Category Archives: Humor

The Political Significance of this Cannot be Understated

but it has entertainment value, so…

Thanks to Mary for passing this one on

My ISP has jumped to Word Press.  I don’t like it, but unless I want to do a lot of code work, I am now stuck with the look of Word Press.  I am not sure the old look was the Good, but I was used to it.  Not sure if Word Press is Bad or Ugly, you can help me decide.  Don’t like that changey thing, I guess.

This may be what the black bloc needs:  Ukes!  and Accordions.

Our Precious Freedoms

Three quotes for the day, courtesy Liberty Quotes.

“It is by the goodness of God that in our country
we have those three unspeakably precious things:
freedom of speech, freedom of conscience,
and the prudence never to practice either.”
— Mark Twain
[Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910)


“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise,
we don’t believe in it at all.”
— Noam Chomsky
(1928- ) American linguist and political writer
Source: Guardian, 23 November 1992


“I believe in my right to be wrong,
and still more in my right to be right.”
— Owen Lattimore

Get out there, get it right. If change is coming, you are bringing it.

Pinata Economics

I have been thinking about Romney and the general casino-style financial sector that has been preying on the US and the world over the past decade and the image of a pinata came to mind.  Pinata economics.  The willingness, the glee of smashing something pretty to get at the goodies inside really seems to fit with the get really rich really quick schemed of leveraged buyout.

In These Times has a couple of good articles in the September 2012 issue.  One is The Bain Legacy and the other How to Succeed in Business Without Adding Value.  Both by David Moberg.   I recommend reading them both.

Courtesy Paul Sapiano and Wiki Commons

 

 

Courtesy Gage Skidmore Wiki Commons

 

 

 

 

    Pinata Economics.  I should probably claim intellectual property rights to that term and sell it to the highest bidder.  Isn’t that the way these things work?

Wish I knew how to put the  ~ symbol on top of the N.

Lo siento, amigos.

Posterity Economics v. Austerity Economics

Are we keynesians or would we prefer to be serfs?  It’s an election year, soCourtesty Billy Hathorn Wiki Commons we get to weigh on this and other questions.  I really think we need to be thinking about creative economics.  Market-based economics that are sustainable, that create useful commons instead of quarterly profits, dividends and obscene bonuses.  We all get to decide how to make that happen.

As for me, I will be voting for posterity economics.  Raise taxes and reinstate the steeply progressive tax rates that discourage bald-faced greed and encourage investment in useful infrastructure.  You will hear that taxing the rich won’t raise the funds that we need, that we will have to tax the middle class.  That is a calculated threat by the rich to discourage taxing the rich. And besides, look at the demographics, where is this vaunted middle class?

Where are the middle class jobs?

Time to downsize? Ouch!  Click me please

A couple of stories from the Washington Post this morning caught my attention:

The Mittster is chillin’ in Israel for a few days after his tour of the London Olympics where he wowed them.    well, maybe not.  but anyway, he’s out to Israel now.  Checking the real estate in Jerusalem.  Making contacts with car elevator contractors in case he decides to build a get away place in the Other Holy Land (not salt lake).

Mittster did have kind words for the Israeli health care system.  Unfortunately that health care system is exactly the kind of big government interference that the right wing is certain will destroy the soul of a great nation.  Here is a piece of the WAPO article on that:

Romney praises health care in Israel, where research says ‘strong government influence’ has driven down costs

Posted by Sarah Kliff on July 30, 2012 at 11:10 am

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had some very kind things to say about the Israeli health care system at a fundraiser there Monday. He praised Israel for spending just 8 percent of its GDP on health care and still remaining a “pretty healthy nation:”

 When our health care costs are completely out of control. Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? 8 percent. You spend 8 percent of GDP on health care. And you’re a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18 percent of our GDP on health care. 10 percentage points more. That gap, that 10 percent cost, let me compare that with the size of our military. Our military budget is 4 percent. Our gap with Israel is 10 points of GDP. We have to find ways, not just to provide health care to more people, but to find ways to finally manage our health care costs.

Romney’s point about Israel’s success in controlling health care costs is spot on: Its health care system has seen health care costs grow much slower than other industrialized nations.

How it has gotten there, however, may not be to the Republican candidate’s liking: Israel regulates its health care system aggressively, requiring all residents to carry insurance and capping revenue for various parts of the country’s health care system.

Israel created a national health care system in 1995, largely funded through payroll and general tax revenue. The government provides all citizens with health insurance: They get to pick from one of four competing, nonprofit plans. Those insurance plans have to accept all customers—including people with pre-existing conditions—and provide residents with a broad set of government-mandated benefits.

Read the whole article?  Go for it. 

It’s too bad that the conservatives have no sense of humor or appreciation of irony.  They really miss out on the best that their leaders have to offer.

Second piece from the WA Post that jumped out at me:

As ‘fiscal cliff’ looms, debate over pre-Election Day layoff notices heats up

 

 

By , Published: July 30

  The deep federal spending cuts scheduled to take effect at the start of next year may trigger dismissal notices for tens of thousands of employees of government contractors, companies and analysts say, and the warnings may start going out at a particularly sensitive time:

Days before the presidential election.

Read the whole piece.  I dare you. 

I hope that the Dems find a semblance of spinal material and will hold certain feet to the fire.  Imagine a budget cut so severe, so fair that it would even cut into defense jobs.  Well, try to imagine that.  What are the chances?

Each moment we are faced again with the choice of austerity politics or posterity politics. Think on.

 

 

 

The Oly 2 Step – Step 2, let’s make it safe, shall we?

