Saturday, November 30, 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

quote for Black Friday

So I majored in religious studies and have spent a fair bit of time in church, which may color my thinking, but am I alone in thinking that Black Friday is clearly a religious observance?

(I mean, obviously it’s a totally secular event and has nothing to do with God or gods or anything*. I mean religious in the sense that a religion at its core is just a worldview/orientation/value set and the traditions/rituals/practices that help codify and express that worldview.)

I would argue that all these people standing in line aren’t really there to save money. (Like, standing in line at Best Buy for four hours to save $20 on a TV is almost never an economically rational decision.)

They’re standing in line to be part of something. And the something is consumer spending, the foundational idea of (and driving force behind) America’s relative economic health. And because we associate economic health so closely with community health, Black Friday is a way of both giving thanks and making an offering.

In the end, I would argue the rituals surrounding Black Friday—combing through emails and advertisements for coupons, waking up before dawn, communing with strangers in large indoor public spaces (Target, Wal-Mart, etc.)—aren’t just similar to religious rituals. I would argue that they are religious rituals, just ones played out in a secular world.

As David Foster Wallace noted in his famous commencement address at my alma mater Kenyon College, “There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.”

(For the record, I don’t find this particularly sad or tragic or anything. I just find it really interesting.)



* But then again, many religious traditions have little or nothing to do with God or gods.
- fishingboatproceeds


Anyone who pays attention to this country knows that the god we really worship is Mammon. This goes double for the supposed Christians in the GOP.



Thursday, November 28, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

Friday, November 22, 2013

quote for the day

"Wage repression is a fairly self-explanatory term meaning the deliberate undermining of wages by employers. Wage repression is most often used by private sector employers in order to cut their payroll expenditure, but taken as a whole, the state is actually the largest employer, and is just as capable of repressing wages as the private sector.

The idea that economic efficiency can be increased through the repression of wages is an article of faith for ideological neoliberals. Witness the effects of the current Tory austerity programme on wages, or think back to the 1980s when the collective bargaining rights of millions of workers were attacked by Margerat Thatcher’s government.

I say that wage repression is an article of neoliberal faith because (much like a lot of orthodox neoliberal theory) there is actually little actual evidence that wage repression is good for the national economy, and in fact, a lot of evidence that it is actually harmful.

The reason that the subject of wage repression is important now, is that the UK is currently enduring the longest period of wage repression in over a century, in which the average wage has fallen in real terms every single month for three consecutive years (every month since the Tory led government came to power).



The idea that wage repression is actually bad for the economy is hardly a new one. Quakers and other non-conformist religious groups realised early in the industrial revolution that by paying reasonable wages, and providing additional benefits such as education and healthcare, they themselves benefited from the massively increased productivity of a loyal, healthy and educated workforce (as compared to the bitterly exploited, poor, unhealthy, malnourished and ill-educated workforces of the less ethically minded of the early industrial pioneers). Probably the most famous rejection of wage repression was the high pay / low price policy of the American automobile manufacturer Henry Ford (hardly a “leftie” by any stretch of the imagination), who paid high wages and made low profit margins on his vehicles, so that his employees would return their wages back to his business through the purchase of the vehicles they themselves had been constructing.

To put the historic objection to wage repression into reasonably simple economic terms: Wage repression is bad because it reduces the disposable income of workeres - When workers have less money to spend, this results in a fall in consumer spending - When consumer spending falls, aggregate demand falls - When aggregate demand falls the economy falls into low-growth, recession or depression.

I don’t think it takes a lot of brains to realise that the less money the public have in their pockets, the less they are going to spend, and that this fall in spending will have a negative knock-on effect on the wider economy.”
Thomas G. Clark

Thursday, November 21, 2013

learn italian

"Che cazzo hai detto tu stronzetto?"

means:

"What the fuck did you say you little shit?"

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

quote for the day

"I see the glass half full... but of poison."

Woody Allen


GPOY

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

quote for the day

"Poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle do cause health problems, in people of all sizes. This is why it’s so fucking crucial to separate the concept of “obesity” from “eating crap and not exercising.” The two are simply not synonymous — not even close — and it’s not only incredibly offensive but dangerous for thin people to keep pretending that they are. There are thin people who eat crap and don’t exercise — and are thus putting their health at risk — and there are fat people who treat their bodies very well but remain fat. Really truly."

Kate Harding

via

Thursday, November 07, 2013

quote for the day

"This is a generation that sees everything they do wrong as someone else's fault but everything that happens to other people as a matter of personal responsibility. Reading a tale of hard working, well intentioned people getting reamed by a corrupt system even as they work themselves to literal death might be an eye-opener. Sure, it will sail right over the heads of some of them. I feel, though, that the understanding that the world is not fair, life is hard, and getting by is often a tremendous struggle is a necessary precondition to having meaningful political attitudes. The idea that everything that happens to individuals in our society is their own fault poisons our entire culture, from our politics to our communities. People like Sinclair saw through this over a century ago, but somewhere along the way we chose to forget."

Ed, at Gin And Tacos, from the article "The Hand of Fate".

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

a description



My wife generally avoids political talk. But she's also a history teacher in high school, so she's aware of it, and every once in a while throws me a bone. Like this one.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

saturday matinee




Ophir Kutiel, aka Kutiman, burst onto the digital scene with The Mother of All Funk Chords in 2009. Now he has resurfaced with a new video. This time, it’s a musical journey through Jerusalem, a mashup that weaves together the sounds of local musicians, creating a visual/aural composition that lets you tap into the unique sound of a city that lives partly in the past, partly in the future, always wavering between optimism and despair…

(stolen whole cloth from Open Culture)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

trick or treat time



Jimmy Fallon does Bob Dylan doing "Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet".

