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Showing posts from September, 2014

Science, Bitch

The Prince Rupert's Drop

In Case Ya Hadn't Noticed

...lately, most of my posts are kinda crappy.  I gotta walk away for a bit.

Back later.

A Question Of Power

Sometimes we all stand around wondering what the hell's wrong with the world, and why does it seem like so many people aren't willing to do what they need to do to make things work anymore.
Asking the right questions is kinda important. Through the paradigm of broken windows policing (also known as quality of life policing), "We have come to identify certain acts - graffiti spraying, litter, panhandling, turnstile jumping, and prostitution - and not others - police brutality, accounting scams, and tax evasion - as disorderly and connected to broader patterns of serious crime," writes Bernard Harcourt in Policing Disorder. Harcourt is one of the few academics that has been shouting in the dark for 20 years, but now that broken windows is back in the headlines, his work seems more prescient than ever.
"Why does broken windows focus on the dollar-fifty turnstile jump," Harcourt writes, "rather than on the hundred-million dollar accounting scam?"
The lite…

What It Is

What I imagine it feels like for lotsa people sometimes.

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Today's Joke

Doctor: "The good news is that your lab results are back, and your crabs are dead."

Patient: "And is there bad news too?"

Doctor: "Yes - we don't know what killed them."

Gotta Love The Onion

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Woman Worried Student Loans Could Prevent Her From One Day Owning Entirely Different Kind Of Crippling DebtNEWS IN BRIEF • Local • Money • Finance • ISSUE 50•38 • Sep 24, 2014 14.2K918269 PHILADELPHIA—Lamenting that she will spend the foreseeable future paying off her college expenses, local 23-year-old digital marketing assistant Ashley Orlinsky expressed concern Wednesday that her student loans will prevent her from ever owning an entirely different type of utterly crippling debt. “Realistically, it’ll take years or even decades to fully repay $50,000 of loans, which makes me worried that I’ll never qualify for a backbreaking mortgage on a house that I can in no way afford,” said Orlinsky, adding that with $350 in monthly student loan payments, she will likely struggle to even borrow money to purchase a new car that will destroy her credit rating and may one day be repossessed by the bank. “I have dreams of starting my own company at some point in the future, but I just don’t see how…

Funky Friday

Bullets --Bob Schneider





Round And Round --Bob Scheider





Big Blue Sea --Bob Schneider





Tarantula --Bob Schneider

Today's Quote

"Guy calls me 'commie Jew hippie bastard', so I said, 'What, I look like Jesus to you?'" --John Fugelsang

Today's Pix

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Narrowly Averted Eternal Sadness

hat tip = Addicting Info



Stopped for a seatbelt violation, the driver makes the near-fatal mistake of trying to cooperate and comply with the cop's instructions.  Of course, that near-fatal mistake followed the obvious mistake of having dark brown skin in South Carolina, and then the guy just makes it worse by raising his hands trying to demonstrate he was actually not a threat to the officer - all of which taken together tends to cause a lot of stress in the minds of some people (maybe like this cop) - people who've been over-trained to expect trouble, to the point where their brains will manufacture a threat even tho' all their sensory input indicates otherwise.  The cop did in fact shoot that guy at least once AFTER he put his hands up.

More simply - if we teach people to expect trouble, let's try not to be surprised when they find it even where it doesn't exist.

In this case, at least the Cop Shop Mgmt made the right calls in firing that officer, charging him with…

Charlie Gets It

(My own 2¢: remember when Bond villains were the only guys who had private armies?)

Ripped entirely from Charlie Pierce:

BILL O'REILLY IS NOT A MILITARY -- OR ANY OTHER KIND OF -- GENIUS By  on September 23, 2014 18 7 0 View All Comments (

One From Way Back

A little perspective from Michael Moore in The Guardian, 2002: I have never been attacked by a black person, never been evicted by a black person, never had my security deposit ripped off by a black landlord, never had a black landlord, never had a meeting at a Hollywood studio with a black executive in charge, never had a black person deny my child the college of her choice, never been puked on by a black teenager at a Mötley Crüe concert, never been pulled over by a black cop, never been sold a lemon by a black car salesman, never seen a black car salesman, never had a black person deny me a bank loan, and I've never heard a black person say, "We're going to eliminate 10,000 jobs here - have a nice day!"

I don't think that I'm the only white guy who can make these claims. Every mean word, every cruel act, every bit of pain and suffering in my life has had a Caucasian face attached to it.

So, um, why is it exactly that I should be afraid of black people?

