29 October 2011

That about sums it up.

Tip of the crust to STFU, Conservatives

24 October 2011

Wanna feel old?

The iPod became 10 years old yesterday. If it was a kid, it would be in Fifth Grade.

I wanted one badly, but at the time I believed 5/10 MB would be too small for my musical purposes. I was right. In April '03, when the third-generation iPod sported a 30 MB version (with the much cooler "touch wheel" and glowing touch-sensitive buttons), I finally got one. When its battery finally began to die up a couple of years ago, I cracked it open and repaired it.

Because I am a dork.

I've had several other iPods since then, which are superior in just about every way except the controls. This iPod had the best, most responsive, most intuitive control set ever, but Apple decided to incorporate the four buttons into the click-wheel found on nearly all later iPods.

Anyway, I still love my old 3G. Still use it too.

21 October 2011

The gauntlet has been thrown.

Dear Herman,
If being gay is a choice, show us the proof. Choose it. Choose to be gay yourself. Show America how that's done, Herman, show us how a man can choose to be gay. Suck my dick, Herman. Name the time and the place and I'll bring my dick and a camera crew and you can suck me off and win the argument.
Very sincerely yours,
Dan Savage

13 October 2011

How do they do it?

Had to replace the power outlet in the old VW, and happened to notice the part was labeled, "Made in Germany."

Wow. Even the small parts are German-made? But how can Germans produce a competitively priced car by manufacturing parts in their own country? I was assured by the geniuses of American industry that this is quite impossible.

It must be that German auto-workers are low-paid, low-skilled, and have few job benefits, right?

Well, the internets say German auto-workers have higher take-home salaries than unionized US auto-workers, because German employers don't deduct healthcare costs from paychecks, and German auto manufacturers also provide free day care to employees. Under German law, all employers are required to provide eight weeks of vacation to their employees, and their unemployment benefits are much more robust. There is no US law requiring employers to provide even eight minutes of vacation to their employees. German carmakers have also not yet engaged in massive job-slashing or mass layoffs.

So no, I guess that's not it either.

It's a mystery.

10 October 2011

Obama's "jobs advisors" are jobs slashers.

The LA Times reports that tomorrow President Obama will take his quarterly meeing with his President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

It's a braintrust composed of 27 members, chaired by Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric. Mr. Immelt has closed 29 factories and offshored 30% of GE's American jobs over the past 3 years. He's also the master of not paying his fair share.

Or any share at all. His company paid -10.5% income tax last year on $10.8 billion worldwide profits.
Jeff Immelt, CEO General Electric
Yes, negative taxes.

And it's not like chairing the President's Council has caused Immelt to reconsider his habits. Less than two months ago, Immelt re-headquartered GE Healthcare from Wisconsin to Bejing.

According to the LA Times report, several of the other council CEOs, despite heading profitable corporations, have nevertheless chosen to slash jobs or shutter unionized facilities here to open non-unionized facilities there.

But rest assured, the president's jobs advisors are not all tax-dodging plutocrats; balance is achieved by including 2 labor leaders, 1 economist and a biologist.

What kind of proposals has this braintrust so far presented to the president? They've endorsed cutting business regulation and increasing foreign investment in U.S. companies. 

The hypocrisy becomes even more breathtaking when you learn Jobs Czar Immelt's off-shoring of GE Healthcare comes with a plan to invest $2 billion across China for "customer innovation centers," which is clearly laying the groundwork for further job creation there, at the expense of job-creation here.

The 'bastard's favorite economist, Robert Reich says, "Nobody should expect this group to come up with innovative ways of investing in the American workforce and generating not only more jobs but higher wages. That's just not what these big companies do."

Nobody should, but Barack Obama evidently does.

07 October 2011

Top Republicans LIVE at Hatestock '11.

If you're wondering what House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Republican presidential contenders Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich are all doing this weekend — Surprise! They're all hanging out together at a conference hosted by two Certified Hate Groups.
"Bryan Fischer’s stunning record of public bigotry would make him a pariah in any sane political movement. But his long record of hate speech doesn’t seem to bother the supposed ‘mainstream’ GOP politicians like Mitt Romney and Rick Perry who are sharing the stage with him at an event sponsored by his employer. Candidates don’t have to agree with the views of everyone they appear with – but they should be wary of lending legitimacy to those who peddle hate and fear of their fellow Americans."
- President Michael Keegan, People For the American Way
Fischer is not some bomb-throwing-for-ratings radio personality with some low-level or marginal connection to the American Family Association. His title is AFA Director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy. You may remember the AFA was also the sponsor of "The Response," Rick Perry's Christian-only HateFest and prayer rally held in Houston's Reliant Stadium this past August.

