Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I got so much honey the bees envy me

Susie Madrak explained just how expensive it is to be poor on Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd. I wish everyone understood this. It's amazing to me that there are people who don't already.

David Sirota talked to Sam Seder about the attack on pensions and how PBS is turning into the Plutocrat Broadcasting System, on The Majority Report.
And David Dayen talked to Sam about why the Post Office should become a bank.

Radley Balko on The drug war's profit motive explains that opposition to a medical marijuana bill in Wisconsin is meeting a brick wall from a law enforcement coalition that seems to be all about the money - without asset seizures and drug war funding, cops won't have as much money to play with to buy shiny military gear to assault people who have leaves, so having leaves needs to be illegal.

"Ex Monsanto Lawyer Clarence Thomas to Hear Major Monsanto Case: In Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, No. 09-475, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case which could have an enormous effect on the future of the American food industry. This is Monsanto's third appeal of the case, and if they win a favorable ruling from the high court, a deregulated Monsanto may find itself in position to corner the markets of numerous U.S. crops, and to litigate conventional farmers into oblivion."

Glenn Greenwald, "How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations: One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It's time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents."

Krugman makes a chart on Austerity: "If spending had tracked what happened under Bush II, discretionary spending would be about a third - or more than 2 percent of GDP - higher. Since there is good reason to believe that the multiplier is 1.5 or more, this would mean real GDP 3-plus percent higher, closing much if not most of the output gap, and probably an unemployment rate below 5.5 percent. In short, we would have had a vastly healthier economy but for the de facto victory of disastrous austerity policies."

South Carolina legislature confiscates budget of college for assigning Alison Bechdel's Fun Home: "The South Carolina House of Representatives has withdrawn $52,000 from the College of Charleston for including Alison Bechdel's brilliant, celebrated memoir Fun Home in its summer reading program. Bechdel, creator of the Dykes to Watch Out For strip, published the memoir in 2006. In graphic novel form, it tells Bechdel's story of growing up closeted in a family riven by a father who can't admit that he is gay and an embittered mother who doesn't allow herself to notice her husband's affairs."

Ryan Cooper in The Washington Monthly advocates Free Money for Everyone. Good.

The fix - on gold. Everything is fixed.

Ted Rall on the horse race dilemma

This is a couple of years old, but I stumbled on it while looking for something else and it just reminded me that, aside from making great speeches on important issues, (unlike some presidents we could name), I've always wanted to be able to vote for Julian Bond for president. He's just naturally a right guy.

Telemarketing counter-script - for when they won't leave you alone.

Aurora Borealis seen in Northumberland - nice pics.

Nebula Nominees

June, 1968: How science fiction voted on the Vietnam War in the pages of Galaxy.

RIP: Legendary fan Bhob Stewart (1937-2014)

Music from Hell - "Luke and I were looking at Hieronymus Bosch's painting The Garden of Earthly Delights and discovered, much to our amusement, music written upon the posterior of one of the many tortured denizens of the rightmost panel of the painting which is intended to represent Hell. I decided to transcribe it into modern notation, assuming the second line of the staff is C, as is common for chants of this era. so yes this is LITERALLY the 600-years-old butt song from hell." It could have been a lot worse, all things considered.

"J. Michael Straczynski Options Harlan Ellison's Classic Sci-Fi Story 'Repent, Harlequin!'."

Submitted for your approval - Rod Serling

Nice hat.

I completely love it that someone made this, and I want to play in it, too!

This is such a great group, and such a great song.


  1. D. said:

    "This is such a great group, and such a great song."

    Yes, indeed.(The "movie" occasionally coincides with the facts, but there is better documentary material out there. Of the original group, only Otis Williams survives.)

  2. Ten Bears said:

    Was just outside enjoying a bit of tobacco and saw my first bee of the year, and noted I have crocuses sprouting in the sun. Still have volcanoes though, and forest fires, and way too damned many newcomers. And no jobs.

    I can't add to what Suzie has to say, other than I, we, are experienced now. The pretentious assholes living high on the credit card are not. When the shit hits the fan, I, we, will survive. The pretentious assholes, will not.

