Showing posts from November, 2014

Where's The Outrage?

Yo - "Conservatives",
Michael Jackson was plagued with financial problems at the time of his death in 2009. Last year, the IRS sued Jackson’s estate, claiming that it owed over $700 million in federal taxes.
If you're really all that het up about Da Gubmint staying off everybody's back, then you need to be raising something of a stink every time.  Being selective about your deep concern over who's getting stepped on is why the rest of us are pretty sure you're a lot more worried about who gets to join your little club and who doesn't.  
BTW, here's a tip for ya: You're not in the club.  And your eagerness to slag people in order to keep them out of the club is an obvious attempt to suck up to the bosses who are in the club, and - listen to me now cuz I'm talking sense here - that's not gonna get you into their club.  They need you to think they think you're cool so you'll go on doing the heavy lifting, but you're just another cred…

The Power Of Marketing

A slightly alternative view:

If you buy that new $2000 TV on sale at 20% off, you are not saving 400 bucks - you're spending 1600.

Today's Pix


Today's Arrogance Of Ignorance

If ignorance is bliss, this is one happy lady:

John Cleese wraps it up neatly for us:

hat tip = Addicting Info



Happy NFL/Turkey Day


Baloney Detection

1) Is the source reliable?
Errors occur, but if the source's errors tend to be all on one side or bunched together, it should raise a big red flag.2) Does the source make similar claims on other subjects?
On related (or even marginally tangential) topics, is this source making the same general statements of fact?3) Have the claims been verified independently?
Can the claimed results be replicated?4) How does the claim fit with the way we know the world works?
Too good to be true = prob'ly not true5) Is the claim falsifiable?
What's the alternative explanation?  What's been done to try to disprove it? 6) Where does the preponderance of evidence point?
Any claim supported by only a few points, while challenged by lots of other points, is prob'ly bogus.7) Are you playing by the rules of the scientific method?
UFOlogy vs SETI8) Is the one making the claim presenting positive evidence?
Or are they just making unsupported denials of an "opposing" theory?9) Does the new…

Barely A Start

So that's 1 down and only 1,499,999 (veterans living in poverty) to go.

Our veterans would be a lot better off it we'd just stop making so many of them, and if we'd stop acting like spoiled children when it comes to paying what we owe.

Mo' Buttuh

Meanwhile, Back At The Planet

I hate it when I get to thinking there's more truth being spoken by fictional characters on a TV show than by anybody in any position of authority anywhere here in These United States of Opinion-As-Reality.

At the same time, I wonder if this is just to see if anybody's listening. 

And I wonder if this little vignette is simply a plot device in Aaron Sorkin's devious little brain. 

And what if it's only an attempt to illustrate his other point about Crowd Sourcing and the dangers of instant reactions due to the immediacy of social media driving the mob, which is masquerading as "true democracy"?

And I wonder if the whole thing is so twisty-turny that it spins off into the infinite numbers of universes where everything that can happen does happen, and all you have to do to make it real is to say it's real.

And what about the very very veryvery real shit hitting the fan because of Climate Disruption?

and and and - fuck, I hate my brain sometimes.

God Love The Onion

Even when they hit a little too close.  Or maybe because they hit so close.

FERGUSON, MO—Ahead of a grand jury’s decision over whether to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, police in the city of Ferguson have reportedly heavily increased their presence this week to ensure residents are adequately provoked. “We’ve deployed additional officers throughout Ferguson in order to make absolutely certain that residents feel sufficiently harassed and intimidated,” said St. Louis County police chief Jon Belmar, assuring locals that officers in full riot gear will be on hand to inflame members of the community for as long as is necessary. “It’s absolutely essential that the people of Ferguson have full confidence that law enforcement is committed to antagonizing them every step of the way.” At press time, the Missouri National Guard was on standby with tanks and urban assault vehicles in case Ferguson residents required additional incitemen…

All That Snow

I haven't been following it closely, but I know that the Buffalo area got something like 88 inches of snow over just a few days at the end of last week.  And now the weather is turning a lot warmer, so they're expecting to add the problem of significant flooding to the problems of dangerously stranded people and collapsing roofs and assorted other calamities.

