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Updated: 2018-03-02T11:53:00.726-05:00


What If I Never Find Another Job?


(image) One distinct disadvantage of having an overactive imagination is a tendency to dwell on "worst case scenarios".

Now, don't get me wrong - there are some REALLY ugly worst case scenarios out there - for instance the Yellowstone caldera blowing it's stack and pretty much completely destroying the human race as we know it.

But, no, with SO many people getting laid off the last few months I am beginning to wonder just exactly what "end-stage economic disease" might look like for someone who exhausts all his resources.

People keep telling me that there are safety nets in place out there and no one need be homeless who doesn't want to be, but sometimes I find myself wondering.

There is unemployment insurance to be sure - if I understand it the better part of a year of at least some money coming in to attempt to pay rent and keep some modest food on the table, but once that, savings, and the generousity of friends and neighbors is exhausted, what then?

I've heard that the next stop is a place in Over-The-Rhine called The Drop Inn. I find myself wondering what one's first trip down there might be like. Does the last friend or relative to throw you out take you down there? Do you have to hike miles there yourself? Are there other facilities like it in the area?

And then - what do they do with you there? I understand all the shelters are pretty much intended to be temporary. With absolutely nothing but the clothes on your back how do you climb back towards independence? I've heard a great many stories that it can be done, but sometimes I find myself wondering intensely about the details.

Perhaps it's all ultimately just a bad dream. Perhaps in most cases long before one loses one's last shelter the economy will turn around and some sort of employment and continuation as an independent member of society can be arranged.

One can only hope ...

Lifestyle Downsizing


(image) There's a fascinating article running on CNN talking about the various folks who have taken huge pay decreases in the recent economic downturn.

Being a long-time computer hobbyist I tend to look at things in terms of breaking them down to discrete components and asking myself, "How does this work?"

Of course if one has had a certain salary, particularly for a couple of years, I would tend to think that many aspects of their lifestyle would be based upon that salary. For instance, if you're making $200,000/yr you could handle - what? - a $300,000 house and maybe a $400/mo. car payment?

Now suppose you lose this $200,000 job and can only get one that pays $50,000. How in the WORLD do you "unwind" the "positions" you had in housing and transportation that was more appropriate for the $200,000/yr salary.

Well, this article isn't painting a very rosy picture on that topic. They are talking about people getting their houses foreclosed on and vehicles repossessed - and these are people with children.

However, this article makes mention that this one particular family was able to find rental property.

I suppose that is a good sign because I've always been under the impression that landlords really didn't want to work with you if you had a recent foreclosure or eviction.

Of course I guess times have changed.

But, I suppose the theme that is coming through this article and other similar ones is that life goes on - not in the way you were used to at higher salary levels, but life does indeed go on.

Of course I suppose it begs the next question though - suppose you were starting out at $35,000/yr. or some such and can only find a job that pays $10/hr or so? Where do you end up THEN?

12 Indian Days Of Christmas


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As it is that time of year again ...

Who Moved My Channels?


(image) John Matarese got me all psyched up at the bottom of an article talking about recent changed to the Time Warner lineup.

Yes ... a couple of days ago I noticed static on Channel 55 on the one TV that I have hooked up to analog service. Apparently this is due to CNN Headline News being moved to Channel 10 so that "basic" cable subscribers can now pick it up.

However, what got me all excited is that WCPO's actual over-the-air HD signal is supposed to be on cable now on "Channel 9.1".

Uh ... well "9.1" is just the "marketing name" on HD. WCPO actually transmits on the old VHF channel 10, making it very difficult to pick up at Camp Axinar over rabbit ears.

Cable usually does carry channels on the same frequency as their over-the-air versions due to the possibility of interference and, guess what, they just moved CNN Headline to the Channel 10 frequency.

I cross-connected my analog cable lines into my converter box and - guess what? - nothing.

Nada, zip, zero.

Although I suppose as some point cable will start carrying over-the-air HDTV channels as more and more people get HD tuners, but there sure doesn't seem to be anything there now.

Bummer - I was looking forward to seeing some HD channels on cable without the need for a converter box at some point ...

Obama: Black? White? Both? Neither?


