Monday, December 31, 2007

Wow! Sitemeter tells me I just passed the 10,000 visitor mark. Seems like only yesterday I was just a lame-ass blogger that hardly anyone read... oh, wait, that was yesterday. But I'm a lame-ass blogger that 10,000 hardly anyones read.


Happy New Year, y'all!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

nooooooooo!

illustration by Paul Kidby, from Terry Pratchett's book The Last Hero
Terry Pratchett has alzheimers. Words cannot express how bummed out I am about this. Not my words, anyway. No doubt Terry could do it just right. If you've never heard of Pratchett, start with Good Omens. Or The Wee Free Men. Or just about anything, really.

Friday, December 28, 2007

dodge... uh, square

As usual, after the Holidays, I start off a bit slow. Still, this is a very cool link, not to be shrugged off as filler. I was saving it.

I warn you, this is addictive. It's an air force test, and as far as I can tell, the trick is to not move too quickly or too far.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

quote for the day

I remember being at a conference, long ago, when a speaker was talking about the idea that two consistent but contradictory worldviews can, under certain circumstances, just be irreconcilable and have to coexist.

A question came from the audience along the lines of: "What about fascists? If you take your view, it may not be possible to say conclusively that fascists are wrong".

"No, that’s right," the speaker said, "But I don’t need to say they’re wrong. I just need to say they’re bastards."


from a comment at Big Ideas

Friday, December 21, 2007

friday night at the movies


Tear down that wall, Mr Huckabee, tear down that wall.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

any way you look at it, you lose

Listen to this:
What began as a troubling year for Bush, facing a new, energetic Democratic Congress, ended in triumph for the president as frustrated Democrats nursed their losses. Democrats failed in their No. 1 objective to stop the war in Iraq and bowed to Bush and his veto threats on tax policies, energy legislation, children's health insurance and general spending.
This was not Lord Bush's victory, or at least, this was not a victory made by Lord Bush. This was a self-defeat for the Democratic "leadership". If there has ever been a bigger bunch of pussies in the hallowed halls of congress, it has not been during my lifetime*.
Somehow, a group of people who've risen to the top of the power food-chain have failed to grasp the role that image plays in this nation's psyche, a role that the Republicans have grasped with gusto and played to the hilt.
From the start, Democrats should have been sending Bush bill after bill, doing the job that Americans elected them to do. They should have done this regardless of any threat of veto. In the Senate, where things are often harder to get done, compromise might have been acceptable, but not the capitulation which has marked 2007.
If you watched that video from yesterday, you heard Mr. Israel worrying about how Bill Clinton shut down the government in 1994 by vetoing the budget handed him by an "entitlement"-slashing Republican congress. That veto was widely regarded as a defeat for the congress, but that's less because Clinton won than it was because the Republicans were mean-spirited asshats, and most people knew that. In 1994, Clinton was polling at around two-thirds, but in the here and now, Bush is at one third on a good day, and he is the mean-spirited asshat, not the congress.
Congress has the moral and Constitutional authority to cut off funding, to bring home the troops, to cancel tax breaks given to the Oil Companies in addition to the boondogle provided by the Iraq war, to reject candidates who are unsuitable for administering laws, and to investigate whatever it considers to be transgressions of the law, those laws having been created by congress in the first place.
I dont know how much of this the nation will take lying down. Then again, maybe the nations been doing a bit too much lying around anyway. Maybe it's time to get up and get a little loose.

* admittedly, not all that long, relatively.

quote for the day

"When anything goes, nothing matters"

Jim Kunstler, at Clusterfuck Nation

pondering

Okay, so we all know about this flap with the erased CIA interrogation tapes, but now things have gotten really ridiculous. Seems that the Justice Department, that is the part of the government in charge with upholding the laws of the land, is refusing to give information to Congress (the part of the government in charge of making the laws) the erasure of these recordings because they feel "that giving information to lawmakers could subject the inquiry to political pressures". This is, presumably, as opposed to political pressure from the White House.
So, anyway, two things occur to me:

1. How stupid do those who confirmed Mukasey as Attorney General feel now?

2. How convieniently timed is this revelation by the CIA, about inflamatory tapes that no longer exist (and so inflame passions only abstractly), which comes at a time when the White House is getting hammered by the press (hell, by everybody) over the NIE?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

humpday happiness


Okay, now, I dont want anyone to think that my happiness revolves around food, even if it is frequently true. But I do want to give you a "recipe" today, since I recently finished off this dish, and I love it, love it, love it. It's nice, simple Guy Food:


- Get 1 box of Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni, plus a pound of hamburger, some milk and whatever else you need to follow the instructions with.
- Now follow those instructions (oh, and add some chopped onion when you brown the meat, and be sure and season it, too; salt, pepper, garlic powder, whatever).
- When the Helper is done, open up a can of Ranch Style Beans and dump them in (you might drain them first, or you might not).
- microwave a cup or so of frozen corn, then dump that in. You can use the canned stuff, but I really dont recommend it. Frozen is better.
- Stir it up (I know it seems obvious, but still).
- Dont just sit there, eat it! Have it with a nice salad, too (use Green Goddess dressing, just for fun).

talking heads

I swiped this from Kel, because this guy is saying everything I keep asking, and the Democrat is filled with fear. I'm sick of it, really, really sick of it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

red-eyed myopia*

Lord Bush was trying to calm the sheeple today by telling them that the economy was good, saying, "there's definitely some storm clouds and concern" but that "the underpinning is good".
Yeah, if you want to call the richest 1% the "underpinning", then King George isnt a big, fat liar, I suppose. With forty percent of America's wealth under their belt, those 3 million folks are doing pretty darn "good".

On the other hand...
Bush tried to position himself as an advocate for working families by taking aim at his favorite target: the Democratic Congress.

"The Congress cannot take economic vitality for granted," Bush said.

"The most negative thing Congress can do in the face of economic uncertainty is to raise taxes on the American people," Bush said.

The audience of roughly 80 people listened to Bush with respectful silence. Yet a line that normally gets him applause — "I'll veto any tax increase" — drew no reaction at all.

Holy crap! No reaction to tax vetoes? Let's remember something very important here about the audience (hell, any audience) when Commander Chimp was speaking: they are a bunch of ringers. Dissent is not allowed in a Bush audience, which is generally stacked with members of the Still-Delusional Third (or whatever the number is these days). Even this audience failed to applaud his "no taxes" mantra, which may just be a clear indication that America is finally waking up to the enormous hole into which it has dug itself. Or maybe not. But you have to be pretty blind not to see at least some of our economic woes.