Monday, October 28, 2013

quote for the day

Ezra Pound


Nothing is wrong with middle age.

Well, maybe the knees.

It ain't the women.


via

Monday, October 21, 2013

quiz time!

Quiz: What Kind of Liberal Are You?

My Liberal Identity

You are a Social Justice Crusader, also known as a rights activist. You believe in equality, fairness, and preventing neo-Confederate conservative troglodytes from rolling back fifty years of civil rights gains.

Take the quiz at
About.com Political Humor



So, I took one of them quizzes. Seems I'm a liberal.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

saturday matinee

A short video of Kirk Sorensen taking us through the benifits of Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors, a revolutionary liquid reactor that runs not on uranium, but thorium. These work and have been built before. Search for either LFTRs or Molten Salt Reactors (MSR).



from the YouTube page:

FAQ
The main downsides/negatives to this technology, politics, corrosion and being scared of nuclear radiation. Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors were created 50 years ago by an American chap named Alvin Weinberg, but the American Government realised you can't weaponise the by-products and so they weren't interested.

Another point, yes it WAS corrosive, but these tests of this reactor were 50 years ago, our technology has definately improved since then so a leap to create this reactor shouldn't be too hard.

And nuclear fear is extremely common in the average person, rather irrational though it may be. More people have died from fossil fuels and even hydroelectric power than nuclear power.
I added this video for a project regarding Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors, watch and enjoy.

No, it would not collapse the economy... just like the use of uranium reactors didn't... neither did coal... This is because you wouldn't have an instant transition from coal... oil... everything else to thorium. We could not do that. Simply due to the engineering. Give it 50 years we might be using thorium instead of coal/oil (too late in terms of global warming, but thats another debate completely), but we certainly won't destroy the earths economy. Duh.

And yes he said we'd never run out. Not strictly true... bloody skeptics ... LFTRs can harness 3.5 million Kwh per Kg of thorium! 70 times greater than uranium, 10,000 greater than oil... and there is over 2.6million tonnes of it on earth... Anyone with a calculator, or a brain, will understand that is a lot of energy!!

Any more questions I will try and ask but read this first =)

Sadly both American and British petitions have closed, but as soon as new ones are uploaded, I will link them. Thankyou for your patience.

Thanks for watching. And please, please share this video with as many people as you can. The more that know about this, the greater chance of change.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

quote for the day

“Oh please. Taxes are not *your* money. If people could give up the idea that it’s THEIR money being pried out of their hands, rather than just another bill, there’d be a lot less whining. You want lights, you pay the electric company. You want a place to live, you pay the bank or landlord. You want food, you pay the grocery store. You want to live in a civilized society, you pay taxes. Get. Over. It.”

Comment of the Day: Paying For a More Civilized Society

via

Saturday, September 28, 2013

saturday matinee



Though, let's be honest: For many people, religion is a convenient place to rest their douchiness. If they didnt have religion, they'd find some other place for it, with little or no diminution of bad behavior.

Monday, September 16, 2013

quote for the day

"Forget the Syria debate, we need a debate on why we’re always debating whether to bomb someone. Because we’re starting to look not so much like the world’s policeman, but more like George Zimmerman. Itching to use force and then pretending it’s because we had no choice."

Bill Maher

via

Saturday, September 14, 2013

saturday matinee



My daughter found this. Dont ask. I dont.

Friday, September 13, 2013

quote for the day


"There are few things more bizarre than watching people advocate that another country be bombed even while acknowledging that it will achieve no good outcomes other than safeguarding the “credibility” of those doing the bombing. Relatedly, it’s hard to imagine a more potent sign of a weak, declining empire than having one’s national “credibility” depend upon periodically bombing other countries."

Obama, Congress and Syria

via

Monday, September 09, 2013

quote for the day

"It doesn’t matter that Bush was (kind of) a cowboy, and that Obama was (kind of) a law professor; all of that became irrelevant, or at least superfluous, when they became American presidents. To embody the sovereign will of the United States—to be the world’s only superpower, the world policeman—is to be bound by the logic of arbitrary power, to be forced to occupy and preserve the state of exception in which American exceptionalism is founded. Because the United States is powerful, it has the power to decide where and how and when and to whom the rules apply. If it does not have that power, it is not powerful; if it is not powerful, it is not the United States. The stakes for every American president, then, are existential. If Syria is allowed to cross the red line unpunished, it will threaten the very basis of American identity, the exceptionalism which makes America the solitary sovereign actor on the world stage. Punishing them for doing so—with a handful of inconsequential cruise missiles or even a more aggressive and disastrous bombing campaign—would accomplish no more than re-instating that narrative, that the United States is, still, the decider. But that’s all its meant to accomplish."

Aaron Bady, The Sovereign Double-Standard

Saturday, September 07, 2013

saturday matinee



It's all a matter of perspective, mother-fuckers!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

quote for the day

"The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness."

Neils Bohr

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013

saturday matinee



I'd get hate comments, if anyone besides a handful of people actually read blogger anymore.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Saturday, August 17, 2013

saturday matinee



Here's what Christianity ought to be, and rarely is.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

whew


I'm glad no one ever did this to me when I delivered. I'm not sure what I would have done.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

saturday matinee - relaxation edition



okay, so apparently this song has been declared the most relaxing song in the world:
Scientists discover most relaxing tune ever

Sound therapists and Manchester band Marconi Union compiled the song. Scientists played it to 40 women and found it to be more effective at helping them relax than songs by Enya, Mozart and Coldplay.