So, therPants on Dogs!e is lots of discussion about how scary it is downtown.  It’s not just dirty, with houseless people urinating on the sidewalks, it’s just downright scary!!

It has been pretty clear for generations (and especially in the past decade) that the First Amendment right to assemble and petition for redress of grievance and to exercise free speech is just too inconvenient to remain on the books.  Just look at the pedestrian interference  ordinance.  If the right to assemble for any reason interferes with the ability of a suburban shopper to come downtown and empty their wallet at a place like the Alpine Experience (just an example) instead of enjoying the homogenous shopping experience at Cabela’s or Walmart, then the first amendment is dispensable.  Scotto Bear - wiki commons, is this legal?

The first amendment is archaic.  The updated, if unofficial primary civil right appears to be the absolute right to shop in a safe and sterile environment.  So, Amendment One – get out of the way.

So, aside from the fear that accrues from running into a strange looking person downtown, why don’t we make the downtown really safe by scuttling Amendment Two as well?

wiki commons - courtesy michaelpughWouldn’t we all feel safer if we knew when we head out to go shopping downtown that we are not going to be sharing the sidewalk with folks packing heat?   Why is the Olympia City Council so timid.  Dump the second amendment and let’s get the fourth out of the way as well.

Come on, let’s make the downtown really safe.  Let’s outlaw any firearms in the downtown core and give the police blanket authority to conduct patdowns for weapons.

I want pants on dogs that are over twenty pounds as well.  Some of these animals are just indecent.  What’s up with that?

wiki commons - courtesy beat 768

These guys also should not be allowed downtown unless they promise to turn the volume down and act in a civilized manner.

Friday the 13th! The Undead Will Rise and Shuffle to the Capitol in Olympia

It is widely reported in Puget Sound region that the undead are unhappy about the Washington State slash and cut budget.

MONSTERMASHBUDGET$LA$H!
Friday the 13th! BEWARE! ZOMBIES AT THE CAPITAL!
ZOMBIE WALKOUT! Noon! Thinking minds will soon be turned to mash thanks
to the privatization of higher education in Washington! The government is leaving the youth little hope or opportunities as the blood thirsty Vampire Gregoire and her corporate monsters drain every drop of money
from services and higher education.

ALL STUDENTS! WALK OUT AT NOON! HIGHSCHOOL to DOCTORATE!

Sylvester Park @ 1:30 for a slow ZOMBIE MARCH on the Capital!  Not a student? FEW WILL BE! But this Zombie march is for everyone! March if you to believe an all cuts budget is UNACCEPTABLE & INEXCUSABLE! The banks, corporations and filthy rich aren’t hurting, only the good
working people are made to suffer! We all have family and friends, if not ourselves, who will be affected by this bad budget! Come sing and
dance to the Monster Mash Budget Slash!

Wear your best Zombie attire! Our zombie demands? What else?
BRAINS! BRAINS! BRAINS!

For more info call 360-545-3267 <tel:360-545-3267>
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=117433595004682

Inspired by UNDEAD OLYMPIA, http://www.undeadolympia.com/
<http://www.undeadolympia.com/>

Joe Bageant Has Gone Deer Hunting with Jesus

Joe Bageant died yesterday.  He fought a good fight against cancer the past 4 months and kept writing and posting.

Here is part of a piece he wrote not too long ago:

AMERICA: Y UR PEEPS B SO DUM?

Ignorance and courage in the age of Lady Gaga

By Joe Bageant
Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico

If you hang out much with thinking people, conversation eventually turns to the serious political and cultural questions of our times. Such as: How can the Americans remain so consistently brain-fucked? Much of the world, including plenty of Americans, asks that question as they watch U.S. culture go down like a thrashing mastodon giving itself up to some Pleistocene tar pit.

Teabags One explanation might be the effect of 40 years of deep fried industrial chicken pulp, and 44 ounce Big Gulp soft drinks. Another might be pop culture, which is not culture at all of course, but marketing. Or we could blame it on digital autism: Ever watch commuter monkeys on the subway poking at digital devices, stroking the touch screen for hours on end? That wrinkled Neolithic brows above the squinting red eyes?

But a more reasonable explanation is that, (A) we don’t even know we are doing it, and (B) we cling to institutions dedicated to making sure we never find out.

As William Edwards Deming famously demonstrated, no system can understand itself, and why it does what it does, including the American social system. Not knowing shit about why your society does what it makes for a pretty nasty case of existential unease. So we create institutions whose function is to pretend to know, which makes everyone feel better. Unfortunately, it also makes the savviest among us — those elites who run the institutions — very rich, or safe from the vicissitudes that buffet the rest of us.

I will miss the guy.

Louis CK and Donald Rumsfeld Interview

Does Rumsfeld have lizard dna? I don’t know, but I sure get a kick out of listening to Louis CK ask the question.  Louis says that the lizards can only answer honestly to that question or avoid answering the question.  Something lizardy about their inability to directly lie about their lizard origins.

I guess the lizard dna question is going to be one of the known unknowns. Buy the Rumsfeld book for more background.

How many shopping days to Christmas?

Science Robot T Shirts

Have we hit Peak Rock?

Hypothesis: Current scientific thought suggests we have already achieved max rocking level.

Perhaps max-rocking levels could be radically increased with creation of 30ft tall motion controlled guitar thrashing robot simulacrum.

Technology rocks.  Click on the picture to jump to the website.

Or another choice.  If you prefer tailgating to thrashing: Roastmyweenie.comRoast My Weenie

Roast’m with Marsha Mello.

It appears these grill accessories are designed and manufactured by Texans.

Classy.