Monday, August 31, 2009


Fuck you, Chris Wallace, you smug propagandist, just fuck you. You are a disgrace to journalism and to your father's legacy, and if he doesnt despise what you've become, then fuck him, too.

via Kel

in memoriam

Lest we forget (and admittedly, I'm always late with this one, remembering it as later than it was) it is four years now since the fiasco/clusterfuck that was our Republican-led government's response to Hurricane Katrina. George Bush and dozens of other politicians like him were elected by a gullible public chanting the mantra "the government cant do nuthin' right", and by golly, as one would imagine, the folks they elected to head their government proved them correct.
Maybe in the future, we should give some thought to electing people who actually believe that the government can do something right, and who then make an effort to prove themselves correct. Most of all, maybe we should make an effort to remember that our leaders arent the only ones who can handle a crisis, that the efforts of ordinary folks just like ourselves can rise closer to the occassion than anything we imagine that we can.
"We are entering an era of heightened disaster, thanks to climate change. Being prepared for disaster will mean being prepared to sift truth from rumour, and being prepared to adjust our worldview. There is some incredible ugliness to the truth about Katrina. But, four years on, the lies hide more beauty, and hide where our dangers and our salvation may lie in times of crisis."
From the Guardian UK, via Cookie Jill at Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
Dubya wasnt a natural, but he sure was a disaster

Sunday, August 30, 2009

This is not my beautiful nation...

Okay, so we're in the midst of a struggle to get decent, affordable health care for all Americans, which we stand on the edge of losing to the Insurance and Drug industries once again. In Japan, a nation that blew our industrial might out of the water*, the ruling party of that country was knocked from power at least partially because of the issue of daycare. We cant even get health care for our children without a fight, forget daycare. Richest country on Earth my ass! Just because 1% of our population has more money than God doesnt make our nation any richer (not since the Reagan years, anyway).

* well, the first one, anyway.


Oh dear, Princess Sparklepony may be quitting the blogging game, for much the same reason that I contemplate giving up on politics and devoting this blog to food or science or weird photoshop images or tales of lower middle-class despair*.

* Much like political discussion, but more personal.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

quote for the day

"I was built on a Friday
and you cant fix me"

Bruce Cockburn
from "Mystery" on the album "Life Short Call Now"

Thursday, August 27, 2009

so long, Teddy

You wanna know why we should honor the memory of Edward Kennedy? It's not his many accomplishments, it has nothing to do with Chappaquidik or No Child Left Behind, it's not his family legacy or even his decades of service to Massachusettes and America.
It is because even though he was a really rich guy, he never acted like those who were less fortunate than him were that way because they deserved to be. That alone places him high above the entire Republican Party and many of his fellow Democrats.
noblesse oblige, baby!
That's all I've got, since you've heard all of the usual stuff elsewhere (though the Rude Pundit does a nice piece that ought to be required reading for all the sour-grapes Republicans out there feasting on Kennedy's dead flesh).

My fear now is that a total-crap health care bill will be passed with some name like The Edward Kennedy Memorial Health Initiative, so that Democrats have to vote for it, but all it will be is yet another permission slip to Big Pharma and The Insurance Industry to continue raping ordinary Americans for another fifteen years.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

we're not stupid

So, today, the Omnipotent Poobah discusses stupidity (our own, specifically), and I started to leave a comment, but it grew huge and unwieldy, and ultimately not really on subject.

So I put the comment here instead.

To call Americans stupid is to insult and belittle stupid people. I keep wanting to use the word "bovine", but even cows have more sense of self-preservation than Americans seem to have these days. To judge by our leaders, both literal and cultural, all crises can be responded to with a combination of "mine, mine!" and "Hulk smash!". To suggest any kind of cooperative effort is to suggest Marxist thought and is strictly verboten. Never mind that civilization itself is a collectivist endeavor, and that the societies that work best are those that have learned to play together best, including sharing between those who have and those who have not.

