Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Perry prays


""I happened to spend several weeks in Texas earlier this year, while the Lone Star State lay under the pitiless glare of an unremitting drought. After a protracted arid interval, the state's immodest governor, Rick Perry, announced that he was using the authority vested in him to call for prayers for rain. These incantations and beseechments, carrying the imprimatur of government, were duly offered to the heavens. The heavens responded by remaining, along with the parched lands below, obstinately dry.

Perry did not, of course, suffer politically for making an idiot of himself in this way. Not even the true believers really expect that prayers for precipitation will be answered, or believe that a failed rainmaker is a false prophet. And, had Perry's entreaties actually been followed by a moistening of the clouds and the coming of the healing showers, it is unlikely that anybody would really have claimed a connection between post hoc and propter hoc. No, religion in politics is more like an insurance policy than a true act of faith. Professing allegiance to it seldom does you any harm, at least in Republican primary season, and can do you some good. It's a question of prudence."""

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


hurricane-god/LA Times

"At a campaign rally on Sunday in Sarasota, Fla., Bachmann took note of last week’s magnitude 5.8 quake that rocked the Washington area and whose effects were felt beyond New York City. She also cited Irene, which hit the United States as a Category 1 hurricane before traveling up the East Coast to Canada, leaving an estimated billions of dollars in damages and almost two dozen reported deaths.

“I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians,” Bachmann said to supporters. “We've had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, 'Are you going to start listening to me here? Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we've got to rein in the spending.' ”

Ridiculous, the average secularist exclaims. Yet per the logic of monotheism, Bachmann, like a Pat Robertson, would seem obligated to view God as the Controller of hurricanes and earthquakes (and floods, tidal waves, volcanoes, as well as diseases, plagues, etc). Now, had she read and understood Voltaire's Candide,--Voltaire being one of Thomas Jefferson's favorite scribes, as well--her indoctrination in fundamentalism might have been thwarted, however slightly. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Beef, Inc


""COLUMBIA, Mo. — The national beef industry has enlisted college students across the country in its public relations fight for America's hearts, minds and stomachs.

The Masters of Beef Advocacy program also recruits farmers, ranchers, high-end chefs and school dietitians to spread the gospel of red meat consumption. But the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, which started the outreach effort two years ago, has placed a strong emphasis on the Twitter generation. At least 20 percent of the nearly 2,200 program graduates are age 21 or younger.

The online program – called MBA in a nod to the more commonly known graduate business degree – is available in 47 states and particularly popular at public land-grant universities with strong agricultural schools, such as the University of Missouri, Iowa State, Kansas State and Western Kentucky.

"We know what the science is," said Dennis Fennewald, a fifth-generation farmer, former bull semen salesman and beef production instructor at Missouri. "The emotional part, that really is being controlled by people who don't know or understand our science."

Fennewald and professors at other schools typically offer the six-hour course as extra credit rather than a required assignment. Students who finish it are expected to speak to school groups and civic clubs or build online buzz through social media."""

Peter Singer & Co we don't exactly approve of yet there's something to the idea of having Biff and Bunny, steak-lovers, work in a slaughterhouse for a few weeks.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Journalism, continued

"If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast." ~William Tecumseh Sherman

You got that raht Uncle Billy

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Friday, August 26, 2011

Jobs resigns ....

from Crapple--

"""I have always said if ever the day came when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be among the first to let you know," Mr. Jobs said in his resignation letter. "Unfortunately, that day has come. I am as of this date now officially finished. There are various reasons for my decision, my friends. One, I've come to realize I am a fairly useless yet exceedingly wealthy pseudo-executive, with little or no software knowledge or technical ability or management skills. A team of high-powered investment people makes most of the my financial decisions. A guru makes my personal ones. An anachronism, if you will--though no one in the Apple community can ever doubt my contributions to certain graphical elements of the Apple line--such as the user friendly shapes and colors of Apple and Mac computers-- or the names. I named the "i-Mac", and all the i-products which followed--well, not the hardware or software, but the name itself: i. That's due to me. Wozniak and his propeller-heads built the other stuff, the techie gear. I've never been involved in that. Honestly I don't even know how to find the browser on the new SnowTiger OS-X-VIII or whatever the R & D people decided to call it.

