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The Geico Gecko
Comin' for your ketchup.
  • With the March 1 sequestration date bearing down upon us (again), the calculus about the adverse impacts has begun anew. On Thursday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan testified before Congress about the cuts that would occur in education funding, confirming what we already knew: the states cannot make up for this lost money if sequestration takes effect. This will result in, amongst other things, catastrophic impacts on funding for special needs students, early childhood education and vocational rehabilitation programs. Massachusetts, following suit, released its own state figures highlighting things such as the fact that 200,000 LIHEAP recipients in Massachusetts are going to get a cold, rude, awakening when the subsidies keeping them from freezing in their homes (yes, it' s still COLD in Massachusetts) lose funding. But with Congress in recess until February 26, there are just 3 Congress-biz days to solve the problem (again.) The Republicans own the lion's share of the blame for this nightmare, no question. But Democrats in Congress and the Administration must own some of it too. After all, they also agreed to the mechanism through which the nation is being held hostage (again) right up to the fiscal cliff by the Republicans, the Budget Control Act, all while knowing it could cause so much human harm, when it simply didn't have to and could have called the Republican's bluff. The Administration now saying it doesn't support sequestration after having signed it into law in the first place is just a little bit too little, too late. Seriously, who really thinks that the debt markets the government insisted upon reassuring by signing the Budget Control Act of 2011 are feeling all that reassured now?
  • For those who are admirers of the Swiss when it comes to finance, here's another reason to cheer them. On March 3, the Swiss will be holding a national referendum to (hold on to your hats!) limit executive pay. The proposal, which landed on the ballot after 100,000 folks signed the "Fat Cat" petition circulated by the owner of a Swiss toothpaste company, would criminalize signing bonuses and golden parachutes and subject executive comp to mandatory shareholder voting. Apparently, the proposed law even has teeth, i.e. prison sentences for executives who violate it. It goes without saying that CEOs operating in Switzerland, which has some of the highest levels of executive compensation in the world (a practice which many Swiss blame, you guessed it, on Americans) think this is a very bad idea. Latest polling indicates, however, that around 65% of potential Swiss voters think differently.
  • This week, Senator Elizabeth Warren proved that she was everything Republicans feared she' d be when they blocked her appointment as head of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. Wielding over and over the perfectly reasonable, simple question "When was the last time you went to trial?" in a case involving financial malfeasance by the banking industry like a scalpel, Sen. Warren laid to rest without ever having to demagogue the lie that the government has really been trying to hold someone in the financial world liable for having nearly destroyed the world economy with their greed. And all in her first Senate Banking Committee meeting, too. It was a thing of beauty.

  • Poor Walmart. The global leader in selling cheap crap as cheaply as possible no matter what it does to worker wages and conditions took a bit of a beating in the markets on Friday after Bloomberg leaked internal e-mails confirming that despite its bargain-basement tactics, Walmart's sales are a "total disaster" so far in February, following a pretty bad January. The internal e-mails written by one of Walmart's SVP's asked "Where are the customers? And where is their money?" and bemoaned the situation as "the worst start to a month in the 7 years I've been with the company." Damage control quickly insisted that these assessments were mistaken. Time will tell, but suffice it to say, Walmart's stock took a spanking (2.2% loss) following the news.
  • Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway already had a piece of your tater tots, ice cream and insurance. Now, it owns a piece of your ketchup, with the company's $28 billion joint acquisition (along with Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital Manager) of H. J. Heinz Company.  using $14 billion in financing from JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo. Since it wouldn't be a newsworthy financial deal without someone trying to get greedy, the SEC has filed suit over "suspicious trades" that occurred right before the acquisition was announced. And, given that the acquisition has left Heinz beyond "in debt", investor services are already downgrading Heinz stock, one service taking it all the way down to "junk" status, despite the company's stock having been very strong prior to the announcement. But who cares, right? (I can't wait for the gecko ketchup commercials to start in earnest, myself.)
  • In its continuing effort to increase Apple's market share, Microsoft has come up with a new twist in Office 2013: a "permanent license" that will be valid on only the first computer upon which the software suite is installed. This may seem innocuous until you consider the routine nature of computer upgrades or catastrophic crashes that require a full reformat of the hard drive (like those which Microsoft products are known to cause from time to time). If either of these semi-regular occurrences happen? The user is SOL. Microsoft demurred when an attempt to actually clarify they were going to release a software product in which the original owner could never use the software again once installed on a different computer, was made by tech news folks. Microsoft says that if folks want portability, they need to use a different Microsoft product, Office 365, which is a subscription based product (instead of the outright purchase of Office 2013.) Only the genius that is Microsoft could voluntarily trash the market for a brand new product so that it could force people to rent from its cloud in perpetuity. And, as predicted, consumers are Not Happy. However, this latest market move combined with its forcing customers off its Messenger service and into Skype whether they like it or not merely confirms that Microsoft could care less.
  • But no worries – once Microsoft forces you into the monthly subscription boondoggle, if you don't pay they can just hire some of the same collection agencies that are setting new lows in terms of violating federal and state debt collection laws. One of the worst, purportedly acting on behalf of funeral directors, threatened to dig up the bodies of dead children if the bereaved didn't take care of their outstanding bills. (H/T to Jpmassar for diarying the latest and greatest practices in legal extortion as chronicled in CNN Money.)
  • It seems that ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) was channeling its inner meter men/maid, if you believe USA Today's report that ICE was deporting folks at record levels not because ICE was torqued out about illegal immigration, but to fill its immigrant deportation quota. Following the completely-predictable hue and cry from immigration activists and the Latino community, ICE insists that it didn't really implement all of the possible steps to identify potential deportees that were actually authorized, such as mining state drivers' license records to look for "foreign sounding names". But it does not deny the quota thing being part of dictated enforcement policy; perhaps that's because the 210,000 quota was exceeded by 15,000 souls. This story is just another reminder of the unbelievable wisdom of Meteor Blades: Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.
  • Dear Kim Kardashian: If you marry a man and domicile in a state that has a well-known mandatory 6-month post-petition waiting period before a divorce judgment can issue, it is not an emergency if you get knocked up by someone else while you're creepin' and want to have your single status restored before that baby is born. It's called bad planning. Or stupidity. Or being a 'ho. Something along those lines. Even if your babydaddy is Kanye West. This is what happens when, if your husband's version of facts is true, you marry someone only to make millions in bank on the wedding television rights and then diss them just 72 days later by filing for divorce.  You should have done the math before you got back into the free and single life. You can wait for the trial to see if you get a divorce (what you want) or the marriage is annulled (what your husband wants, claiming fraud) just like everybody else in California trying to get out of a bad marriage (even though, unlike you, most are not trying to beat the clock on the arrival of a bundle o'joy they conceived with someone not their husband.)

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Comment Preferences

  •  LIVE Sen. WHITEHOUSE in DC (14+ / 0-)

    says all we need on climate change is to CHANGE.

    "Yes We Did" is chanted.

    Be obstinate when one ought to be obstinate.
    Be unshakable.