Even trained monkeys will eventually turn on their handlers when repeatedly abused**. Of course, when pressed, Lord Bush can always rely on his true constituents, his "base". Remember, 1% = 3,000,000 people, and 40% equals a lot of hired muscle to enforce their will, should the sheep discover that they are actually wolves (ever seen "A Bug's Life"?).

Maybe it wont come to that. Let's hope so, anyway. I mean, enlightened self-interest ought to say that if you have a quarter-million dollars, and have to give up, say, as much as even half through various economic policies, you've still got $125,000,000. That's enough to live fairly comfortably on, right? Or maybe not. Certainly there are days when I wonder how I get by on .05% of that.

Still, it may be a sacrifice we'll all have to make. I'm sure ol' Dubs will wave the flag just as vigorously when a bit of economic patriotism is called for, right?

Right?

Hello...?


* i.e., rose-colored short-sightedness
** and those little bastards are a lot stronger than they look




Hey, check out some more numbers from the Existentialist Cowboy; seems even the government knows it policies are bullshit, they just dont say it in so many words.

Monday, December 17, 2007

bend over,
spread 'em,
aaaaaand... wait for it

First, a bit of something from CBS:
Two months ago, President Bush made a strong argument for updating a law which oversees the government's ability to engage in surveillance of Americans and non-citizens, which requires warrants from a secret court. He spoke of the importance to our nation's security to have a bill ready for him to sign, so as to not "limit" his administration's anti-terrorism activities.

"Congress and the President have no higher responsibility than protecting the American people from enemies who attacked our country," he said.

But underneath this urgency was a threat: Even if Congress sent him an updated Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) bill with the provisions he said were required to pursue wiretaps of individuals with a minimum of judicial oversight, Mr. Bush said he would veto it if it did not also include an extraneous provision: immunity to telecommunications companies from liability for their past participation in the administration's wiretaps.
There's more, of course, but we all know how the script goes these days, dont we? There'll be lots of hand-wringing from "Democratic" leaders, a few "incendiary" comments from real liberals, some near accusations of treason from Republicans, some actual accusations of treason from a "conservative" pundit or two, and then, once more, King George will get his way, and America will slide a little bit farther down into that ditch we used to call fascism, but now have rebranded as Patriotism™.

Whoopee.

And it's all so unnecessary. Once again, the Democrats are falling into the veto trap. You know, the one where Lord Bush says, "do what I want, or the government will grind to a halt and life as we know it will end!"

Hey! Let it. As far as I'm concerned, this government needs to grind to a halt. In fact, it cant do that soon enough, for me. I didnt choose any of the people who "represent" me in the government. Even had their opponents won, they still wouldnt have been anything more than the lesser of two increasingly obnoxious and downright sulphurous evils. So please, grind the government to a halt, end life as we know it right now.

Wouldnt that be a nice holiday* gift?

Because I gotta tell ya', life as I know it isnt all that great. I'd kind of like to go back to life as I remember it. You know, under that "bad" president we used to have. Yeah, I know, it's a pipe dream. We can never go back, we will apparently only be allowed to goose-step our way into a more "secure" future.


* Yeah, I said "holiday": fuck you, Bill O.

holy shit!

How stupid are we? Pretty darn, as it turns out.
DALLAS (Reuters Life!) - More Americans believe in a literal hell and the devil than Darwin's theory of evolution, according to a new Harris poll released on Thursday.
Read on...
If you've ever wondered what will cause America to loose our world leadership position (I mean, aside from neo-con foriegn policy), look no further than our increasingly stupid attitude about science. What is the world's future (economically, anyway) going to be based on, science or philosphy?

Duh!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I'm a winner!

now I know just how Sally felt (sniff)Well, it's the end of the year, and apparently I made the correct choice, because I'm in, baby!
That's right, it's the Best of 2007 at the Carnival of the Liberals (#53), and I got into it! Yay, me! And you know what? I got in because I'm fuckin' great, man! No more false modesty for this boy, 'cause I rock. Why I'm not rolling in endorsement money is beyond me. Oh, except that I would never sell out, that's right, never. Money? Feh! Who needs it? All I require is the occassional verification that I'm not flapping my fingers in vain. All that crap about writing even if no one read it? Lies, lies, lies. But no more! This feels good, and I'm not afraid to say so. It was worth every dollar in bribery I spent... not that I did that, of course. That would be wrong.

sunday funny

This comic is from the book Killed Cartoons: Casualties From The War On Free Expression, edited by David Wallis. It's a pretty interesting book, but I'll deal with it later, using a different cartoon. I just wanted to show this one now, since it seemed "appropriate" for the holidays.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

buy a $200 laptop for $400
you'll be glad you did

those funky little ears on the computer are wi-fi antennasReally, that sounds like some sort of government contract for Halliburton, but I'm serious. For $400, you can get yourself one of these snazzy laptops, and while that may seem pretty steep for a computer with no hard drive , bear in mind that what you are actually buying is two laptops. It's just that you only get to keep one. The other goes to a child somewhere in Africa, or Asia, or maybe South America. Someplace, at any rate, where having a computer would be a really big deal, even if it is bright green and incapable of playing Halo.

Hell, I'd do it. If I had any money that is. But then, I'm selfish, and I really do want one of those computers, and this is the only way to get one. So if anyone out there would like make my Christmas a really kick-ass one, feel free to pay for this for me. Really, I'd appreciate it. I'll even write a post thanking you, and I'd do it using bright green keys.

Friday, December 14, 2007

which way does the wind blow?

So I've been reading this article by Robert Kaplan (props to Joe Irvin), and I came across this passage:
Without a draft or a revitalized Reserve and National Guard that ties the military closer to civilian society, in the decades ahead American troops may become less soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen, and more purple warriors—in essence a guild in which the profession of combat-arms is passed down from father to son. It is striking how many troops I know whose parents and other relatives had also been in the service, especially among the units whose members face the highest level of personal risk. Contrast this with the fact that, at the 2006 Stanford commencement ceremony, Maj. General Lehnert, whose son was the lone graduating student from a military family, was struck by how many of the other parents had never even met a member of the military before he introduced himself.
Now, one of the things that's always made me think that America was fairly immune to the kind of military coups that go down in other countries is that it seemed inconceivable that the military here would rebel against it's own people. However, if the above statement is accurate, how much longer before the disconnect between military personel and the general citizenry becomes so great that it becomes, not a case of turning on our own, but rather turning on those who "just dont understand"? David Brin has made the arguement (backed up here and there by articles within the MSN) that the military is becoming more evangelical, which further pushes them into an us-vs-them mentality.

I'm not a big fan of war, and I think "patriotism" is a suckers game that our leaders use to manipulate us. That said, I also think we've got a serious problem in this country with our pride in the nation. Oh, sure, people claim to "proud to be American", but when it comes to sacrificing something, anything, for that nation, well, forget it.
Taxes to pay for the improvement of the nation? Read my lips! Buy American? But the Chinese stuff is cheaper and I cant buy that 42" LCD TV if I spend an extra 25% on U.S.-made socks. Drive a smaller, more fuel efficient car? But how will I haul all my stuff?

