Saturday, September 19, 2009

Note To Reporters: Truth Is Relative

 Signed: Mr. Goebbels I'm A Dinner Jacket Bill Irving Kristol
"There are different kinds of truths for different kinds of people. There are truths appropriate for children; truths that are appropriate for students; truths that are appropriate for educated adults; and truths that are appropriate for highly educated adults, and the notion that there should be one set of truths available to everyone is a modern democratic fallacy. It doesn't work," - Irving Kristol.
Thanks again to The Dish. Hey, beats Bot flies.

When Do You Drink The Beer?

Don't Go To Belize Dept.
I had to look up Belize on a map when I did a story about a man who went diving there, made the mistake of renting his oxygen locally, and nearly died from the contaminated product.
Anyhoo, they also have Bot flies that can embed themselves in your — yipes — scalp.
NSF the squeamish.

Thank you, Andrew Sullivan's interns.

Why We Twitbook

and other social networking revelations.
Piskorski has also found deep gender differences in the use of sites. The biggest usage categories are men looking at women they don’t know, followed by men looking at women they do know. Women look at other women they know. Overall, women receive two-thirds of all page views.

It's The Words, Stupid

I like to read comments on my favored blogs. They're usually written by people much better informed and more intelligent than I am, often people with real jobs in important occupations. TPM has a phalanx of lawyers and congressional aides, for instance, who crowd-read the Friday afternoon document dumps that were a regular part of the 2007 Justice Department stories.
Anyway, they always teach me something I didn't know before, open new doors, shine a light.
This one is a favorite today. Remember Newt? I remember watching him on the Charlie Rose show during the build-up to war and seeing his eyes shift up close and listening to how he never seemed to actually answer any question. Saw Kissinger do the same thing.
So, here's Newt's 1996 memo. See if you notice anything familiar.

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Fellow Americans

Jay Leno had to retire Jaywalking after last Saturday.
What else can I say? They hate us cuz we, like, know stuff?

Maria Comes Through. Thank You, Maria.

 They can't get the Baucus bill through his committee without a public option because it needs all but one Democrat and now Rockefeller and Cantwell have said they won't vote for it without the PO. Fuck Olympa Snowe!
This could get interesting.
Two Democrats have now said "no public option, no vote." Where are the other Finance Dems? Schumer? Wyden? Kerry?
Thank Maria here.

Friviality Friday

And God bless The Onion, too.

Report: Growing Ranks Of Nouveau Poor Facing Discrimination From Old Poor

Joe Wilson. What Really Happened. And...Wait For It...Carville!

Thank God for SNL. And Jon Stewart. And Stephen Colbert. We're not really crazy no matter how bad August seemed.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Time Magazine

put somebody named Glenn Beck on the cover this week, and apparently the accompanying story lives up to my expectations.
Remember, balanced news means never having to say you're sorry.
I don't get why Karen Tumulty and Jay Carney don't just quit. Oh,'s the money, stupid. And The Village. And the money.


I haven't been to in a demonstration since the 70s-80s. I think this is important to counter the tea party crap and all the rest of it. We ARE the silent majority this time.
Sign up here.
Seattle rally gathers at noon at City Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

Only In America. Only In America. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

From TPM today:
The politically charged Texas Board of Education has kicked off hearings today on whether school textbooks should have a more conservative slant. Things began auspiciously when one member of the public got up to announce that she is a 56-year-old virgin.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Warning: May Disturb Your Equilibrium

Sullivan linked to this today. How can I not?
Today, now, more than 100 million women are missing. They have vanished. In normal circumstances, women live longer than men—but China has 107 males for every 100 females in its overall population, India has 108, and Pakistan has 111. Where have these women gone? They have been killed or allowed to die. Medical treatment is often reserved for boys, while violence against women is routine. More girls are killed in this "gendercide" each decade than in all the genocides of the 20th century. This year, another 2 million girls will "disappear."

Speed Dating In 'The Jing"

Much to my relief, Su Fei is still around. But apparently Sexy Beijing does not allow embeds, so you'll have to click here.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Health Care Rock Video

My friend Marietta passed this along.

The Next Woman Senator

I know, I know, who cares about Massachusetts politics. Me.