    There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.--@Hugh * Addington's Perpwalk: TRAILHEAD of Accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.

    by greenbird on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 12:04:29 PM PST

    •  Installed it on a computer I bought last month (7+ / 0-)

      ...as I didn't have access to a Microsoft Home Use license.

      Finding both the Calc and word processor apps in Open Office a pretty seamless change, despite continuing to use MS Office at work.

      •  Interesting side light to this... (5+ / 0-)

        The game company Valve has been so upset at Microsoft's tactics over the years, they've established a Linux working group inside the company.  Their signature product, Steam, runs on Linux now, along with many of their games.  Steam, of course, also works on Windows and Mac systems.  In fact, most of Valve's games run on Macs.

        I am not a paid operative of Valve, I just play their games.  The last time a major entertainment company offered to buy Valve, Gabe Newell, the founder, took a poll of the employees.  The consensus - I exaggerate a little:  "We'd rather burn down the building first."

        You want to stick a finger in Microsoft's eye?  The next time you're in the mood for a little video gaming, don't buy an xbox, just download Steam for free.  Buy a Valve game, my favorite is still Half Life 2, and have fun!

        Oh, and if you absolutely have to have a copy of Office, remember that the earlier versions of the product run fine.  Check out ebay.  I should know about this, since I'm still using my copy of Word 2000.  Works like a charm.

        Tell me what to write. tellmewhattowrite.com 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

        by rbird on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 12:52:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  MS's next move: limit backward compatibility (7+ / 0-)

          ...of older versions of their software with newer versions of windows.  To some extent, there have always periodically quantum changes in both Windows and Apple OSs such that versions older than a certain generation will no longer run.  However, the difference is that you can count on MS deliberately limiting the backward compatibility of new future versions of their OS for business rather than technical reasons, and limiting the maintenance of older versions of their OS, to force users to adopt (and pay for) their current models of OS and Office software suites.

          •  My Word 2000 works on Win 7... (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            a2nite, cmoreNC, KenBee, PSzymeczek, nchristine

            ...which if things continue downhill for Windows, will probably be the last version of Windows I ever own.  I've run dual-boot systems before, I've installed Linux on laptops and desktops before.  MS even looks at me cross-eyed once and I'm gone!

            Besides, I have AbiWord and OpenOffice installed as well.  I only use Word 2000 because I'm lazy.  So to Microsoft, give me the slightest excuse to switch permanently.  Go on, do it, MS, see what happens!  

            Tell me what to write. tellmewhattowrite.com 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

            by rbird on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 01:09:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Actually... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rbird, shanikka

            One of their rumored next moves is making sure the next XBox console does not play used games...

        •  I'm going back to MAC; I'm tired of MSFT (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rbird, cactusgal, True North, KateCrashes

          Actually, I hate MSFT.

    •  OpenOffice free (cost), similar applications (9+ / 0-)

      Just in case some folks don't bother to follow the link:
      OpenOffice is free (costs nothing), and has similar applications for creating documents (spreadsheets, formatted text files, presentations, etc.). Also, you can save your OpenOffice-created documents in a Microsoft format, for instance a ".doc" file that is readable/editable afterwards in MS Word.

    •  Open Office writer at least as good as Word (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rbird, Bronx59

      The spreadsheet, no. In particular, its chart package is comparatively feature-poor and the results (even) worse aesthetically.

    •  Dongles didn't work, and neither will this. (6+ / 0-)

      IMHO Microsoft is about to discover that consumers don't need their Office suite of software as much as MS thinks they do.  What MS is attempting to do is equivalent to software tied to a hardware "dongle" you needed to plug into a port in order to make it work.  A much more substantial portion of people will look for alternatives, either open source or alternative commercial applkcations.

      If I purchase software, it's reasonable for the vendor to limit the number of simultaneous licenses (machines) it will run on via registration requirements.  However, it's not reasonable to try to limit use to a specific machine only, due to the relatively short reliable lifetime of computer hardware, especially hard drives.

      Microsoft can take a flying leap up Steve Ballmer's butthole.

      •  Yep. Anyone ever heard of MicroStation? (7+ / 0-)

        Of course not.  But you've heard of its competitor, AutoCAD, even if it was just wondering what the hell AutoCAD is when you were scanning the help wanted ads.  

        Microstation used to use a hardware dongle to prevent anyone using its software without paying their very exorbitant licensing costs.  AutoDesk did not have such copy protections on its competing product, AutoCAD.  

        So, in the 80s when CAD was still new and engineering students (and engineers in general) were learning how to use it, most of them for the first time.  MicroStation was expensive and impossible to get illegal copies of thanks to its hardware key.  AutoCAD on the other hand was expensive, but could be copied and given out to others at your school or firm.  Yes, it was illegal, but people did it.  

        What was the end result?  By being easier to trade illegally, EVERYONE learned to use AutoCAD.  Later, when their company decided to switch from drawing boards to CAD software, what do you think people suggested they buy?  What they already knew how to use -- AutoCAD.

        By being easy to copy illegally, AutoCAD got into the hands of thousands of people who learned how to use it and would eventually become loyal customers who purchased dozens, hundreds or even thousands of licenses, and paid for lucrative service contracts and upgrades.  MicroStation still exists and is still used, but has a infinitesimally small user base.  My dad's old firm had thousands of engineers and draftspeople.  They all used AutoCAD exclusively.   In his office, they had one MicroStation machine, and it's only purpose was to open drawings from other firms that used MicroStation.  It was used maybe once a month, tops.

        I would not surprise me that Microsoft believes that Office is so ubiquitous now, that so many people are convinced they can't possibly live without it, that they feel confident they can get away with something that caused MicroStation to be nothing but a tiny player in a huge market.  

         

      •  That might be painful for Steve due to volume (0+ / 0-)

        not to mention denial of service....

        Without geometry, life is pointless. And blues harmonica players suck.

        by blindcynic on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 01:38:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  My experience (0+ / 0-)

      I just bought a Surface Pro and decided to get the university version for four years.

      It would not load so I have the version that will last forever.

      I don't think this will happen again.

      My experience at the Microsoft Store was very, very good.

      [Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security] do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

      by MoDem on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 12:51:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm using it right now (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      foldingBicycle

      I love it.

      That is all.

      Steal a trillion, too big to fail. Steal a thousand, go to jail.

      by Omir the Storyteller on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 01:17:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  yes, works pretty well (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PSzymeczek, KateCrashes

      And I've been in MS Office so long I can't remember, maybe since Othe Hoover Adminsitration. But most of us don't need law-office formatting, we just want to do basic stuff. And open Office works. Wordpad is often enough. Open Source!!! or 99 cent apps. It can work....

      And I'm a developer that makes his money in very narrow niche markets. But many market are not niche, and Office certainly qualifies. I'd go for a $7.99 Itunes price, $1.00 going to Microsoft for inventing the format....., $2.00 to Apple for the service, $5.00 to the developer, who actually did the work and maintains the support, which is what we really need.....

