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Monday, February 28, 2011

Progress Will Win... I Hope

A buddy of mine forward this to me, (from reddit) and it is so spot-on I had to post it here.

Click here to view the images from the source.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Space Shuttle from an Airplane Window

I don't normally post stuff like this. Afterall, the blog is called the cranky monkey, and not much to be cranky about in this video, other than it marking the end of an era. But it is my blog, and I like space stuff, so I'm going to post it anyway.

This man took a video of the space shuttle Discovery taking off for its last flight. All thanks to an airline being two hours late.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bobby Franklin of Georgia Making Miscarriages Illegal

Hey, Georgia do you ever wonder why when people from other states make fun of ignorant rednecks from the south,we use Georgia as an example.

Representative Bobby Franklin is pushing legislation in Georgia that would criminalize a miscarriage. He wants to make it punishable by death to the mother if she has one.

Read more here…

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Actual Distribution of Wealth

Actual vs perceived distribution of wealth.

I wonder how many people in the country actually think they will be in the top 20% some day.

image source - Mother Jones

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rand Paul Adverting Here

If you haven’t noticed it, there has been an ad showing up over the past few days from Rand Paul. If you click it, it takes you to some anti-union petition page he would like you to sign. Most likely due to a few of the Wisconsin union busting posts I’ve done the past few days.

If you see this ad…

Rand Paul
...I would like you to click on it. Since it’s a contextual ad, by clicking on it they are paying for that click. The important part is, don’t actually complete the petition after clicking, as that would make clicking on it pointless. I want them to pay for the click and get nothing in return.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wisconsin Blocking Pro-Union Website

The latest news from Wisconsin and Republican Governor Scott Walkers attempt at curtailing free speech and individual choice, is that they are blocking websites. The website defendwisconsin.org which has been used by union supporters has been blocked in the Capitol building.

What's next, any news agency that doesn't report the story they way the Republicans want it? Or even worse, blocking the Cranky Monkey!

Read more here…

Monday, February 21, 2011

Scott Walker Out with the Unions

Wisconsin UnionHey Wisconsin, you want to know what happens when you elect a tea-party backed right-wing conservative douche-bag into office? You loose your rights!

Scott Walker the newly elected Republican governor has been in the news the last week as he is proposing to pass a law that effectively disallows state workers collective bargaining rights. Except for police, firefighters, and state troopers who would be exempt.

Personally, I'm not really a fan of unions, feeling that they are an outdated entity no longer needed for the country we live it. But, I am in favor of choice. And if workers choose to join a union or a job that is unionized, that is there choice and they should be allowed to bargain collectively.

Read more here..

Saturday, February 19, 2011

More GOP Amendments

Some more on the ridicules amendments that the republicans are adding to the budget.

Amendment 10 Stearns (R-FL) To stop EPA from developing or issuing standards that list coal ash as hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
Amendment 13 Rooney (R-FL) To stop EPA from using its funding to implement, administer or enforce new water quality standards for Florida's lakes and flowing waters, which were issued in November.

Amendment 109 Griffith (R-VA) To stop EPA from using its funding to implement or enforce new guidance for the review of possible water pollution from proposed coal-mining projects

Amendment 127 Young (R-AK) To stop EPA from regulating air pollution from Arctic offshore drilling

Amendment 152 Jenkins (R-KS) To prevent funding the cleanup of pesticides and PCBs from the Great Plains Industrial Park (formerly the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant)

Amendment 192 Biggert (R-IL) To eliminate the Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency

Amendment 198 Poe (R-TX) To stop EPA from creating a cap-and-trade program or enforcing any other regulations for greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act

Amendment 207 Jones (R-NC) To block penalties for illegal fisheries activities

Amendment 216 McKinley (R-WV) To stop EPA from administering or enforcing the sections of the Clean Water Act that govern dredge-and-fill permits, i.e. mountaintop-removal

Amendment 217 McKinley (R-WV) To stop coal ash rules

Amendment 218 Johnson (R-OH) To stop EPA from issuing new rules for the circumstances under which mining may be conducted near streams or from conducting an environmental impact statement on the impact of the rules; e.g. mountaintop removal

Friday, February 18, 2011

Congress Budget Cutting Everything Except the Military

BohnerGood job you right-wing, tea-bagging, conservative, douche-bags who helped vote the Republicans into control of the House of Representatives.

Today they voted today to block federal aid to Planned Parenthood, with absolutely no regard to the long term negative effects of what will happen. No more contraception, medical exams and counseling to women.

They are making huge cuts to the EPA. And voted to stop limits on mercury pollution from cement factories. Heaven forbid that we attempt to reduce the amount of mercury that ends up in our waterways, and eventually in us.

They voted to block the FCC from enforcing a new rule that prohibit broadband providers from interfering with internet traffic on their networks. Basically this means internet providers can decide what you get to surf the web for, including Netflix. Republicans are deciding what you get to do in your own home.

