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]