      Without geometry, life is pointless. And blues harmonica players suck.

      by blindcynic on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 01:34:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Recurrent expenses nightmare Office 365 (6+ / 0-)

    Microsoft is trying to drive people into them. Adobe is trying to do the same.

    They're great for the recipient, nice steady cash flow but I consider them to be poison, your income is spent before you get it. Better to spend planned all at once than commit to a never ending string of payments.

    •  I personally like the Adobe Creative Cloud... (3+ / 0-)

      I get the education discount of $29.99 per month, so that probably has a lot to do with it.   But for $360 per year, I get access to everything Adobe makes.  I use Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign a lot, but I'm now starting to branch out into video, audio and website production as I'm being dragged kicking and screaming into the world of convergence or "backpack" journalism (I'm definitely an old school print guy and have no appreciation for people who can't read an article without pictures, video, slideshows or interactive infographics).   So now, for the same price, not only do I have the three packages I use most of all, but as I learn new technologies to do more multimedia stuff, I can just install the software for that as I need it with no additional cost.  

      $360 per year isn't cheap, and it would be twice that if I didn't have association with a university, but the other way to look at it is that I never have to go through the expense of upgrading.  Right now, I have software on my computer that would have cost $1500 if I bought them individually, and I won't have to cough up another $500 to upgrade one when a new version comes out in 9 months.  Upgrades are included in my subscription.

      So, I think for very expensive software, these subscription type services actually can be a better deal if you use it everyday as part of your job.  But I will agree that for something as pedestrian as a word processor/spreadsheet, it may not be such a good idea.        

      •  Same here - I love the Adobe subscription model. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RerumCognoscereCausas

        I moved my stuff over as soon as it became available, and was quite pleased that the CS6 upgrade allowed me to keep the previous 5.5 Production Premium suite installed (because some things still work better on the earlier versions).

        Sadly, they completely dropped the ball on the help system "upgrade".  Hard to believe a company otherwise so smart could pull a boneheaded stunt like that.

         

        Remember: the same Defense Department that was apparently caught completely off-guard by sequestration is the same Defense Department that's responsible for America's defense.

        by here4tehbeer on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 03:59:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  For me it's been a Godsend... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          here4tehbeer

          ...as I learn new skills.  I don't have to pay hundreds of dollars for new software.  I just click and download and it's right there, no extra cost above my subscription fee.  Then I can go through my tutorial videos and give it a try.  

          If it doesn't work out and I decide to not use it, I can delete it without any reservations over the fact I paid $XYZ for it, cause I didn't.  

  •  Looks to me like folks are going to the "Dollar" (11+ / 0-)

    stores for the stuff instead of wall-mart

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    Wal-Mart may have become the premier place to shop for Americans struggling through a severe recession, but the giant chain has competition nipping at its heels.

    The nation’s dollar stores, those once-dowdy chains that lured shoppers by selling some or all of their merchandise for $1, are suddenly hot. They are busily opening new stores, outfitting existing stores with refrigerators and freezers, and sprucing up their aisles with better lighting, fresh paint and new signs.

    And while most big retail chains are closing stores and radically cutting back on new outlets, the dollar chains are planning to open hundreds of stores this year in some of the best locations to which they have ever had access.

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 12:11:31 PM PST

    •  I buy OTC medications at dollar stores. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, JML9999

      Otherwise I am stuck with a bottle of 100 that will go bad before I use more than a dozen of them.  Its not just cheaper but more cost effective.  

      Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism the roles are reversed.

      by DavidMS on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 02:34:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The law is just different for reality celebrities: (10+ / 0-)
    "I firmly believe that an immediate dissolution of our marriage will help create a new, full life for me," Kardashian said in her court documents, according to People magazine.
    I'm rooting for Chris Humphries on this one. Get the marriage annulled for fraud, make sure that Kim gives birth to another man's baby while married to you, and embarrass her every day of the trial. Maybe people will stop caring about the Kardashian freak show.
  •  Rec Listed! (albeit briefly) (4+ / 0-)

    Thanks, folks!

    The second installment of From Eagle to Dodo apparently ricocheted on & off the rec list while I was out - it's sporting a shiny Recommended tag!

    If you've not had a chance to read it, please check it out here:

       From Eagle to Dodo: Global Climate Change

    Namaste.

  •  Hm. (8+ / 0-)

    I use salsa vs. ketchup.

    I enjoy Belgian chocolate rather than Swiss.

    I use OpenOffice/NeoOffice rather than MS.

    I do use Skype and have told people not to contact me via hotmail.

    I don't have the right jeans and boots to worry about ICE. Even if I wore European stuff, my non-Latino looks would make them say, "oh, he's just a cheap labor white person, never mind."

    Kardashian - whuh?

    ;o)

    Ugh. --UB.

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of East Somalia!"

    by unclebucky on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 12:12:43 PM PST

  •  He can have it. In fact, oddly enough, just (4+ / 0-)

    yesterday I phoned my Dad to ask him if he wanted my ketchup, because I've stopped using it, and still had a mostly full bottle, and didn't want it just being wasted.  I've switched almost entirely to seasoning with dried pepper, garlic, oregano and the like, things I can grow at home.  I like the flavours more anyway, and I don't have all the extra sugars.

    •  I love ketchup on many things (7+ / 0-)

      especially hot dogs. Heinz has a Simply Heinz brand that uses actual cane sugar rather than HFCS, and it's not like you're eating it a quart at a time.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 01:06:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That might be what I have (0+ / 0-)

        I think it's the organic 5 ingredient recipe or somesuch.  But I've actually been using a German (Hela Schaschlik(Pikant) Gewurz) Ketchup more often than not anyway when I've used ketchup lately, which hasn't been often.  I've been finding it cheaper lately to get higher quality protein in bulk chicken breast packs than processed things like hotdogs, and it's simpler just to sprinkle the chopped up medallions with a mix of dried spices.  And the few times I've had hamburgers, I've gone with home made relish or pepper jam instead.  I'd like to be able to make my own ketchup as well, but I seem to suck at growing tomatoes.

  •  wage (and price) controls (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rbird, orlbucfan, cactusgal
    Apparently, the proposed law even has teeth, i.e. prison sentences for executives who violate it. It goes without saying that CEOs operating in Switzerland, which has some of the highest levels of executive compensation in the world (a practice which many Swiss blame, you guessed it, on Americans) think this is a very bad idea. Latest polling indicates, however, that around 65% of potential Swiss voters think differently.
  •  misogynist much? (16+ / 0-)

    Weird with the slut-shaming 'ho' thing. I didn't expect to see the judgments about a woman who has sex, regardless of relationships, on this website. I suggest the author educate themselves about women's issues more.

    •  Thank you (11+ / 0-)

      My first thought when I read it and scrolled down to see if it hit anyone else that way. I was going to post about it anyway, but I'm glad to see others reacted like I did.

      "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

      by high uintas on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 12:55:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Doesn't matter--Kardashian is worse than (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, lunachickie

        a 'ho. She's a gold-diggin' slut. Females like her ilk embarrass the rest of us.

