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LEFTIST TWADDLE, TITS, CROTCH & ASS

Posted in fashion, fetish, FLICKR, lingerie, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, pinup, Sexy, Uncategorized, women on June 15, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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Publisher’s note: On May 10 of this year Visions was forced into receivership by its creditors after the website’s disastrous attempt to corner the Ecuadorian pecan market. Sneetch Worseington, the court appointed receiver, estimated Visions’ loss easily exceeded two hundred dollars. As of this date, based upon the numerous creditors’ claimes filed, it appears each of them will collect less than 3.14159 percent of their claims. Today Visions resume publication in the hope its worldwide syndication income will be sufficient to retire its debt within the next thirty-seven years. Cliff Michaels, Visions founder and editor, was charged with half degree fraud but the charges were dismissed by the court when it learned the evidence – fourteen thousand boxes of Ecuadorian pecans – were consumed by the police, court personnel,  and prosecutors of Turdley County, Mississippi over a three month period.

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I continue to be astounded by the revelation of the NSA’s spying and by the lack of concern by most pundits and the public. Acts of terror by extremist are a genuine threat, but our responses, most particularly the near destruction of the Fourth Amendment, are, it seems to me, grossly disproportional.

From September 11, 2001, through today approximately three thousand people in this country have died in terrorist attacks. That’s an  average of just over two hundred fifty per year. That’s about 5% of the rate of deaths in non-gun related assaults per year (5,181 in 2010). Even if deaths from terrorist attacks rose by a factor of ten, they would amount to only one tenth of death resulting from falls.

I am too lazy to diligently  research how much we have spent on Homeland Security, but one site claims the total from 9/11 through 2009 was ONE TRILLION,  ONE HUNDRED MILION (1,100,000,000) dollars, or about 132 billion a year. Assuming 2,000 lives were saved each year as a result of that spending, we paid just less than  sixty thousand dollars to save each life. Of course, if we are good little economists, we should adjust for things like social security benefits saved, income lost, etc. Then, of course, there’s the economic benefit derived from the income of the hundreds of thousands of workers employed by the Homeland Security and the affiliated industries.

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Imagine what could have been done with a trillion dollars over the past decade plus: cancer research – infrastructure repair – buttressing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – lowering the federal debt – building thousands of schools and hospitals – and countless other improvements, repairs, projects and programs. Today there is little or no public money available for such ventures.

History will certainly record the 9/11 attacks on America as the most costly ever. I would guess if you had told Bin Laden on September 10th his less than two dozen men armed wit box cutters assault would cost the US three thousand lives and trillions of dollars  over ten years (and that doesn’t count the deaths and costs from Iraq and Afghanistan – another trillion plus bucks and over 5,000 American  deaths), he would never have believed you…

But the highest costs we have been incurred was placed on us by our governments – local, state, and federal: the loss of much of our Constitution guaranteed liberties. Sadly, in the name of national security (at any cost ) we have blindly acquiesced in – even applauded – our descent into the valley of the gathering shadows of tyranny.

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In their frantic attempts to draw hits many blogs feature contrarian articles such as Why Bottled  Water Will Kill You, or Rick Santorum, Secret Liberal. These pieces take conventional opinion and take the opposite side. These kind of articles pose no risk to the writer; by a gentlemen’s agreement, no pundit’s ridiculously wrong opinion or prediction is held against her.

So here’s my effort at contrarian punditry: Immigration Reform Will Fail!  Conventional wisdom is not even the Republicans are so stupid that they’ll kill reform, but they will, here’s why…

The conservative base doesn’t give a flip about political positioning to win elections. The base cares about purity. The average hard conservative would rather be right than see her candidate elected. And, of course, the far right is viscerally opposed to any immigration by persons of  color from southern climes. The intensity of the opposition is sky high. Add their fear the potential for millions more Democratic voters and bitterness over the darkening of the once lily white population and their opposition to immigration reform is set in granite.

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Republican Senators, who need votes from a majority of all their state’s voters, are much more amenable to reform than their compatriot Congressmen who for the most part represent safe and very red districts. Add Republican House members’ personal animosity toward Hispanic immigration to their fear of being primaried by someone even more to the right, and they have no incentive to take the risk of backing reform and much to gain by being vocal and vociferous  opponents.

But can’t Republican leaders in the House bring enough members to vote for  reform to have it pass with near unanimous Democratic support? That assumption is  at the heart of Conventional Wisdom. With just a score plus of Republicans voting for reform it would pass the House and become law. Republicans could claim credit and hope to take more of the Hispanic vote on 2014 and 2016.

But the Republican leadership in the House is incredibly weak. Gone are the days when the Speaker exercised  iron control.  The willingness of Republican members to act in lockstep, the source of much of their power, is no longer a given. Each member’s commitment to his or her  own re-election trumps his or her allegiance to the national interests of the Republican party.

