Thursday, December 31, 2009

this year's holiday banners

From November something or other thru Nov 29.
November 29 thru Dec 7.
December 7 thru Dec 10.
December 10 thru Dec 14. You recognize this wall, of course.
December 14 thru Dec 22.
December 22 thru Dec 23. when I created...
"Scrooged 2 - the Davening", used December 23 thru Dec 24
December 24 thru Dec 27
December 27 thru Dec 31. This one is my favorite of the season, I think.
December 31, 2009 thru January 1,2010.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

today's quote

By the most narrow of margins, Costa Rica had elected a conservative president, and though Moe was worried that the enlightened little nation would now be led down the the path of relentless, sordid moneygrubbing (which seems to be the principle activity of conservative societies everywhere), he was too wise to let politics spoil his ongoing honeymoon with Karla and with life.

Tom Robbins, in "B" is For Beer

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

from The Boy

It's Ten (Dark) Lords A'Leaping, of course

sigh




Well, let's see if Reconciliation makes this turd smell any swee..., less fou.., less like the putrefaction of a hundred million dreams.




The more things stay the same, the more things stay the same.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I love Al Franken, too

Al Franken has found his place, I think. I never cared much for him on Saturday Night Live. His books were full of good information, but unfortunately levened with smug mockery, and his radio show mostly struck me as be more about Al Franken than anything else. Everything I've seen or heard from him on the Senate floor, though, has been golden*.



Props to Dusty



*Admittedly, I dont watch him in a groupie-like manner, so maybe he's no better there, but I'll stick with my story for now.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

by request:

My opinion of the health care bill is as follows.

It is a total screw job. As far as I'm concerned, we are officially nothing more than glorified serfs working in sweatshop America. Unless, of course, you happen to be a member of that exclusive country club, Management. If, God help you, you happen to actually produce something tangible for a living, your job, your wages, your very life is irrelevent to Management, except as a number on a balance sheet.
Work, actual production, is valued so little in America that those who do it are both pitied and scorned. Those people also happen to be the same ones who need a national public health plan, and they are the same ones who will get nothing but a bill from our corporate welfare state.
We have ceased to have a government that cares for its people. We now have a government that cares only for its corporate "citizens", and those lucky enough to benefit* (healthily) from them. How else to explain the idea that we can somehow cut medical costs by maintaining (growing, actually) a useless layer of for-profit bureaucracy? At every level of our medical system, profit will be the primary motivator, only then followed by patient care. We'll be lucky if we can manage to maintain our number 37 place in the world's scale of health care, and we'll be paying through the nose (even more than we do now) to do so.



* This does not refer to people "lucky" enough to have a job.

sigh


Sorry there hasnt been much Daveaway activity lately. Not only have I been working the day shift rather than at night and so I cannot do as much (read: any) blogging there. And to be honest, I did a pretty substantial amount of my blogging while at work.
Then, too, I find that I'm rather bored with the whole thing right now, though the banners are still a lot of fun.

The boredom wont last though. Or the day shift wont. One of the two.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

wednsday cartoon


see more at Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

(addendum: I hope Zach Wiener will forgive me, but I changed the format from four tall to two by two square.)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

christmas gift suggestion

Sacre bleu! It is the automobile of a Liberal!

If anyone out there is wondering what to get ol' Daveaway for Christmas, well, here's a little suggestion. The top goes down, it's a classic, and it gets around 35-40 mpg in town.

And, did I mention, the top goes down.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

pondering




Is there a statistical correllation between the rise of contact lens use and the lowering of test scores in schools?





Addendum:
Here's my thinking: With the rise of contact lenses, you have fewer girls (and men for that matter) "forced" into the Smart Girl role by way of their eyewear. For those of you who dont think that people can be forced into a role by a pair of glasses, consider that social behavior is a back-and-forth construct, where where the only truly independent action* is the first one upon meeting someone... maybe.