They are cutting funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

This one is no surprise, they also voted to cut funding for the recently passed Health Care over hall.

And guess how much they cut of there own budget? Just a tiny little bit.

They are going to increase the Pentagon budget by about 2% though. Because we need to continue funding our war machine and overly costly military.

I can only hope that Obama remembers who voted him into office and veto's this crap if it ever makes it to his desk.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

House Budget – Cut and Spend

Many of the current Republicans were elected on promises of reducing government spending. Currently the House of Representative is in the process of drafting the budget, which they have managed to add about 400 amendments to. Most of them cutting cost in places it shouldn’t be cut.
For example:

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) wants to cut funding Planned Parenthood. Which in turn would result in more teens, poor, and others having children. And ending up on Welfare eventually costing the country more money in the long run.

They want to cut all funding for NPR and PBS. I assuming this has to do with that they want all people watching Fox New for information.

They want to cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency. The agency responsible for much of the clean air and water we currently enjoy in this country.

Here is one that I actually support:

Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) proposes to prohibit the expansion of body-scanner use by the Transportation Security Administration. Of course he’s a Democrat.

But what they don’t want to do is cut the military. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) wants to continue to fund the building of a second engine for the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. The engine is expected to cost $3 billion over the next few years and $450 million this year.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates doesn’t want the second engine, neither does the military. They are perfectly happy with the one engine being built as it is. But guess where the engine is being built? That’s right in Boehner’s home state.

Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) wants to restoring funding to the COPS program, which provides federal grants to local police initiatives. You know, because cops are so useful when they aren’t harassing people and writing B.S. speeding tickets.

Read more here…

Updated 02/16/11
Looks like they were able to cut funding for the engine...

Monday, February 14, 2011

No FiOS for Me

So I've had pretty crappy DSL service for a while now with Verizon later changed to Frontier. I finally decided to call and upgrade to something faster. My first call was to Frontier to see what they offered, but there fasted DSL isn't up to par with Cable or FiOS. So my next check was to Verizon for FiOS. On the website when checking service and plans I kept getting an errror with an instruction to contact customer service.

Like most people who prefer not to call, I went to the instant chat. I gave the person my info, and said the issue I was having. He gave me the link to see if service was available in my area. He gave me the same link I had just used, so I of course got the same error, which I sent to him. His response was to try back later or call customer service. Thanks for nothing chat help representative.

I next called Verizon to see if they had FiOS at my house. This also involved an extended wait. And after finally reaching someone, I found out they don't offer it. So, Comcast was my only choice at this point.

My attempt to cancel my service with Frontier consisted of calling on the morning and waiting 20 minutes before getting tired of waiting and hanging up. My second call to cancel service also involved another 20 minute wait.

I of course tried there live chat but they can't do anything, except give me a different number to call. The new number only took me 10 minutes to get through though. Apparently I'm not the only one dissatisfied with the service.

In the end I'm stuck with Comcast. Not because I think they are that great, but because I was actually able to sign up for service via the website without any issues.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

N.Y. Rep. Looking for Action on Craigslist

Another Republican (Christopher Lee) leaves office with a sexual scandal. At least he’s not an anti-gay Republican who was caught hooking up with other men. He is however a married Republican who was looking to hookup on craigslist.
Read more here…

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Chasing Away the Books

Speaking of the suckiness that is Chase Bank. Seattle residents are loosing one more local book store, to be replaced with a Chase Bank. The university district Twice Sold Tales will become an internet-only bookstore at the end of March, closing the doors of it's location on 45th and University Way.

Read more here…

Friday, February 04, 2011

The Parlor Comedy Club in Bellevue Experience

My girlfriend and I recently won some free tickets to go see Ralphie May. Fantastic, I thought, as I had seen his show before. I had however never been to the Parlor Comedy Club in Bellevue Washington. For those not living in the Pacific Northwest, Bellevue is a compact city just east of Seattle, crammed full of newly built tall offices and condos. The streets are lined with posh over-priced restaurants where the BMW driving boys, who work for one of the many tech companies in the area, can go to spend money and pic up chicks who spend more time on their hair than they do on their personalities.

The Parlor is a nightclub with a selection of pool tables, a dance floor, and club style music playing. In the back is the comedy club. We gave our "V.I.P." tickets to the hostess who lead us to a table. Apparently V.I.P equals closer to the stage seating, even though the venue is small enough to where it wasn't necessary. The tables were small square ones lined up right next to each other, so as to cram as many people as possible into the venue. The stage was well lit, and the comedy club didn't have the gritty personalities as some you might find in New York, or the character that you would find at the Comedy Underground of Seattle's Pioneer Square. The club looked like a dance club, with a stage and tables where the dance floor should be. In the back of the room they even had a DJ spinning dance music for us to listen to while we waited.