Well, believe it or not, the Dean of Cincinnati's issue about whether or not it is appropriate to call Obama "Black" or "African-American" has made the mainstream media. An AP story made it to the Axinar news desk via AOL of all places asking Is Obama Black, White, Both, or Neither?Now probably the most pertinent fact on the subject is Obama's own opinion of his identity - he has been quoted as saying, "I identify as African-American — that's how I'm treated and that's how I'm viewed. I'm proud of it."That should probably be the end of the story.However, the AP story goes on to say, "The entire issue balances precariously on the 'one-drop' rule ..." referring to a time when a person with any African ancestry at all could never be a full citizen.The "one-drop" rule has nothing to do, IMHO, with the ethnic identity of Barack Obama or the Haap boys.Now the Dean himself chimes in with "Of course it's not offensive to be called 'black' But is it accurate?". But of course it's quite impossible to discuss whether or not someone is "accurately" designated as Black because the designation itself, at least in early 21st century Cincinnati, is utterly subjective.Of course we have Dr. Henry Louis "Skip" Gates of Harvard who discovered that one actually can discover a quite accurate analysis of one's ancestry through something as simple as a cheek swab. Among a considerable A-list of African-American celebrities, Gates himself is probably the most surprising - both sex-linked genetic markers are European, and his nuclear DNA is 50% African, 50% European. And yet, quite clearly by upbringing and cultural association Skip Gates is a "garden variety Black dude".As he tested celebrity after celebrity, each that would be culturally associated as a "garden variety Black person", a similar story was told. For instance Oprah Winfrey had considerable Native American ancestry, Mae Jemison had considerable far east Asian ancestry, but most had something on the order of 25 - 35% European ancestry.In particular there was a conversation that Gates had with Maya Angelou when he revealed to her the percentage of European blood coursing through her veins and he asked her if she found this disturbing in any way. She said, "Why? It's who I am. Why should I have a problem with it?"And from the Malaysian contingent, the one place we might have some hope of objectivity we have "Why call him Black when he isn't fully Black, but half-White and half-Black?".Again, we have a problem from the "Gates Gang" - every single one of these individuals who clearly have a Black identity and area often considered leaders of the African-American community have CONSIDERABLE European ancestry and often considerable Asian ancestry.In fact, IMHO, having heard some of the discussions of the interactions between the American African-American community and recent African immigrants, I'd almost have to say in order to comfortably BE "African-American" you almost have to have some considerable non-African ancestry.This whole thing should NOT be that big of an issue. Of course the Dean if perfectly welcome to raise his children any way he wants, but that we have a Black man moving into the White House January 20th just doesn't seem to me to be that much subject to debate.[...]

Catch The Frak Up - What's Happened On Battlestar Galactica Up Until Now


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The Dean Of Cincinnati Makes Mainstream Media With "Multiracial" Rant


(image) The Dean of Cincinnati, as mere mortal "Jason Haap", had an op-ed piece run in The Cincinnati Enquirer about Obama and his own children being "multiracial" rather than "Black" or "African-American".

First of all, his writing cleans up pretty well for something serious I've noticed, and I certainly understand where he's coming from.

On Friday night at Mensa I saw the fascinating one-woman performance of Non-Vertical Girl by Renee Alper. It starts out with a review of all the terms used over the last couple of centuries to refer to someone with limited use of their limbs. These terms have tended to change over time because each and every one of them eventually came to have a distinctly negative connotation - crippled, invalid, and even "handicapped" and "disabled".

Of course the terms used to refer to the descendants of African slaves (and those who physically and culturally identify with them) have a remarkably similar history.

Two that now tend to cause offense are "Negro" and "colored" - despite the fact that the one is merely the Latin name for the color black, and another version of the other can be a term of considerable pride - "of color".

The two terms that tend not to be offensive currently are "Black" and "African-American" - despite the fact that my grandmother (God rest her soul) used to tell me that in the early 20th century "Black" was sufficiently offensive to start a fist fight.

Now why in the world would someone go to such effort to make sure such terms would not be applied to one's children and one's President?

The only explanation I can figure out is that to The Dean, the terms "Black" and "African-American" must somehow be offensive.

As I've tried to explain to my poor, misguided friend over and over again, the topic is HIDEOUSLY complicated. How complicated I had no idea until I showed a photograph of my wife to a friend of mine from Puerto Rico and my Puerto Rican friend said, "Oh, no ... she's not Black ... she's Cuban."

Then of course when I found out my wife's family on her father's side actually WAS from Cuba I almost fell over.