Folks, it's time for the return of a National Service requirement. Not necessarily into the military, but some form of service. Maybe it'd be miltary service, maybe it'd be something more like the old WPA, maybe it'd be something like the Peace Corp, either abroad or at home*. Whatever it was though, dragging our youth out of their shells, out of the comfortable little worlds that they've built for themselves in their first 18-24 years (we can be flexible), and making them interact with parts of America that they havent before can only be beneficial to the nation, right?
We dont want to pay taxes? Fine, I can understand that. But how about we pay with some sweat? How about we get off our lazy, entitled asses, and actually do something to make this country great, rather than trying to buy it that way through the Free Market.

If you want something done right, do it yourself. Because you cannot get anything done as well through delegation as you can through personal interest.


* there's a name for this organization, actually, but I cannot remember what it is.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

for cat owners

If you have a cat, you'll get this one. This is all I can muster, post-wise, today.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

perceptual paradigm?
possibly.

there may be two doors on the duplex, but it's still the same damn houseMaybe I'm mis-remembering, since I was pretty young back then, but it seemed to me that once upon a time, when choosing a President, you got to chose which candidate you liked the best. Then came the Reagan years, and from then on it seemed like you just got to pick the candidate that you disliked the least.

Now here we are running up to the 2008 presidential race, and it's starting to like like we're going to have to choose the candidate which frightens us the least, and that's just sad.

Monday, December 10, 2007

nothing next

You know that little button at the top of the blog that says "next blog"? I love that button, sometimes. Today though, not so much. If you're lucky enough to go to a pop-up free non-porn blog, chances are that something will pop you onto the google homepage. Dunno why, but that's what happened on half the blogs that I went to using the button (except the porn one, of course).

Want proof (other than trying to blog-surf yourself): look at your sitemeter stats, and tell me if you see any indicators that people showed up from the next blog button. They used to appear right after you posted, but it's been a while since I've seen any sign of someone showing up that way.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

sunday funny

This is an old one from the Des Moines Register, cut out way back when I was a kid, Ford era. Still applies, though, just add "torture" and "domestic wiretapping".

Frank Miller rocked, by the way.

I also just discovered that the Des Moines Register was bought by the Gannett "News" Corporation, which explains why it wasnt nearly as good when I visited Iowa this November as I remember it being when I was a kid.

Friday, December 07, 2007

why?

The Auto-Wrench.

Seriously, I have to ask this question: If you are incapable of tightening an adjustable wrench around a nut properly, what makes you think you can use that wrench to fix anything anyway?

for you, gisher


Dont know what's up with me, but here's another video.

nsfw

I'm not even going to pretend to understand
why this should be so


My blog is worth $9,597.18.
How much is your blog worth?

I got this quiz from Sh3rry, whose blog was declared worth no money at all, so I'm pretty sure that this quiz isnt worth the paper it's not printed on.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Thursday Night at the movies



Watch Frank Zappa battle the pundits about free speech. Fun!

Well, actually, a little wierd. I find myself wondering if Zappa had a touch of Ausbergers Syndrome?

props, again, to Bill.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

hump-day happiness


I love a good TV show, but they rarely love me. Frank's Place, Wonderfalls, and, after the fact, Dead Like Me and Firefly. Or maybe it's not me, maybe it's the networks.
Anyway, this is the first* part of the pilot of "Cupid", a briefly aired show which showcased the manic charms of Jeremy Piven. It's fun, it's clever, and it disappeared leaving a lot of loose ends. Watch them all (the episodes, not the loose ends) on YouTube.

Here's the story: Jeremy Piven is a man being held on a psych charge because he believes himself to be Cupid, the god of Love. He is released in to the care of a psychologist, Paula Marshall, who also happens to write a well-know Chicago advice column to the love-lorn and run a singles therapy group. How's that for a set up? Cupid claims that he wont be allowed back to Olympus until he unites 100 couple in "true love" without the aid of his magic darts, which he then proceeds to attempt (with varying success) for the course of the show.
Is he really Cupid? I dont know, and if it's contained in the first 9 minutes of the pilot, we may never know, because it's missing. I'm not going to say that it's a great show, but it is highly entertaining.

* part 2, actually, part 1 is here, but part 2 is better

Props to Bill, by the way, for pointing me to it.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

bribery as the high ground: a revistation

Imagine this: Suppose, at the begining of the war, instead of invading, we had announced that we would pay every man, woman and child in Iraq $10,000 dollars (American); all they had to do was depose Saddam Hussein, and install a (nominally) democratic government. Can you imagine the outcry here in the U.S.? What?! Give away almost a quarter trillion dollars???
Do you think the Iraqis would have done it? I dont know either, but I think for many Iraqis, 10,000 $US would be nothing to sneeze at. I know I wouldnt sneeze at it. Hell, here in America we gave away millions to our own rich for a mere 600 pieces of silver, and that was more of a payday loan than anything.
It would have been a bargain, though. We've since spent over twice that, to say nothing of the lives lost on both sides. We all would have benefitted from such a plan, excepting perhaps Halliburton.

The crazy thing is that this is America, a land where most people are actually convinced that they can buy whatever it is that they want. I guess what we wanted more than anything was a bar fight.

Yee-ha. Be careful what you wish for young country, or you shall surely get it.

Incidentally, using the figure given in the link above, so far the war has cost us a mere $1500+ for every man, woman and child in America. How's that for a bargain? Isnt it better than some boring old bridges, or an affordable college education, or health care for everyone?

previously posted with smaller numbers

Monday, December 03, 2007

tis the season




Yay! It's my first Festivus sighting of the season and it's at Spiiderweb!

Let the compiling of the grievances begin, so all are good and ready.

dilemma...
(multilemma?)

Okay, I need a bit of help here. It's time for the Best of 2007 at the Carnival of the Liberals, and, as someone who's made it in this year, I'm being asked to send what I thought was my best post in for consideration, and quite frankly, I have no idea which was "best", as it were. Having been a long time participant in the CotL, I feel I ought to give it the old college try, though. So suggest one, if you have the patience:

"Note to Red Staters"
"Next shareholder's meeting: no more proxy voting!"
"Joining the Blogstorm"
"Another War Casualty"
"Betrayed"

Also, I need to have it in by midnight, so, no pressure.

