Round Numbers

Speaking of round numbers... this here is post #1000, which is something of a milestone, I guess.  My geeky side cringes a bit at this; the obvious and proper breakpoint would be 1024 (2^10) posts.  Most people don't think in base 2, though, so I figured that noting the passing of a mere 10^3 posts would have to do.

So, hey - celebrate!  Go on, have yourself a cupcake, or an extra slice of pie, or whatever floats your boat.  When your significant other gives you That Look (TM), you can just explain to them that today was the 1000th post on The Embedded Theologian, and really, it would be rude of you not to enjoy your favorite noms in recognition.

And you don't want to be rude, now, do ya?  Didn't think so.  Enjoy!

Channeling Bocephus

As a someone who grew up listening to country music (among other things), I appreciated coming across Nobody Sasses a Girl in Glasses.  The GiG spends a bit of time discussing and defending country music:
About a year ago, a friend from college forwarded me this rather long chain of overwrought analyses of country music by people who once heard a country song on the radio and thought, now here's something to politically over-analyze... 
All these people - sorry, I obviously mean folks - agree that country music is really parochial and stodgy, and so perhaps represents the psychology of conservatives, who we know are parochial and stodgy and also country music fans.
I think she absolutely captures and distills the spirit of country music here:
Country music has in fact heard of and experienced Manhattan and corporate finance and divorce and the importance of whole grains in a healthy diet, and it is not impressed or convinced that these things supersede its own narratives.
Ah-yep.  RTWT, if you have the time.  She has a lot more to say on the subject, and she says it well... though maybe not as succinctly as Hank managed.

Greetings, Program

Last login: Wed Jul  3 03:02:23 2013 from
You have a new tee time

[obama@ovaloffice ~]$ help obamacare
help: there is no help for `obamacare'.

[obama@ovaloffice ~]# ls -lAS approval_ratings

total 18
-rw-r--r--  1 obama  staff  99 Aug 29 15:58 kittens
-rw-r--r--  1 obama  staff  84 Aug 29 15:58 puppies
-rw-r--r--  1 obama  staff  65 Aug 29 15:59 zimmerman
-rw-r--r--  1 obama  staff  21 Aug 29 15:57 back_to_school
-rw-r--r--  1 obama  staff  20 Aug 29 16:00 miley
-rw-r--r--  1 obama  staff  11 Aug 29 15:57 cancer
-rw-r--r--  1 obama  staff  10 Aug 29 16:00 weiner
-rw-r--r--  1 obama  staff   7 Aug 29 16:00 bloomberg
-rw-r--r--  1 obama  staff   6 Aug 29 15:57 congress
-rw-r--r--  1 obama  staff   0 Aug 29 15:54 president

[obama@ovaloffice ~]$ cd ~/distractions

[obama@ovaloffice ~/distractions]$ gcc MiddleEast.c
MiddleEast.c:1:25: error: ForeignPolicy: No such file or directory

[obama@ovaloffice ~/distractions]$ touch ForeignPolicy

[obama@ovaloffice ~/distractions]file ForeignPolicy
ForeignPolicy: empty

[obama@ovaloffice ~/distractions]gcc MiddleEast.c
/var/tmp//ccbpsvLw.o(.text+0xa): In function `Syria':
  error: too few arguments to function `effectively'
  error: size of array `Russia' is too large
  error: size of array `China' is too large
  warning: unused variable `Congressional_review_and_approval'
  error: undefined reference to `UK_support'
  error: undefined reference to `exit_strategy'
/var/tmp//ccbpsvLw.o(.text+0x1a): In function `Egypt':
  error: `support_for_Egyptian_military' undeclared
  warning: `disgust_with_USA' overflows storage
  error: undefined reference to `stable_government'
/var/tmp//ccbpsvLw.o(.text+0x1a): In function `Israel':
  error: previous implicit declaration of `support'
  warning: declaration of `support' shadows a previous declaration
/var/tmp//ccbpsvLw.o(.text+0x1a): In function `Saudi_Arabia':
  warning: conversion from ‘handshake' to ‘bow' may alter its value

[obama@ovaloffice ~/distractions]$ date
Thu Aug 29 15:00:01 EDT 2013

[obama@ovaloffice ~/distractions]$ golf
Connection to ovaloffice closed.

Yeah. Not Feeling Too Close Right Now.

