Monthly Archives: May 2012

What Your Facebook Posts Say About You!

You’re hip. You’re savvy. You’re cool.

That’s why you use facebook – the now publicly-traded  overpriced social network that lets you rapidly communicate to the entire universe including 178,293 of your closest friends just how much of an illiterate, ignorant, possibly racist, bigot you really are. Only not as fast as if you tweeted the exact same stuff.

How do I know this? Because I can read.

For example, our governor, Scott Walker, has a facebook page. He makes random odd posts like this: “In Whitehall for groundbreaking of $6m expansion @ Ashley Furniture: 225 new jobs!”

(He also tweets, a phenomenon that’s inspired its own facebook page called “Things Scott Walker Tweets,” a page “dedicated to the VERY important, grammatically-correct tweets that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker posts.”)

Of course Scotty just coincidentally showed up “in Whitehall” for a completely random photo-op which of course must mean that, as a Magical Job Fairy, he had something to do with creating the new jobs (note to party poopers who insist on facts: no he didn’t).

But his legions of admirers, most of whom appear to be from someplace other than Wisconsin (possibly a prison cell in Louisiana), post comments, lots of comments, which, upon careful scrutiny, show a pattern which, upon careful review, tend to indicate certain characteristics. In other words, you can pretty much guess a whole lot about the person without even looking at their page.

For example:

Wonderful! I’m very familiar with Whitehall and Ashley Furniture. They make great furniture. Thank you for what you’ve done for Wisconsin, and Lord willing, what you’ll continue to do in the future:)

Enjoys “The Bible” and being conservative; believes in Magical Job Fairies.

“We love you, Governor Scott! You are a great blessing to your state.”

Lives in Florida; believes the earth is flat.

“Great job Scott Walker !!! Keep up the good work..hopefully Wisc people have a brain in their heads.”

Lives in Illinois. Hopes “Wisc people” have a brain because she has none.

“I don’t live in WI but would be proud to have Scott Walker as mygovernor … whoever said thanks Obama must have their head in the sand. Go Scott Walker….save WIsconsin from the unions.”

Lives in Arizona; is a Fox fan and is “another good Christian” who adores Glenn Beck.

“(1) Obama sucks. (2) Scott Walker will become a National Hero- if the Conservatives of Wisconsin support him on election day- and can keep democratic dead, illegal aliens, and out-of-State SEIU workers from voting for Barrett. Tea Party Voter observers are needed!”

This religious tea pot enjoys Fox News, small-minded bigotry, and traditional conservative intolerance.

“I will buy my new furniture from Ashley…esp. since they are in WI. I will soon be relocating to WI from IL…which is in the state it’s in because of dems and unions.”

Lives in Illinois, believes in Fox News and God (in that order), is geographically impaired and needs to cut back on her meds.

“Guys of WI stay behind this man. You are on the right track and the lefties hate it. It will get where if any good men get elected all the crazies have to do is step in and demand a recall and it gets done.”

Lives in Alabama, believes education is a waste, and is a deeply religious woman whose favorite movie is the real life story of a redeemed hooker called “Pretty Woman.” She gets all her news from Fox and hums “Stand by Your Man” whenever she has to wait for the bathroom.

“Save Wisconsin!! Save the Country!! Damn the socialistic, libtarded Democraps of the party of treason!! Let’s yank our country back from those anti American bastards!!”

Lives in Alaska. Worships Sarah Palin. Loves big guns. Hates books.

I would like to say yes Ashley Furniture Industries is a great Company to work for.They have Great Benifits and Programs out there for their employees. Yet they would not be so successful if it wasn’t for people like Gov. Walker Ashley furniture was at one time based out of Liberal Illinois. There is reason for them no longer being there. Number one reason is Cost Ashley Furniture would have failed if they would have stayed in Illinois due to the fact of Big Labor Unions Bulldozing them and High Taxes. So Thank you Scott Walker For all you do.

An illiterate misogynist who listens to Ted Nugent (and only Ted Nugent), quotes Rush Limbaugh, and is challenged by the deep mysteries of truck and tractor pulls. Believes saying something is a “fact” makes it one.