The service wasn't bad, the waitress was as hot as all the other tight-assed little waitresses in the place. She brought us our drinks, took our food order, and we waited for the show to start as the place filled with people. There were two doors on the same wall as the DJ. The door we entered through and another on the far side. Both were open allowing people to enter and exit to the rest rooms in the back.

About 7:45 pm the show started. The lights flashed, a pre-recorded voice announced the start of the show, and a screen in the back began to play previews. Previews of who was coming to the venue and advertisements for contests they were having. The MC eventually came out and did his warm-up bit, then the second comedian did his bit, then the headliner - Ralphie May. He was much closer here than the time I saw him at the Moor in Seattle. He started the show off with a story about why he was heavily medicated, then went into the show doing his bits. But this blog post isn't about Ralphie May, this blog post is about The Parlor.

So, after the show Ralphie told us how he would be in the room next door with CD's, t-shirt's, and to sign autographs and take pictures. Which is typical of any comedy show I've ever been to. Since it was a Thursday night and I had to work the next day, I didn't want to wait to meet him, I just wanted to leave, and so did my girlfriend.

We quickly jumped up and made a path to the door we came in, unfortunately we were turned away, apparently they wanted us to exit through the other side. Crap! So we made our way to the other door, but by this point others trying to leave were doing the same. Yet that door had an employee in front of it as well blocking people from exiting. We were all being funneled to a third door, the door leading to the room that had Ralphie in it. We weren't far from that door, but it wasn't moving. And people were getting cranky. People were getting tightly packed in an alcohol fueled desire to leave, and people were getting mad. My girlfriend was getting anxious as the crowd compacted around us, and I imagined it wouldn't take much for a stampede to begin like a Wal-Mart on black Friday, causing panic and injuries.

GF- We should go out the other door. What are they going to do? They can't stop us from leaving.
Me - True
GF- I'm going to try, you stay here and save our spot in case I can't get out.
Me- Okay

She cut through the crowd to the other door and I lost sight of her. I figured if we got separated, it wasn't that large of a place and we could meet up on the outside. I eventually made it into the room and was able to see the reason for the congestion. The room had a couple pool tables with people weaving around in a line, and at the door, which was right next to the door my girlfriend was trying to leave, was where they set Ralphie May. So the people who wanted to buy stuff and meet him were blocking the exit for everyone who was trying to leave.

Eventually a small group formed a line and began forcing their way through to the door, which I quickly joined and made my way out. On the other side my girlfriend was waiting by the exit of the other door.

Her experience - After going to the door and joining the argument with the person blocking it, some guy had come up and just opened it saying, "they can't stop us from leaving." as people were walking out a bouncer came over and confronted the man. From the sounds of it, the guy wasn't being aggressive, he was just trying to help people out. When the guy went to open the door again, the bouncer tackled him, and a couple other employees came over and all three of them drug the guy off. My girlfriend and another guy were there yelling at the bouncers to let him go, but they didn't.

After finally leaving we discussed the place and came to one very clear conclusion; that we would never go there again. Oh, and that the guy who got tackled by the bouncer should sue the Parlor.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

14 Billion by 2100

Our global population will pass 7 billion sometime this year. And with the environmental destruction already happening to a world that can't currently support it's population, think about this: the projection by 2100 is 14 billion people. Luckily I'll be dead when that happens.

Read more here...

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Chased Away to BECU

Chase Sucks
When I first moved to Seattle about 12 years ago I set up a checking account with Washington Mutual (WAMU) Bank. At first I was satisfied with the service, they had plenty of locations, they didn't charge monthly fees and provided other services I was satisfied with. They were a bank, so I didn't love them, but my card worked, my checks were cashed, and they did what they were supposed to do.

Later when I opened my own small business, I set up a checking account for that as well through them. No minimum balance requirements required or monthly fees. Just a basic checking account with my business name on it.

Fast forward to the financial crisis and the housing bubble bust, and WAMU ends up under the new ownership of Chase Bank. At first they said nothing would change, and I didn't have to big of an issue getting my account transferred over for online access.

But it wasn't long before the quality of service started to suffer. The first thing that happened was they told me if I didn't have a minimum balance in my business checking account, I would pay a fee. So I closed the account. It was a very small business.

Then a couple of months ago, they told me the same thing for my personal checking account. I either had to have a direct deposit setup or minimum monthly balance. I actually already met the requirements, so there was no danger of me being charged the fees. But, people get laid off, stuff happens, and my financial status might change. And if it did, I wouldn't want to have an additional monthly charge from my bank.

So, I went down the street to BECU and opened an account. They also had some of the same requirements, and if I met those requirements, they would give me interest on my checking account. If I didn't they wouldn't. Either way, there is no fee.

Chase prefers the stick, BECU likes the carrot. And it works, because my Chase account is now closed, they no longer make money of my debit card transaction fees, and I won't be using them for any other services. BECU however, will be making money from me. Assuming they keep the same business practices, that is.