But it brings up an interesting illustration. Same person - in Cincinnati, she's Black; in Puerto Rico, she's Cuban; and I have a strong suspicion in Cuba - she's White. Go figure that one out.

Same with Obama. In Chicago, he's "Black". In Kenya, I have a strong suspicion he's "Arab".

In any event, I think the whole thing boils down to the "charming negress" line from Star Trek when Uhura says, "But why should I object to that term, sir? In our century, we've learned not to fear words. We've each learned to be delighted with what we are."

But I think what we could really used here is The Dean doing the cheek swab bit on his older boy and sending it off to FamilyTreeDNA for mitochondrial and Y-chromosome analysis and AncestryByDNA for nuclear DNA analysis. It's my guess The Dean would get the shock of his life off that set of data.

I Think We Need To Convert The Dean Of Cincinnati


The Dean of Cincinnati of course is a man of many quests - handicapped accessibility for Fountain Square Garage patrons; open, accountable government; and a number of other goals of IMPORT.

However, his latest endeavor is beginning to crack me up. Apparently he's lit about the fact that the media refers to Obama as "Black" or "African-American". He's even writing letters to noted linguist Noam Chomsky on the subject for the love of God.

You see, according to the Dean, because Obama had a mother that most people would have considered "White", Obama would only properly be referred to as "multi-racial".

Now, despite my lecturing him a number of times about the extensive work of Henry Louis "Skip" Gates of Harvard University (European-linked Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA PLUS 50% European-linked nuclear DNA but clearly part of the "African-American" community), the Dean still insists that, for starters, his own children shouldn't be considered "Black" and I am somehow being a bad parent by calling my children "Black" despite the fact I don't even have any - well - yet anyway.

I got to thinking about this a little bit and I think maybe the Jews discovered a solution to this problem thousands of years ago.

Historically it has been called "conversion". Yes - traditionally, and currently in the Orthodox community, if you decide you want to be Jewish you accost a rabbi three times, study with that rabbi for at least a year, and then undergo rituals involving dunking naked in spring water before three witnesses and - voila! - with no genetic tests or other chaos you're every bit as Jewish as Moses.

I think it is high time there is a conversion ritual for turning Black.

And of course I think the first person who needs to undergo this ritual is The Dean of Cincinnati.

I believe he should present himself to General Nikki X, Denmark Vesey, and Barack Obama, and, if they deem him worthy, declare him Black retroactively to conception. Therefore his children would have two Black parents and the issue would hopefully be put to rest so he can go back to ranting and raving about something else of IMPORT every now and again ...

Parminder Nagra PREGNANT!


(image) Also several days late is a report from The National Enquirer that Parminder Nagra is PREGNANT.

Apparently Parminder Nagra's boyfriend and baby daddy is a photographer named James Stenson.

The National Enquirer article describes Parminder's family as "Orthodox Sikh" and I'm counting on the Malaysian Indian contingent to leave comments on this entry to explain precisely how upset her family might be by this turn of events.

Of course by American standards this is hardly even news.

The story goes on to report that the pregnancy will not be passed on to Parminder Nagra's ER character, Dr. Neela Rasgotra. Apparently the DP is going to be using techniques first mastered during The Cosby Show when Phylicia Rashad's pregnancy was hidden from the camera so as to - I presume - prevent the Huxtable family from taking on a formation significantly different from the real-life family of Bill Cosby.

Not mentioned in this article is when Parminder Nagra's baby is due nor any mention if The Dean of Cincinnati will be petitioning the media about not referring to the baby as Punjabi, British, or anything else of ethnic IMPORT ...

UPDATE: A Daily Mail article reports Parminder Nagra is four months pregnant, and plans to marry baby daddy James Stenson before the baby is born.

That would make the baby due - what? - tail end of April? Guess poor Minder is going to miss some of the ER series-end festivities.

James Stenson Photography
ER Star Parminder Nagra Pregnant With First Child - US Magazine

Now There Really Is A WKRP In Cincinnati


Well, it looks like our local low-power TV station has changed to a digital transmitter and to mark the occasion they apparently have applied to change their callsign to WKRP.

Back in the '70's there was a sitcom on CBS about a fictional radio station called WKRP In Cincinnati, which was one of my favorite TV series from that era.

For the Malaysian contingent, I don't know if they have this blocked outside the US, but it looks like they have a live streaming feed if you'd care to see the kind of stuff filling the airwaves in this neck of the woods.

