Thursday, April 12, 2012

3514 Probable Cause

April 12, 2012

There are two kinds of people: those who can extrapolate from incomplete data,


The probable cause document filed charging George Zimmerman has been released, at

A profile of the judge who drew the case is at

3513 Oh come on!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Help someone who is in trouble, and they will remember you
when they are in trouble again.


(Hmmmm. Is that green quote a repeat?) ((Yeah, multiple posts today, and I'm supposed to be loading the van.))

Some political strategist is in hot water today for denigrating Mrs. Romney's opinions on the concerns of women, saying that Mrs. Romney "hasn't worked a day in her life".

Much uproar, mostly of the "Stay-at-home mothering and housewivery IS work, hard work! How dare she!" variety.

Very annoying. Again, people are missing the point and flying off the handle based on a few buzzwords.

Give me a break!

Yeah, the woman said "hasn't worked a day in her life" so what can she know about women's concerns. She had a point, but she said it wrong! What she MEANT was that Mrs. Romney has never HAD TO, has never been FORCED TO, work OUTSIDE THE HOME TO SUPPORT A FAMILY, in her life. A hell of a lot of women don't have that choice. So what could Mrs. Romney know of the hardships faced by those women? That's what was meant. (My own thought - Mrs. Romney doesn't have to worry about losing her job if she gets pregnant or can't find reliable childcare, for example.)

That's a far far cry from Santorum calling the president "that nig... uh person", or Limbaugh calling a woman testifying before a congressional committee a slut. There was no mistaking what they meant.

Stupid emotional people, please THINK! For once! It's really not that hard!

My desk has a forehead-shaped dent in it.

3512 A generation under house arrest.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Stuff I wondered about this morning:
Why is "deer" both singular and plural, but "series" is singular?
Does "descent" imply that people on mountaintops have an odor?
If something is more distant than far, it’s farther. Why not farrer? Where did the “th” come from?
And if you push my patience too far, then you went further. “Fur”? Where did the “u” come from?
-- Silk --


I read "". It's a movement to let kids be kids, to play, wander, and learn on their own. Somehow we've got the idea that kids are in danger everywhere, all the time. All over the US, kids aren't allowed to walk to or from school or the bus stop on their own. They can't play with friends in a park without an adult present. Let your 12-year-old walk to the local deli, and you could be charged with child endangerment and lose your kids. Something has gone very wrong.

Now, read this.

A 17-year-old can't walk down the street to a neighbor's house in full daylight without a parental escort? What?

The way things are going, I could see this becoming the rule everywhere. (And it has nothing to do with Travon. Read the article.)

3511 Don't read this

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Help someone who is in trouble, and they will remember you
when they are in trouble again.


I'm serious - don't bother.

This is a sample of comments I found on an article about how lazy thinking leads to conservative views. I want to save them. In the blog is the easiest way. Draw no conclusions about my views from my saving these comments - it has more to do with an ongoing discussion in another forum. Most of the people who wrote the comments did so anonymously, so I feel no need to attribute them, and I don't and won't claim them as my own.

I advise hitting "Back" now.

If you decide to go further, understand that most of the commenters misunderstood what the conclusion of the (poorly done) study was, as the first commenter below notes. The study said that lazy/shallow/low-level thinking leads to conservative responses. It did NOT say that conservatives are lazy thinkers.


Keep in mind, Dr. Eidelman said the correlation was between low-level thought and the expression of conservative positions. It was not that conservatives use low-level thought. To have any validity, the study would need to include a random sampling of people with differing political opinions, including liberals, independents, and conservatives. If this is true, the study reveals that when people, including liberals, are asked for prompt response, they default to conservative viewpoints. So, to the liberals in this virtual room who are reading this story with glee, your fellow liberals defaulted to conservative viewpoints when asked for a prompt response. So, another title for this article could be "Study Shows Liberals Under Stress Switch to Conservative Viewpoints."


It's also funny how conservatives are continuously bashing liberals for welfare policies, when the conservative red states are nearly all on net "welfare" from the federal gov't - that is they receive far more in federal spending than they contribute to the federal budget. So they're being carried by the blue state, godless, pot-smoking, same sex couples that they despise. Isn't that cute?


I see conservatives parroting whatever the media tells them far more often than progressives. This agrees with what the study says. Progressives have a vision for what they would like the future to be; that takes alot of thought to envision a good future.
What have the conservatives contributed to this country other than blocking any and all bills, holding up progress and polluting the environment?


Conservatives tend to think of themselves, the individual, first and foremost, which is pretty easy to do. We are, by nature, selfish and greedy creatures. Liberals tend to think of the community and its components first and foremost, which is a more complicated task. It requires the thoughtful consideration of a multitude of people, including those whose cultural, ethnic, racial, financial, and religious backgrounds do not match up with one's own. It's not at all shocking nor is it necessarily insulting to find conservative beliefs require low-effort thought.


of course wingnuts will rail against this 'study' but then again wingnuts don't believe anything that is a result of study--climate change, evolution....but if these conclusions had come, say, in the form of a message whispered to someone like pat robertson from god, well then that would make it believable...


