Bad news for the little people

Suburban Guerrilla » Blog Archive » A republic of men, not laws

I’m catching up on my Ian Walsh and he’s completely right on this one. By coming in and refusing to even investigate the criminal actions of BushCo, and then the bankers, the Obama administration gave the go-ahead signal to the corporate criminals that the law was only for the lower classes.

[Link in original]

It does, actually, get better

GOP/Tea Party "Young Guns" Looking At Serious Legal Problems | Crooks and Liars

News comes today that GOP candidate for the 13th District of Ohio, Tom Ganley, has been accused of sexually assaulting a supporter he met at a tea party rally (he's been sued over 400 times for ethics and business violations)

[Boldface in original, also link]

Wow indeed.

But we are spared

Nominated by our Midwest bureau as quote of the week:

Op-Ed Columnist - The Terrible Election Race Race - NYTimes.com

Which state is having the most appalling campaign season?

Wow, so much competition.

Indeed. Click the link. 

But we, here in the pleasant valley, are spared; we have no Senator to be elected, only a safe and invisibly colorless representative and the usual copious assortment of local officials (New England, in the puritanical tradition, is woefully overgoverned) and, oh yeah, a governor, but the hinterlands - the valley - is not where that particular battle is being fought. So all, as usual, is peaceful here.

Too, we (that would be the imperial, editorial "we," there) are currently reading a book called Last Call by Daniel Okrent, documenting the history of prohibition and the infliction of the 18th amendment to the U.S. Constitution on its besotted citizens (and the consequences thereof) which offers conclusive evidence we were just as screwed up 100 years ago as we are today, and vice versa, for better or for worse. 

And, by the way, further, that "progressives" had some real brawn back then. Take, for example, one Carry Nation (Carry was her real name, but Carrie worked too). Okrent writes:

"Carry Amelia Moore Gloyd Nation was six feet tall, with the biceps of a stevedore, the face of a prison warden, and the persistence of a toothache."

Try to imagine somebody saying anything like that about Harry Reid.

But it is an entertaining season, nonetheless.



10 Coffee Facts for National Coffee Day – Indyposted

African Tribes used to eat “energy balls” of coffee beans and fat

As noted, alertly, by Lynn C Dot at Chocolate Chip Mint, it's National Coffee Day!

I say, elect Christine O'Donnell!

O'Donnell's Oxford Education Claim On Second Website Was Authored By Her, Says Site Spokesman

Delaware Republican Senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell has responded to accusations [blah blah]

I say she is clearly the most entertaining candidate running this year (cute too!) and anyway, what have we got to lose here? Delaware? Come on! Not like it's a big, important state like Arizona. Who'd miss it? (I was actually there once and all it did is rain.)

On the other hand - hey, Westerners - how about a trade? We detach Delaware and just let it drift out to sea (it's not hooked on very well anyway) and you give Arizona back to Mexico. Think about it. There are a whole lot of companies incorporated in Delaware (some defect in their legal system) - suddenly they'd all be off-shore! And all those Mexicans and terr'ists could sneak into Arizona without ever leaving home! Win-win! Lots of laughs!

No, wait. We'd probably get even more laughs by keeping Delaware and giving O'Donnell six years in the Senate. And what does a tiny state like Delaware need with two real Senators anyway?


AccuWeather.com - Weather News | Tropical Rainstorm Nicole Unleashes Disastrous Flooding

Up to a foot of rain falling along parts of the East Coast will cause everything from flooding in urban areas to that of small streams and some rivers into Friday, placing lives and property in peril.

Tropical Rainstorm Nicole moving up from the South continues to merge with other wet weather systems in the North.

Tropical Rainstorm Nicole? Flood watch until tomorrow afternoon? I'm not worried about the flooding but I need to get a couple of groceries, so maybe I ought to go do that in a hurry.

Hey sure just walk right in

How does a family get picked for an Obama backyard chat? A nice yard helps | The Upshot Yahoo! News - Yahoo! News

Last week, John and Sandy Clubb of Beaverdale, Iowa, received a phone call from a White House staffer informing them they were one of seven families being considered to host Obama's trip Wednesday to Des Moines.

See, fortunately I have no back yard so I don't have to worry about this Obama guy showing up with his 100,000 Secret Service friends and the 82nd Airborne Division and wow, no coat and tie! (I wonder if they bring their own burgers.)

