Saturday, December 31, 2011

A New Year's Soundtrack

The Death Set, Chew it Like Gun Gum

The Death Set—21st century punk rock—a noisy, global, electronic,
post-Beastie Boys bricolage.

The Death Set, P.O.V. Shot In The Head

Friday, December 30, 2011


David Fucking Brooks states:
But, in the 1930s, people genuinely looked to government to ease their fears and restore their confidence. Today, Americans are more likely to fear government than be reassured by it.

Charles Pierce rebuts:
(Yes, because we have had 30 years of reckless vandalism by the political movement in which you cut your teeth. We have had three decades of anti-government rhetoric from people who then set out to prove themselves correct by cutting taxes, spending money on useless weaponry, conducting wars off the books, and hiring boobs and bunglers to staff the federal agencies. We have had Michael Brown. We have had James Watt. We have had Anne Gorsuch and Silent Sam Pierce. People don't trust government? You know what? I don't trust my car if I hire a blind drunk to drive it. Doesn't mean I don't use it to get to the store. Your movement created apathy and distrust, and the people who pay your honoraria profited by it handsomely. People don't trust vaccines, either, and Jenny McCarthy didn't know any more about medical science than you do about "the American people.")

David Fucking Brooks states:
In sum, in the progressive era, the country was young and vibrant. The job was to impose economic order. Today, the country is middle-aged but self-indulgent. Bad habits have accumulated. Interest groups have emerged to protect the status quo. The job is to restore old disciplines, strip away decaying structures and reform the welfare state. The country needs a productive midlife crisis.

Charles Pierce rebuts:
(You first, Bunky. Is there any doubt that, had David Brooks been writing for The New York Times in say, 1901, his columns would have been all about the quaint customs of those coal miners in Appalachia, and isn't it clever how they drink their evening libations from mason jars, and aren't they just the most religious of people, the way they all sing those lovely shape-note hymns when one of their men dies at 45 from black lung? We don't want any onerous regulations stifling all of this, do we? Is there any doubt that he would be arguing that Morgan and Carnegie and the rest of them are the engines of our "young and vibrant" economy and that LaFollette and the rest of them are standing in the way of progress. Is there any doubt where he would have lined up after Homestead? The country needs fewer lectures from people who do not understand it.)

from here

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Not Long Ago

The Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975

Streaming at Netflix

A powerful documentary—from a time of assassinations, Vietnam, Nixon, George Wallace, Rockefeller, Reagan in California, and real push back—all seemingly wiped from our cultural memory.

I'm Telling Ya...Shit Is Fucked Up And Bullshit

From the Washington least it isn't a graph about the scary, scary deficit (thanks OccupyWallStreet).

Nice visual...we appear to be the brown sediment at the bottom of the graph.

Also Daily Kos

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Oh No...It's A Guy On A Buffalo

Saw this on a friend's facebook page.
The song cracked me up.

The trailer for the original 1978 film.

The entire film.

Tuesday Soundtrack

Ennio Morricone Ecstasy of Gold

Ennio Morricone Sixty Seconds to What?

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Lizard's Future

From Imagining a Future with Newt Gingrich
When he was still relevant as a policymaker, Gingrich came out in favor of the death penalty for persons who found guilty of possession of a drug whilst crossing state lines. The only qualification he offered were that it be imposed after the convict’s second sentence. In Newt Gingrich’s futurist America, a California woman arrested twice for carrying her marijuana prescription across state lines would be administered a lethal injection. I implore readers to remember this whenever someone tells you that Newt is a “man of ideas” or a “serious thinker.”

But I think I listen to Gingrich because I’m aware that Newt’s calls for futurism are in fact simply the ill-concealed prayers of a man who admires and emulates the past, not the future. His futurism would set back the American people at least a century in terms of jurisprudence and social justice, and in the meantime would significantly endanger our fellow citizens without healthcare, without employment, and without homes.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Stateless Archipelago

From Taibbi's A Christmas Message From America's Rich
But it seems to me that if you’re broke enough that you’re not paying any income tax, you’ve got nothing but skin in the game. You've got it all riding on how well America works.