Addendum: well, it's after midnight (EST) and I made my choice, so, never mind.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

now is the time for all good daves to come to the aid of their countrymen



Okay, admittedly, putting this video on my blog to help raise the Rev's stats is a little Barry Bonds-ish, but it's for a good cause, so I'll do it anyway.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

spilled juice

One half trillion dollars. Can you even imagine that amount?

this is a model of an ancient Sumerian battery.  Really, I swear, a battery. Click on the picture and read all about it.Here's what I can imagine: Suppose, instead of destroying an oil-producing country (or two) in what will probably be a futile effort to ensure a steady supply of (environment destroying) oil and gasoline, we had built an infrastructure for recharging electric cars? Set up a sytem so that every restaurant and every park and every mall, hell, every parking lot had a recharge station. No, they wouldnt be free, you'd swipe a card through, or feed quarters or something like that, but you could do it everywhere.

As more and more people switched over to electric cars (or modified hybrids), business owners would perhaps notice that sales were increasing as people, having stopped for a while to charge their cars, look for things to do including shopping at the retail outlets next to the charging stations. Parks, which should be among the first places that charging stations are set up, would also see increased usage (and I bet there would be a drop in accidents and incidents of road-rage as people are forced to take breaks every few hours to recharge their batteries (literally and figuretively). GM's EV-1 proved that the electric car can be a viable option (despite the destruction of all the cars and what I suspect is a bit of the Assasination Effect), and I'll bet right now that GM is perhaps rethinking their earlier strategy (had GM continued to develop, market and build the EV-1, imagine the position they'd be in right now).
Nobody's killed the electric car, they've merely created a vacuum for some savvy new business person to exploitUnfortunately, that hasnt happened. But hey! Dont dispair. One of the advantage of America having spent decades building crap cars is that there's plenty of rolling stock out there just waiting to be converted to electric. Sure it's a pain in the ass, but it'll be your gasoline avoiding, non-carbon emitting, I'm-greener-than-you-so-suck-it-neighbor pain in the ass.
Oh, and for anyone who'd like to extoll the virtues of the hybrid engine, I'm with you and all, but I'd also point out that a hybrid engine is even more complicated (and therefore prone to breakdown and profitable repairwork) than a regular internal combustion engine. The primary reason that people prefer a hybrid over a straight electric vehicle is range, and the lack thereof in a vehicle powered solely by battery.

Oh, and here's a question for any engineering types out there: Why cant you have an electric car that has an auxillary gas-powered generator sending juice to the batteries? I assume that there is a good reason why no one seems to set up a car that way, so what is it? Just curious.

Friday, November 30, 2007

"America in the Time of Empire"

Reprinted below is an article written by Chris Hedges, which was originally published by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

All great empires and nations decay from within. By the time they hobble off the world stage, overrun by the hordes at the gates or vanishing quietly into the pages of history books, what made them successful and powerful no longer has relevance. This rot takes place over decades, as with the Soviet Union, or, even longer, as with the Roman, Ottoman or Austro-Hungarian empires. It is often imperceptible.

Dying empires cling until the very end to the outward trappings of power. They mask their weakness behind a costly and technologically advanced military. They pursue increasingly unrealistic imperial ambitions. They stifle dissent with efficient and often ruthless mechanisms of control. They lose the capacity for empathy, which allows them to see themselves through the eyes of others, to create a world of accommodation rather than strife. The creeds and noble ideals of the nation become empty cliches, used to justify acts of greater plunder, corruption and violence. By the end, there is only a raw lust for power and few willing to confront it.

The most damning indicators of national decline are upon us. We have watched an oligarchy rise to take economic and political power. The top 1 percent of the population has amassed more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined, creating economic disparities unseen since the Depression. If Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes president, we will see the presidency controlled by two families for the last 24 years.

Massive debt, much of it in the hands of the Chinese, keeps piling up as we fund absurd imperial projects and useless foreign wars. Democratic freedoms are diminished in the name of national security. And the erosion of basic services, from education to health care to public housing, has left tens of millions of citizens in despair. The displacement of genuine debate and civil and political discourse with the noise and glitter of public spectacle and entertainment has left us ignorant of the outside world, and blind to how it perceives us. We are fed trivia and celebrity gossip in place of news.

An increasing number of voices, especially within the military, are speaking to this stark deterioration. They describe a political class that no longer knows how to separate personal gain from the common good, a class driving the nation into the ground.

“There has been a glaring and unfortunate display of incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders,” retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the former commander of forces in Iraq, recently told the New York Times, adding that civilian officials have been “derelict in their duties” and guilty of a “lust for power.”

The American working class, once the most prosperous on Earth, has been politically disempowered, impoverished and abandoned. Manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas. State and federal assistance programs have been slashed. The corporations, those that orchestrated the flight of jobs and the abolishment of workers’ rights, control every federal agency in Washington, including the Department of Labor. They have dismantled the regulations that had made the country’s managed capitalism a success for ordinary men and women. The Democratic and Republican Parties now take corporate money and do the bidding of corporate interests.

Philadelphia is a textbook example. The city has seen a precipitous decline in manufacturing jobs, jobs that allowed households to live comfortably on one salary. The city had 35 percent of its workforce employed in the manufacturing sector in 1950, perhaps the zenith of the American empire. Thirty years later, this had fallen to 20 percent. Today it is 8.8 percent. Commensurate jobs, jobs that offer benefits, health care and most important enough money to provide hope for the future, no longer exist. The former manufacturing centers from Flint, Mich., to Youngstown, Ohio, are open sores, testaments to a growing internal collapse.

The United States has gone from being the world’s largest creditor to its largest debtor. As of September 2006, the country was, for the first time in a century, paying out more than it received in investments. Trillions of dollars go into defense while the nation’s infrastructure, from levees in New Orleans to highway bridges in Minnesota, collapses. We spend almost as much on military power as the rest of the world combined, while Social Security and Medicare entitlements are jeopardized because of huge deficits. Money is available for war, but not for the simple necessities of daily life.

Nothing makes these diseased priorities more starkly clear than what the White House did last week. On the same day, Tuesday, President Bush vetoed a domestic spending bill for education, job training and health programs, yet signed another bill giving the Pentagon about $471 billion for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. All this in the shadow of a Joint Economic Committee report suggesting that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been twice as expensive than previously imagined, almost $1.5 trillion.

The decision to measure the strength of the state in military terms is fatal. It leads to a growing cynicism among a disenchanted citizenry and a Hobbesian ethic of individual gain at the expense of everyone else. Few want to fight and die for a Halliburton or an Exxon. This is why we do not have a draft. It is why taxes have not been raised and we borrow to fund the war. It is why the state has organized, and spends billions to maintain, a mercenary army in Iraq. We leave the fighting and dying mostly to our poor and hired killers. No nationwide sacrifices are required. We will worry about it later.