Stumbled Upon

Somebody over at another Web site said the review of J.G. Ballard's short stories was probably the most linked in the universe. I doubt it. But I think I've found another author to read. Books, must get.
His is the voice reminding you not to take the postmodern hangover too personally: it was always going to happen this way.

Marriage Matters

I just received some news that could permanently change my life. For the better.
Sorry, I can't say what it is.
But even if it doesn't change my life, the possibility and its factual source challenge me to rethink my thinking about some core beliefs. And we all know how resistant we are to that challenge.
With that in mind, I think this note from one of Andrew Sullivan's readers is appropriate.
No, my life-changing news has nothing to do with marriage. At least I don't think so.
But the reader does talk about how marriage changed his life and his mind in ways he never dreamed possible.
Nice to know I'm not alone in this challenge.

The Next New Book I Read

Will be Alexandra Horowitz’s Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know
Dogs, it seems, are Aristotelians, but with their own doggy teleology. Their goals are not only radically different from ours; they are often invisible to us. To get a better view, Horowitz proposes that we humans get down intellectually on all fours and start sniffing.
While my uncracked, two-year-old copy of The Return of The Imperial Presidency  languishes on a side table.
I am particularly anticipating a chapter on Frisbees.
Oh, wait...
A dog’s vision affects its sense of time, too. Dogs have a higher “flicker fusion” rate than we do, which is the rate at which retinal cells can process incoming light, or “the number of snapshots of the world that the eye takes in every second.” This is one of the reasons dogs respond so well to subtle human facial reactions: “They pay attention to the slivers of time between our blinks.”) It also helps explain those ­eerily accurate balletic leaps after tennis balls and Frisbees, but Horowitz lets us see the implications beyond our human-centric fascination with our pets. This is more than a game of fetch; it is a profound, existential realization: “One could say that dogs see the world faster than we do, but what they really do is see just a bit more world in every second.”
So, this whole space/time thingie then is dependent on perception, and human perception is...oh, hell, where is Wittgenstein when I need him?
"Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present. Our life has no end in the way in which our visual field has no limits."
Blogging is my church. Shorty is my priest. Frisbee time.

The World Is Not Good

Leave it to Barbara Ehrenreich to spoil a beautiful Sunday morning be reminding us how racist this anti-Obama crap really is, and how the perceptions among some whites — emphasis, some — that somehow black people are benefitting from their bad fortune.
Oh well, I needed that, especially the "God wants you to be happy" stuff that surrounds me on a daily basis. Fight Rage against the machine.

The World Is Good

Forget the teabaggers today.
Here's Aki Ra:
As a child soldier in Cambodia's notorious Khmer Rouge army Aki Ra laid many landmines. He now clears these deadly bombs with a stick and a pocketknife, more than 10,000 to date. It is very dangerous. No one pays him to do it. Aki is the real deal.
Via Metafilter.

Another Reason Not To Shop At Wal-Mart

BoingBoing has a lot of good stuff this morning. A Bach mobius strip, some real-time broadcasts as the towers were hit on 9/11. But I chose to give you this:
The American Prospect reviewed a couple of books about Wal-Mart, and included this charming anecdote about Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton
Around the time that the young Sam Walton opened his first stores, John Kennedy redeemed a presidential campaign promise by persuading Congress to extend the minimum wage to retail workers, who had until then not been covered by the law. Congress granted an exclusion, however, to small businesses with annual sales beneath $1 million -- a figure that in 1965 it lowered to $250,000. Walton was furious. The mechanization of agriculture had finally reached the backwaters of the Ozark Plateau, where he was opening one store after another. The men and women who had formerly worked on small farms suddenly found themselves redundant, and he could scoop them up for a song, as little as 50 cents an hour. Now the goddamn federal government was telling him he had to pay his workers the $1.15 hourly minimum. Walton's response was to divide up his stores into individual companies whose revenues did not exceed the $250,000 threshold. Eventually, though, a federal court ruled that this was simply a scheme to avoid paying the minimum wage, and he was ordered to pay his workers the accumulated sums he owed them, plus a double-time penalty thrown in for good measure.
Wal-Mart cut the checks, but Walton also summoned the employees at a major cluster of his stores to a meeting. "I'll fire anyone who cashes the check," he told them.