The other reason I'm leaving --I've been diagnosed with medical and mental problems, and I can no longer keep this fact disclosed from the Apple community, or public at large. I am taking large daily doses of xanax, and an outpatient in a San Mateo mental health facility. My wife and friends had me institutionalized, actually, for which I am grateful. I have a nice, well-lighted room at the hospital, and an i-phone, music, and some pens and ink for my calligraphy work, and I plan to relax and meditate for a few years and finish my AA in Calligraphy, maybe take a BASIC class, and leave the details to others. " """

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tony, 1. Jerry, 0

LA Times:

"Villaraigosa proposed raising taxes on commercial property and lowering them for homeowners. "Prop. 13 was never intended to be a corporate tax giveaway, but that is what it has become," he asserted.

The mayor also would eliminate the corporate tax because "it has become a Swiss cheese of loopholes." He'd trim the personal income tax by 11%. And he'd extend the sales tax to services. "It's crazy that we are taxing doughnuts and not lawyers."

All told, he would raise billions, largely for schools and universities, the primary focus of his speech. "We are in the process of dismantling the greatest public university system in the world."

He'd allow taxes — state and local — to be increased by simple majority votes, repealing the two-thirds requirement of Prop. 13.

"This is about beginning a conversation," he says.

Done. A politician tacking Prop. 13 on his forehead will draw comment."

Vill. shows more spine in one rant than Jerry Moonbeam has in years.

Monday, August 22, 2011


NY Post:
""Lady Gaga has struck up a strong friendship with mysterious Marxist Slavoj Zizek, dubbed "the world's hippest philosopher."

In the midst of her rift with long-term boyfriend Luc Carl, eyebrows were raised over Gaga's decision to spend a lot of time with the 62-year-old, bearded, postmodern theorist and pal of Julian Assange while she was touring the UK and US this spring.

Sources say Gaga and Slovenian-born Zizek -- who like Salman Rushdie seems to be intellectual catnip to beautiful women and who was once married to Argentine model Analia Hounie -- spent time together discussing feminism and collective human creativity. The pop star also agreed to support Zizek at a March rally in London when the lecturers' union UCU was on strike.""

Paraphrasing GWF Hegel, History is the rational, progressive development of truth in time--occasionally.


related: Palmdale newspaper editor Dennis Dunderson a suspect in necrophilia case

Sunday, August 21, 2011

West Memphis 3 phree

The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.
Clarence Darrow


"When the "West Memphis 3" were freed from 18 years of imprisonment, emissaries of the entertainment world were there -- as they have been for years.

Arrested as teenagers, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley, both now 36, and Jason Baldwin, now 34, had long garnered support among musicians and Hollywood types because their black clothing and fondness for heavy metal music were used against them in trial. Prosecutors had suggested that the teenagers were Satanists who'd committed an "occult murder."

On Friday, when the men were released, Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks and Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam were in the courtroom. James Hetfield of Metallica offered this commentary in an interview with a Times reporter: "The way you dress, the things you listen to... I can basically speak for myself, growing up, that that was just a sign of wanting to be creative and be different."

And former Black Flag singer Henry Rollins, who had released an album to benefit the defense team, said in an email with a Times reporter that he was happy for the men -- but he's upset that "so much has been lost.""

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

Huntsman, cont.


"Addressing Perry’s stated skepticism of theories of evolution and climate change, Huntsman tweeted, “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”

Almost immediately after that, he trained his fire on the president, saying “With the jobs crisis this country faces, President Obama should be calling Congress back to DC, not going on a 10-day vacation.”

Obviously feeling liberated, Huntsman then started to riff: “Wonder if a tweet where I admit how much I like Captain Beefheart will make the followers skyrocket even more!” he questioned. (Huntsman used to play keyboards in a rock band, not that that explains his fondness for the esoteric Beefheart.)"

Quite focking copacetic Jonny yet I doubt Don VV were he still present in this dimension would reciprocate the sentiment.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011



"The Obama Administration continues to use unmanned drones as a tool of war - a tool that according The New York Times, the Administration claims has killed 600 militants in Pakistan and no civilians since May 2010. But the math doesn't add up. Nor does the policy.

