, California, and along the Pacific North Coast.

You may have also seen documentaries on marijuana growers in America and their battle with authorities.

(Lush strip of green: Nine-tenths of the villagers in Lazarat are believed to take part in marijuana cultivation. (Photo credit: Besar Likmeta/GlobalPost)

If you have, it’s likely that you’re aware of how powerful Mexican cartels are and their roll in cashing in on cannabis crops in the United States.

Marijuana has become increasingly popular with the American public in recent years. A majority support legalization. But the feds say pot is still illegal. So, the Marijuana War continues to rage in the USA.

But our illegal growers haven’t resorted to rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and machine guns like growers in Lazarat, a major marijuana-producing center about140 miles south of the capital, Tirana, Albania have.

Over the past few weeks, Albanian authorities have launched a nationwide operation to uproot cannabis plantations. Hundreds of Albanian police, backed by armored vehicles, stormed Lazarat Monday.

The annual crop in Lazarat earns almost $6 billion a year (roughly half of the small Balkan country's GDP), according to Italian and Albanian authorities. Cannabis is usually planted in May and harvested in September. Up to 90 percent of village residents — 7,000 in all — are believed to take part in the business, according to the Global Post.

The gangs in Albania produce about 900 metric tons of cannabis a year, dwarfing the Mexican Cartels’ crops in the US and Mexico.

For example, Mexican federal authorities seized a 120-hectare marijuana field in Baja California, the largest such bust by Mexican authorities in history, which would have yielded an estimated 120 metric tons of marijuana.

It’s difficult to measure how many tons of Cartel weed is grown in the US, but authorities on both sides of the border agree it’s not as many tons as produced in Mexico.

Albania easily out-produces all illegal pot grows in Mexico and America by a wide margin.

If you want to talk about weed wars, then Albania sets the bar. I bet you didn’t know that.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Believe it or not: ‘Bushies’ are back in town calling for another shot in Iraq

war-crimes

The BUSHIES are back in town, ready to go another round in Iraq.

Thanks to the people who created the myth of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, we’re looking at a renewed American combat role in the country we finally pulled out of.

Over 4,000 troops were killed and billions of dollars later and we’re talking war again. It defies common sense.

A third invasion of Iraq to protect our interests (?) and a renewed occupation isn’t what most Americans want to see.

But ex-President George W. Bush’s national security team who served as architects of the 2003 invasion are crawling back into the limelight lately anyway.

Back for another shot is Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Paul Bremer, the Bush administration's envoy to Iraq. They’re all spouting off about the urgent need to return to Iraq.

With Team Bush's return to the spotlight on Iraq, Democrats are responding with incredulity. Why, they ask, are the people who launched the bogus war in Iraq in the first place back on the attack? Talk about gall. Team Bush was responsible for one of the biggest foreign policy blunders in our history.

What about history? It’s there in black and white. We’re still missing billions of dollars that were supposed to help Iraq’s infrastructure, but never made it to the proper authorities. We spent billions supporting the country while setting back our own economy to the point we went into a recession. All facts.

Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz Cheney, penned a Wall Street Journal op-ed, arguing: "Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many."

The irony is too much. Rarely has a president done more harm to his country than the last Bush in the Oval Office. And now his minions are back, infecting politics and trying to get another shot at Iraq.

It’s like they live in a parallel universe, crossing over into ours at key times to spread their gospel of war.

I trust the majority of Americans have long enough memories to recall the futility of military intervention in Iraq. I’ve said it before, and will continue to: there’s no way a country from the West is going to solve ancient rivalries between the Shiite and Sunni Muslims.

To think otherwise is to deny reality.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Fear-driven gun sales slow down, NRA needs new boogeyman

Good Day World!

The firearm industry is facing an interesting dilemma.

In 2008 – which shall forevermore be remembered in the industry as the year fear sent gun sales to staggering heights – Barack Obama was elected president, triggering a slew of sales that seemed to have no end in sight.

Retail gun outlets experienced such a massive surge in sales that election year they couldn’t keep enough weapons and ammunition on the shelves for eager customers.

The NRA was the point man for the surge, spreading fear like butter on people’s bread.

