Friday, December 31, 2010

quote for the day

"2010 was like one big, endless blooper...

Look - America keeps getting hit in the groin!"


Lalo Alcaraz

Thursday, December 30, 2010

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!




Kodachrome is dead.



Seriously, this is a tragedy. Ordinary color film is not the same.

end of year linkage

All of today's linkage comes via Hedgehogs.

- art deco computer mod.

- LOTR barware!

- One of the best looking clocks I've seen in a while.

- The problem with satire is that sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between it and reality.

- Oh, no, mankind's burning of fossil fuels isnt contributing to global warming - that's merely a coincidence.

- Rate your beard!

- Warning, this is just wrong.

- This one is badly written (ESL?), but interesting anyway.

- An eastern European burger that sounds really, really good.

- The early 1900s, in color, works by Albert Kahn.

-


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

bear in mind...

Why cuts are the wrong cure from False Economy on Vimeo.


...that very soon, Republicans will be taking over the House, and Democrats were unable to withstand them even when they had a majority everywhere. If you want to see the future of America, watch Great Britain.

Monday, December 27, 2010

bye bye miss American pie...

"If America's decline is in fact on a 22-year trajectory from 2003 to 2025, then we have already frittered away most of the first decade of that decline with wars that distracted us from long-term problems and, like water tossed onto desert sands, wasted trillions of desperately needed dollars."

A prediction for the End of Empire.


props to Cookie Jill

Saturday, December 25, 2010

christmas cartoon



via

Weird day so far; got presents wrapped by nine last night (rather than after midnight out in the cold garage), kids went to sleep before I did, kids got up after I did, and I actually succeeded in getting my wife presents she really liked!

Merry Christmas to Everyone!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holster's Four Christmas Curmugeons



This is great. Made by Shawn Holster, of the now defunct Monkey's Eggs blog, so unfortunately no links for you.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

further proof

Man, one thought that occurred to me a long time ago was that one way to cut the cost of education but to avoid actually defunding it was to make sports programs, all sports programs, self supporting. Let's face it, right now parents get together to hold bake sales and such to buy playground equipment and do capital improvements to schools, think how motivated they'd be if those things were funded and they had to hold bake sales and seek business sponsorships for the football team, or girls basketball.

Here's an article that backs up my idea.

Friday, December 17, 2010

another straw on the camel's back





Reason number 3 why I will not buy a Kindle, or any other electronic book anytime soon.

Two words: "marketing" and "privacy".

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

well... shit

Sad news in the Blogosphere today: Kel, of the excellent Osterly Times, died suddenly on October 28, 2010. The Osterly Times has been my primary morning read ever since I started getting up in the morning*, and has been sorely missed these last two months. I'm not sure how I'll replace his insight, wisdom, and the breadth and depth of his knowledge. He will be missed. Rest In Peace, Kel.

wednesday video

Monday, December 13, 2010

class warfare

15 mind-blowing facts about wealth inequality in America. Here's one chart, there are more if you follow the link.


Have I posted this article before? Dont care.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thursday, December 02, 2010

quote for the day

"When a liberal activist judge over-reaches, a disenfranchised group of Americans have their constitutional rights restored. When a conservative activist judge over-reaches, the country’s elections get handed to corporations on a silver platter."

Helen Philpot, at Margaret and Helen

In the past, I've not been convinced that this was an actual 80-something year-old woman writing this. But it just occurred to me that a very liberal history professor that I had in college when I went to UT was named Philpot, and he was about the right age for this woman to be his mother. If she raised him, then I could easily see her saying such things, so now I think maybe she is real.

Really, though, it doesnt matter if she is or isnt, since the words are what matters here, regardless of who says them and how old. Go read the rest of the post.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Dave's Blogtroll no. 9

Well, it's about that time: After months of looking at various things online, and surfing, and following links and whathaveyou, here is my latest collection of blogs and such that I'll try out and see if they keep my attention enough to make the dubious "honor" of going on my Blogroll

Art of the Criminal Mastermind: an art blog
FMyLife: Sad stories, text message sized
Yellow has an odd fascination with Jesus
Corrupting Conservatives, a liberal blog
Kind Girls. NSFW.
Anouk Morgan, photographer
photographs collected at Fantomatik.
A Hundred Dance Moves Per Minute, the blog of Bad Machinery's John Allison.
See the future via the past at Paleo-Future.
Presurfer has lots of good stuff.
Ethan Persoff; artist, musician.
Cooley - an artist and funny fellow
Miss Peelpants; mostly about vintage fashion
In My Humble Opinion; a mostly political blog
Subnormality: Comix with too many words.
James McMurtry's blog.
Hyperbole and a Half a blog, with drawings!
Louchelab; an art site
The doghouse Diaries, a webcomic
Left Handed Cartoons
Kindergoth; another webcomic, how'd you guess?
Oglaf; a (very) NSFW webcomic
The Lounge, another, occassionally NSFW webcomic
Five Thirty-Eight: politics
Cakes: Learning Technology Blog
Springfield Punx: pop culture Simpsonized.
Mighty God-King: comic talk, etc
All New Issues, a webcomic, yes
Gin and Tacos; left wing politics blog
Michael Berube; liberal blogger
Balloon Juice.
Hedgehogs, on Tumblr
Paul Krugman's blog
Accidental Mysteries, a website of "found" photographic art
Whatever, author John Scalzi's blog
Merceneiress; a web (action) comic
Glenn Greenwald
Stuff In Cleavage.com; just what it says (NSFW)*
Politicus
The Swash Zone: bunch'a libruls.
Greg Sargent's The Plum Line
Hoping for the future at One World House