*Unless you tend to act in a manner which is independent of those around you. You know, like a street crazy.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Pretend to be a Time Traveller Day

they aint from around here
I'm not sure if it's still on, but today, at least as of two years ago, is when Aaron Diaz, creator of the comic Dresden Codak, proclaimed it to be Pretend to Be A Time Traveller Day. There is a Facebook page about it, unupdated since then, unless I missed something. Even so, it's such a fun idea, I just couldnt resist announcing it. I mean, why not?

Friday, December 04, 2009

a thought

"As to examples of the common masses showing ingenuity and common sense, I suggest talking to farmers. Not Agri-business hacks, working massive enterprises barely distinguishable from Soviet-era plantations and quite happy to spoil the topsoil and squeeze thousands of pigs into tiny feedlots just to squeeze out another dollar today and to heck with tomorrow, but real dirt farmers who have immensely complicated problems to solve in a dozen different fields, starting with plant and animal biology ... and who plan to pass on a working farm to the next generation's next generation. I think you'll find the bulk of them not necessarily good at calculus but very good at making rational decisions that are good for the community."
From a discussion at Contrary Brin about the "wisdom" of the masses. Reading this, it occurred to me to wonder if the dumbing down of America is a result not of television or consumer culture so much as our increasing urbanization and industrialization. When you work a job doing basically the same thing week in and week out, you have far less need to do any long-term planning. Once upon a time most of the people in the nation were farmers, and your life and your family's lives depended on how well you planned out the year. Now few have that problem.
I mean, how smart can you hope that a nation will be when half of them are pretty much working as meat robots.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

big,
really big



Every once in a while, I'll look up and see the moon, and it will strike me: That's a freaking planet! I mean, it's huge, and there it is, hanging in the sky! It's something like 235,000 miles away, and yet I can still see it.

Damn.




And yes, I said planet. Technically, the moon does not orbit the Earth, but rather the Moon and the Earth orbit a common point, which just happens to be located inside our planet. Argue if you want, but I can get away with calling it such.

iPod love... or not

I have this folder in my iPod called "new stuff for testing". I use it to make sure that I listen to everything I put into iTunes at least one time. Everything gets dumped in there, and after it's been listened to it gets removed from the list next time I have the Pod hooked up to the computer.
In theory.
Unfortunately, this process breaks down in a few of spots:

1. Anytime the iPod locks up, which is way too often for my taste, it generally loses the information about what songs were played recently. It also does this when it runs out of power, sometimes.
2. Whatever my daughter has on her Shuffle*. She plugs it in daily, I plug mine in only every few days (or weeks, depending). If she's listened to one of her songs more recently than I have, it moves it up the list, ahead of the time when I know I was listening to my iPod. This is especially true of Green Day, which both she and my I-pod love.
3. Queen's "Radio Gaga". I'd swear I get rid of it, and the damned thing plays again. Why my iPod loves it, I have no idea, but it does, it really does.


* Not a problem anymore, since yesterday she dropped it while crossing the street and it got run over by a car. She's got a new one on her Christmas list, of course.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

huh?

So, wait, we're fighting in Afghanistan to protect the nukes in Pakistan? Isnt that a bit like protecting Texas by sending the FBI to Oklahoma?

snow!!!

look at it come down!
photographic proof of actual accumulation (photographer not responsible for subsequent melting)
Holy cow! It snowed today! How weird is that for Dallas? Nothing stuck for long, but still...

My wife thinks it's gonna be a hard winter.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

quote for the day

One of the problems with capitalism is that only the things that pay get done.

James P. Hogan in "Giants' Star"

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I...
cant help myself

You know I'm a sucker for goofy Star Trek stuff, right? Well...



Klenginem is a German rapper who performs in the Klingon language, mostly modified Eminem songs. Here is his performance of “SuvwI’pu’ qan tu’lu’be”, which is known in English as “Without Me.”

via Neatorama

Friday, November 27, 2009

quickie

SWF seeks Republican
Further proof that Democratic administrations are better for the economy than Republican ones are.

via here from here.

yeah

It's gone until the page goes into archive mode. You're welcome.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

quote for the day

mostly I was completely aghast at the idea that a father would desert his child after a decade just because the child turned out to be “not really his,” “someone else’s kid.” Speaking off the cuff, it seems to me the best solution here would probably just be to change the law to allow children to have more than two legal parents—but regardless of the legal question there’s a clear ethical imperative to remain a parent the child you have raised and claim to love, whatever the mother might have done or said in the past. In some sense this actually seems to me to be beyond ethics, or rather before; it seems to me you’d want to stay the child’s father, that you’d be desperate to, in whatever way you could.
Refering to this article.

