Friday, November 19, 2010

Ending an Era

Well I've had this blog now for nearly a decade and I think it's about time to call it quits. There were days when this blog kept my sanity as much as my will to fight and it's long since been just collecting dust. Barely getting an article every month when there were days and weeks where content seemed to be in endless supply.

I appreciate that I've had 2 steady followers and a couple of really great contributors. Small potatoes for the scene, but I'd like to think that a good number of friends and could-be friends got a chance to hear a piece of my mind.

I will also likely not stop blogging. I have a new domain and I'm going to start putting things there. If I can I may keep a copy of this on that site once I finally pull the trigger here, but I'm sure this will stay on the blogger for awhile before that happens. For now though, thanks for reading.

On a lighter topic, if you hadn't heard, I'm moving to Atlanta early next year. So this likely isn't the last you've heard of me. If you know who I am, you'll know how to find me. And if not, I'll be using the handle of dr4lom until I'm sued by George Lucas or suddenly it becomes inappropriate to give yourself the title of "dr" on the interwebs. But until then, you can follow my poems on wordpress. And while there's nothing up there yet, you can find some future madness on my new domain, where I intend to publish video content as well as some political silliness.

'But I don't want to go among mad people,' said Alice.
'Oh, you can't help that,' said the cat. 'We're all mad here.'

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Sneaky Politics

Who needs public debate... or even debate for that matter? Just pass these things unanimously while no one is looking and everything will be just fine:

Another example...

... of why Newt Gingrich is an idiot(but then you already knew that I'd bet):

Newt on Pelosi's Food Stamps :
She says that for every dollar a person receives in food stamps, $1.79 is put back in the economy... Well, you know, I carry around a bumper sticker that says 2 plus 2 equals 4. So I’d be very curious how a dollar given to somebody becomes a $1.79. And I think if we could get that to work with the U.S. Treasuries, so if people gave the Treasury $1,000, it became $1,790, we could pay off the federal debt and never worry about spending or anything. I mean, I — you know, somehow, I don’t understand how liberal math turns $1 into $1.79.
Wall Street Journal in 2009:
Money from the program — officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — percolates quickly through the economy. The U.S. Department of Agriculture calculates that for every $5 of food-stamp spending, there is $9.20 of total economic activity, as grocers and farmers pay their employees and suppliers, who in turn shop and pay their bills.

While other stimulus money has been slow to circulate, the food-stamp boost is almost immediate, with 80% of the benefits being redeemed within two weeks of receipt and 97% within a month, the USDA says.
That's $1.84 per dollar, so Pelosi actually understated the figure. The point is folks like Newt and friends are determined to show you how smart they are by proving that they don't understand economics at all.

Thinking more on this quote, something else stands out to me. Newt says he has a bumper sticker he carries that says 2 + 2 = 4. Now that's a level of math that I think I learned in first grade if not earlier by the simple understanding of "Johnny has 2 apples and Sarah gives him 2 more.." So it isn't something that really requires a bumper sticker to acknowledge. But the frame here fits. Republicans prefer to explain complex economic models with examples that equate to remedial mathematics, because they can't prove their point any other way. What I can't tell is whether that's really their level of mathematical understanding or if they don't believe Americans(or the Republican base at least) can understand anything more complex. The problem is that either of these possibilities represents a problem. But then y'know math is hard.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Fire Department FAIL

