Monday, May 31, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #6535

Product of an unspeakable ménage à trois between Joe Ely, Leonard Cohen, and Dolph Lundgren.
(Image originally uploaded by zakharova; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Memorial Day Chomsky

This has been a crappy Memorial Day for reasons both geopolitical and personal. If you're in the mood for something besides the canned, predigested patriotism that generally marks the day in the media, listen.

Democracy Now! was off today, but Amy & Co. should be all over the latest Gaza atrocity tomorrow. Some DN! each day keeps hasbara away.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #3435

For a food snob, this is the equivalent of waterboarding.
(Image originally uploaded by jonahrayaokay; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Who's Out to Get Glenn Beck?

Hilarious list.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #4362

Houston, 2016: Everybody turns out for the annual parade commemorating Ronald Reagan's victory over the forces of Cesar Chavez at the Battle of Laffer's Curve—or else.
(Image originally uploaded by Gil Velasquez; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


The Horror of More Widely Shared Prosperity

I've been catching up with the Krugmeister and have thoroughly enjoyed a series of posts where he attacks the conventional wisdom (dare we call it "economic correctness"?) that the US was some kind of economic basket case until Saint Reagan shredded that awful New Deal and its beastly regulations and let the light of liberty bloom and saved us from the bear that sh*ts in the woods or whatever. "Did the Postwar System Fail?" Hell, no:

Funny, isn’t it? The Ford-Carter years look no worse—in fact, somewhat better—than the Bush years, especially if you look from business cycle peak to business cycle peak. And that was in the face of two very severe oil shocks. So a question for all the people who say that the economic troubles under Jimmy Carter discredited postwar economic policies: why don’t the troubles under Bush similarly discredit post-Reagan policies? Funny how that works.

Here’s what I think: inflation did have to be brought down—and Paul Volcker, not Reagan, did what was necessary. But the rest—slashing taxes on the rich, breaking the unions, letting inflation erode the minimum wage—wasn’t necessary at all. We could have gone on with a more progressive tax system, a stronger labor movement, and so on.

In the modern vision, the old US economy is seen as an absurd, unworkable thing. Where were the incentives to grow super-rich? How did you manage with all those well-paid, organized workers? But I’m old enough to remember that system, and it was no more unworkable than what we have now. Radical change happened because a powerful political movement wanted it, not out of economic necessity.

Word. Emphases mine. Let's not get fooled again.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #1069

"Don't you just hate it when tourists order Naan when they really want Roti, and then when you try to mollify them by offering them some free Paratha they complain because it's got 'stuff' in it? I hate that."

(Hindi Rooney, ladies and gentlemen.)

(Image originally uploaded by gothamayurveda; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


A Prediction from Joe Romm

As told to Guernica Magazine:

Guernica: How is history going to judge the people you call the disinformers—people like James Inhofe, Michael Crichton, and George W. Bush?

Joseph Romm: Very harshly. They will be seen in the category of Neville Chamberlain or people who were shills for the tobacco industry. And future generations won’t understand it. They won’t understand how people could be actively shouting “No fire!” in a burning theater and attacking the credibility of the fire department.

Yeah, those three guys are all pretty old and probably won't be around by the time things get bad enough for people to dispense with the niceties of "very harshly" and go straight for the good old hanging-by-the-heels thing.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #2989

Not even impending induction into the ranks of the undead could deter Mr. Blackwell from his appointed snark. "Well. I wonder what the ever-impeccable Prince Vlad would say if he found that today's vampires have apparently adopted the abomination that is 'Casual Day', tsk tsk."
(Image originally uploaded by Chipeau; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Not an Ex-Parrot Yet, Thank You Very Much

We have a flock of wild parrots in the neighborhood. They seem to have a special fondness for sunflower seeds.

We've seen as many as ten at one time. I only hope they can avoid the neighborhood hawks—they probably stand out like sore thumbs to raptors used to bland, featureless mourning doves and whatnot. Spicy tropical delights!

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #1419

Not even wildest Nepal is safe from defilement by Twitter. "Hey @topoftheworlddood, i found sir edmund hillarys jockstrap, selling it on ebay LOL"
(Image originally uploaded by graham 2006; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Radical Dog

Check out this wild slide show featuring an intrepid dog (apparently named Kanellos, or "Cinnamon") that seems to show up in the front lines at every protest in Greece. It's quite amazing; not even tear gas seems to faze him. I swear, it's almost enough to make you believe in reincarnation—like he's got the soul of Mother Jones or Joe Hill. Or the Greek equivalent thereof.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #5133

"'Remember to stay in character'? Look who's talking, Grand Duke Headset de Medici."
(Image originally uploaded by Luciano Osorio; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Effing Proper Effing Booming

I'm not a Kossack, but occasionally somebody (h/t digby) will point to something at The Great Orange Satan that I'm really glad I didn't miss. This crash course in oil-spill booming by the magnificently profane "Fishgrease" is both hilarious and maddening all at once.

