••can ye pass the acid test?••

ye who enter here be afraid, but do what ye must -- to defeat your fear ye must defy it.

& defeat it ye must, for only then can we begin to realize liberty & justice for all.

time bomb tick tock? nervous tic talk? war on war?

or just a blog crying in the wilderness, trying to make sense of it all, terror-fried by hate radio and FOX, the number of whose name is 666??? (coincidence?)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Is it ever OK to call someone a Nazi?

huffpo article
BBC article
wikipedia on godwin's law

It is precisely because such a comparison or reference may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued, that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact.
so some name-callers are more equal than others....
Sarah Palin devotes a chapter of her new book America By Heart to defending the "Mama Grizzly" movement and her own feminist credentials in a segment that strangely starts by accusing citizens of the lower-48 of perpetuating "bear propaganda."

The thing about mother grizzly bears -- an animal that has been adopted as Sarah Palin's favorite personification of her brand of female candidate -- is that they're serious, Palin says.

"Beautiful, ferocious, serious-as-a-heart-attack creatures," Palin writes....

hey! don't look at me that way! i never suggested otherwise! [see here and here]

psst! is it safe to come out yet?
In passages leaked from her forthcoming book America by Heart, Sarah Palin -- the erstwhile quitter governor of Alaska, who now, by all indications, fancies herself as President of the United States -- has taken another cheap shot at First Lady Michelle Obama.
Death of a President (2006 film)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Death of a President is a 2006 British mockumentary about the assassination of George W. Bush, the 43rd U.S. President, on 19 October 2007 in Chicago, Illinois. By means of actors, archival film footage and computer-generated special effects, the assassination is the thematic beginning of serious discussions about civil disobedience, racial profiling, the U.S. Government's reduction of civil liberties, news sensationalism as agitational propaganda and the theory of Just War.

The premiere showing was at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival on 10 September 2006, and in the UK, it was broadcast on More4 on 9 October, then on Channel 4 on 19 October 2006, a year to the day before the assassination date in the film. It was broadcast in Finland on 18 October 2007, the assassination date's eve. In Japan, despite governmental interference, the film was exhibited in cinemas on 6 October 2007.
The film won a total of 6 awards including; the International Critics Prize (FIPRESCI) from the 2006 Toronto Film Festival, the International Emmy Award for the TV Movie/Mini-Series category in the (UK), the RTS Television Award in the Digital Channel Programme category from the Royal Television Society, the RTBF TV Prize for Best Picture Award from the Brussels European Film Festival for director Gabriel Range, the Banff Rockie Award from the Banff Television Festival for the film, and one for director Gabriel Range. The film also received a nomination for Best Visual Effects from the British Academy TV Awards in 2007.

Box office
Newmarket paid one million dollars for the U.S. distribution rights. The total production budget for the film is estimated to have been two million dollars. The film was screened in the U.S. for 14 days, showing at 143 theatres at its widest release. Worldwide, it grossed $869,352. The Japanese motion picture ethics committee, the Eirin, prevented Death of a President from being shown in most cinemas in 2007, saying that the film's Japanese title ("Bush Ansatsu", translated as "Bush Assassinated") is inappropriate. The film was scheduled to begin showing in Japanese cinemas on 6 October 2007.

14 days? 143 theatres? grossed $869,352 worldwide? some "liberal" media, eh?

every now and then, cons grouse about libs' failure to condemn this film. they do so to justify con threats and lies directed at obama.

one difference is that hardly anybody knew of the film, while attacks on obama are widely played up in media and appear to be approved by many on the right. another is, as far as i can tell, the film did not attack bush or advocate assassination.
The Influence Industry

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce astonished even the most jaded Washington-watchers last year when it reported spending nearly $150 million on lobbying. The figure obliterated all previous records and cemented the chamber's reputation as Capitol Hill's most formidable lobbying force.

But it turns out that a lot of that money came from an injection of funds from another lobbying powerhouse: America's Health Insurance Plans.

The private insurers' group gave $86.2 million toward the chamber's media and lobbying blitz against President Obama's health-care legislation in 2009 even as it was pledging general support for the idea of reform, according to tax records and sources familiar with the gift.

The donation made AHIP the chamber's single largest funder in 2009, accounting for about 40 percent of the business lobby's $205 million in contributions that year, records show.

Friday, November 19, 2010

WASHINGTON – Raising the retirement age for Social Security would disproportionately hurt low-income workers and minorities, and increase disability claims by older people unable to work, government auditors told Congress.