        Some people make u want to change species! --ulookarmless, quoted w/his permission: RIP good man.

        by orlbucfan on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 01:07:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  She is what she is. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          txvoodoo, PSzymeczek, shanikka

          I don't know if you can call her a gold digger as she had more money in her potential warchest then Chris did.

          Besides, what's to say he wasn't into cuckoldry?

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 01:39:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  He's Counterclaimed for Annulment (0+ / 0-)

            On the grounds of fraud in the inducement, so that's a good indication of Chris' disapproval of his wife's behavior IMO (in other words, he didn't sign up for polyamory and does not appear to have acquiesced to being cuckolded.)

            But next thing you know, folks will be saying that we have no right to believe he's right to be disapproving about his wife's behavior in this situation because that, too, would be "judging her because of her sexuality".

            /sigh

        •  I have only heard her name (9+ / 0-)

          seen a pic or two. I know nothing of her, nor do I care. But, calling women 'hos or sluts is a step too far for me.

          She may be a truly awful person, but why use her sex life to define her? I had hoped we had grown beyond shaming a woman with her sexuality by now.

          "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

          by high uintas on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 02:25:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  her "sex life" defines her (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shanikka

            because she uses her sex life to define herself.  What is there about her "public persona" that is of any interest to anyone apart from the obvious fact that she can't keep her pants on?

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 05:01:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry (4+ / 0-)

        Call it cultural/racial difference, but on this person, I stand by my choice of label.

        A label which, by the way, I have applied equally to men who behave in similar fashion.

        •  The problem is (13+ / 0-)

          It isn't applied fairly toward men.  In fact, this status almost never applies to men.

          So, while we want to say that it's fitting because of the actions and we judge all equally, society doesn't.

          Society places a much higher bounty on women for their sex lives then we do men.  Maybe we don't, but society as a whole does.

          So, when on the front page of Kos we spend time dressing down a woman by using terms like "ho", it tends to demean what I feel this site stands for.

          Nothing Kim Kardashian has done at any point was illegal.   While I don't care for her as a person, I can't point to anything that she has done that I consider societally harmful.

          I understand how you feel.  It's fine.  We may never agree.  I just really disagree with this kind of use of terms in regards to women.

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 02:46:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  As I Said (6+ / 0-)

            Different communities/different cultures. In mine, it IS applied to men. Not "rarely." All the time.  

            So we can agree to disagree.  

            BTW this has nothing to do with the "front page of Kos" or an editorial policy against taking shots at folks whose behavior is out of control, even sexual control. Nor did I dress Ms. Kardashian down as it relates to sex. I took a well-deserved (IMO) shot at her because of the fact that she tried to play the courts claiming an emergency when in fact her only emergency was that she got knocked up while creepin on her husband and doesn't want to be married to her husband when that baby comes.  It's all good if you don't think people like that should be "dressed down."  We can agree to disagree about that too, but certainly dressing downs about people's sexual proclivities happens ALL the time on Daily Kos. As you certainly know - unless you happened not to be here for everything from the Anthony Weiner shlong twitter scandal to any discussion about Larry Craig not to mention the eternal discussions about Newt Gingrich's and Rush Limbaugh's skankiness as it relates to their previous wives.

            •  We can agree to disagree (5+ / 0-)

              Like I said, it's just the way I view this forum.  I disagree that you did, in fact, address her in terms of sex (thus the term 'ho') which has never been used in reference to any male in my memory of nearly 9 years here.. not Rush, not Newt, not anyone..  we addressed them as hypocrites and scumbags, but we always pointed to their hypocrisy as the sin, not their sexual being.

              It's just why I dislike seeing any woman ever responded to as 'ho'.   It demeans based on sexual identity only.

              We can agree to disagree, it's just my personal take of the word, and I thank you for being willing to address this in your comments

              Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

              by Chris Reeves on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 03:40:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  So if it is okay in my culture to use the word (3+ / 0-)

              'ho, then it should be okay for me to use the word however I like when addressing an audience that may be from a different cultural background? I didn't know that. I was raised that when we meet people from a different cultural background, we should do our best not to give insult.

              How about those cultures that use the words:

              nigger
              kike
              beaner
              Aunt Jemima
              chink
              dago
              darkie
              jap
              kraut
              wop

              Those are racial slurs that I was taught not to use, even though my father didn't always follow those rules. I saw that the use of those words hurt feelings, at best, and degraded people, at worst. I'm sure the people using the words often thought they were warranted just like you can justify the use of 'ho in the paragraph above. It took a long time for white culture in the US to realize they weren't appropriate. Some white people still haven't learned that lesson.

              Is it possible that a term like 'ho is meant to degrade Kim Kardashian? To make her appear less than womanly, perhaps? Or only as a good as a slut? Your culture may use the term for both men and women alike, it doesn't make it any less sexist. American culture overall has a long way to come before we stop using sexist slurs like that one and these:

              hoochie
              whore
              bitch
              cunt
              broad
              slut
              floozie
              pussie

              I hope you change your mind about the use of the word altogether. Culture only changes when individuals make the attempt. Please help make this better and don't refer to either men or women as 'hos. And let's not call them any of these other words either. The sex lives of individuals are their business until they try to monitor the sex lives of others - then we have the freedom to call them hypocrites but that's about as far as it goes.

              •  A Fundamental Difference (3+ / 0-)

                Which I hope you will hear out in good faith. I'm going to try to summarize it but really I am probably going to have to articulate it in a full diary.  

                Here's how I feel: your analogy is inapt. There is no valid purpose other than hatred of the humanity of the people named for the use of any of the racial or ethnic names you outlined in your first list.  All of them were coined as phrases to attack immutable identity on racial and ethnic grounds of those affirmatively believed to be inferior to the speaker.

                Pussy, bitch and cunt, IMO fall into a grey area. Certainly, used in anger as a label for identity (i.e. calling someone a bitch, a pussy, or a cunt) they are equally inexcuseable--because the words used as identity labels have never meant to be anything other than hateful and demeaning on gendered grounds. However, each of these words have also been used in contexts which are neutral, such as pillowtalk between sexual partners (in the case of pussy and cunt, when they are used as euphamisms for the vagina--and they are used by men and women alike) or in urban hip hop culture (i.e. use of the word "bitches" in urban hip hop culture as an endearment between friends, same as "niggaz"--which is critical to note is NEVER spelled "nigger"; that's not an accident.)

                In contrast, words that put a value judgment on perceived or real behavior (over which people have control, as opposed to their immutable identity) such as hootchie, whore, floozie, skeezer, and broad, may, or may not, be hateful. They are judgmental, yes, but they are not inherently in and of themselves capable of no meaning other than to collectively oppress women solely because of their gender. They are all words used to describe someone (1/2 of them, a woman OR man) who sells sex for money, or is an venal and unscrupulous person, or someone who debases themselves for impure motives, usually related to money. Those definitions are cultural value judgments about behavior, not judgments about the person's permanent, immutable identity.

                They are definitely judgmental words, I concede that. And judgmental as it relates to sexual choices, I concede that too.