“Scott Walker will win this stupid re-call because of his courage. Something the Liberals of Wisconsin don’t have…..like running and hiding in Illinois when faced with a difficult challenge!!!! What a bunch of Cowards!!!TGFSW!!!”

Another good Christian who listens to Ted Nugent, wants to bring Jesus Christ back to the forefront of society and the planet, and believes in his god-given right to stand his ground and shoot to kill. Even if it’s a sleep-walking ten-year-old neighbor.

“Good luck Scott. Per North Carolina governor Perdue, their voters are like Mississippi folks. I’m proud to be from a Conservative state who is pro-military, pro-marriage as per our God (man and woman), pro-balanced budget, pro-legal immigration, pro-USA, but anti-Obama.

From Mississippi (but you already knew that, didn’t you) and loves grits, cornpone, lynchings and cross-burnings. Never met a person of color he liked. Believes “they” are destroying this great country. (“They” include blacks, Latinos, and anyone else who is not a single, balding, middle-aged white guy from Mississippi).

It’s easy! Anytime you see “liberal” “libs” libtards” “Obama” “Obummer” “dems” “democrat” “democratic” “unions” “pro-marriage” “patriot” “stand with” “lefties” “crazies” “commies” “socialist” “smaller government” “handout” “entitlement” “god” “christian” “christ” “lord” or “tax” (with or without “spend”) you’ll be able to guess what they like, what they watch, what they hate, and where they probably live without looking at their facebook page.

Go ahead – try it. It’s fun.

The Search for the Holy Grail

As Mrs. Higgins taught us back in 6th grade, we are the government and the government is us. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean you are related to your governor (unless you live in West Virginia).

It does mean that if you are ever snatched off the street in broad daylight by a squad of goons who are actually employees of Homeland Security (although at the time you were afraid they might be members of a drug cartel and you were convinced they’d mistaken you for a member of a rival gang and wondered if they’d believe you when you told them your weren’t and even if they did believe you would they let you go or just shoot you and dump your body where only buzzards would find it), as they throw you into the back of a windowless van you can tell them to stop because they actually work for you.

It won’t do you any good, and they may still ship you to Syria, but at least you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you were right.

That’s the great thing about our form of government. It belongs to us. And all the stuff it owns belongs to us as well. (WARNING: we’re talking metaphysical concepts here – do not use this as an excuse to drive off with a police car.)

Which is why ordinary Joes like you and me have access to almost all types of public records. Because it’s a record. And it’s public. Which means it’s ours. So we get to see it. Under certain terms and conditions. Which you know will be written in confusing terminology because, after all, it’s the government – the same people who brought you the tax code.

So the terms and conditions vary depending on whether it’s federal or state – and which state you’re in. With the feds you have to make a “Freedom of Information Act” request (or what savvy people call a “FOIA” request, as in “FOY-AH” as in when you’re a federal employee hanging around the copy machine trying not to go back to work you casually mention you just got a Foy-ah so could be tied up for the next six weeks responding to it). After which they’ll make you wait a random amount of time before shipping 3,000 tons of random paperwork which will fill your living room, dining room, bedroom, basement, garage and three storage sheds because that way you’ll be so overwhelmed you’ll never actually look at any of it which is why no one could ever connect Ronald Reagan to the Iran-Contra scandal.

If you happen to be here in Wisconsin, you have to make what we call a “public record request.” (Psst: that’s because the records are subject to public inspection – or supposed to be.)

The basic rules are simple: ask and, with a few narrow exceptions, they have to let you see it. They can’t ask you your name. Or why you want it. About the only thing they can do is say “okay” and give it to you within ten business days.

This of course means that they won’t let you see it. They don’t care what “it” is, they don’t want you to see it because they know you might find out something  bad, maybe secrecy pledges or illegal campaign activities, because that has to be why you’re looking in the first place.

So the exchange will go something like this:

Me: I’d like to see “X.”

Clerk: “No.”

Me:  “Let me see “X.”

Clerk: “Why?”

Me: You can’t ask me that.

Clerk: “Your name please?”

Me: You can’t ask me that.

Clerk: “You have to fill out this form.”

Me: You can’t ask me to do that.

This will be followed by a lengthy period of time during which the clerk will go out of the country indefinitely instead of responding to the request within ten business days, which means you start the process all over again a year later.

