Lawrence Livermore Laboratories has discovered the heaviest element yet known to science.
The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.
These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.
Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete. Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2- 6 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.
In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.
This characteristic of morons promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass. When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.
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Amazon.com: Skinny Bitch: Kim Barnouin, Rory Freedman: Books
With such blunt advice as, "Soda is liquid Satan" and "You are a total moron if you think the Atkins Diet will make you thin," it's a rallying cry for all savvy women to start eating healthy and looking radiant.
Character is what you have left when you've lost everything you can lose.
- Evan Esar
Those who agree with us may not be right, but we admire their astuteness.
- Cullen Hightower
The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate me away from those who are still undecided.
- Casey Stengel
Recommended Summer Reading ListRecommended Summer Reading List: Forum | KQED Public Media for Northern CA
Our Dumb World
(Paperback) :: Onion Store
The Onion Brings You The World Every Day. Now The Onion Brings You The World—Literally.
Our Dumb World: The Onion's Atlas Of The Planet Earth, 73rd Edition, The Onion's first original book since the New York Times best-seller Our Dumb Century, is destined to become the most important book of the new century—perhaps the most indispensable volume in your home reference library. In fact, go ahead and throw all of your other books in the garbage right now.
The Onion provides you, the elite consumer who actually reads books, a bound, beautifully illustrated hardcover archive of all the world's accumulated knowledge. Carry it with you when you travel in order to make sense of the strange cultures and frightening cuisine of other nations. 247 pages. Paperback. Maps courtesy of DK Maps.
Also available as an audio book.
- Jack Handey
An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.
- G. K. Chesterton
The best way to keep one's word is not to give it.
- Napoleon Bonaparte
- Rudyard Kipling
He was a genius - that is to say, a man who does superlatively and without obvious effort something that most people cannot do by the uttermost exertion of their abilities.
- Robertson Davies
Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that
success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be
commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the
unpredictable must inevitably be taken into account.
|I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the|
battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of
understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to
Poet Kwame Dawes teamed up with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to create a Web site called 'HOPE: Living and Loving with HIV in Jamaica.'
The interactive site pairs his poetry with music and essays from people living with the disease and their caretakers.
Video Watch a Poetry Reading and Extended Interviews with Dawes and the Pulitzer Center's Jon Sawyer
Resource Visit the Live Hope website
|Actually Heard||........||Wished I'd heard|
|Me and her / Her and me||........||She and I|
|Me and him / Him and me||........||He and I|
|name and me||........||name and I|
|had went||........||had gone|
|had did||........||had done|
|I should have did that||........||I should have done that|
Alaskans Speak (In A Frightened Whisper): Palin Is “Racist, Sexist, Vindictive, And Mean.” | The LA Progressive
September 5, 2008
by Charley James –
“So Sambo beat the bitch!”
This is how Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin described Barack Obama’s win over Hillary Clinton to political colleagues in a restaurant a few days after Obama locked up the Democratic Party presidential nomination.
According to Lucille, the waitress serving her table at the time and who asked that her last name not be used, Gov. Palin was eating lunch with five or six people when the subject of the Democrat’s primary battle came up. The governor, seemingly not caring that people at nearby tables would likely hear her, uttered the slur and then laughed loudly as her meal mates joined in appreciatively.
“It was kind of disgusting,” Lucille, who is part Aboriginal, said in a phone interview after admitting that she is frightened of being discovered telling folks in the “lower 48” about life near the North Pole.
Then, almost with a sigh, she added, “But that’s just Alaska.”
Racial and ethnic slurs may be “just Alaska” and, clearly, they are common, everyday chatter for Palin.
Besides insulting Obama with a Step-N’-Fetch-It, “darkie musical” swipe, people who know her say she refers regularly to Alaska’s Aboriginal people as “Arctic Arabs” – how efficient, lumping two apparently undesirable groups into one ugly description – as well as the more colourful “mukluks” along with the totally unimaginative “f**king Eskimo’s,” according to a number of Alaskans and Wasillians interviewed for this article.
But being openly racist is only the tip of the Palin iceberg. According to Alaskans interviewed for this article, she is also vindictive and mean. We’re talking Rove mean and Nixon vindictive.
