Month: May 2012

RIP Queen of Disco: Donna Summer dead at 63

I was rather shocked to learn that the Queen of Disco, the Diva herself, Donna Summer succumbed to lung cancer today.

I was too young to hit the clubs when she had her heyday but I had a radio, I had money and was buying her LP’s at a Tower Records and Strawberries. A distant memory – splashing around in the pool, I was 14 years old and this song blasting away and the year was 1979:

Now one of notable things about Summer was that most of her music was done by the King of Disco himself, Giorgio Moroder, here he is with Chase:

Notice the similarities, it’s most evident in this Donna Summer song from 1977:

From 1975 here’s Love to Love You Baby, to me this is classic U.S. disco, and I was 11 years old when this one hit the airwaves.

I’ll end the video retro look with her 1978 hit, Last Dance:

And it’s been a sad month or so, first Whitney Houston, now Donna Summer. We’re losing all our greats! Believe me, Donna Summers music, it resonated with this gay teen back in the late 1970’s.

38 Studios: A study of government incompetence

So in recent news it’s been talked about ad nauseum about Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios. Schilling was a Boston Red Sox player but here I will explain why the state government in RI is incompetent when it comes to economic stimulus measures.

38 Studios was given $75 Million dollars in state guaranteed money. Now I have a fair amount of experience with finance and accounting and the systems needed to accomplish accepted practices. Here I will lay out why $75 Million was a money grab and that the state should have known better than to give it to a sports figure.

1) Schilling wouldn’t know what it takes to develop a game if it bit him in the ass.

2) Schilling’s core competency is as a ball player, not as a business leader.

3) Game development houses can crank out a new game in 90 to 180 days.

Therefore it appears that the state made a major screw up backing Schilling’s 38 Studios.

Let’s do a little pro forma here.

Some assumptions first:

A development team of 20 individuals comprised of software, graphic and story development members.

Average yearly salary of $100,000 when benefits are included per employee.

Each employee will require a one time equipment and I.T. gear expenditure of $5000.

Month to month I.T. infrastructure including broadband connectivity will be set at $500 per month.

2000 square feet of space, at $20 per square foot for a total of $40,000 a month rental expense for Class A office space. This is low end but there’s a glut of commercial office space in Providence that I believe it is a fair estimate. And in most cases, utilities are included in the cost per square foot.

So doing the math we get:

20 employees at $100,000 = $2,000,000 per year.
12 months rental at $40,000 per month = $480,000
20 employees at $5,000 flat for gear = $100,000
12 months of Broadband net connectivity at $500 per month = $6,000

Lets be generous and include breakfast and lunch for each employee at a cost of $20 per day. $208,000!

And lets say legal, patent and copyright is $1,000,000 a year.

The total comes out to $3,794,000 per year.

So tell me how the hell did the state back loans for this guy of $75,000,000? In essence, with what I’ve laid out above they could operate 20 employees for 20 years at that rate.

So the question remains – where did the remaining $71,206,000 go?

I’d like to ask the Governor, the Director of Economic Development and all those involved why they thought that backing a $75 million loan for a baseball player was a good idea.

Here is what I think happened to the money. Schilling transferred it out of the company to his own benefit. And since the money is gone, and the state is the guarantor guess who’s on the hook for the $75 million? Yes, we the taxpayers.

Governor Chafee Signs Executive Order Recognizing gay marriage performed outside Rhode Island

I applaud the Governor for taking such a bold move. Of course I knew he was in our camp when he was running for Governor a couple of years ago.

That said, I’m majorly irked by this. Why? Because I did a pro forma analysis of tax revenue using estimates of the number of same sex couples in RI.

The state, by recognizing same sex marriages performed out of state will stand to lose $2.1 Million dollars a year in tax revenues.

That is a significant chunk of change. So to Speaker Fox, and Senate President Paiva-Weed I say the following:


A Special Kind of Anti-Gay Craziness

Go and watch this one:

From what I’m to gather the woman’s name is Jane Skrovota. A Googling confirms.

Lets just pull out a few.

Gay people don’t live past 40. Now this is one where I feel qualified to debunk. I’m of an advanced age 7 years longer than that and still kicking.

The rimming quote is priceless. If you don’t get antibiotics within 30 minutes you get sepsis and die? Oh honey, if you haven’t had the joy you of doing it you just can’t speak with any authority on it.