This being a Daveawayfromhome tradition, there have been preceding blogtrolls. Sample them here: no. 8, no. 7, no. 6, no. 5, no. 4, no. 3, and another one (I'm not sure of its number - there may actually be only 6 of blogtrolls, but it's too late to change now).



* In case you're wondering why such a site is in my blogtroll, it's not because I'm a red-blooded American male (though I am), but because it still astonishes me what people not only create websites about, but how many people actually read them. I suspect that if I created a blog documenting my daily bowel movements**, that blog would get more readership than this rather ordinary blog does here.



** Dont think I'm not tempted to do so, soley on an experimental basis. The main reason I dont is because I am afraid that I would be more right than even my wildest cynical pessimism imagines.

Friday, November 26, 2010

post-thanksgiving linkage

- Postcards from the Future (London edition, and here, too) (via)

- great gift for the guitar player in your life.

- You have the Right to Repair.

- Mandate my ass. We're not much happier about this election than before. (via)

- Jake Christie's Small Stories (via)

- "It made sense in the moment, before I woke up."

- Assuming that you've read all of Scary-Go-Round, you should read a mini series called Giant Days, featuring the wonderful Esther. What do you mean you havent read Scary-Go-Round?! Fool! Read it Now!

- Greetings From Idiot America! (via)

- Why the Dream Act ought to be passed - for ethical reasons, for humanitarian reasons, for moral reasons, but most of all, because bullshit "incentivation of criminal acts" arguments show how small-minded the "American Dream" has been allowed to become. (via)

- Here's one of the best ideas I've ever seen for making a "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" movie.

- It's after Thanksgiving day, which means that I can break out the Charlie Brown Christmas CD! Yay!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

early Kodakchrome test



circa 1922. Color still looks great!

I also find it interesting to see how standards in "beauty" have changed, both in terms of physical characteristics and behavior.

via

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dave's Blogroll, version 5.0

Well, it's been over a year and a half since I put together my last blogroll, so I suppose it's about time to do another one. Understand, this list isnt set up for the edification of my "readers", since there are only about a half dozen of y'all out there any more, but for my own convenience. Sorry. Although, if you dont know what I read by now...

these are my mutual blogs, that is, we link to each other.
This is a shrinking group, largely through attrition. I also consider all these people, at least in a way (since I've never actually met a one of them), to be my friends.

The Omnipotent Poobah
Welcome To the Now
Saurly Yours
Death And Taxes
Lydia Valentine
Spoonfighter
Blurred Clarity
Rational Rant
Zaius Nation: damn dirty ape
Haphazard Musings

These are the blogs that I read a lot:
It's a smaller group than it used to be.

Rude Pundit
What's Alan Watching?
Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
Gerry Canavan
It's My Right To Be Left Of Center - New Site! LeftWing Nutjob
Electronic Cerebrectomy
Millard Fillmore's Bathtub
Contrary Brin
Boing Boing

All the WebComics I read are here now. To be honest, this is where I spend a lot of on-line time.

These are blogs that I dont read a lot, but really should:

Rant, trog69's blog
Margaret and Helen, which may or may not be written by an 80 year old woman
United Methodeviations
Russ Daggatt's Blog
Donkeylicious
(Not Only) Hotel Room Nudes
Bearskin Rug
Corrente
Sadly, No
Beam Me Up
Welcome Back to Pottersville
Blog Around The Clock - new digs at Scientific American!
Have Coffee, Will Write
Newsmericks - the news in limerick form
Ran Prieur
Focal Point
Raed In The Middle
Gus Van Horn
Little Man, What Now?
Fish or Cut Bait
The Shrewdness of Apes: a teacher blog
Missouri Loves Company: another teacher blog
Clusterfuck Nation
Andrew Sullivan
Robert Reich
The Smallest Minority
Driftglass - liberal blog
Darkblack - photoshop master
Ochlocracy In Action

The Big Boys

Colbert Report
Daily Kos
Daily Show
Huffington
The Onion

Here are some sites, not blogs usually, that contain good stuff:

Wooooomag
People of Walmart. Be afraid.
Shit My Dad Says.
Kox
Young Me, Now Me
Vivian Maier: Her Discovered Work
Bits and Pieces
The Polaroider
Leslie Miles - think of it as Found Art. (new site)
Three Frames

These are blogs which have apparently become abandoned, but which I still hope for a return of. A blog is a hard thing to maintain.

