Last Build Date: Tue, 06 Sep 2016 10:10:19 +0000
Wed, 25 Apr 2012 02:14:00 +0000To anyone who is still trying to visit this site: I'm so sorry that it has been allowed to go fallow. I'm FURIOUS with the asshats at Echo for having lost all the excellent comments you've contributed. They were the best part of the blog IMHO.
Fri, 28 Oct 2011 19:58:00 +0000
src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/QIHLezCyzCI" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420">"Political economy came into being as a natural result of the expansion of trade, and with its appearance elementary, unscientific huckstering was replaced by a developed system of licensed fraud, an entire science of enrichment."
Mon, 05 Sep 2011 13:11:00 +0000(image)
"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital.
Capital is only the fruit of labor,
and could never have existed if labor had not first existed.
Labor is the superior of capital,
and deserves much the higher consideration."
Tue, 23 Aug 2011 20:55:00 +0000
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Sun, 22 May 2011 01:13:00 +0000Man, won't it be good when all the fundies are gone? I'd be particularly happy if one of them was my landlord, so I could go without paying rent.
Wed, 04 May 2011 18:44:00 +0000
src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/GI7-m919ynU" allowfullscreen="" width="425" frameborder="0" height="349">
Those who cannot learn from history
are doomed to repeat it.
-- George Santayana --
Wed, 27 Apr 2011 13:22:00 +0000(image) This one is so nuts it jolted my long-numb outrage nerve back to life.
Wed, 30 Mar 2011 17:25:00 +0000Sometimes a headline says it all, like this one from the BBC.
Thu, 17 Feb 2011 07:00:00 +0000
Wed, 09 Feb 2011 02:03:00 +0000
...That the USA Totally Disrespects
"The United States on Tuesday set out four steps Cairo must take to end Egypt's crisis, telling its ally to stop harassing protesters and immediately repeal an emergency law allowing detention without charge."
This news story comes on a day that a vote was held to extend the USA PATRIOT Act. Among other things the Act has allowed detention without charge. Some inmates at Guantanamo are still being detained even though it is acknowledged that they are never going to be charged and that there is no credible evidence upon which to base a charge. AND the US government has said that they will continue to hold some detainees even if they are cleared of all charges in a court of law. So how could it get any worse than that?
THIS JUST IN: The vote, which required a 2/3 majority under a special house rule, FAILED, with a 277-148 result. You can bet it will pass when voted on again using the usual process.
Wed, 26 Jan 2011 23:51:00 +0000Here's a meme that progressives should make use of. It just occurred to me, and I'd like to pass it on.Being born rich has no intrinsic value; it is in no way productive, useful or desirable. Most rich people contribute far less to society than do ordinary factory workers, bus drivers and janitors. Therefore, living off of ancestral wealth made by Daddy, Grand-dad, or Great-great-great to the nth degree going back to pre-Civil War plantation days is no more ethical than living off of welfare. In many cases it's far less ethical. So here's the meme:Let's start calling that condition Ancestral Welfare, and bring up the term every time people who were actually brought up by nannies complain about "The Nanny State." The term goes hand-in-hand with the already familiar terms Class Warfare and Corporate Welfare, and is intimately connected to both. Class warfare couldn't exist if it weren't for the scions of the last generation living off of the avails of their parents. And most of those inheritances are in trust funds tied into holdings of corporate stock.Nobody with an ounce of sense believes that prominent heirs like Rush Limbaugh or Charles Krauthammer's points of view are anything but self-serving. The idol bloated bloviaters have not only stolen America's wealth, they've also dominated any conversation concerning wealth. So whether you're talking about social benefits, education, health care, or the structure of the tax system, you'll always get only the opinions of those who can well afford those things without any help from government.What is the solution? Start taxing capital gains at a rate at least as high as that levied against money that is actually earned. And set the estate tax to something that promotes the American ideal of all men being created equal instead of eroding it.The estate tax should be 0% for the 1st $1 million, and 99% for anything above that. If you are survived by a wife and six kids you'd be allowed to leave a legacy worth $7,000,000. That's not too shabby when you think about it.Anybody who can't turn a million dollar inheritance into a pretty comfortable life has demonstrated an inability to compete in any kind of economy, especially a capitalist one. With $1 million you could buy a nice house or a platinum education or you could open a small business. In fact you could probably do any two of those things with $1 million and have considerable change left over. So anyone who says their children can't make it unless they get a billion dumped in their lap is really implying that their children are drooling idiots, fit only for wasting away in a hammock.~~~~~~~~On a more general note, it is lamentable that the so-called 'left' in America can't come up with counters to the memes put out by The Powers That Be, even when they're staring them in the face. If you're going to change the way things are going, or even halt the slide into modern feudalism the first step is going to be to change the tenor of the conversation. If you fight the battle on the other side's terms you don't have a chance.TAGS: Capitalism, Leads to, Oligarchy, Every. Bloody. Time.[...]
