Friday, September 5, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Real Question About Ms Palin

Is she in it for America or Alaska?  The most damning thing she says in this video that has played allover the net is not that she does not know what a VP does but that she said, "We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Quote

Ergo, we know nothing.

Nate at 538 talking about Obama's VP choice.

Destination Moon


I just watched Destination Moon as an escape from the depressing news cycle. It was an amazingly good movie. I did not expect much from a science fiction movie made in 1950. Even the ones that people call classics mostly disappoint. I was only watching it because it was written by Robert A. Heinlein. The blurb at IMDB says it is the first movie that tried to be scientifically accurate about a trip to the moon. It was that and more. It watches like a propaganda piece to convince US to go to the moon. But an entertaining propaganda piece. The special effects were uneven. The worst were good for the time and the best were way ahead of that. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in watching a movie that tries to accurately predict what a future technology would look like compared to how it actually turned out.

Quote

Halperin does us all a service by signaling that the Bush administration will seem "accomodationist" in comparison to a potential McCain administration.

Josh Marshal TPM

Our LD CIC

President George W Bush (The Learning Disabled Commander In Chief) is even stupider than I thought. He is trying to start a war with Russia. Putin is trying to help him. The peoples of both nations are now hostages of our idiot leaders who are playing chicken with WWIII. You thought the cold war was over. Psych! They have started it back up in just a couple of days and are trying to make it a hot one. Each of them is more afraid of looking weak than they are of war. That is what we get for electing cowards to run our countries.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Adage Proved By Bush

Grey's Law - Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

Quote

I would argue that, far from being a “Christian nation,” the United States is a neo-pagan society that has appropriated the figure of Christ as a sort of uber-American, crime-fighting superhero who, conveniently agrees with us about everything.

Chesire111 at TPM

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Be The First To Know!

Or at least on of the first couple of million. Barack Obama is going to announce his VP choice via text. Text VP to 62262 to be on the list.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Quote For The Day

If tearing down Obama is the only way he can win--and this should be obvious, but apparently it isn't--McCain doesn't deserve to win.

Joe Kline

Boris McCain

Mitchell Aboulafia has a contest on his blog asking who McCain reminds you of. Here is my entry.

Boris McCain sayd:

Bomb, bomb, bomb,,,bomb, bomb,B-Bulwinkle

Orwell's Diaries

George Orwell's diaries are being published as a blog seventy years after he wrote them. Megan and I started reading them today. I hope to make it a part of our morning routine. Orwell is one of the great political philosophers of the past century and his diaries will certainly be better than the drivel of an average blog like mine.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Joys Of Home Ownership

We spent two evenings this week repairing the water line to our house. There had been a wet spot in the yard for a few weeks so I knew there was a leak. Wednesday the weather was unseasonably cool so I decided it was time to make the repair before it got worse on a one of our typically hot high summer days and forced my hand.


We dug a hole and found the problem but it turned out that I had the wrong size fitting delaying the completion of the job. Then it rained Thursday delaying the job further, filling the hole with water, and making the pile of dirt for filling the hole into a solid mass. But we got it fixed and the hole filled this evening. It was a chore that gave me and my daughter the chance to work together and that is always good.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Winner (Racism Loses)

Nikki Tinker's racist campaign backfired! I am proud of my citty tonight. The ads she ran hurt her. Rep Cohen got 80% of the vote. He could not have done it if her racist crap had not pissed off my neighbors.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

ExxonMcCain (click the pic)


The Law Is An Ass

It has happened again. Where is Jury Nullification? How do citizens in good conscience convict a person of dealing drugs when the person being sold to is the parent of a teenager with cancer?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"It's like these guys take pride in being ignorant."

GObama, Tell the truth on they ass!

Sen Obama Please Choose None Of The Above.

I fervently hope that sen Obama chooses someone not on the shortlists for his VP. Surprise us and make some news please Sen Obama.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Lieberman Idiocy On Parade

Lieberman just referred to "Al Qaeda in Iran" on Meet The Press.

Fading In The Polls?

I have read many posts across the blogosphere over the past few days talking up some fade in the polls that Sen Obama is supposedly experiencing. But when I look at the trend lines on sites like Pollster....



...the trend line appears to be headed up to me. How about you? This shows once again how poor we are at understanding trends intuitively. Obama is doing just fine in the polling so far. The McCain campaign is justifiably panicking. So would you if the only critique of you opponent you had in a popularity contest is that he is too popular.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Another Reason To Vote Against McCain

As reported at TNR he loves boxing but hates Ultimate Fighting so much he has worked to get it outlawed. He calls UFC 'human cock fighting'. But is an avid lifetime fan of boxing.

If you are a UFC fan his wishing to outlaw your entertainment should give you pause. If you like reason his ability to get so completely incensed over a distinction without a difference should give you pause.

PhDiva

I just discovered the blog of PhDiva. It is an excellent blog about the early years of our civilization. What to know what happened in ancient Greece or Rome on this date in history? Check out PhDiva.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Evolution Of A Concept

Inception

Refinement

All Gayed Up!

News Flash! Poor Minortity Women Not Stupid!

This will only be news for those who have bought the harsh GOP spin and their Randian friends. The Brookings institute published an abstract of a study that shows that paying for birth control through Medicaid reduces the rate at which those on Medicaid have children.

Who would have thunk it? It turns out that even poor, uneducated, minority women can make good decisions and act on them when we do not withhold the means to do so from them.

I am going to make a new category to label posts of this kind of information under. It will be 'NO SHIT'. I will reserve it for studies that tell us what should be common sense but that entrenched political and societal forces fight against.

Thanks to Matthew Yglesias.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Proof That Women Are Less Competent Than Men

With her reply to one of my comments over at Womanist Musings Renee got me to thinking about suicide. I have been making this tongue in cheek observation for years but did not look up the statistics. Women actually perform worse than I had been saying. One only needs two statistics to prove that women are grossly less competent than men. Attempted suicides and the suicide rate.