But as I read thru some of the articles posted online and as I browse thru the video reports being run on Big Media, I keep wondering how it is that nobody's asking, "When was the last time something like this happened?"

I've been in Buffalo during a Lake Effect snow storm, and I wanna tell ya, it's impressive watching 15 or 20 inches of snow pile up overnight, but here's the thing:

Seven Fucking Feet in about 2 ½ days

And yet nobody's the least bit curious that it might have anything to do with a little thing quaintly referred to as "Climate Change"?

It was said years ago that people ha…

Speak Your Mind

Say what you want to say about how you disagree with a president's policy decisions or whatever, but if this is what you're all about, then you're advocating for actions that are exactly what the US was set up to be the exception to.  

And that makes you the traitor, not Obama.

hat tip = Democratic Underground

The Daddy State Update

I posted a thing about George Lakoff a few days back.  
Here's some stuff from a short interview with George Lakoff: You write, "remember that voters vote their identity and their values, which need not coincide with their self-interest." I remember writing a commentary on a poor congressional district, let's say about 98 percent white, in Kentucky. Most of the residents were on food stamps, Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid - or all of them. However, they have voted in recent elections by landslide majorities to re-elect a congressman who opposes food stamps and supports cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Can you elaborate on how this can occur?A single moral worldview dominates conservative policies in every domain of life - family, personal identity, sex, religion, sports, education, the market, foreign policy and politics - what I’ve called strict father morality. Your moral worldview is central to how you understand your life.In a strict father fa…


Both Sides Do It
Remember that BSDI starts with BS.
hat tip = The Professional Left podcast


Out at the margins of the "mainstream" of issues is the problem of taking an oath of office.

By swearing on a bible and invoking the name of a god whose official involvement in  government is prohibited by the very constitution you're swearing to uphold, you're kinda negating the whole thing from the start.

We need to try a little harder to avoid setting ourselves up to fail.

What We're Not Talking About

So, it's not about "Amnesty".  But it is about using the word 'Amnesty' to stir up the shit-for-brains-knee-jerk bunch.

I guess I'm wondering a tiny bit - why does Megyn admit it on the air like that?  I get the feeling she's the DumFux News version of Up-Chuck Todd - not the least bit interested in getting to the facts; she's only there to keep the mill wheels turning; her job is to tend to the Horse Race.  If she ever asks Ted Cruz on the air why he opposes Immigration Reform when it seems pretty clear Obama's trying to do basically what Repubs want him to do, she'll be fired immediately.  So maybe she's feeling so confident of her position of power she just let's it slip(?)

Dunno, but here's the thing: As soon as there actually is some kind of amity and collaboration in DC, ad revenues at Fox and NBC and CNN hit the skids.  They need the fight - shootin' wars, political campaigns, race trouble, gun violence - whatever makes us…

Today's Pix (NSFW)


Next Up at UVa

The story continues.  And it just gets weirder as UVa appoints former Deputy US AG Mark Filip to head up the investigation into the total fucked-up-edness of a party culture (this time centering around Phi Kappa Psi) bordering on straight-up Caligula.

From our "local" rag The Daily Progress:
Late in a day of unrest Thursday on Grounds, University of Virginia officials announced the appointment of former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip to lead a review of the school’s policy and procedures for dealing with sexual assaults.A statement from Rector George Keith Martin released just after 8 p.m. broke a nearly daylong silence from university leaders, including President Teresa A. Sullivan, in the wake of allegations of a September 2012 gang rape at the Phi Kappa Psi house at UVa. An account of the attack detailed in a nearly 9,000-word story in Rolling Stone ignited a storm of scrutiny Wednesday.Earlier in a day when hundreds of students rallied and vandals shattered window…


It's axiomatic that when you wanna figure out something that's complex and weird and difficult to understand, you need to get a buncha smart guys in a room, get 'em talking and then listen to what they say.