Have you ever known anyone who rented their house to a movie crew for use as a set? Have you ever asked them, do it again? Yeah. No, right? Because the movie guys turned the place to trash. So just imagine what happens when - oh look! no coat! no tie! - the president of the U.S. and all his entourage shows up for a BBQ.

Anyway, it's raining. Even if I had a back yard he'd have to sit in it alone.

And by the way, don't these newspapers have something more constructive to do?

Somebody didn't get the memo, I guess

Pakistan cuts NATO supply line after border firing - Yahoo! News

PARACHINAR, Pakistan – Pakistan blocked a vital supply route for U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan on Thursday in apparent retaliation for an alleged cross-border helicopter strike by the coalition that killed three Pakistani frontier soldiers.

"We will have to see whether we are allies or enemies," Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said of the border incident, without mentioning the blockade.


What? For a time? Before what?

A.I.G. and Government Agree on Exit Plan - NYTimes.com

The American International Group said Thursday that it had reached an agreement in principle to repay the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for the company’s 2008 rescue...

Under the plan, the Treasury Department will, for a time, own 92.1 percent of A.I.G. before it begins to sell it shares.

Really? You would buy a used car from these losers?

Go figure.

Learning from Real Educational Reform : Mike the Mad Biologist

MA has the lowest percentage of students in charter schools in the U.S., and the highest achievement. Go figure,


OK, now this may still need a little work

AppleInsider | Apple shows continued interest in expanded cloud data syncing

Future mobile devices from Apple could sync and save large amounts of data over the Internet, allowing future access to information when an Internet connection is no longer available...

The application also notes that users may want to disable their Internet because constant syncing and updating may result in poor performance.


Is this the anti-O'Donnell?

Rachida Dati, French Politician, Confuses 'Inflation' With 'Fellatio' (VIDEO)

France's former justice minister Rachida Dati became the subject of international punch lines after she confused oral sex with inflation during a TV interview.

Could be! Who said nature is not symmetrical? 

The official explanation:

According to the AFP, the French word for fellatio is "fellation," which shares some syllables with "inflation," pronounced the same in French as in English.

I'm just wondering, can we get her to run for office here?

Let me be the first to welcome our 51st state

Robert Gates: 'We're Not Ever Leaving' Afghanistan

In a shocking indication of a split between the White House and the Pentagon over the war in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates believes that the U.S. military will never leave the war-torn country.


That woman - Christine O'Donnell - can not be held responsible for every error made by every friggin' college records whatever department in the world, can she? No!

Another School Says Christine O'Donnell Did Not Attend | TPMDC

Claremont Graduate University tells TPM that Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell did not attend the Southern California school despite listing it under education on her LinkedIn profile.

Seriously. She has better things to worry about. Well, more important things, not necessarily better. Like masturbating. Well, not masturbating, not necessarily masturbating. Itself.

I say elect her. So she can go to Washington and we can forget her and not have to read about her every time we click a friggin' link.

So there's some good news after all

First World War officially ends - Telegraph

The First World War will officially end on Sunday, 92 years after the guns fell silent, when Germany pays off the last chunk of reparations imposed on it by the Allies.

But wait!

"On Sunday the last bill is due and the First World War finally, financially at least, terminates for Germany," said Bild, [Germany's] biggest selling newspaper.

Could they be thinking about a II?


Whatever It Is, I’m Against It: No Apology Out of Butt

Butt Makes No Apology to England


Why not shut down the phone system too?


Reuters - Cyberterrorism is such a threat that the U.S. president should have the authority to shut down the Internet in the event of an attack, Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said.

And, what the hell, the power grid. 

It's the American way: If the terrorists don't destroy us we'll do it ourselves.

The rest of The Right Stuff

I've always thought The Right Stuff was the best of Tom Wolfe's books, and a heckava movie too; Mary Roach's Packing for Mars is the rest - and in some respects the best - of the story. Roach, also author of Stiff, Spook, and Bonk, is my nomination for Tech Writer of the Decade (at least). Her exploration of the human side of space travel is a book not to miss. 

News on the scary front

Halloween Costumes Take On the Oil Spill and Corporate Horror - NYTimes.com

All across the Gulf Coast and the country, the costume inspiring guffaws and flying off the shelves consists of a green jumpsuit covered in oil with BP in a sunburst logo over the left breast. The BP stands for “bad planning,” according to its creator, a Long Island company called Fun World, but only Rip Van Winkle would miss the joke.