Weightless works by using specific rhythms, tones, frequencies and intervals to relax the listener. A continuous rhythm of 60 BPM causes the brainwaves and heart rate to synchronise with the rhythm: a process known as ‘entrainment’. Low underlying bass tones relax the listener and a low whooshing sound with a trance-like quality takes the listener into an even deeper state of calm.

Dr David Lewis, one of the UK’s leading stress specialists said: “‘Weightless’ induced the greatest relaxation – higher than any of the other music tested. Brain imaging studies have shown that music works at a very deep level within the brain, stimulating not only those regions responsible for processing sound but also ones associated with emotions.”

The study - commissioned by bubble bath and shower gel firm Radox Spa - found the song was even more relaxing than a massage, walk or cup of tea. So relaxing is the tune, apparently, that people are being Rex advised against listening to it while driving.

The top 10 most relaxing tunes were: 1. Marconi Union - Weightless 2. Airstream - Electra 3. DJ Shah - Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix) 4. Enya - Watermark 5. Coldplay - Strawberry Swing 6. Barcelona - Please Don’t Go 7. All Saints - Pure Shores 8. AdelevSomeone Like You 9. Mozart - Canzonetta Sull’aria 10. Cafe Del Mar - We Can Fly
Or, if you'd rather, you can listen to ocean surf used in the video here instead.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

quote for the day

"The darkest lie we tell ourselves: that we and our writing are not worth a bag of microwaved diapers. Listen, I don’t know how talented or skilled or capable you are. Hell, maybe you’re not that great. But nobody got better by feeling bad about it. You have one of two choices: you can be destructive to yourself or constructive. You can tear yourself down or find a way to build yourself up — and I don’t mean build yourself up with compliments but build yourself up with skills and abilities and the practice that gets you there. You suck? That thought sucks. Get better. Improve. Aim big. Give yourself the chance to fail — and then give yourself a chance to build steps from the corpses of your failure so you may climb higher every time. You don’t become a writer by feeling sad about your self-worth. The only sucking you need to do is to suck it up and do the work. Everything else is a consumptive distraction."

Chuck Wendig (via whatamidoingeven)


When I first started this blog, I'll admit I had dreams of someday writing for a living. I now know this probably isnt going to happen. No, that it is very, very unlikely. Oh, who am I kidding. But that's no reason to give up writing. Maybe that's why I keep this blog going, despite the fact that almost no one reads it. Practice, practice, practice.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

thanks


Nine Eight* years since my first "real" post.


* Forgive me, I am an idiot

Monday, August 05, 2013

Finally...


...the internet has given me something really useful!

Saturday, August 03, 2013

saturday matinee



This is such an awesome mash-up. Imagine if rappers started making children's songs, kinda the way mainstream authors are all writing children's books these days.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

fyi

Hysterical Literature is a sort of portrait series by the artist Clayton Cubitt. It involves the mind/body split, female sexuality, history, and literature. It manages to be (probably) NSFW and yet, unless you know what's going on, absolutely safe for work. It's a lovely idea, one that I'm rather jealous of not having been even in the ballpark of, as this seems totally original, yet almost obvious at the same time.

No, strike that. It's not obvious at all. It is rather clever though.

I originally debated about how much information to give out about the "portraits". I thought that, at least with the first one, not knowing what exactly was going on would be best. I still think that.

When I was younger, I wanted to create photographs that moved. Not films, not videos to be presented on a television screen (for those were the choices at the time). Sadly, I could not do it. Now, at a time when I dont really do much photography, flat monitor, the animated GIF, and a different perspective on how we see imagery has all combined to make my youthful dream a mundane reality. These portraits are like those images I dreamed of, taken to an even higher plane.

They contain a battle between mind and body, of sorts. Of sorts.

Best of all, it's in my favorite medium, black and white.

Monday, July 29, 2013

quote for the day

"America", he said, "has a war on drugs that doesnt work. It has a war on poverty that doesn't work. It has a war on crime that has only managed to fill its prisons. It has wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that didn't work. You want to fix everything that has gone wrong? There's only one answer: America must declare war on America."

William Rivers Pitt, America Must Declare War on America

via

Thursday, July 25, 2013

quote for the day

"Republicans muscled a pared-back agriculture bill through the House on Thursday, stripping out the food stamp program to satisfy recalcitrant conservatives but losing what little Democratic support the bill had when it failed last month. It was the first time food stamps had not been a part of the farm bill since 1973."


House Approves Farm Bill, Without Food Stamp Program


To which Wil Wheaton (or somebody) comments: "Corporate welfare for Big Ag, nothing to actually help real people who are suffering. As Dan Gillmor says, it’s a perfect description of GOP priorities".

Sunday, July 21, 2013

quote for the day

“Your life is not an episode of Skins. Things will never look quite as good as they do in a faded, sun-drenched Polaroid; your days are not an editorial from Lula. Your life is not a Sofia Coppola movie, or a Chuck Palahniuk novel, or a Charles Bukowski poem. Grace Coddington isn’t your creative director. Bon Iver and Joy Division don’t play softly in the background at appropriate moments. Your hysterical teenage diary isn’t a work of art. Your room probably isn’t Selby material. Your life isn’t a Tumblr screencap. Every word that comes out of your mouth will not be beautiful and poignant, infinitely quotable. Your pain will not be pretty. Crying till you vomit is always shit. You cannot romanticize hurt. Or sadness. Or loneliness. You will have homework, and hangovers and bad hair days. The train being late won’t lead to any fateful encounters, it will make you late. Sometimes your work will suck. Sometimes you will suck. Far too often, everything will suck - and not in a Wes Anderson kind of way. And there is no divine consolation - only the knowledge that we will hopefully experience the full spectrum - and that sometimes, just sometimes, life will feel like a Coppola film.”
Letters From Nowhere (via hypno-pompic)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

saturday matinee




I would remind you all that I am an art major. This does not mean that this video makes any sense to me. It doesnt, really. But I recognize good art when I see it. Of course, since "recognizing good art" is a subjective state, that is a meaningless phrase. Isnt it.