Think of the use of drone air strikes as summary executions, extra-judicial killings justified by faceless bureaucrats using who-knows-what "intelligence," with no oversight whatsoever and you get the idea that we have slipped into spooky new world where joystick gods manipulating robots deal death from the skies and then go home and hug their children. Everything America was once said to stand for: the rule of law, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is in danger of becoming collateral damage as our fearful leaders continue to kill suspects and innocent alike, mindlessly unaware that the hellfire we are sowing will surely be reaped by Americans in the future. The proliferation of drone technology and its inevitable extension to civilian law enforcement is a leap into the arms of Big Brother..."

Yep. Though....with a perfected drone-police force, why the need for human cops at all? Imagine a kinder-gentler techno-snitch, Kuc.--and that would save the State a bundle by cutting over-inflated public employee salaries.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Public education for sale


"A couple of months ago, I went to Mexico to give talks at the National University in Mexico, UNAM. It's quite an impressive university — hundreds of thousands of students, high-quality and engaged students, excellent faculty. It's free. And the city — Mexico City — actually, the government ten years ago did try to add a little tuition, but there was a national student strike, and the government backed off. And, in fact, there's still an administrative building on campus that is still occupied by students and used as a center for activism throughout the city. There's also, in the city itself, another university, which is not only free but has open admissions. It has compensatory options for those who need them. I was there, too; it's also quite an impressive level, students, faculty, and so on. That's Mexico, a poor country.

Right after that I happened to go to California, maybe the richest place in the world. I was giving talks at the universities there. In California, the main universities — Berkeley and UCLA — they're essentially Ivy League private universities — colossal tuition, tens of thousands of dollars, huge endowment. General assumption is they are pretty soon going to be privatized, and the rest of the system will be, which was a very good system — best public system in the world — that's probably going to be reduced to technical training or something like that. The privatization, of course, means privatization for the rich [and a] lower level of mostly technical training for the rest. And that is happening across the country. Next year, for the first time ever, the California system, which was a really great system, best anywhere, is getting more funding from tuition than from the state of California. And that is happening across the country. In most states, tuition covers more than half of the college budget. It's also most of the public research universities. Pretty soon only the community colleges — you know, the lowest level of the system — will be state-financed in any serious sense. And even they're under attack. And analysts generally agree, I'm quoting, "The era of affordable four-year public universities heavily subsidized by the state may be over.""

"Privatization"--another word for the economics of gated communities, aka UC neighborhood watch.

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Stop coddling the super rich"

Buffett/NY Times
"While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors.

These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places."

This essay has apparentlly really pissed off the dirt-bag libertarians teabuggers, especially those who consider taxation to be the work of The DEVVILL. Of course, the usual TPster doesn't let US economic history stand in the way of his/her hustle and hype: Nixon-era tax rates were significantly greater than current rates--approx. 70% across the board, compared to today's 40%.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

To Frack or not to Frack

LA Times-- (with update*)

"A federally-appointed panel recommended greater disclosure and monitoring of the environmental effects of extracting natural gas from shale formations, marking the Obama administration's first broad assessment of the controversial practice known as fracking.

A coast-to-coast shale gas boom has raised concerns about the risks to underground water supplies from hydraulic fracturing, which involves mixing sand, water and chemicals and injecting them into shale formations at high pressure to unlock the gas. Environmental groups, local residents and politicians in areas rich with shale gas have said that hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," could lead to contamination of the water table. The energy industry insists that fracking is safe.

It remains unclear whether the report, issued by an expert panel appointed by Energy Secretary Steven Chu, will calm the debate. It's also uncertain if and how its recommendations would be implemented. The administration has not seen it yet."

Trust us: Fracking's Big Oil hype. Shale gas exists, but in addition to the contamination issues, the processing of the gas entails significantly higher costs than ordinary oil-gas refining technologies.


*updated! for...sabado Gigante-- FZ IPNTCIYM aka, in Cont.Speak "Me n Missus Lackey"

Friday, August 12, 2011

Kant 2011

Was the philosopher Immanuel Kant a pro-entitlement liberal?