And the men who hold high places 
Must be the ones who start 
To mould a new reality 
Closer to the heart 
Closer to the heart 

The blacksmith and the artist 
Reflect it in their art 
Forge their creativity 
Closer to the heart 
Yeah, it's closer to the heart 

Philosophers and ploughmen 
Each must know his part 
To sow a new mentality 
Closer to the heart 
Yeah, it's closer to the heart 

You can be the captain and 
I will draw the chart 
Sailing into destiny 
Closer to the heart 

C25K: Week 1, Day 1

So, the Eldest Daughter and I got up off the couch and embarked upon our 5K journey today.  On the menu for this first week: three days, each one consisting of 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.  Add in a five minute warmup walk before hand and another five minute cooldown walk at the end, and that's a good half hour of movement.

I put the free C25K trainer app from Zen Labs on my phone, and we headed out to our starting point up the road, where there's a nice little neighborhood to run in.  It has all the qualities a beginning runner could want in a course.  Quiet, virtually zero traffic, and most especially, practically flat.  The later condition is a particularly nice bonus here in western Pennsylvania.

All that we really had to do was start up the trainer, and do what it told us to do.  When the nice lady on my phone said "run", we ran.  When the nice lady said "walk", we walked.  Easy peasy!

Well.  That's the theory, anyways.  In practice, there was a whole lot more effort involved.  If I wanted to describe the actual event itself as it unfolded, I would have to haul out terms like "wheezing", "panting", and "physical wreck of a human being"... but not terms like "regurgitation", "dry heaves" and "collapse", which makes me feel quite happy.

As for Eldest Daughter, she is in far, far better shape than I am, as witnessed by the fact that she could manage to talk in between the jogging sessions. [1]  Me?  I just gasped.  Yet, despite my obvious physical flaws, we managed to finish our first day or running without any major catastrophes.  

Initial impression: They nailed this.  I am their target demographic.

I started off thinking that I might have to repeat this first week a couple of times to get up to speed.  I mean, I'm a sedentary middle aged desk jockey, for crying out loud.  I'm not even a level 1 runner; I'm more like a level 0 runner with d4 HP and a CON penalty.

However... twice while we were jogging, just as I thought, "That's it, I'm done, I can't run any more", the trainer app chimed and told me "Start walking".  A couple of other times, just as I was thinking, "Just a few more steps, come on..." the same thing happened.  Overall, it seems like the routine pushed me just as hard as it could, without pushing me to the point of feeling discouraged.

As far as I'm concerned, that's a pretty major win.  Not being able to keep up with the very first day's workout would have been incredibly demotivating.  As it stands, though, I finished up and thought, "Holy cow.  I can do this!"

Seriously.  I never thought I'd say this, but I'm excited about this now.  I'm looking forward to the next time we get to go out.  I've already done it once, so I know I can do it again... and after that, it's just a matter of doing it step by step until I get to the end.

[1] She's a teenage girl.  If she ever stopped talking for more than a few minutes, I think I'd be alarmed enough that I'd take her to the ER.

What Fools These Senators Be

No one at the NSA has ever abused their surveillance capabilities.  Well, maybe a couple of times.  Really no more than a handful.  Of course, according to Dianne Feinstein,
As I have said previously, the committee has never identified an instance in which the NSA has intentionally abused its authority to conduct surveillance for inappropriate purposes. 
To quote Mike Masnick, "In the meantime, the NSA just made Senator Feinstein look like a complete fool."

Well, you know, Mike... fish, barrel, and all that.

More to the point, as a friend on Facebook pointed out, "I don't like the implication here that she isn't a complete fool."

Le Roi est mort. Vive le Roi!

Writing about Hillary Clinton as the prospective Democratic presidential candidate, Camille Paglia asks “What exactly has she ever accomplished?” 
Camille, Camille, Camille. 
Would anyone have asked, upon George III’s accession to the Kingship, “What exactly has he ever accomplished?” 
Would anyone have asked, when Marie Antoinette became the Queen of France, “What exactly has she ever accomplished?” 
Would anyone have asked, when Lord Cardigan was named commander of the Light Brigade and his brother-in-law the Earl of Lucan was named overall British cavalry commander in the Crimean War,  ”What exactly have they ever accomplished?” (Well, a few people did, but they were pretty much ignored)
Camille, your question reflects the mindset of an earlier America in which it was widely believed that leaders should be selected based on their actual accomplishments.
Given the energetic yawns of the MSM with regards to Benghazi, Fast & Furious, the IRS scandals, and the NSA (to name a few), I honestly believe that the upcoming elections in 2014/2016 may be our last shot at maintaining our republic.  If we can't muster up enough gumption and support to put a boot to a few bottoms and string up some political careers, we might as well just admit that it's time to throw in the towel.