"Conservative thinking is just common sense."
So you think that taking away fundamental rights for women is "common sense". Glad I don't have your kind of common sense. Now, can you explain all the hate that conservatives spew?


Conservative common sense positions:
1) Ban gay marriage
2) Ban abortion under all circumstances
3) Discourage use of contraception
4) Pass anti-voting fraud laws when evidence suggests voting fraud is not occurring
5) Intelligent design (no more needs to be said)
6) Bombing other countries makes them love us
7) Other countries hate us for our freedom (refer to point #6)
8) Trickle down economics
9) Public healthcare is a communist, socialist, new-world order plot to introduce death panels!
10) Conservative principles make sense


Before I even read this, I was thinking today that if Obama were to take offensive military action against Iran's nukular facilities (a hypothetical), I promise you that the GOP will cry "He's doing it because of the election". Meanwhile, they've been bashing him for being weak on Iran. It really doesn't take much thinking on the part of conservatives to oppose everything Obama does even if it's what they


This could be the function of ubiquitous right wing propaganda that saturates the landscape. People parrot what they hear all the time when they don't think about it.


I think we do need studies such as these. The fact that we research and back up our claims is what differentiates us as critical thinkers. Cons regularly seem go from the gut and cannot be bothered to think things out....or research matters to help their case.

3510 Taxes

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Don't join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects.


On Monday, The Angel sent me drafts of my federal and state tax 1040s for approval. Yesterday I spent some time in Piper's office going over some questions I had, including a 45-minute phone call to The Angel, who was not at his office in Fishkill at the time, but in Manhattan. I was amazed that even though he didn't have access to my files there, The Angel was still able to remember actual numbers from my 1040s.

There is news that is either very good or is going to get me audited, and some bad news.

The bad news is that my total income for 2010 was $20,000 less than it was for 2009 and for every year of the decade before.

The "eh" news is that I paid about $14,000 in real estate taxes in 2010 for the two houses, and it's all deductible. Bad in one way, good in another.

The good news is that for the first time since I retired and started paying quarterly estimated tax, I'll be getting a refund. Over the past year, I paid the same estimated tax as the year before, but with the lower income (all those lost dividends from the stock I sold to buy the house and car) and the higher deductions, my taxable income is TINY! I mean below the poverty line. So low my bracket is like 5-6%. My tax due is about 1/5 what it had been in prior years. So I grossly overpaid estimated tax, and I'm getting a huge refund from both the federal and state.

If the IRS compares the previous years to 2011, That might be a red flag. I've checked all the numbers and the math, and it's all correct, but a drop like that is logically unbelievable, not to mention emotionally upsetting.

Another bit of good news is that NJ doesn't tax social security income, so I end up paying LESS income tax for the year than for a normal weekly grocery store trip. Another relatively large refund.

Then The Angel did something I don't understand. 2012's income and deductions are likely to be pretty much the same as 2011's (I can guarantee that the old house won't be sold this year), so my total tax for this year is likely to be the same. He applied part of my refund toward 2012's tax, a prepayment, so I won't have to pay quarterly estimated tax this year, which is nice, because that's always a budgeting nightmare and a scramble (although I'd rather invest that money instead of letting the government sit on it and lose the interest, but it's not a huge amount, so eh.)

These aren't the real numbers, but let's say I paid $6K over the year in estimated taxes, and my tax due for 2011 was a hair over $1K, giving me a refund of almost $5K (whoop!). The tax due for 2012 is likely to also be about $1K.

So why on earth did he put almost $4K toward my 2012 federal tax, leaving me a cash refund of 1K? And a similar proportion to the state? He's sending them each enough for two year's worth of taxes. Duh?

Uh uh. Squash that right now. Don't give them more up front than the absolute least.

When the money arrives, I get to pay the credit cards down, and pay the Hairless Hunk for his winter's caretaker work. Whoop whoop.

But it's not enough to afford landscaping or painting at the new house yet.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

3509 Gingrich's money management skills

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson --


Oh good grief! The random (honest - they're set up weeks ahead!) green quote sort of fits again.

Anyhow, Newt Gingrich wants us to believe he can oversee our budget.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports Gingrich's $500 check to pay the filing fee to get on the Utah primary ballot has bounced. [Link]

His campaign is about $4.5 million in debt. [Link]

His health-care think tank has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to federal court filings, shuttering the most profitable of his former enterprises and potentially putting a big piece of his net worth in jeopardy. [Link]


3508 Zimmerman Charged!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It is better to be wanted by the police than not wanted at all.


Just watched the announcement on TV. Second degree murder! Wow! I was expecting an accidental manslaughter determination. The prosecutor didn't mention secondary charges, which means if a jury won't go for 2nd degree, he'll get off. Hmmmm.

(Again, the completely random green quote at the top looks non-random.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

3507 Are they forgetting me?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

We can never predict the outcome of our actions, which is why every action must be acceptable in itself,
and not as part of a stratagem.