"Booming is for pussies." Mayhap we've found an epitaph for the Gulf of Mexico's tombstone.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #6496

One look at his face should be enough to tell you that "The Story of the Little Tree" is really all about the connections between people, wink wink.
(Image originally uploaded by New Millennium Evangelical Church; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Beck's Mormon Theatricality

Very interesting excerpt from Alexander Zaitchick on the Mormon roots of Glenn Beck's strategic crying jags, etc.

It is hard to imagine a religion better suited to Beck’s emotional neediness, unrivaled egomania, and hack entertainment chops than the Church of Latter-Day Saints. Mormonism has not only made an art of fake crying, it has institutionalized Beck’s favorite mode of speech, the sentimental monologue. It also encourages a certainty of spirit based on self-revelation that lies outside argument, fact, or logic. What Beck does on radio and television is an amped-up version of the testimony ritual: he fervently talks about what he believes—knows—is happening, describes the dark secrets he has uncovered, conveys the transcendent importance of these discoveries, and frames it all in a Manichean narrative straight out of the Book of Mormon—America as a battlefield on which God-fearing defenders of liberty face off against evil big-government conspirators.

The way Beck has built his movement and his audience is a microcosm of the method by which the Mormon Church grew into a worldwide religion. Like an earnest young missionary spreading the good word through emotional speeches to confused Latin American villagers, Beck has brought his gut self-revelations to the angry, not-so educated audiences of Fox News and AM talk-radio, employing emotional intensity overflowing into tears to conquer doubts of his sincerity and prove his access to powerful truths. By asking his viewers to “join him”—in the 9.12 Project, as a “constitutional watchdog,” for his 100-year plan—or to “follow him” (as he says at the beginning of each Fox broadcast), he is offering viewers a chance to share in his revelation.

Bear testimony; recruit. Bear testimony; recruit.

More. I wonder how much of his ratings decline is due to audience fatigue with this schtick.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #0100

It's being a rough weekend, so forgive me for stealing one from my friend jules.

Surely you remember 80s synth-pop sensation A Flock of Sanjays.
(Image originally uploaded by calladarsh1; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


As Sam Smith Would Say


The folks who believe in libertarianism are like the folks who believe in Bigfoot. They can point to respected academics who share their delusion. They never let reality get in the way of a good story. And ultimately, libertarianism, like Bigfoot, is nothing other than a white guy cavorting around in a cheap gorilla suit, an obvious fake.
(One necessary comma added. For shame, tristero.)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Daily Random Non-Flickr Blogging

Let's close out the week with a non-Flickr photo taken by my sister—a cool macro shot that gives me an excuse to use a joke I've been saving up for a while.

As the giant mandibles closed around him, Jeff realized that it was not a typo after all; he had, in fact, taken his family to a Them! park.

Alternate caption: "Ant motorboats Kate Moss; film at eleven."


Tell the FCC

Not that it'll do any good, but those inclined to give the FCC their two cents re. stopping the gargantuan Comcast-NBC merger can do so here.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #5067

"Does this make me look stout?"
(Image originally uploaded by affabletoaster; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Dear Tea Partiers

As the weeks stretch on and the befoulment of the Gulf of Mexico continues to worsen, please keep Rand Paul out front and center dismissing greed-driven disasters as "accidents" that just "happen" and complaining that criticism of BP is "un-American." This will do wonders for the reputations of both right-wing libertarianism and Randian egoism.

Thank you.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #9996

RenFest comedy auditions can be brutal. "...and that's why we call him 'Ivan the Terrible'. But enough about my husband's flatulence."

*gettes ye hooke*

(Image originally uploaded by K Brower; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Not the Egg Man, Either

People, people, people: much though I admire the puns, I must point out that the kitschy mail receptacle in #7846 is not a walrus; it's a manatee. Manatee mailboxes are not, thankfully, as common as they might be around these parts, but one does find them here and there. Viz.:

Just be thankful I can't find my pictures of the one where the manatee is making a maniacally happy face that seems to follow you as you drive by and then haunts your dreams. When Nietzsche warned about staring into the abyss, he might have had that one in mind. Brrrr.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #9286

*security guards blast intruder to pieces*

*pieces reassemble themselves*

*Moosinator continues implacably toward Palin rally*

(Image originally uploaded by Sactown Johnny; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Oh Joy

Dr. Jeff Masters: Oil enters the Loop Current and is headed to the Florida Keys

And once it befouls the beautiful and delicate Keys, it can start its journey up the Gulf Stream. Thanks, BP/Transocean/Hallibuttheads/etc.