OBION COUNTY, Tenn. - Imagine your home catches fire but the local fire department won't respond, then watches it burn. That's exactly what happened to a local family tonight.
A local neighborhood is furious after firefighters watched as an Obion County, Tennessee, home burned to the ground.
The homeowner, Gene Cranick, said he offered to pay whatever it would take for firefighters to put out the flames, but was told it was too late. They wouldn't do anything to stop his house from burning.
Each year, Obion County residents must pay $75 if they want fire protection from the city of South Fulton. But the Cranicks did not pay.
The mayor said if homeowners don't pay, they're out of luck.
This fire went on for hours because garden hoses just wouldn't put it out. It wasn't until that fire spread to a neighbor's property, that anyone would respond.
Turns out, the neighbor had paid the fee.
"I thought they'd come out and put it out, even if you hadn't paid your $75, but I was wrong," said Gene Cranick.
Because of that, not much is left of Cranick's house.
They called 911 several times, and initially the South Fulton Fire Department would not come.
The Cranicks told 9-1-1 they would pay firefighters, whatever the cost, to stop the fire before it spread to their house.
"When I called I told them that. My grandson had already called there and he thought that when I got here I could get something done, I couldn't," Paulette Cranick.
It was only when a neighbor's field caught fire, a neighbor who had paid the county fire service fee, that the department responded. Gene Cranick asked the fire chief to make an exception and save his home, the chief wouldn't.
We asked him why.
He wouldn't talk to us and called police to have us escorted off the property. Police never came but firefighters quickly left the scene. Meanwhile, the Cranick home continued to burn.
We asked the mayor of South Fulton if the chief could have made an exception.
"Anybody that's not in the city of South Fulton, it's a service we offer, either they accept it or they don't," Mayor David Crocker said.
Friends and neighbors said it's a cruel and dangerous city policy but the Cranicks don't blame the firefighters themselves. They blame the people in charge.
"They're doing their job," Paulette Cranick said of the firefighters. "They're doing what they are told to do. It's not their fault."
To give you an idea of just how intense the feelings got in this situation, soon after the fire department returned to the station, the Obion County Sheriff's Department said someone went there and assaulted one of the firefighters.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Football Season

Via Atrios:
One day I hope that Democrats realize nobody cares about the deficit, it's just something people know everybody agrees is "bad" so they channel their other discontents into it.

The stimulus was "bad" not because it increased the deficit, but because, as always, teabaggers suspect that most of it went to undeserving brown people, and tax cuts are always free.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Paper is Healthy?

As this post illustrates, the 1099 requirements of the new healthcare bill are just fucking stupid. If this isn't dealt with before April(well January really) put your money in paper, because there's going to be tons of wasted documents floating around.

republican vs. democrat

So far this upcoming election will be a battle between two parties and a third degenerate party.

Of the two, the big differences seem to be that Republicans are trying to sell the plan of taking their ball and going home, while the Democrats are trying to prove that bowing to the right on every single issue in the past 15 years deserves them the right to continue whining that they'd really like to make some progressive change, but "it just isn't fair".

On the third, a bunch of Republicans are going to dress up in tri-cornered hats, claim they understand the Constitution, claim they side with Libertarians and hopefully knock it out of the park for a few useless House members that will vote with Republicans to stifle any good plans with more rabble rousing about gays and abortions.

In short, Americans this November will decide between dumb, dumber, and Glenn Beck AKA the dumbest.

oh and when it's all over, we still won't have a decent jobs bill, Congress will still lie to destroy social security and the top ten percent of the nation will continue to pretend that it's just too hard to make money with all these taxes getting in the way.

Maybe I will just move to Canada.

Who needs tax cuts?

I couldn't write this any better:

Let's be clear on this: Those tax cuts, along with a 40-year tradition of starving public services, have bankrupted this country. The victims of this bankrupting have been school children, the poor, the elderly, teachers, firefighters, cops and construction workers, along with artists, social service workers, social justice advocates and anyone else who is in any small way trying to make the world a better place. It is that simple. The largesse of their hard work was given to wealthy Americans and the middle-class, working-class and poor were told to suck it up until Daddy Warbucks felt like creating a few jobs. Surprise, surprise, Daddy Warbucks felt like doing no such thing.

Read the rest.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

This is incredibly awesome

As a friend of mine would say... very nice!
As a white male Baptist, it is my duty today to denounce the violence perpetrated by Patrick Gray Sharp, 29, who yesterday attacked the police headquarters in McKinney, Texas, in a heavily armed but ineffectual assault involving a high-powered rifle, road flares, "gasoline and ammonium nitrate fertilizer."

I understand that this denunciation must be swift and unambiguous and that, in the absence of such denunciations made by and on behalf of every and all white male Baptists, others are entitled to assume that every white male Baptist is fully in agreement with the actions of Patrick Gray Sharp and to therefore deny white male Baptists the rights others enjoy.

So I denounce this attack and state unequivocally that we white male Baptists do not believe in this kind of violent extremism. I beg you all not to condemn all of us for the actions of this lone member of our community, although of course I will understand if you decide that you must do so and will humbly accept whatever restrictions on our full participation in society that you see fit to impose. That's only fair.