You can’t afford private security: you need to depend on the police. You can’t afford private health care: Medicare is all you have. You get arrested, you’re not hiring DavisPolk to get you out of jail: you rely on a public defender to negotiate a court system you'd better pray deals with everyone from the same deck. And you can’t hire landscapers to manicure your lawn and trim your trees: you need the garbage man to come on time and you need the city to patch the potholes in your street.
The entire ethos of modern Wall Street, on the other hand, is complete indifference to all of these matters. The very rich on today’s Wall Street are now so rich that they buy their own social infrastructure. They hire private security, they live in gated mansions on islands and other tax havens, and most notably, they buy their own justice and their own government.

                                B                O                 O                M

So when you hear the ratbastards whining about Americans who don't pay income taxes (because they're poor for fuck's sake—and they do pay taxes on everything else), keep in mind who the argument serves—people who are so wealthy they could care less how government functions for the rest of us.

The "smaller government" motherfuckers carry water for the oligarchs.

Remember, it's indifference that fuels the stupid—both are America's most abundant natural resource.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Charles Pierce Calls Out The Cowards Who Are Afraid Of The Crazies

From The Payroll Tax-Cut Hostage-Taking
The narrative is already shifting from "Republican Vandals Blow Up Democracy!" to "Feckless Congress Can't Tie Its Shoes!" The inevitable desire of the corporate press not to get yelled at by the crazy people on the radio, and by the crazier people who listen to the crazy people on the radio, and by the crazy people who get elected by the crazy people who listen to the crazy people on the radio, will result in this whole mishigas being interpreted as a bipartisan failure. which it obviously is not. The tell is the number of stories we're reading now about the "impasse" in Washington. This is not an "impasse," This is a deliberate act of political sabotage on the part of one of our two political parties. It is a hostage-taking. Call it an "impasse" and you've abandoned truth for neutrality.

Read the entire article, it's a laser—and makes me despair for both our media and politics.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Things Do Change For The Better

Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta and Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell
[Photo credit: Brian J. Clark/Associated Press]
A sweet image.

V-J Day, 1945

Butt-Hurt For Christmas

In defiance of Walker's free-speech tax.

Scott Walker is one part of a Koch Brothers funded experiment (elected in 2010 alongside Rick Scott, Nikki Haley, John Kasich, Sam Brownback, Paul LePage, Rick Snyder, Chris Christie, Susana Martinez, Mary Fallin, Tom Corbett)—to create a head-spinning conservative pincer movement at the state level to complement and distract from the federal level knuckle-draggers and hostage-takers.

A successful grassroots recall of Scott Walker (like Ohio's defeat of Kasich's anti-union SB 5 bill) will slow them down.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


From Why People Who Hate Tim Tebow Hate Tim Tebow:
And yes, it's also a matter of faith. I grew up in the first Golden Age of Religious Hypocrisy (we're currently living in the second), with Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart disgracing themselves because they loved pussy and skimming from the collection plate more than they loved the Lord. I am conditioned by my upbringing to regard all outward displays of faith with a healthy dose of skepticism, and I don't think that's a bad thing. History has proven time and again that the people who actively flaunt their faith usually end up being full of shit.
                      .                    .                    .
Not only is it OK to root against Tim Tebow, it's practically your duty as cynical American. Hating on Tebow means rebelling against the same media bullshit generator that made superhumans out of the likes of Tiger Woods and Brett Favre. It's saying a gigantic FUCK YOU to anyone who thinks you're a cold-hearted, football-hating miser for not BELIEVING in Tebow. For not "enjoying the ride." For not letting go and giving in to his wily Christian charms and ability to produce rainbows in the shape of a crucifix during the fourth quarter. Hating on Tebow means subscribing to the idea that the fucker is human, which is a much more accurate and boring story than the current myth being erected.


Saturday, December 17, 2011


Devo - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - Live 1978Vimeo.

Dangerous Minds

I remember watching this at a house party in 1978.

At that time, parties would stop for SNL. This particular party was full of former high school friends—all nostalgically getting high and trying to get laid—I recall that most of them were put off or threatened by this performance.


Video gone, can't find an embed, here's a link.