Mon, 17 Jan 2011 04:00:00 +0000(image)
Fri, 12 Nov 2010 18:16:00 +0000
A favorite song from a gifted group.
Enjoy the weekend folks, and don't forget:
Don't get too drunk until AFTER you leave work.
Sat, 02 Oct 2010 18:21:00 +0000
Fri, 24 Sep 2010 21:00:00 +0000For Gawd's sake, this kind of thing pisses me off, and if it doesn't piss you off I submit that there is something fundamentally wrong with you.
"Charles and David Koch, the energy magnates who are pouring vast sums of money into Republican coffers and sponsoring tea partiers all over America, each gained $5.5 billion of wealth over the past year. Each is now worth $21.5 billion."Let me put that in perspective for those of you who aren't already pissed off enough just by that blunt factoid. $21.5 BILLION is a shitload of money. More than you'll see in your lifetime, I would wager. I'll even give you odds.
Mon, 30 Aug 2010 18:00:00 +0000Billion-dollar Whiny Ass Titty Babies!Defense companies and other major industries are hoping to block disclosure of their own fraudulent or substandard performance in federal contracts, despite a mandate this year by Congress that such potentially embarrassing information be released to the public. Sensitive to concerns raised by the companies, the White House has delayed enacting the little-known disclosure provision while it studies the issue, officials said.When, if ever, is the White House going to be sensitive to the concerns of the taxpaying public? And do you suppose that studying the issue is going to take...oh, I don't know...maybe into and beyond their second term? The good news: PresBO has himself become an expert on Fraudulent or Substandard Performance issues. So much so that he could create a cabinet-level position out of it.The thing is, when people wearing body armor and brandishing automatic weapons perform in any the consequences usually result in a bunch of innocent people being killed, America's reputation being even further ravaged, and stated* policy objectives being moved even further away from any chance of completion.(* - as opposed to the real clandestine objectives of world domination and endless war, perpetuating the profits of the mercenaries)Just one example of how the Blackwater/Xe thugs-r-us boys spread cheer and the Good Will of the American People is seen in this recent story from Peshawar, Pakistan. This brings the meaning of fraudulent and substandard to a new level.The residents are mainly concerned about Blackwater's reputation as a ruthless, unbridled private army whose employees face multiple charges of murder, child prostitution and weapons smuggling in Iraq.'Sometimes, these guys stand in the streets and behave rudely with the passers-by, sometimes they point guns at people without provocation' said Imtiaz Gul, an engineer, whose home is a few hundred metres from the US contractor's base on Chanar Road in University Town.'Who rules our streets, the Pakistani government or the Americans? They have created a state within the state.'Receiving tens of BILLIONS of fiat dollars from Chinese lenders the federal government, you would think that these civilization-destroying savages would feel some obligation to at least pretend to do the job that they were payed to do. You would be wrong. They are in a class with the Mongol hordes of Atilla the Hun, blithely unconcerned with the devastation they bring with them everywhere they operate. And as I recall about the Huns, they seem to have done sufficient damage to bring Europe into the Dark Ages -- from which it took over a thousand years to recover.[...]