The Republicans have been following a rule allowing a full House vote only if a majority of Republicans support the bill. The anti-reform Republicans are a majority of Republicans in the House. They will raise holy hell if Bohner tries to waive the rule as will the far right media (except apparently Fox). Should the Speaker cram a House vote down the throats of the anti-reform Republican majority he may not be Speaker for long. Lacking an iron backbone – or any realistic chance at higher office – he lacks little incentive to push reform and high risk if he does. He won’t (but he will make a lot of supportive comments (all of them ending with “but…”

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There is much discussion about the decline of the Republican party. At least at present, the reports of  it’s slow death are exaggerated. The party controls the House, is in striking distance of control of the Senate, holds a majority of  governorships and state legislatures, and much of local government across the country. At least in the state legislatures, the Republican majorities are very far to the right. None of these zealots support immigration reform and most strongly oppose it. State legislatures tend to be the farm teams of the political parties. Today’s state senator may be tomorrow’s Congressman.

The only true Republican constituency for immigration reform is  potential Presidential candidates and, to a lesser extent, governor and Senatorial candidates in blue or purple states. This small group has little influence on House Republicans. Marco Rubio? He’s  not in the House, he’s only one of a dozen or so possible 2016 candidates (most of whom will oppose reform. His arguments will fall on deaf conservative ears.

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So here’s my prediction: Obama and Senate democrats will cave to Republican pressure to make the bill more and more harsh. They will do this because they’d rather have any reform bill than no bill at all. The Senate bill – however conservative it is perceived by political pundits and observers – will languish in the House and ultimately drown in a sea of xenophobia.

Of course, after the death of reform, Republican national leaders  will quickly blame Democrats for its failure (at the same time far right House members will take credit  for its demise with their constituents).

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SHOCKING SEXY SUNDAY!

Posted in erotic, fashion, fetish, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, Sexy, Uncategorized, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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High Heels

Posted in erotic, fashion, fetish, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, Sexy, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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Pedantic Yammering & Humungous Mammaries

Posted in erotic, fetish, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, politics, satire, Sexy, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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Hope you bought national security companies’ stocks last week. Boston’s unfortunate 26.2 mile misadventure will be good for their businesses and likely bring you a handsome profit.

If you are a conservative pundit with your own radio, TV show  – or podcast – your ratings will soar as you excoriate the government and the liberal and medias elites for failing to protect America, giving that terrorist his miranda warnings, or refusing to send him to our tropical gulag. If you inhabit the conspiracy theory suburbs, you can raise cash by darkly impling it was all an Obama plot.

Of course, if you are xenophobic, you now have an explosive new argument t0 blow away immigration reform. If you are a staunch defender of the Glorious Second,  you can claim it would have been great if every Boston citizen had had an AR-15. Of course, Islamophobes are in hog heaven… It is sad for racists that those boys were white…

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Then there’s West, Texas. Just a tragic accident. nonexistent inspections?  Please, this is Texas. Even the West victims don’t blame the company. Just one of those things. Could have happened anywhere. Who could have foreseen it wasn’t really such a good idea to store tons and tons of fertilizer in the plant – or build a school, houses and a nursing home within a stone’s throw of that plant?

Strengthen regulations?  That would only take away jobs. Jobs sorely needed by the folks in West. What they really need is fast federal funds to rebuild. I mean, unlike those whining folks in New York and Jersey who were hit by a little wind and rain then got greedy, the good Texans in West are true blue Americans and  are only asking for what they deserve – and to get back some of their tax money from the feds (and some more from Jersey, New York, and all those other liberal states where everyone has more money than patriotism).

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Congress gets such a bum rap. Supposedly deadlocked, our brave and caring legislators rose up en mass and, in a magnificent show of bipartisanship, and did something about the senseless budget cuts mandated by the Sequester. With the across the board cuts crippling things like chemotherapy treatments for poor cancer patients, Head Start for poor kids, and nutrition programs for poor old folks, the Senate and House chose to give relief to the real victims of those draconian cuts: airlines and their customers. Who says  Congress doesn’t care…?

 Those cancer patients  are likely going to die anyway. Poor kids and seniors will always be with us (and besides, they’re just moochers). Businessmen – makers not takers   –  trapped in Duluth for three hours must be rescued from that near literal hell on earth…

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I’m not going to mention gun control. What is there to say? 

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Sundy Sinners

Posted in erotic, fashion, fetish, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, Sexy, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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Satin & Lace & Sexy!

Posted in fashion, fetish, FLICKR, lingerie, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, pinup, Sexy, Uncategorized, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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NAKED REDHEAD & Ridiculous Rant

Posted in erotic, fashion, fetish, FLICKR, lingerie, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, pinup, Sexy, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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I read somewhere there’s fairly solid evidence there are actually brain differences between conservatives and liberals. I believe it. Forgive my obvious bias, but it seems to me conservatives have – at least now – a harder time connecting to reality. Not that we liberals don’t have a difficult time seeing past our preconceived notions as well. It’s a matter of degree and not in kind.

