Friday, January 27, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
So I see a bunch of headlines for stories where Newt Grangrene's campaign admits Newt's "having been inaccurate" when he said that he'd offered to send character witnesses to rebut his ex-wife's version of events.
Is there any way for a reasonable person to look at this and reach any conclusion other than that Newt was caught flat out in a bald-faced lie? If not, is there any reason not to call it out as such in the lede?
Or does this just prove that, no matter how outrageously obvious, no lie will ever be called by its right name by our liberal media?
Monday, January 23, 2012
Mr. Cook, Apple’s chief, last year received stock grants — which vest over a 10-year period — that, at today’s share price, would be worth $427 million, and his salary was raised to $1.4 million. In 2010, Mr. Cook’s compensation package was valued at $59 million, according to Apple’s security filings.
A person close to Apple argued that the compensation received by Apple’s employees was fair, in part because the company had brought so much value to the nation and world.
No, it is not "fair." Nobody "earns" an 8-figure salary. That kind of income can be achieved only through rent-seeking or thievery, and the fact that Apple is paying its executive team so lavishly instead of investing in its own infrastructure is part of the reason it can't "afford" to make iPhones in the US. They are using the money to pay people who say shit like this:
“We shouldn’t be criticized for using Chinese workers,” a current Apple executive said. “The U.S. has stopped producing people with the skills we need.”
No, asshole, the U.S. has not "stopped producing people with the skills" you need, you just stopped being willing to pay them enough to live on.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Not to argue that there's any comparison between the activist groups themselves or the direction in which they want to run things, just that the various flavors of True Believers are busy ripping each other up while the rest of the electorate stares in slack-jawed disbelief.
For some veterans in the party, Mr. Gingrich’s victory increased the very possibility that some of them fear — that the combative and volatile Mr. Gingrich with whom they had worked in Washington would become the new face of the partyseveral thoughts occurred to me.
- "Become?" Where have they been hiding?
- Whose fault is that anyway?
- And why complain?
Friday, January 20, 2012
LA Times blogger Rene Lynch reports that many teens are unclear on the concept that having sex causes pregnancy and asks "Why?"
Because in the US of A, our public discourse is ruled by magical thinking about the desires of an imaginary ruler of the universe whose morals (if he actually existed) would be right at home in the courts of the Chalcolithic Mesopotamian despots he was modelled on. That is why.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
The scientific merits of the presentation had been overwhelmed, for them, by the novel and unusual mode of demonstrating the results.
His slide-based talk consisted of a large series of photographs of his penis in various states of tumescence after injection with a variety of doses of phentolamine and papaverine.Via.
... Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as a global cultural ambassador.
Because "global cultural ambassadors" are the kind of dickless "soft power" nonsense you expect from blackity-black Kenyan Socialist Muslims, no good for the sort of in-your-face force projection that made America great.
Also, black, affirmative-action hire.
Congress may take books, musical compositions and other works out of the public domain, where they can be freely used and adapted, and grant them copyright status again, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
One of the plaintiff's lawyers remarked that the decision “suggests Congress is not required to pay particularly close attention to the interests of the public when it passes copyright laws.”
Gee, ya think? Just strike out "copyright" and the description would be a fair one, sez me.
Asked who actually won the primary, Olsen told the Register: “It’s a split decision.”
Except there are no "split decisions" when there's actually money on the table. Let's remember that quote the next time the contest is between a Democrat and a Republican, and the Republican is down by .005% of the vote and won't quit trying to find specious challenges to the total. There's probably a rich vein of irony to be mined here, if anyone could be bothered. I'd be happy if this turn helps convince people that what voters in Iowa (and NH) think in January doesn't really matter that much.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Dorst probably more or less forgot about the incident, until last week. See, he made the error of scheduling the trip of a lifetime with a connection through the Land of the Free, and when he arrived at the airport in Vancouver, the sleepless guardians of the Homeland nailed the miscreant, averting the menace that would have been posed by his 2 1/2 hour layover in Texas. And incidentally costing him the nonrefundable price of his airfare from Canada to Ecuador.
DHS are the villains here, but this kind of picayune bullsht seems pretty typical of US law enforcement in general, which is why the US needs drug law liberalization that leaves nothing to the discretion of local authorities. Because if you give our cops an excuse to bust somebody they will use it. Is this unique to the US? I dunno, but our unnamed hero at the Canadian border would have a short career in law enforcement were he, say, Dutch, because those guys are expected not to abuse their authority like this.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Anyway, one wonders, if personal trust is such an important element in Wall Street wheeler-dealing, why word of this didn't get around? Or were the victims too embarrassed by being taken in this way to admit it in a way that would result in any bad consequences for Bain? Whatever the explanation, it is not flattering to the steely-eyed Masters of the Universe.
It should be stated right up front that the Midwest, with its rich culture, stark natural beauty and superlative decency, quickly defies stereotypes. Living in the middle of the country is very different from living in the middle of nowhere.Seriously, do rich New Yorkers send their kids to schools that have special classes to teach tone-deaf condescension? I didn't make it much further than that, because reading further would clearly have been the time-management equivalent of throwing good money after bad.
(1) Why is there no noun for this? Nepot seems to mean just "descendant," from the Latin for "nephew."
Friday, January 13, 2012
Erik Loomis provides us today with an example of the wingnut flower in full blossom, dated 1948:
While carping about race and creed inequality, as a theme song to bring the unthinking masses to his support, he and his wife actually did more to promote creed and race strife than was ever done before in the history of our country or will ever be in the future.and
The Roosevelt administration is directly responsible for our government being hopelessly involved in a debt so great that if it is ever repaid, which is doubt, virtual enslavement to taxes sufficient to kill all initiative will be necessary for the next two hundred years.