                But moral judgment is not inherently bad and, as long as people's moral judgments are not backed up by laws attempting to write a single moral code into law that everyone has to live with, none of them are going to kill anyone whether because (a) the person being judged doesn't share the same moral code and therefore doesn't care what the other person thinks or (b) even if they do care what the other person thinks, if how they are perceived means all that much to them the behavior itself is easily changed.

                I think on the Left too often we have folks whose libertarian leanings demand that everyone set their culture's moral beliefs about things like sex at the door just because of larger political objectives. And who demand orthodoxy when it comes to a liberal approach to individuals observing and judging other people's behavior.  Unfortunately, IMO, that is one of the key reasons that folks refuse to call themselves liberal in America even though most agree with much of liberal policy in other contexts.  Not everyone is a libertarian. Nor do they want to be, especially since too often that type of 'I should be able to do what I want when I want and nobody has a right to judge" thinking is antithetical to the communal nature of most of the world's cultures, in which people do believe that it is Ok to make judgments about the behavior the group feels is not in the best collective interests of the group.

                And it is my opinion that much of the new hue and cry over the use of words like 'ho is related to a desire to have women escape moral judgment not just over things they don't deserve to be judged about, like rape (for which women should face NO moral judgment) but also over voluntary sexual choices just because men usually get away with murder when it comes to sexuality in our patriarchal society.  They want to be seen and treated equally when it comes to their voluntary sexuality.
                Obviously, I am all for that, to the extent possible biologically possible (since, like it or not, only women get pregnant and thus biology has dealt us a different hand than men even if we can't get pregnant without their participation.)

                What I am not for, however, is pretending that everyone should agree not on equality, but on the idea that nobody has a right to make moral judgments about anyone just because right now too many only judge women. In other words, having lost the larger battle, i.e. that society has no right to punish women for their sexual behavior if it doesn't hold men to the same standards, instead we've shifted to a fight about rhetoric. We are thus reduced to the argument that people don't have a right to individually judge folks who flout the governing morality when it comes to sex at all just because they are women.  

                Well, that's where we part ways, for a couple of reasons.  First, , the majority women asking that the culture be more sex positive when it comes to women's sexuality don't ask for that free from any moral judgment. Yet many on Daily Kos take just that position. Second I think you can get agreement just about anywhere (outside of the ridiculous right wing) that laws attempting to restrict sexual behavior for reasons other than public health are not only useless, they go too far, but you will never get agreement across cultures that sex is just something that people do that has no meaning or importance other than rubbing bits together for pleasure, such that morality should play no role at all in one's evaluating another person's sexual behavior.  Sex has never been so, and it won't be within our lifetimes.  That is evidenced quite handily by the way the Left attacks both men and women on the Right when they do things that are morally repugnant sexually to many people. (In the "tit for tat" diary written in response to this, someone insisted that this was because of hypocrisy, but the truth is that such criticisms are not solely because of hypocrisy--for example, folks here routinely attack politicians on the right about having been married more than once, whether or not they have ever said a word about marriage.) Third, women's agency as it relates to sexuality is not seen the same way across cultures. Thus, for example, you have white women rallying around calling themselves sluts at the same time as they complain if someone else calls them a slut because white women's sexuality has been treated very differently than the sexuality of other women. While women of all cultures have been subjected to rape and brutality, only white women have been enslaved by the patriarchy by strict controls on their voluntary expression of their sexuality.  Thus, I can understand why many react badly to it and want to be "free".  

                What I have a harder time with is the lack of understanding that this particular issue plays out differently for women of other cultures, particularly those where sexuality was not allowed to be anything but involuntary since we were not allowed to choose to limit our sexual partners (or even afterward, in many states) but were instead considered to be available to anyone any time with anyone who wanted it.  

                In other words, as it relates to sex, there are different experiences and different resulting cultures as it relates to oppression that are at work in discussions of this type. And thus, it is not productive to assume that only one view of this (the white feminist view) subject is the "best" way. As I feel was being done.

                While I know that many on the Left today feel everyone should have their own morality and be free to do whatever they want to do without anyone having a disapproving opinion, that idea is not part of the social compact in most cultures. (It isn't even in our majority white culture, where under law governments have the right under our constitution to regulate to protect the health, safety, welfare, and morals of the community.) Given this, it strikes me that a lot of the hue and cry over whether or not I called Kim Kardashian a 'ho is reflective of a profound cultural difference about morality, where women from a majoritarian culture are once again too insistent that their view of what is or is not feminist or progressive should rule the day.  I am not willing to just go along with that, as I have in other contexts.  I don't think it's necessary, and I don't think it's productive.

                This is about as clear as I can make this in a comment and I apologize for length.

                •  Doh (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  angelajean

                  I hate when I am overinclusive.  I have written one sentence above that is, so need to correct it:

                  "While women of all cultures in America have been subjected to rape and brutality, only white women have been enslaved by the patriarchy by strict controls on their voluntary expression of their sexuality."

                  •  The above response is a great one (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    foldingBicycle, bsmechanic

                    and I hope you do publish it as a diary. This is obviously a conversation that needs to be had.

                    You've given me a lot to think about. I especially appreciate the explanation of nigger vs niggaz. I wonder if you see a correlation between their usage and that of the new feminist use of slut? Isn't the taking ownership of the word slut similar to the process of the ownership of the word niggaz? The shift is still occurring and it is hard to say how it will actually turn out but I don't see them as isolated events.

                    I'll be honest - I didn't see the current feminist trend as being a white feminist trend. I would be interested in reading more about that as well. As a white woman, I do write about feminist issues and I don't usually consider that I'm writing from a white perspective. I do always consider that I write from a middle-class coming from a lower-class background. Part of my move towards equality includes an economic equality - a living family wage. I see a huge part of the problem with mobility to be tied to the fact that lower income families must have two working parents in order to get ahead where upper income families have the luxury to make a choice in the matter. When both work, they have the luxury to hire nannies, great pre-school, excellent schools, etc. When one stays home (as I do), they can replace those nannies, pre-school, and private school experiences with an available parent. Our society is stacked against families that don't have that initial choice. But I am digressing from our original discussion!

                    Where I would disagree with you the most is this single statement:

                    only white women have been enslaved by the patriarchy by strict controls on their voluntary expression of their sexuality.
                    I would love to hear more on how women of color have not been enslaved by the patriarchy in their expressions of sexuality. I don't see it myself. Maybe I've been wearing blinders my entire life, but I still see many a culture, even here in the US, that ties womanhood to the trifecta - virgin, mother, whore. You have to fit in that model. IMO, there are no other definitions of womanhood for the patriarchy - no matter the color of the men in charge.

                    BTW - you've gained a follower. I'll be reading a little more often. And I would love to hear your own feedback when I write more about The Invisible War and Military Sexual Trauma.