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #8161

It's hard to say who would be more surprised by Sarah Palin's views on Marcel Duchamp. "Well, I think that Fountain stands supreme among his readymades in both its playful displacement of the aestheticized by the quotidian and in how it forces a rethinking of the somewhat arbitrary and socially constructed dichotomy between mere use-objects and those valorized as objets d'art, you betcha."
(Image originally uploaded by Al2896; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Scourge of the Deficit Scolds

Poor Dean Baker is probably going to be found one day wandering in the streets mumbling "it's the housing bubble, the housing bubble, the housing bubble" to uncomprehending passersby, but until he finally succumbs to the insanity induced by dealing with today's media/politico/corporate elites, we can all appreciate the eloquence with which he scourges them for, e.g., blaming deficits on "we, the people":

Was it we the people who were too dumb to see an $8 trillion housing bubble and recognize that its collapse would wreck the economy? No, that was the job of the great Maestro Alan Greenspan and his sidekick Ben Bernanke, the brilliant scholar of the Great Depression. It was also the job of all the economists who do research and opine to the public on the macroeconomy. Virtually all of these highly educated highly intelligent economists either did not see the bubble or insisted it was not worth their time.

Our deficit today is due to the collapse of this bubble. There is no dispute about this. If there had been no bubble and the economy was still chugging along with 4.5 percent unemployment, the budget would either be balanced or close enough that no serious person would be expressing alarm (check out the pre-crisis CBO projections).

Is our huge deficit a problem today? Not if you think people should have jobs. Private sector demand has plunged because of the collapse of the bubble. If the public sector does not fill the demand gap with deficit spending, then we have less demand and fewer jobs. That’s worth saying a few hundred thousand times since the deficit hawks have filled the airwaves and cyberspace with so much nonsense.

And "those scary long-term deficits" are "all health care...all health care."
The deficit hawks tell us we can’t fix our health care system. What they actually mean is that they don’t want to confront the powerful interest groups that cause the United States to pay two or three times as much per person – with no obvious benefit – as people in other wealthy countries. It is easy to devise mechanisms that will get our costs more in line with other countries (e.g. this or this).

Because such measures threaten the incomes of powerful interest groups the politicians won’t push them. And, because they have not been endorsed by enough elite economists (you know, the folks that couldn’t [sic] $8 trillion housing bubble) elite journalists will not talk about them either. Instead, they will blame ordinary workers for thinking that they should be able to get a decent retirement and have the same sort of health care coverage as people in every other wealthy country.

Thanks, Dean, and I'm glad you're on vacation this week 'cause dealing with these people and their class-based groupthink has gotta be exhausting.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #5272

Among the Puritans, just about anything could provoke a schism. "Nay, the oyster fork goeth on the right." "On the left, say I." "Papist!" "Heretic!"
(Image originally uploaded by hans s; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #7846

Ironically, if she looked inside, she'd find copies of Artforum, Aesthetica, and The New Criterion.
(Image originally uploaded by Woodmania; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #5001

The fat cats at CNBC don't want you to know about Pellets the Stock-Picking Rabbit, who outperformed Jim Cramer in seven of the last eight quarters.
(Image originally uploaded by Anthea0127; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Some Questions to Focus the Mind

From Sam Smith:

The blame for our economy being placed on illegals is grossly misleading. Here's a test I proposed some time back:

1. Has a Mexican ever fired or laid you off?

2. Was the plant you worked for until it was sent overseas been bought by Mexicans or is it still owned by the same people you used to work for?

3. Has a Mexican ever cut your pension or health benefits? Outsourced your job to India?

4. Was Enron run by Mexicans?

5. How much of the corruption in Washington has been instigated by the Mexicans?

6. Did the Mexicans make us invade Iraq?

More on "The Three Wars We'll Never Win" here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #8914

Product of an unspeakable ménage à trois between Car and Driver, American Heritage, and Ass Fancy.
(Image originally uploaded by LOWTECH garage photography; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)



So a Republican judicial strategist is caught on tape (h/t Media Matters) telling his advisees to oppose any Obama Supreme Court nominee no matter how moderate, to drag out the nomination process as long as possible, to knowingly mischaracterize the nominee, etc.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #7099

The Bugatti Jayne Mansfield would have been a top-notch racing coupe were it not for some problems with (ahem) air resistance.
(Image originally uploaded by Simon Davison; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #4014

The young Ann Coulter was quite the beauty, except for...

