Sunday, July 31, 2011

quote for the day

"Republicans stand for raw, unbridled evil and greed and ignorance smothered in ballons and ribbons"

Frank Zappa

Saturday, July 30, 2011

saturday matinee

On June 12, 1970, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres, which wouldnt normally have been blog-worthy, except that he did it while stoned to the bejesus on LSD.

And, because I know nothing about sports to speak of, I must give credit where credit is due, since I stole this from Gin and Tacos.

another quote for the day

"Suppose, by similar quirk, there was an arbitrary ceiling on the amount of ammunition the U.S. military could buy each year. Or the amount of fuel for drones, bombers, and Humvees. Like overall national debt, these purchases are foreseeable consequences of previous political decisions -- in this case, about the wars the country decides to fight. But suppose that when the "ammo ceiling" came due for its routine extension, a group of legislators said they would refuse. No more bullets or jet fuel after August 2, and for good measure no more food for the troops, unless demands for radical change in future foreign policy were met in full. That would rightly be seen as blackmail, and as a reckless willingness to damage the nation for partisan ends. "

James Fallows, from "Five Reasons the House GOP Is to Blame"

quote for the day

"We face downgrades and investor panic not because of our deficits but because we are behaving like deadbeats, refusing to pay our bills, pouting while the bill collector waits at the door.

We do have a large deficit and debt and we do need to get it under control. That the Tea Party has raised awareness about this is admirable. And I agree with their view that the current set of entitlements - Medicare especially - have to be reformed dramatically to get our fiscal house in order. But that is not an excuse to endanger the good standing of the United States.

First you pay the bills and then you figure out how to change your spending habits."

Okay, image you owe a bank money, and you tell them, I'd really like to pay you back, but I have important restaurants to go to.
They'd be pretty pissed, right?
Now image you tell them, I'd really like to pay you back, but I have to buy a second home. Or pay for my kids air-conditioned tree house. Or take a two week vacation in Italy. Or maintain a private jet.
Would that be okay?

Raise the damn taxes already! Clinton levels arent going to kill anything. Republicans should be happy nobody is trying to raise them back to the levels they were back when their sainted Ronny was saving the world.

Jesus fucking Christ, what does it take, anyway?


Today may or may not be the 29th day in a row to hit 100 degrees here in Dallas. If it happens, it will tie for the second longest streak of 100s, set in 1998. Even if it doesnt, yesterday marked 35 days of 100 degrees or more so far this year, which makes us halfway to breaking the 1980 record for most days in Dallas over 100 degrees. Will we break it? Hard to tell, but we still have another day in July, the entire month of August, and September isnt really much better than June is, normally, so we've got a spitting chance to break the record.


Friday, July 29, 2011

quote for the day

Monkey log: day one

Still no help from Jane Goodall...

Christopher Baldwin in Bruno

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


re: telephone polls

AAPOR guidelines, which any reputable or semi-legitimate polling agency will follow, require identifying the source of the poll at the beginning of the contact. If that doesn't happen, or if you ask and they don't answer, it is almost certainly either A) market research rather than polling or B) a highly partisan pseudopoll or push poll.

via Gin and Tacos facebook page

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I dont do Twitter, but...

Fuck You, Washington!

quote for the day

"Hear me people: We now have to deal with another race---small and feeble when our fathers first met them, but now great and overbearing. Strangely enough they have a mind to till the soil and the love of possessions is a disease with them. They take their tithes from the poor and weak to support the rich and those who rule."

Chief Sitting Bull

Monday, July 25, 2011


Okay, really, seriously, who the fuck elected Grover Norquist to anything. I just dont get it, and I'm not alone in that.

poster for the day

stolen from Millard Fillmore's Bathtub.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

return to values

So, yesterday I watched Richard Lester's wonderful Three and Four Musketeers. The films are both action filled and hilarious, with lots of fine acting and fantastic details. But what struck me the most was the fight scenes. In an age when every fight scene has slow motion bullet dodging, incredible, acrobatic leaps and tumbles, and swordwork that could only be performed by a person with 360 degree vision and several brains working at one time, it was really nice to watch people fight as if they were real people really fighting. There was stumbling, there was awkwardness, there were slightly panicked yells for another sword. It was quite refreshing.
So if you have Netflix and feel like watching a fight that doesnt look like it's all bluescreen, wirework and CGI, try out a little Musketeers*.

* Pick the right one, though, there are some real crap versions out there.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

shocking news!!!

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Guess what? It turns out that half the country disapproves of both parties, and that number has risen dramatically this year. Can you believe it?

I've said this before, I'll say it again and again. The only way to have a congress that actually responds to voters is to vote out whoever is in power. Then do it again. Then do it again. After the third purge, maybe they'll get the message, and if they dont, then purge again.
I'd also suggest that people should vote for whichever candidate receives the least amount in donations over, say, $500, but that carries it's own problems. Certainly one should avoid voting for whomever received the largest quantity of corporate money, though. That seems a pretty safe bet.

saturday matinee

Friday, July 22, 2011

oh, sure

MSNBC has such a liberal bias.
Well, because it's part of the Establishment, of course.


graphic depiction

You'll have to click on the image in order to better see just how odd the U.S. is compared to the rest of the world. Talk about exceptionalism!