                    •  Thank You (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      bsmechanic, angelajean

                      If I get time I will try and write this up more thoroughly (one of the key reasons I've been doing open threads instead of writing full pieces is, alas, the significant time conflicts I have.)  I want to be clear, though, that what I'm talking about is the voluntary expression of sexuality, since that is where I think the conflict about viewpoints between women of different cultures lie, reflecting the different experiences of how sexuality has been used to oppress in different cultures in America. But as an example to think about: when was the last time you ever heard anyone worrying about the virginity status of Black women? Or even worried about whether Black women are exalted as mothers (outside of the Black community; within it moms are second only to Jesus Christ for most), except to argue about why too many of us are mothers "when we shouldn't be?" The narratives relating to exalting virginity or shoveling women into the role of "mother" as the end all and be all of feminine existence have operated in this culture as they relate Black women --yet both are central parts of trifecta you rightfully identify has operates against white women and their agency.

                  •  ever call a man a 'ho'? (0+ / 0-)

                    See anybody else doing that, in a way that is derogatory?
                    No - and that's proof it's something being used against women of all races.
                    BTW - Kardashian is mixed race.

                    •  See You're Not Listening (0+ / 0-)

                      Because I indeed have seen people call men 'hos, and I have called men 'hos, myself.  In my community it's common, if the behavior fits. So why on earth would you even ask the question as if I didn't already write what the reality is several times? It's not my fault if YOU don't ever see it happening, but to assume that because you don't see it, it must not be true is the height of privilege.

                      Ms. Kardashian's race is irrelevant to what I called her, BTW.

                •  wow! i just have to tell you- (0+ / 0-)
                  However, each of these words have also been used in contexts which are neutral, such as pillowtalk....
                  at work, over the years, in different jobs i've jokingly asked people to stop swearing by saying "hey- that's pillow talk!"

                  if everyone in the room is comfortable w/ swearing i keep my mouth shut. but if someone is there and i know they can't stand it but are too shy or fearful to say something, i pipe up w/ my pillowtalk comment. it's always worked, and i don't think it hurts anyone's feelings.

                  i think this is the first time i've seen anyone else say it like i do. i already liked you from the comments you've been making in the slut shaming diary- now i think you're perfect!

                  are you going to be at netroots nation? i'd love to meet you.

                  "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

                  by thankgodforairamerica on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:16:08 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  No, it's not a "cultural difference" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              foldingBicycle

              It's sexism.

              That's all it is.

              In my culture, for instance, we have a special term for people with African ancestry.  I don't use that term.  Even though it's part of my culture.

              Because it's racism.

              That's all it is.

              Racism happens on dKos all the time, too.  But that doesn't make it okay.  

              It doesn't make sexism okay either, shanikka.  

              "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

              by KateCrashes on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 09:01:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I Wrote a Lengthy Comment (0+ / 0-)

                In response to someone else about these words, why, no, words like 'ho are NOT the same as words like nigger and what I believe is the real foundation of the (IMO) unnecessary conflict from me calling Ms. Kardashian a 'ho (a term I stand by, given her behavior.)  Please read it, so you can see where I'm coming from even if you still don't agree afterward.

        •  I reserve my hiding for... (4+ / 0-)

          really blatant/horrific stuff, but I was severely tempted to hit it here.

          Culture/racial? Please. You're on a progressive website that strives to Do Better. You're doing a prominent thread. You should both Do Better and KNOW better.

          I'm ashamed of this entry.

          And just for the record, I don't give a shit about Kim, or her kin, or any of those people. I just think what you wrote was reprehensible.

        •  Sorry for the scold but... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          foldingBicycle

          Women don't refer to other women as 'ho (can't figure out the plural). Reminds me of the argument for bantering about the offensive term "fag". And what is Kim Kardashian nonsense doing on Daily Kos???

    •  Not Weird (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee, peregrine kate

      I'm a woman, and frankly, I grow weary of those who pretends that there is not a difference between a woman who has sex and a ho.  There is.  I suggest that the respondent recognize that different communities of women view these things differently. In particular, Black feminists don't run around both adopting the word "slut" for their political marches against misogyny and yelling about folks calling women sluts at the same time.  We're also not generally unwilling to call a spade a spade when it comes to anyone, male, female, or otherwise, who is a ho.

      (Oh, you didn't know that men are called 'hos in some communities, too? Maybe you should get out more with some folks a little more diverse than you.)

      Why you assume it's about "education" instead of someone just not agreeing with your dogma as it relates to these things is another, entirely different discussion.

      •  difference is how meant (0+ / 0-)

        'ho' as congratulatory for a man.
        'ho' as you used it, to shame a woman.
        And yeah, I think people who are antigay and racist need education too - just like you with the misogyny. I think people can change, and often it needs education. I don't think people are born hating.

    •  Thank you. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KateCrashes, foldingBicycle

      I was coming here just to comment on this. Slut shaming? I sort of dislike that term as it implies that all women are sluts, since all women get subjected to this stuff.

      Also, I'm a woman who met her current husband while still legally married to her previous one. Hell, ex-husband was so ADHD that I had to prod him for a year before he signed the damned divorce decree 5 days before my wedding to husband 2. On the surface, and sans bébé, my situation looked like Kims. I was an evil slutty woman.

      Life isn't like that.

      •  Your Situation Isn't Like Kim's (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KenBee, a2nite

        Unless you went running to the court with a petition claiming that it was an "emergency" that you get a divorce from your previous husband faster than the law would otherwise allow because you were pregnant by your current one? After having been married to your first husband for 74 days before filing for divorce, just long enough to collect millions from the television rights to your wedding?

        I didn't think so.

        You may not see a difference, but I do (also speaking as someone who met her current husband while married to her previous one, which is not even remotely the definition of "ho.")  

      •  I think you missed the mercenary nature (4+ / 0-)

        I don't follow the Kardashians closely, and even I know she sold media rights to her wedding for major money, and the marriage was a joke from Day Zero.

        I do understand there are a lot of hard-working (very hard-working) prostitutes who should resent being lumped in with Ms Kardashian. Kardashian would be exactly nowhere if she hadn't also won the Lucky Sperm Contest and been born to wealth and fame. Nevertheless, I think as a two-letter description of her behavior, ho works pretty well. And we have all manner of not-nice words for, say, men who acquire much younger women for money, so I'm not sure I see a lot of sexism here.

  •  Danica Patrick still pole(sic) position @ Daytona (9+ / 0-)

    196.484 mph

  •  There are at least 35K people (10+ / 0-)

    marching on Washington right now.  But I guess that doesn't count as newsworthy.  Let's report about the Kardasians instead.


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 12:23:44 PM PST

  •  Good God here comes another Bush (5+ / 0-)

    http://www.star-telegram.com/...

    Please, Lord, make it stop.

    Can I get a Grey Goose on the rocks over here?!

    by G Contractor on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 12:26:14 PM PST

  •  Slut-shaming not progressive (14+ / 0-)

    I suggest the author reconsider the misogynist slut-shaming. From the article, I quote the author "Or being a 'ho'." I wouldn't expect that kind of talk about women on this website. Inappropriate and sexist.