Women were three times as likely to attempt suicide in 2001. In that year 24,672 men committed suicide compared to 5,950 suicides committed by women. That means that men commit suicide 4 time as often as women do with 1/3 the attempts. That means that men are 12 times as likely to succeed at trying to kill themselves.

Killing a human being is not a difficult task. It is no secret what it takes to end a life. It is especially easy to do if the victim is co-operative. In a suicide the victim is by definition co-operating with the killer because they are the same person. How incompetent does one have to be to fail at such a simple task.

/snark








Statistics are from suicide.org.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Veep Stakes

There is rampant speculation about the VP choices on both sides and timing. There is now speculation that McCain is going to make his pick tomorrow. I guess we are going to see that one every other day or so untill some one is right.

Here is my guess. Obama knows who he is going to pick and whenever McCain makes his choice Obama is going to stomp on the news cycle by announcing his choice. I also believe that the oposite is true. So each candidate is trying to out wait the other. Who ever moves first loses.

They should save the announcement for the conventions. Conventions have become non-news events but not knowing who the VP choice is would make it a real event that people would actualy watch.

Unless McCain is stupid enough to let Obama stomp on his news cycle we will be waiting for a while yet. (I hope he announces tomorrow. but doubt that even he is that dumb.)

Has A Surfer/Snowboarder Who Lives In A Van Rewritten Physics? Maybe.


I would love to be educated enough to have an opinion on wether this guy is right.

The Last Lecture

This is all over the net so you have probably seen it. If not push play.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Good Comeback

KAREN TUMULTY - Was there anything that you saw on this trip that changed your mind? John McCain, as you know, is saying, "Well, he already knew what he was going to think before he got there."

BARACK OBAMA - Well, I thought John also suggested that I'm always changing my mind, so he's got to make up his mind about what he says about my mind.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Citizenship

I am a citizen of Memphis.
I am a citizen of Tennessee.
I am a citizen of The United States of America.
I am a citizen of The World.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Speech

I just watched the speech for the second time. I watched it live during my lunch today. I watched it again with my daughter just now. I was spell bound even upon the second viewing. This speech laid out Sen Obama's vision for our place in the world and it is a grand vision. He is the kind of leader who can sell that grand vision to the world. He will get us more cooperation from the other nations in securing our future by making it clear that it is their future as well. If you doubt what he will do - - - watch him tell you.

Misplaced Mistaken Outrage

... over Sen. Kerry's use of the term 'tar-baby'. You will note that I did not say false outrage. I do not think that Renee over at Womanist Musings is being disingenuous when she claims to be outraged. She is outraged. But she is outraged in error. She has the video posted on her blog so you can watch it there to judge for yourself.

She is acting like he called someone a 'tar-baby'. He did not. He used the word in its original meaning - a sticky problem that only entangles you more them harder you struggle. What he did was not like calling a black man a 'spade'. What he did is like using the word 'spade' to refer to the black card suit with pips shaped like spear heads. This is an argument that will likely turn out to be a tar-baby for me but we must stop running from the difficult topic of race. People of good will must speak about these things in the effort to increase understanding across the color line for so long as it exists.

In her post and comments she argues that the common vernacular meaning of the word is the racist word. I cannot argue with that because I am not a part of her vernacular community. Neither is the Senator. He has probably spent less time in his life around openly racist people who use racial insults than I have. And I do not recall hearing this term used as a racial insult, even though I have been exposed to an amazing variety of these terms. I have encountered people who refer to it as one but not heard it myself. I have also not heard it used in its original meaning very often. It is rapidly falling out of use all together.

She also argues in the comments,

BTW what I deem to be racist against WOC is far more accurate than your determination simply because I inhabit the body that I do. This is one of those times Larry when you listen to views of POC and put aside your inclinations.
This is the sort of argument that by design is racist and shuts down the discussion rather than opens it up. She may be able to more accurately say what a WOC finds offensive than I am, but she does not have any special insight into the way that Sen Kerry and his peers use language and that is at least as central to this argument as how she feels about it. It is obvious from the context that the over-educated elite white male was ignorant of the racial implications of the word he used. He used it in a clearly non-racial context in its original meaning. He is likely to issue an apology because of the controversy that his ignorant choice of words caused but that firestorm has only served to distract from the actual content of what he was saying. He was defending Sen Obama from a scurrilous attack and no one will note his defense of our candidate because we had to digress into the language of personal affront.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Black In America (Hour One)

I intended to watch the full two hours of this CNN special tonight. I was defeated by its glacial pace. It was as if it was the producers goal to give the viewer as little information in as much time as possible. I simply could not force myself to sit through another virtually content free hour this evening.

The first hour gave me the following tidbits.

1. There are families that have both black and white branches to their family tree. This was no news to anyone who is paying attention to the world around them. We are all mutts. It is only the retarded white supremacist and melanists who claim that they are pure bred. I am not the sort of credulous individual who will buy their con.

2. Education is important. They told of the program that is paying children for grades. I think it is a fantastic idea.

3. More and more children are being born out of wedlock. The single mother rate in the black community is 70%. No news here. They had no suggested solutions either.

4. There are some otherwise intelligent people who believe a pseudo since theory that blacks die younger than whites because of "Salt tolerance". Why look to research when we can just make some good sounding crap up and BELIEVE!

That is four tidbits of information in an hour of "reporting". Only #4 was news to me and I really did not need to be exposed to that bit of misinformation. Just like I have no need to hear the BS arguments for young earth creationism except to be able to refute them.

