Friday, December 21, 2007
kilgore forelle: I appreciate your view, hcvii, but the world has always been in crisis -- eg, 2000 years ago we conspired to kill Jesus Christ!
You must not place so much reliance on your young eyes and your partisan precepts. I was unfortunately at the lexington cemetery yesterday, and on visiting the office, I gazed upon the beautiful painting which focused on your 5g patriarch and his colleague, abe lincoln -- I doubt that either would agree that your times are more perilous, but both would grieve about how little we have learned from the intervening years.
We have always had crisis because the political process does not produce the leadership that we all crave. It is a fine measure, however, of influence without a rudder of right and wrong.
It is the sheerest accident when we get a good president. And good presidents always rise above the quotidian spats of the party system.
The estimable henry clay -- a leader if ever there was one -- said it best when he said he would rather be right than president.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Just before Thanksgiving I came down with some malady that is not unlike what we used to call the common cold (the difference being that nobody knows what to call it now.) Among the sort of shrugging recommendations that my family doc made was to get some pseudofed, which he advised did not require an rx, but did require a certain amount of groveling and jumping through hoops of fire. The pseudo whatsis is now kept behind the counter, like trading cards, girlie magazines, cigarettes, and small flagons of distilled spirit. I had to show my drivers license and sign some sort of life altering document submitting myself to the domination of walmart and the KY legislature.
WTF? Surely there has to be a way of separating criminals (drug chefs) from patients that rises above requiring patients to register as potential criminals. How many numb skulled bureaucratic schemes must we endure on a day-to-day basis? Does anybody see this as an effective program, as a shot ringing out in the war on drugs? Please tell me how.
Monday, December 3, 2007
John Havlicek combined a one-of-a-kind mixture of athleticism and court sense, but the incredible difference was that he could run all day, all week, all year, if that was what it took to outrun you. In any battle of endurance, the opponent was his.
As this series expands, you will see many Celtics and many pro basketball stars, but the number 1 in my sky is John Havlicek.
Btw, Hondo is being guarded(?) by 1 of the best defensive players ever, Jerry West (left) in the photograph. He has his work cut out for him.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security....
btw, the bi-lingual belgium is currently unable to form a government among the flemish and the walloons (I forget which ones have the stars on their bellies).
Also, isn't it an irony that neither faction in belgium speaks belgian, but each borrows another country's tongue? The flemish majority speaks dutch, while the walloon minority speaks french. And how is flemish the adjective for flanders. When social anthropologists go to hell, is it belgium?
As an aside, is there any correlation between the number of "world" organizations domiciled therein and the degree of governmental dysfunctionality. That would explain a lot about nyc (aka rudy-land).
If I ever write a book it will be about sanctioned language as a tool for oppressive government.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
rudy -- a grinning skull; thinks that nyc is the world
fred -- a deer in the headlights, even after nixon's posthumous endorsement
mitt -- an empty suit -- a gov from MA, yeah, right.
mccain -- how the semi-mighty are free-fallen.
ron -- screechy, even though smarter than the rest put together
mike tom dunkback -- fuhgeddaboudit!
do any of these guys have a personality better than bob dole?
I thought they were all running for UAW treasurer. Yikes!
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Have you noticed the fecal storm over ahmadinejad?
Duncan Hunter has introduced a bill to take federal research dollars away from Columbia U.
Why are we fighting amongst ourselves to pay homage to this little creep. His PR firm is having a wet dream over our reaction. He has become the Mr. Deeds of the Middle East!
Believe me, I would be right there on any proposal to end the federal grab-bag on academic funding, but only across the board. This unconstitutional punitive legislation is a taxpayer supported campaign ad for Duncan Hunter!
Friday, September 7, 2007
How do you explain the fact that 99.44% of us can proceed daily without knowing any of the intricacies of government. But you say government protects us from the ill-intentioned ones? There are 1000s of incidents every day in which the ill-intentioned ones escape the notice of government altogether. You are protected only by the probability that no harm will come to you as a result of how you organize your own life.
Since the government can only protect you after the fact, we have a word for those protected by the government -- victim.
pangloss: kf, that implies that no one is discouraged from partaking in predatory commerce despite laws prohibiting. To take that idea to its logical conclusion we would say that no laws have a deterrent effect...no?
I would argue that without govt and without laws and law enforcement there would be more "victims" on the order of magnitudes.
kilgore forelle: Argue that if you like. Predators just get less scrupulous lawyers and prevaricating accountants.
If what I said about oligarchy were not true then government would be fine.