However... if we ever do decide to chuck the Constitution in the shredder and go back to the idea of ruling families, I hope that we would at least do it properly.  Britain has a perfectly good set of royals that they're willing to share, after all.  And frankly, Queen Liz [1] is a whole heck of a lot more interesting than Hillary has ever been or ever will be.

[1] No disrespect intended, yer majesty.  Informal vocabulary is just part of our quaint colonial charm.

Mistext of the Day



Apparently, this is A Thing.

More specifically, it is A Thing that I will be doing with my eldest daughter, starting next week.


Hopefully getting into a running routine (while also avoiding snacks between meals) will help improve my general health, well-being, and allow me to loose those 20-30 pounds of tasty, tasty carbs that I'm currently lugging around.

Let's see how it works out.  It certainly seem simple enough that even I should be abel to keep up with it.  You can see the schedule for the first two weeks below.  Plus, y'know.  Daughter.  Can't let her down.  Even if I might be willing to slack off on my own part, I've got another reason entirely to make it work.

WeekWorkout 1Workout 2Workout 3
1Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
2Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Help keep me honest, folks.

"Hey, What's That Red Neon Flashing Light For?"

Martin Petherbridge, Raleigh’s lead auditor, must have felt like a voice in the wilderness in 2011 as he tried to warn city officials that there were problems with a business incubator in Southeast Raleigh, which was getting a combination of federal and state dollars and grants.
The incubator, called the Raleigh Business & Technology Center Inc., has been through a whirlwind of problems including eviction, money moving around without much oversight – including to an organization founded by the center’s director – and people in its building not paying rent.
The story is simple: An organization got public money, didn’t manage it well – actually, it appears to have managed it with a reckless disregard for the fact that it came from taxpayers – and in the end the mismanagement ruined the organization. Police now are investigating the organization for possible fraud.
Geez. By those standards, three-quarters of the programs that the various levels of government fund should be under investigation.

Not that that would be a bad thing, mind you.


U.S. Navy veteran Ted Visner and his wife, Kathy Smith of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, have been living out a nightmare. It started two and a half years ago, when the family fell victim to an apparent real estate scam by a local sheriff's department employee.
Ted Visner says they bought their former home on a land contract, only to learn seven months later, that the seller, Isabella County Sheriff's Dept. employee Shelly Sweet, was not making monthly payments on the house. A bank foreclosed on the property, all unbeknownst to the Visner/Smith family.
Ted Visner, who builds custom homes for a living, said, "Although we were paying Sweet every month on the purchase of the property, she had not been paying the underlying mortgage and the home fell into foreclosure." I asked Visner if he had records of those payments, he said he does, including canceled checks. You won't believe what happened next.
"On a weekend Sweet knew that we would be out of town, she offered the contents of our home to her friends and coworkers at the Isabella County Sheriff’s Department, claiming we had abandoned the home. Many took her up on her free offer deal and took over $55,000 dollars worth of our personal property."

This is utterly evil, and unconscionable.

Is there a single, rational reason why the Isabella County Sheriff's Department, Board of Directors, and Prosecuting Attorney's office are not being investigated for fraud, theft, and abuse of power?

Rope, please.  We're going to need quite a bit of it to clean up this particular mess.  Careers must hang.

All Hail The Lord of the Bits!

Has some problems with teh intarwebs this morning, resulting in an IM conversation with our network administrator that concluded thusly:

Your Humble Host
I have done as you commanded, O Master of the Networks (May Your Bits Always Flow Freely!)

Our Network Administrator
is it working now for you?
Your Humble Host
Let me see
Why, yes.  Yes it is.
Our Network Administrator
yes, because I haxored xxyyzz and fixed their routers.
Your Humble Host
Meh.  I'm still giving you credit.
You picked up an ethernet cable and gave them the ebil eye across the network, and they quaked in fear and corrected their routing tables.
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Obama on the NSA

Obama talked about surveillance program reforms on Friday.

Let me explain.

No, there is too much. Let me sum up:
"If you like your privacy, you can keep your privacy."
Because, hey.  If you were stupid enough to fall for it once...