McTrolling For Votes

On TPMCafe There has been much discussion of late about what makes a person a troll or a comment trollish. It is my opinion that the essence of what constitutes trolishness is the dishonest insult. If a person hurls hurtful invective that they know to not be true then they are a troll.

Sen McCain gave an excellent example of this behavior this week. He chose to try to gain political points by saying that Sen Obama wants to lose in Iraq. Sen McCain knows that this is not true. He knows that Sen Obama wishes for us to succeed in Iraq. He has a policy difference with Sen Obama. He thinks that Sen Obama's policy will lead to failure. Saying that is an honest critique of Sen Obama's positions. But he chose not to make a principled attack on Sen Obama's position. He instead claimed that if you disagree with his policy positions the you are in favor of losing. That is how he became a troll for a day.

We all make trollish comments from time to time. What makes a troll is consistently making trollish comments. I will be watching to see which personality wins. Will we see the campaign of the straight shooter McCain, or will we be treated to three months of Troll McBush?

You Ain't Cool...

till you do your thing on Sesame Street.

Tattooed White Trash Correction

I got the link wrong in my first post. It is fixed now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

GOP vs Democrats

I saw this in a comment by likelydemented over at TPM.
I say what is going on here is some kind of split--separate emotional universes. On one side are people who are essentially authoritarian by nature and who want rules, clarity, and predictability. They support cops, the military, and President Pinocchio. On the other side are people who, for whatever reasons, are able to put up with ambiguity and the messiness of democracy. They don't understand us; we don't understand them.
That is an excellent observation. My libertarian friends are missing the point by hanging out with the GOP which is the authoritarian party.

This was also a learning experience about bookmarking things you want to comment on. It took me forever to find this again today because I did not.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Matrix vs Metamucil

You will hate yourself if you do not look at this picture.

Tattooed White Trash For Obama

I want to show that, contrary to the lie repeated in the press, the working class is supporting Sen Obama's bid for the White House. If you would like to pitch in to sell this message then donate to the working class fundraiser - Tattooed White Trash For Obama.

Friday, July 18, 2008

McCain Tries To Get Obama Killed

Sen McCain appears to have decided that his chances are so slim for winning this fall that he should make life as dangerous as possible for Sen Obama. His first move in this new strategy is announcing Sen Obama's travel plans for Iraq.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

IRV (Instant Runoff Voting)

A charter amendment for Instant Runoff Voting will be on the ballot here in Memphis this fall. Under IRV when you vote you select your first second and third choices. In an IRV system voters would be allowed to rank candidates in order of preference "1", "2","3","4",..etc If a candidate gets a majority of the 1st place votes then he or she wins. If not then the candidate with the fewest 1st place votes is eliminated. 1st place votes for that candidate are then redistributed to the remaining candidates based on the 2nd place votes. If there is a candidate with a majority, he/she wins.

This will solve some of our election problems here in the city. Under our current system the candidate with a plurality of votes wins. This allows a candidate who has no chance of winning to enter the election and split the vote of the most popular candidate and act as a spoiler. IRV will prevent the Nader effect from plaguing our elections in the future. If you live in Memphis please encourage your friends to vote for this ballot item.

Whoose Children Count

I had managed to remain mercifully unaware of the number of Brangalina's children until I read this post.

I cannot understand our fascination with who is poking whom with what in Hollywood. It is in my eyes a defect of our society. To me an artist should be judged by their work and their lives are completely uninteresting. Angelina's pregnancy, lovers, habits, humanitarian efforts, vices, are irrelevant to my life and the fascination that others have with it is as unintelligible to me as some peoples fascination with who wins a child's game played by grown men who never grew up and do not know how to behave in public.

Independent of that, the points made in the post about our societies failure to provide basic services, like education and health care that includes reproductive services to the least fortunate among us are dead on. It is our national shame. That does not mean that it is wise to have children at a young age and out of wedlock. Trying to convince the young of the truth that they should pursue an education and try to lift themselves up before having children is a service in and of itself. It is hard enough to raise a child with all the support in the world. Alone and in poverty it is a challenge that none of us should have to face.

If Sen Obama or Mr Cosby tell someone to get an education first and try to find a mate that will stick with you for life because the work is lighter when it is shared they are only giving the same advice I give my daughter. Do you advise you child to get pregnant as young as possible by an anonymous father? Why would you rail against these men for giving sound advice. Our nation clearly needs to do more but in the mean time each of us should try to make the lives of the young we have influence over as easy as possible by giving them sound life advice.

E-mail Lies About Taxes

There is an e-mail going around claiming that Obama's tax proposals will hurt the working class more than McCain's. It is simply not true. There are articles about the two plans here and here. You can find these and more by Googling "Obama V McCain tax". You can also tell that this is BS because it says that families have lost farms and small business because of the Estate Tax. It simply has not happened. The right has been telling this lie for years. They know that most small business men and farmers over value their assets and do not sub tract their liabilities when thinking about how much their business or farm is worth. That is what estate tax is paid on the market value less liabilities. You have to subtract the seed loan, the equipment loans and the mortgage from the value of the family farm. Once that is done most farms have little or no value.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

McCain Cannot Tell The Difference

Between -

Sudan and Somalia
Czechoslovakia and The Czech Republic
Sunni and Shia
Leaving and Losing

Every time someone talks about combat forces leaving Iraq as part of a stabilization plan he screams "That's surrender". He obviously cannot tell the difference between leaving and losing. If leaving is losing how do we ever get out of any conflict? Why will no one ask him to give an example of what victory would look like? He has nothing to say about how he would win. He has become a caricature naysayer.

Translation

"This is a horribly unfortunate story," said Homeland Security spokeswoman Laura Keehner.

