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Showing posts from April, 2010

Cause Marketing

I love this kinda stuff.  I love selling because I love the feeling that I can turn NO into YES; that I can turn words into money.

When you get good at anything, you gain a certain power over others.  You get called first for a job interview, or the cabinets you build show up in the best kitchens or the people you work with come to you for help and guidance.  Whatever.  The better you are at what you do, the more power you have because of it.  But power is a dangerous thing.  You have to be wise and circumspect about how you use it because what happens when power is misused always turns out to be really really bad.

Here's one illustration (one of my all-time fave movies)


And here's a story from the real world.
Emotional manipulation works. That is why so many entities are using it against us at every turn. Pinkwashing, greenwashing, cause-related marketing, industry-funded front groups with deceptive names spewing extreme political claims, politicians making weird, baseless sta…

This Is Really Bad

More On Arizona

Maybe that should be Moron Arizona.  Too much of a cold shot?

Now that the backlash has a lot of people whipped up into a mild Anti-Arizona frenzy, the Op-Ed editors are jumping into it with an attitude of "what they did was dead wrong, but understandable". (Editorial Roundup)

Sorry, Arizona, but fuck you.  Sorry, Minutemen, but fuck you.  Sorry, "Conservative Values Voters", but fuck you.  For 30 years, you guys have been voting for an agenda that drains government resources away from providing services like border security, and now you're all pissed off because your borders aren't secure?  You've pissed and moaned for 30 years about Intrusive Government or Incompetent Government or whatever, and you've stayed home on election day or you've voted for these assholes; but now you're acting surprised about what actually happens as a result of getting what you said you wanted!?!  I repeat: fuck you.

You wanted "common sense" and "…

Ten Years Of Hell

Posted today at Balloon Juice:

Check out these facts from economist Andy Xie:

1) Housing prices are up 50% in the past year in some parts of the country.

2) Housemaids are asking for time off so they can return to their village to buy an
apartment before it is too late.

3) Sales girl urges: Buy two! In a few years time prices will rise so much it will be
like getting the other apartment for free.

4) Banks offer unlimited credit for real estate purchases because the central bank is
flooding the market with stimulus money.

5) Local governments are addicted to the revenues from the property sales tax and will
do whatever it takes to keep the bubble going.

6) One local official caught owning 24 apartments. Wonder where he got the money?

7) Real estate mania has now spread beyond the cities to dusty rural towns.

8) Government works to free up as much land as possible for development.

9) In some markets land is so valuable it is worth more than the improvements.

10) Foreign money is flooding…

Quote Of The Day

"Anyone who stops learning is old; whether at twenty or eighty.  Anyone who keeps learning stays young." - Henry Ford

Bring The Stoopid

OKLAHOMA CITY, April 24 (UPI) — Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry said he vetoed a bill that would require women to go through ultrasound examinations before abortions to avoid a court fight.

Henry Friday also vetoed a measure that would have banned wrongful birth lawsuits, The Oklahoman reported Saturday. Such suits are brought by parents of children born with Down’s syndrome and other congenital problems that were not diagnosed during pregnancy.

Henry, a Democrat, said the first bill was likely to involve the state in expensive litigation. He also described the bill as too sweeping because there are no exceptions for victims of rape or incest.

“State policymakers should never mandate that a citizen be forced to undergo any medical procedure against his or her will, especially when such a procedure could cause physical or mental trauma,” Henry said.
For the wingnuts who are in favor of these intrusive extra procedures: How do you square this with your steadfast opposition to Government-mandate…

Bring The Stupid

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We spent a whole year arguing and campaigning and angsting over Healthcare Insurance Reform, just to find out that there's already a brilliant and simple way to solve the problem?

As usual, a Republican has the answer for us.  "Sue Lowden is running for Harry Reid's senate seat in Nevada, and she knows exactly what we need to do.

You go, girl.

Samba Pa Ti

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Possibly the best instrumental ever. Certainly top 5.

Angry Eyes

Loggins & Messina nearing the height of their powers - one of my all time faves.

Keep On Tryin'

One of Poco's best.  And from a time when the artists could actually lay it all down in a few takes without having to go back and redub a thousand times.

Just A Quickie

Today, the governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, signed into law a complete piece of crap ("Immigration Reform Bill") that requires cops to stop anybody they think might be in the US illegally.  "I best be checkin'  them papers there, Chico".