Ecclesiastes 1:9-10

"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us." 
– Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 (KJV) 
The US Naval Institute lets Cdr Salamandar discuss 2013’s Greatest Leadership Failure:
There is something very wrong going on at the very highest levels of our uniformed leadership, they are not standing up for the honor and reputation of their Sailors, Marines, and our other brothers and sisters in the profession of arms. 
This failure goes beyond individual failure; it is a systemic failure negatively impacting everyone from the deckplates, to the Beltway, to the post-active duty unemployment line. 
I remain perplexed by the supine masochism displayed over and over in the face of weak-at-best accusations made against the culture, morals, and character of our military in the last year...
What's the game plan?
If the veteran is a victim; he is to be pitied. If he is to be pitied, then he must be helped by his betters. If he has to be helped by his betters to function in society, then he is not an equally contributing member of society. If he is not an equally contributing member of society, he can be marginalized. If he can be marginalized, he can be dismissed and his input ignored. If he can be marginalized politically and his contribution to public discourse ignored, then he cannot compete in the marketplace of ideas and influence. If he cannot compete, then he has no power.
Nothing new under the sun.

"Stupid, Hoss. Every time."

We already mentioned this in our initial post about Barton Gellman's incredible Washington Post expose on NSA abuses, but one of the many astounding revelations was the claim that Senator Dianne Feinstein, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the primary defender of the programs in the Senate, who has always tried to block or shut down any debate over these provisions, claims that she was unaware of the Inspector General's report that highlighted thousands of abuses... 
And now we're supposed to believe that Senator Feinstein had not seen this report? The report that directly assessed whether or not the program that she was the major proponent of, and whose oversight she was in charge of, had been abused? It seems rather obvious that Feinstein is either lying or incompetent here.
False dichotomy. She's repeatedly demonstrated that she is both incompetent and a liar.

Or maybe just stupid, which is even scarier...
“He's Black Council," I said.
"Or maybe stupid," Ebenezar countered.
I thought about it. "Not sure which is scarier."
Ebenezar blinked at me, then snorted. "Stupid, Hoss. Every time. Only so many blackhearted villains in the world, and they only get uppity on occasion. Stupid's everywhere, every day.”

Texting is Totally Cromulent, Dude

Europe's Marijuana Capital

Hint: it's not Amsterdam.
The last time police tried to enter the mountainside village of Lazarat near this historic southern city last summer, they prompted a ferocious firefight a local police commissioner describes as “very much like a real war.” 
Speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of being ostracized, he said he was part of a special forces operation during which sniper units occupied high ground as SWAT teams moved in to arrest a handful of people working in fields surrounding the village. 
They were no ordinary fields: Lazarat is known as Albania’s drug capital, notorious for its cannabis and lawlessness... 

Last year’s raid didn’t last long. When officers began cutting down cannabis plants, 15 SUVs mounted with heavy machine guns materialized and started firing.
“We were drawing indiscriminate fire from 20 positions, including heavy machine guns and anti-tank missiles,” the commissioner said. “I saw a 70-year-old grandmother shooting at us with a heavy machine gun. I thought I was going to die.”
Worried about civilian casualties, the police withdrew as snipers disabled the SUVs with explosive bullets.
They haven’t been back.
Holy cow.  Heavy machine guns and anti-tank missiles?  That's some serious KYFHO going on there.

Makes me wonder if they have a schedule of motivational speakers.

Overheard In The Office

Jane (walking into the office): Hey, Bob, can I talk to you about bug 15479?

Bob: What's 15479?

Happy, Happy, Happy

Work, work, work.

I've got a nasty, thorny problem to solve, and pretty much for the last couple of work days, I've been heads down and loving it.

Yeah, yeah.  I know... but I'm one of the happy kinds.

I Was Almost A Halfling

Thanks to Professor Mondo, I now know that...

I Am A: Neutral Good Human Ranger/Cleric (3rd/2nd Level)

Not that there's anything wrong with halflings, mind you.
Especially since, like my namesake, I enjoy eating wild critters.
And the whole idea of elevensies is made of pure win.
Actually - you know, halflings rock.