I think that the problem may be that we are herd animals, and somehow our bellwethers have become Judas Goats instead. Somehow, since the 80's or so, we've been led away from the idea of the common good to the idea of self-reliance. This would be fine, perhaps, if everyone actually rely on themselves (though not particularly productive), but what a lucky few call "their hard work" is more like herding as they take the efforts of the many and channel it into their own pockets. Should the herd call for a greater share of the bounty they are dismissed and reviled as "socialists" and "un-American", even though our nation's leadership (in government, business and culture) resemble communist leaders and royalty far more than any of the working class could even hope for.
We need a new cultural leader who will bring us away from our current self-centered world-view and into one that is more cooperative, a kind of mental NAFTA, if you will. Otherwise, I fear that America will be doomed to the place that all nations go when their focus becomes solely on the top tier of their society - a hopelessly stagnant backwater loved by none and contributing nothing to the world, including itself.


room for two
Ever hear of a Bedford Bambi? Neither had I, but now I want one. It's soooo cute.
Have I ever mentioned my love of Kei trucks?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

it's all in the framing

Finally! Somebody makes the point that I've been making for years, that the insurance company is a parasite in the health care works, that they serve no real function in the bureaucracy other than to skim a (very hefty) profit out of the middle. Insurance is supposed to be a form of coverage in case of disaster, not everyday life.

Scarborough seems to think that simply because there is a buck to be made here, that a buck ought to be made, but he ignores the basic precept of the free market system, which is that victory goes to the most efficient*. He doesnt want free market more than he wants to avoid using a "socialist" system, even if that system beats out the free market on its own terms.

props to Kel

* Efficiency, like talent, is only half the game. The rest of success lies with influence, propaganda, and bright shiny tassles to gull the yokels. The Market System is a lovely theory, but is often compromised by the more important Bandwagon Effect.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Three Laws of Corporate Workers

You know guys, there are plenty of people who'd love to have your job
  1. A worker may not injure a corporation or, through inaction, allow a corporation to come to harm.
  2. A worker must obey any orders given to it by a corporation, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A worker must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Remember, what's good for Business is good for America!

Thank God we avoided the communist threat! Down with Socialism!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

photo fun!

1950, 1954, 1972, 1982, 1988, in case you're wonderingHave you been to, yet? It's quite entertaining (I've been going at it for a good seven or eight hours (not non-stop, mind you). All you need are a good head shot (or two, one without glasses if you wear them) in B+W, and some time on your hands. This would be my family's graduation photos, assuming that we were all 30-some years older.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

nostalgia run

I was reading Dusty's blog, and remembered this poster that I bought back in me old school days... ah, them's was the times!

sunday funny

I wish I'd found this a year ago, though it still pretty much applies anyway, dont it? Just substitute Rush's head for Dubya's...

Friday, August 14, 2009


something's wrong here, but I cant quite...

Excuse me? Who're the Nazis?

Okay first there's this definition of National Socialism which comes from Wikipedia (via Kel):
Hitler's National Socialism was founded on a Weltanschauung, or translated "World View", in which history was reducible to a racial struggle in the Social Darwinian sense. National Socialism was thus a Messianic movement, centered in the Fuhrerprincip and anchored in the thesis that only through racial purity could Germany find her salvation. The movement was based on anti-Semitism, anti-Marxism and hyper-nationalism, manifesting itself through Pan-Germanism and the quest for Lebensraum.
Now, let's change a few words, without, I think, changing the meanings very much at all, and see what we have:
Republicanism is currently based on a Weltanschauung, or translated "World View", in which history was reducible to a financial struggle in the Social Darwinian* sense. Republicanism is thus a Messianic movement, centered in Authoritarianism and anchored in the thesis that only through market forces could America find her salvation. The movement was based on "personal responsibility", anti-Marxism and hyper-nationalism, manifesting itself through American Exceptionalism and the quest for Increased Profit.
Hmmm. Aside from yet another incidence of Godwin's Law in Action (or, since the Nazi thing never seems to stop, is it part of the same really huge incident?), is there anything fundamentally wrong with this description of the Republican Party? I mean, yeah, it's a bit incendiary (oh, boo hoo), but if you consider it to be a description of the Party, rather than of the Conservatism which the party claims, isnt this a pretty good definition?


* If you think Republicans dont believe in survival of the fittest, you havent been paying any attention at all.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

quote for the day

I want war. To me all means will be right. My motto is not "Don't, whatever you do, annoy the enemy." My motto is "Destroy him by all and any means." I am the one who will wage the war!

Adolf Hitler

found at A Soviet Poster A Day.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Blogtroll no. 7

Okay, well, time again for one of my Blogtrolls*. That's when I put up a list of various blogs (and other stuff) of interest that I've found in my wandering about the internet tubes. Since this is my blogtroll, rather than my blogroll, I dont necessarily recommend all of these, but consider them, instead, to be sites of interest, and from this list I intend to try them out for a time and see how they fit.