RIP, Kel, The Osterly Times
Flan: not quite jelly, not quite cake
der Hundepo
United We Lay
The Sapient Sutler
J.R. Kinnard
Consider This
123 I Love You
SPOtastic
The Neural Gourmet
The Rare Sixth Sense
Demonbaby
The Red Pants of Justice
Pop's Bucket
Angry Chimp might as well be dead
Stinkhorn Rodeo
Twitz
Spiiderweb™
The Reverend Billy Bob Gisher. (actually, Billy Bob may be thriving, but he's doing so behind an invitation wall that I wasnt given a pass for. This makes me sad.
RIP, Kel, The Osterly Times

Incidentally, these are not presented in any particular order, so dont go reading anything into who comes first, okay?

previous blogrolls: blogroll no. 4, blogroll no. 3, blogroll no. 2, blogroll no. 1
blogtrolls: no. 8, no. 7, no. 6, no. 5, no. 4, no. 3, and no. 2 (or maybe it's no. 1, as I cant actually find no. 2 anymore in the archives). The newest blogtroll should be coming up in a week or so... I hope.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

the scale of the universe

is awesome!!!

sigh

I can only assume that Obama has decided to be a one-term president, because this is exactly the kind of thing that will result in his base staying home in droves.

Woo. President Palin, here we come.

Rah.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

another half-thought


An optimist says the glass is half-full.

A pessimist says the glass is half-empty.

A pragmatist asks what's in the glass?

A really smart guy asks for a bigger glass.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

another thought



 A Liberal says the glass is half full.

A Conservative says the glass is half empty.

A Republican says "It's my glass, I earned it!" while trying to figure out how to get your glass, too.

A Democrat is too frightened by the glass to take any kind of action.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

a thought

Okay, so I was thinking about the strikes and protests of the 30's, and if you look at pictures you'll see cops, lots of cops. But it occurs to me that due to tax cuts we dont have the numbers that seemed to exist back in the day, so that maybe when we finally do get so fed up that we start striking or protesting or rioting or whatever, we wont have the level of violence you see from olden days.

Then I remembered all those private "security" companies, like Blackwater, or whatever it's calling itself these days.

Then I remember that many of those personnel have had plenty of training in urban warfare over the last (almost) decade.

Good thing I dont hold much faith in conspiracy theories.

Though I do believe that while the theories may be crap, you dismiss their details at your peril.


Monday, November 08, 2010

Evidence!

Onward the (Banana) Republic! (that's us, by the way).

Dont believe me? Watch Bill Moyers, though he never uses the term "Banana Republic", he uses the word "plutonomy", which is far more obscene. (feel free to skip to around 6:00 minutes to start). (transcripthere)(more or less).

Friday, November 05, 2010

factoid*


Today in History

55 years ago, Doc Brown slipped in the bathroom and envisioned the Flux Capacitor, leading to time travel.








* A factoid is something that looks like a fact, but is not, just as a humanoid is something that looks like a human, but is not. Remember that next time Fox or CNN uses the term.

a thought

Okay, so, evidence these days seems to blame the Great Recession mostly on the housing bond market. Greedy mortgage brokers and banks gave out loans to people pretty much because they could breath. They could do this because there was a hungry bond market clamouring for investment vehicles into which to put their money.
My question is as follows: how much of that money would not have been available had taxes for the wealthy and taxes on capital gains not been cut so low? Enough to have made the bubble not as bad? To have eliminated it altogether?
Tax cuts are sold to us as being good for investment in "small business"; how much of that money actually goes there, and how much of it is "invested" in the giant horse race we call the stock market?

Consider this idea as we watch the Republicans and their one-trick-pony answer to the economic crisis.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

linkage

- a handy time-line for the financial meltdown. (via)

- Truthiness, ho!

- Why we're completely mother-fucked. No, really, we are fucked. Matt Taibbi depresses the hell out of me. (via)

- Tax the Rich!!! (and here's why) (via)

- College degrees (or the lack thereof) - county by county. (via)

- Reason number 37 why the economy wont be getting better anytime soon. (via)

- "Sitting in the dark corner of a DC bar is a Republican political operative who has the goods on Palin. He’s just waiting for his phone to ring with the word, “Go.” If Palin weren’t such a poisonous person, I’d almost feel sorry for her. She has no idea what’s coming her way. ". Sa-weet! (via)

- You ever see the first episode of "Yes Minister"? Now imagine freshly elected teabaggers in Washington; think anything will be different? (via)

- Will Democrats move towards the center? Do pussies cry "uncle"?

- Tea Party finance map. (via)

- The real reason for Arizona's anti-Illegal Alien law: Private contractors and taxpayer funding. (via)

- "Vintage" Star Wars posters; so cool. I'd actually pay money for one of these. I think. (via)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

now that that's over

Man, I'm so depressed right now. Time for a bit of a laugh. Time for a little Star Wars, done right!