  •  Open Office (6+ / 0-)

    Gave up on MS office a few years ago. Now I use the free Open Office software for home computers. It does pretty much everything I need it to do but I don't own a home business so maybe it's not functional for that. Still, anyone who is paying Microsoft for Office or any of the big virus protection companies to secure their home computer in this day and age is simply nuts.

    Open Office
    Avast!
    Malwarebytes

    You should be fine...

    Progress 365 not just a slogan a goal - 300 progressive seats in the House and 65 progressive seats in the Senate.

    by jusjtim35 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 12:27:24 PM PST

    •  Sticking With MS Office 2000 So Far. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shanikka, a2nite

      I will download and install Open Office though to see if it'll work for me.

      I have a home artisan biz. I use Excel for taxes and for design, toolmaking calculations. Word for physical letters and user documentation. I use a 90's Paint Shop for graphics and a 90's DOS Harvard Graphics program for drawing.

      I'm guessing open office would more than suffice.

      I keep my computers going a long time; every few years I upgrade the hard drive by making a disk image copy and swapping in the new drive.

      However this can't last forever. I'm sure my XP Home lacks drivers for a contemporary computer if I get one.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 01:47:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You will also run into a hardware wall (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shanikka, a2nite

        Eventually and everybody will eventually be on a 64-bit OS. It's much more efficient and can address a LOT more RAM making it a more stable platform. However at this point in time windows7 is becoming difficult to get preinstalled not sure how available it is by itself either and Windows 8 is not that stable yet from what I understand.

        I just upgraded from 32-bit 7 to 64-bit 7 and love it. The software came free with the 32-bit version I had purchased. So I dug in and did the upgrade.

        Oh and if you use outlook express for mail, thunderird is just as good and also a free software version. There are so many good free products out there. It's simply silly for most home users to continue to pay for this stuff.

        Progress 365 not just a slogan a goal - 300 progressive seats in the House and 65 progressive seats in the Senate.

        by jusjtim35 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 02:32:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I read DK daily but I didn't notice (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, historys mysteries, PSzymeczek

    until this week that Midday Open Thread has a new, sharp tone. I like it! I like it! Thanks, shanikka.

  •  Time to get rid of ketchup (7+ / 0-)

    ...and return to a time when Americans actually had bones in their faces.



    Denial is a drug.

    by Pluto on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 12:35:47 PM PST

  •  First accumulating snow (14+ / 0-)

    in more than two years fell last evening in Charlotte. Got this shot at twilight 2/16/13. It's all melted now.

     I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine.     -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by SteelerGrrl on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 12:36:54 PM PST

  •  Open office opens MS office, any version also (5+ / 0-)
  •  Anyone...Warren 2016... (5+ / 0-)

    "Here comes the landslide" Dick Morris

    by wild hair on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 12:40:32 PM PST

  •  Did I miss the diary on this win for us??? (3+ / 0-)
    Hutchinson drops out, endorses Kelly in Jackson Jr. contest
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/...
  •  Affording cheap crap (7+ / 0-)

    No doubt there are plenty of reasons to sneer at Walmart's cheap crap. Nonetheless, it is a primary source of inexpensive goods for a large segment of the U.S. population. Unless there is some indicator that shows this population having taken its money elsewhere, I'd suggest that declining sales at Walmart would be a significant signal (were any really needed) that our overall economy is (still) in the toilet. Schadenfreude, enjoyable as it must be, ought not obscure that, IMO, more important point.

    •  Dollar stores doing better. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shanikka, drmah, PSzymeczek

      If 'cheap' is your primary concern, then dollar stores tend to be cheaper than walmart on a lot of things.

      •  Apples to apples? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shanikka

        This is like comparing the smallest of convenience stores to a huge supermarket. It would be pretty hard to live on the dollar store inventory. Dollar stores offer a fraction of the sort of merchandise at Walmart, which carries a full range of clothing, foods, housewares, hardware, furniture, electronics, etc. There is little relevance to matching sales at these disparate enterprises. The most you might get from the consideration would be to underline my original point, which is that the economy is very bad—so bad that even Walmart might begin to seem too expensive.

  •  Ok you're a Portugese/spanish Betrayed spy (5+ / 0-)

    whose last assignment was Hong Kong yet you sound like the UnCola Nut guy Geoffrey Holder  Yep it's a Bond film


    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 12:51:27 PM PST

  •  Roger Ebert tweeted on the latest from MoDo (7+ / 0-)

    The laziest "pundit" occupying a variable space on the NYT op-ed page is shocked, shocked that movies based on real incidences fabricate part of the story.

    Apparently she forget the great line from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence that goes something like this: "The is the West, sir.  When you have a choice between printing the legend or printing the fact, you print the legend."  

    [Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security] do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

    by MoDem on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 12:57:27 PM PST

    •  LOL, that is both sad & funny (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999, shanikka
    •  poor MoDo, continuing to phone it in (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PSzymeczek, MoDem

      Harold Holzer, a Lincoln historian attached to the film, pointed out the mistake to Spielberg and Kushner, telling them that voting in those days was done alphabetically by lawmaker. But Kushner said the director left the scene unchanged because it gave the audience “place holders,” and it was “a rhythmic device” that was easier to follow than “a sea of names.” They gave fake names to the Connecticut legislators, who were, he said, “not significant players.”

      Yet The Wall Street Journal noted, “The actual Connecticut representatives at the time braved political attacks and personal hardships to support the 13th Amendment.” One, the New London Republican Augustus Brandegee, was a respected abolitionist and a friend of Lincoln. The other, the New Haven Democrat James English, considered slavery “a monstrous injustice” and left his ill wife to vote. When he said “Aye,” applause began and the tide turned.

      I’m a princess-and-the-pea on this issue, but I think Spielberg should refilm the scene or dub in “Illinois” for “Connecticut” before he sends out his DVDs and leaves students everywhere thinking the Nutmeg State is nutty.

      Kushner says that won’t happen, because this is a “made-up issue” and a matter of “principle.” But as Congressman Courtney notes: “It was Lincoln who said. ‘Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.’ ”

  •  Heinz+SWISS (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, shanikka

      I'm not a financial guru / wiz or anywhere near that, but I read.  One site does a pretty good job of connecting some dots and Guardian UK also reported that the Insider Trading originated in Switzerland and may be linked to Goldman Sachs.

        In a LOL comment at the Guardian - one blogger highlighted what GU. stated - the insider trader was "too obvious" and that was the only reason that it was noticed.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

  •  What? Not one comment on this? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, shanikka
    The Administration now saying it doesn't support sequestration after having signed it into law in the first place is just a little bit too little, too late.
    This depends, of course, on whether or not you view this Administration's ability to consistently win at Good Cop/Bad Cop as an actual win of any consequence.

    It is time to #Occupy Media.

    by lunachickie on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 01:41:06 PM PST

  •  Echo'ing the thoughts RE: Slut Shaming (6+ / 0-)

    We can say what we want about Kim Kardashian.  She's annoying, she's at times offensive, etc.  But nothing she did at any point was illegal.   She didn't do anything that hundreds of men in hollywood and sports haven't done.