For me, the fact of it is bad enough, but part of the governor's remarks afterward were to the affect: "we've been waiting and waiting for someone in Washington to do something about illegal immigration; they weren't getting it done, so we had to do it ourselves".

So OK, just for a moment, let's ignore the fact that you've enacted a law that basically makes it illegal to be deeply tanned, and try to concentrate on the remarks.  Am I to understand that this governor has NEVER criticized a political opponent for "wanting a government solution to all our problems"? ..."always looking to Washington for help"?  This kind of politician is true a set of core beliefs only when it is nec…

We Are So Fucked

We've legalized bribery; we've integrated bribery into the system. It doesn't look quite like what we've always assumed bribery looks like and so we don't call it bribery, but that's what it is. It's bribery.

We won't get anything of real value out of Washington, or any other legislature, until the enormous flow of cash is throttled back. And that will take our elected officials too long to accomplish. As soon as somebody stands up in the speakers' well and declares his intent to change this corrupt system, the monied interests will come down on him like The Lord's burnin' rain (courtesy of SCOTUS and the Citizens United decision). The dirty tricks and the slander and the negative ads will make him out to be the worst thing since Herpes, and the next election will see him replaced by somebody who is a little more pliant and open to the manipulations of our corporate masters.

Gotta Love This Guy

I wonder how long it'll take our "leaders" to shove him over the cliff and get back to suckin' Wall Street's dick.

Bring The Stupid

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Hands Up

I'm just gonna run this whole post from Balloon Juice.  It pretty much says it all.


Via Memeorandum, this interview with FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, which had this snippet: If this had been law prior to 2008, would we have seen the bailouts that took place? Would we have seen capital injections into banks? BAIR: No. You could not do an AIG, Bear Stearns, or any of that. Those were all one-off things, capital or asset guarantee transactions. This bill would only allow system-wide liquidity support which could not be targeted at an individual firm. You can’t do capital investments at all, period. It’s only liquidity support. No more capital investments. That’s banned under all circumstances. You can do systemwide liquidity support. But you can’t do anything on an individual basis. They would have to be generally available. Do you see any way left for the government to bail out a financial institution? BAIR: No, and that’s the whole idea. It was too easy for institutions to come and ask for…

Spoiler Alert

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The Young Turks

Not usually this straightforward; and not quite the perfect articulation, but damn - we're gettin' closer.

What's Wrong With The South?

We've had more than our share of cringe-worthy moments of late; especially here in Virginia where we get to stand in slack-jawed stupefaction every few weeks watching our Governor and our Atty General make themselves (and the rest of us) look like complete dicks.

They started out by issuing an executive order telling the whole state bureaucracy that they don't have to worry all that much about discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Next up: Ken Cuccinelli decides to sue the Obama Administration to prevent implementation of Healthcare Reform.  And to top it off, his office then says it only costs us the $350 filing fee.  I called his office 6 times and can't get anybody to answer any questions or call me back.

Then Governor Bob issues a proclamation designating April as Dumbass Redneck Month.

Most recently, any ex-felon in Virginia who wants to get back his right to vote has to write a letter to the government in Richmond explaining why he deserves the same rights as eve…

The Logical Extreme

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Ten Years Of Hell

These posts are usually about bad news or warning signs, but this one looks like a win - at least they've managed to forestall a real meltdown in Greece for a year or so.  Unfortunately they haven't fixed the problems of the debt itself - problems that could still bring it all crashing down - problems that the banks are helping to create.

The biggest threat to our economic wellbeing is our inability to deal with all the debt we're piling up.  We can't just push "The Reckoning" farther down the road.  We can't keep borrowing, thinking it'll get better if we just wait for inflation to catch up with us; or that the economy will "grow us out of trouble".  We can't go on thinking we never have to worry about paying any of it back.

So Greece is settled down a bit, and now everybody seems to be worried about Portugal, but the real problem may be right here at home.

We dodged a bullet (for now anyway) by pouring massive amounts of dollars into t…

Ten Years Of Hell

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When the crash (and then possibly, the revolt) finally gets here, maybe it won't be so bad that the mob just burns everything down - but that's not how it usually plays out.