No wonder the vast sea of white, cheering faces at the Republican Convention went wild for Sarah: They adore the type, it’s in their genetic code. So much for McCain’s pledge of a “high road” campaign; Palin is incapable of being part of one.
Tough Getting People Who Know Her to Talk
It’s not easy getting people in the 49th state to speak critically about Palin – especially people in Wasilla, where she was mayor. For one thing, with every journalist in the world calling, phone lines into Alaska have been mostly jammed since Friday; as often as not, a recording told me that “all circuits are busy” or numbers just wouldn’t ring. I should think a state that’s been made richer than God by oil could afford telephone lines and cell towers for everyone.
On a more practical level, many people in Alaska, and particularly Wasilla, are reluctant to speak or be quoted by name because they’re afraid of her as well as the state Republican Party machine. Apparently, the power elite are as mean as the winters.
“The GOP is kind of like organized crime up here,” an insurance agent in Anchorage who knows the Palin family, explained. “It’s corrupt and arrogant. They’re all rich because they do private sweetheart deals with the oil companies, and they can destroy anyone. And they will, if they have to.”
“Once Palin became mayor,” he continued, “She became part of that inner circle.”
Like most other people interviewed, he didn’t want his name used out of fear of retribution. Maybe it’s the long winter nights where you don’t see the sun for months that makes people feel as if they’re under constant danger from “the authorities.” As I interviewed residents it began sounding as if living in Alaska controlled by the state Republican Party is like living in the old Soviet Union: See nothing that’s happening, say nothing offensive, and the political commissars leave you alone. But speak out and you get disappeared into a gulag north of the Arctic Circle for who-knows-how-long.
Alright, that’s an exaggeration brought on by my getting too little sleep and building too much anger as I worked this article. But there’s ample evidence of Palin’s vindictive willingness to destroy people she sees as opponents. Just ask the Wasilla town administrator she hired before firing him because he rebelled against the way Palin demanded he do his job, or the town librarian who refused to hold the book burning Walpurgisnach Mayor Palin demanded.
Ironically, Palin was pushed into hiring the administrator by the party poobahs who helped get her elected after she got herself into trouble over a number of precipitous firings which gave rise to a recall campaign.
“People who fought her attempt to oust the librarian are on her enemies list to this day,” states Anne Kilkenny, a Wasilla resident and one of the few Alaskans willing to speak on-the-record, for attribution, about Palin. In fact, Kilkenny actually circulated an e-mail letter about Palin that was verified and printed by The Nation.
For good measure, Palin booted the Wasilla police chief from office because, she told a local newspaper, he “intimidated” her.
Running on Extreme Fringe Evangelical Views
Sarah Palin drew early attention from state GOP apparatchiks when, during her first mayoral campaign, she ran on an anti-abortion platform. Normally, political parties do not get involved in Alaskan municipal elections because they are nonpartisan. But once word of her extreme fringe evangelical views made its way to Juneau, the state capitol, state Republicans tossed some money behind her campaign.
Once in office, Palin set out to build a machine that chewed up anyone who got in her way. The good, Godly Christian turns out to be anything but.
“She’s doesn’t like different opinions and she refuses to compromise,” Kilkenny notes. “When she was mayor, she fought ideas that weren’t hers. Worse, ideas weren’t evaluated on their merits but on the basis of who proposed them.”
Sound familiar? Palin may well be Dick Cheney’s reincarnate.
Something else has a familiar Republican ring to it: Her tax policies, and a “refund surpluses but borrow for the future” attitude.
According to Kilkenny and others in Wasilla as well as Juneau, Palin reduced progressive property taxes for businesses while mayor and increased a regressive sales tax which even hits necessities such as food. The tax cuts she promoted in her St. Paul speech actually benefited large corporate property owners far more than they benefited residents. Indeed, Kilkenny insists that many Wasilla home owners actually saw their tax bill skyrocket to make up for the shortfall. Two other Wasillian’s with whom I spoke said property taxes on their modest, three bedroom homes rose during the Palin regime.