Monday, November 01, 2010

heh

via the Beer Party.

quote for the day

"In a car, when you want to go forward, you put it in D, When you want to go backward, you put it in R."

Barack Obama

Sunday, October 31, 2010

holiday cartoon



Kids these days! Why, I remember having to walk five miles uphill to trick-or-treat, in the snow.

via

Thursday, October 28, 2010

a little video present for The Brother

The Sandpit from Sam O'Hare on Vimeo.


This is for The Brother, not for any particular reason, but because I wanted to post this and today is his Birthday. And no, while this sometimes looks like a model set, it's not.

(via)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

quote for the day

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

John Kenneth Galbraith.


via Kel

tuesday video

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

a thought

I've been thinking, and perhaps one of the things that bothers me most about the Republican party is that they no longer seem to be the party of pragmatism. I mean, I get the need for both progressives and conservatives, one acting to advance society, the other acting to curb the excesses that sometimes arise from change. People often accuse liberals of idealism, but that is required to promote change.
But what I see these days is that it is the supposedly conservative Republican party that acts as ideologues, and the pragmatists all seem to belong to the Democratic side.

Friday, October 22, 2010

friday night at the movies



stolen from Dusty.

quote for the day

"According to FEC data, only 32 percent of groups paying for election ads are disclosing the names of their donors. By comparison, in the 2006 midterm, 97 percent disclosed; in 2008, almost half disclosed."

Robert Reich. Read the rest.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

angst redux



I'm just feeling all enthusiastic and shit about the election, so I re-sharing this thing I made a couple years ago, when we were so desperately hoping the Democrats would save us.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

quote for the day


"I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions."

Dorothy Day

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

t-shirt*


* t-shirt not actually available

Monday, October 18, 2010

quote for the day

Rude Pundit keeps hearing about a "war" in the Republican Party, but he won't believe it until he starts seeing some casualties.

from Facebook

I have a desire

Once this election is over, I would really like to see some stats on how much anonymous money went to each side, what percentage of their (on each side) funding was anonymous, and the ratio of anonymous funding, both to non-anonymous and to each side.

Also, can anyone tell me how Karl Rove can get away with setting up a "non-partisan" PAC? I mean, what exactly does a PAC have to do to be considered partisan - specifically say "we are partisan", and otherwise they're just assumed not to be so?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

sunday matinee



Takes me back to Art School - a bit of art history within a song's length

Friday, October 15, 2010

friday funny

quote for the day

"the only choice we voters have is between coke or pepsi"

Joey, in Oregon


If this doesnt sum up the state of politics in America these days, I dont know what does. Socialists, my ass. Most Americans wouldnt know a socialist if he bit them on the ass*.


* Although if he did bite them, he would then take them to a the doctor - for free!

another thought

Okay, over a decade ago, states started to get the idea that they could raise a bit of cash by operating a lotto. As time has gone on, those lottery prizes have grown in size until they are worth sometimes over a hundred million dollars.
They also have odds of winning somewhere around 1:16,000,000 to as high as 1:170,000,000, which is pretty awful, really. By comparison*, the odds of dying in a one hour plane trip is about 1:1,000,000.
Now, not long after this trend began (and a very popular, money-making trend it has been for states), 9-11 happened, and suddenly everyone was worried about dying in a terrorist attack. We continue, nine years later, to be worried. Why? What are the odds of dying in a terrorist attack?
Even if terrorists were able to pull off one attack per year on the scale of the 9/11 atrocity, that would mean your one-year risk would be one in 100,000 and your lifetime risk would be about one in 1300. (300,000,000 ÷ 3,000 = 100,000 ÷ 78 years = 1282) In other words, your risk of dying in a plausible terrorist attack is much lower than your risk of dying in a car accident [one-year odds of dying in a car accident is about one out of 6500, lifetime probability about one in 83] , by walking across the street [a one-year risk of one in 48,500 and a lifetime risk of one in 625], by drowning or in a fire [both a one-year risk of one in 88,000 and a one in 1100 lifetime risk], by falling or by being murdered [both a one-year risk of one in 16,500 and a lifetime risk of one in 210].
So anyway, my point here is to wonder if the Lotto is part of the reason that Americans are so terrified of dying in the same kind of attack that hasnt been repeated in nine years is the same reason that leads people to spend a dollar or two or ten or even a hundred, week after week, with the idea that they will become millionaires.
Just wonderin'.