Ability Scores:

Neutral Good A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment when it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Primary Class:
Rangers are skilled stalkers and hunters who make their home in the woods. Their martial skill is nearly the equal of the fighter, but they lack the latter's dedication to the craft of fighting. Instead, the ranger focuses his skills and training on a specific enemy a type of creature he bears a vengeful grudge against and hunts above all others. Rangers often accept the role of protector, aiding those who live in or travel through the woods. His skills allow him to move quietly and stick to the shadows, especially in natural settings, and he also has special knowledge of certain types of creatures. Finally, an experienced ranger has such a tie to nature that he can actually draw on natural power to cast divine spells, much as a druid does, and like a druid he is often accompanied by animal companions. A ranger's Wisdom score should be high, as this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.

Secondary Class:
Clerics act as intermediaries between the earthly and the divine (or infernal) worlds. A good cleric helps those in need, while an evil cleric seeks to spread his patron's vision of evil across the world. All clerics can heal wounds and bring people back from the brink of death, and powerful clerics can even raise the dead. Likewise, all clerics have authority over undead creatures, and they can turn away or even destroy these creatures. Clerics are trained in the use of simple weapons, and can use all forms of armor and shields without penalty, since armor does not interfere with the casting of divine spells. In addition to his normal complement of spells, every cleric chooses to focus on two of his deity's domains. These domains grants the cleric special powers, and give him access to spells that he might otherwise never learn. A cleric's Wisdom score should be high, since this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

Gerard Van der Leun, quoting Vaclav Havel, calls it "The Poster Test":
The manager of a fruit-and-vegetable shop places in his window, among the onions and carrots, the slogan: “Workers of the world, unite!”
Why does he do it? What is he trying to communicate to the world?
What, indeed?

The slogan is really a sign, and as such it contains a subliminal but very definite message. Verbally, it might be expressed this way: “I, the greengrocer XY, live here and I know what I must do. I behave in the manner expected of me. I can be depended upon and am beyond reproach. I am obedient and therefore I have the right to be left in peace.
Emphasis mine.  The implication, of course, is that if you do not obey, you will not be left in peace.

In pieces, perhaps.  But not in peace.

If you think that is an unintended consequence, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale that you might be interested in.

The test itself?
If you go into an institutional environment - a government office, a school or college, a hospital or doctor's surgery, a museum, public transportation - and you observe posters adorning the walls on politically-correct topics such as diversity, fair trade, global warming, approved victim groups, third world aid - remember Havel's essay, and that the correct translation of such posters is as follows: 
"I am afraid and therefore unquestioningly obedient"
The frequency of such posters nowadays, compared with a generation ago, is a quantitative measure of the progress of totalitarian government.

There's Just Not Enough Rope To Do Him Justice

Fernandez, along with Army veteran Gerri Tindley, joins 11 other women who have publicly accused Filner, 70, of making unwanted advances, from groping to verbal passes.
They are also among at least eight female veterans and members of the National Women's Veterans Association of America (NWVAA) in San Diego who have made accusations against the mayor. Almost all of the women were victims of sexual assault while they were in the military.
Ah, good ol' Bob. He didn't just cross the line... he strapped on a JATO and rocketed across it.

CNN somehow failed to mention Bob's party affiliation.  Democrat, just in case you were wondering.  I am sure that this was a mere oversight, of course.

I'm sure he has a great record of advocating for women's issues, though.  I mean, after all - it's not like he had binders full of women or anything disgusting and reprehensible like that.

For Persons of a Certain Age

"The Looove Boat, soon will be making..." its final run.

Unfortunately, it's not headed for Fantasy Island...
The MS Pacific, a cruise ship made famous by its appearance in the popular U.S. 1970s television show “The Love Boat,” has sailed its final voyage to a ship-breaking yard on Turkey’s Aegean Sea coast, a shipping group said on Wednesday.
Called the Pacific Princess when it was on the long-running comedy, the iconic 13,500-tonne, 171-m-long (561-foot-) vessel will be stripped for its metal and parts, said Ersin Ceviker of the Ship Recyclers’ Association of Turkey.
If you happen to be of a certain age, I suspect that you are probably already humming the theme... so you might as well enjoy:

Farewell to IFTTT

I have been using IFTTT now for about a year to automate posting links from Facebook to the blog.

Up until today, I would have said it was a success... but.

I really hate the fact that I can't create a draft post. As a result, I always end up with two posts on each subject:
  1. The initial IFTTT story, created with an automated title.
  2. The edited story, with a witty title and awe-inspiring snark added.
I thought that was a somewhat clunky mechanism, but hey... free is free.  I was willing to do a little extra work to make it all flow.