I could really use a cheese burger right now.



for something

Monday, July 08, 2013

quote for the day

You want to say Hi to the cute girl on the subway. How will she react? Fortunately, I can tell you with some certainty, because she’s already sending messages to you. Looking out the window, reading a book, working on a computer, arms folded across chest, body away from you = do not disturb. So, y’know, don’t disturb her. Really. Even to say that you like her hair, shoes, or book. A compliment is not always a reason for women to smile and say thank you. You are a threat, remember? You are Schrödinger’s Rapist. Don’t assume that whatever you have to say will win her over with charm or flattery. Believe what she’s signaling, and back off.

If you speak, and she responds in a monosyllabic way without looking at you, she’s saying, “I don’t want to be rude, but please leave me alone.” You don’t know why. It could be “Please leave me alone because I am trying to memorize Beowulf.” It could be “Please leave me alone because you are a scary, scary man with breath like a water buffalo.” It could be “Please leave me alone because I am planning my assassination of a major geopolitical figure and I will have to kill you if you are able to recognize me and blow my cover.”

On the other hand, if she is turned towards you, making eye contact, and she responds in a friendly and talkative manner when you speak to her, you are getting a green light. You can continue the conversation until you start getting signals to back off.

The fourth point: If you fail to respect what women say, you label yourself a problem.

There’s a man with whom I went out on a single date—afternoon coffee, for one hour by the clock—on July 25th. In the two days after the date, he sent me about fifteen e-mails, scolding me for non-responsiveness. I e-mailed him back, saying, “Look, this is a disproportionate response to a single date. You are making me uncomfortable. Do not contact me again.” It is now October 7th. Does he still e-mail?

Yeah. He does. About every two weeks.

This man scores higher on the threat level scale than Man with the Cockroach Tattoos. (Who, after all, is guilty of nothing more than terrifying bad taste.) You see, Mr. E-mail has made it clear that he ignores what I say when he wants something from me. Now, I don’t know if he is an actual rapist, and I sincerely hope he’s not. But he is certainly Schrödinger’s Rapist, and this particular Schrödinger’s Rapist has a probability ratio greater than one in sixty. Because a man who ignores a woman’s NO in a non-sexual setting is more likely to ignore NO in a sexual setting, as well.

So if you speak to a woman who is otherwise occupied, you’re sending a subtle message. It is that your desire to interact trumps her right to be left alone. If you pursue a conversation when she’s tried to cut it off, you send a message. It is that your desire to speak trumps her right to be left alone. And each of those messages indicates that you believe your desires are a legitimate reason to override her rights.

For women, who are watching you very closely to determine how much of a threat you are, this is an important piece of data.“
an excerpt from Phaedra Starling’s “Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced” (via lostgrrrls)

I have daughters, and this is now my go-to standard for judging the behavior of men towards them.

via

Thursday, July 04, 2013

the source of the magic


If you've ever wondered where the colors in those fireworks you're going to enjoy tonight come from, well, wonder no more!

from Boing Boing, via

thought for the fourth

There's always one. In 1776 it was John Hancock.

quote for the fourth

"You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism."

Erma Bombeck


Tuesday, July 02, 2013

quote for the day

"One final note. This guy [Edward Snowden] was making 200 thousand a year working for Booz Allen. Far more than what the government was paying him. The guys who went to the security company Blackwater in Iraq were making far more than they did for the military. So instead of paying these guys 50 or 100 thousand a year we paid Blackwater or Booz Allen to pay them 200 thousand. I'm thinking we aren't saving much money there.
But you just keep bitchin about some Walmart worker getting food stamps."


Ron, at A Conscious Outpost

I'd point out, also, that in addition to paying a company to pay analysts twice what they'd be paid by the government, said company is still making a tidy profit.

Monday, June 24, 2013

of labels

So, occassionally I used to regret that I hadnt tagged my posts with lables on this blog very much, and that doing so would make finding things, if only for me, a whole lot easier. But I've been labeling the posts on Some Have Said, and as it becomes ever more unwieldy the more I post, perhaps I'll just stop regretting.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

saturday matinee



I dont care if it is all being done just to sell more over-sugared, over-priced soft-drinks that arent good for you, it's still a lovely thing.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

saturday matinee



While this is by a Brit, it applies just as well here.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

quote for the day

I look at Dubya and just see...a grotesquely under-qualified-for-practically-anything daddy’s boy who’s had to be greased into every squalid position he’s ever held in his miserable existence who might finally be starting to wake up to the idea that if the most powerful nation on Earth — like, ever, dude — can put somebody like him in power, all may not be well with the world.
Iain Banks, taken from Raw Spirit: In Search of the Perfect Dram (2003).

read more about Iain Banks here.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

geography lesson



This is a map showing relative levels of hate-tweets directed at homosexuals. Isnt it amazing how much this map looks a lot like other maps of the nation that also use a red blue axis? No? I suppose not.