There were so many egregious things uttered by this woman that I just couldn’t stop laughing. And the guy sitting behind here, you can tell he find her just as odious.

People of Lincoln, Nebraska – don’t worry. The bigots are trying but we have one thing on our side, time. They’re going to die off sooner than later.

At last, President Obama evolved on same sex marriage

President Obama is to appear on Good Morning America and in the program said he is in support of gay marriage or same sex marriage. The clip is already running all over the web.

This is quite remarkable, the very first time in modern history that a U.S. President has embraced equality, and in an election season!

I think President Obama struggled with the political liabilities of support. But everything he has done as President lead me to believe he’d already concluded that equality was a no-brainer, he falsely believed that it was a political liability.

But no longer. We’re seeing the games being played by the proponents of gay marriage bans. Most recently in North Carolina, where proponents of question one held the vote in a primary, the wording of the question was odd, and voting irregularities have surfaced in North Carolina.

In other words, dirty tricks. I think that and Vice President Biden’s speaking ex cathedra that pushed the President to finally voice what he has believed all along.

Funny how SciFi reminds you of Republicans

Netflix now has all the seasons of every Star Trek series available on Watch Instantly.

So I’ve been watching Enterprise. I’m up to Season 1, Episode 13 titled ‘Sleeping Dogs’.

At the point where they have the female Klingon captive at around 22:25, it hit me. The Klingons behave just like Republicans, or more accurately the Tea Baggers.

Belligerent, in denial, and just generally all around nasty. Matches both the Klingon race and the Tea Baggers.

Bigots got their way in North Carolina

That they snuck this in on a primary election smelled fishy to me. And it seems the bigots have been victorious in enshrining discrimination into the North Carolina constitution.

A pox upon all the bigots. I hope that North Carolina suffers an economic meltdown because of this. I hope it disproportionately affects those who spearheaded the Yes on 1 campaign.

And I’m getting a few dozen eggs nice and rotten. I’ll be in NC in a couple weeks and I might take a little driving excursion and egg the homes of the biggest supporters of the amendment. It’ll be well worth it just for catharsis.

Bryan Fischer of AFA goes off the rails

So Buzzfeed has an article about one Brian Fischer, AFA’s chief homophobe who John Stewart on the Daily Show said and I paraphrase: “The reason it looks blurry is because his opinions are from 50 years ago.”

You may have run across his videos on YouTube. I’m generally able to watch maybe a minute or two into his tirades before I click away. Yes, he’s odious, and to put it succinctly an asshole.

But there are a couple of paragraphs in the article that I want to bring some attention to since Fischer tacitly admits racism exists in the U.S. in his bilious spewing:

Fischer talks about Barack Obama as a menace to American national security, whose policies Fischer claims to have been baffled by until a video of Obama supporting a left-wing, African American Harvard Law Professor, Derrick Bell, re-emerged this spring.

“Is he just inept? Is he just incompetent? Or is this all purposeful?” Fischer asked. These were rhetorical questions.

“The conclusion I’ve come to is that he’s doing this purposefully because he believes that the U.S. needs to be punished for being a racist nation,” Fischer explained. “He is out to punish the United States for being racist.”

In that short center paragraph, he tries to call the President inept, nd incompetent. He brings those ideas up to support the general meme out there that President Obama is an illegitimate President. That is not the case.

Fischer then concludes by saying that the President is out to punish us because we’re racist!

That is unbelievable. I wonder what Fischer’s stance is on race relations?

Hey, I can see my house from here

Ok, this joke goes back to the crucifixion of the Christ. In all comedy routines whenever they’re up in a high place, someone inevitably says “Hey, I can see my house from here!” Even in real life, we ham radio types tend to get up into high places, a little thing called AHAT or Average Height Above Terrain.

Netflix now has all the Star Trek series on Watch Instantly and I was watching Enterprise Season 1, Episode 4 – Unexpected. It’s the one where the Klingons visit the holographic Kronos and the Klink says, wait for it, at 41 minutes 35 seconds, he utters “I can see my house from here.”

So the writers obviously were in on the joke. How cool is that.

Conservatives really are batshit crazy, aren’t they?

So my aunt posted this on her Facebook page. It’s an article on called Top 10 products Obama will force us to buy. And here I’ll take it apart piece by piece.