Here are some of Fischer's Greatest Hits:
  • Liberals and progressives hate God, faith, and Christianity; they hate the liberties guaranteed in the First Amendment; and they hate the Declaration of Independence
  • Christian prayers caused an airplane to crash, killing an abortion provider and his family
  • The First Amendment applies exclusively to Christians, and Mormons aren't Christian
  • The Constitution's No Religious Test Clause was a mistake
  • “Government’s purpose is to protect our lives from abortionists, murderers, and Muslims.”
  • Muslims are "a toxic cancer," "parasites" and mentally impaired due to inbreeding
  • Muslims "worship a demon,"and should be purged and barred from military service
  • Building mosques in America isn't a right, but a privilege that should be revoked
  • The irrational anti-Muslim ravings in the manifesto of the Norway campground mass-murderer were "accurate"
  • All immigrants should be required to convert to Christianity
  • Satan is the source of all criticism of Sarah Palin
  • Tilikum, a captive SeaWorld orca, should be executed as a murderer; bears, wolves and other predatory species that occasionally attack people should be hunted to extinction
  • President Obama has a "dark and thuggish" character, is "not authentically black," "nurtures a hatred for the United States and the white man," "is committed to destroying babies" and has stated "I've been a fascist since Day One"
  • Black welfare recipients “rut like rabbits”
  • Native Americans are “morally disqualified” from controlling their land, and their communities are “mired in poverty and alcoholism” because God cursed them for failure to promptly and fully convert to Christianity
  • God calls “each one of us be a Phinehas” (a Bible character who murdered a couple for having extramarital sex in private)
  • Being gay should return to being a criminal offense
  • Gay people should be disqualified from holding public office
  • Two men having sex "is a form of domestic terrorism"
  • DADT repeal was "treasonous" and "is a guaranteed path to a permanently and irreversibly emasculated military that could not defend us if their lives, let alone ours, depended on it"
  • “You want to know who’s now running the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy and the Marines and calling the shots where it counts? Fundamentalist Muslims and homosexual activists.”
  • The German Nazi Party was predominantly gay and their policies, including the Holocaust, reflect The Homosexual Agenda
  • "Hitler discovered that he could not get straight soldiers to be savage, and brutal, and vicious enough to carryout his orders, but that homosexual soldiers basically had no limits...virtually all of the stormtroopers, the brownshirts, were male homosexuals."
  • American gays remain fundamentally aligned with Nazi policies; "they'll do the same thing to you that the Nazis did to their opponents in Nazi Germany"; are already planning to incarcerate Christian dissenters "in reeducation camps"; "it's the Spanish Inquisition all over again"
  • Gay activists perpetrate more hate crimes in America than any other group
  • All opposition to himself or the AFA is a hate crime because it's all derogatory speech, intimidation, and harassment
Again, this tsunami of paranoia, lunacy, ignorance, and bigotry was all purposefully issued for public consumption by Bryan Fischer in his capacity as the spokesman for the American Family Association, a hate group, co-sponsor of the Values Voters Summit, where actual Republican presidential contenders and top Congressional Republicans will be featured.

This is functionally indistinct from appearing at a Klan rally.

At what point will major media confront this astonishing story?

At what point will sensible Republicans be inclined to stop associating with hate groups, and reassert control of their party?

These are reasonable questions.

05 October 2011

He was a titan.

04 October 2011

It's a prison party.

Please to enjoy.

02 October 2011

NYPD. A division of JP Morgan Chase.™

No, I'm not kidding.*

And those Wall Street motherfuckers are getting a helluva return on investment. Today the NYPD arrested 700 peaceful Wall Street protesters after luring them into a trap.

The NY Times reports:
None of the protesters interviewed knew if the bridge march was planned or a spontaneous decision by the crowd. But all insisted that the police had made no mention that the roadway was off limits. Ms. Day and several others said that police officers had walked beside the crowd until the group reached about midway, then without warning began to corral the protesters behind orange nets.

“The cops watched and did nothing, indeed, seemed to guide us onto the roadway,” said Jesse A. Myerson, a media coordinator for Occupy Wall Street who marched but was not arrested.

Etan Ben-Ami, 56, a psychotherapist from Brooklyn who was up on the walkway, said that the police seemed to make a conscious decision to allow the protesters to claim the road...Mr. Ben-Ami said he left the walkway and joined the crowd on the road. “It seemed completely permitted,” he said. “There wasn’t a single policeman saying ‘don’t do this’.”
He added: “We thought they were escorting us because they wanted us to be safe.”

“This was not a trap,” [Paul J. Browne, the chief spokesman for the New York Police Department] said. “They were warned not to proceed.”
We have a grave problem in America when — on behalf of the corporations that regulate our government — police are dispatched to punish citizens for exercising their First Amendment right to peaceably assemble and petition the Government for a redress of their grievances.

All of this has caused me to recall the words of Justice William O. Douglas where he prophesied the modern oligarch's insistence that even their worst excesses must be rewarded as successes because they are "too big to fail."
We have here the problem of bigness....The Curse of Bigness' shows how size can become a menace – both industrial and social. It can be an industrial menace because it creates gross inequalities against existing or putative competitors. It can be a social menace – because of its control of prices...[P]rice level determines in large measure whether we have prosperity or depression...

[A]ll power tends to develop into a government in itself. Power that controls the economy should be in the hands of elected representatives of the people, not in the hands of an industrial oligarchy. Industrial power should be decentralized. It should be scattered into many hands so that the fortunes of the people will not be dependent on the whim or caprice, the political prejudices, the emotional stability of a few self-appointed men. 
His dissent was not argued from optimism or ignorance. Prior to his appointment to the court, Douglas was the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

* Per their own press release, "JPMorgan Chase recently donated an unprecedented $4.6 million to the New York City Police Foundation. The gift was the largest in the history of the foundation and will enable the New York City Police Department to strengthen security in the Big Apple. The money will pay for 1,000 new patrol car laptops, as well as security monitoring software in the NYPD's main data center." [emphasis added]