I look …

Today's Dots

Here's another guy with a dash cam and a fair understanding of his rights under the US Constitution:



The problem here tho' is that the driver didn't demand Probable Cause.  No matter what the cop says about roadblocks, the dragnet is extralegal.  The cops have no authority to presume everybody's guilty (IMHO just so they can sift thru the population looking to collect a few bucks in fines because their budget's pretty tight again this year)  None zero zip zilch nada.

The 2nd trooper yells about how driving's a privilege not a right, and that you're required to have your license and proof of insurance etc.  But that's a dodge on his part.  His in-your-face tactics are meant to intimidate in order to coerce your "voluntary" cooperation and deflect from the fact that his actions are outside the fucking lines.  Anyway, the cops couldn't demonstrate why they suspected that particular driver of violating the law.  Detention by law enforcement with…

A Million Pounds Of Idiot

Dear "Conservatives",

Nobody's buying your shit anymore.

Also too - the Congress Critters in this video - the guys who're asking the dumbest of the dumb-fuck questions - they're your guys.  Maybe you've finally started to come around a bit on the Climate Disruption thing, but these idiots are your idiots.  Until you run these pricks outa your party, I can only conclude that they represent you, so they're giving voice to your views.

Here's the only question that matters now:  Are you really that fuckin' stoopid?

The Daily Show
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Going Out In Style - Updated

She gets all the Style Points available.




And from Crooks and Liars:

Today's Pix

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Be Afraid

...cuz it's really good for certain Coin-Operated Politicians.

A Sad Time For Me

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I will absolutely admit that I'm a football guy.  It's my game.  It's been my game since about 3rd grade.  Seems a little silly to me now, but it's easy to see how you can get hooked once you strap on the armor and everybody seems to be really excited to watch you go crashing into people.

"Football is not a contact sport - it's a collision sport. Dancing is a contact sport."  (Vince Lombardi and/or Duffy Daugherty)

--and let's not forget--

"All real Americans love the sting of battle." (George Patton)

I was hooked.  My game; my idea of fun.  Of course, eventually it morphs into "My ball; my territory; my team against the world; I will destroy you in pursuit of my goals"; and above all else, "football teaches a young man important lessons he'll carry with him throughout his life blah blah blah".  (accompaniment by a choir of angels optional on the last bit)

Gosh, it's almost as if it's perfect training for an aut…

Check Your Bias

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...and always assume your assumptions carry a Freshness Date, which means they are mostly pure shit after a while.

If there's really a Liberal Bias in the news media; a bias that's anywhere near as prominent as "conservatives" are so desperate to make us believe, then it seems to me we'd be able to see it a lot better.

Here's the thing:  It's not "Gay Rights", as if those rights exist outside the realm of everybody else's rights.  It's not "Gay Rights" now any more than it was "Black Rights" back in the 50s and 60s.

In god's USAmerica Inc, we're supposed to be talking about everybody's rights being the same; everybody having the same right to be treated as equals before the law.  Equal Rights.

So I go to the Google Machinery, and I type in something like "gay rights" and I get one number, and then I type in "equal rights", and I get another number.

(CAVEAT: I'm no scholar. I'm …

Today's Joke

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Today's Pix

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Apollo's Entourage

Today's Toons

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According to the way they taught it way back when I was trying to be in college, the proper order of things is: Work first, then Value, and then Capital.

We've been very busily rearranging the order to put Capital on top, while nobody making the decisions seems to care much about doing the actual work or about producing anything of real value outside of the superficial sparkle of "The Brand" or the Executive Committee's Stock Options.  To my way of thinking, this is basically fucking with the very laws of nature - and eventually, Nature's gonna fuck you right back.

A coupla good thinkings as to current conditions here in USAmerica, Inc:



Meet The New Boss

George The Shrub's Excellent Adventure hasn't had quite the results he told us we could count on.

So, meet the new Saddam, same as the old Saddam.  Or maybe, meet the new Ayatollah, same as the old Ayatollah(?)

From The Week:

Who is al-Baghdadi?
He's an Islamic scholar, poet, and Sunni extremist who is as much as an enigma to his followers as he is to his enemies. Born Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai in the central Iraqi city of Samarra, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, 43, is believed to have started his career as a preacher of Salafism, a hard-line form of Sunni Islam, and to have a degree in history and a doctorate in sharia law. After the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, he led a Sunni militant group that fought against American troops. Captured by U.S. forces in 2005, he was held for four years at Camp Bucca, a U.S. military prison. There, he met several al Qaeda commanders. In 2009, the U.S. turned al-Baghdadi over to Iraqi authorities as part of a Bush administration agreeme…

No Shame

Olbermann

Just in case you've grown unfamiliar with such things because of our long national drought - what Keith just did there - that's a little thing us oldsters used call Journalism.