George Lakoff is one of those guys:
Liberals tend not to understand conservatives, and their confusion is showing. On the one hand liberals see conservatives in disarray and react with glee at the fragmentation: the Tea Party vs. Libertarians vs. Neocons vs. Wall Street. Eric Cantor, the Republican Majority Leader, brought down by a Tea Party unknown. John Boehner unable to control his majority in the House. Republican primary challenges everywhere.On the other hand, liberals are scared stiff of the Koch brothers and other wealthy Republicans bankrolling Republican candidates at every level all over the country. They are scared of a Republican takeover. And they should be.--and-- 
At the heart of conservatism is strict father morality, as we have seen. But strict father mo…

Ain't Nothin' New

I guess some of the shit we complain about now is the same shit we've been complaining about for what's getting to be a very long time.

Here's some Herblock stuff from 40 or 50 (or more) years ago.

Lance The Boil

When it seems like the world's all fucked up, one thing we have to stop and consider seriously is that maybe the world's just all fucked up.
Eventually, ya gotta get all that putrefaction out. If you don't drain the abscess, it just gets worse.
The UVa rape thing: ...At that same moment, she says, she detected movement in the room – and felt someone bump into her. Jackie began to scream."Shut up," she heard a man's voice say as a body barreled into her, tripping her backward and sending them both crashing through a low glass table. There was a heavy person on top of her, spreading open her thighs, and another person kneeling on her hair, hands pinning down her arms, sharp shards digging into her back, and excited male voices rising all around her. When yet another hand clamped over her mouth, Jackie bit it, and the hand became a fist that punched her in the face. The men surrounding her began to laugh. For a hopeful moment Jackie wondered if this wasn't some…

Today's Yeah But

Jim Webb seems like such a straight-shooter-no-nonsense kinda guy, it's a little difficult for me to buy in.  And since being honest is such a complete political liability, I just don't give him much of a chance - 'course, nobody tho't he could beat George (Macaca) Allen either.

But here he is anyway:

It starts out with pretty much the usual zero-content platitudes about "good leadership" and "solving problems", but the thing gets a lot more specific than most intro speeches I've heard.  

And so, here we go again - Hillary's the default Democrat again, and so I gotta look at alternatives again.  Yeah, but - the Repubs are still fingers-in-the-mouth-jumpin'-up-and-down-crazy, and they're likely gonna nominate somebody who lets 'em think they could pass for normal by making Ronnie Raygun look like Eugene Debs.

Full text and some discussion at Blue Virginia.

No more Clintons
No more Bushes
No more Rockefellers
No more Kennedys
No more legaci…

There Are No Nations

It's worth seeing just about anything Paddy Chayevsky wrote because of the speeches and/or soliloquies.

The clip is from Network (1976), and it's been a favorite for me for a very long time.

"We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies.  The world is a college of corporations inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business - the world is a business, Mr Beale.  It has been since man crawled out of the slime..."

I like to say I'm a Capitalist because god is a Capitalist, and that I believe strongly in Regulation because god believes strongly in Regulation.

I think Capitalism is the closest analogy to the way the biosphere has evolved to operate.  

As an organism, I have to take in enough calories to build up something of a surplus, so I'll have the energy necessary to make the effort it'll take to go out and get my next meal - income vs outflow; profit and loss etc.

But I also have onboard mechanisms that're there to regulate the function…

A Sensible Position Statement

Finally - a Dem with enough starch in his britches to stand up and say it straight out and for real.  Never mind that he's on his way out and so he risks absolutely nothing if he actually tells the fucking truth for a change, but hey - I can give the guy one last Atta Boy:

"Every dollar that we spend on fossil fuel development and use is another dollar we spend digging the graves of our grandchildren. And I'm not going to be a part of it anymore. I'm through."  -- Sen Tom Harkin, D-IA

hat tip = Democratic Underground

And So It Begins

New Xmas music From Kristen Bell, backed by Straight No Chaser:

Here Comes The Sun

On day 3 of a weather cycle that seems determined to destroy the resilience of even the cheeriest among us - science, muthuhfuckuh:

The surface of the sun from October 14th to 30th, 2014, showing sunspot AR 2192, the largest sunspot of the last two solar cycles (22 years). During this time sunspot AR 2191 produced six X-class and four M-class solar flares. The animation shows the sun in the ultraviolet 304 ångström wavelength, and plays at a rate of 52.5 minutes per second. It is composed of more than 17,000 images, 72 GB of data produced by the solar dynamics observatory ( + ( 
This animation has been rendered in 4K, and resized to the Youtube maximum resolution of 3840×2160. The animation has been rotated 180 degrees so that south is “up”. 
The audio is the ‘heartbeat’ of the sun, processed from SOHO HMI data by Alexander G. Kosovichev. Image data courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.”Image processing and animation by James Tyr…

Give It A Try

Lamenting the dearth of good solid "librul" radio, Driftglass and BlueGal mentioned this on The Professional Left podcast today:

Netroots Radio

Friday Music (updated at 7:25 pm EST)

A quickie.

The Book Of Right On (cover) --Sarah Jarosz

And some Jackson Browne too:

Obama Hits Back

If only.

Sauce For Ganders

Seems like every time I get into any debate on any subject with any "conservative", it's all but inevitable for that "conservative" to tell me I really just want "the nanny state" to take care of me.

It's a tough one to rebut because it takes time (which the opponent doesn't give you), and you have to string a buncha things together (which the opponent insists on disrupting); it requires a bit of thought (which the opponent seldom allows himself to do), and assumes a fundamental level of knowledgeability (which the opponent refuses to acquire).

So here's the thing:  "What's the difference between my Nanny State and your Daddy State?"

You claim I want to be taken care of by a government that will meet my every need by stealing from somebody else.

At the same time, you say I shouldn't be involved in the decisions being made regarding what happens to me and mine; I should just shut up and go along with whatever you and your coin…

The Real Outrage

Olbermann brings it - and nothing will ever be the same.

It Just Ain't Healthy

Mashing up Christianism and Patriotism and Militarism - then taking impressionable young men and training them to put aside their instincts for compassion and kindness - and then arming them to the teeth and turning them loose in a place halfway around the world where they don't speak the language and the native culture is a complete mystery to them - what could possibly go wrong?

This is not (and never was) only about the wounds we can see - the savagery of war is trained into the minds of the people we send to fight it.  There's no way we can justify feeling shocked or appalled or somehow indignant when we find out some of these people have done what we've told them to do.

And let's try not to pretend these veterans can come home and "be normal" - nobody comes out of a war not fucked up way or another, civilians included.

The First Black Prez

In Remembrance

Lux aeterna, Luceat eis, Domine
Thy everlasting light shine upon them, O Lord.
Turn to me and be gracious, for my heart is in distress.
Oh God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?
My tears linger at night, but joy comes in the morning light.
Lord, in your infinite mercy, grant them rest.
Rest forever more.

Veterans' Day

It's not just about what we want "our" guys to do to "their" guys.  

It's about what happens to everybody when we do the things war demands of us.

Adapt. Improvise. Overcome

Life goes on, but it may have to go on without us.

Black Fungus Eats Harmful Radiation in Chernobyl

BY CHRIS V. THANGHAM MAR 3, 2008 IN SCIENCE Fungus living in the walls of a failed nuclear reactor in Chernobyl was found with high melanin content, implying it survived living under dangerous radiation. Fungus might be a possible food source in high-radiation places like outer space.

Black fungus was found growing on the walls of Chernobyl’s damaged and highly radioactive nuclear reactor by robots sent to scour the area. Later, scientists analyzed the fungus and found it contained high content of melanin, a pigment found in human skin that gives it color, as well as protection from solar and ultraviolet radiation.
Melanin is found in many fungal species. Scientists say the melanin found in fungus and humans are similar in chemical composition. Nuclear (and other high-energy) reactions give off ionizing radiation, dangerous rays and particles that can damage genes and thus cause mutation…

Today's Pix