Translation

"It is terribly unfortunate that a member of the bush administration got caught selling access. That is supposed to stay out of the public eye."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Comedians' Gravy Train Comming To An End

Let's face it. Bush has made our Comedians weak. They have had seven years of low hanging fruit. They are terrified that Obama will win with a less than completely ridiculous vice president. The Bush administration has made them into lap dogs who are not able to fend for themselves unprepared to be released into the wild.
“The thing is, he’s not buffoonish in any way,” said Mike Barry
Our likely next president will not be writing the jokes for them and they do not know what to do.

The Most Insightfull Comment I Have Read All Day.

From Markg8 commenter at TPM.

anyone who sits in front of the computer all day commenting on blogs is or is on his way to being an over-weight, middle-aged white guy. Even if he is a 11 year old black girl. It's a little known drawback of combining the computer revolution and evolutionary biology.

Words to live by.

Obama's Problem With Former Hillary Supporters

Humanity Critic sums it up. "it doesn't exactly take a Mensa member to figure out that when 4 out of 10 West Virginians readily admit that race was a factor when they voting in that states' Democratic Primary, chances are Obama will have a extremely rough time capturing the coveted 'toothless rube' vote."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

New Coffee Beverage Treat

1 cup strong coffee
2 table spoons NutellaTM
1 ripe banana

Blend thoroughly. Pour into pint glass. Enjoy!

My Favorite Argument

An Oil Man Is My New Hero

Who would have thunk it?
This add ran during MTP this morning. Here in Memphis it ran just after an add for a local candidate for the house who is trying to get elected based on arguing that we should try to drill our way out of our energy problems. It really blocked his message to have his add followed by Mr Pickens add saying that, "I have been an oil man my whole life, but this is one emergency we can't drill our way out of."

His plan is not without its problems and will not be the solution by itself, but his advocacy moves the debate in the right direction. We should be debating how to get off oil instead of how to get another fix for our addiction.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Whining Crybaby Clintonite Losers

Damn it. A bunch of whining crybaby losers are trying to tear the party apart because their candidate of choice lost.

They are trying to make the convention into the nominating contest it used to be. That is a losing strategy. I hope they are told to take their damn ball and go home.

Hillary Needs to make a shermanesque statement and shut these people down. If she will not she is just another Lieberman Independent Democrat Buddy-F*cker. The primaries are over. She lost and she should tell this bunch of spoiled kids to grow up and get with the program.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Second Biggest Bank Failure Ever

There was a run on the bank IndyMac Bancorp. Do you hear that? A run on the bank! I guess it is just all in our heads. Because every one knows that Republicans are good for the economy (not).

Does Obama Still Seem Nutless To Y'all?

He kicked Hillary's ass with one arm tied behind his back and some doubted he had what it took to get tough because he did not tear her down. His new radio add shows he is swinging away at McCain. Do you still think he's a wuss who can't punch?

Flashy Clothes = Insecure Person

In her post Clothing, What It Really Costs Renee over at Womanist Musings was complaining about the amount we spend to to be walking billboards to show off our status at the expense of the downtrodden poor who labor for slave wages so that we can have the latest designers add on our back. She is complaining for the exploited. They do deserve our sympathy. But even if the price you paid for these goods was going to workers who were paid a living wage, my question is why would you stoop to advertising for someone who is paying you nothing for the work you do promoting their brand?

Brand consciousness just marks you as one generation away from poverty as much as to much as flashy jewelry does. You might as well drive a car or truck with rims that cost more than the vehicle wearing jewelry that cost more than the rims. You could get the same effect by painting your truck to match your boat. It is all the same motivation that makes a four year old yell "LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT MEEEEE!!!".

So wear your designer threads and carry that handbag that cost you a weeks pay. You look like the unctuous used car salesman flashin' his Rolex, or the woman showing off her diamond engagement ring that paid for the guns in the hands of child soldiers raping other children.

Today's Postmodern and Jokey

is
Tomorrow's old fashioned and hokey

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My First Obama Event

I have just set up my first event for Sen Obama's Campaign. If you are going to be in Memphis this Sunday join us at Glenview Park and register some voters.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Womanist Musings

I was chasing time down a link-hole yesterday and found the excelent blog Womanist Musings. It makes for good reading and I have added it to my bloglist. I do not agree with all of her positions but she states them well.

Memphis For Obama 08

I went to a meeting of Memphis For Obama 08 tonight where we planned our continuing voter registration efforts. It was good to actually do something which might effect the outcome of the race instead of arguing pointlessly on the intertubes.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Conservatives Continue To Get It Backwards

Andrew Sullivan pointed out an interview of Ross Douthat at Newsweek from which he got the following quote.
If you look at the marriage rates in the 1950s and 1960s across social classes, the upper-middle class, the working class and the poor all got married and divorced at about the same rate. The all had children in wedlock or out of wedlock at about the same rate. That's changed dramatically over the past 50 years. So upper-middle-class Americans are still behaving like bourgeois, 1950s surburbanites. They're getting married, they have low divorce rates, they're very unlike to have children out of wedlock. That's not true for the working class. What you see in the white working class, in fact, is a trajectory that parallels, in alarming ways, what the black working class went through in terms of collapsing marriage rates and out-of-wedlock birth rates in the 1960s and 1970s. So we argue that that's one of the biggest challenges facing the American working class, and it's at the root of a lot of the inequality and a lot of the economic anxiety that are big factors in this election year.
They claim that the divorce rate is a big factor in the inequality in our society. But research indicates that they have got the direction of causation backwards. The prime causes of divorce are low income and income volatility. The union busting done by Regan and his successors that increased job insecurity, and the wage stagnation caused by our increasingly regressive tax structure (if you look at all taxes and not just the income tax) championed by the GOP cause the family breakdown they try to blame on liberals.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

How Stupid Are Journalists?

Look at this video of the Palestinian going on a rampage with a "buldozer".