Or it will go like this*:

To: Guardian of the Holy Grail
Sent: March 13, 2012

I noticed that you keep posting video clips on your official website from numerous sources. I also know that requires permission from the copyright owners – and that it appears you don’t have that permission.

Please let me know if you obtained permission from the copyright owners to use their video/film/photographs.

Consider this an public record request for all records relating to or concerning permission to use copyrighted materials online or in any other format for the period January 1, 2011 to present.

From: Guardian of the Holy Grail
Date:
Mar 28, 2012

On March 13, 2012, we received your public records request for the following:

Information regarding whether or not permission was obtained from the copyright owners of news clips used in videos posted on our official website.

A search of the records of the Office has been completed and no responsive records were located.

This completes your public records request. Thank you for contacting the Office of the Guardian of the Holy Grail.

To: Guardian of the Holy Grail
Sent: March 28, 2012

I asked “for all records relating to or concerning permission to use copyrighted materials online or in any other format for the period January 1, 2011 to present.”

Please respond to the request I actually made.

From: Guardian of the Holy Grail
Date:
March 30, 2012

We interpreted your request as stated above due to the text of your email. However, based on your clarification of March 28, we will now also search the records  for the following:

All records relating to or concerning permission to use copyrighted materials online or in any other format for the period January 1, 2011 to March 13, 2012.

From: Guardian of the Holy Grail
May 1, 2012

The Office of the Holy Grail charges $14.15 per hour and our staff spent 11.97 hours locating the records. Thus, the total amount for locating the records is $169.38. Because this amount is greater than $50.00, we have included this cost on the attached invoice in accordance with Wis. Stat. § 19.35(3)(c).

Please provide pre-payment of the invoice, in accordance with Wis. Stat. § 19.35(3)(f), and we will proceed with our efforts to produce the records located.

To: Guardian of the Holy Grail
Sent: May 01, 2012

You’re kidding, right? You don’t have a file for a copy of all copyright permissions? Somebody in your office has the responsibility for obtaining permission to use copyrighted material and a copy of all agreements to that effect would have been in a file labeled “copyright permissions” or something similar.

Is the staff so incompetent that they didn’t have a filing system for this?

And how many records did this so called search produce?

From: Guardian of the Holy Grail
Sent:
May 8, 2012

On May 1, we provided you with an invoice for the actual cost of locating the records that you requested. You responded later that day inquiring how many records were produced. The search of records located 140 pages of responsive documents.

You also expressed concern over the amount of time the search took to complete. The amount of time itemized on the invoice is the actual amount of time staff spent searching its records. We searched the records of all 65 staff members employed by the Office [of the Holy Grail] during the period encompassed by your request to ensure that all responsive records were located. The Public Records Law authorizes charges for the actual, necessary, and direct cost of locating records. Wis. Stat. § 19.35(3)(c).

Upon receipt of pre-payment of the invoice, we will review the records located to determine what can be released under the law. Please be advised that this invoice does not reflect any photocopying fees.

To: Guardian of the Holy Grail
Sent: May 09, 2012

It appears the cost you are attempting to collect was not “necessary” as required by statute. First, as I previously pointed out – you should have an adequate and easily searchable filing system with copies of all copyright permissions in one location. Only one person should have been responsible for permission to use copyrighted materials, so you had no reason to search “the records of all 65 staff members,” which confirms the cost was not necessary and is being used as a barrier to the release of the requested records.

In addition, you did not provide an itemized statement (it merely said “location of requested records”), which at a minimum would show the actual work performed, by whom, the dates and times the work was performed and describe the tasks performed. I ask that you provide that information, which should also indicate the cost was not “necessary.”

From: Guardian of the Holy Grail
Sent:
May 16, 2012

A search of each individual’s records was the action required in order to locate the responsive documents.

Each staff member searches his or her own records. The staff members then report the length of time it took them to search their records. Thus, the 11.97 hours was the aggregation of the length of time each person reported to us. This location cost is the only fee that we have charged you and is the only cost that appears on the invoice.

You have also asked for an itemized statement of the location time including “actual work performed, by whom, the dates and times the work was performed and describe the tasks performed.” Currently, we do not have a record of this information.