It all amounts to a tacit complicity on the part of a passive population. This permits the oligarchy to squander capital and lives. It creates a world where we speak exclusively in the language of violence. It has plunged us into an endless cycle of war and conflict that is draining away the vitality, resources and promise of the nation.

It signals the twilight of our empire.
What's going on in our heads? Is this really what we've become?
I thought that the article was important enough, and gave its message with such clarity, that I had to dump it whole on my blog. It's depressing as hell, I know. Will things come to pass as Hedges predicts? I hope not, but I dont hold out too much of it. The longer the People sleep, the harder our awakening will be.

On the other hand, there was a nice (more hopeful, I thought) comment by a fellow named TAO Walker:
"This old Indian encourages our domesticated Sisters and Brothers to stay calm, let go of the chains of fear binding them to the foundering pyramid-scheme, take care of one another, and start travelling Light. There is a wonderful Story unfolding in these “interesting times,” and they are all in it."
Let's hope so. Let's hope for the spirit shown by the people of New York after 9-11, and hope that government "leadership" doesnt create another fiasco like that which followed Hurricane Katrina. I especially love the idea of "travelling light", because if there's any root cause for all this mess we're in right now, it's our obsessive need for more stuff.

props to Kel at the Osterly Times

Thursday, November 29, 2007

art for the day

I believe that the function of art is to show people the world around them that they are generally too wrapped up in the business of survival (or, at least, the business of life) to notice. Why do you think that artist are among the first to feel the hand of repression? (hint: it's not because a lot of them are gay.)

How powerful is this piece?
This* is what our soldiers should be fighting for, not a shit-ton of oil that'll just further kill the planet (or, rather, the part of the planet that supports us; the planet will live on, whatever we do to it, whether we live on or not).

Here's another good one, though it's really just cool, rather than powerful.

*art, not Jesus or gold

props to ALR for leading me to it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

hump-day happiness

Yes, I know. They are bad for me. Bad for my heart, bad for my gut, bad for my prostate. Beef doesnt digest well, meat and cheese shouldnt be mixed, yada yada yada. Well, I'll tell you, you can have my cheeseburger when you pry it out of my cold, dead hands. Over the years, I've eaten burgers a lot of different ways, and enjoyed almost all of them... no, not "almost all of them", I have enjoyed all of them. And like nuts in my candy bars, it's just not a proper burger unless it has cheese, whether it's swiss, blue, cheddar or a good old American single.

Now I'm hungry. But when I'm done, I'll be happy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

if you love music, read this

once again, I've missed the file sharing boat
Demonbaby's output is erratic at best, but even when it's truly bizarre it's generally entertaining. So I was pleased to find this post about the Music Industry in my seasonal sojourne to his site. An exerpt follows:
For the major labels, it's over. It's fucking over. You're going to burn to the fucking ground, and we're all going to dance around the fire. And it's your own fault. Surely, somewhere deep inside, you had to know this day was coming, right? Your very industry is founded on an unfair business model of owning art you didn't create in exchange for the services you provide. It's rigged so that you win every time - even if the artist does well, you do ten times better. It was able to exist because you controlled the distribution, but now that's back in the hands of the people, and you let the ball drop when you could have evolved.
I'd heard somewhere just recently that only 75% (or maybe it was 95%) of musicians never see more than an advance check from their record labels, and that most of the profits recording artists make comes from touring and merchandise. So tell me again why anyone needs the Reocord labels? Read the whole thing, it's terrific, and it makes me hope for the future of music.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Who do you support?

vote, you scum, vote!
Take this quiz from Glassbooth and see where they put you. Last time I did one of these it told me that Mike Gravel matched my issue beliefs best. This time it said Dennis Kucinich, though Gravel was only a point or two behind.
I wonder a bit about the trustworthiness of these things sometimes, but I suppose that at worst they're at least as trustworthy as anything we get from the News.

Does it seem to most of you out there that people treat politics the way they do entertainment? It would certainly explain a lot. Maybe people need to be convinced to treat politics like a health insurance policy, instead. Sure, they're all lousy (unless you're a politician), but you've got to look carefully and choose the one that meets your needs the best. Picking the one with prettiest brochure isnt going to do you much good at all.

Of course, as the Good Reverend pointed out, it helps to have good health insurance to recognise it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

sunday funny

La Cucaracha used to run in the Dallas Whoring News, until they decided to make their hispanic comic quota using Baldo instead. I now have to read it via the Houston Chronicle website ("comix" on the sidebar under "media").

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

hump-day happiness

You know what makes me happy? Whimsy, that makes me happy. Oh look, here's some now...

A few "facts" about bears, from my comments in an amusing "Bearskin Rug" post "about" bears:
  • It seems that in the last century or so, bears have achieved an understanding of human art, one of the few animals to do so. They generally practice a form of scrimshaw, a medium for which their claws are handily adaptable to. Their work is largely of the magical-realistic style, and mostly concerns issues of ecology, climate, and an ongoing debate having to do with nuts in chocolate.
  • Bears are actually largely hairless, much like humans, having little hair on their bodies except for on their heads. The so-called "bearskin" is actually a jumpsuit-like covering that bears weave using their own head-hairs. It may be due to the decrease in popularity of the "bearskin rug" that bears have taken up carving, since they are no longer having to spend all their time stockpiling and making new coats to replace those stolen by bearskin hunters.
  • Bears could save themselves a lot of trouble if they would wear clothes, instead of their woven bearskin suits (fleece sweat-clothes would work admirably), but refuse to for aesthetic reasons. They also find depictions of bears in clothing, such as in Maurice Sendak's "Little Bear" stories, to be highly offensive. There is a rumour that they had contacted legal council, but the contact seems to have advanced to the eating stage and they have been since black-balled by all reputable advocacy agencies.
The Boy has an amusing addition to this, which I'm hoping he puts in the comment area (hint, hint). (addendumn on 11/28: the Boy was supposed to do a bit about Bearsong, but has let me down.)(sniff!)I can only post this because bears would have to take a bus to come to my house and eat me, and bears disdain public transportation

Monday, November 19, 2007

quote for the day

"The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment."

-Bertrand Russell

Well, maybe in theory. A lot of "liberals" are no more liberal than "conservatives" are conservative.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

sunday funny

I'm just not sure the general public is ready for this, FosterCaption says: "I'm just not sure the general public is ready for this, Foster."

If it doesnt use gasoline, and costs less than $40 a week to feed, I'm ready for it.

This is a Gahan Wilson cartoon I cut out of something (probably a Playboy) years ago. I thought I'd heard that Wilson was dead, but apparently not.