More detail here.

via

Monday, June 10, 2013

quote for the day

"...keep in mind that the Republicans' most serious charge revolves around the creation of misleading talking points. Stop and think about that for a moment. Not intentionally breaking laws passed by Congress as in Iran-Contra, not obstruction of justice as in Watergate, not perjury as in the Lewinsky affair. The creation of misleading talking points.

In other words, the most damaging charge for which there is even the wispiest scintilla of evidence is that after the Benghazi attack, some people in the Obama administration were worried the whole thing might make the administration look bad. And that's probably true. But it's not a crime."
Paul Waldman, Scandal Makers

via

Man, while it might seem that it would be lovely if the Republican Party were to disappear within the next decade, dont fool yourself; they will never disappear. This does not mean that the party wont fall completely apart, and become a clusterfuck of recriminations, backstabbing, and the eating of its own young (and rightly so). But eventually, it will return, and someday be in charge of the government again.

At least, I hope so. Because as bad as they are right now, can you imagine what the nation would be like if we had only one strong choice at election time, regardless of which party it was?

Saturday, June 08, 2013

saturday matinee



Man, I remember loving this song in high school, and thinking it was awesome and people who I knew who played guitar were all, like, "Eddie Van Halen is the greatest guitar player in the world, man". Now here's some teenage girl absolutely kicking that song's ass and she's not even grimacing. I feel old now, for some reason.

Friday, June 07, 2013

quote for the day

"Most of the world’s people are decent, honest and kind. Most of those who dominate us are inveterate bastards. This is the conclusion I’ve reached after many years of journalism. Writing on Black Monday, as the British government’s full-spectrum attack on the lives of the poor commences, the thought keeps returning to me.

“With a most inhuman cruelty, they who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them of their blindness.” This government, whose mismanagement of the economy has forced so many into the arms of the state, blames the sick, the unemployed, the underpaid for a crisis caused by the feral elite – and punishes them accordingly. Most of those affected by the bedroom tax, introduced today, are disabled. Thousands will be driven from their homes, and many more pushed towards destitution. Relief for the poor from council tax will be clipped; legal aid for civil cases cut off. Yet at the end of this week those making more than £150,000 a year will have their income tax cut.

Two days later, benefit payments for the poorest will be cut in real terms. A week after that, thousands of families who live in towns and boroughs where property prices are high will be forced out of their homes by the total benefits cap. What we are witnessing is raw economic warfare by the rich against the poor."
George Monbiot

I realize this is about England, but it might as well be about America. Hell, it's about any place in the world where the economic schemes of the rich lead to the suffering of the rest of us, and their answer to any crisis is to make the rest of us all pay for their mistakes, while telling us it's for our own good.

via

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

weather, man!

For all you weather junkies out there, a map of tornado activity in the U.S. over the last fifty-plus years.



Read the article now, okay?

via

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

quote for the day

"The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations."

Thomas Jefferson

via

Okay, seriously, this is lovely, but I cannot help but wonder if it is real. I mean, it's just so convenient. Though it might go a long way towards explaining why the educational destructors in Texas dont seem to fond of poor old Tom. I'd research it, but I'm too lazy, especially when I can just tack on a simple disclaimer.

This is a job for sbh.

Addendum: Yay! I was right, it was a job for sbh, and he has come through with his usual* talent (taken from the comments):
Fortunately the researchers at Monticello have already covered this one (see http://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/end-democracyquotation). They refer it to Noam Chomsky's 1994 book Keeping the Rabble in Line:

"This exact quotation has not been found in the writings of Thomas Jefferson. It may be a mistaken amalgamation of the author's comments in the above 1994 reference with a real Jefferson quotation. Jefferson wrote in 1825 to William Branch Giles of 'a vast accession of strength from their younger recruits, who, having nothing in them of the feelings or principles of '76, now look to a single and splendid government of an aristocracy, founded on banking institutions, and monied incorporations under the guise and cloak of their favored branches of manufactures, commerce and navigation, riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry.' Chomsky's 1994 book quotes Jefferson's 1825 letter to Giles and then comments that '[Jefferson] warned that that would be the end of democracy and the defeat of the American revolution.'"

For me the phrase "end of democracy" is a red flag; I haven't seen it in Foundation Era documents. It's more of a twentieth century concern.
I dunno if it was the phrase "end of democracy" that made me suspicious (probably not), but I'm glad to see that my caution was not misplaced.


* or perhaps unusual, since this sort of thing seems to fool a lot of people.

Monday, June 03, 2013

odd

So at dinner tonight there was a mirror on the other side of the table, and it was really weirding me out to keep looking up and see myself.

Seriously.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

saturday matinee




via

lyrics:

Hey There, how, how's it going?
Long time no see.
I know I haven't been around much lately
But,it didn't seem like you wanted me to be
The last time I sent down a message you nailed it to the cross
So I figured I'd just leave you to it, let you be your own boss

But I've been keeping an eye on you, I have,
and it's amazing how you've grown.
With your technological advances and the problems you've overthrown,
And all the beautiful art you've created with such grace and such finesse,
But I admit there are a few things I'm afraid have impressed me less.

So I'm writing to apologize for all the horrors committed in my name,
Although that was never what I intended,
I feel I should take my share of the blame.
All the good I tried to do was corrupted
when organised religion got into full swing,
What I thought were quite clear messages were taken to unusual extremes.
My teachings taken out of context to meet the agendas of others,
Interpretations taken to many different ways and hidden meanings discovered

Religion became a tool, for the weak to control the strong
With all these new morals and ethics, survival of the fittest was gone
No longer could the biggest man simply take whatever he needed
'cause damnation was the price if certain rules were not heeded
Some of the deeds committed in my name
just made me wonder were I went wrong.
Back at the start when I created this, the foundation seemed so strong.
See all the elements were already here, long before I began,
I just kind of put it all together
I didn't really think out a long-term plan.