(from the Metaphysics of Morals)

1. "The people have in fact united themselves by their common will into a society, which has to be perpetually maintained; and for this purpose they have subjected themselves to the internal power of the state, in order to preserve the members of this society even when they are not able to support themselves. By the fundamental principle of the state, the government is justified and entitled to compel those who are able, to furnish the means necessary to preserve those who are not themselves capable of providing for the most necessary wants of nature. For the existence of persons with property in the state implies their submission under it for protection and the provision by the state of what is necessary for their existence; and accordingly the state founds a right upon an obligation on their part to contribute of their means for the preservation of their fellow citizens. This may be carried out by taxing the property or the commercial industry of the citizens, or by establishing funds and drawing interest from them, not for the wants of the state as such, which is rich, but for those of the people. And this is not to be done merely by voluntary contributions, but by compulsory exactions as state–burdens, for we are here considering only the right of the state in relation to the people. Among the voluntary modes of raising such contributions, lotteries ought not to be allowed, because they increase the number of those who are poor, and involve danger to the public property. It may be asked whether the relief of the poor ought to be administered out of current contributions, so that every age should maintain its own poor; or whether this were better done by means of permanent funds and charitable institutions, such as widows’ homes, hospitals, etc.? And if the former method is the better, it may also be considered whether the means necessary are to be raised by a legal assessment rather than by begging, which is generally nigh akin to robbing. The former method must in reality be regarded as the only one that is conformable to the right of the state, which cannot withdraw its connection from any one who has to live. For a legal current provision does not make the profession of poverty a means of gain for the indolent, as is to be feared is the case with pious foundations when they grow with the number of the poor; nor can it be charged with being an unjust or unrighteous burden imposed by the government on the people.""

To reiterate: "the right of the state, which cannot withdraw its connection from any one who has to live."--That's like....Koombayah bullsh*t. Small wonder that Nietzsche and Ayn the Man Rand --and fratboys and hipsters the world over-- detested IK's ethical doctrines (and transcendental metaphysics). Nor should the somewhat rational citizen find it surprising that some of the nazis' first targets were the Kantian progressives of the SPD.

Mo' Kant

Unamuno on IK

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

F-35 follies cont.


..."As of December 31, 2010, the total estimated acquisition cost (the sum of development cost, procurement cost, and military construction [MilCon] cost) of the F-35 program in constant (i.e., inflation-adjusted) FY2002 dollars was about $270.6 billion.

[But] in then-year dollars (meaning dollars from various years that are not adjusted for inflation), the figures are about $379.4 billion, which would yield a program acquisition unit cost (or PAUC, meaning total acquisition cost divided by the 2,456 research and development and procurement aircraft) of about $154.4 million in constant FY2010 dollars, and an average procurement unit cost (or APUC, meaning total procurement cost divided by the 2,443 production aircraft) of $132.8 million in constant FY2010 dollars...."

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints. 1Cor.14.33 (Perdition--granting the possibility thereof for a few nanoseconds--must feature a lot of new tract housing for US defense contractors, assuming like the New Testament means anything)

Monday, August 08, 2011

S & P's real agenda

naked capitalism--

""Standard & Poor’s was the most aggressive of the three agencies, however. And on January 16, 2003, four days after the Georgia General Assembly convened, it dropped a bombshell. Because of the state’s new Fair Lending Act, S & P said that it would no longer allow mortgage loans originated in Georgia to be placed in mortgage securities that it rated. Moody’s and Fitch soon followed with similar warnings.

It was a critical blow. S& P’s move meant Georgia lenders would have no access to the securitization money machine; they would either have to keep the loans they made on their own books, or sell them one by one to other institutions. In turn, they made it clear to the public that there would be fewer mortgages funded, dashing “the dream” of homeownership.

It was an untenable situation for the lenders who had grown addicted to the securitization money spigot. With S& P shutting it off to abusive lenders, it was only a matter of time before the Fair Lending Act was dead. """

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Mitt's fave books

Romneytoid, continued.