Go and read and I’ll break it down by number:

1) Broccoli – first of all let me say I love this vegetable. I mean really love it. The quote comes from Justice Antonin Scalia, a man who I’d say doesn’t have too many years of life left due to his excesses. And he’s also known as a world class crank. So I think the debunking of this point isn’t really necessary given the source it comes from.

2) The Chevy Volt – notice no quotes, no nothing. It’s pure opinion that the author is pulling out of their ass. The Volt is quite the technological achievement but the only issue I have with the car is it’s price tag. Like it or not, oil isn’t getting cheaper, though much of the cost of oil is based on speculators trading it up, it’s getting more and more difficult to extract oil. So electric vehicles are the future.

3) $5 a gallon gas. This one is interesting because two things have become obvious regarding the price of a gallon of gasoline. First is that we know that it’s artificially inflated in price due to speculative trading and gaming of the refining capability. The other is that the President has NO control over the price of gasoline. In fact President Obama did propose putting a .03% tax on speculative trades. The only fault I find with that is it should be 5%.

4) Contraceptives – now this one I’m going to go on a rant about because as I’ve written in the past I believe contraceptives should be available to all at a minimum of price. A lot of the opposition to contraceptives comes from the churches, their view of sex is that it is STRICTLY, and I mean STRICTLY for procreation. Sex for pleasure is anathema to most of the Abrahamic religions. But the reality is, sex is immensely pleasurable. If it wasn’t there wouldn’t be a human race. And honestly, I want government to subsidize safer sex. It’s a lot cheaper to do that than to pay for the results of unprotected sex which include a host of diseases, and the ultimate parasite: a baby! So you can hand out birth control pills for $10 a month, or a pack of say two dozen condoms for the same price. Or you can treat the diseases at hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifespan, or pay for the kid which probably costs about a cool million now over the span of adolescence and then some.

5) Inconvenient Truth Movies – now this is just ridiculous. Again the author pulls this one straight out of his nether regions. Look, it has been AMPLY demonstrated that human activities have changed our environment. Three macro events in my own neighborhood attest to that. The first is the mass flooding of a couple years back. Flooding I had NEVER seen. Another is the lack of winter last year. Temperatures were almost 10F higher than normal and we got little snow if any. And the third, Spring sprung very early this year. I mean most trees were full up an flowering in early March! So couple the above with the opinions of many scientists an global warming is a real phenomenon. Of course for some people to believe it, it will require that their home on the hill become waterfront property, then they MIGHT pay attention.

6) MSNBC – noticing a disturbing thread here, the author who remains anonymous or hides behind a pseudonym is terrified of a liberal viewpoint. Why? Because it tells the truth and debunks conservative argument. And of course we’re starting to see the beginning attacks on Fox, there’s a move to revoke their 27 largest tv station licenses in the U.S. I hope the hell they do! But then look back over time, what did conservatives do to PBS? They de-funded it. Their reasoning was because, and to PBS credit, they examine issues from all angles. And conservatives would come out looking rather badly when that happened. So they yanked the funding.

7) Solar Panels – Ok the author of this piece is really grasping for straws here. I would LOVE to have solar electric panels on my roof. I’ve got a nice southern exposure that would be perfect, even here in the stormy northeast! But these conservative idiots don’t want green energy. They want the status quo, no change. Let the oil companies continue to rape the consumer. Fuck them is what I say, go wind and solar all the way!

8) Union Label Goods – Where the hell do I start with this one. I want a living wage for everyone an the unions are the best guarantee for that. And I want the right to collective bargaining protected and preserved. The anti-union bullshit annoys the fuck out of me. Again the author has pulled a juicy nugget right out of his rectum!

9) Algae – ok if we can figure out an elegant way to extract energy from it who the hell cares. And it won’t be the srapings from our fish tanks, but huge farms of algae. We’re almost at number ten here and I note the pattern – anything that disrupts the oil infrastructure seems to be on the authors hit list.

10) Hoodies – They’re bitching that the Obama campaign is selling hoodies. Cool, I want one. They saved their most ridiculous blathering for last. Look, the murder of Trayvon Martin needs to see justice. And if wearing a hoodie to support both Trayvon Martin and the President then I for one will get one.

In essence, it’s the typical neo-con tactic. Only one or two items have direct reference. The rest are all fabrications, mis-truths, and outright lies.

Always look at these things with a critical eye. It’ll serve you well all your life.