Just announced, Santorum dropping out, leaving field open for Romney, whose campaign "can now do what they've wanted to do all along, instead of concentrating on other candidates they can concentrate on Obama."

I frowned hearing that. I never wanted them to concentrate on each other. I don't want anyone to concentrate on the other folks running.

I want them to concentrate on ME!

Instead of making the other folks look bad, try making me feel good.

3506 HOTW - Mike Woods

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Anyone can be smart, just as anyone can be stupid. It just depends on
what you are doing at the time.


Haven't done a Honey of the Week in ages. Haven't seen anyone new who stunned me - until this morning. The local Fox station was on in the background, and I glanced up and saw a guy in bathing trunks standing next to a pool, and my jaw dropped. Yowza!

Mike Woods is the weekend meteorologist and “Good Day New York” feature reporter for the NYC Fox channel. This is one of the very few HOTWs that I have elected based on appearance alone. All the previous guys I had watched in various roles, got to superficially "know", liked the way they moved, liked their voice, blah blah. This HOTW has the posture I like, the easy smile, the open eyes, the big arms, the narrow hips and tight high round behind I like - this HOTW is totally appearance. He sure is easy to look at.
I don't want to know any more. It might spoil it.

I may have to start watching Fox.

Monday, April 09, 2012

3505 Amuse, Annoy

Monday, April 9, 2012

To know and not to do is not to know.
-- Wang Yang Ming --


Wow. Ten days since my last post. I'm really slowing down here. No reason, just lazy, I think.

Things that have amused me:

An envelope arrived in the mail today with "SECURED DOCUMENT", "OFFICIAL CORRESPONDENCE", and "PERSONAL & CONFIDENTIAL" in bold emblazoned across the front, above and below the address printed inside the gray block designed to prevent peeking through the envelope, between the tear strips designed to prevent opening and resealing the envelope. Super important looking. Addressed to [my name] or current resident.

I figure it's actually for the house, not me, so I won't open it.


Remember the "Nova" automobile, and how it generated laughs because in Spanish, it means "No Go"? Well, there's a line of haircare products named "Wen". I guess whoever named it doesn't know what a wen is.


Today I overhead someone telling another person to calm down and shut up. She said, "Turn your off button on."


I found this chart showing the relative depth of lakes and ocean trenches, and how deep various animals and submersibles can go: Click on the chart to enlarge it so you can read the labels. I am amazed that sperm whales and turtles need to breathe air, so how can they go so deep? They must come up fast!


If you ever get tired of watching tv or movies, check out Sylvester the talking cat, and his housemates Gibson the kitten and Shelby the lab. It's a series of videos made by Steve Cash. I don't know how he does it, but it works. There is a storyline, so you have to watch them in order. Http:// will get you the playlist. Just let it go and they'll play in order.

At one point, Steve asks Sylvester to teach the kitten to talk. Sylvester teaches Gibson only two words: "Help!" and "Todd". Steve wonders who Todd is, it's driving him crazy, but Sylvester won't tell him. Warning - Sylvester swears a lot, to the point where Shelby the lab starts to think "Bitch" is her (Shelby's) name.


I read this headline, "Giant, feathered dinosaur remains discovered in China", and for many moments I thought, "Well of course. When you discover something, it does tend to remain discovered."

Told ya I tend to read literally.


This video is for The Queen. My sister sent the link to me.


I took statistics courses three, maybe four, times, and I still don't understand it. Makes no sense to me. I always thought the course should have been titled "How To Make Any Set of Numbers Mean Anything You Want Them To". However, I still know the difference between correlation and causation. So statements in "news" articles like "Another reason to floss every day: New York University researchers found that people who floss infrequently are three times more likely to develop stomach cancer" make my head hurt.

And I bet people who wear baggy shorts are three times more likely to get the ball through the hoop than are people who wear argyle socks.

The latest perversion was today, when I heard that the autism rate is rising, and the number of women who are overweight when they are pregnant is rising, therefore obesity during pregnancy causes autism.

Duh? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. That is an extremely loose correlation, not evidence of causation. "Helicopter parenting" is on the rise too, so is that also a cause?

It might make more sense if they tracked the children of women of various weights, and then they'd have to look at other factors common to women in various weight groups. I hate when sloppy "scientists" make things sound so simple.


Like Girl Scout cookies? Check out this:


Explore! Go to, and search for "Ulan Bator, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia", and then click on the satellite view. Fascinating, eh? The main drag is Ghengis Khan Avenue, N-S. Note that many of the homes are walled, and have some kind of round structure in the yard. I'm wondering if they are yurts, or water tanks.


I signed up for the local township government newsletter email. Stuff like board meeting minutes, activities, news, police blotters, and so on. The top part has either a link to a topic or a short announcement, followed by boilerplate.

Received last month:
Top part - NOTICE TO ALL RESIDENTS - [xxxx] Township Water Department will discontinue service for unpaid utility bills as of March 5th, 2012.

Boilerplate - We hope you enjoy this Township e-Bulletin for residents.

I laughed.


I'm literal, remember? You really don't want to know the mental image I get when someone (using the wrong word!) describes something as "heart rendering".