Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sabado gigante

jazz y...ajedrez.

Friday, April 29, 2011


England/Ezra-Pound (NSFW. We don't condone EP's message--rather  obnoxious at times--but it does show a certain historical perspective on the UK, that "outpost of Yankee-Judaea").


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Death-bed non-conversions

Christopher Hitchens, dying of cancer,  on not keeping the faith:. 

Dear fellow-unbelievers,

"Nothing would have kept me from joining you except the loss of my voice (at least my speaking voice) which in turn is due to a long argument I am currently having with the specter of death. Nobody ever wins this argument, though there are some solid points to be made while the discussion goes on. I have found, as the enemy becomes more familiar, that all the special pleading for salvation, redemption and supernatural deliverance appears even more hollow and artificial to me than it did before. I hope to help defend and pass on the lessons of this for many years to come, but for now I have found my trust better placed in two things: the skill and principle of advanced medical science, and the comradeship of innumerable friends and family, all of them immune to the false consolations of religion. It is these forces among others which will speed the day when humanity emancipates itself from the mind-forged manacles of servility and superstition. It is our innate solidarity, and not some despotism of the sky, which is the source of our morality and our sense of decency.

That essential sense of decency is outraged every day. Our theocratic enemy is in plain view. Protean in form, it extends from the overt menace of nuclear-armed mullahs to the insidious campaigns to have stultifying pseudo-science taught in American schools. But in the past few years, there have been heartening signs of a genuine and spontaneous resistance to this sinister nonsense: a resistance which repudiates the right of bullies and tyrants to make the absurd claim that they have god on their side. To have had a small part in this resistance has been the greatest honor of my lifetime: the pattern and original of all dictatorship is the surrender of reason to absolutism and the abandonment of critical, objective inquiry. The cheap name for this lethal delusion is religion, and we must learn new ways of combating it in the public sphere, just as we have learned to free ourselves of it in private.

Our weapons are the ironic mind against the literal: the open mind against the credulous; the courageous pursuit of truth against the fearful and abject forces who would set limits to investigation (and who stupidly claim that we already have all the truth we need). Perhaps above all, we affirm life over the cults of death and human sacrifice and are afraid, not of inevitable death, but rather of a human life that is cramped and distorted by the pathetic need to offer mindless adulation, or the dismal belief that the laws of nature respond to wailings and incantations.

As the heirs of a secular revolution, American atheists have a special responsibility to defend and uphold the Constitution that patrols the boundary between Church and State. This, too, is an honor and a privilege. Believe me when I say that I am present with you, even if not corporeally (and only metaphorically in spirit…) Resolve to build up Mr Jefferson’s wall of separation. And don’t keep the faith."


Christopher Hitchens

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

yes, milady

Why, the entire affair has us simply snackered.

HG Wells on the French Revolution, for yokels:

""And while these ragged hosts of enthusiasts were chanting the Marseillaise and fighting for la France, manifestly never quite clear in their minds whether they were looting or liberating the countries into which they poured, the republican enthusiasm in Paris was spending itself in a far less glorious fashion. The revolution was now under the sway of a fanatical leader, Robespierre. This man is difficult to judge; he was a man of poor physique, naturally timid, and a prig. But he had that most necessary gift for power, faith. He set himself to save the Republic as he conceived it, and he imagined it could be saved by no other man than he. So that to keep in power was to save the Republic. The living spirit of the Republic, it seemed, had sprung from a slaughter of royalists and the execution of the king. There were insurrections; one in the west, in the district of La Vendée, where the people rose against the conscription and against the dispossession of the orthodox clergy, and were led by noblemen and priests; one in the south, where Lyons and Marseilles had risen and the royalists of Toulon had admitted an English and Spanish garrison. To which there seemed no more effectual reply than to go on killing royalists...... "

Monday, April 25, 2011

""Obama must lose in 2012""

Ian Welsh

"America is in terminal decline. There may be a lot of ruin in a nation, as Keynes said, but that amount is not infinite. The next chance you get to turn this around you will be starting from a much worse position. A lot more pain will be unavoidable.