What I have just realized, though, it that if I am not very, very, very quick about catching story #1 after IFTTT posts it, then it makes its way into the blog's RSS feed and ends up getting picked up by feed readers.  Which leads to problems (i.e., a 404 page) when I do get around to reverting the story to a draft in blogger.  I do that to give me a chance (ideally) to edit the contents and republish under a different, more human-friendly title as story #2.


Again - I have been doing this for almost a year.  My initial tests seemed to indicate that the IFTTT post --> revert to draft --> re-publish cycle would work for me, and I haven't checked up on it until today.  I don't know if my initial tests were wrong in some way, or if there was a change in Blogger or IFTTT, or what.  The short of it is that it isn't working the way I really want it to work, so I'm going to have to switch back to posting by hand, just like in the bad old days.

Sigh.  Just me, and multiple incompatible distributed information sharing systems with integrated WYSIWG editors and a global reach.

It's stone knives and bearskins as far as the eye can see, I tell ya.

Ignoring Elephants, Skill Level: Epic

Grayson, of course, was one of the first members of Congress to speak out forcefully about the NSA surveillance program and why he found it to be unconstitutional... 
Think about that for a second. Here were documents that were published in major newspapers, discussing issues of key importance for Congress -- and a member of Congress is actually being threatened with sanctions for daring to send this front page news around to other colleagues in order to have a discussion about the NSA's actions. At this point, it would appear that the House Intelligence Committee isn't just failing at its job of handling oversight for the intelligence agencies, but it's now actively obstructing the rest of Congress from living up to their oath as Congressional Representatives to protect the Constitution.
Well, let's be honest.  This is entirely in keeping with the current administration's modus operandi.

The IRS targeting of conservative groups?  We don't talk about that.

Four dead in Bengahzi?  We don't talk about that.

The government running guns to Mexican drug cartels?  We don't talk about that.

Secret courts and drone strikes?  We don't talk about that.

Democratic mayor moonlighting as a serial groper?  We don't talk about that.

Detroit dead after half a century of progressive policies?  We don't talk about that.

Al Qaeda is still an active threat?  We don't talk about that.

The nightmare of Arab Spring turning into a Islamist Summer?  We don't talk about that.

Widespread opposition to Obamacare?  We don't talk about that.

Ongoing conversion of full-time to part-time jobs?  We don't talk about that.

More and more college graduates failing to find jobs?  We don't talk about that.

Unemployment up?  We don't talk about that.

Economy down?  We don't talk about that.

Prosecution of whistleblowers?  We don't talk about that.

The government encouraging employees to rat out one another?  We don't talk about that.

The increasing evidence that we live in a surveillance state?  We don't talk about that.

Most transparent administration?  Yeah... we don't talk about that.

Apparently, the only thing this administration is willing to talk about - repeatedly, at length, and exhaustively - is how awesome they are.

Oh, and how everything is still Bush's fault.  Somehow, I don't think that one will ever be off the table.

Edit: within seconds of posting this, I encountered this wonderful little quote via Jerry Pournelle:
“Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”
– President Barrack Obama, January 23, 2009
I'd laugh if I weren't already crying.

You Forgot "Arrogant"

President Obama has now thrown the book at seven eight whistleblowers and leakers, charging them under the Espionage Act of 1917, a law passed to criminalize anti-war dissent against US involvement in World War I...
This administration has a problem with anyone - anyone - who doesn't toe the party line, in all particulars.  I'm sure they'll get around to us peons sooner or later, but for now, they are working on making sure that the party faithful are, indeed, faithful:
Yes, you read that right. It's 2013 and the government is encouraging government workers to snitch on the reading habits of colleagues. We’ve been here before, and we've seen where it goes if this kind of authoritarian impulse is allowed to metastasize. The results are predictable, dangerous, and shameful.
That last sentence pretty much sums up the Obama administration in a nutshell.

Predictable, dangerous, and shameful.

No, Not Chucky...

A law student says fear of federal prosecution has kept him from fully carrying out an experiment he aptly calls “CreepyDOL,” which shows how cheap and easy it is for ordinary citizens to spy on each other... 
“It eliminates the idea of ‘blending into a crowd,’” is how he put it. “If you have a wireless device (phone, iPad, etc.), even if you’re not connected to a network, CreepyDOL will see you, track your movements, and report home.”
"Ubiquitous surveillance society".

Say it three times while looking into a mirror, and George Orwell appears.