Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's All In the Game, Yo, All In The Game

These Are My People

But, somewhat regrettably, not me.
A third group, though, is making the ‘access to literature’ argument without much real commitment to its truth or falsehood, because they aren’t actually worried about access to literature, they are worried about bookstores in and of themselves. This is a form of Burkean conservatism, in which the value built up over centuries in the existence of bookstores should be preserved, even though their previous function as the principal link between writers and readers is being displaced.
This sort of commitment to bookstores is a normative argument, an argument about how things ought to be. It is also an argument that might succeed, as long as it re-imagines what bookstores are for and how they are supported, rather than merely hoping that if enough nice people seem really concerned, the flow of time will reverse.
Bet they don't know they are Burkeans. Okay, maybe they do, but they, like me, would never think to use the term.
Damn you, Clay Shirky, and the Kindle you rode in on.
What is the longtail again?

Sarah Palin Rewrites History

Oh, really? What a surprise.
Actually, that's giving her the benefit of the doubt, saying she just lies is better than saying she's abysmally ignorant. And proud of it.
Somebody ought to burn McCain in effigy.
Maybe next year.


Best (insert label here) o' teh day.

I didn't embed the original because Ezra Klein deserves the credit hits for putting this up while health care is in the Senate. h/t Andrew Sullivan.

Thank You, Bob Edwards

for reminding me of Hal Holbrook. Thank you, Hal Holbrook.

What Is It With Dept.

Men and guitars?

Also, good read of the day, having almost nothing to do with guitars but the commenters got into it. From Daily Kos. Nice John Lee Hooker video.

UPDATE: Men and beans? And smoked meats?

Cleaning Up The Desktop

Courage is no good:
It means not scaring others.
         Philip Larkin

I saved this poem on death for obvious reasons. Guess I'll keep it.


I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
In time the curtain-edges will grow light.
Till then I see what's really always there:
Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
Making all thought impossible but how
And where and when I shall myself die.
Arid interrogation: yet the dread
Of dying, and being dead,
Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.
The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse
- The good not done, the love not given, time
Torn off unused - nor wretchedly because
An only life can take so long to climb
Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;
But at the total emptiness for ever,
The sure extinction that we travel to
And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,
Not to be anywhere,
And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.

This is a special way of being afraid
No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
That vast, moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die,
And specious stuff that says No rational being
Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing
That this is what we fear - no sight, no sound,
No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
Nothing to love or link with,
The anasthetic from which none come round.

And so it stays just on the edge of vision,
A small, unfocused blur, a standing chill
That slows each impulse down to indecision.
Most things may never happen: this one will,
And realisation of it rages out
In furnace-fear when we are caught without
People or drink. Courage is no good:
It means not scaring others. Being brave
Lets no one off the grave.
Death is no different whined at than withstood.

Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.
It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,
Have always known, know that we can't escape,
Yet can't accept. One side will have to go.
Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house.

Philip Larkin

Link O' Teh Week/Day/Month/Year

Six degrees of Kevin Bacon everybody you ever heard of who is anybody.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Palienated, Woohoo!

Some of the folks of Noblesville, Ind., who waited out in the cold and rain to meet Her Palinness were, erm, disappointed.
From Rumproast.

An Teh Palin is all ca-chink, ca-chink, bro.

Well, it's kinda sorta  a Friviality Friday item.

Odd Word Choice

Ooh, watch out, that scary holiday is coming.

From the AP:
Health officials say swine flu cases appear to be declining throughout most of the U.S., but the specter of Thanksgiving gatherings makes it hard to predict what will happen next.

Hey, it's the best I could do for this Friviality Friday. Lean pickings so far.

Random Thought

TPM's got Republican Sen. John Kyle of Texas saying how hard it will be to NOT pass the health care reform bill in the Senate after it clears the first hurdle of getting to the floor for debate, which is scheduled for tomorrow.
I'm kinda wondering if he's covering his ass, and those of a few other Republicans who, when push comes to shove, will vote for the bill.
Is this why they call Lieberman Joementum?
Just a thought, probably not likely. Still.