Generation Angst

...near-retirees are somewhat more likely than today’s retirees to say they expect the Great Recession and its aftermath to lastingly harm their prospects. The most revealing measure of their anxiety, however, is that only one-fifth of the near-retirees (compared with one-third of those who have retired) express a great deal of confidence that they will have enough income to provide a secure retirement. Like Eason, many of them are paddling so hard to stay above the waves today that they have difficulty imagining a time when they can confidently lay down their oars.

from the National Journal

The one-fifth of near-retirees cited as having confidence that their incomes at retirement will sustain them for 20-30 years are kidding themselves.

Most estimates claim that you should have about $500,000 in savings (401K, etc.) at retirement. If you make the nation's median annual wage (between $26,000—$28,000), setting aside $500,000 over the course of your working life is simply impossible. Even if you make $60,000 and aggressively play the Wall Street casino, you can't come close to hitting that mark.

With private and public sector employers abandoning pension programs, most retirees will be entirely dependent on the nation's weakened safety net (social security, medicare, medicaid)—any savings they do have can be wiped out by one accident, illness, or recession.

Shit is fucked up and bullshit.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Life Doesn't Have To Be About Buying Crap...

George Whitman, Shakespeare and Company Bookstore, Paris
Portrait of a Bookstore as an Old Man

...and hoping the scorpions at work don't sting you.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dead End

from RoboCop, 1987

I'd like to see some creative television programmer drop this into the commercial breaks during one of the numerous Republican debates (or one of the beltway political talk shows).

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Tuesday Soundtrack

Alone and Dying

Hank III, not Sr., and definitely not Jr.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Conservatives Are Clear Thinkers (and Assholes)

Meanwhile, some people are acting on their frustrations and blaming the wrong people for their trouble. Instead of doing something about their problem, they wait for the government to act, or try to get someone to do something for them.
If you are an unskilled laborer, it may seem like there are no opportunities. But, there are if you move to where the jobs are. In the 1930's and 1940's, there were several great migrations in the United States. The migration from the Great Plains to California was captured in the John Steinbeck novel about the Joad family. Many families moved from the rural south to the industrialized north for work. Just because you have lived your whole life in one area of the country doesn’t mean you are stuck there.
from here

Yeah, remember Grampa Joad, he wasn't a lazy moocher. If he can't eat spare ribs, his dementia helped him smell them...

Grampa Joad: "I smell spare ribs. Somebody's been eatin' spare ribs. How come I ain't got none? "
Garden variety conservative: "Cos ya ran outta luck."

Grampa Joad

Oh, and before you teat sucking losers embark on the next migration, take a bath for chrissakes!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Atheists Should Stay in the Closet...

...because religious people don't think you believe in the right things.
(actual photograph)

Participants in the study found a description of an untrustworthy person to be more representative of atheists than of Christians, Muslims, gay men, feminists or Jewish people. Only rapists were distrusted to a comparable degree as atheists.*
From here

Friday, December 02, 2011

Governor Butt-Hurt Thinks Outside The Box

Governor Scott Walker, (R) WI

A free speech tax—that's a good one.

And his anti-worker policies are quite successful.
Why wait for the recall, just resign.

Previous Butt-Hurt post

Got Nothin'

(h/t Dangerous Minds)

This will grow on you.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

X-37B...Not Sci-Fi

The 29-foot-long, reusable mini-shuttle was designed to spend up to 270 days in orbit. The 270th day of the winged spacecraft’s second flight is today, but the military has no intentions of bringing the billion-dollar robotic vehicle back to Earth just yet. “It’s still up there,”...
from here

The existence of this new , and secret, space vehicle puts in context the retirement of the 30 year old space shuttle program. Although currently unmanned, the science of the X-37B will hopefully lead to manned vehicles with less sinister missions.

Or not...
But it’s not science experiments that have other countries worried.

They’re concerned that the X-37 could be used to spy on or even “hijack” their own satellites, using “inspection” gear tucked in its payload bay.

Washington could get away with this sort of space espionage because no other government has the technology to comprehensively track the activities of other nations’ space vehicles. “When another state, say Russia or China, uses their dual-use technology, the U.S. has the ability to determine that that was not a hostile act,” said Brian Weeden, from the Secure World Foundation. “But when the U.S. does it, in most cases no one else has information to independently verify what’s going on. That creates a problem.”
from here

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