I have been hearing about this on the radio. Then tonight I saw it on BBC's this week. Imagine my surprise when every reporter in the world was proved to be a dumb ass who cannot tell the difference between a bulldozer and a front end loader. Here are examples of each piece of equipment.





Front End Loader



Buldozer



Can you tell the difference? I know I can. Why can't a single journalist in the entire world get that name of a piece of equipment right?

Monumentally Piss Poor Governance

The Sinkhole

This sinkhole which has gotten a small amount of attention for our piss poor local government here in Memphis reminded me of another argument our city council had about who was responsible for the cost of maintaining city property. This sinkhole was caused by the collapse of a storm drain. It has rendered our passenger train station unusable because it is underneath where the track left the station. The city is saying that the railroad is responsible even though the damage was caused by the collapse of municipal infrastructure, ignoring the fact that the land is owned by the city and only leased by the railroad.


Elvis

This reminded me of another conflict our city had a few years ago. The parks commission had put a statue of Elvis up in front of the MLG&W (Memphis Light, Gas, and Water) offices downtown. The statue had been damaged by people breaking the fringe off of it and marking it with graffiti. The MLG&W argued that the city was responsible for the upkeep on the statue and the city argued that it was MLG&W's responsibility.




Elvis's Hero; Prince Mongo

A local crazy man/hero/shaman/alien monarch/pain in the ass (depending on who you ask) Prince Mongo decided that it was time for him to take a break from running for mayor or senate and come to the rescue of Elvis (who is represent by his statue in this tale). He decided that if the city did not own the statue and MLG&W did not own the statue he would move it to his house. He announced that he would be claiming the statue on a sunny Monday Morning. When he showed up with a crane to claim the unclaimed statue the city suddenly decided that they owned the statue. They found the money to renovate the statue and place it indoors at our visitors center and install a less delicate statue at the MLG&W offices.

The Question

How will we threaten our incompetent local government into fixing their crumbling infrastructure before we are removed from the list of cities served by The City of New Orleans?

Friday, July 4, 2008

GOP Tactics Explained

This comment was posted on TPM by Jumpy Jack. He has a fairly good list of the GOP tactics for discrediting Democratic candidates.

1. If he has a progressive/liberal position on something, accuse him of being "beyond liberal", "THE most liberal" or "communist".

2. If he has a more centrist/conservative position (e.g. a position the right agrees with), accuse him of political triangulation and opportunism.

3. If he changes position on something because facts have changed, accuse him of flip-flopping.

4. If his position depends on future events or future analysis, accuse him of having no position and no substance.

5. If he criticizes the current administration, accuse him ob being anti-American.

6. If he complains about any of the above tactics being used, accuse him of being angry (+ black, if he's black, for the added bonus).

7. If he doesn't complain, accuse him of being a wimp.

That pretty much covers every possible situation, twice. But just to be sure:

8. Always use all of the above, on every occasion, wherever you see fit, or not.


I have a single question. Are there still enough people left who have not learned how this works to win the GOP another election with this intellectually and morally bankrupt pack of lies?

Sen Obama's Remarkable Consistency On Iraq

Sen Obama has said from the start that, "We must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in." He has said it so much that it is almost as much a theme of his campaign as Hope and Change. He has said that he intends to remove all American combat forces from Iraq as quickly as possible. He has said that he has been informed that two brigades a month is as quickly as is prudent and that if you remove troops at that rate you will be out in 16 months. It is also his contention that part of the problem with the current administration is their refusal to adjust to changing realities. He is not going to stubbornly stick to a plan regardless of the reality on the ground.

He has said this again and again. Check out the links or the embedded video below. Here he is explaining this position in March on Anderson Cooper. Here he is explaining it yesterday (7-3-8). During the primaries and now his position has been the same. But the know nothing reality denying punditry accuses him of waffling on both occasions. What is the deal with that?

March


July

Do you see inconsistency here? I do not.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Atheists Rejoice

When I read Sen Obama's speech on the faith based initiative today, the first things I noticed were his inclusion of secular community organizations among those that should be supported and including people of no faith when he was listing the religions that we should be tolerant of. This is not the first time he has included us. He has included us every time he has spoken of religious tolerance. This marks a change in kind not just degree. He has actually embraced us. No politician has done that before in my lifetime. There is something to complain about in this speech but not nearly as much as there is to celebrate if you are an atheist.

Green Update


I managed to make it the 15 days between paydays on a single tank of gas. I have simply been thinking about that WWII poster that asked if this trip is necessary. A little planning can help to eliminate trips. Planing so that you go to the grocery on the way home from Mom's and save a trip is no great burden.


I have also managed to continue to use the fan instead of AC. So far this summer we have had days that top out around 90°F and lows around 70°F. I am surprised at how comfortable this house is when it is that hot outside. It helps that the house was built in 1929 and has plaster walls which form a thermal mass. It gets cool enough at night that I need a blanket and the walls hold that cool in the day time. The house is also shaded by an old oak in the front yard. I am hoping it will still be tolerable in high summer but am not optimistic. It hits 100°F regularly here from late July to late September.


If you are reading this and have posted a blog about what you are doing to save energy let me know so I can link to you.

My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro is one of my favorite children's movies. My daughter and I watched it many times when she was younger. It is the story of two sisters whose mother is in the hospital and the way they and their father deal with the illness. It tells children that things are seldom as bad as you imagine and parents that you should level with the kids because they are not comforted by a lack of knowledge. Besides the Cat Bus is super cool.

Monday, June 30, 2008

"What Is Wrong With Tennessee?" You Ask.
















This morning a link on TPM led me to this post which asked, "What Is Wrong With Tennessee?" On my way home from work I took this picture which should answer the Question. It is the statue of Nathan Bedford Forest located in Downtown Memphis. Yes, this is the city with a statue of the founder of the KKK in its very heart, across the street from our state medical school. And this is the liberal corner of the state.