Hmmm. Well on the one hand, I've got to share Gerry's shock at a man who would abandon his daughter, blood or no. On the other hand, in the particular circumstance, when the actual DNA father of the child is married to the actual DNA mother of that child, hitting up non-biological dad for money seems pretty wrong, somehow. And it's not like NBD dad isnt having anything to do with said daughter anymore.
My wife used to get child-support from her ex, and while that check was nice, if it had never come, that would have been okay with me. When you marry a woman (or man) with (a) child(ren), you dont just marry that person, you marry that family. It's a package deal, and you've accepted responsibility for all of them. If you dont like, dont marry. It's that simple, and that fair.

That said, I cant imagine what goes on in the head of anyone who abandons their children, regardless of DNA.

Friday, November 20, 2009

today's wtf moment

Crap, I will never be able to say 'golly' ever again

Sometimes, I like to enter a random word into Google Images and see what comes up. Sometimes it can be really dull (bread, for instance), and sometimes it gives you something more unexpected, like this image to the right (and dozens like it).

The word? "Golly"


I mean, wtf?!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

just thinkin'

Of course I'm dancing - I could double the wealth of half the people in the country and barely notice the loss!
Okay, here's an interesting bit of numberplay that I came up with, based on this statistic:

Imagine if 60% of the people in the U.S. lost everything, every dime they had, all of it. That's something on the order of 180 million Americans, all flat broke. Guess how much money we would have to tax the wealthiest 3 million folks in this country to replace every last dime of all those destitute souls?
13%.
That's right. Without touching the money of the top 2 to 39% most wealthy people in the U.S., we could replace the wealth of the bottom three fifths of the nation, by taking away less money from the very top than one would normally add to the check at a restaurant* (if you'd like to think of the majority of the nation as a tip for the meal that was the United States).

Now tell me again how unfair the tax system is to all those rich folk.


Addendum:

You realize, that the numbers say that the wealthiest 1% of the country has almost 8X the amount of money as over half the nation combined. I dont care how you twist it, there is no justification that can support that kind of imbalance. That is not a reward for being smarter or luckier or more willing to take risks, that's just ridiculous, and I dont think anyone can become that wealthy without behavior that is questionable, if only on an ethical level.

* Yes, I know it doesnt really work that way.

Monday, November 16, 2009

quote for the day


There is room in a liberal's world for conservatives, but no room in a conservative's world for liberals.

some guy named Gordon Smuder commenting at The Rude Pundit's Facebook page.
Absofuckinlutely A!

Okay, admittedly, there are a lot of liberals who would be fine excluding conservatives. I happen to think that we need both sides in order to get things done, but not go out of control doing it. You'll frequently find that attitude on the Left, but not too often on the Right, especially these days when the inmates are running the GOP's asylum.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

film at 11 (:32)



Where is Lewis Hine when you need him?

Props to Kel.

Addendum:

I have to wonder, as America's business suffer in the global downturn and from competition from Asia and perhaps South America, is there anything which our Managerial Class will not do in order to maintain (or increase) profits? I mean for a country that has the issues with prostitution that we do, we seem awfully willing to whore ourselves.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

lexography



Did you know that there is an actual term for the act of blowing on someone's belly*? Neither did I. Zerbert! Thanks (indirectly) to Wondermark for the new word.

Ahhhm-num-num-num-pththththth!


* or whatever

Thursday, November 12, 2009

a thought on capitalism

People who say that communism failed because workers there lacked the profit motive to succeed are wrong. After a year of recession, it should be obvious that it is not the carrot that drives productivity, but the stick. In this case, the stick is unemployment. Watch productivity numbers, and you will see that productivity goes up whenever unemployment does. This is not only because there are often fewer employees to do the same amount of work, but because the remaining employees are worried about keeping their own jobs. Communists never had to worry about losing their jobs, but we do.
couldnt we just try and avoid isms?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

excuse me for a moment...

