Thursday, February 28, 2013

Further proof that I am the worst person in the world

shy smiley

Sorry, everybody.

(pic. source)

The Truth about the Obama Sequester

Jack sent me this great picture of the new American Navy.

But, as we know, every military vessel must fly a flag.

Line of the Day: 2013-02-28

Wicked people never have time for reading. It's one of the reasons for their wickedness.
    -- Lemony Snicket

Monday, February 25, 2013

Kill Me Now

The opening of the closing paragraph in what was represented not as transcribing a press release but as an Actual News Story In The Paper Of Record:

Still, the threat is large enough that Barnes & Noble executives are working hard to determine a strategy that focuses on core strengths …

Probably you already know my feeling that we ought to sue for surrender and try to get in return one shred of dignity -- a declaration that the space between the g and the h be declared superfluous -- but apart from just that, how the fuck do you cash a paycheck as a Reporter™, and type a CONCLUSION involving the phrase " … working hard to determine a strategy that focuses on core strengths … ," AND sleep at night?

Line of the Day: 2013-02-25

She added, “even my students with head scarves find these ridiculous.”

"These" being the new uniforms proposed for the flight attendants on Turkish Airlines (about half government-owned), which apparently reflect either an obsession among the powers that be with Ottoman Empire fashions, or further evidence of the ongoing neoconservatism of the current Islamist prime minister.

In another sign of I don't know what, "the main secular political party" in Turkey, which simply does not care for these new skirts way below the knee and such, is called "the Republican People’s Party."

Foreigners are weird.

How broken is our tax system when ...

... Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, of all people, is complaining about a loophole for the super-rich?

Of the many injustices that permeate America’s byzantine tax code, few are as outrageous as the tax rate on “carried interest” — the profits made by private equity and hedge fund managers, as well as venture capitalists and partners in real estate investment trusts. This huge tax benefit enriches an already privileged sliver of financiers and violates basic standards of fairness and common sense.

Record scratching noise.

When I read that lede and looked at the byline, I Googled just to be sure she was who I thought she was. Which was worth it, because interestingly enough, the top result, after the Wikipedia and the images links, was a profile headlined "Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild’s Kinder, Gentler Capitalism."

So, good for her, limousine liberal, Obama-hater, search engine manipulator, or whatever. And here's a useful image from the profile, which "she’d borrowed … from Harvard economist Larry Katz," but again, so what, glad to have her putting it out there:

“Thirty years ago, the Anglo-American capitalist system was the apartment block everyone in the world admired,” Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild told a gathering of business and political influentials gathered on the 28th floor of Bloomberg LP’s Lexington Avenue office tower on Thursday morning.

“Now, that apartment block has really nice apartments up on top. In the middle, they’re kind of cramped and dowdy, and on the lower floors, they’re underwater. But the worst part of it is—the elevator’s broken.”

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I'm bad, I'm worldwide

From a page of last week's stats about visitors to this blog:

Unfortunately, due to cropping, the part in the right column header saying "(millions)" was truncated. We regret the error.

(title: cf.)

And to think we knew him when he was just a putz on Bloggingheads

Slow news day? A measure of where the Right is at? For whatever reason, Michael Goldfarb has been profiled by the NYT ("the conservative political operative of the moment"), with a link on their homepage, no less.

Yeah. That guy.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

"The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food"

Erick EricksonA longish but fast-paced article that's worth a look, if for no other reason than to satisfy your cravings for sick fascination. Probably you already have a sense of much of what's touched on, but some of the specifics, not to mention the corporate attitudes on display, deserve to be front and center in your thoughts for a while.

The article, by Michael Moss, is adapted from his book Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, which is featured on his website.

On a tangential note, visiting his site introduced me to a new button:

IndieBound may interest some of you. There's a handy independent book sellers finder page, for example.

(top pic. source)

Friday, February 22, 2013

"Life after"

If you care at all about the state of newspapers, and in particular, local newspapers, I recommend Ken Layne's interview of "Sammy Sturgeon," a former employee who has gone back to (gasp) an actual print newspaper. It's hardly uplifting, of course, but it is entertaining in spots. (Hurrah for gallows humor?)

(side note) Check out the differences among the post title, the post title as displayed in the browser's top border, and the URL.

