Thursday, September 15, 2011

Let's Avoid Jokes About "Briefs"

I'd hire this lawyer case in a heartbeat.

And Lest You Thought I Was Whistling Past The Graveyard... saying the office is Obama's to lose, take a look at this

Republicans Really Are Thin-Skinned

Next, they'll put it in the back of the bus...

The Economist Has It About Right

Obama's re-election is his to lose, not the Republicans to win.
This was also true in 2004, when Bush got lucky as the Dems chose arguably the worst candidate they could. Or his dad in 1988. Or Reagan in 1984.

Get Your Bike On

I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to ride my bike to work, only to be stymied by the fact that my boss, while nominally a "green," refuses to allow bikes into the office and since he owns the building, refuses to set aside bike parking.
This despite the fact there's an entire sub-basement with empty storefronts in the wake of 9-11, but I digress.
It looks like I may get my chance, starting next year.

Good News! (or not?)

LightSquared has announced it has a breakthrough in its attempts to establish a nationwide wireless network.

They Shoot Rogues, Don't They?

They do if they lose $2 billion!

Orion's Belt

NASA announced a new "deep space" rocket yesterday: the Orion spacecraft, capable of exploring the outer solar system.
My recollection is, when this project was first discussed way back in the dim dark '80s, the idea was to basically throw a nuke under the spacecraft and propel it into deeper space that way, after a conventional chemical booster launched it into high earth orbit.
It seemed to me to be an efficient way to spend nuclear bombs in a peaceful manner.
I'm sad to see that was eliminated from the project.

The Truth Is Out There

Y'know, there are some mysteries that have a really prosaic truth underlying them: people are gullible and excitable.

Yea. Good Luck With That.

Asking clemency from a man who was cheered for slaughtering hundreds? Can't imagine that will end up in a happy place.

Jumping The Shark

Whoa. They hire lip readers now to follow the First Lady around????
These right wingers are treasonously sick!

Who Cares?

So Sarah Palin was a typical 70s chick: smoked dope, snorted coke, slept with, well, whomever she slept with, got knocked up and eloped with the man she's barely married to. Who cares?
Well, no one should, I suppose.
Except she was just a few million votes from being VP of the country. And while, again, none of this matters to us, there is an observation to be made here.
We choose our leaders-- not just political, but role models, celebrities, and captains of industry-- with all the discretion and care that a vending machine displays in choosing quarters. And then we expect them to live up to some baseline norm of behavior.
The very act of pursuing fame, influence and power is the very act of a madman, so someone who actively pursues it ought to keep in mind their feet are clay, too. So are the legs, hands, torso, head...hell, they're human and they ought to remember that and show a little humility, instead of preaching inhuman behaviors like abstinence, fidelity, or thrift.
Humans are animals, first and foremost. That Sarah Palin slept with a basketball player in college only highlights this fact.
That she would get upset about it now only highlights her shame. For you see, it's not the act that created the regret, it's that someone found out about it.
And there's the rub: for some reason, humans with all the brainpower in the world and all the records of history, personal and world, somehow miss the lessons of their lives.
We're human. Nothing more, nothing less. If you believe in God, S/He forgives us for this. If you do not, then standing at (or near) the top of the tree of evolution ought to serve as a reminder it's that much farther to fall.
Note this is not an excuse for hedonism or indulgence. We are still human and we ought to be trying to better ourselves. The one thing a celebrity like Palin ought to be doing is not lecturing us to be perfect beings. She ought to be reminding us that we do sometimes fail, and ecnouraging, not lecturing, us to try again.
And one thing we owe ourselves is to choose better leaders. People who acknowledge our imperfections. People who demand more of themselves, but don't impose their values on us, expecting us to live up to some standard even they can't.
The key to life is to set goals for yourself that exceed your current expectations. The way to fail is to force goals that are unrealistic.
You know what that implies? Plato said it best: "γνῶθι σεαυτόν"
"Know thyself."
We live in a society where that's frowned upon, where the very act of learning about who you are is considered ooniegoonie psychobabble, and unproductive in a society where time is money and money is everything. And yet, not a day, NOT A DAY, goes by where examples of people who DON'T know themselves act out in irreparably embarassing fashion, harming themselves and worse, the people around them.
And we smirk, content in the knowledge that, hey, that wasn't me that ripped a ten-year old child a new one in voicemail or got caught with a hooker in a dark alley.
Even though it could have been. Even though we ourselves, but for the grace of God, would be someone else's juicy gossip tidbit.
Really. You have something in your life that would be someone else's "Ooooooooooooh". Maybe you like fetish porn. Maybe you smoke dope. Maybe you drink to excess on occasion and get naked in a bar. Maybe you pick your nose and eat it. Maybe you peek over in the next urinal to compare size.
Oh, wait, those are mine...
But you get my drift. No one lives a life so incomplete that they don't indulge their inner demons every so often.
Not even Sarah Palin. And the shame is on us for letting her think she does. And for letting her get any influence over us, whatsoever.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ron Paul: Murderer