Legendary sales established at Obama’s first inauguration stayed steady for his first term as the NRA continued to spread lies about people’s guns being taken away from them. The Pavlovian conditioning worked like a charm.

Men and women panicked and bought semiautomatic weapons like the popular Bushmaster, which became so trendy the Freedom Group - a manufacturer owned by Cerberus Capital Management and who produces the rifle - manufactured pink rifle stocks for the ladies.

Fashion and fear kept the sales going every year.

Obama’s re-election assured more staggering sales, and the industry responding by turning out record numbers of weapons and ammunition. Congress cowered before the NRA every time the hint of any kind of gun law surfaced in the not-so-hallowed chambers of our elected representatives.

For the record, there’s been no new restrictive gun laws since Obama was elected. He didn’t send his minions out in a door-to-search for weapons owned by private citizens. In fact, there’s been numerous gun laws loosened up and carrying a concealed weapon has never been so easy in most of the states.

The sky didn’t fall. But gun sales have. Analysis from KeyBanc estimates a 9.9 percent year-over-year sales decline from May, based on an adjusted calculation of the monthly National Instant Criminal Background Check System data.

Freedom Group saw their first-quarter sales decline about 20 percent compared with last year. Some analysts point to this as evidence that enthusiasts' fears of an impending federal ban on certain firearms have been allayed. I’m not so sure of that. The NRA has not stopped beating that drum yet.

What does make sense to me, is a glutted market. Manufacturers are holding too large of an inventory. Retail stores are not seeing empty gun racks like the “good old days” these days. They’re full.

The big boys, like Smith and Wesson, may be taking a hit, but it’s just a pause until the NRA can think of a new boogeyman. Perhaps “Slender Man” posing as Obama. Now that’s scary.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Mitt Romney Redue? What is this…Groundhog Day?

romney-I-stand-by-what-I-said-whatever-it-was-via-Think-progress

Good Day World!

Can you hear the distant rumble of elephants jockeying for the presidency?

Oh say, can you see Mitt Romney?

The GOP champion in the last losing effort at gaining the presidency?

He’s back!!!

No kidding.

His “Muttness” was spotted recently at a luxury mountain resort giving a speech for donors and supporters. Who knew he still had any?

Like a vulture, Mitt is circling around the Republican Party's presidential banner again hoping to get another stab at it. And what better way than to entertain his fellow 1%ers than to gather at the ritzy Deer Valley resort high in the Utah mountains?

Mitt-Romney-funny-pictures-dumpaday-7

It must have been an inspiration from Joseph Smith (hallowed be his name), because I don’t know anyone who thinks that loser is going to do any better the second time around.

"It's the failing of the White House leadership that concerns me, and that's got to change. I lost the election, we lost an election, but I and we will continue to fight," Romney declared to his wealthy audience.

He dutifully attacked 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton over the “reset” policy with Russia. He called her “clueless” and said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that her tenure as Secretary of State was "a monumental bust."

He eloquently spoke smack about Obama, kicking off a weekend of events for about 300 top donors, supporters and former campaign aides. In other words, it was a Conservative Circus and Mitt was the ringmaster.

That group included a number of other potential 2016 presidential hopefuls, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Rep. Paul Ryan, and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. They all shared their wet dreams about what they’d do if elected president.

However, the weekend also included more casual events like going on a hike with Romney last Saturday.

USA TODAY - BREAKING NEWS: 

Mitt Romney and a ragged group of wealthy supporters were rescued today after going on a hike in the Utah mountains days ago….

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, June 16, 2014

A comparison between the caste system in America and India

Good Day World!

Let’s talk about social stratification today.

Specifically, I’m going to contrast modern India’s caste system with America’s current caste system.

Yes, a caste system has emerged in the United States. In the broad view you have the 1%ers versus the rest of the country. It’s a bit more complicated than that however.

A LOOK AT WHERE THE CASTE SYSTEM EMERGED

INDIA -According to Wikipedia, Brahminical texts are divided into four categories or varnas: Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. Certain groups, now known as "Dalits", were excluded from the varna system altogether, ostracized by all other castes and treated as untouchables. Strongly identified with Hinduism, the caste system has been carried over to other religions on the Indian subcontinent, including Buddhism,Christianity, Islam, and Sikhism.