I made the sun an appropriate distance and laid the stars across the sky
So you could navigate the globe or simply watch the sun rise
I covered the earth with plants and fruits,
Some for sustenance and some for beauty
I made the sun shine and the clouds rain
so their maintenance wasn't your duty
I tried to give each creature its own attributes
without making them enveloped
I gave you all you all your own space to
grow and in your own way space to develop

I didn't know such development would cause rifts and jealousy
Cause you to war against each other and leave marks on this planet indelibly
You see, I wasn't really the creater, I was just the curator of nature
I want to get something straight with homosexuals right now: I don't hate ya
I was a simple being that happened to be the first to wield such powers
I just laid the ground, it was You that built the towers

It was You that invented bombs, and the fear that comes with them
And it was You that invented money, and the corrupt economic systems
You invented terms like just-war and terms like friendly fire
And it was You that didn't know
when to stop digging deeper, when to stop building higher
It was You that exhausted the resources I carefully laid out on this earth,
And it was You that even saw these
problems coming but accredited them little worth
It was You that used my teachings for your own personal gain
And it was You that committed such tragedies,
even though they were in my name

So I apologize for any mistakes I made, and when my words misconstrued
But this apology's to mother nature, cause I created you

Sunday, May 26, 2013

sunday stupid

This is an actual quote that a conservative friend of mine posted on face book. Out of friendship, I will decline to comment on it there, but this is MY blog and I will say any goddamn thing I want to here. So first, the quote:
"Air Force One apparently just landed in Oklahoma. The President's time is valuable and his upcoming offers of moral support and government resources will be welcomed; but perhaps someone should have told him that lots of people in Oklahoma go to church on Sundays."
Really? Really? Is there anything that Obama could do that would please the Republican Party and conservatives? Resign? Die? Even those probably wouldnt satisfy them.

I know, I know, I'm tilting at windmills, expecting rational behavior in an area that it's pretty clear no rational thought exists. But, fuck, I'm tired of this bullshit.

Addendum: It's four days later, and now he's bitching about a European Human Rights court ruling against Christians who oppose gay marriage. I can well imagine his tone (and how opposite it would be from this one) had this been an article about Muslims being upset about some ruling not allowing them to apply Sharia law to something they wanted to do.
Seriously, dude, what is it that is unclear about Rule of Law?

sunday funny

Saturday, May 25, 2013

eight years...

...since I first started this blog. I had nothing to say that day, but I wanted to have a place to say it should something come up. Eight years later, I still dont really have anything to say. This is probably why so many blogs have gone dark over the years. I dont know why I keep putting stuff on this one, really, except for the reason given above. Eight years ago, I had nothing to say; today, to be honest, I still dont (addendum: and I seem to be repeating myself). I say it anyway, which I why this blog has existed for eight years*. Eight years! Nobody even reads this thing anymore, as far as I and Sitemeter can tell. Perhaps that makes it easier.

Anyway, woot and all. Here's a comic.




* And, due to pre-posting, will continue for at least 2 more

Sunday, May 19, 2013

sunday funny (written version)



Did you hear about the two guys who stole a calendar? They both got six months.




ba-dum-BUM.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

quote for the day

"The various races are a result of thousands of years of isolated xenophobes fucking their cousins.

Keep this in mind the next time you’re going to make fun of the shape of someone’s eyes, you inbred hillbilly."


The Virgin Prince

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

quote for the day

"Know what’s worse than babies having babies?

The dumb-ass society that started with the assumption that pretending they wouldn’t would somehow stop them.

Also, old people: maybe if you didn’t work three jobs to keep the vacation house, or go through three marriages because “you weren’t 100% happy,” your kids wouldn’t need to fuck each other to feel even for a brief moment that someone actually gives a fuck about them.

Video games and sexy movies and the rap music don’t fuck up kids. Shitty, selfish parenting fucks up kids. That’s 50 years of science.

The kids of today aren’t a “disaster.” They’re just the end result of the shrieking consumerist train-wreck that is the Baby Boomers.

If the world explodes, it’s because you put new TVs and cars and your own libido before your kids. Stop yelling about it. You can’t drown out the truth."
The Virgin Prince

Sunday, May 12, 2013

quote for mother's day


"Nagging's the fuel that makes a mother's love burn eternally."

from Something Positive by Randy Milholland

Thursday, May 02, 2013

yes, it's another quote for the day

"I don’t understand why the GOP is so hard on Obama.

In the 80s Reagan got the unemployment rate down to 8% from a starting high of like 11%, while billionaires got richer at the expense of the middle class, and they just let the banks go back to doing whatever they wanted, and they thought it was GREAT."


The Virgin Prince

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

pathetic

So, April's almost over, and this post here is number 11. It is the fourth non-quote post. Out of 11. This is just sad, really. I mean, I realize that I havent much to say these days, but still, you'd think I could do better than this. It's almost enough to make me return to posting haiku.

Not that it would matter, since no one reads this anymore anyway.

Which is not, by the way, a sad plea for responses saying, "oh Dave, of course we still read you", because I know you dont, not much anyway. I still have Sitemeter, you know. And it's not like I continue this blog long after blogs have become the last Last Great Thing, two or three times removed, because I need feedback. Honestly, I dont know why I keep going with this thing. I just do. And shall.

lsakdrhbrljalgjasljgprwswvvladagjlasd!!!!!! (visualize me waving my arms in the air while waggling my tongue around)

That is all.