Holy shit! You know that question that Ron Paul got lobbed at him by Wolf Blitzer Tuesday night? The "hypothetical" one about the healthy 30 year old who dies because he has no insurance and should the nation just have let him die?

This Is Good News For The McCain Campaign!

Rumour has it, Sarah Palin nailed some hulking black dude back in 1987.

Petty Fours

Obama attacked over a paper clip by FOX News et al.

How Much Does It Cost To Be Poor In America?

A lot more than it does to be rich, actually.

And Many Of Them Are Right-Wing Bloggers!


His Name's Not Jean val Jean, But...

...he was hungry, nonetheless.

Brown's Warren Terror

I think Scott Brown's days are numbered. He was elected for his Teabagger views, and then turned out to be more moderate than they would have liked. They'll support him but the way the supported McCain.

Jelly Bellies


Flats & Heels

The good news: Prices remained flat in August. Except for food, but that was offset by a decrease in energy prices.
The bad news: So did retail sales. That's particularly troublesome, since the back-to-school push is one retailers count on to propel them from the doldrums of spring and summer into the holiday selling season.
As a result, anticipate you'll start seeing Christmas decorations side-by-side with the Halloween themes normally seen in stores this time of year.


The district is going to be eliminated in the 2012 reapportionment (NY lost two House seats). Weprin was the most inept candidate imaginable (he'd lose an election to a Girl Scout if it was for a Boy Scout office).
I mean, really, a Jew running in a predominantly orthodox Jewish district can't win against a PAPIST*????
Turner will have his insignificant year in office, try to run for Senate and get his lunch eaten. Meanwhile, he makes no difference to the balance of power, and the residents of the district knew this going in.
* deliberate terminology to invoke one of the prejudices of said district.


Think about a nation whose government has abdicated all responsibility towards the people. The aristocracy, the wealthy, become more and more wealthier as the poor become poorer and more numerous. The nation is on the brink of bankruptcy, in large part because it has recently funded two unpopular and unnecessary military adventures against a people who are governed by a tyrannical regime, one they were paranoid would launch an attack at any moment against them.
Taxes on the wealthy were never lower than under the current government. So low, in fact, they were practically regressive, since the poorest 99% combined owned and earned less than the top 1%. To fund all this militarism, rather than raise taxes on their patrons, the government borrowed. Heavily. With no real way of repaying the money. Meanwhile, the wealth drained out of the national economy, along with the increasingly more dangerous climate conditions, created massive unemployment and more and more jobless and poor.
People resorted to stealing bread.
Some brave politicians suggested taxing the rich, but they were shouted down loudly by the majority party.
The titular leader was in a weakened position because of all this. He called for a crisis management team to propose budgetary recommendations to the legislature that would be non-binding, but a starting point for negotiations.
Meanwhile, the poor had limited representation in government, and in fact, were prevented from voting in many cases. A strong media campaign that masked deep support for the current system but superficially called for radical change in politics and elimination of so-called "progressive ideals" helped polarize the nation even further.
Sound familiar?
That was 1780s France.
It will happen here. History may not repeat itself, but it certainly rhymes and Santayana was spot on. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Shorter Rich Americans


Faster Than A Speeding Satellite


Hypothetical Question


The Answer Seems Pretty Settled To Me


Own A Piece Of Space History

But only if you're a school. Or a retired shuttle astronaut.

Predicting Change

It is possible.
This supercomputer showed that careful analysis of the news would have predicted the Arab Spring.
The next step? Apply it to real-time news.
The actual study is here, and yes, the world is worse than you think.


Y'know, I totally got why people were upset with JC Penney's "I'm Too Pretty To Do Homework So My Brother Does It For Me" shirt, but this? This is just stupid.
Hell, I  was allergic to algebra and I got a 98 in it!
Fucking Regents do they work?

Put A Lid On It

You might have missed the foofaraw from Sunday night's Mets-Cubs game.
If you recall, in the wake of the September 11 attacks, when baseball restarted the Mets took to wearing caps from the FDNY, NYPD, Port Authority and NY's EMTs. They were initially banned by the league on the grounds they were not uniform caps, but ultimately Major League Baseball relented, and the Mets were allowed to honor the heroes of that day for the rest of the season.
Each year since, the Mets have simply put those caps on for any game played on September 11.
This year...well, let's review the circumstances first. The Mets were playing the Chicago Cubs on national television, ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, on the tenth anniversary of the attacks. They requested from the league a dispensation to honor the first responders yet again.
That request was denied. Whether it was a harsh rebuke or merely a reminder, the team went public with its disagreement.
Little noticed in the kerfuffle was the fact that both teams had special caps manufactured for the occsasion, which included an American flag patch. Indeed, all teams were issued these caps for games that day.
Coincidence? Think the manufacturer got a little peeved that his caps would not be featured during the single nationally televised game that day?
What do you think? Why else would Bud Selig get so upset? 

Put Up Or Shut Up

Assuming President Obama is actually committed to this bill, and given the vigor with which he presented it, there's no reason to think otherwise, the Republicans are in a dilemma over the jobs creation bill.
Either they piss off their base enormously, or piss off the other 75% of the country to an equal degree.
You'd think the choice would be easy. You'd be wrong. If we weren't in such dire straits economically, I'd be tempted to opine for letting the Republicans screw things up more, and prove their jackassishness, but it's too deep in the game for such trivialities.


Well, at least America isn't alone anymore.

Hate, Incorporated

It is truly breathtaking, the depths to which Teabaggers will manufacture hatred (video link)

"A healthy 30-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides, you know what? I'm not going to spend $200 or $300 a month for health insurance because I'm healthy, I don't need it. But something terrible happens, all of a sudden he needs it. Who's going to pay if he goes into a coma, for example? Who pays for that?" asked host Wolf Blitzer.

Paul, a medical doctor, first responded by saying American society is primed to believe government would pay for it.

"Well, in a society that you accept welfarism and socialism, he expects the government to take care of him,' he said.

When pressed on the question, Paul responded: "That's what freedom is all about, taking your own risks," to applause from many tea party backers in the audience.

"But Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?" asked Blitzer, to which several voices in the audience cried out, "Yes!"

To his credit, Ron Paul himself said no, but his own answer is a bit unsettling in its own right, and reveals a terrible knowledge of American history.

"No. I practiced medicine before we had Medicaid, in the early 1960s, when I got out of medical school. I practiced at Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio, and the churches took care of them. We never turned anybody away from the hospitals," said Paul to additional applause. "And we've given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves and assume responsibility for ourselves. Our neighbors, our friends, our churches would do it. This whole idea, that's the reason the cost is so high. The cost is so high because they dump it on the government, it becomes a bureaucracy," he added.

Congressman, we tried that for the first 150 years of America, and we ended up with people who were starving in Applachia and dying in our streets. Old people were living in the most extreme forms of poverty until the New Deal, and I note that your own experience with treating the indigent began in the 1960s, well after the New Deal's fabulous implementation of safety nets.

Indeed, most Americans never even had health insurance until after World War II, when FDR's mandatory disability insurances were expanded to cover illnesses and injuries off-site. A government program YOUR HOSPITAL BENEFITTED FROM to treat the indigent. Idjit!

Lest you think those in the audience who actually shouted "Yes!" were some form of liberal plant, I give you this:

Paul, an unapologetic isolationist, defended his views, and said that Santorum’s contention that the country was attacked by Al Qaeda because the terrorist organization resented America’s position in the world was wrong.

“This idea that whole Muslim world is attacking us because we’re free and prosperous, that is just not true,” Paul said.

Many in the crowd began to boo and hiss, drowning out Paul as he attempted to explain Muslim sympathies for the plight of the Palestinians.

Clearly, a position more in keeping with liberal doctrine, that American hegemonic ambitions had more to do with the terror attacks of 1983 and 2001 than our "freedoms" or prosperity.

It saddens me to see this much hatred on public view. If its not booing a legitimate rationale for a belief, or cheering the death of a poor soul who, like millions of his peers, thinks he is immortal against the better judgement of God and man (or for that matter, cheering a muderous bastard,)  then it's a bloodthirsty war chant against Ben Bernanke.
I mean, when Dick Cheney says you've gotten too bloodyminded, you might want to reconsider your words.
These folks aren't Americans. I really wish they would stop identifying as such. They are brownshirts, goons hired to thug up American life and American politics.
Look, when liberals protested the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or protested the G-8 conferences, we were called "commies," "fascists" (clearly, no one studies history anymore,) "terrorists" and worse.
When are these folks going to be called out on their extremism? How many people have to get blown up in a building before we start hunting these folks down and carting them off to a time-out in the pokey?
When do we get America back from them? Is it going to be before or after they've raped the shit out of her?
The saddest part is, this is not hatred that comes from a place that one can comprehend. This is not hatred that comes from having watched someone die because of the actions or inactions of another. This is not hatred that comes from injustice or misjustice. This is not hatred that grows from the pain of existence in a society that is cruel and unfair.
This hatred has been manufactured and marketed to these people. This is not a grass-roots hatred but one that has been delivered by Fedex and the Internet after testing in front of focus groups.
It is the hatred by the privileged against those who have not attained that status. It is hatred that grows from boredom and the gnawing feelign that somehow, one's life was a failure, and someone must be to blame for it, and finally focusing on someone or someones conveniently presented as "them."
A man dies (hypothetically, but it's all too real a scenario,) and a crowd yells for more. An innocent man dies, and its left to God to sort it all out.
I'm not sure God aprpeciates the extra work, guys.
A nation dies, not with a bang, not with a whimper, but to the sound of thunderous applause.
They ought to be ashamed.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Y'know How Your HMO Is A Big Inhuman Corporation?

It ain't getting better anytime soon...

Krugman Gets It Right

But then he almost always does. Barro is an ignorant douchenozzle.

It Turns Out...

...Mondays really DO suck.

That Word, "Open-Minded"... use it, but I do not think it means what you think it means.

Some scientists and politicians proclaim that significant global warming will occur because of man-made carbon dioxide, CO2. However, the science of global warming has not been settled.

Uncertainty exists in this proclamation. It is based on computer calculations of at least 20 theoretical mathematical models predicting 20 different temperature increases. None of the models totally matches the Earth's actual temperature patterns. Forcing elements and feedbacks in the Earth's climate system that drive temperature changes are not well understood and it is currently not possible to isolate and determine their values.

So this is the new trope the spincyclists are trying on for size? Because we can't track a precise temperature increase, global climate change is not real?

Really? Really? You mean, it doesn't matter that ALL the models show a temperature increase to dangerous levels? That's not important? What's important that they, in some OCD fashion, must be precisely aligned?

Idjit...fucking over-educated, underintelligent idjit...


Who Cares????

It does and that's great.

Wednesday, The Shit Hits The Fan

Al Gore presents a 24 hour global marathon of recorded lectures that are location specific to detail how global climate change impacts ordinary citizens in every time zone around the world, starting at 8PM EDT, September 14.

Taibi All But Says It

We almost had Kristallnacht in DC.

Zombie Spongebob Square Pants


Too Big To Fail?

He was referring to new capital requirements that call for banks to hold core tier one capital that equals 7% of risk-weighted assets. That number climbs to 9.5% for systemically important financial institutions like JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America.
“I’m very close to thinking the United States shouldn’t be in Basel any more. I would not have agreed to rules that are blatantly anti-American,” he said. “Our regulators should go there and say: ‘If it’s not in the interests of the United States, we’re not doing it’.”
If he'd stop offshoring profits and stop supporting corporations who do, this might have a little more meaning to me...


What You Didn't Read This Morning

Three passengers were detained on a flight from Denver to Detroit for an inordinate amount of time spent in a restroom.
They were having sex by all not-for-family-news accounts.
I tip my hat. Hell, I barely fit into a rest room on a plane, and they squeezed three people in AND got naked?????

Attention Californians!

Call or write Governor Jerry Brown. Get him to sign this bill ASAP.

Take A Close Look

This may be the face of the cure for AIDS.