Fooled Me

Remember all that tough talk a week or two ago about getting rid of the insurance companies' anti-trust exemption, something we didn't even know about until all the sudden it was front and center?
Well, apparently that was chain rattling by the Dems in retaliation for the the AHIP report that was intended to derail health care reform.
The exemption's not touched in the Senate bill unveiled yesterday, and by intention. Ben Nelson, D-Aetna, wouldn't like it.
And it's got $100 million for Medicaid in Louisiana, Mary Landrieu, just for you.
This is the face of legislation, folks, the way things really work. What's happening for Arkansas?
I'm also wondering, are there pictures of naked Joe Lieberman with underage boys out there somewhere?
I mean, Harry said Joe was not his biggest problem, but pshaw, Harry, where's the duct tape for the guy's mouth?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

How Could A Black Man Become President? Cheat.

From TPM today:
The new national poll from Public Policy Polling (D) has an astonishing number about paranoia among the GOP base: Republicans do not think President Obama actually won the 2008 election -- instead, ACORN stole it.

Other tidbits, more Republicans believe this than believe Obama was not born in the U.S. (Apparently many of them now know Kenya Hawaii is a state.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Medicare For All

That was Krugman's solution to the health care mess, and he is not alone in that view.
I have tried to keep up with this stuff, haven't followed a piece of legislation so closely ever, thanks to the Internet, but every day brings just more and more overwhelming evidence that we're in a mess.
Today I found Pro Publica, an invaluable resource and here are their headlines for the day gleaned from around the nation.
Here's their series on the reform bills. Learned a lot from the comments, too. Either they're editing out the trolls or the trolls haven't found them yet.
And here's their home page. I just subscribed to their daily email, they're too good to miss.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Paying For Alternative Health Care

Credit where credit is due, Huffpo found this for me. They have a living section many Contrariennes may find fun and useful.

Palin Book's Biggest Lies

mit pictures! at Huffpo.
Why? Because it's out today.

Wall $treet Money

I don't find it surprising that 10 of the 15 top Congressional recipients of Wall Street donations are Democrats. Elections matter, as they say. Nor is it surprising that many are from New York, which is where Wall Street is.
Nevertheless, something to keep in mind.

The NY Terrorist Trial Controversy

Sullivan explains the significance of a civilian court rather than a military one. Anything that makes John Yoo apopleptic is good in my book. I love thinking about Dick Cheney squirming as the news of the day comes out that all that waterboarding he ordered was useless and stupid, just as he was useless and stupid. And profoundly evil, a word I try not to use so as not to cheapen its meaning.
But what an open civilian case will also do - and it's why a war criminal like John Yoo is so apoplectic - is reveal the extent to which the brutal torture of KSM was unnecessary, and led to the government's inability to prosecute him to the full extent of the law.

Communist, Socialist, Fascist Obama

See, what'd I tell ya, wearin' a Mao jacket! And who's that on his right? Hugo Chavez, I told ya!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Stupak Amendment

I have mixed feelings about Emily's List. I think  their legislators voted against the amendment as they say, but who's going to stand up on it when push comes to shove? And should they?
Interesting times.
Anyway, here's the peititon. I signed it.

The Beat Goes On

I do my part, I really do. Just finished (I hope) a little bitchy spat with a FB friend and ex-colleague — a knee-jerk Republican — who made the mistake of posting a health reform opinion instead of his usual sports-cum-family anecdotes.
Red flag, meet bull.
His source was actually a fairly good AP story about a new report detailing Medicare's estimated fraud loss and the administration's plans to fix it. After all, they have to, they're basing some of their funding on savings from a good anti-fraud program.
But his thinking apparently stopped with the scary headline Medicaire Paid $47 Billion In Suspect Claims and so, predictably, he's not so sure he wants "government health care."

Now this. "Drug Companies Increase Prices In Face Of Change." Surprise.
Even as drug makers promise to support Washington’s health care overhaul by shaving $8 billion a year off the nation’s drug costs after the legislation takes effect, the industry has been raising its prices at the fastest rate in years.
I noticed that the basic retail price of one of my drugs went up about $80 a month this year, and the other one jumped equally, but I'm in the donut hole now and paying about about $180/month for generics out of Canada, not yet available here for obvious reasons.

I suppose my friend and I could have a battle of scary headlines, but he's got four kids to get to bed, and besides, I'd cream him.

Palin Lies: Volume I

Andrew Sullivan is a tireless archivist because the mainstream media has abismally failed to hold her to account.
This is the list so far.
He plans to produce another after scrutinizing her book, due for release tomorrow. Then The Daily Dish will produce its own book.