We'll probably never know who's right since we are more and more in the global clutches of oligarchists, but historical evidence of anarchy shows cooperation and fewer victims. Read the links.
An optimal number of laws will have an optimal effect. Nobody passed new laws faster than the bolsheviki, except perhaps the brits during their 4 century rape of ireland, or maybe paul bremer as emperor of the coalition provisional authority. (Tip -- if you're not gonna be an authoritarian, don't put 'authority' in your name!)
Deterrence sucks. See britney spears, lindsey lohan, paris hilton, nicole richie, michael "let's make a deal" vick, george bush, o j simpson, saddam hussein, bill clinton, osama bin ladin, larry craig, william jefferson, . . . ad nauseum.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Special interests select representatives, citizens elect the selections. We are at least 1 remove from a republic. "A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them". -- Answers.com
We have never been an empire, although we have individuals and factions who are empire builders. In our earlier days, washington rejected being enthroned as a king, then john adams wore powdered wigs and flitted about in a royal carriage. Thanks be that t_jeff brought us back down to earth, saving us from emulating our former brit masters, a ". . . political unit having an extensive territory or comprising a number of territories or nations and ruled by a single supreme authority." -- Answers.com
So which war we're in is irrelevant to them except for whether it is a robust war (takes a licking but keeps on ticking). Afghanistan had a paucity of targets, and anyway chalabi already had gained their assurances on iraq.
Worse, whether or not we win a war is irrelevant to them, because we cannot be in a state of war if we ever define winning.
Therefore, a war against terror centered in a non-country without a functional government is heaven on earth for neocons (a euphemism for war profiteers).
*I will attempt to document (help, anyone?)
- “Americans are a warlike people and that we love war . . . What we hate is not casualties but losing.” -- Michael Ledeen (link)
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
"Assuming more order than exists in chaotic nature." -- Francis Bacon
"Our brains are wired for narrative, not statistical uncertainty. And so we tell ourselves simple stories to explain complex things we don't--and, most importantly, can't--know." -- Chris Anderson
Thursday, August 9, 2007
In the land of the free, we lock up a greater percentage of our population than any nation. The U.S. prison population has increased 91 percent in the past 15 years. More than 7 million Americans are under some form of state or federal correctional supervision, and this does not include the legions of Americans in county and city facilities. -- Cory Booker
Friday, July 27, 2007
This is the classic issue where local decisions are best, and the more local the better. This is within bounds, however, as 1 man cannot make himself a governmental unit. So the decision should be pushed down to the level at which the process most closely matches group desires with the consensus of individual sentiment. Then birds of a feather can flock together.
I don't know enough about the michael vick case to say whether he is being held up to local law or to federal strictures. If the former, I am ok with it and its outcome.
As a farmer, I tend toward being the animal lover. My farm is posted, and abounds with turkey, deer, hawks, geese, raccoons, and songbirds by the throngs. I will not kill a deer to save a tomato. As long as I have forage for my horses, the wildlife can eat all they wish. Most of my neighbors are practicing hunters, so when the wildlife overflourishes it is usually taken care of in the vicinity.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I'm Dumping the iPhone by Chris Case
The telephone world (particularly at&t) has such a disdain for information and usability. I suppose it is because obviously you can sell anything as long as you take plastic. I blame george steinbrenner for this.
Someone who was not standing en queue to buy this stoopid thing said something like, "I just want a phone that doesn't drop calls."
Yeah, folks. Let's get a few gewgaws that do 1 job well, first.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Mee is a playwright and a historian, among other things, and I found his view and dramatic, descriptive powers to be very useful in re-enacting these events.
I bought the book because of a debate with an intellectual friend about the aftermath of wwii in eastern europe, thus I was focusing on the conference at yalta. It is particulary interesting that Mee subtitled this chapter with reference to the problems of unintended consequences (the inevitability of which is the foundation of the libertarian tendency toward minimalism in government -- and in foreign policy, for that matter).
Not only did the yalta chapter teach me much more about yalta than I expected, each of the other 6 crucial moments were richly rewarding.
The only two quibbles I have are with the sub-title. Being a zeitgeist believer, I don't believe out-of-hand in "great men," even when churchill and roosevelt are involved. Somewhat contradictorily, I don't believe in the idea of "fateful," so much as crucial. And from reading Mee, I believe he would let me edit the sub-title accordingly, once he got to know me better.