(h/t: Wonkette)


More generally, it's great to see Ken Layne back in harness. Or whatever it is called these days.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Line of the Day: 2013-02-21

We have stories about child molesters, murders and all kinds of vicious, barbaric acts of evil committed by heinous criminals on our front page and yet we never receive a call from anyone saying ‘I don’t need my children reading this.’ Never. Ever. However, a story about two women exchanging marriage vows and we get swamped with people worried about their children.
    -- Jim Cegielski, of the Laurel [Mississippi] Leader-Call,
    as quoted by Wonkette

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Deep thought

Is the opposite of anemic ironic?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Honorific of the Day: zhelezobetonnoe ochkko

From an article about the recent visit from outer space to the city of Chelyabinsk, and how the event was captured on numerous dashboard cameras:

The car-crash video corpus is a gold mine of piquant Russian slang, from the derogatory potsient—a hybrid of “[hospital] patient” and “putz,” used to denote crash victims—to the honorific zhelezobetonnoe ochkko—anus of concrete—for drivers who navigate deadly situations without losing their cool.

I'm going to guess that a more literal translation would require seven letters for the first word, but it sounds better in the original language in any case.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Spider! Want.

Here is a photo of a piece of sculpture by Louise Bourgeois, taken by Substance McGravitas, which I was compelled to swipe.

If you can't acquire this particular piece in time for my birthday, you may be able to find another.

Best article about architecture I've read in quite some time

This is probably going to sound like I don't know much about art, but I know what I like, but despite my love for building and buildings, I usually find writing about architecture tedious in the extreme, pretentious pages that take forever to say nothing at all.

Not this time. David Owen's New Yorker piece, "The Psychology of Space," is an utter delight. It's nominally about a Norwegian firm, Snøhetta, which has been hired by New York City to redesign Times Square, to make it more appealing to pedestrians, but there's a lot more fascination at hand.

Sorry that the full version isn't available online to non-subscribers, but maybe you can find a print version of the 21 January 2013 issue at the library, or in the smallest room in the house of one of your elitist friends. Look for the cover featuring the newly inaugurated president dealing with Congress.

Looks like the National Weather Service bought a thesaurus

With tax dollars taken from hard-working job creators and our beloved bankers, no doubt. And what's with those socialist "wind power" things, National Weather Service? If we had a real American preznit, there would be pictures of Old Glory flapping in the bluster breeze.

What's a boy who can't even get on the field for the dog-ass Jets supposed to do?

Steve M. caps some shock, shocking news about Tim Tebow with his winning post title.

(And not just because ...)

(pic. source | title: cf.)

Y'know, this socialist workers' paradise conservatives promised me Obama would deliver ...

... is sure taking its own sweet time to get here.

Incomes rose more than 11 percent for the top 1 percent of earners during the economic recovery, but not at all for everybody else, according to new data.

(Wait. There was an economic recovery?)

The numbers, produced by Emmanuel Saez, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, show overall income growing by just 1.7 percent over the period. But there was a wide gap between the top 1 percent, whose earnings rose by 11.2 percent, and the other 99 percent, whose earnings declined by 0.4 percent.

This calls for something more than a sternly worded blog post. It's time for ... class warfare!

'Top One Percent Horror Films' | Panel 1: 'You thought they were a myth, but Socialist Hobos have invaded Wall Street!' | Panel 2: 'Watch in TERROR as these strange creatures annoy decent rich folks!!!' Shows one of the latter being accosted by two of the former, one of whom says, 'Your chef will burn your toast slightly until you pay slightly higher taxes.' Richie Rich says, 'NOOOOOO! Mitt Romney, save me!'

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

(Inadvertent) Line of the Day: 02-13-2013

(h/t: @Jim_Newell)

Line of the Day: 2013-02-13

O.K., at this point the conventions of punditry call for saying something to demonstrate my evenhandedness, something along the lines of “Democrats do it too.” But while Democrats, being human, often read evidence selectively and choose to believe things that make them comfortable, there really isn’t anything equivalent to Republicans’ active hostility to collecting evidence in the first place.

The truth is that America’s partisan divide runs much deeper than even pessimists are usually willing to admit; the parties aren’t just divided on values and policy views, they’re divided over epistemology. One side believes, at least in principle, in letting its policy views be shaped by facts; the other believes in suppressing the facts if they contradict its fixed beliefs.
    -- ibid

Emph. added.

At last, the headline matches the lede

The Ignorance Caucus

Last week Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, gave what his office told us would be a major policy speech.

Oh, you want more?

P.S. I'm going to give PK irony credit for opening his second paragraph with a To be sure ...

Friday, February 08, 2013

He may be cheap, but he's not easy

I thought it was a diss, but it turns out there should have been an M after that figure.