    I remember Harlequin! No fear.

  3. jcapan said:

    Ted Rall nails it. The black hole of ID politics is hell bent on sucking every last bit of substance from our discourse.

  4. jcapan said:

    Forgive me if this has already come up here, but I was reminded of this great conversation between Bill Moyers and Adolph Reed when I saw Rall’s toon:


    These are just some extracts I selected:

    MOYERS: So, I hear you saying, Adolph, that while social and cultural factors are important to us, economic issues are the fundamental existential questions. And that the neo-liberal parties, both of them, devoted to promoting the interests of multinational companies and capitalism don't care what you think about cultural and social issues, as long as they control the process by which nothing interferes with markets….

    REED: I recall an incident in a seminar in, you know, black American political thought with a young woman who was a senior who said something in the class. And I just blurted out that it seem, that the burden of what she said seemed to be that the whole purpose of this Civil Rights Movement was to make it possible for people like her to go to Yale and then to go to work in investment banking.And she said unabashedly, well, yes, yes, and that's what I believe. And again, I didn't catch myself in time, so I just said to her, well, I wish somebody had told poor Viola Liuzzo, you know, before she left herself family in Michigan and got herself killed that that's what the punch line was going to be, because she might've stayed home to watch her kids grow up.

    And I think--I'm not prepared to accept as my metric of the extent of racial justice or victories of the struggles for racial justice, the election of a single individual to high office or appointment of a black individual to be corporate CEO. My metric would have to do with things like access to healthcare—Because the way politics has evolved since the 1980s is that what we get now is the symbolic victory for the single person instead of, right, you know, the redistributive agenda.

    1. CMike said:

      JCAPAN, more than likely a couple of weeks back you read through the thread the quotes below are taken from, but I'll link to it anyway because, in total, it has more than a couple of gems in it.
      The first quote is off on a different topic than the one suggested by your comment, but it's an important one and I I think CB is dead on in identifying what is the latest scam Democrats are taking the lead on:

      [BEGIN QUOTE]>>>>>Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 and then pegging it to inflation is a way of guaranteeing low wage jobs remain low wage. $10 10 doesn’t get near the rise in productivity, which Warren calculates at a minimum wage of $22.00/hr. [nor, for that matter, even the $10.75 hourly rate which would be the inflation adjusted value today for the $1.60 minimum wage rate that was in effect in February, 1968.]<<<<<<[END QUOTE]

      On the particular point you raise by citing that Adolph Reed anecdote, would you agree the roots of that embrace of 1 percenter yuppism for the most deserving blacks by his student has as its distant but not indirect antecedent the political strategy W.E.B. Du Bois laid out in 1903, which challenged the broadly inclusive approach advocated for by Booker T. Washington, the leading national black leader of his era, to bring about the economic advance of his fellow Americans of African descent? (Within fifteen years of publishing his essay, Du Bois began to recognize some of the problems which were likely to ensue from with what he had proposed.)

      And back to that same thread at Ian Welsh's, here's a related consideration Badtux raises in doing his part to upset the communal harmony of the Democratic Party by but slightly overstating the case:

      [BEGIN QUOTE]>>>>>I examined Obama’s policy proposals as published on his web site in early 2008 and told everybody that I could that the man was not a liberal. They refused to believe me, because everybody knows that all black people are liberals. Except they’re not, I knew that because I’d taught at two all-black schools and those teachers were as conservative as the Bible Belt could produce, they voted Democrat because the Republicans had morphed into the party of the KKK, not because they were personally liberal.

      They were all believers in traditional marriage, Jesus in the classroom, and so forth. If not for the color of their skin, eavesdropping in the teacher’s lounge you would have thought you were at a Republican convention. And that is, by and large, the black middle and upper class… they’re even more conservative than their white counterparts. Liberal? Obama? It was ludicrous from day one...<<<<<[END QUOTE]

  5. ksix said:

    And here's the Democrats' favorite plutocrat and all-around decent human being. Yes, there's nothing wrong with being rich.