Scott Bloch - In The News Again

The Office of Special Counsel under Scott Bloch apparently though it was their job to 'clear the backlog' by dismissing cases rather than investigating them.

Abuse OK In The Name Of The Lord

No God Blog has a post up this morning that let us know about a decision by the Texas Supreme Court that overturned the child abuse decision against a church for injuring a girl during an exorcism on freedom of religion grounds. Spread the word.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Unnatural Causes

I just spent the afternoon over at Mom's. My sister brought over the DVD Unnatural Causes. It was an excellent documentary about how economic inequality is killing us. We are at a crossroads and we can chose to go one of two ways. We can become a more equitable society like the other industrialized nations or we can become a third world country. Which way will we go?

A Large Percentage Of Respondents Are Dumb Asses

You can find people commenting on the recent U.S. Religious Landscape Survey. There is much speculation as to why 21% of atheists and 40% of agnostics report a belief in god while anywhere from 1% to 10% of the adherent of various faiths report that they do not believe in a god. I believe that this discrepancy is based in the ignorance of the respondents.

Obama v. McCain, The Significant Difference (or Why Even Conservatives Should Vote Obama)

There are many readily apparent difference between these two candidates and they could inform your vote were it not for the big difference. These difference are the typical ones that normally differentiate candidates in any election cycle.

Obama is a liberal - McCain is a conservative

McCain is a Republican - Obama is a Democrat

Obama is an outsider - McCain is an old hand

McCain is a war hero - Obam is not

Obama is an intellectual - McCain is an average guy

McCain is older - Obama is younger

Obama is a great orator - McCain is the cottage cheese in your green jello

These are the kinds of distinctions that have normally guided us when we choose who to vote for. If you are liberal or conservative, elitist or anti-intellectual, if you value change or experience you can make an informed choice about who deserves your vote. But this year these distinctions pale in comparison to the real difference between these candidates. McCain is a dogmatic ideologue - Obama is a practical politician who values results over adherence to philosophical purity.

"Hold on" you say "but McCain is a maverick." That is his earned reputation, but even on the things he splits with his party on, earning that reputation he is a demagogic ideologue. He sees the world in stark relief. He does not value subtlety. He sees himself as the righteous one battling the forces of evil. You are with him or again' him. For him campaign finance reform, or earmarks are not an opportunity to make progress reforming institutions. They are grand moral crusades. He does not like economics because he cannot figure out who is the bad guy and so does not have the ability to make a conclusion. Haven't we seen that movie for the last eight years?

Whether you are conservative or liberal the subtlety that Obama brings weighing each issue as a spectrum of choices should impress. He has been consistent in his approach to solving problems and confronting the issues. He weighs them carefully looking for a solution that is practical both in the world and in political terms. This is what impressed me from the start. He has laid this philosophy out from the start. It is all through his speeches. When he spoke before the 2004 DNC he laid it out. We all face the same problems that need solving whether we are conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican, red state or blue. If we come together to solve the problems then we can.

Sen Obama is not going to stop being a liberal. He is, however, going to work in good faith with all comers who wish to be part of the solution. That is what we need. And it certainly does not hurt that he is the kind of orator who can sell his solutions.

Still President Bush Is Still Hurting Us

The Bush administration is trying once again to force less efficient more costly privatization on local governments. Here is their latest stupidity.

Perception

The Daily Dish pointed me to this article about perception. It deals with itch and phantom sensation. Here is what Andrew Considered to be the money quote -
The images in our mind are extraordinarily rich. We can tell if something is liquid or solid, heavy or light, dead or alive. But the information we work from is poor—a distorted, two-dimensional transmission with entire spots missing. So the mind fills in most of the picture. You can get a sense of this from brain-anatomy studies. If visual sensations were primarily received rather than constructed by the brain, you’d expect that most of the fibres going to the brain’s primary visual cortex would come from the retina. Instead, scientists have found that only twenty per cent do; eighty per cent come downward from regions of the brain governing functions like memory. Richard Gregory, a prominent British neuropsychologist, estimates that visual perception is more than ninety per cent memory and less than ten per cent sensory nerve signals.
The more I learn about how perception works the more surprised I am the they are ever right.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Joe's Liquor's Sputnik

This sign for Joe's Liquor illustrates part of what I like about living in Midtown. About ten years ago, after this sign had not worked for decades, the new owner of Joe's decided that he wanted to fix the Sputnik which was a Midtown landmark. He could not afford to do so. He talked to people about his wish and several local bands offered to do benefits for him to raise the funds. When it was repaired one of the bands played in the parking lot across the street and Joe's had a party for the official relighting of the Sputnik. About this same time several business out in the suburbs were putting up artificially distressed signs to try to give themselves authenticity. They take new things and try to make them look old. Midtowners take an old thing and make it new again. Then we throw a party to celebrate in the street!

Ma Vie En Rose

Ma Vie En Rose (My Life In Pink) is a quirky Belgian movie about a sevenyear old transvestite and his family's reaction to his desire to be a barbie doll. I was amazed at how well this movie treated all of its characters and the problems they were faced with. How much should we conform to the expectations of others and how much can we expect them to conform to ours? It will make you think and entertain you at the same time.

Klinke Brothers




These are photos of the old Klinke Brothers dairy and creamery on Belvue Blvd here in Memphis. This rundown abandoned building with its distinctive milk bottle shaped tank on the roof is a historical landmark for my family. It's the place where Dad lied about his age to get his first job after fleeing the farm and heading for the big city in the mid 1940's. Update: Mom tells me that this is not the dairy that Dad Had a job at. He worked at the Sealtest Dairy which is no longer standing.