Actually I had been a little concerned about getting my digital converter boxes so early that they didn't have analog pass-thru, but now it looks like our low-power station has gone digital before the deadline so the boxes I did get should work out just fine - I hope ...

Okay ... I just took a look with my converter box. They are running 4 separate channels - all with BAD audio problems. The legal call sign looks to be "WOTH" for now. It definitely looks to have potential after they iron out the audio problems though.

The Incredible Hulk - "Homecoming"


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A few days late but this time of year always puts me in mind of this one ...

Crying shame the Malaysian crowd can't watch it ...

New Version Of Star Trek Trailer (With Leonard Nimoy)


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Sarah Palin Interview With Turkeys Being Slaughtered In Background


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Some people just don't pay alot of attention I guess ...

Star Trek Trailer - Clean Transfer


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Star Trek Trailer - Bootleg


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Here's a smuggled copy of the Star Trek trailer playing with the Bond flick ...

Yes, I'm thinking that "re-imagined" label is beginning to apply ...

I Think Julia Sweeney's About To Have An Accident


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Former Saturday Night Live performer Julia Sweeney has a blog that I have on my RSS feeds. She doesn't post very often but she has one that apparently she posted sometime this morning saying that she is breathing again over Obama getting elected.

Now, it's a foregone conclusion that I was an Obama supporter and have also been embarrassed to live in a country that TWICE elected George W. Bush to office, but some of these Obama-gasms still going on five days after the election are tripping me out.

Julia Sweeney was one of my favorite SNL performers though, so I'll cut her some slack that maybe she has been working on this piece for a few days and it captures some of the virtually indescribable elation that swept the nation - yes - let's say it this way - at 10pm Central Standard Time, 4 November, Year of the Common Era Two-Thousand-Eight.

Actually, on the subject, there was another scene that somehow came to mind that night, although I'm having difficulty translating it to this particular event - it was the scene in the original Battlestar Galactica episode "War of the Gods" when Count Iblis promised to deliver their enemy, Baltar and, as the promise was fulfilled Lorne Greene's Adama said, "This is an event unlike any we've experienced since the destruction of our civilization. Baltar's ship is reaching our quadrant and is being intercepted by an elite squadron which will escort the treasonous instrument of our holocaust directly into our hands. Word is spreading like sunbursts through every corner of the fleet. It is a jubilation unprecedented as Baltar is brought before the Council of Twelve. It is just as Count Iblis promised. Our enemy has been delivered."

Yes, if you can make the stretch, based on reports of many Bush executive orders about to be reversed, our enemy has been delivered ...

President-Elect Barack Obama on Election Night


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Well produced piece of Barack Obama's election night speech ...

Obama Birth Certificate Controversy STILL Not Going Away


(image) I just got word that there is a movement afoot to contact the Electors from each state to insist that a "forensic team" be put together to examine the "vault copy" of Barack Obama's birth certificate in Hawaii to verify it's authenticity.

Oh dear.

There's one thing you haven't considered, gang - even if you verify the authenticity of the "vault copy" of the birth certificate you have no way of proving that it is connected to the individual speaking from "The Office of the President-Elect" about being a "mutt" and whatnot.

Although I have been giving this topic some thought vis a vis the "Hillary" angle.

Now, Obama of course mentioned yesterday that he is not privy to some intelligence he hadn't been up until now, but, did he have access to Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret intelligence even as a Senator?

In another article I read something about the fact that the military is scrambling to get clearances run on members of the Transition team so that they can get up to speed as much as possible, but where in this process would Obama himself have been cleared?

Of course, again, we're talking about a process that requires only U.S. Citizenship and not natural born citizenship, but if Obama has a DOD clearance then that at least means that the "Indonesia angle" did not deprive Obama of his citizenship.

Also, there were stories floating around that Obama's relatives in Kenya wouldn't be granting interviews until after the election. Well, it's after the election - what do THEY have to say?

Andy Martin triggers new Electoral College opposition to Barack Obama - Andy Martin: Contrarian Commentary

"The Right To Be A Man ... To Be A Human Being ..."


