August, 2012 archive
The Eastwood Speech 1
The comment (here’s an example) misses the point.
The Republicans didn’t invite Clint Eastwood to speak. Clint Eastwood was just a vehicle.
They invited Dirty Harry. Anything else was gravy.
Wingnut Fairy Tales 0
(Hot) Con Air 0
Thom explains the con:
The courts seeem to be seeing through the con.
Why Pols Lie 0
Ronald E. Riggio, blogging at Psychology Today, has a simple explanation:
So, the question is why do politicians so often lie, exaggerate, and distort the facts? The short answer is that it works! People are notoriously bad at detecting when others are lying, and there are several psychological reasons for this.
He goes on to explore very briefly those psychological reasons.
If you pay attention to politics–or maybe especially if you do not pay attention until an election nears–this should be required reading.
The Voter Fraud Fraud: Rooted in Racism 0
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Bloggus Interruptus 2
Endless War, the Lobby 0
Back in the 1930s, there was the “Merchants of Death” theory. Indeed, some of the first “Saint” novels were set against the background of that theory.
It is now widely considered to be discredited.
Ryan’s Lyin’ 0
Dick Polman takes a scalpel to Paul Ryan’s speech and dissects the (biggest) lies one-by-one. Here’s a nugget:
At one point, he denounced the evils of “a government-planned life,” and contrasted it with his own “American journey” that began when he was “waiting tables, washing dishes, mowing lawns for money.” Oh please. This guy has spent virtually his entire adult life in government – 14 years on Capitol Hill starting at age 28, and before that he was a congressional aide. His own brother, Tobin Ryan, said on Fox News yesterday (this was hilarious): “I never actually thought he was going to be a career politician. I kept expecting him to come back and start a real job.”
You can’t make this stuff up.
But Paul Ryan can.
Ryan’s Rope-a-Dope 0
Der Spiegel is not improessed.
But Ryan still sees himself as a man of the people. He loves to quote Ronald Reagan’s assertion that, when the rich have more, their wealth will “trickle down” to all citizens. He seems to forget that the results of that experiment are well known. In 1982, Reagan had to massively increase taxes because the US budget deficit had grown so huge.
But that doesn’t shake Ryan’s convictions. In terms of hypocrisy, he is a worthy heir to those Republicans who condemn the state but are happy to use it when they want to ban something that does not fit into their worldview. Ryan, who is supposedly so skeptical about government, has supported more abortion restrictions than his party colleague Todd Akin, who recently caused a scandal with his remarks about “legitimate rape.”
Read the rest.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, from the Quotemaster (subscribe here):
When liberty is mentioned, we must always be careful to observe whether it is not really the assertion of private interests which is thereby designated.
Misty Waterlogged Memories 0
The Chincoteague ponies actually live on Assateague Island, just east of Chincoteague. Assateague, though, does not have a chamber of commerce. All it has is ponies, a glorious beach, deer, and bunnies.
(It used to have human residents, too, but not for many years; my father’s mother taught school there back in the 1910s before she married my grandfather.)
But soon no more:
A new report on climate change posits that Assateague Island National Seashore — and several other National Parks on the East Coast — could be underwater in the next 100 years, unless actions are taken to curb pollution and greenhouse gases causing glaciers to melt and seas to rise.
“The biggest threat, ultimately, to these seashores is that they will be largely or even entirely covered by the ocean,” said Stephen Saunders, president of the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and an author of the report, “Atlantic National Seashores In Peril.”
But, hey! there’s no such thing as global warming.
H/T Susan for alerting me to this story.
Facebook Frolics, You Are Pwned Dept. 0
Facebook is messing with its privacy settings again with a view towards duping you into giving away your deepest darkest.
The wise Facebook user will check his or her settings immediately or, better, just get the heck out. Otherwise, you are zucked.
If I didn’t use Facebook to pimp this blog, I would have left it long ago. For years now I’ve put almost nothing but blog posts up there (First Son said that my Facebook page was “a very weird internet place”) and, even before that, I knew that the internet is a public place and exercised due care. I try to behave when I’m in a public place. It fools people.
Via the Network Security podcast, which you should subscribe to if you don’t already.
The Galt and the Lamers 1
Vodka of Distinction 0
Warning: Some language.
No doubt this was served here.
Build It and They May Come (but They Certainly Won’t Pay) 0
Virginia Beach’s latest attempt to gin up an excuse to shovel money to developers involves vague rumors of an NBA team’s possibly maybe someday coming to town. The city has already spent the better part of $1,000,000.00 on this, mostly on the q. t.
It’s a bunch of sound and fury signifying that promoters want to raid the public treasury, despite the reality that the tales of an economic boom resulting from pouring public money into pro sports invariably turn out to be somewhere on the continuum between fantasy and hokum. Here’s a nugget from the Minneapolis Post (much longer analysis at the link):
Moreover, the building of stadiums merely transfers consumption from one area or one type of leisure activity to another, and overall, sports and stadiums contribute little to the local economy and instead represent an investment that costs the public a lot while failing to return the initial investment. Dollar for dollar, the opportunity costs of investing in sports stadiums is a terrible option if the goal is economic development, job development, or producing new economic development in a community. In short, the nearly $3 billion in sports subsidies it documented produced little, at the cost of over $120,000 per job.
Something about the sight of large men playing with small balls turns the minds of mayors and other local Babbitts to frat-boy-tailgate-party-anticipating mush.
Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go 0
For all practical purposes, status quo ante.
Jobless claims were little changed at 374,000 in the week ended Aug. 25, matching the upwardly revised figure from the prior week, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The median forecast of 50 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for 370,000. The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, climbed to a six-week high.
Today’s report showed the number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits declined by 5,000 in the week ended Aug. 18 to 3.32 million.
The continuing claims figure does not include the number of Americans receiving extended benefits under federal programs.
Bloomberg’s “experts” were closer than usual to hitting their number.
Which reminds me of the classic definition of an “expert”:
- “X” is the mathematical symbol for an unknown quantity.
- A “spurt” is a drip under pressure.
- Thus an expert is an unknown drip under pressure.
A Picture Is Worth 0
This picture purports to be about the London Daily Mail, but I think it’s about Fox News.
Dorothy Parker, from the Quotemaster (subscribe here):
I don’t have to attend every argument I’m invited to.