I further beg your forgiveness for my not denouncing this violent act sooner. Unlike the nearly identical failed attack in Times Square, this attack wasn't the lead story on our local news and the newspaper I work for somehow didn't mention it at all. Then today I was outside most of the afternoon cutting the grass and just didn't hear about the story until now. I plead with you to understand that as soon as I learned of this incident, I rushed to post this denunciation.

That's no excuse for the delay, of course, and in no way diminishes my obligation to constantly monitor the behavior of every white male Baptist, denouncing anything that might reflect badly on the WMB community. That is, after all, the foremost duty and purpose of every religious adherent, ethnic group and gender. My failure to promptly condemn Patrick Gray Sharp for specific actions I have previously condemned more generally cannot be excused just because the lawn needed mowing.

On behalf of myself and of all white male Baptists everywhere, I apologize for this lapse and denounce myself for the delay. (Note to other white male Baptists: You should also denounce me for this. If you fail to do so, I'll probably have to denounce you for that.)

I fully appreciate that as a justifiable consequence of yesterday's extremist violence, it will be decades before any Baptists ought to consider gathering for worship in McKinney, Texas or anywhere else in Collin County. I humbly request that local Baptists be permitted to worship in neighboring Grayson County, but if anyone anywhere feels that is still too close -- too much in the shadow of Collin County -- then of course I don't think it would be unreasonable for Baptists during the next few decades to travel across the state line into Oklahoma for Sunday worship. That would be the least we could do to demonstrate our vicarious contrition and our deep respect for the tender sensibilities of the television pundits and ambitious politicians to whom we must all defer as the authorities in these matters.

I hope that this denunciation and expression of substitutionary remorse meets with the approval of all non-white non-male non-Baptists. Should any of you feel that my denunciation is inadequate or insufficient, I would be happy to expand and embellish this initial statement.

Please excuse me now as, like all white male Baptists in the wake of this attack, I must go rend my garments and sprinkle ashes on my head in an extravagant show of remorse.

UPDATE: Boy is my face red. This is so embarrassing -- I totally skimmed past the fine print on the unwritten rules and completely missed the exemption for hegemonic classes. It turns out that we white people, males and Protestants never have to worry about extravagant displays of vicarious contrition. As a white male Protestant, apparently, I don't need to promptly denounce every evil act committed by any and every other white male Protestant.

This is awesome. Do you realize how much time this is going to save me? Plus just the relief of no longer having to watch the news on pins and needles, worrying every time there's a crime or a gun-nut on a spree that it'll be some white male Protestant guy and that everyone is going to assume we're all like that. What an enormous relief to be judged only as an individual and not prejudged according to the worst thing ever done by anyone ever claiming to belong to my faith community, or sharing my gender or my ethnicity. It's not just a relief it's a ... oh, what's the word? ... privilege. Yes, that's what it is -- a fantastic privilege.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Just Say Now

I'm all for it:


I am very fortunate that some jerk has yet to explain to me why there's a problem with putting a mosque in New York City.

I would be forced to explain that Islam is a part of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Look that up in your Funk n. Wagnels!

Dr. Laura is OUT!

No not that kind of out, but she's "quitting" her radio show thanks to backlash from her recent rant about the "N" word. Ok, I listened to the tape of that program and this lady does not even understand why she was being racist. It was her contention to make a woman who had a legitimate issue seem like a woman that didn't know how good she had it. This poor lady was talking about how she married a white man and sometimes his friends would make insensitive comments. Rather than try to explain that ignorance sometimes causes people to make stupid comments and moreso, that sometimes the familiarity of someone like your friend's spouse seemingly gives you the right to speak out of turn. Unfortunately sometimes honesty like that proves that you're also racist. So Dr. Laura could've taken this opportunity to help this woman approach that topic in a productive way for herself and the originator of any foolish comments, but instead she went on a rant about how when she says "nigger" it's racist, but when black people say it, it's ok.

Look I know a lot of black people. I know some black people that say that word all the time, I also know quite a few that don't because they find it derogatory coming from anyone's mouth. But as a privileged white lady on a radio talk show where you're depicted as a doctor, you should have a little more understanding of an issue like that.

So she's of course claiming she was utilizing her freedom of speech, that's fine, so long as I never feel the need to hear her speak on the radio again. I'm fine with that.