Friday, November 16, 2007

yet another way in which we "support our troops"


Good golly yes, the Bush Administration loves our boys in uniform. That's why they've been dismissing them in greater numbers* than before (often sans benefits), because they dont want army units to be tainted by crazy people. That's got to be it, right? How else would you explain the rise? Is it the lowered standards for getting into the military in the first place that has resulted in over 28,000 soldiers being kicked out since the war began? Would it be fair to say that this number is about how many people got in who wouldnt have before? If so, then what was the point? (Huh, what was the point, indeed?)

I've got a suggestion: let's go back to the way it was during the Viet Nam War. You know, instead of "supporting the troops" by cutting their funding, denying them mental care for combat-derived craziness, farming out their services to lowest-bidders making a buck off of them, and generally sending them into harms way for anther barrel-full of petro-profits, let's just spit at them when they come home and call them baby-killers, but give them the services, care, equipment and institutional respect they deserve, no, have earned.

Sure it's a lousy choice, but words hurt far less than the "support" that this nation, in the guise of the government, has shown to those who do (and die) it's bidding. If it was me, I'd take the words and the services. After all, I'd rather wish that a bunch of hippies (or whatever) go fuck themselves than that the government I was fighting for did so.

* Dont give me any bullshit about it being the army rather than the administration. Middling army brass dont give a shit about whether some fuck-up soldier gets benefits or not, just so long as he gits. Benefit denial is almost exclusively a Republican trait.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

BlogTroll no. 5

Yes, folks, once again it's time for my Blogtroll, that feature where I post all the interesting sites that I've discovered randomly in my journeys through the tubes of the internets, frequently via the "next" button up there on the top of the page. Lest anyone think that this is a purely altruistic posting on my part, allow me to assure you that it's mostly done because I'm a lazy sod who likes his links and this makes it easier for me to keep an eye on promising blogs.

No More Parents: this blog goes with the
Elephantitis of the Mind cartoon blog.
Bearskin Rug: cartoons, etc, kind of like a magazine.
Mr. Toledano: terrific photos.
Joe Irvin's Blog: political blog by former newspaper editor
SlovinskySculpture: an art blog
The Cartoon Blog: a reasonable christian blog.
Consider This: musings on modern life
Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: indescribeable, but eloquent
Gus Van Horn: not a "conservative", not a "liberal", worth a read.
Pinky Tailors Bag everywhere: a fake ad blog. I think.
Stupid Enough Unexplanation: a liberal blog
Clusterfuck Nation, a blog by former journalist Jim Kunstler. Also located here.
Millard Fillmore's Bathtub: a liberal blog.
Corrente: a liberal blog by the Senior Fellows of The Mighty Corrente Building
Have Coffee, Will Write: another liberal blog (can't have too many).
xkcd - a webcomic
Culinary Annotations: a recipe blog.
Nate's Fargo Fixer-Upper: a house repair blog.
Bits and Pieces: random stuff. (new site here)
Book Dragon: a book-lover at Word Press, or the old one here.
The 4th Avenue Blues: an ex-addict's blog
The Divided States Of bu$hmeriKa 2: an anti-bush blog
Beam Me Up: Science & Science Fiction news.
Pass Me a Diet Coke: the blog of a female law student
Workshop: Paul Kane, artist
Pascal Campion: artist, cool illustrations.

individual posts of note:
An amusing "story" w/ LOTR.
Some cool Red/Blue maps.
A fascinating set of graphs about about the national debt.

Then there are these blogs which may be defunct, which you might look at once anyway:
No: an odd one, I think it changes.
I Think In Maps: a theology dude.
Red Dirt Design: a design blog (duh).
Ă“timas Oportinidades de Negocios: a brazillian architecture blog, I think.
Usafari: a traveller's blog.
Berto's Blog: a science site, more or less.
You have to see this to believe it. Republican "humor".

previous blogtrolls: no. 4, no. 3, no. 2, or maybe it's no. 1, I cant actually find 2 more in the archives. Troll \Troll\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Trolled; p. pr. & vb. n. Trolling.] [OE. trollen to roll, F. tr[^o]ler, Of. troller to drag about, to ramble; probably of Teutonic origin; cf. G. trollen to roll, ramble, sich trollen to be gone; or perhaps for trotler, fr. F. trotter to trot (cf. Trot.). Cf. Trawl.]

1.
To move circularly or volubly; to roll; to turn.
To dress and troll the tongue, and roll the eye.
- Milton.
2. To send about; to circulate, as a vessel in drinking.
Then doth she troll to the bowl. - Gammer Gurton's Needle.
Troll the brown bowl. - Sir W. Scott.
4. To angle for with a trolling line, or with a book drawn along the surface of the water; hence, to allure.
5. To fish in; to seek to catch fish from.
With patient angle trolls the finny deep.
--Goldsmith.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

hump-day happiness

this is a photo of the Baby Einstein toy, item 05810#So, the other day I was following things around on Sitemeter, and I read one of my old posts, which had a comment from my bud Sh3rry, who asked...
I wonder if perhaps you could spend one day dedicated to what makes you laugh rather than being angry at the obvious decay of our nation?
I've thought about this (she's not the first to ask, either) and decided to try and be a bit more positive. And let's substitute "happy" for "laugh".

I'll start out small, but I'll try to make this a regular feature.

This is something that makes me happy. It is a Baby Einstein product which is, sadly, no longer available. I got it at my favorite thrift store. I dont remember the kids being particularly enamored of it, but I thought it was great. It plays only four (brightly-colored) notes, but each of those notes has four different tones, none of which sound like typical (annoying) electronic sounds, plus it plays a half dozen or so fairly complex classical pieces at the touch of a button. It is one of the few electronic toys that I've encountered in raising my kids that I'd actually recommend to anyone for their own kids.

I know, it's not much, but it is a pure and unadulterated happiness.

Monday, November 12, 2007

bad medicine

I saw Naomi Klien on an old Bill Maher today, and her description of what Bush and others in the Republican Party (and to be honest, probably the Democratic Party also) have been doing to America every time there is some sort of disaster rang so true, it's amazing that no one has caught on to this before.

It's also absolutely infuriating.

If you dont feel like watching what I'll admit is a very propagandistic-style film, then try reading this book review from the Guardian. Or google her.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

sunday funny

pop up commentDoesnt just apply to psychics, though, does it?

This is from Cectic. Try it, you'll enjoy it... unless you're an easily offended religious type.

There arent a lot of cartoons yet, but my favorites are here, here, here and here.


(whoops! forgot to give credit where credit is due!)

Friday, November 09, 2007

is anyone really surprised?
seriously, anyone?