* The way the odds are stated dont really match up very well, but if you played the lotto once a week you could be expected to win once in a 250,000 years.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

a thought*

So, I heard yet another story today which mentioned the protests of the Park 51 Community Center. And the following thought occurred to me:
Say you knew of a bunch of kids, and there was one kid who, one day, punched another kid in the face and knocks him down. A few weeks later, the kids are doing art projects, and the puncher creates an image featuring a couple of guys doing kung fu. The teacher wants to put it up, but the punchee gets upset about it, saying that the picture makes him feel bad because it depicts a "violent" act and it was drawn by the kid who bloodied his nose. Question: is that kid right, or is he a whiny little pussy?
See, Americans like to think
they're the toughest guys in the room, but a hallmark of the true tough guy is that he can take a punch. By whining about the "insensitivity" of Muslims building their community center (or anything, for that matter) close to 9-11, Americans are flinching at the mere thought of that punch, which shows the world that not only are we not particularly tough guys, but that we are, in fact, total pussies.
You want to show how tough you are? Help build the damn center. You want to be even tougher? Ignore its presence completely.
Those protesting the "Ground-Zero Mosque" are showing not only their ignorance, but their fear. In crowd terms, they're practically shitting themselves. The only way they could show themselves to be even bigger cowards than they already are would be for some dumb son-of-a-bitch to blow it up.
Dont be surprised when it happens.


* keep having these, cant help myself, sorry

linkage

- "There’s a whole machinery of brainwashing in Israel which really accompanies each of us from early childhood, and I’m a product of this machinery as much as anyone else." (via)

- How the end will come. (via)

- Tea Party Jesus sez... (via)

- Dunno what to do for Halloween? How about a storm trooper? Here's a cheap mask you can make. (via)

- John Scalzi on "Atlas Shrugged". I knew there was a reason I liked him. (via)

- We need more of this. If tax money shouldnt go to people who've lost their jobs, then it sure as hell shouldnt go to sports programs that cannot pay for themselves. (via)

- Okay, can someone tell me how paying a "subscription fee" to a fire department is different than paying a tax, other than you can gamble on not needing it?

- You do realize that half the stuff I put here I do so because I want to find the article again at some point. Like this recipe via Boing Boing for broccoli muffins.

- So, do Republicans block campaign finance disclosure bills solely so that they can accuse the more transparent Democrats of wrongdoing, while avoiding the same charge themselves because "there is no proof"?

- Hey! Can you imagine? All that stuff about the government causing the housing bust? Not true. Could it be that conservatives were wrong about that? (via)

- Cards and advice, together! Or buy them here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

sums it up


more here. Via David Brin.

By the way, I'm getting the hang of the picture thing, finally.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

a thought

For all those folks out there who buy into the "Prosperity Gospel": Did you ever consider that your "God-given" wealth may be not so much a reward as a test?

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Guarantee

For every "small" businessman bitching about having to pay tax at the same rate they were before the Bush regime bankrupted the nation, there are two American workers having to work weekends with no overtime pay because "times are tough" and "competition is fierce" (and, unspoken, or not, "lots of people would love to have your job").

It should also be pointed out that higher taxes are an incentive to reinvest the money in your company. Lower taxes mean more that owners can take home, and less to pay workers. It is profits that are taxed, not expenses.

Addendum:

I should point out also that, ironically, small businesses are being treated by their clients in pretty much the same way that small businesses treat their employees.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

quote for the day

"Read somewhere that the video game Bioshock is an effort to inoculate teenage boys from the Ann Rand virus."

"unholyguy", in comments on John Scalzi's review of "Atlas Shrugged"

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Sunday, October 03, 2010

sunday funny



And let me just add, that blogger can kiss my ass. When I tried posting this image using blogger's image hosting, it shrunk it down to about a fourth (or, rather, a sixteenth, if you want to get technical) of its original size. So fuck them and their new system. Oh, but I could move the damned image anywhere I wanted to.
Woop-de-doo.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

proselitizing

Top 10 reasons why beer is better than religion.

10. No one will kill you for not drinking Beer.
9. Beer doesn’t tell you how to have sex.
8. Beer has never caused a major war.
7. They don’t force Beer on minors who can’t think for themselves.
6. When you have Beer, you don’t knock on people’s doors trying to give it away.
5. Nobody’s ever been burned at the stake, hanged, or tortured over their brand of Beer.
4. You don’t have to wait more than 2,000 years for a second Beer.
3. There are laws saying that Beer labels can’t lie to you.
2. You can prove you have a Beer.
1. If you’ve devoted your life to Beer, there are groups to help you.

via

Friday, October 01, 2010

quote for the day

"There has been in our country a divorce of church and state. This follows a natural sequence of the declaration that 'governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed'. The priest was no longer a necessity. His presence was a contradiction of the principle on which the Republic was founded. He represented, not the authority of the people, but of some 'Power from on High', and to recognize this other power was inconsistant with free government. The founders of the Republic at that time parted company with the priests, and said to them: 'You may turn your attention to the other world - we will attend to the affairs of this'. Equal liberty was given to all. But the ultra-theologian is not satisfied with this - he wishes to destroy the liberty of the people - he wishes a recognition of his God as the source of authority, to the end that the church may become the supreme power."

Robert Ingersoll, God In The Constitution, 1890

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

humor math

The shortest distance between two jokes is a straight line.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

complaint

I dont know how many of you out there still use Blogger's posting software, but I'd just like to say that the new version of it SUCKS. They added absolutely nothing of any use, and they seem to have removed the ability to adjust the size and margins of any photos you may include in the post. They've also removed some of the features available in the HTML mode (my preferred method), but have, oh so generously, given us the ability to use strikeout in addition to bold and italics. Oh, thank you Blogger, strikeout is something I'll use all the time I could have done myself with html.