I went to an urban high school in the mid 1980's that was about 60% Black at the time.I would never claim to be "down" to 100% understanding what it means to be Black in America, but there was one incident that always stuck with me.There was a particularly articulate brother in my "Public Affairs" class my Senior year who got into a MONUMENTAL argument with the teacher one day.This teacher was saying something along the lines, "I can certainly imagine circumstances where I might end up on welfare - possibly for the rest of my life, but I would spend ever single day telling my children, 'It's not supposed to be this way.'"This brother in the class said something to the effect, "How in the WORLD do you expect me to have a positive attitude when I have to get up every morning, look in the mirror, and be faced with the fact that my ancestors were slaves?"There were various points that went back and forth between this brother and the teacher. Eventually this brother got so upset he left the classroom.Like I said - I would never claim to be "down", but one thing I did pick up was that due to four centuries or more of "bad blood", there were African-Americans who entertained the notion on a way too frequent basis that they might be somehow less than human or at least hopelessly a notch below "the white folks".I once knew another brother who told me he'd never pledge allegiance to the United States because of the 3/5 clause. Again I see this theme that I presume goes something like this, "the document that created the United States made me 3/5 of a person".Then of course there is the classic Malcolm X quote, "We declare our right on this earth to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary."There was an evening I spent listening to a lecture by the Rev. Fred Price. It took him over three hours to explain that his own mentor had hopelessly offended him when he said he didn't believe in interracial dating. Fred Price said, "Mrs. Price and I have been married for over 50 years. I'm not looking for a date. But if you're saying you wouldn't want to see my son dating your daughter you're saying you're better than me and that I DO have a problem with."I had African-American neighbors growing up and I remember the first time I visited them with my then Black girlfriend. I was quite surprised by the reaction. With some Whites, if a Black neighbor young man brought home a White girlfriend there would be an attempted murder before the end of the evening. My neighbors were delighted. I couldn't figure out why. Perhaps it was the opposite of what Fred Price was trying to say - if the neighbor, who looks very different from you, brings home a date who DOES look like you, maybe that somehow communicates that the neighbor thinks you're okay.So what happened last night.I have to admit I was somewhat overcome with emotion when 11pm hit and they called the West Coast, and the election, for Obama.I found myself struggling to even form the thoughts of what had just happened. The foreign press keeps tossing around the simple, "First Black President", but it seems something much bigger happened.In fact I was reminded of a conversation I once had with Buzz Aldrin when he explained to me that he gave himself communion just after he touched down on the moon because he felt something appropriate needed to be done to mark the occasion but he never figured out exactly what that would be so he borrowed somethin[...]

President-Elect Barack Obama - November 4, 2008 - Chicago, Illinois


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Battlestar Religion


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Oh Number One is going to kill me for this one ... :)

"Been A Long Way ... But We're Here"


Barack Hussein Obama II, 47-year-old African American, heading for the Oval Office ...

Yes we did.

Oh, yes we did ...

On that note:
The Blackest Man On The Planet & President of The United States - Denmark Vesey
Barack Obama elected 44th president - MSNBC
Obama Elected President as Racial Barrier Falls - The New York Times

John McCain And Tina Fey's Sarah Palin On Saturday Night Live



Another Obama Birth Certificate Suit Thrown Out



An Ohio-based Obama birth certificate suit was thrown out on Friday.

Warren County magistrate Andrew Hasselbach ruled against David M. Neal saying in part that Neal relied too heavily on Internet rumor to bring forth his complaint.

In other words David M. Neal hasn't been able to produce any more reliable information that Obama was born anywhere other than Hawaii than anyone else has.

However, what is beginning to blow my mind is that the arguments in favor of the Hawaii hypothesis tend to be just as shallow.

I think the main one goes something like this: Obama is a natural born American citizen because Hillary Clinton would have exposed him if he wasn't.

Wrong, people.

As I've pointed out in this blog quite recently, the closest "every day" analogy to the Barack Obama birth certificate issue is starting a new job.

Under penalty of fines and various other nastiness, US employers are required to ask for and examine 1 - 2 documents to verify that an applicant is authorized to work in the United States.

The most common combination of documents is the state-issued driver's license, which establishes identity, and the Social Security card, which establishes US work eligibility.

The second most common document is the US Passport, which establishes both identity and US work authorization.

Now, according to the US Constitution, in order to be qualified to serve as President, an even higher standard is required - that the person be a natural born citizen of the United States.

What the Constitution is not very clear on is who's job it is to examine available evidence to prove that the person is actually a natural born citizen.

Until we figure that out, all this other chaos going on is completely irrelevant ...