Lately, I've been plagued by the feeling that I've somehow offended almost everyone I know, but no one will tell me how, or even if it is so. I tell you this not in an effort to solicit sympathy or reassurance, but because the thought's been rattling around in my head and I'm attempting to purge it my exposing it to daylight. GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

quote for the day

"There’s no measure I can think of by which the U.S. economy has done better since 1980 than it did over an equivalent time span before 1980."

Paul Krugman

Actually, there is one, the growth of the wealth of the top 1%. But who's counting?

Monday, November 09, 2009

quote for the day

Guns don't kill people, people kill people. It goes to follow that we don't need gun regulation, we need people regulation -- we need people to be smarter. But people have proven to be violently opposed to this idea.
Jeffrey Rowland at Overcompensating

Sunday, November 08, 2009

a loony issue

You can see it, right? See the Duck?
So, Dodge has this car called a Viper, and it is a sexy, sexy bitch. Unfortunately, just as the Dodge Ram has gender issues, the Viper seems to have it's own secret desire to be in the entertainment industry...

It wants to be Daffy Duck!


Shoot me now! Shoot me now!


props to Boing Boing.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

living right


This is the sustainable neighborhood where Kim Stanley Robinson lives. They should all be like this. Check it out.

Via Shareable, by way of Gerry Canavan.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

dude, seriously

Yeah, it's early, but what kind of internet pundit would I be if I didnt put in my two cents here and try and predict what happened before anybody really knows? After all, if I guess right wont that be a fine feather in my cap? If I guess wrong, well who care?

So here's my guess: NO, it wasnt an attack by Muslims With The Middle Name Of Hussien Who Are In League With Obama. More likely, it was some poor, stressed out bastard who was sick and tired of having jokes about muslims aimed at him while doing his best for his country.
Or not.
Seriously, wait for the news to come out and shut up in the meantime. People talk about all the various things that are "destroying" America. Well, I'd put 24 Hour News in the Top 10, myself. So chill out, okay. You got your breaking news, now wait until tomorrow to find out just what the hell really happened, okay?
It's not going to kill you to wait.

congratulations




Good job Maine, you've saved marriage! Because, as everyone knows, the best way to preserve anything is to make sure that "certain" people have no access to it. You know, marriage is like a diamond, it's only precious when it's hard to get.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

oh.
my.
god.



Seriously, this is absolutely wonderful. I keep coming back and watching it, and it hasnt got old yet.

Props to Dr. Zaius. If the damned video wont show up, go watch it there.

oh dear


Warren Buffet's investing in rail. This cant be good for the rest of us, because rail's value grows as the cost of fuel goes up. Diesel tractor-trailers are faster, but thirstier. With low fuel prices, we choose speed over efficiency, but raise prices high enough, and the choice goes the other way. If you dont think that Warren Buffet doesnt have a finger on the pulse of things such as oil prices, then that may explain why you arent one of the richest people in the world. Remember, to a certain extent, all the big players are inside traders, because they have access to information that the rest of us wont have until we get it in the grocery line.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Okay, first here's number two on The Telegraph's list of Top Ten Internet Laws:
Poe’s Law

Not to be confused with the law of poetry enshrined by Edgar Allan Poe, the internet Poe’s Law states: “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humour, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing.”

It was originally formulated by Nathan Poe in 2005 during a debate on christianforums.com about evolution, and referred to creationism rather than all fundamentalism, but has since been expanded.

Poe’s Law also has an inverse meaning, stating that non-fundamentalists will often mistake sincere expressions of fundamentalist beliefs for parody.

Examples abound – one particularly difficult-to-judge site claims that “Heliocentrism [the belief that the Earth orbits the Sun, rather than the other way around] is an Atheist Doctrine”.

One that must, surely, be a parody is sexinchrist.com (WARNING: link contains adult material), a site that offers Christians advice on the rights and wrongs of such activities as threesomes and pubic shaving, among much more.