Linda Cohn (also at ESPN) has been guilty of unapologetically committing Acts of Reportage as well.  I just can't find any good clips of her work on the Ray Rice thing right now.


Today In Connecting Dots

From The Boston Globe, via Charlie Pierce: SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah elementary school teacher who was carrying a concealed firearm at school accidentally shot herself in the leg when the weapon discharged in a faculty bathroom shortly before classes started Thursday morning, officials said.

The teacher at Westbrook Elementary School, in the Salt Lake City suburb of Taylorsville, was severely injured when the bullet entered and exited her leg, and she was rushed to a hospital, Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley said. She was in good condition and alert at the hospital by midmorning, Horsley said. And now the dots part (well, kinda anyway) from Army Times:
Outside of the war zone, active-duty troops are dying by firearms at a rate 62 percent higher than a decade ago and are injured by firearms at three times the rate they were in 2002, according to a Defense Department report.

In a trend that defies the armed services' focus on weapon and range safety, as well as suicid…

A Little Chopin

Waltz in A Minor --Frederic Chopin

Standards

Allowing somebody else to impose any kind of arbitrary "standards of beauty" on us is at least a little iffy.  Buying into the manipulative bullshit of advertising and manufactured opinion, and then remaining apathetic about it is dangerous for a society and too often deadly for individuals.



Just the way you are, ladies.  Honest.


Today's Toon

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You can't kill your way out of your problems.  If that was possible, we wouldn't still be arguing over the death penalty; there would be no dissent in places like Iran; and people would be naming their babies after assholes like Hitler and Stalin and Pol Pot.  Half a generation from now, what's the likelihood of a Muslim kid growing up in Iraq or Yemen or Afghanistan with the name Barack?  I'm not making Obama equivalent to those legendarily monumental piles of bug shit.  I wouldn't need to do that even if that was my intent because we should all know by now that those kids are going to get plenty of help to do exactly that.


Never worked before for anybody else - not gonna work now for us.
But hey - let's just pretend this is what American Exceptionalism is all about - we do everything better.
Just remember this one thing:  People have been out to conquer the world for the better part of a thousand centuries, but somehow, the world remains undefeated.

Today's Today

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Nobody gets over something like 9-11, but we all have to figure out how to get past it.


Die, Sweet Road Runner, Die

Happy Blog-iversary To Me

5 years ago today.

E'Ville Times back in the day.

How great I art.

Where's The Line?

Finally - somebody gets it enough to say it.  There's a line; and the conversation we have to start insisting on having is all about trying to figure out where the line should be drawn.



There are some things that fit well into a Binary Decision Matrix.  For some things, it really is a question of Either/Or.  Nobody has to convince anybody these things are all bad and should be absolutely and forever illegal - things like Rape, Murder, Reality TV shows.  You know what I'm talkin' about.

But for most of the big ones - Guns, Abortion, Taxation, etc etc etc - the ones that generate all the heat and practically no light, there's lotsa room between one extreme and the other;  the place where that horrible-est of all horrible-ness; the thing called COMPROMISE hasta happen.

C'mon, guys.  We need to stop feeding the Trolls of the Manufactured Controversy Industry and figure some of this shit out.

Mr Oliver, If You Please

"For-Profit Education" is easily the best way for anybody totally devoid of honor to funnel public dollars into private coffers.



Wanna know what kills Capitalism?  Capitalists who are unworthy of the name, masquerading as honest entrepreneurs; demonstrating by their example that it's all but impossible to think anybody could earn a living doing anything but stealing.

Here's the letter Oliver mentions:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am [NAME HERE], a human being with [DESCRIBE AT LEAST SOME LEVEL OF SENSE] who is sick of your [SYNONYM FOR BULLSHIT]

Whatever the benefits of for-profit-schools, your trade group is protecting some of the worst actors, and [ADDITIONAL INSULTS].  [IDEAS FOR PLACES TO CRAM THIS LETTER ONCE ROLLED UP].  [PROPOSALS FOR HUMAN WASTE PRODUCTS TO BE EATEN].

Thank you for your time,

[NAME HERE AGAIN]

Send it to:  APSCU@apscu.org

Today's Pix

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