17 April 2011

The Trump-es-sphere

Someone needs to make a hair appointment for Donald Trump. I suggest calling the Squirrel Tail Salon which is located in a remote detachment of Area 51.

The cheeky red UFO spotted hovering atop The Donald's melon is poised to light up like a truck stop diesel sign, then dart around to town hall meetings to scare the piss out of 2012 presidential voters.

From one pimp to another...Keep bankin that scrilla and after the show, come by my dressin room. I got a couple of 19 year-olds in there and some sticky icky icky. I'll get you so high, you'll fire yourself and put my name on them muthafuckin towers.
~Snoop Dogg, roasting Donald Trump


06 April 2011

Military Spending vs. Public Education

The Lockheed F-35 multi-strike fighter is A Weapon That Costs More Than Australia.

The US intends to buy 2,443 Lockheed F-35s. The tab will be a cool trillion dollars.

That's one shit-grip full of duckets.
One trillion is 13 digits -- a 1 followed by 12 zeros. GAO estimates that the F-35 program will cost US taxpayers $1E12 to purchase, operate, & maintain.

Australia's entire 12-digit GDP is $924 billion.
The culture of endless money that has taken hold must be replaced by a culture of restraint.
~ U.S. Defense Secretary, Robert Gates
Nary a peep from our elected officials on yet another military blank-check boondoggle.

Are there higher priorities, like a WPA-like jobs program or re-investing in public education?

Try This With That $1 Trillion

About 6 million of the best & brightest teachers would be needed if the US chose to publicly educate all of our 60 million children, aged 0-14, with a 10:1 student to teacher ratio.

In this thought experiment, we could choose to pay the best and the brightest 6 million teachers an attractive salary of say, $100,000 per year.

Sound ambitious? Sound crazy?

If we dumped the F-35 program, we could have the opportunity to re-build a world-class public school system -- and still have $166,666 in change.

Just sayin'.

03 April 2011

The Decorah Eagles

Allow me to to introduce you to The Decorah Eagles.

These two mature American Bald Eagles have been partners since the winter of 2007-08. The female's markings indicated she was about 4 years old when the two became mates. The pair have hatched and fledged:
  • 2 eaglets in 2008;
  • 3 in 2009; and
  • 3 more in 2010.
Since the first egg of this year was laid in February, the streaming video of the Eagles has been viewed by 11 million people from 130 countries. At the time of this post, there are two eaglets, and one unhatched egg. The third egg is expected to hatch any time.

Daughter:Why is this so interesting to watch?
Me:It's meditative. And I learned that eagles yawn.

The Decorah Eagles nest in a cottonwood tree near the Decorah Fish Hatchery. The nest, resting 80 feet above ground, is 5-6 feet across and about the same in depth.

The Raptor Resource Project maintains two cams in the cottonwood tree. The feed from the cams is streamed 24/7.

The bald eagle is a magnificent evolutionary adaption. Eagles are economical killing machines, but kill just enough prey to maintain caloric equilibrium and to feed and fledge their young.

In my post Bald Eagles are Pissed, I recounted a headline I read in The Onion:
Bald Eagle Tired Of Everyone Just Assuming It Supports War
The American Bald Eagle has become emblematic of US military aggression around the world. Yet the over-reaching wars, and gratuitous nation-building carried out by the US government, along with the cacophony of small-minded, patriotic loud-mouths in the US, WILL NOT not taint my awe for this majestic bird.