A LOOK TODAY

In 21st century America the differences between the Super Wealthy, the Politicians, the Corporate heads, and the Struggling Middle Class compare to India’s social system.

You start off with India’s Brahmins, then Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and finally the Shudras.

Our “untouchabables” wander the streets (just like in India), homeless, hopeless, mentally challenged, and often physically disabled. The unwashed millions neither country cares about. We call ourselves a democracy, yet we have our version of royalty.

Our kings/presidents often come from the same dynastic families; the Kennedy’s, the Bushes, and the Clintons. Our future seems ordained before we vote in 2016 for a new president. Two of the royal families have possible candidates – Hillary Clinton, and Jeb Bush.

Ironically, India got rid of the last of their monarchs 100 years ago. Their caste system however, is still hobbling along.

Social stratification is here to stay in both countries. I thought you might be interested in knowing this.

Time for me to walk on down the road… 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Remember to honor/humor Dad today just because

Good Day World!

Excuse me for not getting up to greet you, but I’m being indulgent and lazy today.

You know why? No, it’s not National Slob Day (if there is such a holiday sign me up!).

Today is Father's Day. We’re honoring our fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society.

We do this in several ways. The first and foremost way is the special National Father Day sales at stores. Grateful children and wives can show their love by purchasing things Dad may never use (like gold pen sets or cuff links). Smart Dads fawn over these presents with flowery speeches of gratitude and then quietly tuck them into their sock drawers when no one is looking.

The second way we make this day special for Dads is to humor him. With wives, this means saying Dad’s right regardless of the subject. I can tell you one day of being right really makes up for the rest of the year!

Children under 12 have it pretty easy on Father’s Day. All they have to do is say endearing things like, “I love you Daddy.” They can go out of their innocent little ways to make Dad happy. This could mean fighting in another room, out of Dad’s earshot.

Teenagers are another thing. They’ll acknowledge there is such a day in their own unique way by not asking for money. As a father of three sons, I always appreciated this consideration.

Finally, we honor Father’s Day by letting Dad do whatever he wants all day. Within limits of course.

I speak for millions of Dads everywhere when I say this is the time to pull out our old t-shirts full of holes and memories, and wear them without fear of our sanity being questioned.

This freedom extends to mastery of the TV. In a time-honored family tradition in the Stancliff household, my wife hands me the remote control with my first cup of coffee on Father’s Day morning. It’s really quite sweet.

One of the many benefits of being a Dad is watching your children grow up and have children of their own. You get payback for all those years of busting your chops when they were growing up! I have to admit I get a guilty pleasure from watching my grandchildren test my son’s limits.

Charles Wadsworth once said, “By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong.”

Being a Dad is the most important thing I’ve done in my life.

Sometimes it’s a thankless task, but most of the time it’s what grounds me. For good or bad, I’m a Dad and proud of it. I’m also humble enough to realize that this honored title has to be earned by being there for my family.

I’m glad I’ll never stop being a Dad. It gives my life meaning. I think about my Dad,  86-years old and still going strong. He’s suffered the loss of his wife (my mother) and two of his children. He just has me and my sister now. You have to be strong in heart to be a good father, and mine is the best.

I started this column off with humor and have taken it into a sad aside. That’s okay I guess, because I can’t do any wrong today. Remember?

If you don’t live with your dear old Dad please take a moment and call him, email him, text him, post a message on a blimp, go live on a local radio station, or just stop by today?

There’s one thing about us Dads; we love to hear from our children. Heck, we’re suckers when it comes to our kids. So humor us and you‘ll honor us.

Did you know the first Father's Day celebration was in Spokane, Wa. on May 18, 1910?

One famous father, Bill Cosby said, “If the new American father feels bewildered and even defeated, let him take comfort from the fact that whatever he does in any fathering situation has a fifty percent chance of being right.”

Those odds are good enough for me. Please don’t be upset if I don’t get up and open the door for you when you leave!