Friday, September 24, 2010

why all our talk is completely irrelevant

You know, there's a lot of talk talk talk out there about politics. The internet especially has lots of folks making earnest arguments for and against various and sundry things. Everyone is trying to come up with a truly killer line that will swing others into the "right" belief. I include myself in this cacophony, by the way.
Well, guess what? It's a complete waste of time.
Almost nobody changes their minds, not since they sprouted hair around their kiwis. Oh sure, there have been a few, struck down in the roadway like Saul, loudly proclaiming after how they've seen the light one way or another. But they are pretty rare.
You know what the secret is to the Republican success of the last three decades (and probably the next one or two to come)? Here it is: Political discussion is not the presentation of competing arguments in the hope of converting the undecided. It is nothing more than a dominance game. The chest-thumping and roaring of silverbacks, battling for their place in the hierarchy.
Currently, "conservatives" do it best. Consider the terms that people use to describe Democrats: "spineless", "wishy-washy", "pussies"; and that's people on the progressive side. However much of a bastard you may think that this or that member of the GOP may be, they are always powerful bastards, arent they? How many Democrats can you describe that way?
Obama won not because he provided America with a sound set of policies and was trusted to bring them to fruition, he won because he appeared unflappable and dignified, staying admirably focused and on-message. John McCain, on the other hand, had his own campaign usurped by his running mate.
Now we approach the mid-term elections and Republicans, however much they appear to be assholes, however little they appear to be accomplishing aside from derailing the train of State, are undeniably bull-roaring, chest-thumping, liberal-squashing, badass mutherfuckers. Democrats, who apparently cant even be bothered to support their own agenda, cave in at every turn to the bullying of the GOP, and as such appear to be (undeniably) lily-livered, yellow-(dog)-bellied, amoral, honorless, characterless, weak-willed gutless pussies of a degree that would make Ichabod Crane look like Rambo. It's not so much amazing that the Republicans are probably going to win seats, it's more amazing that the Democrats will retain any.


How many feasible projects have miscarried through despondency, and been strangled in their birth by a cowardly imagination.

Jeremy Collier

it's a trap!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

linkage

- Life amongst the toxic waste - voluntarily.

- sigh (part 2)

- Best Dr Suess parody, EVER. (via) Here's a video version if you cant be bothered to read.

- Guess what? Kids get snark.

- Glenn Greenwald defines the Tea Party movement and discusses the problem with Congress in general (hint: he'll probably be accused of class warfare for his observations). [I'm putting this here as a placeholder, really.] (via)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

quote for the day

"If life gives you melons, you're probably dyslexic."

quoted by my friend Connie

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

tuesday video



Seriously, why cant we just knock a zero off? (via)

Monday, September 20, 2010

just stop it

"There had been at the time, and still is, a substantial portion of Republican legislators that believe it is more important for the Legislature to make the law instead of the Supreme Court," [Bowen] Greenwood said.

Okay, if there is one narritive of the GOP which I really hate (and of course there is not just one), it's the one where they talk of "activist" judges and "legislating from the bench". It's as if Republicans dont understand the purpose of our third government branch. Do they think its sole purpose is to confirm the acts of the legislature in the face of the uppity citizenry who dont know who the boss is?

And really, Montana GOP? So if the Supreme Court of Lincoln's time had struck down slavery as unconstitutional, would that have been legislating from the bench, also?

Friday, September 17, 2010

in which I repost...

the Rude Pundit's latest:

In Fort Myers, Florida, the Salvation Army reports a 60% jump in families seeking its services.

In Tucscon, Arizona, a local soup kitchen has seen the
number of people it serves nightly go from an 40 to 150-200.

In the last year, in Livingston County, Michigan, the
number of people looking for food and cash assistance has risen by over 30%. In Jackson County, it's up over 24%.

In Texas, more than one out of every four kids under the age of 18
lives in poverty. That's higher than the national average of one out of every five. And over a quarter of the entire state is without health insurance. Charities there report 25-50% more demand for food and assistance since 2008.

In Steuben County, New York, homelessness has
risen by 15% since 2009. And Catholic Charities says that it's serving 33% more people than last year.

In Minnesota, "At Families Moving Forward, a Minneapolis
network of churches offering shelter to families with children, the number of calls for housing has shot up from 50 for every opening to 150."

According to the
census, the poverty rate in the United States has risen from 13.2% in 2008 to 14.3% in 2009. For those of you doing math, that's one out of every seven Americans. Income has fallen. The number of people without health insurance has risen. Extended unemployment benefits are all that kept 3.3 million more people from falling below the cruel poverty line.

Oh, and by the way: "The top fifth of households accounted for 50.3% of all pre-tax income; the bottom two-fifths got 12%." When it comes to tax cuts and discretionary spending cuts, we're arguing about what now?