Amazon Review Page
Monday, July 9, 2007
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
rank, title, (rotten tomotoes %)
- Amadeus (97%)
- Sling Blade (95%)
- Longitude (80%) kf mini-review
- No Country for Old Men(94%)
- To Kill a Mockingbird (100%)
- Seven Samurai (100%)
- Breaking Away (94%)
- Fargo (92%)
- Ghost World (92%)
- Pulp Fiction (96%)
- L. A. Confidential (98%)
- Bang the Drum Slowly (95%)
- The General (81) -- severely underrated
- The Maltese Falcon (100%)
- The Big Sleep (94%)
- Silence of the Lambs (95%)
- Frida (75%)
- Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure (not rated)
- Dr. Strangelove (100%)
- The Misfits (100%)
- Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (71%) -- severely underrated
- Irma La Douce (88%)
- Lonesome Dove (100%)
- Being John Malkovich (92%)
- Ran (95%)
- Hi Fi (91%)
- Lonely Are the Brave (100%)
- It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (72%)
- Some Like It Hot (97%)
- The Player (100%)
- Risky Business (100%)
- The Invasion of the Bodysnatchers (100%)
- Gandhi (85%)
- Red Rocks West (100%)
- Magnolia (86%)
- The African Queen (100%)
- Hear My Song (91%)
- The Gods Must be Crazy (94%)
- About Schmidt (85)
- Amelie (90%)
- House of Flying Daggers (88%)
- Raise the Red Lantern (96%)
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (97%)
- Once Were Warriors (94%)
- Defending Your Life (96%)
- Breaker Morant (100%)
- The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (84%)
- Cat Ballou (100)
- The Unforgiven (96)
- The Spanish Prisoner (89)
- Psycho (98)
- Little Big Man (95)
- The Dish (96)
- The Informer (89)
- The Night of the Iguana (88)
- Zorba the Greek (the other movie in the Dr. Strangelove year)
- Zulu (100)
- About a Boy (94)
- Men in Black (90)
Anybody can go with GWTW, Citizen Kain, Lawrence of Arabia, Sound of Music, Clockwork Orange, etc., but they don't need me for their place in the pantheon.
Why not? The same kind of deal let jimma carter into the white house.
bush has totally diddled the gop for 2008, which leads me to revisit my suspicion that the racketeers currently in the wh plan on holding it by coup. Occam's Razor: The simplest answer that fits all the facts is most likely to be true.
Note: dubya couldn't even do this on the up-and-up. libby still has a quarter-million dollar fine and a criminal record.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Given the negative economic and environmental effects of U.S. sugar programs, why do they persist? Because Congress often decides to confer benefits on a favored few at the expense of the general public. In this case, the favored few really are few—about 42 percent of all sugar program benefits go to just 1 percent of sugar growers. These large sugar growers, such as the Fanjuls of Florida, are a notoriously powerful lobbying interest in Washington. Federal supply restrictions have given them monopoly power, and they protect that power by becoming important supporters of presidents, governors, and many members of Congress.
The Washington Post lamented the political corruption caused by the federal “sugar racket.” More than that, sugar policies are a textbook case of economic damage done by big government intervention in the marketplace. -- Chris Edwards
No wonder we're getting pumped full of high fructose corn syrup.
More importantly, this is an excellent example of how a moderate subsidy can end up costing more than 10 times as much at the checkout counter.
Cato Institute Tax & Budget Bulletin
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Globalization has brought huge overall benefits, but earnings for most U.S. workers -- even those with college degrees -- have been falling recently; inequality is greater now than at any other time in the last 70 years. Whatever the cause, the result has been a surge in protectionism. To save globalization, policymakers must spread its gains more widely. The best way to do that is by redistributing income. -- Kenneth Scheve and Matthew SlaughterYIKES!
Pentagon Spends $78 Billion a Year on Weapons and Space Research, Some of it Whacky,says that about 10 billion (of 78 billion) a year goes to fringe science like "gay bombs" and psychic teleportation.
In her book "Imaginary Weapons," military expert Sharon Weinberger writes that the federal government is spending taxpayer money on war technology at a pace of about $50,000 per second. -- abc news
So the tab for charlatanism is about $6,000 per second! You can buy a lot of bulletproof vests with that.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
mixed metaphor -- a combination of two or more metaphors that together produce a ridiculous effect. -- WordNet
My favorite mixed metaphor was when dikembe mutombo described defending against shaquille o'neal as "no walk in the cake."
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
This is an exceptional bunch from many political persuasions. I am proud to be a charter member, and I welcome any readers of this blog to check it out.
Monday, June 4, 2007
Temporary Link to TCP thread as of this posting
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Sunday, May 20, 2007
See my assessment write-up.