Obama is not turning things around, what he is doing is negotiating with Republicans how fast the decline will be, and how much and how fast it is necessary to fuck ordinary Americans in order to keep the rich rich. If Obama wins another term, he will continue to negotiate the decline, then, odds are very high, a Republican will get in, and slam his foot on the accelerator of collapse.

This is why Obama must lose in 2012. I would prefer that he lose to a Democrat in a primary, then that Democrat wins, but he must lose regardless. If he loses to a Republican, then 2016 you get a chance to put someone in charge who might do the right things (or even just some of them.)""

Last of a dying breed--Democratic male, opposed to corporate finance, apparently ..hetero, with some spine

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

a weapon

"A weapon that costs more than Australia"

""The F-35 is designed to be the core tactical fighter aircraft for the U.S. military, with three versions for the Air Force, Navy, and the Marine Corps. Each plane clocks in at around $90 million.

In a decade's time, the United States plans to have 15 times as many modern fighters as China, and 20 times as many as Russia.So, how many F-35s do we need?



Washington intends to buy 2,443, at a price tag of $382 billion.

Add in the $650 billion that the Government Accountability Office estimates is needed to operate and maintain the aircraft, and the total cost reaches a staggering $1 trillion.

In other words, we're spending more on this plane than Australia's entire GDP ($924 billion).

The F-35 is the most expensive defense program in history, and reveals massive cost overruns, a lack of clear strategic thought, and a culture in Washington that encourages incredible waste.""

slouching towards Bethlehem, y'all
* * * * * * * *

related---columbine day

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"storm toxin"

Methamphetamine/LA Times

""It's well-known that highly addictive methamphetamine wreaks havoc ....But faces, and brains, aren't the only parts of the body the drug affects, researchers at the University of Illinois in Champaign said Wednesday. Studying meth exposure in fruit flies, the team showed that meth also alters chemical reactions in the body associated with generating energy, forming sperm cells and regulating hormones and muscles.

"We know that methamphetamine influences cellular processes associated with aging, it affects spermatogenesis, and it affects the heart," said University of Illinois entomologist (and study lead author) Barry Pittendrigh, in a statement. "One could almost call meth a perfect storm toxin because it does so much damage to so many different tissues in the body."....

Just say no to Cranktianity.

Monday, April 18, 2011

the Obama regime

Oliver Stone/New Statesman

""Instead of modelling himself after Gorba­chev and boldly championing deeply felt convictions and transformative policies, Obama has taken a page from the Bill (and Hillary) Clinton playbook and governed as a right-leaning centrist. While trying naively to ingratiate himself with an opposition bent solely on his defeat, he has repeatedly turned his back on those who put him in office.

Surrounding himself with Wall Street-friendly advisers and military hawks, he has sent more than 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan; bailed out Wall Street banks while paying scant attention to the plight of the poor and working class; and enacted a tepid version of health reform that, while expanding coverage, represented a boondoggle for the insurance industry. And he has continued many of Bush's civil rights abuses, secrecy obsessions and neoliberal policies that allow the continued looting of the real economy by those who are obscenely wealthy."

Jackbooted neoliberals:  as dangerous as  jackbooted yokel repugs and TPsters, though with  "people skills", wearing kevlar, GPS,  and  carrying a lot more gear

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Super rich see fed. taxes drop dramatically


"As millions of procrastinators scramble to meet Monday's tax filing deadline, ponder this: The super rich pay a lot less taxes than they did a couple of decades ago, and nearly half of U.S. households pay no income taxes at all.

The Internal Revenue Service tracks the tax returns with the 400 highest adjusted gross incomes each year. The average income on those returns in 2007, the latest year for IRS data, was nearly $345 million. Their average federal income tax rate was 17 percent, down from 26 percent in 1992.

Over the same period, the average federal income tax rate for all taxpayers declined to 9.3 percent from 9.9 percent.

The top income tax rate is 35 percent, so how can people who make so much pay so little in taxes? The nation's tax laws are packed with breaks for people at every income level. There are breaks for having children, paying a mortgage, going to college, and even for paying other taxes. Plus, the top rate on capital gains is only 15 percent."