*faint snarling audible from vagina*

(Image originally uploaded by MissMoll; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton. My sincerest apologies to the young lady in the image, who I'm sure is quite unlike Ann Coulter in all the ways that count.)


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Original Trailer for Dr. Strangelove?

By the guy who also drew the distinctively stretchy opening titles for the film?


(h/t Greg Mitchell over in his new digs at The Nation)

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #4610

"Welcome back to Men's Speed Skating. You join us as Norway's Sven Olafsson prepares for the a minute...isn't he supposed to be 26?" "He is, Bob. Apparently those reports of a succubus in the Olympic Village are more than merely anecdotal."
(Image originally uploaded by woodsk8; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Glory Days?

Yeah, they passed us by. Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam recalls his first journalism (sort of) job as a fact-checker for the not-long-for-this-world Newsweek:

We would publish whole stories that were lies—Francois Mitterrand’s plan to destroy the French economy was a recurring theme—but at least the names were spelled correctly. Two T’s, two R’s. I will never forget.
The less said about the "duties analogous to those of an 18th-century cabin boy in the Royal Navy," the better. (h/t FAIR)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #9001

But his brief stint as a waiter proved disastrous, and people soon began referring to him as a pelican't.
(Image originally uploaded by aviguring; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Sunday, May 09, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #2238

In the annals of Eighties Australophilia, Six Kangaroos in Search of an Author kinda fell through the cracks between Men at Work and Crocodile Dundee.
(Image originally uploaded by Eijanen; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


A Great Ten Minutes

I managed to catch up a bit with The Daily Show this weekend and was particularly impressed by what these people can do with a slateful of current events.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Family Research Council's European Gaycation
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #2165

The family was shocked when, at her 85th birthday, Grandma suddenly came an abstract expressionist. "I've been secretly exhibiting action paintings and color field constructions since my late teens."


(Image originally uploaded by cityofarvada; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Get In Line, Schwartz

That alternate universe ain't big enough for all the people smitten over the years by Teresa Ferguson's voice.

Yeah. You former or current Austinites know what I'm talkin' about.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #9930



(Never let a part-time psych student run the Jumbotron.)

(Image originally uploaded by goddam; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


In Search of Lost Time

Eric Alterman takes a great swipe at Time's embarrassing "100 Most Influential People in the World" list—and several entries in particular.

Ted Nugent on Sarah Palin? Really?

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #9800

It's the all-American story: girl grows up on lonely Midwesterm farm; girl gets restless and strikes out for big city; girl lands dream job as annoying insurance spokesperson that's not a lizard or a duck.
(Image originally uploaded by RobertC57; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Not a Lick of Boom

Greg Palast on BP, past and present.

Stephen Kinzer on BP even further past (as in, when it was Anglo-Iranian Petroleum).

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #2184

This is true: It wasn't 'til I paid closer attention to the news that I realized that Tiger Woods was not, after all, the name of an upscale subdivision, and it wasn't 'til I went to the zoo that I realized that Red Panda was not, after all, the name of an underappreciated country singer.
(Image originally uploaded by tzallgoood; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Tangled Sentences! Vague Pronoun Reference!

Jamison Foser finds that the ostensible professionals editing and writing for the ostensibly professional cant rite to gud.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #9919

Had Dante lived in a later age he would no doubt have found room for the Museum of Containers and Packaging, though whether in Hell or Purgatory is anyone's guess.
(Image originally uploaded by brandon shigeta; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Monday, May 03, 2010

Befouled has quite a good page on the Deepwater Horizon spill. But God, it's depressing. Sea turtles and jellyfish already showing up dead—though maybe not from the spill, yet at least. You're ahead of the curve, jules.

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #5209

Admittedly, as slogans go it ain't no "Don't Mess with Texas," but we probably shouldn't be expecting much subtlety from Arizona these days.
(Image originally uploaded by bucky925; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)



Steven Hill on the road America could have taken, but didn't. Or hasn't. Yet.

More like France, less like Paraguay, please.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #7808

Crappy weekend. Bleh.

The worst thing about bike-riding on the beach is having to stop periodically to scrape the baby sea turtles off your tires.

What? It is.

(Image originally uploaded by tmo_n2o; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Saturday, May 01, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #6388

Still feeling under the weather—and busy as heck to boot. Bleh.

Far worse than Dr. Zaius is Dr. Zaius's cop brother. "What did you just call me? A what whatty what?"
(Image originally uploaded by TATT00MAN; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


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