Once we receive pre-payment of your invoice, we will conduct an extensive review of the records. At the time of release of the eligible records, we will indicate for what reason under the law we have withheld or redacted certain records.

To: Guardian of the Holy Grail
Sent: May 16, 2012

Seriously? You claim that any of the 65 staff members –  including your janitor –  could have been involved in getting permission from a copyright holder to use copyrighted material?

And you claim that you “do not have a record of this information [the actual work performed, by whom, the dates and times the work was performed and the tasks performed]” Then how in the world were you able to calculate the invoice you sent to me?

You could not have prepared the invoice without that information. You should be able to prove how much time was spent and by whom to be able to derive a valid charge.

So tell me who did what, how much time they spent and the hourly rate for each person. You’d have to explain it to a judge – so why not tell me first?

Or is this like the $7.5 million estimate for damage repair to the capital?

From: Guardian of the Holy Grail
Sent:
May 22, 2012

Although we are not required to do so under the law, as a courtesy to you in the spirit of completing your public records request in a timely manner, we have decided to waive the fees associated with locating the records you seek.

We will begin the legal review of the documents located during the search. If you have further questions about your request at this time, please contact me.

P.S. I’ll be out of the country indefinitely, which means you’ll have to  start the process all over again next year.

*(The story is true. The names were changed to protect the incompetent.)

Seriously Dude!

Another delusional craigslist ad for a “Photo Model”:

I am an amateur ( 18+) model photographer, looking for 3 new models. My main goal is to put a calender together, we will then send it to sports illustrated and there is a possibilty for a model(s) to have a picture on a magazine. I will compensate you 135$ every photo shoot we do, after we do a few the compensation will be more. Please send a few pictures, (nude is preffered but not necessary.) I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Because Sports Illustrated always uses random photos sent by illiterate “amateur model photographers”. And because women are going to send nude photos of themselves to some random stranger on the internet. Just so they can have “a possibilty” “to have a picture on a magazine.”

I mean – seriously?

The Gov’nor and the Billionaire*

“The time has come,” Gov. Walker said,
“To talk of many things,
Of jobs and thugs and surpluses,
And if I should be king.
And why divide and conquer is
A meaningless nothing.”

“But wait a bit” the Wingnuts cried,
“Before we have our chat;
We need to watch Fox News again,
To learn the world is flat!”
“No hurry!” said the Governor.
They thanked him much for that.

The Right to Work” Ms. Hendricks said,
“Is what we chiefly need:
No rules and low wages besides
Are very good indeed —
Now if you’re ready, Wingnuts dear,
We can begin to feed.”

“But not on us!” the Wingnuts cried,
“We are Republicans!
After such support, that would be
A dismal change of plans!”
“The night is fine.” Gov. Walker said,
“Tis time to admire my fans.”

“It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!”
The billionaire said nothing but
“More profits will suffice:
No labor laws, no worker rules!
Don’t make me tell you twice!”

“It seems a shame,” Gov. Walker said,
“To play them such a trick,
We told them many pretty lies,
And laid it on so thick.”
The billionaire said nothing but
“Give me those tax cuts, quick!”

“I weep for you,” Gov. Walker said;
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out
His gifts of largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

“O Wingnuts,” said the Billionaire,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we roll back more rights?”
But answer came there none –
And this was scarcely odd because
They’d eaten every one.

*Special thanks and acknowledgement to Lewis Carroll

Hopes Raised, Hopes Dashed

In under a minute:

A young man passes by, tells me I smell great and asks me what perfume I’m wearing.

Of course I’m flattered. “Why thank you, but I’m not wearing any.”

“Too bad,” he replies, “I would have bought some for my mother.”

Quote of the Day

“That’s not a bald head, that’s a solar panel for a dumbass machine.”

Jon Stewart

Dear Teachers: “Thank You For Saving My Sorry Ass.”

Governor Scott Walker, frantically trying to convince voters he should stay governor, is running around like a weasel with its head cut off, saying over and over again that he, personally, saved the taxpayers “ONE BILLION DOLLARS.”

Wow. That’s a lot of money. I kinda wonder how he did it. I mean, seriously, that is a WHOLE lot of money.

(Of course, his numbers can’t be verified and are based on incorrect assumptions but that’s a different post.)