However, it is hard to be entirely certain, given the existence of christiannymphos.org (WARNING: link contains adult material), an apparently entirely serious site
To Christians I think the Law can now safely add a pretty sizable chunk of the Republican Party, as American Conservatives sink further and further into self-parody.
Example #318? How about the fabulous new internet game "2011: Obama's Coup Fails". I mean, maybe it's tongue in cheek, maybe it's not. But whether it was created by liberal wags suckering the wingnuts, or by wingnuts fantasizing about sucker-punching the liberals, does it even matter if there are conservatives gleefully playing it out there?.
Chaos ensues throughout the nation! The Second American Revolution is in full swing by February of 2011, with lists posted by patriots, county by county, naming dozens of government employees and the bounties that can be fetched by their capture. After 7 weeks of fighting in every state, and with the refusal of most United States military branches to obey orders to fire upon American citizens, Obama’s forces are slowly whittled away. The remnants of the Obama loyalists retreat to Virginia. After tens of thousands of their troops are killed, The International Service Union Empire (I.S.U.E.) has just 40,000 left, but still controls three full counties in the name of former President Barack Hussein Obama… Or so they think. The Congress of Rejected and Neglected Youth (C.O.R.N.Y.) controls three counties near Washington D.C., with reports of having at least 60,000 loyalists for Obama.
C.O.R.N.Y.? Really? Is that a "joke" at the "expense" of ACORN, or is it a flare from parodyists saying "hey folks, this is a joke"? Beats me. And, in deference to the distinct possibility that this is real, I'll choose not to play the game. It's not like I've got the time, anyway.

props to Pryme.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

safety tip


Savage Chickens!

a halloween riddle

Q: Why did the zombie cross the road?

A: BRAINS!!!

Save yourselves. But dont do it this way, 'cause life aint like the movies.

Friday, October 30, 2009

pre-celebration comedy


xkcd!

pre-halloween fun


Q: Why didnt the zombie want to go to the Halloween Dance?

A: He didnt have a ghoul-friend

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

they say it's your birthday!




Happy Birthday to ya!


Happy Birthday to The Brother.

today's wtf moment

I know you're looking at this picture and thinking what the hell is that? Click on the picture, dammit!"Neuticles allows your pet to retain his natural look, self esteem and aids in the trauma associated with neutering."

Seriously? Are we supposed to believe that because Rover cant lick his balls, he feels shamed and depressed? I've never noticed that it stopped my dogs very personal grooming habits, and, by the way, a brief note for all soft-hearted (-headed) animal lovers out there - those big sad eyes have nothing to with his heuvos and everything to do with your cheeseburger.

Props to Poobie.

Addendum:

Man, I'm disappointed. I suspect that no one clicked on the picture and followed the link, which was a really, really wierd one. Does no one (and I've asked this before) mouse-over the images and read the hidden text?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

quote for the day

"My Arabic is rudimentary, one major objective being successful tours of the markets (souk). Eventually my son and I worked out a good routine. We would jabber away to each other in Klingon, ignoring the merchant's appeals to us in multiple tongues. If we were interested in something I would say, no doubt with poor grammer, "anna min Tegwar". This threw them for a loop. These guys are very good, but do not speak Tegwari. We could browse unharassed, eventually switching to German for actual negotiations.

Tegwar is an acronym for The Exciting Game Without Any Rules, from the classic baseball book, Bang the Drum Slowly."
Tacitus2, a regular conservative commenter on David Brin's blog. He is a reasonable, well mannered person, which proves that they arent all maniacs. And he speaks Klingon, which really, really counts for something.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I-pod love

Lydia tagged me over on Facebook, and I thought I'd just make it one of my random I-pod posts, because I can.

Ipod ShuffleShare
Mon at 6:51pm
If I tagged you, it's probably because I'm guessing you have wonderful, eclectic taste in music, and I'd like to expand my selection....thanks! And if I didn't tag you, I reached my limit....)