To an outsider, it would seem hard to do, but an oil-rich town with zero debt on the day she was inaugurated mayor was left saddled with $22 million of debt by the time she moved away to become governor – especially since nothing was spent on things such as improving the city’s infrastructure or building a much-needed sewage treatment plant. So what did Mayor Palin spend the taxpayer’s money on, if not fixing streets and scrubbing sewage?
For starters, she remodelled her office. Several times over, as a matter of fact.
Then Palin spent $1 million on an unnecessary, new park that no one other than the contractors and Palin seemed to want. Next, Sarah doled out more than $15 million of taxpayer money for a sports complex that she shoved through even though the city did not own clear title to the land; now, seven years later, the matter is still in litigation and lawyer fees are said to be close to at least half of the original estimated price of the facility.
She also worked hard to get voters approval of a $5.5 million bond proposal for roads that could have been built without borrowing. Anchorage may not be the center of the financial universe but, like good Republicans everywhere, Sarah Palin knows how to please Alaskan bankers and bond dealers.
For good measure, she turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores and disconnected parking lots.
En route to the governor’s igloo, Palin managed to land what Anne Kilkenny says is the plumb political appointment in the state: Chair of Alaska’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (OGCC), a $122,400 per year patronage slot with no real authority to do anything other than hold meetings. She took the job despite having no background in energy issues and, as it turned out, not liking the work.
“She hated the job,” an OGCC staff member who is not authorized to speak with the news media told me. “She hated the hours and she hated what little work there was to do. But she couldn’t figure out a way to get out of the thing without offending Gov. Murkowski” and the state Republican Party regulars, some of whom were pissed off they didn’t get appointed.
But ever the opportunist, Palin quickly concocted a way. First, she waged a campaign with the local news media claiming that the position was overpaid and should be abolished – despite the fact that she lobbied Murkowski hard to get it. Then, mounting what she saw as a white horse, Palin raised a cloud of dust by resigning from the OGCC and riding away with an undeserved reputation as a “reformer.”
But when a local reporter dared to suggest that the reformer Empress has no clothes, Palin tried to get her fired.
“She came at me like I was trying to steal her kids,” said the targeted reporter, who now works for an oil company in Anchorage. “I heard she had a wild temper and vicious mean streak but it’s nothing like you can imagine until she turns it on you.”
Not surprising since some of her high school classmates still openly call her “Sarah Barracuda,” Kilkenny insists.
Still, as a Republican Party hack Palin managed to get herself elected running under the false flag of a “reformer.”
And what did she bring to the job? No legislative experience other than a city council of a village of 5,000 people, which is smaller than some high schools in Chicago. Little hands-on supervisory or managerial experience; after all, she needed to hire a city administrator to run Wasilla. No executive experience, except for almost being recalled as mayor. A philosophy of setting public policy based on one word: No.
And what has she done since winning the job?
According to Kilkenny, nothing. Well, nothing other than suggesting the state’s multi-multi-million dollar, oil-generated surplus be distributed to residents and finance future state needs by borrowing money. Gee, doesn’t that sound precisely what George Bush did with the surplus he inherited from Bill Clinton in 2001 and we all know in what great shape Bush’s economic policies left the nation.
It may explain why, when asked by reporters, including me, what she thought about Palin being picked to be McCain’s running mate, her mother-in-law replied with a sardonic, “What has Sarah done to qualify her to be vice president?” Of course, when the woman – said by many I spoke with to be well-respected in Wasilla – was running to succeed Palin as mayor, Sarah refused to endorse her, so that may explain the family tension.
As Governor, Palin gave the legislature no direction and budget guidelines, according to the chair of a legislative committee. But then she staged a huge grandstand play of line-item vetoing countless projects, calling them pork. “They were restored because of public outcry and legislative action,” the aide said. “She vetoed them mostly because she had no idea what they were or why they were important.”
But it was enough to get the McCain, who is mostly unobservant of the world around him anyway, to think Palin has a reputation as being “anti-pork”.
In fact, Juneau observers note that Palin kept her hand stuck out as far as anyone for pork ladled out by indicted Sen. Ted Stevens. She only opposed the “bridge to nowhere” after it became clear that it would be politically unwise to keep supporting it, these same insiders assert. Then, Palin fell back on her old habits and publicly humiliated him for pork-barrel politics.