Coming together after a tragedy

A Lutheran pastor who participated in an interfaith prayer service in Newtown, Conn., in the days after the Sandy Hook massacre has apologized after being criticized by the leader of his denomination for violating its prohibition against joint worship with other religions.

The Rev. Rob Morris, a new pastor who lost one of the members of his congregation in the shooting, defended himself in an open letter published by the church, saying that before the tragedy, he had spent hours with his congregation educating them about the differences between Lutheran teaching “and the teachings of false religions such as Islam or Baha’i,” both of which had clergy members at the interfaith service. He also noted that, in his own prayer at the service, he had spoken about Jesus and quoted from the Bible.

Okay, then!

And now, apparently, all is forgiven.

The Rev. Matthew C. Harrison, president of the Missouri Synod, called on Mr. Morris to apologize, which he did.

“There is sometimes a real tension between wanting to bear witness to Christ and at the same time avoiding situations which may give the impression that our differences with respect to who God is, who Jesus is, how he deals with us and how we get to Heaven, really don’t matter in the end,” Mr. Harrison wrote in an open letter on the Web.

Because it was not Mr. Morris’s intention to give the impression that the other faiths were equally valid, Mr. Harrison called on Lutherans upset by what had happened to accept Mr. Morris’s apology and support him and his congregation “especially in providing funding

That's about enough of that.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


(pic. source: Chris Rodda)

Found on #skeeters: PROOF!!!1!

Mighty sinister ... click to enlarge.

(Screenshot of a MoJo post.)

(h/t: Zaibatsu News)

Tuesday, February 05, 2013



After the Pistons’ Will Bynum missed his second free throw with 6 minutes 3 seconds left, Chandler corralled the ball to secure his 20th rebound for a third straight game. The last Knick to achieve the feat was Willis Reed in 1969. No N.B.A. player has recorded 20 rebounds in four straight games.

Next game is Wednesday night. Against the Wizards. So I like his chances.

Does God want you to be master of your phone domain?

I'm going to guess the French equivalent of 1-900 numbers are right out.

Rafaello Sillitti, the owner of the bookstore Averroès, which occupies a small space in the Créteil mosque, is convinced that converts like him can be the best advocates of Islam. He sells carpets equipped with compasses to help users orient themselves toward Mecca and a wide range of books written by Muslim scholars, with titles like “Be Master of Your Physical Desire” and “How to Use a Cellphone According to Islamic Law.”

Emph. added.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Bill Fawell? Or is it really Bill FALWELL?

Happy Super Bowl Sunday, sheeple!

This Year’s Illuminati-Super Bowl Connection is More Sinister Than Ever

Just sayin

Again, I'm not much of a zealot for Gun Control. But I do like a bit of a reality check from time to time.

Myth #8: "Vicious, violent video games" deserve more blame than guns.

Fact-check: So said NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre after Newtown. So what's up with Japan?

Sources: PricewaterhouseCoopers, Small Arms Survey (PDF), UN Office on Drugs and Crime

Eh, a ratio of a thousand to one. In one kind of death. Call it a rounding error, right, Wayne?

(h/t: LGM, via Dr. KN's RT)

Never mind the seekrit FEMA camps, whitey.

We're cutting costs. Y'all are just clay pigeons now.

Hey, you said a balanced budget was your highest priority.

(h/t: KK and Steve M. | pic. source)

(previously | ALSO: SKEETERS)

"I'm beginning to think it's a psychological condition."

You'd think a man like Roy Edroso, who knows more about the bowels of Full Metal Wingnuttia than anyone else I've ever met, could not possibly be shocked anymore.

Think again.

Aaaaaand just for the record, I'd be willing to bet Rob Port considers himself a Good Christian.

Props to Doghouse, in the comments, too.

Friday, February 01, 2013

(-1) x Line of the Day

The start of another episode of typing by David Brooks (which, in my own defense, I was tricked into starting to read by the NYT's fancy "read this article next" gizmo, which only shows a headline):

Over here in the department of punditry, we deal with a lot of hard issues ...

Record scratching noise.

Mr. Riley examined the previous episode, which I'd say is a much better way to spend your click.

Line of the Day: 2013-02-01

From Timothy Egan's latest post:

Many in the press and on the political stage are still afraid of him, but they should remember the words of the late Molly Ivins: being attacked by Limbaugh, said the bard of Texas, “was an experience somewhat akin to being gummed by a newt. It doesn’t actually hurt, but it leaves you with slimy stuff on your ankle.”