If any system of government/economy is to sustain itself over time, there has to be a broad appreciation for a kind of Societal Extortion.  The top tier (where all the money and power is) has to figure out a good way to buy the cooperation and the acquiescence  of the lower tiers.  The mob below has to be pacified somehow.  The Tsars and the Caesars and Kings and Emperors tried various things - sometimes they just hanged a bunch of peasants and burned out their settlements to keep them bottled up, but the really  smart ones built roads; or they put on elaborate shows; or they portioned out grain directly to the people; or they allowed some freedom of commerce.  They knew that even as absolute rulers, if they wanted to stay in power, they had to have the rabble's approval to some extent.

We've evolv…

The Newness Of It All

I picked a different look for the blog because I wanted the wider aspect.

If it doesn't work for you, lemme know - not that I intend to do anything but ignore your complaints, but hey.

Just pretend you're in one of those meetings at work where The Suits say they're soliciting your input on this important issue, but you know deep down that they're just giving you a chance to agree with decisions they've already made.  Yeah, like that.

Crock Of The Week

Tro Da Bums Out

Since the beginning of 2009:
-we've averted a true economic catastrophe by stabilizing the banks.
-the economy has posted positive growth for 4 quarters in a row.
-we were losing 700k jobs per month, and now we're adding 100k.
-the car-making industry (and all the ancillary businesses) are coming back.
-green business is beginning to take hold and expand.
-troop levels in Iraq are being drawn down.
-DOW is up 3,000 points in the last 12 months.
-American prestige and public image have improved a jillion percent.
-32 million more Americans have a chance to get health insurance, and insurance companies can longer engage in some of their most egregious practices.
-the scope of the world's most destructive weapons is being rolled back.
-taxes for 95% of all Americans are down.

So of course there's only one thing to do - we need to find the assholes who did nothing but fuck everything up and put 'em all back in charge!  Yeah, we should do that.

Don't get me wrong - …

Bring The Stupid

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Lots of talk about cutting back on "government spending".  Whenever some politicians want to score a few points, they start screamin' about spending - even tho' by this time, everybody not living in caves has to know that the guys doing the loudest screaming are the ones who ran up the tab in the first place.

I've said it before - what EXACTLY do you want to cut?

Here's a look at what big bunches of people in this country think we should carve down.

At what point do we realize just how misinformed we are, and start to demand better?

Sucks To Be Them

There's a coup or a rebellion or a full blown revolution or something going on in Kyrgyzstan and nobody noticed.

There's no mineral wealth to get excited about; the country occupies no big-deal strategic space; there are no important roads or other lines of communication; and if the US hadn't established an air base at the capital city's airport (using it as a big staging area for our efforts in Afghanistan - and overpaying for it as usual BTW), we wouldn't know anything about anything going on there.  But the really big thing that they don't have is - Twitter!  Which is why we're not getting much in the way of "reporting".

If the News Poodles want the story, they'll have to work to get it;  so of course, that means we'll hear practically nothing about it.

A Case In Point

In a previous post, I said I think all the politicking and all the media attention are aimed at boosting ad revenues and/or contributions to a candidate or a cause.  In the last several days, it's come out that Sean Hannity and Ollie North are in some trouble because of the way their "charity", Freedom Alliance has been very lucrative for somebody, but hasn't managed to distribute much of their revenue to the people they say they're trying to help.

Details are still a little fuzzy as to how closely Hannity and North are to the everyday operations.  But when your charity delivers less than 10% of the proceeds to your intended beneficiaries, you might have a serious problem.  The benchmark for reputable charities is a split of about 25% for overhead and 75% of the collections paid out to the donees.

According to their  2006 Tax Return, they pulled in almost $11 Million, but they doled out less than $400k (about 3.8%).  The rest was spent on a variety of "admin…

The Rhetoric

A little something's been rollin' around in my brain for a while.  Whenever somebody proposes some new policy, or a new law, or a change in the way we've been doing things, it attracts all manner of wackos who lately have seemed always to state their opposition in stark and apocalyptic terms.

"This Healthcare Reform thing will kill your grandma."

"This bill will mean that tens of thousands of new IRS agents will descend upon us to collect the crushing new taxes."

"Regulation on the banking sector will drive up the cost of credit and make it impossible for small business entrepreneurs to get the capital they need."

"The changes in the student loan programs will mean the loss of thousands of good paying white collar jobs."

Here's a point:  My crystal ball hasn't worked since I got it; and if theirs works a lot better than mine, then why the fuck didn't they see some of this shit comin'?

These are basically the same gu…

Wingnuts

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Gotta love 'em.

Political Parties

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Hummer Drivers Are Greedy

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Also kinda stupid.