Month: October 2007

Vintage Video – The Gap Band

Ok, I had to sneak some Gap Band in here.

First up “You Dropped a Bomb on Me”. A little synth heavy but not all that bad. And they didn’t put a lot of work into the video. But it’s still pretty good if repetitive.

And of course there’s “Party Train”.

This is “Oops Upside Your Head”. I like this one a lot since it’s guitar ]bass heavy. And pretty funky stuff too!

And here they are singing “Outstanding”. There was a live version but the studio version sounds so much better.

And I’ve saved the best for last, “Burn Rubber”. Oh this was the jam back in the day.

Stinginess

I’ve noticed something happening that perhaps nobody else has. It seems that government is getting more stingy with social programs or with state employees.

For example Governor Carcieri recently said:

He said he would unveil a plan in the next two weeks to cut $50 million from the benefits of those workers who survive his staff-reduction plan. And he will propose another $50 million in cuts to social programs for low-income Rhode Islanders.

I happen to know that when it comes to state employees the most generous benefit they get is health care. But last I knew that only cost the state about $12,000,000 a year. So where does the other $38,000,000 come from? Take away vacation accrual? Sick time? How about longevity bonuses, yep those are out the window. But I can’t see that adding up to much. I can see involuntary pay cuts coming for state employees.

But the other $50,000,000 he wants to cut from social programs. Things like aid for dependent children (AFDC), or RITECare. They’ve already lopped off thousands of kids by setting the age limit artificially low.

As it is unemployment insurance will only cover you for six months. I can remember when it used to cover you for upwards of a year or more. I also remember when people on strike could collect unemployment. That’s all gone. I wouldn’t put it past this asshole Republican Governor to try to eliminate that even if it is federally funded.

Why have things gotten so stingy? It is a very simple explanation. Ideologues of the trickle down theory state that by cutting taxes for the rich/businesses the benefits will trickle down to everyone else. This has never happened. Blame Reagan for even getting that into the vernacular let alone what it has done to all of us.

In essence the you have two entities who benefit most from lower taxes. And one of them is one that I constantly rally against. Because corporate interests essentially own legislatures, they’ll get all the tax cuts they want. In Rhode Island the tax breaks for projects are getting ridiculous. We’re essentially paying for private buildings with public funds.

It has to stop. People talk about the slippery slope, well we’re a good ways down that slope right now. What ever happened to caring enough about the people you represent not to fuck them into oblivion. Because that is precisely what is happening in Rhode Island right now. And I note with some chagrin that the state of Michigan essentially shut down state government because of a budget impasse. Rhode Island is headed in that direction too.

So lets stop being stingy and demand that we repeal tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of the population. Lets put their backs to the wall and make government afraid of us once again.

If you’re going to lie

It seems the Bush Administration hasn’t learned their lesson. That lesson is that if you’re going to tell a lie, remember it well because you’re going to get caught out in the end.

This video is interesting, it pulls together the point and counter-point clips from characters like Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Condoleza Rice, George W. Bush et all.

I found the harassment of Barbara Bush to be delightful. And who knew Rove was so reviled that protestors surrounded his car. Oh, oh oh, learn to lie. Better yet, tell the truth. It’s easier to remember.

Pain Relief

Looks like a new dawn in pain management. Most analgesics have the effects of being indiscriminate, in essence a shotgun approach to pain management.

The new research recognizes that there are two different pathways, one for the pain, the other for sensation and motion. In other words, imagine dentistry without the numbness yet you’d feel absolutely no pain at all. That’s some good stuff considering the current analgesic, lidocaine, cannot be used over a certain limit and is not 100% effective.

It involves our old friend capsaicin which is found in almost all varieties of pepper though some are stronger than others. It’s what gives the hot to those varieties like jalapeno, habanero, scotch bonnet, etc.

I remember reading about a thing called a lethe fields in R.A. Heinlein’s books. Now we’ve gone it one better, you won’t feel any pain at all if this gets developed.

Science is a beautiful thing.

Gravel has fire in his belly

Wow, this is just too much. At the very beginning of the clip he shreds Hillary Clinton for voting in favor of attacking Iran, though what she voted for was just a pre-text.

As much as everyone fawns over Clinton I strongly suspect business as usual. Oh don’t get me wrong, if she gets elected things will get better for the U.S., they almost always do under Democratic leadership.

But Mike Gravel shoots from the hip. In this clip he also explains how to pull us out of Iraq using Parliamentary tactics. For more info, check out Roberts Rules of Order since these are used for congressional as well as being the basis for judicial proceedings.

I dare say, I’d like a liberalized version of Reagan for a President.

But I’ll let him do the speaking because he makes some very good points.