Thursday, July 21, 2011


- Doctor Who Time-map - London Tube-style! So cool. (via)

- When I see a story like this one, I think, is this real, or are they just trying to make us feel better about not being the top 1-percenters?

- "markets supply less reporting than democracies demand" and other smart thoughts about the news business and its future. (via)

- Mmm-hmmmm, silly things for babies, there are.

- Badge'm, Dano. (via)

- Privatizing ourselves to oblivion.

- Question: Who the fuck elected Grover Norquist? (via)

- One of the weirder "white power" sites (if only they were all so benign). (via)

- Design Generation... um, odd videos

- If this works, and more importantly, lasts, it could be very, very cool. (via)

- Simply Noise. (via)

- The achievements of the Republican-led House. Woot. (via)

- Do news networks cover each other's asses? Naaaah. (well, perhaps less so lately) (via)

- A Republican Dictionary. (via)

- WTF?

- How far we've come in 30 years. (via)

- This is soooo fake. Really, it's gotta be.

- I'm not going to say this is good or bad, but somewhere a fundamentalist is thinking, "time for a jihad!" (via)

- Hard drive making a funny sound? (via)

- This is one of the creepier pieces of art I've seen.

Whoa, ponies really are cool.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

quote for the day

"If Earth were size of a school-room globe, you'd find Shuttle and Space Station orbiting 3/8th of an inch above its surface - the Moon would be 30-ft away (and) Mars, more than a mile away."

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Man, I've always wanted to build this kind of model, just to see it for myself in my own home. Or backyard, or whatever. Unfortunately, I couldnt include the sun in that model.


Here's a more elaborate model that explains eclipses.
Here's a really simple model showing the relationship between the earth and the moon.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

quote for the day

"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."

Abraham Lincoln, 21 November 1864

Monday, July 18, 2011

quote for the day

"One would have thought the last few years of mine disasters, exploding oil rigs, nuclear meltdowns, malfeasance on Wall Street, wildly-escalating costs of health insurance, rip-roaring CEO pay, and mass layoffs would have offered a singular opportunity to explain why the nation’s collective well-being requires a strong and effective government representing the interests of average people.

Yet the case has not been made. Perhaps that’s because, even under the Democrats, the interests of average people have not been sufficiently attended to."

Robert Reich

Sunday, July 17, 2011

sunday funny


This is not a black and white image with a colored in horse. This is not a color image with a de-saturated background. This is a scene in Chile where an "ash cloud from Chile's Puyehue volcano caused widespread travel chaos in the southern hemisphere since it erupted for the first time on June 4 after lying dormant half a century".
Whadayaknow, stuff happens on the other side of the planet, too.


Friday, July 15, 2011

we need one of these in Texas

More than one, really. It's a solar generator that provides electricity after the sun goes down.

Wont happen, though, not as long as Oil is King, and oil will be king here for a loooooong time.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

still appropriate, despite any hope to the contrary

We've taken all you've given
But it's gettin' hard to make a livin'
Mr. President have pity on the working man

We're not asking you to love us
You may place yourself high above us
Mr. President have pity on the working man

I know it may sound funny
But people ev'ry where are runnin' out of money
We just can't make it by ourself
It is cold and the wind is blowing
We need something to keep us gong
Mr. President have pity on the working man

Maybe you've cheated
Maybe you've lied
Maybe you have lost your mind
Maybe you're only thinking 'bout yourself

Too late to run. Too late to cry now
The time has come for us to say good-bye now
Mr. President have pity on the working man
Mr. President have pity on the working man

Randy Newman

It just keeps looking more and more like all that the GOP has to do to gain the White House is to not pick a lunatic. Sadly, there's no guarantee that they will pick someone sane, or that Obama wont do something that will turn off the base so much that their loony could actually end up with their finger on the button.

Monday, July 11, 2011

quote for the day

"We are suffering from flat earth economics because too many of us think macroeconomics is a morality play, not a way to solve problems and understand the world around us."

Mike the Mad Biologist


Sunday, July 10, 2011

gimme, please

Oh maaaaan!

I want one of these.

chart time

Okay, so I was reading this article on how the jobs situation sucks, and I noticed something about the graph (shown below): in each recovery, the jobs growth rate is more anemic the further in time we go since the Reagan "Revolution" made it okay to be Prince John again. I'd love to see pre-1980 charts to see a wider spread of recoveries, just to see how the last thirty years compares to the rest of our history (or at least the rest of it that we've documented appropriately).

Friday, July 08, 2011

quote for the day

"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."

-Louis D. Brandeis


Thursday, July 07, 2011

quotes for the day

1) "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."
2) "Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things."

Winston Churchill

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

funny... but not really

It's three years old folks, but more relevant than ever, since now (what with the rich doing well again)(unlike the rest of us) we can only use this to image how hard it would be for those poor, poor rich folk if they have to suffer a tax increase.
o fie, o woe!

