Archive for November 11th, 2007

Beauty in destruction.

Nov 11, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives

A poem, if you will.

“The Unknown”

As we know,

There are known knowns.

There are things we know we know.

We also know

There are known unknowns.

That is to say

We know there are some things

We do not know.

But there are also unknown unknowns,

The ones we don’t know

We don’t know.

Improv poetry from Donald Rumsfeld

-jb

Quit messing around!

Nov 11, 2007 in Barack Obama, Politics

You must vote for Obama. Watch these two videos, then ask somebody to slap some sense into you if you still don’t want to vote for him.

One absorbing interview.
[youtube XXNGg38UcxU]

One powerful damn speech.
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You are helpless before the Truth. You can only run from it, but you cannot make it go away. Iowa must take a stand for principle and integrity and choose Barack Obama.

-jb

Goodbye, Privacy.

Nov 11, 2007 in Corporate shenanigans, National Security, Politics, The Internets, Where's the outrage?!?!

We’ll miss you.

Millions of people in this country — particularly young people — already have surrendered anonymity to social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook, and to Internet commerce. These sites reveal to the public, government and corporations what was once closely guarded information, like personal statistics and credit card numbers.

“Those two generations younger than we are have a very different idea of what is essential privacy, what they would wish to protect about their lives and affairs. And so, it’s not for us to inflict one size fits all,” said Kerr, 68. “Protecting anonymity isn’t a fight that can be won. Anyone that’s typed in their name on Google understands that.”

Thus the government can read all of your e-mail and listen to all of your phone calls whenever it wants and if you don’t shut up about it, you’re letting the terrorists win.

-jb

Clinton Derangement Syndrome.

Nov 11, 2007 in Barack Obama, Clintonitis, Clueless Conservatives, Politics

Andrew Sullivan says, “The Clintons tend to be lucky in their enemies.”

That’s one way to look at it. Another way to look at it is that the anti-Clinton machine is composed of the worst of the GOP. The faux-scandals fly fast, furiously, and free of facts. Not to mention doggedly authoritarian, if one notes Kenneth Starr’s unconscionable abrogation of Susan McDougal’s Constitutional rights. It’s the very modus operandi that led directly to all things Bush.

The fact is that the only sensible case against Hillary Clinton is one that comes from the left. She’s a centrist Democrat who triangulates by making concession towards Republican policies. The fact that Republicans think they hate this woman reveals them as completely irrational. The reason why Clinton triangulation works is because sane moderates actually pay attention to how Bill Clinton governed in the ’90s and to how Hillary behaved in the Senate. It’s the left she’s been driving crazy through unbelievable betrayals like voting for Iraq. The Clintons, for all their human imperfections, have a governing philosophy America likes. Most lefties can whack them on certain policies and still rate their job performances highly.

As furious as those who hate the Clintons personally get at the thought of Bill Clinton smugly walking back into the White House, the fact simply is that it will be better for America. The rightwingjackass brigade has nothing on them. But they won’t stop. That doesn’t make the Clintons lucky. That makes all of us unlucky.

Of course, we could simply sidestep all this adieu and elect Obama instead, who only the most vile could hate. The primaries are coming, Iowa. Why not take this chance to vote for the best candidate? President Barack Obama…how exciting is that? I dare any non-rightwingjackass to tell me how that doesn’t give them a bigger woody than “President Hillary Clinton.”

-jb

UPDATE: That didn’t mean disguise yourself with a fake Hillary site, rightwingjackass! See comments.

Ja, das stimmt.

Nov 11, 2007 in Economy, Housing Bubble, Journamalism

Well, I sure wish I knew what it would take for our country to develop some foresight. Our current version of “looking forward” has gotten us in Iraq, allowed profiteering to drive health care costs beyond our means, and passed massive credit reforms friendly to loan shark credit card companies while respectable members of the elite bellyache about the cost of fighting global warming. That is, of course, an incomplete list. If there’s anything we have planned well for, I’m not sure of it.

The housing meltdown is getting the attention, but there’s so much more. Bankruptcies and homelessness are on the rise. The job market has been weak for years. The auto industry is in trouble. The cost of food, gasoline and home heating oil are soaring at a time when millions of Americans are managing to make it from one month to another solely by the grace of their credit cards.

The country has been in denial for years about the economic reality facing American families. That grim reality has been masked by the flimflammery of official statistics (job growth good, inflation low) and the muscular magic of the American way of debt: mortgages on top of mortgages, pyramiding student loans and an opiatelike addiction to credit cards at rates that used to get people locked up for loan-sharking.

One of the joys of living in America is that we have a nearly useless punditry that works hard to create the experience of being on top of everything while offering next to nothing People like Bob Herbert who are out there digging up the bad news are both rare and ignored. While our news media does manage to record a number of facts available for searches and discerning readers, it has become so enmeshed with foul punditry one must struggle to unsnarl them. Mainstream media outlets have begun to grow dimly aware of encroaching challenges to America’s economy that neoliberal economic policies have engendered. Given the corporate structure of such entities, such a simple pronouncement becomes impossible for them to make, so they must pretend they have no idea what’s causing all this alarm.

There is really no excuse for The New York Times and the rest of the mainstream news media to not understand what is going on out there. The pervasive cluelessness is a symptom of another complex system out of whack — the system that informs us what’s going on. Meanwhile, the danger mounts. The heating season is underway and the furnaces are clanking. Many Americans will have to start choosing whether to pay their mortgage, fill the tank of the Chevy Suburban, buy that brick of Velveeta, or pay the heating oil guy. It looks like China will be spending more of its accumulated dollars bidding up the price of oil (or making favorable contracts with foreign suppliers) instead of buying Freddie Mac bonds. The USA could not find itself in a less favorable position among all these forces roiling the scene. It certainly can’t afford to continue its pathetic pose of cluelessness.

James Howard Kunstler inevitably sounds like a crank, yammering away at how the world is going to turn to shit, writing the book of Revelations for the suburbs via his books and blogging. He makes us feel grumpy and sad. Unfortunately, he is a crank only because fate proves him right every day. Kunstler has looked at the unique nature of oil and its fundamental importance to every facet of modern life, and extrapolated the logical consequences of it running out. They’re not easy to digest, definitely earning a rating of two Tums up.

I prefer Rolaids, but the pun called…

There are some who maintain that the country will simply be unable to react to a true energy shortage until it faces it, and then we’ll fucking grab ourselves by our invincible bootstraps and leap right over the problem. They’re half right.

-jb