Monday, Jun 25th

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Today's Special, Recycled Again

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Let's see now -- which template to use today in the ol' homestead and standby, the Mainstream Cafe?  Not good to use them without some creative rotation, you know -- best to keep mixing it up, so's it keeps the product looking fresh.  When it comes to food for thought, the main dish can't be splotchy and a sickly green -- it can't be sprouting multicolored, science-project fur, not and get sold to the public and swallowed whole, like everybody all up and down the food chain wants.

Of course, between you and me, the stuff is almost identical -- we might as well be pushing soy served up a zillion different ways:  pummeled, tenderized, injected with flavor and some color, then -- Bam! Texturized, too.  You'd never believe your taste buds or your eyes.  Same thing here, no difference at all.  Facts is facts, like the man says.


Stand your ground, Jean Valjean

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It’s 4-20 and if you can’t remember reading Les Miserables in high school because you were smoking in the boy’s room, there is just one aspect of the story relevant to this rant. It’s that Jean Valjean got five years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread. He then got another 16 years for several attempted escapes. In the past this was considered shocking, but in the corporate owned prison system of America this would a light sentence.

The Corporate prison system routinely engineers ever longer sentences for prisoners in their custody for simple infractions of the rules. A serious crime like stealing bread on three occasions can get you life without parole in a private prison.


Penalty Flags for Bullies, Rowdies, & Hooligans

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At long last, we have a path for possible success, a template of civility to use in treating many terrible and ferocious maladies,  such as runaway, take-no-prisoners, violently predatory, vulture capitalism -- even on sports hooliganism, too.

That we have to teach civility in society says quite a bit, right out of the gate, uh, right off the bat.  That is to say: Right from the opening kickoff.

The NFL has made its pre-game announcement to football fans:  If you're tossed out of a game for unruly, drunken, violent behavior, be prepared for the ref's penalty call.  The truth of those consequences:  a four-hour, online course, at 75 bucks a throw, before anyone will let you back in and welcome you into the civilized fold.


Caution: Do Not Explode Lightly

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Where will you go when the cow, whale, and/or volcano blows?

Instead of starting with Parrotheads -- fans of Jimmy Buffett and his songs -- for clues, we first go to Colorado, where the U.S. Forest Service is pondering what to do with a group of stray cows that wandered away from the herd over the winter, then moseyed into a ranger cabin, making themselves at home.

Problem is, the guest cows never left the impromptu cow hotel, but checked all the way out at some point during the harsh winter.  Six cows are inside the cabin.  A few more are outside.  The carcasses were found in late March near the Conundrum Hot Springs in Aspen;  what to do next has become its own hot conundrum this Spring.


Previews of Coming Distractions

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We've seen the movies before, enough to drive us to distraction:  the slow takeover of power by lunatics, the sleeping citizenry unaware their country has been stolen and lost, the bad guys who refuse to be shamed and who will stop at nothing until they own absolutely everything...

Somehow, even though the movies are always the same -- exploits sexed up with explosions, topped-off with exploited sex bombs, and exploding F-bombs -- they always manage to make the Previews of Coming Attractions look novel enough.

How'd they do that -- sleight of hand?  Mass hypnosis from politicians?  Calm mesmerizing via pollsters?  Corporate marketing magic?  Or, are we just being baffled with more of the same, steaming bat guano, slung at us, hot and fast, right past us, before we know what happened, out at home plate, called on sliders?

Well, in a word:  Yes.


Ghosts All Aboard the Crazy Train

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If you think your imagination on just how weird things can get is being stretched pretty thin these days, and that your ability to remain sane is approaching the point of no return, welcome aboard the Crazy Train!  We are haunted here by the Ghosts of Sanity Long Since Passed.

In this new, devolved phase of our world, we plan and predict our futures in the fortune-teller's tent, in the caboose, where a licensed phrenologist will count, measure, and touch all the bumps on your head, then mutter and mumble your possibilities of success in this modern world.  You can even get your palm scientifically read -- back there, in the rear.


Say goodbye to the Middle Class

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We’ve had an increase in the Initial Unemployment Claims number for the second straight week, and this may or maybe not bad news. It’s too early to get really worried about it, we’re still way below the 400,000 number that seems to indicate a failing economy these days. The numbers are seasonally adjusted and thanks to global warming we had no winter to speak of, causing the normal spring spike in activity to start in January. Low winter heating bills put an average of $400 per family into the economy with twice that in the northeast. Unfortunately,  high gasoline prices are taking it back again.

The far right is screaming about hyper-inflation again because of gas prices, and this totally wrong headed thinking is common among Federal Reserve Board members. This is what is spooking the stock market, that the Fed might start “fighting inflation”.


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