    Hell, I live in a city where a Pro-Bowler died leaving behind racks of kids on different women, and he never faced this kind of slut-shaming.

    Primarily because it's just not deserved.   I feel sorry for her, but I refuse to think of her as a "ho" or any other derogatory term.  It's her body.  Nothing she's doing with it hurts or  harms me in any way, so I stay out of it.

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 01:41:46 PM PST

  •  An important Supreme Court case this week (0+ / 0-)

    is Monsanto vs Farmer Bowman and whether farmers can save seeds from one year’s crop to plant the next year.  From a NYT Article:

    "Farmers who plant seeds with Monsanto’s technology must sign an agreement not to save the seeds, which means they must buy new seeds every year.

    The Center for Food Safety, which has tracked the cases, said Monsanto had filed more than 140 patent infringement lawsuits involving 410 farmers and 56 small farm businesses, and had so far received $23.67 million in recorded judgments. The center says there are many other cases in which farmers settled out of court or before a suit was filed. "

    This is another case where we get to see the rights of corporate "persons" vs real persons.  How much you want to bet the corporate "person" Monsanto wins?
  •  Re: Sequestration - IMO, you indulged in a bit of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cactusgal, shanikka

    false equivalency in suggesting the Adminstration shares in the blame.  There were too many Republicans in the House who were so sublimely ignorant that it's doubtful the ghost of Ronald Reagan could convince them they were about to plunge the entire world financial system into utter chaos if the debt ceiling were not raised.  They were behaving like the woman in the Book of Solomon who was happy to agree to cutting the baby in half to settle her claim that the baby was hers.  Pres. Obama was like the real mother prepared to give up her child to save its life.

    We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

    by Observerinvancouver on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 01:46:41 PM PST

  •  Just Got a "Speaker Alert" (3+ / 0-)

    Replacing the President’s Sequester with Responsible Spending Cuts, Not More Tax Hikes.

    95% of what he wanted in the deal, Boehner said.  But it's "The President's Sequester."link

    What a Boehner that guy is.

    Someday soon Republicans are going to drown Grover Norquist - in a bathtub.

    by nuketeacher on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 01:49:02 PM PST

  •  MS OFfice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shanikka

    Considering arguably the best software of its type on even OS X is still... Microsoft Office... I'm not sure what the Apple market share comment even means.

    There's a multitude of working alternatives on both, so OK then.

  •  Don't Blame THIS on the Republicans! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shanikka, PSzymeczek

    "One of the worst, purportedly acting on behalf of funeral directors, threatened to dig up the bodies of dead children if the bereaved didn't take care of their outstanding bills."

    If this is really happening -- and there is reason to believe that it is -- this is one that cannot be blamed on the Republicans.  Liberals love to forget that for the first two years of Obama's first term, the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress AND the White House.  In short, they had every opportunity to write rules for debt collection, but for some bizarre reason chose not to.  So don't anyone dare blame the spectacle of dead bodies being dug up on the Republicans.  They are not always the source of evil and grief coming out of Washington, D. C. -- Remember the Filibuster cave-in in the Senate?  Let credit be given to whom it is owed.

  •  I love Elizabeth Warren. (4+ / 0-)

    That is all.

    •  interesting reaction next to her (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shanikka

      Of courese, I enjoyed Sen. Warren crossing these guys with her simple, direct question that put a very fine point on the softness of the regulators. But I was also very interested in watching Sen. Manchin come in as she began, quietly sit down, and zoom in on the witnesses as she asked her questions.  I would say that look was as supporting and demanding a colleague as you'd want. It basically said: yeah, what have ya got? Let's see it. I suspect Sen. Warren is developing some quiet and solid popularity in the Senate.  

  •  Microsoft.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shanikka, peregrine kate, a2nite

    When I had a PC, I used Word only when I had to- usually something that was going to someone else at work.

    For my own work, I have used WordPerfect since 1987.  It is so far superior in usability to Word it is scary.  Unfortunately, Microsoft's own monopolistic practices, and WordPerfect's slow path to Windows usability many years ago destroyed its market share.

    Today, Corel owns WordPerfect and it is a great product- for the PC.  Unfortunately, they do not make  Mac version.  The latest version I have, X5 will not work under Parallels for the Mac.  Not sure about X6, the lastest version made.  I've installed an older version, X3 and it works fine.

    Otherwise, I've been using Word for Mac 2011.  It isn't bad, but it's no WordPerfect.

  •  Here in Indiana (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shanikka, drmah, nchristine, AJ in Camden

    NIPSCO raised their rates almost 17% and now those of us that were compensating and cutting energy costs are in a mess.  The elderly woman across the hall is now sleeping in her coat with two sweaters underneath.  Last night I cut my circuit breaker on my furance and woke up with a severe migraine because of all the medical equipment in my head can handle sleeping in a 60 degree room.  And this:

    highlighting things such as the fact that 200,000 LIHEAP recipients in Massachusetts are going to get a cold, rude, awakening when the subsidies keeping them from freezing in their homes (yes, it' s still COLD in Massachusetts) lose funding.
    is going to kill people.  Prior to LIHEAP I can't tell you how many seniors froze to death in their homes.  But, what the hell, NIPSCO needed to raise rates because they purchased equipment and a new building, but they also used the rate increase to give their CEO a 30% salary increase.

    The problem is that people were already cutting cost by compensating and now many can't afford to heat their homes.  We are humans and when it is zero outside we have to have some kind of heat source, it is a fact.  So, why couldn't the energy company find alternatives to gas or electric, but going without heat is not alternative for the majority of people.  The people of Indiana are being used as a cash station, when NIPSCO should be using some of their own profits to invest in alternative energy resources instead of investing in their CEO and executives salaries and bonuses.  

    Those on a fixed income and families with average incomes will find themselves in a serious financial difficulty.  Especially since prices are not stabilizing, but continue to rise with the stock market's commodity game.  Wages have been going down, saving for an emergency is difficult and families are walking a fine line, and all the while we are expected to pay and support corporations and banks while they get tax breaks and ship jobs overseas and privatize our schools, post office, roads, parking meters and whatever else.  The average person is getting left behind at a greater and greater speed as those with money demand more and more from those just hanging on and trying to support themselves and live in their homes.  

    "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

    by zaka1 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 02:38:13 PM PST

  •  great collection Shanikka, thanks! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shanikka, greenbird, peregrine kate

    I really appreciate the extra time and effort to illuminate each item instead of some lo-info teaser and just a link.

    Timetimetime...so, thanks, I have at least a good start to find out about these issues this way, otherwise I just zing off to another source...lord knows there are plenty here competing for the squint.

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 03:52:54 PM PST

  •  Kindercide ----- Newtown - Sandy Hook (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shanikka, a2nite

    deserves a new term.  Not gun control.  Kindercide prevention.  Guns with enough rounds to kill a kindergarten class should be banned.  Not gun terms, human terms.  

    Explained so even a 5 year old could understand it.

    guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

    by 88kathy on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 06:08:35 PM PST

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