Once you've been tagged...
(1) Turn on your iPod, MP3 player, iTunes, Victrola, 8-track deck, or hurdy-gurdy.
(2) Go to SHUFFLE songs mode (or scatter your cassettes/78's about your parlor randomly).
(3) Write down the first 21 songs that come up--song title and artist. NO editing/cheating, please. Even if it's some of that devil jazz music the kids are so into these days.
(4) Choose a bunch people to be tagged. It is generally considered to be in good taste to tag the person who tagged you.
If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about your musical tastes, or at least a random sampling thereof.


Of course, I dont do tagging, not because I hate people who tag, but because it's just not my way. On the other hand, feel free to do one of these yourself.

My List:

1. "Pure Drama" - Downset
2. "I Call Your Name" - Beatles
3. "Travel Is Dangerous" - Mogwai
4. "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover" - Paul Simon
5. "Rambling Pony [Complete Master Version]" - Fleetwood Mac
6. "Tourist Point Of View" - Duke Ellington & His Orchestra
7. "Within You Without You" - Beatles
8. "Silver Millionaire" - Chainsaw Kittens
9. "I Wont Dance" - Frank Sinatra
10. "What's On Your Mind" - Information Society
11. "Gloria (ii)" - Palestrina
12. "It Ought To Be Easier" - Lyle Lovett
13. "Once In A Lifetime" - Talking Heads
14. "Burden of the Angel/Beast" - Bruce Cockburn
15. "Sabbath Prayer" - Fiddler On The Roof Soundtrack (film)
16. "Lake Of Fire" - Nirvana
17. "Rex Tremendae Majistatis" - Mozart
18. "Dead" - Pixies
19. "The Infanta" - The Decemberists
20. "Szasregeni Szido Tanc" - Muzsikas
21. "Underneath The Bunker" - R.E.M.

Lydia, as far as expanding your collection, as an 80's afficianado, I'll assume you're all Bruce Cockburned up (pronounced Co-burn) already, but if not, get some of his stuff.

quote for the day

For years, I've been reading David Brin's praise of Russ Daggatt, but never bothered to look him up. Now I feel foolish, because I should have. First article I've read, Daggatt demolishes the idea that St. Ronnie single-handedly defeated those terrible Commies
"A more sophisticated theory of how Reagan ended the Cold War goes like this: Reagan’s big military build up caused the Soviets to overspend in an attempt to keep up which bankrupted the Soviet economy. This explanation has the benefit of a plausible theory of causation. But let’s break it down. We spent a huge amount of money on the military during the ‘80’s (a true statement). The Soviets tried to keep up with our escalating military spending (an untrue statement). The Soviet economy collapsed (a true statement). Can you spot the problem? The Soviets didn’t attempt to match our military build up. We greatly increased our military spending during the ‘80’s (tripling the national debt in the process), but the Soviets didn’t."
That's just for starters. Following that are a host of other reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union including fax machines and our new playground, Afghanistan. I'm going to have to put him in my blogroll.

(all this is moot if you followed last Wednsday's link)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

today's wtf moment



Seriously, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

...better than I could say it

The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor:
She said, "If you were my husband I'd give you poison."
He said, "If you were my wife, I'd drink it."

A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease."
"That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."

"He had delusions of adequacy." - Walter Kerr

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." - Winston Churchill

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." - Clarence Darrow

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." - William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." - Moses Hadas

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.." - Oscar Wilde

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend.... if you have one." - George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one." - Winston Churchill, in response.

"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here." - Stephen Bishop

"He is a self-made man and worships his creator." - John Bright

"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial." - Irvin S. Cobb

"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others." - Samuel Johnson

"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up." - Paul Keating

"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." - Charles, Count Talleyrand

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." - Forrest Tucker

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" - Mark Twain

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." - Mae West

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." - Oscar Wilde

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination." - Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music." - Billy Wilder

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." - Groucho Marx

via Missouri Loves Company

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

imagine...