Even in decay this is a beautiful building. It is an example of the factories built all over this nation when companies cared about their image and built attractive places of business instead of the ugly boxes of tin that liter the landscape today.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Imortal

Some movies are so beautiful that the story and the characters become irrelevant. Immortal is high on the list of them. It is a combination of live action and animation presenting a French version of the gritty side of a slickly technological fantasy future where the gods of old live along side AI. It is like 102 minutes of film shot shot in the Bowery of a slick perfume commercial world.

He Only Thinks It Is Apolitical

FredrickBernanke over at ProteanPerspectives put this post up that points to an article claiming that it is an apolitical article. It is actualy very relevant to many policy differences between the parties. The GOP is continually trying to sell people on 'choice' in one policy area or anther. But as the research the article discusses points out we are not best served by to many choices. Especially ones we cannot understand all the ramifications of. This is why we are poorly served by private insurance. It offers us choices we cannot understand that have consequences for our lives. The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less by Barry Schwartz is a book dedicated to the policy and life implications of this problem.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

I am very much into movies so I am going to post here on a regular basis movies that I have seen that I think are exceptional. Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is my first recommendation. It is the story of a solitary hit man who dedicates his life to living 'The Way of the Samurai' and raises pigeons. It is an unusual movie quiet, contemplative, beautiful, and violent. The soundtrack is perfect and watching Ghost Dog talk with his best friend without a shared language is strangely calming, as is the gentleman building the boat. I understand why it was not a blockbuster. It does not play to the lowest common denominator. I watch movies often but I own only a hand full that can stand up to repeated viewings this is one of them.

My Representative Calling Dick Cheney a Barnacle

McCain v Obama Debate Posturing

What should Sen Obama do about Sen McCain's challenge to ten townhalls? Humanity Critic has suggested that he is correct to decline the challenge in his post Hey Barack, give McCain's "Townhall" idea the Gasface!(Vibe.com) over at The Nappy Diatribe. I agree but think in order to look strong he needs to up the ante. He should give McCain a challenge that looks even more bold than McCain's. He should challenge McCain to a series of debates that include traditional debates, McCain's preferred townhalls, Lincoln Douglas style debates that he has suggested, and my favored Chess Clock Debate. This will force McCain to be the one who backs down.

Supreme Injustice

The Supreme Court decided in all its wisdom that it is cruel and unusual punishment to apply the death penalty in cases of child rape because the child was not killed. I am against the death penalty for many reasons that have nothing to do with it being cruel and unusual but their reasoning seems to me to be the height of injustice. They are saying that there is no fate worse than death. That is simply not the case. We say that the death penalty is not applicable to simple murder. There must be aggravating circumstances. You get the death penalty for your cruelty, not for simple murder. (At least on paper that is the reason. In real life we all know it helps to be a member of a minority who has killed a white woman.) Their ruling is an affront to common sense. We know it is possible to inflict a fate worse than death. And for that you should receive the death penalty if it is to be imposed for any reason.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

GOP Senator Runs Pro Obama Add

Every time I try to tell myself not to get overconfident something like this comes along. You do not want to get complacent and start thinking that Sen McCain is toast before the election starts. How can you resist the temptation when his own GOP colleagues think they are better off allying themselves with his opponent?

The Daily Clusterdouche

A post over at TPM entitled 'Jews Pray For Rapture Just To Rid The Earth Of Ann Coulter' led me to The Daily Clusterdouche. It is a high quality, low volume humor site that is much like The Onion. I have added it to my links and recommend it to all.

Obamaniac Overconfidence

We are overconfident. We are arrogant. If we do not reign it in we are going to lose. All of our individual concerns are valid but that does not make bringing them up productive.

At a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus Sen Obama said "If women take a moment to realize that on every issue important to women, John McCain is not in their corner, that would help them get over it." He is making the argument that Sen McCain is against the positions of a majority of women but what was the takeaway message for Rep. Diane Watson? For her it was a chance to get offended because he used the three words she did not want to hear, "get over it". Because that is a trigger phrase for her she did not hear the argument which is so obviously true he should not have even had to be making it to a member of the House.

At a Detroit rally an Obama volunteer asked two women wearing head scarves to to not sit behind the Sen Obama. They decided to take public umbrage to this slight and force the Senator's campaign to deal with this matter of trivia for a week instead of concentrating one defining his race with Sen McCain. Do they think that their interests are better served by a president who wants to Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Iran?

Last week Sen Obama made a statement saying he would fight to get the telecom immunity removed from the FISA bill but that if he failed in that that failure would not make him vote against the final bill. If you listened to the hue and cry from his supposed political alis you would have thought he was the author of every deminishment of our civil rights for the past eight years instead of the candidate who is trying to defeat them.

Do you think McCain will be a better representative of where you want the nation to go? Even if you are just choosing the lesser of two evils and you believe in governmental checks and balances, peace, women's rights and the environment; Obama is your man. Quit acting like he cannot lose. He surely can. If we keep taking him to task for every slight to our pet issues then he surely will. Until the Wednesday after the Tuesday after the first Monday in November just Get Over It! Unless you think we need four more years of the policies of Bush.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Your Jewlery Proves You Are Poor.

But you knew that. My father said that you might as well tattoo PWT (Poor White Trash) on your forehead.

George Carlin Is Dead

Today we read and hear about him everywhere because he died last night. Before when we heard about him it was because of what he said. He pointed out the absurdities of our collective hypocrisy and called us on it when we hid the truth behind euphemism. Do not do this truth teller the discourtesy of using the euphemisms he ridiculed when you speak of his death. He did not pass, or meet his maker. He died.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Getting Off Oil?

The left has been trying to get us to use our resources wisely for decades. They want a cleaner place to live and for us to quit destroying the environment that sustains us. Global warming has been the threat that they tout as crying out for a solution for years.

