Saturday, March 28, 2009

Picture of the day

Another from the East New York project.

Dem leader to moderates: piss off you commie wackos

According to Politico, "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Friday that liberal groups targeting moderate Democrats with ads should back off..."

Two things wrong with that.

The big honking one, obviously, is the Senate Grand Poobah telling the little people to keep their opinions to themselves, to not worry their little heads about government business and just leave it all to the strong, wise men who will handle the situation and do what's best. Yea, well, fuck him and then slash the tires on the limo he road in on. Goddammed plutocrats and oligarchs. More people need to stand up to them, not fewer.

The second, less obvious, problem with Politico's lede is referring to the anti-Obama Democrats as "moderate." They are not moderate. They are right wing. If they were moderate, their number would be more like 30. The word "moderate" comes from the mathematical concept of mode. The mode in a list of numbers refers to the list of numbers that occur most frequently. Since the majority of people support Obama, and the great majority of Democrats, then Obama supporters are by definition "moderate." The Democrats who oppose him, from right or left, are by that same definition "not moderate."

Of course I'm aware that in our right wing propaganda culture the term "moderate" is defined as "Republican." Time to push back on that crap as well.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Picture of the day

Pass it on

I got a wingnut email today. You might enjoy:

THE JOB - URINE TEST (Whoever wrote this one deserves a HUGE pat on the back!)

Like a lot of folks in this state, I have a job. I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit. In order to get that paycheck, I am required to pass a random urine test with which I have no problem. What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test.

So here is my Question. Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check because I have to pass one to earn it for them? Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sitting on their rump--doing drugs, while I work.

Can you imagine how much money the state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check? I guess we could title that program, 'Urine or You're Out'.

Pass this along if you agree or simply delete if you don't. Hope you all will pass it along, though. Something has to change in this country --and soon!!!!!!!
Interesting propaganda. Nicely aimed at people who take piss tests, blue collar folk, cops, firemen, the less educated among us, though I don't believe it was written by anyone who actually takes a piss test. The politics of resentment. To work, it's necessary that the suckers have no idea what welfare is these days. If lazy guys could get paid to sit around and do drugs, I'd be there. But the reality is that welfare, such as it is, tends to go to women with kids. Reality, of course, never got in the way of a wingnut mailing.

Still, I can relate to the basic message. It's difficult not to resent having your work support a bunch of worthless freeloaders. Add sociopathic scam artists to the resented and I can feel the pain of the piss tested. The difference between better educated workers like myself and those who take piss tests is that I realize that my work supports a class of wealthy leeches. When it comes to the worthless fucks we should resent, the odd crack whore on food stamps accounts for pennies on the dollar, if that. No, it's the executive that does half of his "work" on the golf course, can barely recognize the difference between his ass and a hole in the ground, and makes more than 200 times my salary for that kind of "work" that our piss test folk should be more worried about. Those people and the trust fund rejects. Talk about worthless shits who sit on their asses and live off our labor. If the piss testers only knew.

It's past time for some lefty organization with gumption to glom onto these email lists and redirect the resentment into more realistic directions.

Monday, March 23, 2009

chuckling on geithner

I've noticed that Timothy Geithner, the United States Secretary of the Treasury, has suffered a lot of attacks from across the political spectrum. He is possibly the only man in the history of the internet age about whom lefty bloggers, wingnuts, Fox News, CNBC, hate radio and the mainstream media have ever been so unanimously in agreement. Dude sucks, they say. Dude sucks big time. Timmeh!

Unlike normal people, poor chuckling does not thoroughly understand the current economic situation, particularly the gritty details of the financial industry meltdown. It's embarrassing to admit that such easily understandable financial instruments such as derivatives or bundles of toxic debt are outside my area of expertise. How to re-ignite the credit markets? Beats me. I have to lean on the analysis of experts on these kinds of complex issues.

Who are the experts in this case? Conservatives? Puh-leeeze. Get back to your golf courses and find the goddammed WMD's losers. And no offense friends, but in this case I'm not going to look to the mainstream media or lefty bloggers to help me form an opinion. Nope. Looks to me like it's Obama vs. Krugman.

I consider past performance. Krugman is recognized by his peers as one of the top economists, he has a history of being right about most everything and he is one of the true heroes of the Bush years. Obama is an awesome strategist and has made an incredible series of bold, innovative decisions that proved to be the right ones. He doesn't have Krugman's expertise in economics, but he is not without high level advice. The lefty blogs seem to think that Geithner is somehow tricking Obama, taking advantage of his naivete. I'm skeptical of that theory. Again and again Obama has proven to be the least naive person in the room.