As for being “ready on day one” to be commander in chief, despite the repeated public claims she’s made, the Alaska National Guard commander said that, “she has made no command decisions, other than sending some troops to help fight a few brush fires and march in parades at county fairs.”
“Sambo Beat the Bitch”
“Palin is a conniving, manipulative, a**hole,” someone who thinks these are positive traits in a governor told me, summing up Palin’s tenure in Alaska state and local politics.
“She’s a bigot, a racist, and a liar,” is the more blunt assessment of Arnold Gerstheimer who lived in Alaska until two years ago and is now a businessman in Idaho.
“Juneau is a small town; everybody knows everyone else,” he adds. “These stories about what she calls blacks and Eskimos, well, anyone not white and good looking actually, were around long before she became a glint in John McCain’s rheumy eyes. Why do I know they’re true? Because everyone who isn’t aboriginal or Indian in Alaska talks that way.”
“Sambo beat the bitch” may be everyday language up in the bush. Whether it – and the outlook, politics and worldview Palin reflects when she says such things in public – should be part of a presidential campaign is another thing altogether. The comment says as much about McCain as it does about Palin, and it says a lot of things about Americans who overlook such statements (as well as her record) and vote anyway for McCain.
- animal farm
- the catcher in the rye
- a clockwork orange
- the great gatsby
- lord of the flies
- moby dick
- the outsiders
- the perks of being a wallflower
- tender is the night
- this side of paradise
- children of dune
- whipping star
- colours of the mountain
- heavier than heaven
- bob dylan: chronicles
- mein kampf
- brave new world
- romeo and juliet
- doc maynard
- when heaven & earth changed places
- survival in auschwitz
- sons of the profits
- angela's ashes
- a million little pieces
- the curious incident of the dog in the night-time
- love my rifle more than you
- the inheritance of loss
- the art of the story
- my war
- fahrenheit 451
- mother night
- after dark
- edgar allen poe
- cat's cradle
- memoirs of a geisha
- the bible
- you are a little bit happier than i am
- fools of fortune
- crime and punishment
- the picture of dorian grey
- the secret life of bees
- the mermaid chair
- uncle tom's cabin
- burning bright
- the pearl
- cannery row
- one hundred years of solitude
- one flew over the cuckoo's nest
- Honore de Balzac
"The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money."
- Mark Twain
- Ralph W. Sockman
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
- JRR Tolkien
"A celebrity is a person who works hard all his life to become well known, then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized."
- Fred Allen
- GK Chesterton
"Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status."
- Laurence J. Peter
"People ask for criticism, but they only want praise."
- W. Somerset Maugham
- Cullen Hightower
"Football is a mistake. It combines the two worst elements of American life. Violence and committee meetings."
- George F. Will
"The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it."
- Dudley Moore
- Rodney Dangerfield
You don't get anything clean without getting something else dirty.
- Cecil Baxter
Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything.
- Blaise Pascal
French critic, essayist, & novelist (1869 - 1951)
- Gracie Allen
"My work is a game, a very serious game."
- MC Escher
"The public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius."
- Oscar Wilde
- Jonathan Swift
Autobiography is an unrivaled vehicle for telling the truth about other people.
- Philip Guedalla
There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.
- Steven Wright
- Garrison Keillor
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
- Philip K. Dick
"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."
- Hunter S. Thompson
(updated below - updated again)
The Pulitzer Prize Committee today recognized the work of one of America's few truly excellent political journalists:
Charlie Savage of The Boston Globe won for national reporting for his revelations that President Bush often used 'signing statements' to assert his controversial right to bypass provisions of new laws."
* The Brief History of the Dead, by Kevin Brockmeier. Pantheon, 2006.
* The Little Friend, by Donna Tartt. Vintage, 2002.
* The Girls, by Lori Lansens. Little, Brown, 2006.
* Citizen Vince, by Jess Walter. Regan Books, 2005.
* Oblivion, by Peter Abrahams. William Morrow, 2005.
* A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons, by Robert Sapolsky. Scribner, 2001.
* To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World, by Arthur Herman. HarperCollins, 2004.
* The Witch's Boy, by Michael Gruber. HarperTempest, 2005.