Wed, 04 Aug 2010 20:49:00 +0000Wow, so much good news lately that I may have to put my cynicism on a shelf for a while - where it can keep company with my now-out-of-date pessimism. First of all the gulf is pretty much cleaned up now according to BP and the US government. Even PresBO himself agrees. Sure they've lied to us about this from the get-go, but I'm sure we can trust them this time.
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 02:10:00 +0000(image)
Sun, 30 May 2010 00:50:00 +0000(image) I'm just now hearing that actor Dennis Hopper has died. The first time I remember seeing him was as Billy in Easy Rider. Brilliant!
Sat, 08 May 2010 01:23:00 +0000TAGS: Science, Evolution, Life, Human Race, Arrogance, ReligionI want to discuss science if I may. Specifically in an area that really arouses my passions: That is the ridiculous and arrogant assumption that the universe and everything in it was created with it's future inhabiting by mankind in mind. We've all heard the arguments about irreducible complexity and so forth. It's the basis of the idea of intelligent design. I say "idea" because "theory" isn't apt in this case. Theory is the analysis of facts and how they relate to one another while intelligent design takes facts and assumptions and even made up notions and preconceptions and compares them. I'm not here to discuss intelligent design though. I want to address the over arching concept that without a whole lot of very specific events occurring, humanity wouldn't be here. That is absolutely true, without a doubt. If Theia hadn't smacked the Earth hard almost four and a half billion years ago, the moon wouldn't exist and our rotation and axis wouldn't be as stable as it is. There is a theory that if the Snowball Earth Era hadn't happened, life would have never been under so much pressure to adapt and to then be poised for the Cambrian Explosion when the planet finally thawed, ushering in the Phanerozoic Eon. If the Permian extinction hadn't occurred, maybe creatures related to Dimetrodon would rule the Earth and if not for a huge impact at the end of the Cretaceous, sentient dinosaurs may be quarreling about science versus religion. We can argue and speculate about the details but it is certain that had some or all of these events not happened, the human race would not exist. We can go back even further and imagine that gravity never separated out of the electromagnetic, strong and weak forces at the very beginning of the creation of the universe with the Big Bang, leading to an endless ocean of subatomic particles that may have formed atoms but never bunched together to form anything more massive or complex than hydrogen or helium. No gravity = no stars = no people. Anywhere. There is also growing evidence that a gamma ray burst in our distant past may have also contributed to genetic modification of ancient and primitive life on Earth. What if the poles of that star had been pointed a few degrees away from us? Would I be sitting here typing this? Chances are I wouldn't be. So yes. Except for a very specific grouping of some very unlikely events, the human race would not exist. Period. But does that then prove some divine guidance? Does that support the idea of an omnipotent sky daddy manipulating events and conditions to bring about the human race? I don't believe it does. The fact is that the universe doesn't have the properties it does for the benefit of mankind, rather WE have the properties we do because of the universe we evolved in. We owe our form, our method of reproduction, the mixture of gases we require, the temperature ranges we need, our nutritional requirements and etc because we evolved within this universe and on this planet. Conditions on Earth aren't perfect for us. We are perfect for the conditions on Earth. Assuming that life couldn't exist without those very specific circumstances and that intelligent life wouldn't be on the Earth at all if not for an accidental series of events is the very pinnacle of human arrogance. WE almost certainly wouldn't be here but I believe that life would go merrily on without us. Imagine that.[...]