But don't overdo it

Dull Men's Club - Celebrating the Ordinary

Raking Leaves will be our Event of the Month for October

Is it just me...

Campaign Donors : Fundrace 2010 - Huffington Post

See where employees of America's biggest corporations are sending their dough!

...or does this page define a new low in graphic design? I have no idea how to read those charts. I see a lot of blue things and a lot of red ones. But what does it mean?

What she said

Joe Biden Motivates The Base: 'Quit Whining' | Crooks and Liars

Joe Biden tells the base to "quit whining" and get out there and "look at the alternatives. This president has done an incredible job. He's kept his promises."

And last night on Lawrence O'Donnell's new show, he said: "Those who didn't get everything they wanted, it's time to just buck up."

Biden is, apparently, just following the script. This from the AP:

"People need to shake off this lethargy. People need to buck up," Obama told Rolling Stone in an interview to be published Friday. The president told Democrats that making change happen is hard and "if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren't serious in the first place."

Susie Madrak, who blogs at Crooks and Liars (the top link) and also at Suburban Guerrilla and famously (I'm a fan) queried David Axelrod the other day on "hippie punching" is all over this one - and she's right. Click the link and go read her whole post.

I know, I know, the official line is Obama has done great things. But he hasn't. Listen to his debates with Clinton during the primary. Vote for him, not her, he says because with his plan you'll be able to sign up for health care just like he has (he was a Senator, remember?). Well, that idea got downgraded to a "public option," which has itself in turn been downgraded, now, to "quit your bitchin'." The Democrats' health care plan doesn't even kick in fully for another four years and already the health care industry is figuring out how to get around it.

The stimulus - it actually stimulated a few things here. We're fixing some of the streets. But there's a whole lot of people still out of work. And I don't see anything in the Democrats' "financial reform" that prevents those too-big-to-fail financial institutions from being too big to fail again.

And don't even get me started about the wars, Gitmo, and the excesses of the security state.

The D's came into the White House in 2009 with majorities in both houses of Congress and huge public support for their promise of hope and change. Turns out hope was the operative word. Change, not so much. 

"Fool me twice," his predecessor famously said, "well, you can't fool me again." 

I'm not feeling much like bucking up.

Taibbi goes to a tea party

Tea & Crackers | Rolling Stone Politics

I am immediately struck by two things. One is that there isn't a single black person here. The other is the truly awesome quantity of medical hardware: Seemingly every third person in the place is sucking oxygen from a tank or propping their giant atrophied glutes on motorized wheelchair-scooters. As Palin launches into her Ronald Reagan impression — "Government's not the solution! Government's the problem!" — the person sitting next to me leans over and explains.

"The scooters are because of Medicare," he whispers helpfully.



Pain, originally uploaded by tedcompton.
So here's what works - uploading a photo to Flickr (via an app), then posting from Flickr to the blog (this may only be possible from a computer), or posting from the other app with the sizing problem (and typing problem too, as in no horizontal keyboard), see below. Oh well.

Interestingly, Flickr's data says the most-used camera these days is the camera in the iPhone 3G (that would be iPhone 2, if you're keeping track). More used than Canon, Nikkon, Lumix, Olympus, anything. The camera in the 3G is a 2-megapixel camera, if memory serves. The camera in the current iPhone 4 is 5 megapixels (see photo above). So one imagines the iPhone 4 camera will be moving up in the ranking soon.

(One also imagines Apple getting into the camera business some day, but who knows.)

The experiments never cease

Oh oh. This might not work.

Wait. Somehow there's a way to add a picture.

(I think that was it.) BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

"Unsuited to age group"

American Library Association: Banned Books Week 2010: 10 Graphic Novels And The Shocking Reasons They Frequently Come Under Fire (PHOTOS)

"How can we live in a free society and develop our own opinions if our right to choose reading materials for ourselves and our families is taken away? We must remain diligent and protect our freedom to read."

Courtesy of HuffPo. Quote: American Library Association President Roberta Stevens.

Age group: Unspecified. But we know it when we see it. We do. (This is the most cited "shocking reason" in the headline, above.)


Yeah, but...

Survey: Americans don’t know much about religion | Raw Story

The U.S. is one of the most religious countries in the developed world, especially compared to largely secular Western Europe, but faith leaders and educators have long lamented that Americans still know relatively little about religion.

