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Showing posts from July, 2013

Yeesh

While we're feeling dewy and inspired by how plucky and brave these guys are, let's try to avoid thinking this isn't just supremely disheartening.



Yes - it's both.  But why the fuck do we think it's OK to put people thru this kind of hell? Do we really believe it's good for a thousand people to have to live like feral dogs in order to give 30 kids a small shot at making it outa there alive?  This 'tough-love-pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps' bullshit is exactly that - it's bullshit.

Here's a tho't: let's stop dumping our garbage on people and then pretending that's what makes 'em good people.  Imagine where these folks could take themselves if they didn't have to start in the shitter.

Tea Party Logic

via Wonkette:
“I am upset at the cost” [$2.4 million], Representative Giovanni Capriglione, a Tea Party Republican from Southlake, told the Star-Telegram. “I think we need to remember why we are having this extra special session. One state senator, in an effort to capture national attention, forced this special session.“I firmly believe that Sen. Wendy Davis should reimburse the taxpayers for the entire cost of the second special session. I am sure that she has raised enough money at her Washington, D.C., fundraiser to cover the cost.” Because "democracy" should be available only to those who can pay the admin costs out of their own checking accounts, or of course, from the slush fund they set up in the shell organization hidden in their Super PAC.

Follow The Money Indeed

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This is my Rep in Congress - the "honorable" Robert Hurt:


Here's a quick look at Mr Hurt's top 10 contributor sectors, and - merely by the wildest of happenstance - why Lil Bobbie sits on the Banking and Finance Committee:


Anybody surprised?  Yeah, I didn't think you would be.
No soul and no honor.
Find out about your Rep at MapLight

Today's Pol Toon

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Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

This little spiel (the part that matters IMO) from Pat Robertson is a near-perfect example of the classic "after this therefore because of this" argument.

1) The Roman Empire fell apart
2) Some of the Romans had "porno" murals on their walls depicting all kinds of sex acts (which Mr Robertson apparently disapproves of)
And so, without benefit of any actual fact, or cause-and-effect link, the attitude of some of the Romans that sex should be free and fun is what led directly to the fall of Rome.



And of course, that's exactly what's happening in USAmerica right now because of all the LGBTs who think they shouldn't be fucked over and treated like a buncha skeevy dogs.

What a complete doofus this guy is.

Wanna know one reason the Roman Empire fell apart and doesn't exist now?  Cuz a lot of crazy shit happened over about 300 years, and a lot of assholes convinced a lot of Roman Rubes that all of their problems (and all of the solutions for those proble…

Finally Back - With Today's Pix

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Today's Pun

If Satan ever goes bald, there will will be Hell Toupee.

Hat tip = oldest boy, Nick

Yay, Exceedingly Rich People

I'm glad the new baby in the British royal family is alive and apparently doing just fine.

However, I'm having a pretty hard time understanding why we need to spend the better part of 3 days talking about it, devoting hours of air time and gallons of ink, and the large piles dollars it takes to put all those Press Poodles on the ground to gush about the astoundingly awesome and thoroughly amazing prospect of two normal people who fucked at least once, and then had a baby because of it.

Get over yourselves.

Away For A Bit

So I'm doing the vacation thing here in Colorful Colorado, and my iPad is not the most effective tool for posting stuff.  Please excuse my inability to dazzle you with my brilliantly insightful horse shit for  a while.

Another thing I've noticed is that editing an existing post on iPad can be very difficult because there seems to be something of a glitch in that I can't scroll down thru the post that I'm trying to fix.

If anybody else is having the same problem, please take a moment and advise.  Thanks.

See y'all later.

Today's Oxymoron

Political Reality.

Evolution.  Cigarettes.  Fracking.  Climate Change.  Vaccination.

The list goes on and keeps growing as we keep adding more "issues" that oughta be decided in the lab or in the field by people who're trained to figure out just how all this shit works.

BTW, I put quote marks around the word "issues" because the things on that list are not issues at all.  The things on that list are facts.  They're facts that can be - and have been - verified by the people who actually know what they're doing.

And the "fact" that you have an opinion to the contrary doesn't mean your opinion must be considered in any way equivalent to those facts.

But I digress - the point here is that I was recently hipped to an old Henrik Ibsen play from the 1880s that cuts so close to what's going on now that it made my ears feel hot and the hair on my back stand up.

Here's a little taste from a TV production done in the early 1960s:

(The town …

Today's Pix

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Death Penalty

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I have to admit I think there are people in the world we can do without - Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Justin Bieber - you know, the worst of the worst.  So it's hard for me to say we should lose the death penalty altogether.

That said, we need to take a good hard look at what we're doing and where we stand relative to the rest of the "civilized" world.



State-Sponsored Barbarism isn't exactly what we want USAmerica to be known for is it?

And when we're the only "free" country that still kills its own citizens on a regular basis, it seems American Exceptionalism is completely ass-over-apricots.

Miles Davis

One of the weirdest cats in the business, and one of the great horn players ever.



Sorry - can't find a good link at Amazon.

Ella Sings Billie

The Marmalade

Lesson Time

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And this from Tim Wise via HuffPo:
You remember, forever and forever, that moment when you first discover the cruelties and injustices of the world, and having been ill-prepared for them, your heart breaks open.
I mean really discover them, and for yourself; not because someone else told you to see the elephant standing, gigantic and unrelenting in the middle of your room, but because yousaw him, and now you know he's there, and will never go away until you attack him, and with a vengeance.
Saturday night, and I am writing it down so that I will not forget -- because I already know she will not -- my oldest daughter, who attained the age of 12 only eleven days ago, became an American. Not in the legal sense. She was already that, born here, and -- as a white child in a nation set up for people just like her -- fully entitled to all the rights and privileges thereof, without much question or drama. But now she is American in the fullest and most horrible sense of that word, by which …

One Last Thing

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...on the George Zimmerman cluster fuck.

Zimmerman goes free, and the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin will be delivered back to him; and his Concealed Carry permit will be reinstated as well.

Nobody knows yet, of course, what he plans on doing - this is America after all and if you can't figure out how to cash in on the notoriety you've gained from murdering a teenager then you're the worst kinda loser - but one thing's for sure: Zimmerman will definitely be packin' his gat because now he has good reason to fear for his safety because of all the haters out there.

The guy with the best justification for his paranoia is the one with the guilty conscience.

Here's hopin' Karma's a real thing.


Civil War II

'Conservatives' are exceedingly fond of prattling about FREEDOM as if the word itself had some kind of magical power.

It's as if the Conservative Handbook has instructions that read: "Never mind the actual concept the word is supposed to represent - that shit's for the pansy-ass eggheads who spend way too much time thinking - just intone the word whenever you're in a debate that you know you're losing because you've brought nothing to the party but bumper stickers and t-shirts to rationalize putting your basest instincts into action.  Don't think, just act; and if anybody calls you on it, they're just a LibTard who's trying to take away your FREEDOM."

Here's a bit from a speech Mr Lincoln delivered in Baltimore almost 150 years ago.
"We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his…

The KrugMan Speaks

Generally, I need people to play in their own yards, but if you have something worth saying you should say it.
To fully appreciate what just went down, listen to the rhetoric conservatives often use to justify eliminating safety-net programs. It goes something like this: “You’re personally free to help the poor. But the government has no right to take people’s money” — frequently, at this point, they add the words “at the point of a gun” — “and force them to give it to the poor.”It is, however, apparently perfectly O.K. to take people’s money at the point of a gun and force them to give it to agribusinesses and the wealthy.
Now, some enemies of food stamps don’t quote libertarian philosophy; they quote the Bible instead. Representative Stephen Fincher of Tennessee, for example, cited the New Testament: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” Sure enough, it turns out that Mr. Fincher has personally received millions in farm subsidies.  And if it's worth hearing then I'…

Today's Pix

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Zimmerman Walks - Reax

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Zimmerman Walks

I guess I should own up to some things.
I wasn't very into the Zimmerman trial.I half-expected the jury to let him off.I'm not overly surprised that the reaction from "the black community" hasn't been too bad (so far), mostly because I fear that reaction is coming in the form of outright reprisal.  So if you're looking for a great medium-to-long-run business opportunity, open a gun store in any Majority Black neighborhood ASAP. But I'm more than a little bothered about the total lack of focus on the bullshit Stand Your Ground law itself.

There's a lot more to it than this, but the salient points are that Trayvon's walking home a little after dark when some misguided dipwad with a bad case of The Wyatt Earps goes out of his way (and against the cops' direct instruction) to confront the kid on the off chance that Martin is up to no good, and happens to fit with Zimmerman's bigoted imaginings of what a bad guy looks like according to some pr…

Malala Yousafzai

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She stood up at home to speak her mind. She said girls should have the same rights as boys - to go to school; to learn whatever they need to know to become who and what they want to be; to make their own decisions and to be left alone to guide their own destinies.  So last year, when she was 15 years old, the AfPak-equvalent of Ted Nugent & George Zimmerman shot her in the head because her ideas threatened their sense of 9th-century entitlement.

Yesterday, on her 16th birthday - which made it a classic go-blow-yourself gesture - Ms Yousafzai stood up at the UN and said in a clear strong voice (tho' not in these specific words), "Fuck you, Ted Nugent."



And fuck all ya'll if you think you have enough guns and ammo to silence everybody who wishes to speak openly about aspiring to make the world just a bit less hostile to people who only want to live their lives as they choose.  (And isn't that what the Nugents are always pretending to be saying anyway?)

Better…

Our Esteemed Press

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This made it onto the air at KTVU in Oakland:


According to PR Spokeswoman, Lotta Suxon-Swallows, KTVU's General Manager Edgar (Curly) Hawgpekker was unavailable for comment, but she did say a statement would be posted to their website by the company's legal advisors, Dumas & McPhail.

Would it come as a surprise for anybody to learn KTVU is the local affiliate for DumFux News?  Yeah - I didn't think it would.

big hat tip = Balloon Juice

Potentially Great News

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We won't have Ol' Vaginal Bob to kick around anymore.

From The Richmonder blog via Democratic Underground:
Multiple sources in Richmond's legal community have confirmed to me that the investigation of Star Scientific by state and federal prosecutors turned up what they feel is sufficient evidence to charge Virginia's Republican Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen with one or more felonies and in consequence, McDonnell is attempting to negotiate his resignation in exchange for no prosecution of Virginia's first couple. There seems to be a pretty good chance for this thing to splash a fair bit of sludge on Kenny The Kooch as well.


One other thing that remains is to see if Eric Cantor has been taking any steps to insulate himself from the fallout.  Prob'ly a pretty good bet that has/is, so I called Cantor's DC office for a statement, and the guy who answered the phone told me he wasn't "at liberty to talk about it", and that also he wasn&…

Today's Pix

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With a special edition of The Parade Of Stoopid:






Thank you.  We take you now to our regularly scheduled pix:








Today's Outrage

In case it escaped your notice, The Feds posted a SURPLUS of $113 Billion this past April, and another one ($116 Billion) for June this year.

Makes me wonder about some things: first is why the GOP wasn't jumping up and down taking credit because of their steely-eyed courage for having stomped the fuck outa poor people and unemployed workers.  Second, if we have a surplus, isn't time to cut Mitt Romney's taxes?

But then this:


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Oh - now I get it.  They'll get around to it - they're just not done yet.

BTW - did you catch the part about Repubs voting in favor of the spending of tax dollars that directly benefits themselves?  Poor kids have to skip even more meals now so Michele Bachmann can collect a few thousand greenbacks for not planting any Jesus Weed again this year.

So what is it the 'conservatives' are so fond of grousing about?  Something to do with "undeserving people wh…

Today's Quote

The Amazing Mr Madison:
The original compact is the one implied or presumed, but nowhere reduced to writing, by which a people agree to form one society. The next is a compact, here for the first time reduced to writing, by which the people in their social state agree to a Govt. over them. These two compacts may be considered as blended in the Constitution of the U. S., which recognises a union or society of States, and makes it the basis of the Govt. formed by the parties to it. It is the nature & essence of a compact that it is equally obligatory on the parties to it, and of course that no one of them can be liberated therefrom without the consent of the others, or such a violation or abuse of it by the others, as will amount to a dissolution of the compact.
-- James Madison to Nicholas Trist, February 15, 1830. hat tip = Charlie Pierce

Whenever I hear "conservatives" bitching about Da Gumbint; or how we should be able to just blow it all up; or how they intend to ignor…

USA! USA! USA!

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We're #28 - FUCK YEAH - wait, what?

It's almost like there's somebody actively working against doing anything that might help make this whole mess better.

Sweet screamin' Jesus, I'm getting more than a little tired of this shit.

JAMA came out with a study of 34 "rich countries", and the US is ranked 28th in Health Outcomes.


Overall, population health in the United States has improved from 1990 to 2010. Life expectancy at birth and HALE have increased and all-cause death rates at all ages have decreased. Although life span has increased, rates of age-specific YLDs have remained stable, and morbidity and chronic disability now account for nearly half of the health burden in the United States. However, improvements in population health in the United States have not kept pace with advances in population health in other wealthy nations. Regular assessments of the local burden of disease and matching information on health expenditures for the same disease and i…

Imelda May

Just in case you need something to get ya jumpin' this mornin' - this oughta do it.





I Gotcher Well Regulated Militia Right Here

From Centre Daily Times, via Charlie Pierce:
A 45-year-old man shot himself in the hand Tuesday afternoon in the parking lot outside Wal-Mart on North Atherton Street in what police are calling an accident.
Patton Township police are not identifying the man but said he had a valid firearm carry permit.
The man had the gun in a holster and was hurrying across the parking lot to avoid holding up traffic. The firearm fell out of the holster and fell to the ground as the man was crossing the lot.
Police said he went to pick the gun up, but while shifting the bags in his hands, the firearm went off. The man was shot in the hand, and the bullet then continued into the pavement.
The man was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center for treatment. The parking lot was briefly closed while police investigated. Ok, so we can't get background checks, and we can't get registration and we can't get any kind of ban on any kind of weapon that isn't fully automatic or that shoots exploding amm…

Creeping Paganism - Cont'd

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As a kind of postscript:

In my haste to slag Liz Trotta's performance on Puppet Show Central, I forgot to mention this other stuff.

First, she mentioned "creeping paganism" as if Wicca or whatever is the only possible alternative to her religious belief.  If I don't worship her god in the same way she worships her god, then I'm obviously on my knees praying to Stink Weed or some fuckin' thing.  Jeesus, these people.

Second, Trotta and most of the other Goddies are always trying to convince me they know best when it comes to my 'salvation' - a conclusion that has no merit, because their premise - that I am somehow 'fallen' - is false.

I am not fallen - you just made that shit up.

But here's the thing:  The purveyors of this theocratic junk are always on about how their mumbo jumbo is the true mumbo jumbo because they've studied their mumbo jumbo and they know everything there is to know about mumbo jumbo.

Bunkum, says I.

You can't k…

Storm's A-Brewin'

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And it's about to start rainin' estrogen all up in here.  We can hope so anyway.


Sarah Slamen tried to make her voice heard in her home state - in front of a group of her employees - and was forcibly removed from the hearing room when the Committee Chair decided she just couldn't stand any more of Ms Slamen's disrespectful remarks Sarah was revealing the truth about the Texas Legislature.



hat tip = Addicting Info

Creeping Paganism

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DumFux News is still the best place on the planet to get a big juicy bite of unintended hilarity (as scary as it often seems):



Ever wonder if Liz Trotta is any fun at all?  How can one person be such an enormous reservoir of sour-puss-itude?  Her ass is so tight, I'll bet she squeaks when she walks.

I do however, dearly love the way 'conservatives' keep trying to make this particular magic trick work.

Ol' Pinch-Face here tries to peddle the notion that her religiosity is superior to anybody else's; and that the law should conform to that religiosity; and that since there are politicians (Catholics even!) who aren't doing exactly what Ms Trotta says her faith requires all of us sinners to do, then Da Gubmint is persecuting poor old Liz by trampling on her 1st amendment rights.

Let's all try to remember that if the 1st amendment requires my government to stay out of your church, then it also has to require your church to stay the fuck out of my government.


The KrugMan Speaks

...and I have to disagree - kinda.

Dr K, if you please:
Even the notion that the GOP might need to accommodate itself a bit to an increasingly nonwhite nation has been fading fast; the big thing now is that the trouble in 2012 was missing white voters, and that the GOP just needs to redouble its efforts to identify itself as the party of white people.
But if there really is a missing-white-voter issue — and I’d like to see some more analysis by serious political scientists before I completely buy in — what will it take to bring these people back out to play? Sean Trende, who has been making the missing-whites case, describes the missing as “downscale, rural, Northern whites”. What can the GOP offer them? Actually, it's not that I disagree with Dr K's assertions per se; it's just that I think what he's talking about is not the GOP's political strategy at all.  Re-kindling and then appealing to the backlash concerning 'white guilt' or whatever - that's the …

Fouling The Nest - Followup

Some reading for ya today - to go with your assignment to search out and watch Gasland & Gasland2.

Bloomburg via Seattle Times:
Riding shotgun in a Toyota 4Runner rigged with a carbon-fiber pipe and a spectrometer, Duke University researcher Rob Jackson trolled through Washington, D.C., searching for evidence that natural gas is not quite the climate champion President Obama claimed last month.He was replicating a study he did in Boston, measuring leaks from creaky natural-gas pipes. In addition to being a possible safety risk, methane, the key component of natural gas, is 25 times as potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide. And leaks may undercut much of the climate benefits of gas.
“First and foremost this is a greenhouse-gas question,” Jackson said as he drove near the Capitol. “What we are trying to find out is how big a problem this is for cities.” Obama's cheerleading notwithstanding, the plan seems to be to go forward with Shale Gas, but to look for the drawbacks and (I…

Fouling The Nest

I saw Gasland II on HBO last night and our situation seems not to be any more hopeful than it was when the first installment came out 2 years ago.

One of the really great parts for me was the bit about the mayor of Dish TX.  The guy was deeply involved in the selling (as in selling out) of an entire town in Texas.  They changed the name of the town to Dish in exchange for 10 years of "free" TV service from Dish Network.  Pretty much the classic public/private dick move - altho' a bit more benign than some.  So this mayor was a solid Republican; a guy who was always on about deregulation and getting government out of the way of businesses doing business etc.  But along comes fracking, with all the huge problems with water and air quality - and suddenly this guy's a registered Independent having to sell his house at a bargain basement price and move his family somewhere else because of the risks to their health.

And btw - there's really no such thing as "some…

God Love The Onion

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BOSTON—Warning that he was a dark and vengeful God, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reportedly pulled aside Tim Tebow at the team’s facilities Thursday and informed the backup quarterback that he was his only Lord and savior now. “This is your church now, and you shall worship me,” said Belichick, who sources confirmed clutched Tebow’s throat and slammed the former Heisman Trophy winner against a concrete wall. “If you want to see a wrathful God, then question me on playing time. I will crush you into dust. And if I ever see you on your knees, you better be praying to me or you will be destroyed by my blistering fury.” At press time, Tebow told reporters that he was renouncing Jesus Christ.
The Onion

Connections

I think this guy is trying hard to get "conservatives" to look at things from a perspective other than from inside their own bowels; using his take on John Mellencamp's music to illustrate their basic inability to hear what "the American people" are really trying to tell them.

David Masciotra at The American Conservative:
One of the problems of movement conservatism is a resistance to—and often flat out rejection of—complexity. Too much of the American right is dominated by a mentality that views its country with childlike simplicity and awe. Any invocation of American iconography must be worshipful, and for those who combine Christianity with nationalism to create a civil religion, any sign of the cross must be celebratory of everything American. Not that I have a lot of confidence in anybody's ability to get these meatheads either into line or out of the party, but I can tip my hat to a guy who's making some effort to move people away from the adolesce…

Today's Eternal Sadness

via Addicting Info:
Sgt. Lance McLean of the Hood County Sheriff’s Office has succumbed to his injuries and been pronounced dead after being shot in the head by a gun dealing, child molesting, tactical gear-wearing, heavily modified assault rifle-wielding man after responding to a seemingly ordinary disturbance call.
After injuring two officers, the suspect drove away in a white van, and was eventually killed near the Cranbury City Hall after wounding another police officer in a gun battle.
Police have learned that the gunman, Ricky McCommas, was an avid gun enthusiast who sold guns from inside of his home. After obtaining a search warrant, authorities seized more than two dozen guns and about 20 cases of ammunition, along with a computer and other evidence.Adding insult to injury, court records have revealed that McCommas had recently been charged with sexual assault of a child in July 2012, after being accused of raping his wife’s niece behind a grocery store. Gun in hand, he had trav…

Holy Crap

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I had no idea this thing still existed.


On "Age of the Earth":
See also Counterexamples to an Old Earth.The Age of the Earth has been a matter of interest to humans for millennia. The subject is still debated today, particularly between young-Earth scientists, who believe that the Earth is only approximately 6,000-10,000 (8 × 103 ± 25%) years old, and most scientific organisations who believe that Earth is approximately 4.54 billion years (4.54 × 109 ± 1%).[1][1] The scientific evidence points to a young age of the earth and the universe, and the biblical creation organization Creation Ministries International published an article entitled 101 evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe, which further argues for the young age of the Earth.Old Earth advocates rely on one flawed assumption to the exclusion of other evidence, similar to how an investigator may mistakenly rely on one eyewitness's opinion to the exclusion of all else. In fact, eyewitness testimony …

The KrugMan Speaks

Dispatches from Derpistan.

Paul Krugman, NYT:
Josh Barro has made a very useful contribution to policy discussion by adapting the term “derp” for a certain kind of all-too-prevalent stance in economic debate, which Noah Smith somewhat euphemistically describes as “the constant, repetitive reiteration of strong priors”. In other words, people who take a position and refuse to alter that position no matter how strongly the evidence refutes it, who continue to insist that they have The Truth despite being wrong again and again. Nobody can get off into the weeds like a Nobelist, but Krugman works hard to make it understandable for me, and the parts of what he says that I can understand are almost always pretty great.

Are We All Indians Now?

Nope - sorry - this isn't going to be a rant blasting The Lone Ranger.  I've heard lotsa bad things about it, and maybe I'll get to have some fun with it later, but right now I just  don't care much about some dumb movie.

This is about what's happened to the economic boom in India.  You remember - the one that Lil Tommy Friedman told us was the very model of this new fabulous economic system in which everybody becomes a plucky entrepreneur and go on to reap the riches of Croesus as we all thrill in "the race for the top" blah blah fucking blah.

From William Dalrymple at New Statesman, about a new book dealing with what's gone wrong:
...The economic boom, which began in 1991 and took off in the late 1990s, provoked a miniboom of New India books, some far better than others. First off the blocks was Gurcharan Das, a former CEO of Procter & Gamble, whose India Unbound in 2001 became an international bestseller and made a convincing case that the futu…

Our Mr Brooks

If I may take just a bit of license with David Brooks's piece in NYT:
Those who emphasize process have said that the government of President Mohamed Morsialmost any Republican-dominated government was freely elected and that its democratic support has been confirmed over and over. The most important thing, they say, is to protect the fragile democratic institutions and to oppose those who would destroy them through armed coup.Democracy, the argument goes, will eventually calm extremism. Members of the Muslim BrotherhoodTea Party (or any of their Christian Nationalist minions) may come into office with radical beliefs, but then they have to fix potholes and worry about credit ratings and popular opinion. Governing will make them more moderate.Those who emphasize substance, on the other hand, argue that members of the Muslim BrotherhoodGOP's Far Right Wing are defined by certain beliefs. They reject pluralism, secular democracy and, to some degree, modernity. When you elect fana…

Today's Pix

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