Fri, 26 Mar 2010 15:54:00 +0000TAGS: DA,DT LGBT Navy DouchehatterySome of the readers here are familiar with the general parameters of my story so I won't get too specific. I used to be an airframe technician for F-14A aircraft during the last half of the 1980s until early 1991. Although I wasn't a huge fan of the United States Navy, I enjoyed my job and I was good at it. VERY good. In fact I was so good that after I had been outed as transgendered, (by a "friend" who used his knowledge to distract from his second DUI offense), and after I had gone to Captain's Mast and after I had been told they were going to strip me of rank, benefits I'd earned and half of my pay, I was actually involuntarily EXTENDED to serve in the first Persian Gulf War. You see, though I had been deemed "unfit" to serve, I was the only person qualified to troubleshoot launches for the airframes shop and to act as flight deck safety at the same time. They told me I was being unceremoniously discharged but had to stay long enough to qualify people to replace me.Before the hostilities were ended, I was on my way back to the states. Within 24 hours of landing, I had been reduced two pay grades, stripped of the benefits I'd earned and given an "Other Than Honorable" discharge. I say this not because I'm still wallowing in self pity after all of these years but to point out that, abominable as it is, the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is a relative newcomer and much, MUCH better than the previous patchwork of regulations regarding LGBT service people. Then, it was largely up to the unit commander what happened to an outed person. In my own case, the unit commander had no problem with it because he knew me and what I was capable of. I was told nothing was going to happen. That was before the change of command. The new skipper DID have a problem with it, a huge one. As I hadn't even violated the UCMJ, charges were trumped up to get rid of me. I fought for a while but it was clear from the beginning that they would wear me down eventually. If they want you gone, gone you will be.Don't Ask, Don't Tell was a compromise, (or capitulation), made by President Clinton and was codified into law on December 21, 1993 when Clinton issued Department of Defense Directive 1304.26, requiring the DOD to stop asking applicants and active duty service members to disclose their sexual orientation. It not only supposedly put a stop to that, it also homogenized the penalties and in most cases softened them, for violators of the policy against LGBT persons. For example, it was no longer solely up to the unit commanding officer what penalty violators would pay, they would all be given administrative discharges under honorable conditions, allowing them to keep their rank, pay and benefits. It didn't stop the harassment or the witch hunts though.Though I detest the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, it is leaps and bounds better than what used to happen prior to it coming into effect. Randy Shilts wrote an excellent book called "Conduct Unbecoming" about lesbians and Gays in the military and I recommend it to people who harbor illusions about what the policy used to be and what it is today. As much as I would like to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", I have never heard of the policy being repealed for transgendered people, just for lesbians and gays. Presumably transgendered Americans will still be sexually assaulted, harassed and hounded out of the service on trumped up charges. That doesn't seem to bother gay leaders much, most of whom have never served.I'll close by dispelling[...]
Fri, 05 Mar 2010 00:09:00 +0000Because we need one, as usual. And as usual, I'm too damned lazy to put up anything of substance.
Thu, 18 Feb 2010 23:50:00 +0000There's an old joke that's so lame that it's reserved for those occasions when someone you know gets 'decorated' by a pigeon or seagull. "Aren't you glad that cows don't fly?"
Sun, 07 Feb 2010 00:20:00 +0000
WASHINGTON--The FBI is pressing Internet service providers to record which Web sites customers visit and retain those logs for two years, a requirement that law enforcement believes could help it in investigations of child pornography and other serious crimes.But the good news is that if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about. Frankly I'd describe this as universal warrantless wiretapping. If this is allowed the government would essentially have the 'right' to enter your home without a warrant and gather evidence against you for a crime that you have not yet formed any intention of committing. Shades of 'Minority Report.'
FBI Director Robert Mueller supports storing Internet users' "origin and destination information," a bureau attorney said at a federal task force meeting on Thursday.
As far back as a 2006 speech, Mueller had called for data retention on the part of Internet providers, and emphasized the point two years later when explicitly asking Congress to enact a law making it mandatory. But it had not been clear before that the FBI was asking companies to begin to keep logs of what Web sites are visited, which few if any currently do.
The FBI is not alone in renewing its push for data retention. As CNET reported earlier this week, a survey of state computer crime investigators found them to be nearly unanimous in supporting the idea. Matt Dunn, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in the Department of Homeland Security, also expressed support for the idea during the task force meeting.
Greg Motta, the chief of the FBI's digital evidence section, said that the bureau was trying to preserve its existing ability to conduct criminal investigations. Federal regulations in place since at least 1986 require phone companies that offer toll service to "retain for a period of 18 months" records including "the name, address, and telephone number of the caller, telephone number called, date, time and length of the call."
Wed, 27 Jan 2010 22:45:00 +0000