So, Scotty, how did you do it?

The right tools.”

What tools were those?

I eliminated the right of teachers and other public workers to negotiate their wages, benefits and working conditions. Except for police and firefighters. The police scare me: they have guns. And firefighters have cool uniforms and those big trucks. I’m hoping they might let me drive one.”

But you told the U.S. Congress that eliminating collective bargaining had no fiscal impact on the state budget.

Yup.”

That means it didn’t save the taxpayers a penny.

Yup.”

And you gave $2.3 billion in tax breaks to the rich and corporations.

I had to – they were some of my biggest campaign contributors.”

And gave millions to private schools through vouchers.

I had to – the voucher people were some of my biggest campaign contributors.”

Then you slashed aid to local governments and cut $1.6 billion from public education.

We couldn’t afford to reward my campaign donors and  fund education. So ya, you betcha.”

So what you’re really saying is that you decimated public education in Wisconsin to afford giveaways to special interests.

I prefer to call it ‘reforms’.”

So you left schools with a huge budget hole.

You know, I was an Eagle Scout.”

You didn’t answer the question.

I think that depends on how you define ‘huge‘.”

And the only way to save our schools was to cut teacher pay and/or benefits.

The reforms gave local governments and school districts the tools they so badly needed to balance their own budgets without raising taxes.”

Wait a minute. “They so badly needed” “the tools” because you took away a whole lot of their funding, right?

And left them no other way to make up the shortfalls, right?

And this had nothing to do with the state budget, right? Because teachers aren’t state employees, right?

We have put the power back in the hands of the taxpayers.”

Isn’t it true that teachers are taxpayers?

And isn’t it true that teachers taking pay cuts is what saved a “billion dollars”?

And isn’t it true that teachers taking pay cuts is what saved education in Wisconsin after your historic budget cuts?

So isn’t it true that you should be thanking teachers?

Because isn’t it true that the real heroes in this situation are the teachers?

Clean Living Kills

I try to live a healthy life, making good choices.

And then I find out it’s going to kill me.

First it was my sunscreen. The stuff that I faithfully apply every morning fifteen minutes before sun exposure and every two hours after that or sooner if I’ve been swimming or perspiring profusely. Because that way I wouldn’t get cancer and die.

Then I read a helpful article and learned all about the chemicals in sunscreen which will, in fact, kill me.

And that was only the beginning. I’m a woman. Which greatly increases the chance that I wear makeup. Being a woman who doesn’t want to frighten small children with her natural appearance increases the odds to 100%. So I wear makeup – the healthy kind that’s good for me.

Then I read a helpful article and learned all about the chemicals in cosmetics which will, in fact, kill me.

But real beauty comes from the inside, which means eating the right foods and making healthy choices. Like eating tomatoes every day because tomatoes are one of the superfoods protecting against diseases such as cancer and helping to assure a long life. So I keep my pantry stocked with a supply of nutritious canned goods, which are so convenient for making fast but healthful meals.

Then I read a helpful article and learned all about the chemicals in cans which will leach into the food and will, in fact, kill me.

Especially acidic foods like tomatoes. Giving you your choice of a variety of health conditions including a heart attack or cancer.

And the helpful article also helpfully points out that the same chemical is in almost all plastics and also in receipts which means that just about everything your food and hands touch is full of the chemical which can kill you.

And it’s not just canned foods. It’s worse than that. I just learned that condiments can be just as deadly.

That’s right, the most essential items in any kitchen, the ones that can save any meal no matter how disgusting, are thriving science experiments. And that ten gallon jar of olives that’s been sitting in your fridge since the Clinton administration? Yup – it’s actually a space colony of bacteria. Maybe dozens of colonies.

According to so-called “experts”, catsup (no matter how you spell it) is only good for six months after opening. But think about it – if that was true why would restaurants keep it around for decades?   After all, these are the same loonies who insist that you have to toss that jumbo-size bottle of pickles after only two weeks. Two weeks? Are these people crazy? I paid good money for those pickles. And pickles are packed in vinegar – which is an antiseptic and disinfectant that kills bacteria.

How in the world could the pickles ever go bad? The only preservative that lasts longer is alcohol.

Wait a minute. I think I just had a really great idea.