(in it's original format)

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

quote for the day

"When you look upon a global warming denialist, you are not seeing a person who is deluded, wrong, misinformed, or misguided. You are seeing a person who is intent on killing your grandchildren. You may want to treat them politely, you may want to be a dick to them. Do whatever works. But don't let them think for a second that you do not know what the consequences of their actions are. Don't let them get away with it."

Greg Laden


Monday, July 04, 2011

Friday, July 01, 2011

quote for the day

The reasons why the Republicans do what they do and Catches 23 through Catch 38

Langer: What are Standard Accounting Practices?
Mr. Data: A simple 100-year old method of placing earnings in one box and expenditures in another. At the end you know whether you personally or a company you work for made or lost money.
Langer: When President Clinton left office there was a substantial surplus. The new president, George W. Bush quickly translated this to a deficit. Did he use Standard Accounting Practices?
Mr. Data: He simply forgot to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was an honest mistake. He put all the costs in a large box and threw the box into the Potomac River.
Langer: Is this possible?
Mr. Data: Now it is. You simply compile all the costs in an envelope – a large one – and say emphatically all the figures tabulated are either imaginary or let’s discuss this again – never. This is one of the newer of the Standard Accounting Practices.
Langer: President Bush cut taxes for the rich. Why did he do this?
Mr. Data: It’s better politically to cut taxes than to raise them. He cut taxes.
Langer: But isn’t this one of the reasons for the deficit?
Mr. Data: SO?
Langer: Does he go on to explain this?
Mr. Data: Si. He blames it on the Democrats.
Langer: Could he do this?
Mr. Data: Using the new Standard Accounting Practices it is perfectly legal to blame the Democrats for anything that happened, could happen or anything anyone thought about for more than ten seconds.
Langer: Do the Republicans blame our lack of steady jobs, the deficit, Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, bank bailouts, problems in Greece, Italy and Spain on the Democrats?
Mr. Data: Of course.
Langer: Can they do this?
Mr. Data: Do birds fly?
Langer: I know about the Bill of Rights but what are the Catch 23-through 29 Exceptions.
Mr. Data: They are the Heart and Soul of the current Republican Party.
Langer: Catch 23?
Mr. Data: Republicans can say anything and their statements are True. Democrat statements are False.
Langer: Give me an example?
Mr. Data: The Deficit is the fault of the Democrats. It is, in actuality, the ability of the Republicans to count 4 + 4 and reach 9.
Langer: That is Catch 23? Can they rewrite basic math?
Mr. Data: Of course – because of Catch 24 which clearly states anybody yelling louder than the other guy is telling the Truth.
Langer: Catch 25?
Mr. Data: Republicans can buy all the television time they want to because the Supreme Court has ruled that Corporations are people and do not have to say who has given them money or why.
Langer: But that’s unfair.
Mr. Data: What planet are you from?
Langer: Catch 26?
Mr. Data: Republican corruption doesn’t count. Democrat corruption not only counts but has morally bankrupted the country.
Langer: Catch 27?
Mr. Data: Republicans can say they are against torture while torturing people. For example former Vice President Cheney can shoot a friend at close range but this doesn’t count. He can say he was personally responsible for finding and killing Osama bin Laden.
Langer: But in ten years the Republicans never found Osama bin Laden.
Mr. Data: That doesn’t matter.
Langer: (A little groggily) Catch 28?
Mr. Data: All Republican candidates can say Anything and Everything is the fault of the Democrats.
Langer: Pawlenty, Romney, Newt and all the others can say anything they want to without contradiction?
Mr. Data: Democrats cannot answer back but can say quietly President Obama was born in Hawaii and is an American citizen.
Langer: Democrats seem to be saying that Republican voters can be racist in attitude because the president is black.
Mr. Data: According to Catch 29 Republicans are declared color blind while Democrats are considered fascist, socialist and communist.
Langer: Catch 30?
Mr. Data: Republican corporations are often considered Too Big to Fail and bailed out with government funds. This is to be considered the fault of the Democrats even though started by the Republicans.
Langer: Catch 31?
Mr. Data: Rating Agencies such as Standard & Poor’s or Moody’s can look at bundles that contain people who can afford their mortgages and people who cannot afford their mortgages and provide the combination with High Financial Ratings. Thus the Real Estate melt-down.
Langer: Are Republicans ever responsible for corporate failures?
Mr. Data: Rarely. Catch 32 clearly states that Higher-Ups are not responsible for their actions but Democrats are.
Langer: Catch 33 through Catch 38?
Mr. Data: Just in case Catches. The Republicans are prepared for any eventuality.

PS: Recovering from Open Heart surgery gives you distinct insights into the role of government today. I believe Thoreau went through the same process for other reasons.
Still Liberal at 83

a comment by Warren Langer from this article. It didnt apply directly to the article, but I enjoyed it anyway. And, no, I dont know who who Mr. Data is, but I'm not assuming it to be a Star Trek reference.