Can you imagine how the right-wing noise machine would react if President Obama:

- Increased federal spending as a percentage of the economy to levels previously seen only during World War II.
- Tripled the national debt.
- Dramatically increased Social Security payroll taxes on employees and employers.
- Increased the capital gains tax to 28%.
- Raised gas taxes.
- Increased federal government employment.
- Created a massive new cabinet department.
- Sold arms to Iran.
- Withdrew entirely from a Middle Eastern war zone in response to a single deadly terrorist attack against US troops.
- Funded terrorist groups in our own hemisphere.
- Signed a treaty committing to make deep cuts in our strategic nuclear weapons.
- Proposed the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

And what if the most expensive federal office building in history was subsequently named after him? I'm sure it would be mocked as a fitting legacy to this “big government” president.

The president I'm describing is, of course, Ronald Reagan.


Stolen outright from Russ Daggatt

Monday, October 19, 2009

today's wtf moment

So, let me get this straight...

1) We pay oil producers trillions for oil, plus we pay to protect the oil producers in both military costs and soldiers lives, and we subsidize their militaries which then adds more to the cost of the first two things. Now, when it looks like the world might finally be gearing up to wean itself off of OPEC's oily tit, then...

2) They ask for compensation in order to diversify their economic base so that when we stop buying their product (oil) it wont devastate them financially.

Now normally I'd say that the Saudis have lost their fucking minds. But maybe not. Imagine you're a Saudi. You sit halfway around the world, making money hand over fist because some rich, spoiled nation has absolutely no control and more money than brains. You watch as their economy collapses because of the wanton greed and stupidity of their banking sector, and the response of that nation is to give more money to the bankers without making them take paycuts, or even trying to fix the oversight issues that led to the mess in the first place. I mean, why wouldnt you ask for compensation?

I mean, it seems to be working for our energy barons.

Props to Gerry Canavan

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

the recovery is to the economy
as health insurance is to healthyness

I've been thinking about the way economists keep saying that we're in a "recovery", and I've got a theory why they keep saying that even as unemployment continues to increase.
See, here in America, over 70% of the our wealth is held by only 10% of the population. These are the people who are benefitting from the stock market increases, who are getting "performance" bonuses because their bailed-out companies survived the collapse, who make salaries that are a degree of magnitude greater than the average worker (though some will say that those people "earn" their wages, I'd have to ask how exactly a lawyer's work is actually worth 10 times or more that of a pump jockey, but that's neither here nor there for this conversation).
Anyway, since those people hold the bulk of the money in America, and money has become the only thing that matters here any more and the sole measure of one's worth, then it follows that if those people are doing well then America is doing well. Whether or not the other 30% of the money (and the 90% of the nation that is attatched to that money) is not doing so well is irrelevant, since the majority (money-wise) is doing just fine.

Here's another article on the distribution of wealth, that says that top 20% holds over 80% of the wealth. Which is right? I dunno, and with numbers like that I'm not sure it's not like quibbling over whether the rapist used a condom or not*.


*Or is that too much hyperbole? Ah, fuck it,who cares if it is when you're the one with the distended sphincter?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

warning


In no way shape or form must Rupert Murdoch be allowed to expand his media empire, especially by adding a whole 'nother network. We need more people owning the media, not fewer.




props to Gerry Canavan

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

today's quote

"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one. 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it."

- Voltaire

Saturday, October 10, 2009

snails

As much as I appreciate the rain, as much as we kind of needed it, especially considering the last few autumns have been really dry, as much as I actually like cool, grey, rainy weather, I will be so grateful when I can walk out my door without hearing the crunch of snails under my shoes.
crruuunch

Friday, October 09, 2009

a warning for children everywhere

Lindsay Lohan now starring in a one-woman show: 'Beauty and the Beast'!
Kids! When someone offers you stardom and fame, just say NO!.

Sure, it may look like a non-stop party, but as you can see, fame can be every bit as health damaging as methamphetamines are. This girl is only 23 years old! Stay in your regular school, go to college, study science or computers or something.


Dont Let This Happen To You!