I repost this for a very simple reason; to ask this question: How exactly are tax cuts for the rich supposed to help make this better?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

wednsday matinee

quote for the day

"What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists, is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents."

Robert F. Kennedy

Monday, September 13, 2010

wtf

Seriously, what the fuck?

Okay, fine, do it. I didnt plan on voting in November anyway, maybe now I'll vote for a teapartier instead. Seriously, everybody out there who can vote in a teapartier (or a similarly whacked-out member of the GOP) into national office*, do so, please. I want to see the government shut down by these lunatics. Let them slash taxes until they're almost gone. Why disolve the nation slowly with spineless enabling like the Democrats are currently doing, when we could instead just slam the lever into reverse, ripping the whole damned transmission right out of the Vehicle of the State. Some people seem to think that government is unnecessary, perhaps it's time to show everyone just how necessary it is.



* Dont let them into local government. The nation can survive a few years without form, your local infrastructure may not.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

blogger trouble

Am I the only one who's been having trouble with Blogger lately? Is this a pre-taste of what things will be like under the new Google/Verizon agreement.

visual difficulty



I've been reading manga online the last few days, and I find I'm having trouble reading regular comics now, as I keep trying to read them backwards.

Most perturbing.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

quote for the day

"By the way, as far as General Petraeus saying that Pastor Yosemite Sam shouldn't exercise his right to free speech because it might endanger our troops in Afghanistan, oh, sweet General, what endangers our troops in Afghanistan is having troops in Afghanistan."

The Rude Pundit says what I wish I'd said. Yeah, there's more.

Today is the anniversary of an act of appalling dickishness. Committing an act of lesser dickishness does not make the past any less painful, and it assures a continuation of that pain in the future.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

linkage

- What do you get when you cross a windfarm and a blimp? No, it's not a joke.

- So you thought the Cold War had a lot of spies?

- "Of course we can afford a government that actually works: the fact is that your parents have simply chosen not to have it."

- Next time you get into a climate change arguement, ask this question: are you a sceptic or a denialist?

- This is why Smokie and the Bandit isnt real.

- Why do these kind of things not get said in American newspapers?

- Spoonfighter has an answer to the "Ground-Zero" "mosque" problem. Because.

- I've been wanting to go back to school for almost two decades now, but perhaps it's a good thing I didnt. And, yeah, my student loans are paid off. (via)

- sigh.

- new poll! (via)

- Terry Pratchett talks about his latest book. Terry Pratchett, by the way, is a god, and if you dont read him you are losing out. Badly.

- Prophecy? (Note date) (via)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

thought for the day

Odds are, when someone says "it's the only thing They understand", the truth is that it is probably the only thing the speaker understands.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Dave's Comix list

So, yeah, I've largely given up reading obsessing about politics and such. Mostly these days I read comics, just like I used to back when I was blissfully unaware of the world.

True Daily Comics:

Bizarro
Blip
Candorville (or here)
Frazz
La Cucaracha

Daily Comics:

Banished!
Bobwhite
Dumbing of Age
Girls With Slingshots
Little Dee
Nerf This
Misfile
Savage Chickens
Quantum Vibe
Questionable Content
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
Shortpacked
Supermassive Black Hole A*
Too Much Information
Wapsi Square

Several-Times-a-Week Comics:

Accursed Dragon (m-th)
The Adventures of Superhero Girl (t f)
Alex's Guide To A Well-lived Life (m w f)
All New Issues (t th)
Alone In A Crowd (t f)
Bashert (m w f)
Candi (mttf)
Darwin Carmichael Is Going To Hell (tues and thurs)
Does Not Play Well With Others
Dr McNinja
El Goonish Shive (m w f)
Evil Diva (t th)
The Fancy Adventures of Jack Cannon (m f)
Girl Genius (m w f)
Looking For Group (m th)
The Lounge (m w f)
Out At Home (w f sn)
Penny and Aggie (m w f)
Penny Arcade (m w f)
Pilli Adventure
PVP
Sam And Fuzzy (m w f)
Sandra And Woo (m th)
Scary-Go-Round (m-th)
Scenes From A Multiverse
Selkie (m th)
Something Positive
Treading Ground (m w f)
Twilight Lady (sun-tue-thur)
xkcd (m w f)


Fairly Regular Comics, but not real frequent:

Artifact (tue fri)
Bedhead (w)
Brightest (m)
Co-ed (on hiatus for summer?)
College Roommates From Hell
Curvy (saturdays, nsfw)
Endstone (m th)
Fey Winds (w)
Gastrophobia
GrrlPower (m)
Johnny Wander
Merceneiress
Miamaska (th)
Oglaf (sun, NSFW)
Optipess
Overcompensating
Rusty and Co. (w)
So Damn Bright (m)
Spacetrawler (t s)
Tom the Dancing Bug (weekly)
What's Shakin' (m)
Wondermark
Zap (tues)

Whenever Comics:

Amya (w, maybe sat)
Artiste Gullible
Bucko
Dawn of Time
Dicebox
Dresden Codak
Doublefine
Flat Philosophy
Hark, A Vagrant! (on hiatus until 5/22)
Head Trip
Ice
Kinokofry
Kukubury (on hiatus until... who knows?)
Lackadaisy
Nobody Scores
Octopus Pie
Scandinavia And The World
Scout Crossing
Toilet Genie
Trying Human
3eanuts
The Wotch (on hiatus)
Yep

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

quote for Sarah Palin Day


"Her virtue was that she said what she thought, her vice that what she thought didn't amount to much."