Senator Chuck Schumer
or
Senator Betray-us

After this whole Mukasey thing, I find myself wondering, what did Schumer get for his part in this nomination? I believe he was the one who brought Mukasey to everyone's attention, "suggested" him to the Administration. What form did his 40 pieces of silver take? Surely, especially the way Washington runs today, he didnt play the part of Dubya's rent-boy unwittingly or for free. So what does he get out of it? Keep an eye on Schumer, 'cause it'll be something.
Seriously, after one year of the Democrats being in power, I'm really starting to wonder what the point of having elections in 2006 was. Some people worry about Lord Bush staging some sort of coup to remain in power, but it seems to me that all he'll need to do is go to Congress, regardless of who runs it, and say, "Hey Guys! I really like being the Big Chief, so I want you to make me President-For-Life."
Democrats will make a fuss, a Republican or two will express misgivings, and then they'll make him our Emperor.
And what the hell, why not. I've seen it said that the Military Industrial Complex that runs our nation now wont loose its grip until we have a major crisis of society. Unpleasant as that sounds, how much worse can it be than this slow death by civil strangulation we're slipping into now? So bring it on! Let's descend into third-world barbarism and dispair. Let's become the downtrodden masses that our Republican masters have been working us towards for decades.

And while you're at it, why dont you check out some Buddhist literature? It might come in handy later on.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

sunday funny

Back in my college days when I lived in Austin, Texas, I was browsing a used bookstore when I came across a copy of the second "Academia Waltz" book. Before "Opus", before "Bloom County", there was "Academia Waltz", Berke Breathed's college cartoon. Now, it seems, this thing is a "collectable", which means I took it out of the box in the garage, and put it on the shelf in the living room. I only wish I had found the first book back in those days, because I sure as hell cannot afford one now.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

quote for the day


"History teaches us that underestimating the words of evil, ambitious men is a terrible mistake..."

George W. Bush

Once again, Herr Dubya says something about his enemies that might just as easily have been said about him. Does nobody pay attention to what that man says?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

question

I find myself wondering, as oil prices hit yet another record high, what position America might be in had it invested a half a trillion dollars (or more) in alternative energy sources, rather than throwing it away on a largely futile attempt to maintain the status quo?
The only winners here have been the oil companies. Everyone else is the loser.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

sunday funny

There's more of the cartoon if you click on the image. There's more Big Fat Whale if you click here.

Friday, October 26, 2007

questioning

Which of the following statements do you suppose would be most likely to get me thrown into one of Dubya's Rex-84 gulags following the establishment of martial law after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2008?

1) George Bush sucks dick.
2) Dick Cheney sucks dick.
3) The guys at the NSA in charge of watching blogs suck dick.
4) "How did you know there would be an attack on September 11, 2008?"
5) Iran is not interested in killing the Great Satan America, but they would really like for us to get our soldiers and weaponry out of their back yard.
6) There is no god but the Flying Spagetti Monster.
7) George Bush is wrong.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Read This

Someday, probably someday soon, American bombs are going to fall somewhere in Iran. Oil prices will skyrocket, terrorist actions will be put into motion, and the Arab world be be even more opposed to ours. All because the Democratic Party is too worried about looking "weak on terror", that they have been unwilling to impeach the crazy bastards in the White House for any one of a number of possible reasons.

Dont think so? Read this, courtesy of Kel, who lives in a place where information about what an unmitigated asshole George Bush continues to be is actually considered to be news.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

tales from history

Okay, so, sometime during the Dutch Renaissance, they had a huge fad for tulips, and I'm talking huge. They were totally ga-ga over tulips, to the point that a single bulb (of the right variety) could bring the price of a house. Then one day, the fad collapsed, as most fads do. The story of the collapse I heard was this: One day, a merchant (himself a tulip collector) was looking out the window at the marketplace. Alang came a sailor, looking for whatever sailors look for. He stopped at a tulip merchant and, thinking that the tulip bulbs were onions, picked one up and took a bite. Supposedly, seeing this, the collector said to himself, "Oh my God! They're just flowers!" He dumped his stock, and probably said the same thing to friends, panic ensued, and lots of people lost their shirts, etc.

Some days I feel that way about blogging.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Read these:

The Other Woman, by Cheeky Lotus
The Authoritarians, by Bob Altemeyer
I'm going to hell for linking this
"Commander Guy" action figure!
MarketPlace interview with Goldman Sachs Vice Chairman Robert Hormats about War debt
whole-body Autism?
A really wild optical illusion which I'd embed if I could.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

sunday funny

This one's from a folder full of cartoons that I've cut out of papers in the past. I'm not sure how old it is, maybe from a few years ago, maybe from 30 years ago. It's most likely from the late 80's sometime, during the Reagan years. It still holds true, though, more true than ever.

Heh, you can tell it's an old cartoon because it uses a typewriter in the picture. I'm not sure who the cartoonist is, perhaps Mike Lane.

Friday, October 12, 2007

forecast

I'm going to be very, very busy for the next few weeks, working 10 hour days 7 days a week. I'm not looking forward to it, especially since if everything doesnt get done it'll be "my fault" even though I'm not the one who overbooked my department. On the plus side, I'll be raking it in.
Anyway, dont be surprised if things are a little thin round these parts.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

it takes a village to raise a Senator



Obviously, it's a doomsayin' day, who gets props

observation

I stole this quote from the Liberal Doomsayer's blog, who got it from Kos:
At a campaign stop (in New Hampshire), Hillary Clinton sparred verbally for several minutes with a man who pressed her on her recent vote to call Iran's army a terrorist organization.

Randall Rolph, from nearby Nashua, asked why he should support Clinton's candidacy when she did not appear to have learned any lessons from having voted to authorize force in Iraq.

Clinton thanked him for the question and explained her Iran vote would lay the groundwork for using diplomacy and sanctions to pressure that government.
Clinton accused the man of being a plant who had been sent to ask the question, to which he took exception, saying the question was a result of his own research.

"I apologize," Clinton said, explaining that she had been asked the very same question in three other places.
Okay, maybe this is so obvious that Clinton cannot see it for the trees, but maybe the reason that she's been asked the same question in three different places is because it's a question that voters really care about!

She doesnt get that, and yet, we* are still apparently going to choose her for the Democratic nominee.

* I use "we" in the loosest sense here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A fond farewell...

to Dave at Sympathetic Stupid.
to Less People, Less Idiots, though it's not really gone.
to A Quiet Noise, now a headphone dealer.
to Rebecca at Harpowoman Honks.
to Spastic.
to Twitz and his twisted Bunny.
and to Pops at his Bucket, who just simply stopped.

I've enjoyed them all, but they've all ceased to be updated (if they're even still there), so they're coming off the sidebar. I'll miss them.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What in the FUCK is going on???