Finally, a chart for anyone who might wander by, because I think it's funny.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

quote for the day

It’s not true that there’s too much money in politics. It’s that there’s not enough of your money in politics.

Scott Wallace

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

quote for the day

"Why do all these films forget to put their most excellent lines in them?"

David Mitchell, on QI, series F, episode 1

Thursday, April 18, 2013

quote for the day

"Keep it in mind while we review what it means to live in a civil society.
Murder. Violence...
These are things. They exist.

Then you have ideas. Justice, ethics, morality... our law...
These exist because of us. Because we want more than a life defined by murder or violence."



Pat Mulcahy
in A Girl And Her Fed

Thursday, April 11, 2013

quote for the day

"One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests."

Thomas Paine

via

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

quote for the day

"When anyone can be prosecuted, justice becomes a lottery."

from the Illustrated Guide to Law

Monday, April 08, 2013

quote for the day

"I do not know. I have never met God, nor has any other ghost.
I honestly believe God cannot spare a moment for the petty antics of the human race. I cannot speak for you, but that is precisely the type of deity I want in charge of the universe."


The Ghost of Benjamin Franklin in A Girl and Her Fed.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

quote for the day

"Something I've been thinking about lately is how the difference between one and zero is greater than between one and any other number.
I mean, like you could have any number of computers but only when the number is less than one, you cant check your email.
It doesnt matter if you have two houses or a six hundred, you'll always have somewhere to live unless the number is zero.
It's a more personal kind of math."


Karen Ellis


Consider this next time you argue about whether poor should or shouldnt receive the little help they do.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

quote for Easter

"After all, Jesus says to the religious elite who looked down on everybody else: "The tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom ahead of you." And we wonder what got him killed?"

Shane Claiborne - Letter to Non-Believers by Shane Claibourne, in Esquire magazine

Thursday, March 28, 2013

quote for the day

"OK, lots of not sick people enjoy violent junk like Olympus Has Fallen, including, on occasion, moi. I'm just tired of these tropes and their sway over large segments of the populace. Sure, we face threats. But the disproportionate number of movie scenarios like this — violation and vengeance — suggests a kind of addiction. I don't know what it means, but I know these aren't movies, really. They're fixes."

David Edelstein, discussing male fantasy and action movies.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

quote for the day

"People have been believing things that make them kill each other since time immemorial. It seems weird that not believing is what people mistrust."

from the comic Ozy and Millie.

By the way, Millie is referring to the distrust by believers, not of scientists, but of atheists.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

quote for the day


"Free Willy was nothing but a movie about a kid busting a ruthless killer out of prison and smiling about it."

Zenis

And why would he say such a thing?



via

Friday, March 15, 2013

Also for my anniversary



And since we're doing venn diagrams for my anniversary, here's another!

for my anniversary


For my Wife.

(20 years, yo!)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

true dat


There's more. Click on the comic to see the whole thing. Then read the rest of them while you're at it.

Friday, March 08, 2013

quote for International Women's Day

" Today is when we earn 30% more than our male peers and say something assertive or get angry without anyone assuming you’re on your period, right?

And we can have a talk show where the overwhelming majority of the panelists are women but no-one gets upset because the guys are just lucky to be up there, amirite?? And those men are all either very attractive or very frumpy because, ya know, it’s difficult for me to pay attention to ugly people, but hard for me to take attractive people seriously. Let the frumpfest talk while the camera stays on the Adonis!

And I get to interpret that attractive guy in the office who wears those alluring button-downs and walks around in a tailored vest like he owns the place as a tease because—hel-lo!—he’s asking for it but doesn’t want it?! What does your girlfriend think about you going around, turning heads like that, sweetcheeks? And how am I supposed to take you seriously when you’re wearing such a cute little tie?

And I get to interrupt my male colleagues to say exactly what they said but—ya know—lend some gravity to it and be more assertive while receiving credit for his idea? (Like anyone can listen to anything said in that crazy baritone of his, anyway.)

And I get to comment on guy friends’ beer bellies and ill-fitting, cheap clothes—but it’s all in good fun!? (But seriously—take some pride in yourself, man. People judge you by your appearance. Hey—it’s not me—it’s society.)

And we’ll turn science around and say that men’s brains are wired for primitive activities like hunting (irrelevant in today’s world) and are only supposed to live brief lives which usually ended violently, thus outliving their usefulness by age 30 when their physiques take a big downturn. These are just the facts, bro. I mean, how can man ever be powerful if his biggest weakness is right there, dangling from his crotch? One little tap and he’s down! No tolerance for pain, those men. Oh, biology! (I bet they’ll get really angry about this one—they’re slaves to that testosterone coursing around their bodies.)

And we get to have a senate comprised of 83% ladies who waste spend their time polling each-other about whether Viagra should be covered by insurance (but what does that get us? A bunch of old guys slutting around? EW!) While we’re at it, let’s cut testicular exams. All guys do is fondle their own balls, anyway, right?? What a waste of tax-payer dollars.

And there a plethora of movies where the slacker girl gets the hot guy? He’s smart and sexy and has a high-powered job but still finds time to volunteer and shit; she lounges around in stained tee-shirts with her slob roommates and plays video games and works part-time at a Dunkin Donuts… but—for some unknown reason—they like each-other and their physical and personality differences are never questioned.