Still, for the most part liberals accept science as a guide to reality. The evidence for climate change and evolution is overwhelming. Many, if not most, conservatives are immune to scientific persuasion (unless, of course, they think some particular discovery supports their mindset) and claim both “theories” are merely products of left wing pseudo science created to deprive us of our freedoms.  Its all a conspiracy, don’t you know…

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This is a detour, but I wonder how people – conservatives, in this case –  can believe in a conspiracy that would require thousands  of evildoers to act in concert. Try to figure out just how such a massive deceit would work. It wouldn’t; it would be impossible to coordinate without leaving a massive paper trail, not to mention scores of  defectors who would expose the fraud. Of course, our more rational conservative  brothers would claim scientists are led astray by groupthink. Why such an overwhelming number of climate scientists believe in man made climate change, however, is never explained (or why the overwhelming majority of biologists, geneticists, geologists, etc., etc. accept evolution as a solid scientific answer to why animal and plant life – and we – are the way we are). Is it just coincidence? Each scientist one morning decided to believe in climate change despite the obviousness (conservatives say) of it being wrong. It always amazes me climate change deniers will take some obvious fact – there’s a glacier in South America that grew in size – and argue climate change therefore i wrong. As if scientists didn’t know about it, or willfully refused to believe it.

Years ago I was in Atlantic City and did a bit of gambling. I had a sudden brainstorm and came up with a surefire way to win at roulette. My idea was to double any red or black bet I lost but pocket my winnings. Say I bet ten dollars on each spin on black. If I win I put the sawbuck in my pocket, then bet another ten. Should I lose I next bet twenty. If I lose again I bet forty… My losing streak will end when I win and I’ll break even over the losing streak once I win. If I win my next bet I once more pocket my winnings.

Can’t lose! I’ll be rich!

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Well, no. I knew my theory had to be wrong. Surely someone – shortly after the invention of roulette – would have thought of my plan and bankrupted the casino and ended roulette as we know it. I was right. There is something called the law of large numbers which would eventually destroy me. Sooner or later I’d hit a long losing streak that would be impossible for me to survive. Suppose, for instance, I lost thirteen bets in a row with a starting bet of twenty dollars. On the fourteenth bet I’d have to wager $82,000 to break even. Run the losing streak to twenty-five and my break even bet must be approximately $168,000,000. I don’t know about you, but I don’t normally carry that kind of cash around.

Sure the odds of a twenty-five bet losing streak is quite low – but sooner or later a losing streak will come along that bankrupts you. Even a string of ten losses – betting ten bucks initially – will require an eleventh bet of more than ten thousand dollars (make the streak  eleven and now you need more than twenty grand to just break even – twelve requires forty).

This digression seems to me to have some relevance to the way conservatives think. When faced with something the want to disbelieve they latch onto some simple set of facts – true or false – they  claim proves the provocative theory false. It was warmer in the past. It’s just sunspots. Glaciers in Asia are actually growing. Carbon dating is wrong. The human eye is too complex to have been the product of  natural selection. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Manmade global warming is overwhelmingly supported by scientific evidence and enjoys the support of a very high majority of climatologists and other scientists. More and more the theory is refined and alarming evidence continues to rolls in. The same is true of the theory of evolution. No major scientific study has proven Darwin’s original insights wrong. Tens of thousands of discoveries in the fields of biology, paleontology, genetics, geology, molecular biology, physics,  and countless  other scientific disciplines have been consistent with the theory.

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Conservatives, for the most part, are able to ignore the avalanche of evidence underpinning both scientific theories. They offer simplistic rebuttals: the planet was warmer in the past, the human eye is too complex to have evolved by random chance. Glaciers in Asia are getting bigger, carbon dating is wrong.

You can’t argue with them. Studies show the more educated a conservative is the more she believes the scientific consensus in climatology and biology is wrong. A little learning is a dangerous thing. The educated right winger more easily embraces the pseudosciences of  denial.

Another digression… You cannot convince a Indian shaman his rain dance doesn’t work. If he does the dance and it rains it proves, of course, his high steppin’ worked. If it doesn’t, and you say, “see, I told you it didn’t work!” he just smiles and assures you he just didn’t do the dance right. To the shaman his rain dance always works so long as h
e manages to gyrate in proper precision. How does he know he hoofed without fault? It rains, of course. See also superstition, random reinforcement and religion.

Sure, we lefties are not immune. We, too, see what we want to see all to often. We too easily favor public policies because their goals are, to us, noble and pure. We too easily forget government, particularly at the federal level, is horribly inefficient and subject to corruption and the rule of unintended consequences. Our guys are wonderful (he was set up – she seduced him – he didn’t really mean any harm…) Their guys are bastards (he set them up – he seduced her (him) – he meant to do real harm). We see our leaders virtues, we too often deny their faults. Obama’s embrace of most of Bush’s draconian security practices is too easily excused.

But we don’t do it as often. We are more willing to accept science even when it contradicts our beliefs. We are more willing to learn, to investigate facts that make us realize we have been wrong. As Andrew Sullivan quotes George Orwell: To see what’s in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle. “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts,” attributed to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, also comes to mind.

Anyway, that’s my opinion but I could be wrong…

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