Peter Ustinov*




* Ustinov did not say this about Palin, but I thought it worked pretty good.

two years and still counting...
unfortunately

Bwah-ha-ha-ha!!!!!Well, folks, it's the 1st anniversary of Sarah Palin Day!

How's that working for ya, America?

Seriously, a year ago when I pre-posted this, it was supposed to be a joke. Now I'm not so sure. Can you imagine the disaster if this woman actually made it to the White House? George Bush would look like a compassionate genius in comparison.



Addendum: Here's a thought: had John McCain actually won the election, Sarah McCain would most certainly have been muzzled by his administration (or at least controlled better). Now she's a loose cannon in the GOP.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

hey, guess what?

Today is National Go Topless Day.

You know, while the current craze for bacon is certainly a terrific way to stick it to the islamic Man, wouldnt everyone getting to play shirts or skins work better?

Friday, August 20, 2010

friday night at the movies



Note: NSFW (duh)

via

hmmmm

So, teapartiers dont want government to have power over them, apparently because they feel that it is corrupt and run by "special interests". So they propose to do away with as much of it as they can (except, apparently, the parts that enforce denial of civil rights to certain groups and the part that drops bombs). I'm curious who they DO want to have the power, because if they remove the government from various places of power, someone will fill that vacuum. Or do they imagine that the Individual will be able to stand up to a Collective such as a large and powerful corporation?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

linkage

- Republican Philosophy: If it's promoted by the other side, then it must be bad. Seriously, the Democrats need to come out in favor of more things that everyone needs, just to make Republicans oppose them.

- The Nietzsche Family Circus. Dunno why it works, but work it does.

- Imagine this, if you will: A Conservative cabal conspires in voting fraud. Okay, so it's Digg, but is anyone really surprised that they're gaming a system? (via)

- That damned hippie Einstein!

- "We will not have a conventional business recovery now, but rather a long hangover of debt liquidation and downsizing". sigh...

- Giant Puppets in Berlin!

- Tiny house! Honestly, though, what are these folks doing that most people didnt do a couple hundred years ago? I mean, aside from doing it in a much more pleasant and modern manner. (via)

- a business jargon translator (via)

- A Republican who gets it. It cost him his job, but hey, he gets it. The article also contains a pretty good alternative to cap-and-trade (which is a lousy compromise idea anyway).

Monday, August 16, 2010

quote for the day

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.

Thomas Paine

Sunday, August 15, 2010

flip-flop



Yes, there are a lot of excellent points in the discussion, but at the same time I'm rather bothered by it. Where were these guys two years ago? Where were they four years ago? Or six? Or eight? Were these points not equally valid then? It's perfectly understandable to call for smaller government, less military spending and more transparency. But any Republican who does so today needs to be about two years old to have any credibility. I wish that I could guarantee that when Republicans again control the government (in a manner in which they actually hold the reins, that is, not the way they currently control it) these sentiments will still be voiced by right-wingers, but I know that they will not. They will not even be held to account for their 180 degree reversal.

(via Kel)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

quote for the day

As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America. And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country and that they will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are. The writ of the Founders must endure.
Good for Obama. The flap over this community center has been ridiculous. I really want to know; is this a free nation? Or not? Do we actually follow the constitution, or merely pay it lip service?* Here's what Greg Sargent says about Obama's statement:
The right is engaged in a concerted effort to make it politically toxic to stand up for the rights of Muslims -- and to simultaneously insinuate that Obama is on "their" side, and not on ours. This dispute fits the bill perfectly.
He is not criticising Obama, by the way. I quote him to ask this question: Why, when the Right speaks, do we (and by "we", I mean the "we" of "conventional wisdom") treat their statements as facts which must be proven false, usually with extensive documentation (often from "non-biased" or even conservative sources), which is even then ignored by both the Right (which is hardly surprising) and the CW "We"**? Have we given up even the semblance of innocent until proven guilty? Why dont we have anyone on the Left who has the ability to wrest the power to frame an issue away from those on the Right? Is it because of media ownership? Obama looked like he might have been the one to do so, but has either failed to do so, given up, or was never interested in doing so in the first place.
As long as issues continue to be framed in such a way that even obvious lies are treated as truth, without question (or even the kind of "what the fuck?" incredulousness which so many statements from the Right seem to deserve these days), we will continue to have rancor.


* Duh! Lip service! Hello, Bush years continued on after with little Change™.
** Does that make sense? It works in my head, but I dont know whether it survives in the real world.