I think there is common perception that wingnuttery dates from, and is a reaction to, attempts to extend first-class citizenship to brown people (alluded to e.g. here) but that only goes far enough to explain how the crazy could be made palatable for retail. The real origin is older, and is a reaction to earlier attempts constrain the power of the owner class v. their employees, to the outrage of the former.
Both of Jan. 12, 2012
Both Web publications.
I logged off my computer yesterday afternoon with a sense of optimism engendered by the first of your referenced posts (and, I might add, its accompanying comments thread). I thought you'd made an unfortunate choice when you cited the example of Clarence Thomas' assertions about his financial disclosures: that is a peccadillo, in greater scheme of things, and close enough to the edge of verifiability to be a poor example of the issues your readers responded to in their comments. I also thought the title infelicitous: "vigilantism" carries pretty unsavory connotations for people who care about fairness and due process, and I don't think many of your readers want you to abandon your commitment to those virtues.
I took the first of your posts yesterday as meaning something quite different than what you intended, apparently. I was deeply vexed and disappointed to read your "Update" today. I think it is particularly dismaying that you should dismiss your readers' comments as consisting of "more heat than light." I took the trouble to read all of the comments (265 at the time I'm thinking of) and fewer than 2% offered something other than the sentiment of "Hooray! The Times is waking up to the fact that people think it's a stenography service and mouthpiece for wealth and power, and they want to do something about that!" How often do you see 98% of the respondents to any question, in any forum, respond with that degree of unanimity? Even flash mobs organized to overwhelm online polls don't generally manage that.
The comments that you dismiss so blithely in your "Update" are so unanimous because the Times has a real problem of credibility, which it shares with every other nationally-distributed commercial news outlet. Namely, to some sizable fraction of your readers, you appear unwilling to challenge or even cast doubt on the statements of powerful people or institutions when doing so might expose you to criticism for "liberal bias." This unwillingness extends to such extraordinary lengths as, for example, allowing the former Vice Presidential candidate of one of the two major parties to repeatedly assert that the winners of the election she'd lost were proposing legislation which would have the effect of establishing euthanasia panels for elderly Americans, without pointing out that in the plainest possible terms that the proposed legislation contained no such provision. Indeed, the larger story with the incidents to which I refer is that one of the major political parties in the United States has utterly abandoned any pretext of interest in being truthful with the people it seeks to govern, preferring instead to mislead and obfuscate and flat out prevaricate more or less without respite. The Times apparently did not consider this newsworthy, and, given the tone of your "Update" evidently will continue not to do so.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
I don't claim that there's anything original in what follows, but I'm in a vicious mood today and this really set me off.
As I was driving today, I got cut off by an SUV with a "baby on board" sign hanging in the rear window. Ordinarily I don't even notice the damned things anymore, though they never failed to annoy me when they first appeared. What exactly is supposed to be the point of these things? Am I supposed to look at your sign and think "OMG I should be extra-careful not to take any risks that might result in my death or maiming, or the destruction of the single most valuable piece of movable property that I own, because your special little brat is on the road?"
Even having been a parent of babies myself, I still find it impossible to imagine a motivation for displaying one of these things that doesn't make the displayer a total wanker.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Actually they didn't say "mostly harmless," but I had to get that in there. What they said was
Occasional and low cumulative marijuana use was not associated with adverse effects on pulmonary function.
It should be noted that "occasional and low cumulative marijuana use" in this case means "a bit less than a joint per day, on average" so this is not looking only at your once-a-month tokers. Also, in pleasant contrast to every study I have ever seen that attributed horrible effects to cannabis (which are typically n=7, followed for a month or so), this study had a subject population in the thousands and tracked smoking behavior over 20 years.
As soon as I'd downloaded the PDF I looked at "Funding/Support" section, because I was curious to find out who'd paid for a cannabis health study that wasn't designed as a hatchet job. I was amused by the "Role of Sponsors," which noted
The National Institute on Drug Abuse funded this analysis but did not participate in CARDIA or review the manuscript
Monday, January 9, 2012
I reached Wells today, and unlike Box, he tells me he’s a conservative, who has switched back and forth from Republican to independent, and says he voted for George W. Bush for president in 2000 and 2004 and John McCain in 2008. (He has also supported Claire McCaskill for Senate.) Yet despite his leanings, he was willing to conspire with MoveOn to produce this video, which is a pretty good preview of the sort of thing you’ll be seeing in ads in struggling Rust Belt communities against Romney, should he become the GOP nominee.
“Right now, if Romney gets in, I am so disgusted that I will probably vote for Obama and I detest him,” Wells says. “Anyone who is willing to put a predatory capitalist in office deserves to get Obama.”
I'm not sure how much sense I can make of that last sentence, but that's somewhat beside the point, which is this: we have in Wells a guy who'd quaffed deeply enough of the Republican Kool-Aid that even after two terms of Bush II he still hadn't had enough reaming, who is now saying "no more please." If Wells is representative of anything, a worm is finally turning long after first being trodden upon.
Via, where Cole expresses my feelings about Romney perfectly.
Friday, January 6, 2012
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
“We warn this ship, which is considered a threat to us, not to come back, and we do not repeat our words twice,” Salehi said, according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency.
Now, for all I know, this is a literally exact translation of what the guy actually said, but I'd be willing to bet it's not idiomatic. It seems to me almost like somebody carefully chose a translation to make the speaker sound kinda dumb. I've seen this a lot of times over the years without really noticing it, but now that I think of it I wonder if Yasir Arafat could really have been as inarticulate as the US news media often made him sound.