The projected spike in disability claims could harm Social Security's finances because disability benefits typically are higher than early retirement payments, the Government Accountability Office concluded.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is a tendency for people to favor information that confirms their preconceptions or hypotheses regardless of whether the information is true. As a result, people gather evidence and recall information from memory selectively, and interpret it in a biased way. The biases appear in particular for emotionally significant issues and for established beliefs. For example, in reading about gun control, people usually prefer sources that affirm their existing attitudes. They also tend to interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position. Biased search, interpretation and/or recall have been invoked to explain attitude polarization (when a disagreement becomes more extreme even though the different parties are exposed to the same evidence), belief perseverance (when beliefs persist after the evidence for them is shown to be false), the irrational primacy effect (a stronger weighting for data encountered early in an arbitrary series) and illusory correlation (in which people falsely perceive an association between two events or situations).

A series of experiments in the 1960s suggested that people are biased towards confirming their existing beliefs....
dubya still insists the world is better off without saddam hussein, even though no weapons of mass destruction were found.

i wonder what iraqi christians would say about that.
read these at big blue marble friday:


o little roach
did you know your mama?
or did you hatch
one of millions
together & alone?
did it take you days
or weeks
or months
to grow a half-inch long
before your final breath?
you can't say
& i might never know
but one thing sure:
you made me
a lot more aware
of the look
& feel
& taste
of take-out spaghetti


my muse,how could you
walk out on me this way?
didn't i treat you right?
i gave you
everything i had
& more

i lied for you
stole for you
killed for you
died for you
& tho
from time to time
i chased another muse
i always loved you best
& came back to you for more

give me one more chance,o muse
& i'll crush whole worlds for you
steer my winged steed beyond the stars
that spin in spiral streams
& in the empty reaches there
where no mind has gone before
weave elastic webs of cosmic silk
stretched around the formless dust
& with my diamond blade
carve living shapes of unknown kind
make nature take new laws

but first
let me show you
what those other muses
showed me


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

actually it was 159,000 in the private sector, so i assume a lot of municipalities laid off people to avoid raising property taxes. oh, and i see the trade deficit shrank a bit, too.

too bad those numbers didn't come out a week earlier.

now we just have to wait and see if it's a trend, because if new jobs keep rising, it'll become obvious voters jumped the gun when they let anger drive them to the gops.

ain't democracy wonderful?

Monday, November 08, 2010

"Over the past four years, I have fought continually (and at some cost) for the principals [sic] of constitutional conservatism," she wrote.

Republicans, thinking that the election was a rejection of Pelosi's liberal agenda, are ecstatic about the prospect of her leadership team remaining intact.

"I don't think there is any question that this says to the voters, 'We're not listening to you. We think we're right and we're going to continue the same path,' " Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who will take the majority leader post in January, said on "Fox News Sunday."
you can't argue with success

Huckabee was among leading Republicans floating a widely disputed estimate that Obama's trip to India, part of a 10-day tour of Asia, was costing $200 million a day.

pennsylvania teanut diana reimer called it a two billion dollar vacation.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

WASHINGTON (Nov. 4) -- Nancy Pelosi may be moving out of her spacious office in the Capitol, but the woman who broke the marble ceiling to become the first female speaker of the House has already moved into the ranks of the most effective legislators in history.

"While right now she is overshadowed by this thumping, she's going to rank quite high in the pantheon of modern speakers" of the last 100 years, said Norman Ornstein, a congressional scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. Only Texas Democrat Sam Rayburn, the longest-serving speaker in history whose parliamentary maneuvers cleared the way for passage of civil rights and social legislation in the 1960s, ranks higher.

Four years isn't much time to make it into the history books. The new House Republican majority, with Rep. John Boehner in the speaker's office, has vowed to undo much of what Pelosi and her fellow Democrats accomplished in the last two years under President Barack Obama. And her tenure has not been without controversy.

Few Republicans would give Pelosi even a passing grade. She has been caricatured as a monster, has been excoriated by right-wing bloggers as the mother of all federal deficits and has become the bete noire of conservative talk radio. Most would, and have, called her the worst speaker in history.

Yet historians and nonpartisan political observers who take the long view say Pelosi stands out among the 52 lawmakers who have held the job set forth in Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution. And not just because all the others were men.

"The last Congress in particular has been remarkable in its productivity -- in both the number of bills enacted and their scope -- and Pelosi shares much of the credit," said Matthew Green, a political scientist at Catholic University of America and author of "The Speaker of the House: A Study of Leadership."

Many speakers shepherded through big bills: Democrat Tip O'Neill guided major energy legislation though in 1978, and Republican Dennis Hastert twisted arms to create a new Medicare prescription drug benefit. But few, Green said, have passed more legislation than Pelosi.

& in case you think it impossible for her to get the job back, note that several speakers did repeat. two of them even served three times each: henry clay between 1811 & 1825, and sam rayburn, who was ousted by the GOP's joe martin twice but came back 2 years later each time.