...here in the 21st century we no longer have to believe what any pointy-head [airquote] educators [airquote] say, duh, they're just a bunch of freeloaders with tenure, and what is a [airquote] faith leader [airquote] anyway, sounds like another word for commie to me.  And who is this Luther guy? 


Solar Moire

Photo: Phil Compton


$93,000 cancer drug: How much is a life worth? - Yahoo! News

"I'm fearful that this will become a drug for people with more resources and less available for people with less resources," said M.D. Anderson's prostate cancer research chief, Dr. Christopher Logothetis.

Yeah, ya think?

What's wrong with this picture?

Georgia attempts to execute suicidal inmate for third time in less than a week | StarTribune.com


ATLANTA - Georgia authorities are trying for the third time in a week to put to death a convicted killer who attempted suicide with a razor blade hours before his initial execution date...

Rhode slashed his throat and arms hours before his Tuesday execution date, requiring hospitalization.


When they say Facebook and Skype, that should pretty much tip you off...

Wiretapped phones, now Internet? | StarTribune.com

Essentially, [federal law enforcement officials] officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications -- including encrypted e-mail transmitters such as BlackBerry, social networking websites such as Facebook and software that allows direct "peer-to-peer" messaging such as Skype -- to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.

...that they're not really planning to snoop on, oh, services that enable bank transfers or encrypted messages containing corporate communications (don't worry, somebody will clue them in on BlackBerry just in time) but only on evil terrorists eeek which is the whole reason they are also raiding the homes of war protesters (ooops, anti-war activists!) and checking out your library list. No, they plan to snoop on you. 

You are the bad guy here, darling...but you still look marvelous.




David Axelrod is disillusioned, Bunky. How friggin' mind-bendingly horrifyingly inconsequential is that?

David Axelrod And His Disillusionment, By Noam Scheiber | The New Republic

But hey, Dude, we'll think of something

Andrew Reinbach: Tiny Upstate New York Town Wants Local Muslims to Dig Up Their Cemetery

A town in upstate New York is trying to force a local Muslim religious community to dig up a small cemetery on its property and never bury anyone there again because it says it's illegal.

"What we would not want is an unauthorized cemetery," says Bob McCarthy, town supervisor of the Delaware County town of Sidney, population 5,993....

"I don't know what the exact law is," he says.


On demand

Op-Ed Columnist - Structure of Excuses - NYTimes.com

All the facts suggest that high unemployment in America is the result of inadequate demand — full stop. Saying that there are no easy answers sounds wise, but it’s actually foolish: our unemployment crisis could be cured very quickly if we had the intellectual clarity and political will to act.


Apparently the Democrats have a new logo

Dems' dismal, detached design: I thought Team Obama knew branding

It looks like the insignia you'd expect to see on the side of a Danish police boat. Or the letter in the alphabet that comes after ©.

Or the logo for a service station chain where you can microwave a burrito or grab a giant bag of beef jerky any day of the year. Or a near-failing grade stamped by the FDA on a piece of chuck roast.
Or a "big 'D' for Dopey, Disappointing, Dismal, Discontinued, Disjointed, Dilapidated, Disintegrated, Destroyed, Damned, Depressing."

Click the link for the rest of the story and a picture, which is, well, all of the above.

Not that it's a joke or anything

Strategies - If Congress Stalls, Do Stocks Rise? - NYTimes.com

Conventional wisdom, rooted in derisive humor, says it is. “This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as we do when the baby gets hold of a hammer,” Will Rogers wrote in The New York Times on July 5, 1930. “It’s just a question of how much damage he can do with it before you can take it away from him.”

And if you think Congress is likely to get better any time soon, this from Maureen Dowd's column today (certainly worth a read):

Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, John Boehner, Jim DeMint and some Tea Party types don’t merely yearn for the country they idealize from the 1950s. They want to go back to the 1750s.

(Both quotes noted by our Midwest bureau.)

No, Bunky, that war is not over yet

PROMISES, PROMISES: No amends yet for Abu Ghraib? - Boston.com

WASHINGTON—Fending off demands that he resign over the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told Congress in 2004 that he had found a legal way to compensate Iraqi detainees who suffered "grievous and brutal abuse and cruelty at the hands of a few members of the United States armed forces."...

Six years later, the U.S. Army is unable to document a single payment for prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib.