Friday, August 30, 2013

Lazy blogging

Yeah, it's been a slow year around here. Y'know, work, personal life, blah, blah, blah...

I've missed several opportunities to go on record before some controversy was resolved. I haven't given timely opinions on hot topics. The NSA knows what I'm thinking; isn't that enough?

My lazy blogging is probably not going to change soon.

But I can do this.

  • It's blatantly unconstitutional that our government is spying on us at great expense (and we're paying for it). It's bad when Obama does it, just as it was when Duhbya did it.
  • Intervening in Syria is a terrible, no good, stupid idea. You can tell because most of the neocons are for it. It's a dick-measuring contest, and those don't lead to good outcomes.
  • Besides, we couldn't have been any clearer about how to manipulate us if we'd said, "Psst. We'll blow up shit if you convince us the other Islamist dickheads with inconsequential differences from you that you're fighting actually used chemical weapons." (Oops, that's not very clear.)
  • Tell me again why the wingnuts hate Obama. Republican universal healthcare (from before that was an oxymoron, granted). Republican Middle East policy, right down to the UN inspectors and the weak, secret evidence oversold by a Secretary of State. Republican economic "recovery," where Wall St. is bullish and the ordinary middle class is losing ground.
  • Oh, but Obama is black.
  • Larry Summers would be an awful pick for Fed Chair, maybe the worst pick possible. That guy may be brilliant in some bloviating sense of the word, but I don't think he has a nanogram of sound judgement, and he's fucked up almost everything he's touched.
  • And I think David Marsters must be a commenter on this blog. Or else wingnut teabaggers are universally angry, ignorant bigots. (OK, that's more likely.)
  • But it's really fiiine that a white supremacist can't manage to take over a town when it only has at most two dozen residents and a house there costs $8600 - Detroit, North Dakota.
  • Too bad civil rights has been relegated to the nostalgia circuit.
  • Joseph Stiglitz rocks.
No, I'll never be as terse as Atrios. Even when I try to go short, I wind up long. Must be the gin.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Shareholder democracy

I.e., not real democracy, but the much more rewarding kleptomaniac plutocracy.

Who loses?  For the past three decades, it's always the 99% who lose.

Update (8/29): It's a pain in the ass that Blogger has become increasingly mercurial about saving posts that include videos.

By their fruits

Or, in this case, by their fruitcake ideas.

I'm not even sure all these wingnut Republicans really truly believe global warming is natural.  Oh, sure, Michele Bachmann is vacuous enough to believe it, and so do many of the others, especially the idiots who've gone to fundie schools and have not even a passing acquaintance with science, at least not as anything other than a source of evil-ution and a punching bag for bullshit fundamentalist denial.

But surely some of these deniers are intelligent enough to understand the data.  Those are worse than the sincere deniers.  They are simply hypocrites who know what they have to say to be viable Teapublicans.

The fact that success in one of the two main American political parties requires a declaration of one's own stupidity - because so many of its base voters have chosen denial as their core epistemic principle - is truly frightening and a far greater existential threat than terrorism could ever be.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

No way to change the climate

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There is simply no answer the teabaggers, denialists, oil tycoons, and wingnuts will ever accept.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

What the shit is he putting in his tea?

Click image for full Adam Zyglis/Buffalo New cartoon.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Grapes of workamping

The race to the bottom is over. The 1% won. American capitalism - the kind without a human face - looks more and more like the bastard spawn of neo-feudalism and indenture to the company store.

Workampers - some of them, anyhow - are the Okies of the Great Recession. Psst, only white people have RVs. Good demographic!

At least the workampers can go mobile. The locals are completely stuck between penury and abuse as temporary, disposable employees:

Industry consultants describe the temp-staffing business as "very, very busy." "On fire." Maximizing profits means making sure no employee has a slow day, means having only as many employees as are necessary to get the job done, the number of which can be determined and ordered from a huge pool of on-demand labor literally by the day. Often, temp workers have to call in before shifts to see if they'll get work. Sometimes,they're paid piece rate, according to the number of units they fill or unload or move. Always, they can be let go in an instant, and replaced just as quickly.
In another mind-numbing warehouse:
A few days later, I had breakfast with someone who coincidentally works with the CEOs of logistics companies. Telling him about the conditions and the sterility and the mind-numbing sadness of the warehouse made him almost too bummed to eat his oatmeal. "Somebody did studies and spreadsheets and crunched those numbers," he said, "and figured out that the cheapest way to get that job done is to treat people like that." Which is important, he explained, because "the profit margins on those contracts are razor thin." Of course. A lot of the Internet retailers' merchandise is nearly worthless—ice princess star-shaped ice cube trays, cheap sunglasses, anthropomorphic stuffed bacon toys—and is sold for nearly nothing, often with free or reduced-price shipping.
Susie told me it's pretty dispiriting to act as though her workers are as disposable as the products they're shipping. But that's just the way it is, she said. The logistics clients aren't interested in spending money on a better or more sustainable work culture. Nor do they need to. There are 100 people employed in the warehouse I visited, and Susie could fire every one of them today without costing her bosses a dime of lost profits. She has applications from hundreds of people ready to take the job.
And the logistics companies call their abusive work rules their culture.

All I can say is that Americans are heavily armed, and woe be to those who are inflicting this "culture" on us when we finally figure out that it's not the liberals who are to blame for every ill the wealthy are inflicting on us.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

They did nothing

"Fiddled while Rome burned" would be too referential.

Messaging Matters gives this prĂ©cis of Teapublican accomplishment:

They Did Nothing.” It’s that simple. The Republicans on the economy? “They did nothing.” On jobs? “They did nothing.” Rebuilding America’s crumbling roads and bridges to help businesses move their products? “They did nothing.” Immigration? “They did nothing.” Climate change? “They did nothing.” Bringing American jobs back home instead of shipping them overseas? “They did nothing.” Keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists and the mentally ill? “They did nothing.”* The list goes on and on. And to be clear, the Democrats must articulate their positive agenda. In fact, President Obama has taken to the road to do just that. Saying the Republicans did nothing only makes sense if Democrats clearly explain what solutions they stand for and on which the Republicans should work, with some compromise and cooperation by both sides.
Sorry, I slipped. MM tells me to say "extreme Republicans."

(H/t DailyKos)