I disagree somewhat with the "radical" adjective, but will not lose much sleep over it. Even though I happen to be near the north woods today, I am not looking for a compound.
I felt that most of the positions were overstated at the libertarian end, leaving too much uncovered space to the next choice. For example, one question echoed reality; the quizzers have no solution for social security either.
The drug question leaves the same distrust that most critics invoke for libertarians by distorting the position. I do not favor legalization of drugs; I favor instead the removal of laws that we do not intend to enforce, and further I favor a drastic reduction of the fda along with the elimination of a federal role in pharmaceutical protectionism and medical research (excepting perhaps epidemiology).
Also there is a wide gap between the right to bear arms and the sanctioning of military arms. I voted for the complete removal of gun control, but I believe that there will be no legal control of arms the day our government turns against us. And if a foreign sovereign attacks, I cannot envision the US government enforcing any gun laws.
To launch quiz2d, press here.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
"The Iraqi government is a huge disappointment," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN'S Late Edition on Sunday.
"So far, they've not been able do anything they promised on the political side," the Kentucky Republican said, citing the Iraqis' failure to pass a new oil revenue bill, hold local elections and dismantle the former Baath Party of Saddam Hussein. "It's a growing frustration."
"Republicans overwhelmingly feel disappointed about the Iraqi government," he added. -- Reuters
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
By Robert Parry
May 6, 2007
In late August 2001, when aggressive presidential action might have changed the course of U.S. history, CIA Director George Tenet made a special trip to Crawford, Texas, to get George W. Bush to focus on an imminent threat of a spectacular al-Qaeda attack only to have the conversation descend into meaningless small talk.A Brief History of Consortiumnews.com
Robert Parry, Editorer 21, 2004
We founded the Consortiumnews.com Web site in 1995, back in the "early days" of the modern Internet. The site was meant to be a home for important, well-reported stories that weren't welcome in the O.J. Simpson-obsessed, conventional-wisdom-driven national news media of that time.
As one of the reporters who helped expose the Iran-Contra scandal for the Associated Press in the mid-1980s, I was distressed by the silliness and downright creepiness that had pervaded American journalism by the mid-1990s. I feared, too, that the decline of the U.S. press corps foreshadowed disasters that would come when journalists failed to alert the public about impending dangers.
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Friday, May 4, 2007
Who stood out?
Paul (1 of 10)
Paul (1 of 10)
Most Leadership Qualities
Paul (2 of 10)
Paul (1 of 10)
Most rehearsed answers
Paul (4 of 10)
Paul (5 of 10)
I would say he should be happy with this event.
Link: MSNBC Poll
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
- Commander in Chief lands on USS Lincoln CNN.com, May 2, 2003
- President Bush Announces Major Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended, White House transcript of Bush's speech, May 1, 2003
- White House pressed on 'mission accomplished' sign, CNN.com, October 29, 2003
- 'Mission Accomplished' Whodunit CBSnews.com, October 29, 2003
- White House press release discussing/explaining 'Mission Accomplished' banner, October 29, 2003
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
"No, read it to me," said Gasan.
The student opened the Bible and read from St. Matthew: "And why take ye thought for rainment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these... Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself."
Gasan said: "Whoever uttered those words I consider an enlightened man."
The student continued reading: "Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened."
Gasan remarked: "That is excellent. Whoever said that is not far from Buddhahood."
Not Far from Buddhahood
libertarianism is by far the least enigmatic philosophy on the american political landscape. Almost anything that's not covered by the golden rule is handled by saying "it's not constitutional," and anything else can be dealt with through procrastination.
Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what is the sound of one hand clapping.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Does standing by wolfie constitute bush's being an accessory after the fact?
Is shaha riza a jimma carter look-alike?
Link: Wolfowitz Hires Ex-Clinton Lawyer
"we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required." -- Sheryl Crow
Too freaking much information!
I will be planting a tree tomorrow, which will offset my tp usage for the rest of my life. But here's the deal, I will plant 2 trees, if I can be spared this kind of statement for that same duration.
If CBS had sought my gratis counsel, this would have been considerably less expensive. Celebrity? In which goldfish bowl?
It seems, more and more, that both individuals and organizations are making decisions on as limited information as possible.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
William Henry Jackson -- The photographic pioneer of the West.
Ansel Adams -- just majestic.
Edward Steichen -- did you know photography is art?
Alfred Stieglitz -- from the Victorian to the Modern
Lewis Wickes Hine -- People at work