Thursday, December 20, 2012

Stopping The Gunman

I thought this was interesting. The "if only someone with a gun could have stopped them" fantasy is really interesting. It shows a monumental disregard for reality.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Chomsky Quotes About The Media

[via Bill Moyers Facebook page]

While I am not blindly loyal to the good Professor, and I have learned some of his limitations (e.g., he doesn't understand international law as well as he thinks he does) he is still among the 5 most important intellectual influences in my life, and always worth reading.

Friday, December 7, 2012

So. Fucking. Evil.

Eric Cantor, piece of human filth. Because we really need to continue fucking over Native Americans. This is beyond outrageous, it is pure, uncut evil.

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Dose Of Reality

I'm done bashing Republicans/Conservatives for the moment, and I'm on to re-posting things about how dumb Liberals can be. See here about the ACA as corporate bailout.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Republicans And The Latino Vote

The 2012 Presidential election saw a continuance of a demographic trend that doe not bode well for the GOP at the national level. Latino voters went for Obama at a 71-27 clip, per CNN exit polls.

The GOP seems, for now, to be embracing the reality that they cannot win the White House if they don't close this margin. There has been a lot of preemptive mockery from the Left about this potential switch in tone, but I have a different perspective. I see this as democracy working. Latinos are a significant and growing block of voters, and having one of the two major parties move away from policy stances that are alienating (no pun intended) to such a group is a good thing, in my view. I hope our next President can represent as broad a coalition of voters as possible. If either party is forced to change policy based on election results, that isn't pandering, that's elections, in the context of representative government, working.

On another pretty-much unrelated note, there is anecdotal evidence that the Romney campaign really thought it would win, in the face of substantial evidence to the contrary. I just wonder this does to people who believe in magical "The Secret"-type thinking.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fatal Fallacy 4

I posted #3 a while back, but wanted to pick up the series again. I'm posting #4 for the sake of completeness, but I would be lying if I told you I really understand this one. Focus on the last, italicized (mine), part.

Fallacy 4
Inflation is called the "cruelest tax." The perception seems to be that if only prices would stop rising, one's income would go further, disregarding the consequences for income.

GMOs And Bad Science

In honor of a friend's dickhead friend, I'm going to post a few articles about the problems with the anti-GMO reactionaries. This does not mean I think GMOs are 100% safe, or that we shouldn't label, or that Monsanto is a commune of angels. It means that I value science, not emotion, in trying to make choices, especially public policy choices.

This post sponsored by Monsanto. ;-)

Monday, November 5, 2012

An Essay On Assholes

This makes me think of my step-mom (RIP), whose favorite word was "asshole." She had this great Mid-western (Chicago) way of saying it. Anyway, for your consideration and amusement:

How Fox News created a new culture of idiots

Thursday, November 1, 2012

People Writing About Things They Patently Do Not Understand

No, this isn't an alternate title for my blog. It's a lazy re-post of an evisceration of David Sirtoa, who is a dummy.

B-Side Thursday

Dedicated to Willard Romney:

Why Reagan Was The Devil Incarnate, Chapter Eleventy Hundred: Destroying Public Higher Education

[via LG&M]

I get frustrated when people can't or won't see that this is not an accident, it is not inevitable, and it is not "just how things are." There is a conscious, coordinated effort to destroy American civil society, in the name of "small government" ideology. This story deals in part with Ronnie Raygun's involvement.

Today's Lesson In Big Government

Telling doctors how to practice medicine. Remember: Nobody actually cares about Big Government (or Federalism or the deficit, for that matter). It is all a smokescreen for an agenda. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Math Is Hard

Some pundits have been taking shots at Nate Silver of  Here is a good response to some of the more idiotic attacks.

A basic education is statistics would be really, really valuable at helping people avoid being manipulated. And that's why it won't happen.

Also note that pundits, PUNDITS, are suggesting there should be and will be consequences to someone getting a prediction wrong. Self-awarness FAIL.


" ... rape is brutal, and abhorrent, but sometimes, God takes rape lemons and makes baby lemonade in your uterus."


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cover Twos Day


[Original here]

Ah, nice to know this guys give this the consideration it is due:
"Well, there’s probably a lot of — I’m not a woman so I’m thinking, if I’m a woman, why would I want to get — some of it has to do with economics. A lot has to do with economics. I don’t know, I have never — It’s a question I have never thought about." - Ohio state representative Jim Buchy, asked why a woman might want an abortion.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Help A Poor, Wayward Soul Out

I'm certainly no Christian. I will freely admit to being something less than a Biblical "scholar."  In fact, I've read a very tiny percentage of the Good Book. So having fessed up to my ignorance, I was wondering, as I don't have time right now to be reading the Bible, which of the following Republican goals would Jesus support? Because I know a very decent, loving, kind Christian woman who is going to vote Rmoney*/Ryan in a few weeks:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

QOTD: 10/3/12

From a comment to this post at LG&M:
As Jesus taught us:
Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day.
But give a small fraction of hungry men a useless voucher for half-assed fishing lessons and you can stop pretending like you give a fuck about poor people.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cover Twos Day

Most people don't know this is an Otis Redding song, covered by Aretha Franklin.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Guy Named "Chipper"

Well, nick-named anyway.

I have hated the Atlanta Braves for years. Their post-season failure (1995 is dead to me) always provided a lift to me. Why do I hate them? I don't know. Doesn't matter. I just do.

B-Side Thursday

RHCP "Soul To Squeeze"

Texas Test Scores

This is pretty much just for my wife, so I won't even bother sharing on Facebook.

This post discusses both educational testing scores, and gives an example of the need to disaggregate data when making comparisons among samples.

Unions And The NFL Ref Strike

As usual, I am tilting at windmills, but Jaysus H. Christ on a Popsicle stick, if ANYTHING can get Americans to THINK about labor issues, this should be the vehicle. This article is long and involved, and worth every second of your time.

Choice excerpts:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Reproductive Choice: The Right AND Electorally Wise Thing To Support

Pro-choice is a winner, or so argues this post.


I am most pleased.

What's Really Holding Back The United States

Basically, the South sucks. The rates of divorce, teen pregnancy, poverty, obesity, low education, etc. are all higher down there, too. Not to mention the fundamentalism. However, to be fair, at least in terms of urban areas, the North's racism is just as bad, if not worse.

Upward Redistribution

There has been some labor unrest in China. I'm sadly kind of surprised they haven't been massacred. But that isn't the point. A mainstream, allegedly "Left" economics writer, Matt Yglesias, doesn't seem to understand what he's talking about.

Why are workers rioting in China? Because, says Matt, of the large gap between labor productivity and labor compensation there, which is similar to how things once were in the US and Western Europe but is unlike anything in the contemporary US.
Oh really? Since 1973, labor productivity in the US has risen 80.4 percent. Yet median wages have increased only 4 percent, and median compensation as a whole—which includes benefits—has only increased 10.7 percent.

Workers are more productive than ever, and the substantial reward goes to the top. If you think this is unrelated to the decline in Union membership and power, you are silly.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Skeptico's Golden Woos #3

Awards for the most outrageous anti-science crap. I find it both amusing and sad that some of the same people who mock conservatives for believing crazy things end up believing crazy things. I'm really concerned about the anti-science position of the Right, but I'm REALLY concerned about the level of belief in anti-science among people who I think ought to know better.

Cover Twos Day

Buddy Holly and The Beatles, who are my favorite cover band.

Making Tomorrow's Leaders Today

Yes, this is picking the worst examples, and spinning them into an indictment of an entire system. And I'm fine with that, because I still think, on balance, the Greek system is both lame and destructive.

And yes, I know there are exceptions. Hence, "on balance."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Why Don't They Just Get Jobs?

[via Crooked Timber]

This article is stunning.

Using a different definition of distress, Luke Shaefer of the University of Michigan and Kathryn Edin of Harvard examined the share of households with children in a given month living on less than $2 per person per day. It has nearly doubled since 1996, to almost 4 percent. Even when counting food stamps as cash, they found one of every 50 children live in such a household.

From the original post: "The result is striking because of the $2 figure, which is derived, not from a US poverty line, but from the World Bank Poverty line for developing countries. These children aren’t just poor by American standards - they would be considered poor in sub-Saharan Africa."

If we, as a nation, are to be judged not by the success of the wealthiest, but by the suffering of the poorest, I submit we are a failure.

It is hard to tell which of Clinton's policy choices was the worst (NAFTA, repeal of Glass-Steagal, the much-vaunted surplus), but "ending welfare as we know it" has got to be among the most cruel and short-sighted. And "liberals" idolize that asshole.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Ears Will Never Forgive Me

Holy mother-fucking shit balls.

Text of the original post:

Back in the '60s, the legendary Mrs. Miller did her own covers of classic rock's biggest hits from the Beatles, the Mamas and the Papas, and more. The result is very different, very bizarre, and very funny. Prepare to be aurally assaulted. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Contemptable Harpy

I love that phrase, and this waste of carbon is the poster Harpy for it.

LG&M nails it:

"I can’t think of a single positive thing to say about Obama’s Czechoslovakia policy. However: his craven abandonment of Czechoslovakia pales in comparison to his failure to engage the Orange Free State, and his apparent indifference to the Prussian menace."

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Yet Another Teachers Strike Post

Hey, it matters a lot to me. For some insight into the shameless dishonesty of David Brooks, and more significantly, the breath-taking douche-baggery of Rahm Emanuel, I give you Charles Pierce, who you should be reading every day.

They Don't WANT Educated Masses

A point I have raised many times.

More On The Chicago Teachers Strike

The rightward shift of the Democrats scares me much more than the rightward shift of the G.O.P. Embracing right-wing framing and arguments about education is one of the more disturbing trends within that shift. Read here.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Lesser Of Two Evils

Maybe now isn't the time to potentially dampen enthusiasm for Obama*, given the alternative. However, his continuance and expansion of Government power from the Bush administration is really awful. The NDAA is what passes for the "Left" in today's America? At least one judge still believes in some restraints on Federal power. I wouldn't bet on it lasting, though.

Letting The Players Officiate The Game

(Inspired by The Daily Show)

The fact that we have state-level partisan control over national elections is really stupid. As are Birthers. 

I am aware of the history of Democratic shenanigans and out-right cheating. That history is indefensible. That said, the GOP's efforts to rig elections and disenfranchise voters is a national shame, and should, in a functioning democracy, result in prison terms for those who seek to block the most basic right We The People have. They don't even try to hide it.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

B-side Thursday

The Police - "Low Life"

It's Like Me Being Afraid Of Lion Attack

I'm simultaneously saddened and amused by people who live in the middle of nowhere who are freaked out by the threat of terrorism. As if Nowhere, Kentucky is a target. And these idiots are all too happy to have us do things that increase the risk or terrorism, which they of course won't come withing a thousand miles of experiencing.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cover Twos Day

I'll kick off my new series with an easy one: The greatest rock cover of all.
Bob Dylan's original:

And a guy I still can't believe was a real live human being:

It Just Gets Worse

How he won't go down as one of the 3 worst Presidents this country has ever had is a mystery to me. I don't reflexively blame Bush for everything, because, well, I'm not an idiot, but this is pretty damning.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Because Fuck George Will, That's Why

That someone who is so intellectually dishonest can be held up as a beacon of Conservative thought (see also Gingrich, Newt) speaks volumes. That he gets published in significant newspapers and invited on TV shows watched by more than a few dozen people is a tragedy, and a sad statement about the state of American media.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

QOTD 9/5/12

"Mitt Romney’s going to be the president. The president sets the policy. His policy is exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. I’m comfortable with it because it’s a good step in the right direction. I’ll leave it at that.”

 - Rep. Guess Who (R-WI) 

[via You Are Dumb]

Gibson's Top Ten Metal And Hard Rock Bassists

Here's the list.

On bass-playing alone, I disagree*, but if you factor in musicianship in toto, this is pretty close.

* - JPJ > Entwhistle? HA HA HA!

Just To Piss Off Some Liberals

The Onion pretty much nails it.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

You Shall Know Us By Our Names

Remember, the definition of "suspected militant" is anyone killed by a drone strike.

The War On Manliness: The Golf Front

Yes, Virginia, people really do think like this:
The recent Augusta National Golf Club decision to allow membership for women is another misguided capitulation in the relentless war against men, our associations and camaraderie.
Women harangue, whine and verbally assault us with their demands for more power. They openly set their goal as wanting "everything." Let's be honest and clear — women have always been and continue to be the dominant influence and power in interpersonal relations, sexual interactions, in the family, in social and cultural arenas, the schools and in our churches.
It is estimated that women control three-quarters of the wealth in the nation and they certainly enjoy their seven extra years of life.
Recent history is awash with the number of organizations that have become feminized following their forced acceptance of females. There are thousands of women's groups, hundreds in any given region. How many men's or boy's organizations can you find in your area? Any?
Men also have a right to freely associate and develop their own identities, roles and goals, values and purposes. We are different, and it's not the power but the camaraderie that brings us together. Women do not fit in, and we resent them either overtly or subconsciously for their unwanted intrusion.
Many people have observed that if it were not for sex, men and women would rarely come together. Let's recognize those differences and retain a common sense separateness.
— Don Hilbig, Beloit
I was going to give this the treatment, if you know what I mean, but I'm just too sad. [via LG&M]


“The image of myself which I try to create in my own mind in order that I may love myself is very different from the image which I try to create in the minds of others in order that they may love me.” — W.H. Auden

[via Futility Closet]

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Well Said

Original post here.

Keys to success

In "Little Red Hen retold" (Forum, Aug. 11), Jim Evans, who bakes his own bread, misses the point of President Barack Obama’s statement, "You didn’t get there on your own." That is not the same as saying, "You had nothing to do with it."
It means that no matter how much grit, entrepreneurship, energy, intelligence and personal sacrifice you put into a successful business or project, it could not have succeeded without others. To be sure, you were the catalyst. Without your efforts, it could not have happened. But you were a necessary condition of your success, not a sufficient one.
You deserve enormous credit for what you achieve. But you did not achieve it in a vacuum. You depend on a social and economic milieu that empowers you.
Nobody does anything by himself. No matter how determined, industrious or John Galt you are — you did nothing by your own guts and determination alone.
You owe your success to the background community of people who made your success possible: farmers, miners, road-builders, police officers, inventors, bankers, teachers, your own employees.
It’s because of them that you have achieved what you have. Without them it couldn’t have happened.
Bangs L. Tapscott
Salt Lake City

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dumb, But Amusing

Putting aside the idiocy of the message behind it, I actually think "Owebama" is kinda clever. Yeah, that's a lot to put aside. It does frustrate me that the debt is only an issue to the Right when a Democrat is in office, but then again, it frustrates me that the debt is an issue at all. 

This came up in the context of the nontroversy about the $716 billion that the ACA cuts from MediCare. Never mind the internal inconsistency of calling a President who cuts almost three quarters of a trillion out of the budget "Owebama," the idea that this means the Dems are hostile to MediCare, and the Republicans are going to "save" it is farcical. But keeping a consistent viewpoint and not just reacting on a purely partisan, emotional level is not really most folks' bag, or so the Intertubes keep trying to tell me.

B-side Thursday

Bands who have so much good material that quality tracks don't make it to albums impress me.

Also, Flea is a sick, sick bassist.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


And yet another smart, cool person has started a blog.  That would be Jon, former guest-poster here.

Go here and read. Please. It's also over there on the right under "Visits My Friends."

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Niall Ferguson: Still Being Given A Forum To Embarass Himself [UPDATED]

Update: Salon does it better, of course.

As a historian, Ferguson may have valuable insights, especially if you are sympathetic to the "White European Men Rock!" strain of historical analysis. But in many other ways, not least as a political commentator, he's just horrible. The link takes on one dumb point, the link inside the link (to Krugman) takes on another, but I just love this line of argument:

In his inaugural address, Obama promised “not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.” He promised to “build the roads and bridges, the electric grids, and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.” He promised to “restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.” And he promised to “transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.” Unfortunately the president’s scorecard on every single one of those bold pledges is pitiful.
Is this satire? Irony? Or is Ferguson's understanding of the American political process at the Federal level so poor that he doesn't realize that the Congress, not Obama, dictates what laws are passed? Does he not get that the House has been Republican for two years? Does he not understand the significance of the filibuster, or the median vote in the Senate?

The rest of his article blathers on about the debt (which Ferguson does not understand), foreign policy (neoconservative garbage and apologetics) and is basically a big commercial for Romney 2012. It isn't that Ferguson is awful, it that he is respected that kills me. Hacktacular indeed.

Crooked Record

(This post is in honor of my brother-in-law, who is a new blogger, and a welcome voice).

As one studies history, to the extent one does, many times one will come across tidbits like "So And So discovered this or that." It doesn't take much thought to realize that there are almost always other people, some times many other people, who supported and assisted So And So, but this is a particularly striking example of someone doing all the work and getting none of the credit. So, here I go trying to set the record straight, via lazy linking.

New Blog Link

Check out Scott Radimer's blog, over there on the right under "Visit My Friends." Do it. NOW!

Monday, April 30, 2012

The "Self-Made" Myth

[via G&T comment section]

This looks like an interesting read. The ignorance of history and lack of common sense needed to believe the myth that America's wealthy are the product solely of their own hard work is staggering. Fair arguments can be made about the optimal extent of government involvement in the market, but the die-hard Randian types are stunningly, glaring wrong. Of course government can needlessly constrain individual achievement, and of course it can make unwise policy choices. But the harm to our society from the efforts that go too far the other way, that is, to limit regulation and and "let loose the power of the market," seems, to me, to be vastly more detrimental.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

President McCain Would Not Have Done This

Call it desperation, or whatever, but I wanted to feel good about the President today, and so I'm happy to share this news. The tension between how things are and how I'd like them to be is pretty heavy, so I take some solace in even little things like this.

Friday, April 20, 2012

This Day In History: April 20

I submit, without any hyperbole, that this is where the anti-union radicals are steering this county:
On April 20, 1914, members of the Colorado National Guard, along with a strikbreaking militia employed by the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company, a corporation owned by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., opened fire on a tent camp of strikers at Ludlow, in the coal country of southern Colorado, north of Trinidad. At least 19 people died in the tent camp that day, mostly wives and children of the strikers.
History repeats, and we're foolish to deny that fact.

Hayek On Healthcare

Excuse the ultra-lazy re-post. Who is Friedrich Hayek? Read here.
“Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision. Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance – where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks – the case for the state’s helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong… Wherever communal action can mitigate disasters against which the individual can neither attempt to guard himself nor make the provision for the consequences, such communal action should undoubtedly be taken,” – The Road To Serfdom (Chapter 9).
 I miss non-crazy Conservatives.

First Presidential Speech Filmed With Sound

And THIS is what Calvin Coolidge did with it. Not exactly "media savvy," eh?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Low-Hanging Fruit For Misanthropes

This is horrible.

The Right Brain

This book looks interesting. I tend to agree that the divide in this country is "unfixable" because people aren't even speaking the same language. From the interview with the author:
We can't count on facts to change minds - emotions and values trump facts almost every time. Nor can we rely on our [liberals'] own natural, nuanced, complex style of communication to reach the public. The research suggests that our very instincts are leading us to only know how to talk to ourselves; conservative styles of communication - decisive, direct - have a great appeal to the right and, likely, the middle. And we can use this research not only to better reach conservatives, but to reach people who are moderate or undecided, but who also have some conservative attributes.
At a minimum, this helps me to understand why I can't seem to get through to certain people. I often forget that facts and reason simply aren't important to them.

We Have A Winner

Congratulations to the Wanker Of The Decade: Tom "Suck On This" Friedman. The most disturbing thing about American public discourse isn't the loonies that we all love to hate, like Limbaugh, or the politicians peddling their bullshit, like, well, pretty much every politician. The thing that is truly "sign of the Apocalypse" bad is that someone like The Mustache Of Understanding himself is considered a person worth listening to, and given a platform for his idiocy.

Check out the rest of the list here.

Know Why Liberals Think Conservatives Are Racist?

Because only a right-wing site would allow something this grotesque. The link is to Sadly, No!, so don't worry about giving hits to a site that publishes racist screeds.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Define "Greatest"

RS published a list of the 100 greatest guitarists. This guy did not make the list. Kurt Cobain did. HA HA HA!

Any other glaring omissions?

It Ain't Easy Being Green

[via LG&M]

I don't agree 100% with this op-ed, but I do think my well-intentioned friends sometimes miss the complexity of this issue. Just as some conservatives pine for the good old days without understanding the actual history, or the inapplicability of the past to current situations, my liberal friends are sometimes guilty of the same thing.

And I don't understand anything, which is why I outsource everything to other blogs/people. ;-)

Fish In A Barrel

To be fair, the argument being destroyed in this piece is so absurd and over-the-top that destroying it is like, well, see the title of this blog. OTOH, so much talk from the right is based on the kinds of absurd lies and misrepresentations that Mosler addresses, I thought it useful to see them refuted in this style.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Chomsky On Education

[via Truthout]

I don't take his word for every little detail, but I think he has the big picture just about right. I firmly believe that the elite wish to suppress critical thinking and train drones. Power has tried to preserve itself this way for a long time.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

If You Can't Win Fairly, Play Dirty

The right-wing assault on the fundamental right to vote. I am reminded of a right-wing radio show I unintentionally heard (the station's programming changed) where the host said voting is a privilege. Real Americans, the lot of them.

More here.

And this.

See here about the myth of voter fraud.

Very Restrained, Indeed

Incredibly inappropriate, biased, childish behavior from the Federal bench. Not too surprising from wingnuts in the heart of Wingnuttia.

Austrian Economics: Rarely Correct, Always Hysterical

In lieu of the hysterical, paranoid, evidence-free rants I have subjected myself to in an effort to understand "hard money" believers and their hard-on for returning to the Gold Standard, here is a response to the hysteria. Reading the Austrian/Gold-bug material is like reading the early American sermons of people like Jonathan Edwards (no, not this dick). Fevered religious nonsense, based on magical thinking and a deep misunderstanding of how the world actually works.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Once Again, Justice Comes In The Form Of The Feds

Yet another reason why I tend to support centralized power.
On Sept. 4, 2005, as much of New Orleans still lay submerged in floodwaters, Kenneth Bowen and Robert Gisevius, then sergeants, and Anthony Villavaso and Robert Faulcon, then officers, jumped in a Budget rental truck and raced with other officers to the Danziger Bridge in eastern New Orleans, responding to a distress call on the police radio.
As soon as they arrived, witnesses at the trial said, they began firing on members of the Bartholomew family, who were trying to find a grocery store. A 17-year-old family friend named James Brisette was killed, and four others were severely wounded.
The police then began to chase two brothers, Lance and Ronald Madison, who was 40 years old and mentally disabled, who were trying to get to the other side of the bridge. Ronald Madison was shot in the back by Officer Faulcon and then stomped on by Sergeant Bowen as he lay dying.
A cover-up began immediately and eventually grew to include made-up witnesses and a planted handgun. Sgt. Arthur Kaufman, a veteran investigator, was charged with overseeing much of the cover-up.
The local D.A. screwed up (intentionally or not, we do not know) the original case against these murderous N.O.P.D. thugs.

Gold vs. Fiat

[I just realized this is a re-post of the same article, but it is important, so in case you missed the original, I'll keep this one, too]

Understanding that we are not on the gold standard, and what fiat currency means is essential to understanding public discourse with respect to our Federal budget. Suffice to say virtually all the discussion is based on inapplicable gold standard logic.

Friday, March 30, 2012


Kill me.  I'll post some good music soon to make up for these atrocities.

More On The ACA And The SCOTUS

[via LG&M]

I took a Con Law class from this guy's brother. I don't know of this guy has a brother. Happy Friday, all. And don't get sick if you don't have good health insurance!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Things That Make Me Sad

The individual mandate was a right-wing idea.

Obama could propose we follow Saint Raygun's policies to the letter*, and he'd be branded a Socialist. These people have no shame.

* An argument could probably be made that in toto, Obama has been to the right of Reagan. At least in some respects, such as civil liberties, this is not really debatable.

A Great Piece On The Fed

[via facebook]

Referring to Alan Greenspan:
He pointed out before Congress that the virtue of loading down homeowners, college students and others with debt was that they were afraid to go on strike or even complain about working conditions or seek higher wages, for fear of being fired and missing a mortgage payment or credit-card payment.
Referring to Ron Paul:
Ron Paul’s proposal opposes paper credit itself, whether issued by the Fed or the Treasury. He wants to return to the gold standard and clash government spending – in effect, to create an economy without government. So what he actually advocates is not only the end of the Fed, but the end of a functioning credit and tax system. The idea is otherworldly and has no possible chance of being enacted, because it would cause a vast debt default as a result of plunging prices, incomes and employment.

 Read the whole piece here.

"Rethinking Zionism"

[via facebook]
Presented without comment.

The Dead Tell No Tales

Or something like that. Anyway, the living do, and it appears George Zimmerman is a lying fuck, in addition to being a racist vigilante murderer. And the cops. Oh gosh, I can't even begin to articulate my disdain for the cops in this case. And, a bit off topic, I found this little summation of our racial history to be a good reminder that, yes, this IS a race issue.

The Intellectual Giant Of The Conservative Judiciary

[via LG&M]
Tony Scalia. If he sounds like a gangster, well, in a way, I think he is. A crude bully with no respect for the law, that is. See here for more "highlights" of the kind of garbage the right-wing zealots bring to the bench. If I had the time, I'd post about the phrase "judicial activism." It is high up on the list of terms the Right abuses wantonly.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

QOTD 3/28/12

"Teachers are the maligned wreckage of our society, expected to do complex and difficult tasks requiring at least double their hours in unpaid labor, potentially limitless funds out of their pockets to keep their classrooms running, and serving as educator, psychologist, babysitter, and disciplinarian with little to show for it in money or respect."

Slippery Slope Ain't So Slip'ry

You're going to hear, and have heard, a lot of dumb arguments about the ACA. This piece, I think, disposes of one of them.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Health Care Is Not A Commodity

I have seen a number of "let the free market run naked in the yard and nature will take its course"-type arguments about heath care. The main problem is, health care doesn't fit the traditional definition of a commodity. I don't want the government involved in the business of making things. But health care doesn't fit into the model that shows that market forces are best at allocating resources.

Please see this rather academic pdf for an explanation. Krugman weighs in here.

Pictures From Space

 [via BuzzFeed]

My my my it's a beautiful world.

Friday, March 23, 2012

For Bank Of America Customers

10 Reasons Bank of America Is the Most Hated Bank in America

Sadly, I'm forced* to be a BoA customer. This makes me a sad panda. If you have an account you can move, please consider doing so.

*Anyone know a way to get a mortgage moved?

Questions About Using Drugs To Treat Mental Health Issues

I do not have any answers, and do not pretend that this is authoritative, but it is thought-provoking. I have always been suspicious about how the medical profession uses pills to treat everything. This is a complex and multifaceted issue, and I'm certainly not endorsing the idea that all drugs are fake or ineffective. However, I am concerned about the heavy use of meds in lieu of other forms of treatment, especially among children.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Kim Jong Un Photo Caption Fun!

Go here.

In the comments, put the photo number and the caption. Good times are sure to be had.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


[via Futility Closet]

George P. Spencer of Lyndon Center, Vt., died in 1908 at age 83. His epitaph is inscribed on the sides of a granite monument:
Beyond the universe there is nothing and within the universe the supernatural does not and cannot exist. Of all deceivers who have plagued mankind, none are so deeply ruinous to human happiness as those impostors who pretend to lead by a light above nature. Science has never killed or persecuted a single person for doubting or denying its teachings, and most of these teachings have been true; but religion has murdered millions for doubting or denying her dogmas, and most of these dogmas have been false.
(From Charles L. Wallis, Stories on Stone, 1954)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Actual Problem With The Deficit

Too small. The link at the end of paragraph 3 of the article is also worth a read.

I understand why people have a hard time accepting that the entire public debate on the deficit is premised on a falsehood (actually, many falsehoods), because it is upsetting to think that almost everyone, including every major political figure in Washington, has it wrong.

I also understand why well-educated people with MBAs, or at least an Econ major, for which they paid a lot of money, need to believe that what they were taught was correct. The implicit argument from authority is easily justified when your authority teaches at Harvard, or the like. Especially when you agree with the authority's political views, like I agree with Krugman (mostly).

The simple fact is, the linked article describes the reality of the modern monetary and banking systems. Its premises are all based on facts, not theories, and many, if not all, of the implications are backed up by data. Regardless of where you learned it, if the model that you use to describe things actually describes neither the past nor the present, you may wish to reconsider your model.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

"Beyond Austerity"

A very good analysis of why we are where we are economically, and why austerity is exactly the wrong thing to do about it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Do You Support Ron Paul? [Updated]

UPDATE: This earlier post explains the problem a little better.

If so, I suggest you really haven't thought this one through.
In a Ron Paul America, there would be no environmental protection, no Social Security, no Medicaid or Medicare, no help for the poor, no public education, no civil rights laws, no anti-discrimination law, no Americans With Disabilities Act, no laws ensuring the safety of food or drugs or consumer products, no workers’ rights. How far does Paul take his war against Washington? He wants to abolish the Federal Aviation Authority and its pesky air traffic controllers. He has one magic answer to every problem—including how to land an airplane safely: let the market handle it.
Sounds delightful!

Your Right-Wing SCOTUS

Gee, you mean the mythology and the reality are at odds? Whodathunkit?
“The Roberts court’s overall record,” Professor Chemerinsky wrote, “suggests that it is not a free speech court at all.”
Meh. Just pay attention to the cases they want you to pay attention to. 

When Freedom Isn't Freedom

Must-read article about why the myth of American freedom is just that.

Michael Moore Sux

What a piece of work that guy is.

The ACA: Constituional

This does not mean the SCOTUS will uphold it, given the makeup of the Court. But, I think this analysis is spot-on.

Friday, January 6, 2012

On Meritocracy [UPDATED]

UPDATE: This and this.

One of my many quixotic quests is to disabuse people of the insidious myth that this is the land of equal opportunity for all. It is such a preposterous, and destructive, lie.

Affluent families can literally buy a better résumé. “In a bad economy, the demographic shift has the potential to reinforce a socio-economic gap,” says Todd Breyfogle, who oversaw the honors program at the University of Denver and is now director of seminars at the Aspen Institute. “Only those families who can help their students be more competitive will have students who can get into elite institutions.”
Where you start has everything to do with where you end up. Sure, hard work matters to some extent, as does luck, but being born into privilege is far and away the most significant distinguishing factor. And, as the linked article asserts, the disparity increases in hard times like we're in.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Answer To "Get A Job!"

If only millions of Americans didn't suddenly become lazy, we wouldn't be in this mess! The "argument" really is that dumb.

If every open job were filled tomorrow, 75% of the unemployed would still be out of work.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ron Paul Is Nuts

I find it most disturbing (like Darth Vader your-lack-of-faith disturbing) that otherwise sentient people find Ron Paul's candidacy appealing. Note, I said "candidacy." I agree with RP on a few things, like the "War On Drugs," and our imperialism. But, the dude is whack, as the kids may still be saying. Check it. The idea of a man so unwaveringly married to a patently unrealistic (as well, as inhumane) world-view being President is brain-bruising. Plus, the dude's a racist, straight up.

And yet, in the never-ending pursuit of showing how desperately ignorant they are, some folk apparently believe that such fervent religiosity of ideals is just what this country needs. Yikes.