And women’s sporting events are well-attended and highly-funded? Cheerleaders are bearded men with immaculate hair in fitted tees dancing for our pleasure and excitement? But of course the fellas have their own league! And they are all very talented. *snerk*

A note to my fellow ladies: just be sure to enjoy all these benefits before midnight!"

inmymimeseye

via

Thursday, February 28, 2013

quote for the day

"But yeah, the songs. And for me, that is what seeing live music is always about; the songs. stories and rhymes and shouting into the darkness. Some musicians have made pop songs, but even the most glossy pop song is nothing more than avoiding the realities of fear and death and some songs sometimes talk about that; some songs talk about love and art and sex and how that allows us to face down the void. Some songs just say “fuck off”. Either way, you know?"

from the blog Empire of the Senseless

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

quote for the day


"ok ice cubes are fucking badass i mean they float around in their own blood"

deadlyspoons

sic. by the way.

via

Monday, February 25, 2013

quote for the day

"In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance.

The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, written by a US resident, and posted on the Internet.

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination .. End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than
homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan."

James M. Kauffman,
Ed.D. Professor Emeritus,
Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
University of Virginia


Just so that I'd have this on hand. I even tagged it. And I must confess that I, too, would love to own a Canadian (so polite).

Saturday, February 23, 2013

saturday matinee



I thought I'd posted this before, but I couldnt find it, so I'm (maybe re)posting it, because it makes me laugh. I think it's the glee in her face that does it for me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

quote for the day

"Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."

— Denis Diderot.

via

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

quote for the day

Richard Vernon: You think about this: when you get old, these kids - when *I* get old - they're going to be running the country.
Carl: Yeah.
Richard Vernon: Now this is the thought that wakes me up in the middle of the night. That when I get older, these kids are going to take care of me.
Carl: I wouldn't count on it.


From the Breakfast Club
So, I used this a few years ago, and now I find myself wondering, do Republicans believe that the next generation will leave them to rot, and so are hoarding as much cash as they can and burning the fields so the enemy will not profit? If so, it's kind of a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Monday, February 11, 2013

quote for the day

"Raccoons are just cats that have acquired thumbs and become drunk with power."

mira-of-sassgard

via

comic for a snowy day


Well, it's not snowing here, but it's snowing (snowed) up north, so here's a comic that I probably wont get to use otherwise this year, since it's been generally sunny and spring-like here.


And if that makes you jealous, I'll remind you that it hits 90 degrees in late April and stays up there for almost the entire time until late October.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

quote for the day

"how come there isn’t like an “adulthood” class that teaches you how to operate a washing machine and pay taxes and make phone calls without crying"

mistletank

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

new low?


This may well be the stupidest thing I have ever seen in Christian literature.

Okay, sadly, it probably isnt, but it is stupid enough to seem that way. Fortunately, like the other equally stupid things I've mercifully forgotten, this too will fade.

Perhaps, when someone says something along the line of "so-and-so's forgotten more than you'll ever know", this is really what they're talking about; not so much knowledge that one can afford to forget some, but the ability to forget the stupid stuff and retain the good.

via

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

picture and quote for the day:
a two-fer!


Racists and those folk-ways weirdo kids (who are only passively racist) think the Mjolnir / Hammer of Thor should be revived as a universal symbol of white culture. Now as a white guy, I’m not sure why we really need one, since even the heads of the Chinese Communist party are wearing our stupid suits and ties and pretending it was their idea that their country needed an orchestral national anthem. But fine, whatever, the Jews get the Star and Arabs get the Crescent Moon and Mexicans get the Sombrero, so I guess we should have one too. But not the Hammer of Thor. That’s too old and too specific to one region of Europe. We need something modern, something that encompasses the wide range of perspectives and behaviors that the rest of the world knows as “white.”

I’m thinking a bulldozer. A bloody bulldozer.

Wait, wait. I got it. A bloody bulldozer, driven by a gun.

Okay, that’s good. Now it needs a motto. Something white people say all the time to let the rest of the world know that we’ve arrived and things are about to get awesome. Let’s see…

"Fuck yeah, white people."


The Virgin Prince

Friday, January 25, 2013

correction


Personally, I'd call it "You kids get off my lawn!", but that's probably not terribly funny, is it.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

quote for the day

"Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich."

Sir Peter Ustinov

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

this is for you, Ben


linkage, by way of explanation.

quote for the day

"So many people forget that the first country the Nazis invaded was their own"

from the film Captain America, the First Avenger.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

sunday funny


If only the mother's solution would work with certain members of the American Public.

Or Congress.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

quote for the day

"America truly is the new world. Nowhere else are rich, powerful people allowed to claim they are an oppressed minority because they’re not allowed to do whatever the want.

…Well, maybe in some parts of Africa."


The Virgin Prince

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

quote for the day

"Let’s all laugh because Congress has an 8% approval rating because they can’t get anything done because they won’t compromise and work together.

Know what’s even funnier? When it’s time for the next election and you reelect the same fucking people because they are “firm, uncompromising stalwarts of non-negotiable ideals.”

America, if Congress is a fucking disaster, it’s not funny. It’s a direct reflection of how much you suck at democracy. Stop laughing you morons."
The Virgin Prince

Monday, January 14, 2013

quote for the day

"So for most of human history, it was perfectly socially acceptable for terrified 13 year old girls to be forcibly bred to illiterate brutes who were considered paragons of the species because they killed anything and anyone who scared them.

And we wonder why, in 2012, most of us are vicious and cowardly and stupid.

Oh, and, you know, a lot of the world still does it this way. And probably always will.

Man: the bald murder-ape."


The Virgin Prince