The ostentatiously wealthy paid more in capital gains taxes under Reagan than they do now-- 20 percent in 1981, then increased in 1986 to 28 percent. Another GOP-TP myth, debunked.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

sabado Gigante

edit IV-----------------------
piano music/Schubert

El sueño de la Razon produce monstruos...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dogs that can't bark

In Financial Crisis, No Prosecutions of Top Figures/NYTimes

""It is a question asked repeatedly across America: why, in the aftermath of a financial mess that generated hundreds of billions in losses, have no high-profile participants in the disaster been prosecuted?

Answering such a question — the equivalent of determining why a dog did not bark — is anything but simple.""

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Symposium: Plato's Cave, 2011

"Socrates (470-399 B.C.) – a renowned Greek philosopher from Athens who taught Plato – Plato taught Aristotle and Aristotle taught Alexander the Great. Socrates used a method of teaching by asking leading questions. The Greeks called this form dialectic – starting from a thesis or question, then discussing ideas and moving back and forth between points of view to determine how well ideas stand up to critical review with the ultimate principle of the dialogue being Veritas – Truth. "

Platonisme es no perfecta pero se puede ayudar con La Muerta de la blanca basura

Monday, April 11, 2011

Stewart does...Glenn Beck

LA Times

Hehheh. Holy LDS chalkboard ratman

Saturday, April 09, 2011

sabado Gigante

uno mas

“America is just the country that shows how all the written guarantees in the world for freedom are no protection against tyranny and oppression of the worst kind. There the politician has come to be looked upon as the very scum of society.” Kropotkin

Friday, April 08, 2011


n-gram for.......stalinist, bureaucrat, nazi, yokel, aunt jemima

Thursday, April 07, 2011

buh bye Glenn Beck

El Lay Times

Completing a swift rise and fall from TV stardom, the controversial mormon buffoon  Glenn Beck will lose his once-popular Fox News "show" later this year, the network announced Wednesday.

"Thank your lucky stars for that," said Daisy Mae Pudanellia, an office worker at Fox News's downtown LA location. "That confused fat bitch should have been given the axe a year ago", Pudanellia continued.

Beck's 5 p.m. program, which earned scorn from intelligent humans everywhere for its attacks on reason, science and human values as well as its devotion to a variety of  criminal psychotics, was a top cable draw in 2009 and a signpost for the misguided, dimwitted "tea party" movement in last year's midterm elections.

But ratings plummeted and advertisers bailed as Beck — a cherubic, salt-and-pepper-haired semi-dyslexic blowhard who has compared himself to a rodeo clown — increasingly pursued a hard-to-follow agenda that many found too pathetically simple-minded to believe. He also chafed the money men at Fox News, who faulted him for spending too much time on his far-flung bunko operations and not enough on honing his communication 101 skills.

Both sides cobbled together a diplomatically worded statement Wednesday that noted Beck would be "kicked the fuck off, ASAP" his daily program but stressed that the host and Fox News had reached a new deal for future, as-yet-unspecified projects.
Fox News and Beck both declined to comment beyond the statement.

* * *

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Black Robe gang, cont.

"The lawyer's truth is not Truth, but consistency or a consistent expediency."

Scalia on kneepads for the Prosecution/LATimes

"Since the 1990s, the advent of DNA evidence has swept across the American criminal justice system and revealed that hundreds of convicted prisoners were innocent. Yet, throughout that time, the Supreme Court has shielded prosecutors from claims that they hid evidence that could have revealed the truth and has been reluctant to give prisoners a right to reopen old cases.
By a 5-4 vote Tuesday, the high court threw out a jury verdict won by John Thompson, the Louisiana man who had sued the New Orleans district attorney after he spent 14 years on death row for crimes he did not commit. In the past, the court has shielded individual prosecutors from being sued, even if they deliberately framed an innocent person. Last week's decision protects a district attorney's office from being sued for a series of errors that sent an innocent man to prison....."