""Perennial GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney caused a stir in 2007 when he said he really loved L. Ron Hubbard's notoriously awful Battlefield Earth. (The book, not the movie.) So this time around, he came up with a better choice.

Talking to NBC News, Romney explained he really liked the Twilight series."""
From L-Ron to...vampires? (plus memoirs of BushCo). Holy Angel of Moroni, ratman.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

sabado Gigante

the legendary Jimmy Smith...


Friday, August 05, 2011

Lessons from the debt crisis

This is not primarily about the Tea Party

It is about what rich donors want. The Tea Party does not even have the amount of muscle progressives do. Progressives can bring tens of thousands of people out, the Tea Party can rarely even get above 1,000. They are a convenient excuse to do what the Beltway and the oligarchs already want to do.

Where are you going to go?

Both Dems and Republicans are onside with cutting Social Security and Medicare. They are only third rails if there is someone else to vote for.

The deals being offered will cause a second downleg of the Depression and a worse one

We’re in a Depression. This is fact. Anyone who doesn’t call it that is gutless, stupid or uninformed. This will make it worse, not just for the US, but for the entire developed world.

Representatives work for the people who pay them

That isn’t really you. They don’t become multi-millionaires on their salaries, you know. It’s their donors, the people who hire their wives and children, the people who fund their campaigns, the people who give them good jobs when they leave government. If you want Reps and Senators to work for you, you must pay them better, you must fund their campaigns (and sharply limit outside funding) and you must make it illegal for them to EVER make more money in a year than their government salary (index it to an average of the median wage, the minimum wage, and CPI). You should do what Canada used to do and give them a good pension after 6 years. You DON’T want them worrying about their next job, or what they’ll do if they’ll lose."""""

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Eagles killed by Wind farms

LA Times--

""An investigation has been launched into the deaths of migratory birds including several federally protected golden eagles at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Pine Tree Wind Project in the Tehachapi Mountains, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday.

Should the inquiry result in a prosecution, the 120-megawatt facility on 8,000 acres of rugged terrain would be the first wind farm to face charges under the Endangered Species Act, which could cause some rethinking and redesign of this booming alternative energy source.

Wildlife service spokeswoman Lois Grunwald declined to comment on what she called “an ongoing investigation regarding Pine Tree.” But Joe Ramallo, spokesman for the DWP, said, “We are very concerned about golden eagle mortalities that have occurred at Pine Tree. We have been working cooperatively and collaboratively with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Game to investigate these incidents.

“We have also actively and promptly self-reported raptor mortalities to both authorities,” he added. “Moving forward, we will be ramping up further our extensive field monitoring and will work with the agencies to develop an eagle conservation plan as part of more proactive efforts to monitor avian activities in the Pine Tree area.”"

The DWP bureaucrats should have made plans to prevent raptor deaths from the onset.

++++++++++++   +++++++++

Related: "Lawn-Cop: The Life and Times of Billy Snitchford". Snitchford, Poet Laureate of Palmdale, CA, has written an riveting account of his years as a reporter in SoCal, covering lawn and garden issues. Foreword by semi-famed sportswriter Brian "The Hog" Goldie, who once was invited to a party thrown by Tom Lasordid.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

B L T season


Relatedly: green carnivores

Monday, August 01, 2011

"theJacobin spirit"


""In the history of radical politics, violence is usually associated with the so-called Jacobin legacy, and, for that reason, dismissed as something that should be abandoned if we are truly to begin again. Even many contemporary (post-)Marxists are embarrassed by the so-called Jacobin legacy of centralized state terror, from which they want to distance Marx himself, proposing an authentic “liberal” Marx whose thought was later obfuscated by Lenin. It was Lenin, so the story goes, who (re)introduced the Jacobin legacy, thus falsifying Marx’s libertarian spirit. But is this really the case? Let us take a closer look at how the Jacobins rejected the recourse to a majority vote, on behalf of those who speak for an eternal Truth. How could the Jacobins, the partisans of unity and of the struggle against factions, justify this rejection? “The entire difficulty resides in how to distinguish between the voice of truth, even if it is minoritarian, and the factional voice which seeks only to divide artificially to conceal the truth.”""
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