Blogs to consider:

marta l. sanchez, artist
A cartography of colors, a blog with nice photos
Hugo's Arts and Stuff, an artist
Style and Error, an architect's blog
Maybe You Shouldnt Buy That - a blog
The Polaroider - polaroid photographs
Leslie Miles - think of it as Found Art.
The Passenger 8, a photoblog in spanish
Jon Swift, a "conservative" blogger who seems to be on hiatus.
Signs of Emergence (actually defunct, but interesting);
related to The Complex Christ, also defunct.
Today in Art
The Daily Python, which is what it sounds like it could be.
Cheeky Chicken photography - childrens photographer - nice!
Historical real estate
Lawrence Miles' Dr. Who Thing (infrequent posting, but good)
Driftglass - liberal blog
Into the Twilight so far, nothing there
Darkblack - photoshop master
musclegirl blog in spanish - why? 'cause it's wierd, that's why
Nancy Eichler Photographie (in german)
H-sun - dont know what it is, but there's a lot of good photos from around the world here
Dolan Geiman - artist
Gallery Yes - an art gallery blog
Sadly, No
Whinger (remember her?)
11 points - a list blog
9000, a very good flicker Art Site
Raquel, a photographer
Rebecca Villareal, a photographer
One Article Per Day
Ochlocracy In Action (where Pop's Bucket reincarnated)


Back on Earth
So Damn Bright
Nobody Scores
Hark, a Vagrant
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
Tim Buckley comics
Misery Loves Sherman
the Abominable Charles Christopher
Girls with Slingshots, a webcomic

A Lesson Is Learned, But The Damage Is Irreversible, a webcomic archive
Rice Boy - give yourself some time
Illustrated Daily Scribble - on hiatus?

Items of interest:

Free Range Kids is a book about not worrying so much.
The Cold War Air Museum in Lancaster, TX.
a site featuring hospital food (really).
What Would a Unicorn Do, so gay, yet so amusing.
How It Should Have Ended
a "scambaiting" how-to site, for battling net-scammers
"Waste as art" site - not a blog
Lifelounge - lot's of good stuff
Bill Watterson, the college years

If you would like to sample previous blogtrolls: no. 6, no. 5, no. 4, no. 3, and the other one (not sure of its number - there may actually be only 5 of them).

* It's a word of my own invention, which is why I feel the need to explain it: "troll" which is defined as angling by drawing a baited line through the water, which, now that I think about it, doesnt really work very well (but it's too late to change it now).

Sunday, August 09, 2009


here's the line they wrote:
Loud outbursts, hot tempers and pleas for civility at town hall meetings around the country Saturday foreshadowed a long, hot August as Democratic lawmakers returning home faced resistance to proposals to reform the nation's costly health care system.
And here's what it ought to say:
Loud outbursts, hot tempers and pleas for civility at town hall meetings around the country Saturday foreshadowed a long, hot August as Democratic lawmakers returning home faced organized resistance to proposals to reform the nation's costly health care system.
See, when they just say "resistance", it sounds like it's a general resistance, whereas "organized resistance" indicates an orchestrated event.

Friday, August 07, 2009

bloggy birthday to me!

According to a 2008 survey by Technorati, which runs a search engine for blogs, only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs the company tracks had been updated in the past 120 days. That translates to 95 percent of blogs being essentially abandoned, left to lie fallow on the Web, where they become public remnants of a dream — or at least an ambition — unfulfilled.

props to Gerry Canavan for the quote
Hey! Guess what? Today marks a full four years of blogging! Four years ago today, after letting my new (and empty) blog sit idle for over two months, I was finally overcome with irritation at our former Decider, and I let forth with a gushing of bile. For the most part, I havent stopped since, nor do I intend to.

Here's to the blogosphere!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

a proposal

and, boy, is it ever!
Okay, so here's a crazy idea: Let's go to a single payer system that covers the basics of health-care, and incorporates so-called "rationing" (i.e., not throwing money at a patient until they die) which thereby keeps the costs down, and let insurance companies go back to what they are supposed to be doing, which is being a fallback* in case of a catastrophe, rather than a indisposable facet of everyday life. Then everybody gets healthcare at a reasonable price, insurance companies still get to make money off of insurance premiums, and hopefully everybody wins.

* Said fallback, in this case, being coverage for medical procedures that are not covered by the government program.