Bob Lutz a vice chairman at GM has called global warming a “total crock of shit." What has he got in common with the environmentalists. In this article at The Atlantic he is quoted as saying, “The one thing I care about is getting off imported oil.” Why does he care if global warming is a “total crock of shit"? He cares because it is a national security issue. He is a former Marine fighter pilot and he cares about our future.

If the left and the right both agree that we need to get of the oil teat, why are we still arguing about why? If some of us are motivated by environmental concerns and others by national security concerns what is the difference if we agree that the solution is burning less oil? Who cares if your Hummer is killing the whole world or just our nation? Why are we not doing the things we need to?

Zero Carbon Transportation

Under the tracks and through the hood to Nanny's house we went for Sunday dinner. Bikes are real transportation.

Zero Carbon Lawn Care

Here are the tools I use to care for my lawn. They are safe, silent, burn no fuel, and are joy to use. Since they work on damp grass just as well as dry, in high summer I do my work before the heat then sit in the shade and watch others sweat.

McCain's Lobyists

I loves me some TPM. This morning they pointed me to this article about McCain's questionable behavior arround a defense contract for refueling airplanes. Money quote:
The auditors' ruling has also cast light on an overlooked aspect of McCain's crusade: five of his campaign's top advisers and fund-raisers—including Tom Loeffler, who resigned last month as his finance co-chairman, and Susan Nelson, his finance director—were registered lobbyists for EADS.

FISA

There has been much discussion of the FISA changes that are working their way through congress. CarolBG over at TPM posted this link to a history of all of the changes that have been made to the bill since it originaly passed. I thought it was a good reference so I am posting the link here as well. She also posted a link to the Wiki page about FISA which is much more readable.

Black In America

A friend sent me a link to the add for this CNN special Black In America. I am setting the DVR for this one. I do not know how good it will be but it will be worth talking about good or bad. Maybe we can have that converstion that Sen Obama so eloquently asked us to.


Crossposted at TPM.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mat Yglesias Wins

There have been many arguments that I have read and agreed with saying that Obama should appoint this or that Republican to the position of secretary of defense. Matthew Yglesias has defeated than all with just two sentences in a two paragraph post.
If you find a moderate Republican with sound views on key environmental issues and make him or her head of the EPA, that says "climate change is an important issue and there's bipartisan support for taking action." If you put a Republican in charge of the Pentagon it says "Obama likes diplomacy, but even he knows that when the going gets tough you need to call in the GOP."
This made me think about the question in a new way. Before I had seen the SecDef position as a job that a Democrat could trust a Republican to actually do and not try to undermine him. It was the post I was willing to trust them with because I thought they would mess up anything else. Defense was the one area where I thought we are all on the same side of this issue. I had not considered the fact that the GOP likes to paint Democrats as incompetent in this area. Mr. Yglesias convinces me that I had looked at this question from exactly the wrong point of view. I wish that I could argue that concisely.



Cross posted at TPM.

Zack

A more recent picture.

Obamania

Phyllis at the voter registration table we manned at the ParMasters open house.

The Fight Against Global Warming

This is the first in a series of posts on fighting climate change. The picture is of an antique window fan I bought at a carport sale for $20.00. It keeps my house comfortable on all but the hottest of days at a large savings over AC.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Afraid Of Or For McCain?

I was thinking that Sen McCain might have chance to beat Sen Obama. I never thought it was likely but I got over confident in 2000 because I thought Bush was transparently lying his ass off like a slimy used car salesman. Half of the American electorate saw it differently though. I am trying to avoid that sort of over confidence this time. John McCain is making this tough though. Now I am beginning to worry that he might blow up so bad that he gets replaced at the convention.

He is acting batshit crazy. Like he cannot remember basic facts, or even his own positions. Can the people not notice this? Will his poll numbers continue to crater? And if they do will the GOP replace him?


Crossposted at TPM.

Testing My Ability To Embed Video

Don't Drop That Fag Bomb!

Thanks to Mr Sullivan.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Zack

Zack

I intended to start a new series of posts this evening. They were to involve pictures. I ended up spending the whole evening getting that to work so I will work on the planned posts this weekend.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Counterclaims

Obama's campaign is claiming that he is getting the support of some Republicans/conservatives. McCain claims the same of Democrats/liberals. I was amused to find counter claims from TPM and The Corner as pointed out by The_Daily_Dish today. I find the liberal claims that McCain's Democratic supporters are not Democrats the more convincing argument (it appears they are not even ethical regardless of party affiliation) but then again I am bringing my liberal bias with me.


This post has been editited to fix the liks to The Corner. 7:51 am

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day Uplift

Sen Obama has once again with his Father's Day speech shown us why he should be the next president. How many politicians have we seen (in our lifetimes, not in historical documentaries) who can extol us to do better while making us feel uplifted instead of berated. This ability to with the force of words and argument call a nation to rise up and be better people and a better people, to strengthen our community and nation by being the people we should be. I watched him last night on C-SPAN and I was again impressed with a politician who does not do the traditional pander. He did not tell us how great the American father is doing. He told us where we need to show improvement. He did so in a way that steels our resolve to rise to the challenge. He used religious language in a way that even an atheist like myself cannot object to. He spoke of peoples religion as a tool to raise themselves up. He did not use it, as all to many have in recent years, as a weapon to beat others down with. He is the leader we need with the skills we need to face the challenges of modern life and once again raise this nation up to new heights and face the twenty-first century as one nation and one people. If you missed it you can see it here. You will be glad you did.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Hi

I have decided to try my hand at putting out my own blog again. For the past few months I have been bloging at TPM . TPM is a good place to discuss politics and I will continue to cross-post any political posts there. I have an urge to post on other topics though. That is why I have started this blog. I had another bloger blog a little over a year ago and soon lost interest. You can see a two year old picture of me ther if you wish. I will be uploading a new onw here as soon as I take one.