Last November, almost a year ago, people all over the nation who were fed up with the erosion of the Constitution by the Republican party led by George Bush, rubbed their hands with glee as election returns showed a clear victory by Democrats. Finally, we said, we can roll back the fascist powerplays by Lord Bush and his Cabal. Alas, it was not to be, and it continues not to be. Again and again, the Democrats have continued the betrayal of the American people begun by the Republicans. Now they stand ready to continue that betrayal further, by extending the clearly unconstitutional warrentless wiretapping program. Does anyone in Washington listen to anyone outside of Washington anymore?

props to Kel

Sunday, October 07, 2007

sunday funny

Long ago, there was this strip in the paper called "Dave". I read it daily, mostly because it seemed to channel my life. Nowadays, it's no where to be found, except really, really cheaply on Amazon.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

side dishes

Okay, a couple of additions to the sidebar (not blogs, yet):

  1. "Uncle Jay Explains The News", something shown to me by Saur, and which I just had to have a link to here on my own blog, because it's very funny.

  2. "Blogger Play", which you may have already discovered if you ever bother to look at the Dashboard after you sign in. I rarely do, but I'm glad I did today. Blogger Play is basically a slideshow of stuff being uploaded to put onto blogs, and it's kind of mesmerizing. If there's a way to make it your screensaver, make it so.

end the war on drugs

Okay, I had this idea, and I think it's a good one, and it takes care of both the War on Drugs (which nearly everyone thinks isnt working, except the GOP) and the high cost of medicine (which almost everyone thinks is unfair, except the GOP).

Here's the idea: legalize recreational drugs, with heavy regulation, high taxation, and fixed low(ish) prices. Republicans are always talking about how regulation is so horrible for business, and yet recreational drugs are one of the most unregulated businesses on the planet (making something illegal is not regulation, not for drug dealers, and not for CEOs). Anyone who wishes to deal in recreational drugs will have to be licensed (for a fat fee), and their product will have to conform to standards (and I mean for the purposes of consistancy, not dilution). There will be a heavy tax rate, but, by regulation, prices will be kept fairly low in order to make crime less necessary in order to get money to pay for the drugs with and to make the current black market unprofitable.

But you're saying, "Dave, we've heard all this before, it's not original."

Maybe this part will interest you: The manufacturing of drugs will be placed in the hands of the Pharmaceutical Industry. In exchange for this constant supply of money, Big Pharma will agree to have strict controls placed upon the prices of medicine. They will also cease and desist all advertising and marketing of drugs, especially for non-FDA approved uses.

Some rules:
  • no R&D on recreational drugs.
  • any new rec drug formula becomes property of the State.
  • any pharma company found developing or colluding with development of new rec drugs is heavily fined and loses privledge of rec drug trade.
  • selling drugs without a license becomes a really hard-time penalty.
  • rec drug stores set up with same kind of rules as liquor stores: age limits, distances from schools, etc.
  • the same kind of rules will apply to driving under the influence as now apply to drunk driving (yeah, I know...)
  • much stricter penalties will apply for repeat offenders and those caught driving after they've lost their licenses for a DUI.
Naturally, there will be those who will oppose this idea on "moral" grounds, but I think that these people may be overcome through the use of the "lottery" arguement. I mean, gambling is considered to be both destructive and immoral, but how many states now have their own lottery*? And, in a way, doesnt the taxes paid on recreational drugs become a voluntary tax, much like the lottery, and with a very similar empty result?

Let's face it, the war on drugs has been a dismal failure, costing billions of dollars, and has almost nothing to show for it, except overcrowded prisons. Let's repeal the laws against it, declare amnesty for all but the biggest dealers (for instance, those who were busted on tax charges), and save ourselves billions of dollars per year, which we can then put to better use, like paying for pointless wars half way around the globe.


* And how many states passed lotteries under the guise of raising money for "education"? HA!

Monday, October 01, 2007

sunday funny, late again

This one's for Pooby, in lieu of my comment, and late, as usual.Wally Carrol ends his newscast every night with a lousy attitude and a universal hand gestureThe artist, Joey Waldon, was/is an Austin comedian, who did these comics in the Austin Chronicle and had/has t-shirts available. Where he is now, Google couldnt tell me.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I'd like to thank the academy...

Hey, look, apparently, you can fool some of the people some of the time, because once again, one of my ill-conceived, sloppily-rendered bitch-and-moan sessions has been accepted into the Carnival of Liberals (No. 48). That puts me batting at something like .500-ish (that's for how often I've entered, not how often the Carnival's been published)

loonieness

it's got that wierd polygon thing going on, like the Susan B. Anthonys
You know we're in trouble when the Canadian dollar achieves parity with the U.S. dollar. If nothing else, this should be a clear sign to the average American about what a piss-poor job the Bush Administration has made of the economy.

Monday, September 24, 2007

cost analysis

So far, Dallas' share of The Cost Of War would have paid for (acccording to the site) over 18,000 teachers.

Or, more likely, 4 more high-level administrators, their staff, and some lucrative contracts (and kick-backs) for their business cronies.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

farewell

Gone but not forgotten; Gabriel, AKA the Mighty Hunter, on September 21, 2007, after 16 good years. Preceded by his brother from a different mother Petronius the Arbiter (11 years gone), and survived by Mary Mary and the Royal Twins*. Cause of death unknown, but a coyote is suspected at some point before internment.

Gabe was my first pet, a classic Morris orange tabby. He was one of the sweetest, most patient cats I've ever known, and even though he'd spent over half his life making it impossible for us to own any rugs, he still easily qualified as a Good Cat. If cats go to a place after they die, Gabe's will be a Valhalla-like spot, and he'll deserve it.

* There's Harry, The Black Prince, also, but he's a dog and cat protocol prevents his mention.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

zip

nothin', I got nothing. seriously, nothing.

Monday, September 17, 2007

monday at the short films

Here's a couple of fascinating videos from Al Jazeera about our "success" in the Anbar province. Seems things arent quite as rosy as we're told (except for the soldiers, for whom things have improved dramatically).


Did you find it as wierd as I did watching them talk about the now-dead Reesha? And the description of him being a "con-man" makes me wonder who really killed him.

props go to Khalid

sunday funny - late

you'll probably have to click on this to read it, sorry"Eyebeam" was this terrific comic strip from the eighties,which, sadly, never really caught on in a way big enough to support its creator, Sam Hurt (fortunately for him, he was also a lawyer). But at least you can read it on line (buying the books is tricky, though).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

debate! debate! debate! debate!

Never mind the usual suspects, Iraq, Health Care and Education. Go here and watch candidates answer questions from loose cannon Bill Maher.

five miles uphill in the snow

Sh3rry mailed me this, and I thought it was too true to keep to myself.

YOU KNOW YOU ARE LIVING IN 2007 when...
1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave.

2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't even have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )

12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.

13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.

14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list.
Okay, the emoticon thing doesnt apply to me, but I'm forwarding this to everyone.