So Krugman or Obama? Well, since I don't have to choose, and frankly don't know squat about the financial industry, I guess I won't. But I'll tell you this. Although I don't think we should be brain dead Obama cheerleaders, pathetic lefty versions of wingnuts that spout the party line no matter what, I do find it disturbing that so many lefty blogs have found harmonic convergence with wingnut demogogues on the Geithner issue. I'm not saying that should make anyone change their mind, but it would sure as hell make me take a hard look at the thought processes that made my words and beliefs nearly indistinguishable from the wingnuts.

Update: I just learned that Timmeh's middle name is Franz. Sounds like a Nazi to me. Or a silly body builder. Or a gay fashionista. Or a pumped gay Nazi fashionista! Maybe we should start calling him "Franz," just like the wingnuts call Obama "Hussein." Wouldn't that be cul?


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Photo of the day

I can't really claim this one. My daughter Jane Bob was doing a shoot. She set up all the lighting and directed the model. I just stood behind her and glommed.

Another episode of wingnut wonderland

Charles Murray and the Washington Post ask if America should be more like Europe and not surprisingly answer with a resounding no. But what's fun about the article is its total lack of intelligent reasoning. Trying to follow it is one loop-de-loop after another. But follow it we will.

How do you compare the U.S. to Europe. Well, first you have to define what Europe is like.

In Europe, government subsidizes religion, which Mr. Murray blames (without evidence) for the fact that so many churches are empty. Well maybe. He doesn't mention that most European countries have, unlike most of the United States, excellent education systems which probably better explains why their churches are empty. Education is the bane of religion. Always has been. Always will be.

Also, unlike bootstrap America, the wussy European governments help women with child rearing which results in fewer children. Generous child allowances, free day-care centers and long maternity leaves are responsible, he argues (without evidence), for declining fertility rates. But even if that is true, are low fertility rates such a bad thing. Does this planet really need an ever increasing population? If so, why? Murray doesn't get into this, but since we know that he is a notorious racist and he even admits it in this article, I think it's fair to question his concern over fertility rates for the melanin disadvantaged of Europe. As we'll see later on in the article, he thinks Americans, at least certain a certain type of them, should have fewer children.

Jobs? “They are countries where jobs are most carefully protected by government regulation and mandated benefits are most lavish.” Wow, normal people have well-paying jobs with great benefits. Just like our elected officials here and our corporate elite. That's not fair, obviously, but what's the problem? “A lot of people see work as a necessary evil and many of them say they don't love their jobs? Egads.

"Call it the Europe Syndrome. Last April I had occasion to speak in Zurich, where I made some of these same points. Afterward, a few of the 20-something members of the audience came up and said plainly that the phrase "a life well-lived" did not have meaning for them. They were having a great time with their current sex partner and new BMW and the vacation home in Majorca, and they saw no voids in their lives that needed filling.
It was fascinating to hear it said to my face, but not surprising. It conformed to both journalistic and scholarly accounts of a spreading European mentality that goes something like this: Human beings are a collection of chemicals that activate and, after a period of time, deactivate. The purpose of life is to while away the intervening time as pleasantly as possible.”
Sounds good to me. And “whiling away the time as pleasantly as possible doesn't necessarily exclude work and children. It excludes doing crappy jobs that make idiot sociopaths inordinately wealthy and unwanted children. Most people want to work, to take part in the creation of something they find valuable, and will do so if they have the time and good health. And I think most people enjoy having children. It's certainly added immeasurable value to my life and I simply don't see how the practice will just fade away if we make it less of a burden and more of a personal choice. And I'm talking about normal people. Work and children have always been less of a burden and more of a choice for the wealthy.

After that, Murry goes on to argue that science will soon prove that it is impossible for European-type society to exist at all and that anybody who thinks European-like society could exist is either a stupid liberal or possibly a member of one of the less intelligent races.

His first premise is that people are not equal, therefore they shouldn't be treated as such. His second principle is that humans can't change. Not within our own lifetime. Not as a species through the sweep of history. Therefore government should quit trying to do anything to help anyone improve their lives. “Jails not Schools” could be his motto.

Then Murray provides the obligatory attack on single mothers and comes to the startling, ultra-controversial politically incorrect conclusion that people who grow up in stable families and communities are more likely to have rewarding jobs and stay out of prisons than those who don't. Of course these brilliant insights absolutely slay the dreaded liberal, anti-family straw monster; but he makes no policy proposals to do anything about it. In fact, all of his previous arguments seem to say that nothing can be done. People are not equal and they can never change. Presumably, government only wastes taxpayer money by trying.

Funny, it seems to me there is a model of human society that adequately deals with Murray's concern for keeping people employed and out of prison. That would be, ummm, the European model.

Yep, Charles Murray and the Washington Post. Another episode of Wingnut Wonderland.