Image props to Samurai Frog

This message brought to you by the Committee for the End of Celebrity Worship. Remember folks, they're ordinary people just like you (except for the money and the non-stop media presence, of course)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

for me, Al Franken

Somebody needs to smack those 30 pro-rapists!Al Franken just gets better every day. Why? He proposed an amendment to the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill that would withhold defense contracts from companies like KBR “if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court.”
As you might have guessed, though only if you were fairly cynical perhaps, there was Republican opposition to this bill. That's right, thirty senate Republicans apparently felt that rape was less important than the profits of outsourcing contractors. Interestingly enough, in the discussion thread at the topmost link, the usual right-wing apologists had not appeared to defend the nay-saying senators, which indicates that despite the votes of the Pro-Rape Thirty, Franken may have found a subject that even ordinary conservatives can agree with liberals upon.

(beat, beat, beat)

Naaahhhh.

As one commenter put it "Now we are holding rapists accountable for their actions. If this keeps up, someday we may hold war profiteers accountable."

Oh, those crazy dreamers.

Want to know how your senator voted? Seriously, this is a biggie, folks. I may even e-mail my Republican voting mother and say, "you have two grandaughters, and yet you vote for these men? Maybe you need to think about your values and who you put in office to represent you and those values".

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

no gentlemen

hmmm, this kind of looks less like a gentleman and more like a vaudeville performer, doesnt it?I've said before that I thought that Republicans had rejected the old idea of gentlemanliness and descended into boorishness (while calling it virtue).
What I hadnt thought of before is that Democrats have equally given up gentlemanliness, but in the opposite direction - they sit and bloodlessly take the beating that GOP bullies give them, forgetting that while a gentleman never attacks, he is well-able to defend himself when it is necessary.
Yeah, I know that this sounds like an old-fashioned idea, but gentlemanliness is really a kind of distillation of what makes societies work. If politeness and manners are the grease that lubricates the gears of civilization, then the concept of The Gentleman (or Gentlewoman, for that matter) is the delivery system for that lubricant.

Friday, October 02, 2009

thought for the day

It occurs to me that the problem with the current crop of available health care proposals, both those put forth by the Blue Dogs and those put forth by Republicans, is that they, like all conservative plans, operate under the assumption that profits and the success of whatever business is being regulated is more important than the health and well-being of the People.
They rely on the idea that What's Good For Business Is Good For America, when it's actually been more true that What's Good For Business Is Good For Businessmen And Everyone Else Can Do For Themselves.
We need to rethink the idea that there is no more important function of government than that it promote the making of money. Better to promote things such as education and healthcare and trust that these will lead to the making of money. And really, in overall terms, does it matter whether the money comes from taxes, or "lost" profits? Republicans have made it their mission to cut taxes, but imagine how things might have been here in America had they concentrated less on keeping their money and more on making sure that it was well-spent.

Bonus thought: for those who argue that Americans have a "right" to health care, well, no they dont. Hell, we dont have a "right" to much of anything, but rather have decided as a collective to grant certain rights to all citizens. Right now we're debating health care for all. Maybe we'll add that one, maybe we wont.
On the other hand, one could easily describe there being a moral imperative for universal health care. Christians certainly ought to recognize such an approach, but dont for some reason (probably because they've gotten all caught up in the question of what people "deserve", rather than acknowledging the simple rightness of providing healthcare - I seriously doubt that Jesus would have had any problem advocating universal healthcare).
To be fair, though, while we have no "right" to health care, neither do doctors, insurance companies or stockholders have a right to profits.
So there.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

well, fed

So, in history books in the future, will the death of the census guy go down as the first casualty of a civil war (or at least an uprising)? Let's call it the Fox Rebellion.

Monday, September 28, 2009

go see

Lego Blog! Or this one, it's Fun!

click on this and look at it full-sized - the details are amazingI used to love playing with my Legos. I actually still have all my old ones, plus a few more that I've picked up along the way. Call me a purist, but I prefer the old bricks, rather than all the funky parts they have now. Or maybe that's just because I wasnt all that good at it, despite the fun I had. I dont know. Look at the variety of things Lego can do in those two blogs, though.

I never built anything like the house shown here, though, that's for damn sure.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Carnival of the Liberals

Yay! I havent had much that was good enough to get into the Carnival of The Liberals lately, but finally I came up with something, even if it isnt actually written. Check out the latest (now monthly) Carnival hosted this time by Broadsnark.