""The Supreme Court's seminal decision in Brady v. Maryland recognized that prosecutors must tell the defense about any evidence that negates the guilt of the accused. If a prosecution witness has a motive to lie in order to curry favor from the state, the defense has a right to know. If evidence from the scene of the crime proves the defendant innocent, the defendant obviously has a right to know. A criminal trial is not a game. The prosecution's objective must be to do justice, even if that means the defendant gets acquitted.

The evidence at the trial of Thompson's civil lawsuit proved overwhelmingly that Connick was indifferent, if not hostile, to his obligation under the Brady ruling. Connick's office didn't provide any training to assistant DAs on the disclosure requirement. His assistants didn't know the basics of the rule. And in Thompson's case, they withheld from the defense team ten exculpatory reports and records - in addition to the exonerating blood evidence in the armed robbery - that undercut Thompson's murder conviction.""

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Sheriff Reid

supporting social-security

""Sen. REID: Back off Social Security. It's in great shape for the next many decades. Let's worry about Social Security when it's a problem. Today, it's not a problem.""

Nice jab in the face of the embodiment of human shit on earth Cantor , that glib piece of Randian garbage in a Suit.   While hardly perfect as a politician, or person (Reid's afflicted with the LDS disorder) Sen. Reid has some inkling of what authentic democratic politics consists of, unlike many DINOs (like most d-Kos regulars). Maybe there's hope he can overcome his disorder.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Church tax (y sabado gigante)


"""Merton — St. John's United Church of Christ in Merton holds worship services on Sundays and during some months holds Bible study classes on Tuesdays.

Like other churches, St. John's is exempt from paying property taxes.

But every day of the week, including Sundays, a for-profit Jazzercise franchise runs fitness classes at the church. Classes are offered four times a day from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, according to the calendar posted online. Jazzercise holds fewer classes at the church Friday through Sunday.

Rental not uncommon
It's not uncommon for churches to rent out space. But when they rent to businesses that don't qualify for a property-tax exemption, that portion of the property used by the business is supposed to be subject to taxes, according to state laws.

In reality, how churches are actually used gets little attention from regulators, an investigation by the Journal Sentinel has found. Some properties are listed as churches but have little, if any, activity going on. Others, such as St. John's, raise different concerns. The lack of government oversight ultimately costs all the other property owners who do pay taxes. And the tax break gives Jazzercise a competitive advantage over other business owners who pay property taxes.

"That's definitely not fair," said John Gebhard, owner of Lake Country Racquet & Athletic Club in Hartland. "I pay some pretty big property tax checks. That kind of gets under your skin after a while. As a business owner you think 'Why am I paying this and everybody else isn't?' "........

Once First Church of the Blessed Beatnik holds regular jazzercize classes, or bar-be-ques open to the public (charging admission), or tax preparation classes hasn't it become a de facto business, thus losing the tax exempt status (itself dubious, even without the business)?? Contingencies says yes.

More phunn on Church/state

Slinky redfoot??

Friday, April 01, 2011

"the struggle for recognition"

from the Coeur d'Alene of the Mind

""In opposition to Liberalism and Contract theories, Hegel does not regard rights as originating from an a priori eternal human nature which have the same characteristics in all societies and all times. Human beings have rights as a result of a historical and social struggle, which he calls the struggle for recognition. This view of the nature of rights finds its complete exposition in The Phenomenology of Mind, but its origin lies in the Jena lectures.

If we take the right to property as an example, the difference between Hegel’s and Locke’s accounts becomes clear. The right to property in Hegel concerns Man as a Will, a Spirit, a Self-Conscious being. On the other hand, Man has property right in Locke because of his biological organic nature. Whereas Locke concentrated on the problem of possessing, enjoying, and distributing property, Hegel concentrated on the productive activity of the subject, which was prophetic to Marx. The subject in Locke confronts nature in a dominating, instrumental manner, taking from it what satisfies its biological needs, but in Hegel both subject and object, or man and nature constitute each other in a dialectical process. Hegel shows that human being makes the things of the outer world parts of his own world by way of labour, and thereby raising Man above his biological nature. ""
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