dilemmanade
Friday, January 30, 2004
 
Still at it...Posted by C

Evidently someone in the White House doesn't read my blog. Imagine that. If he did, he'd have to hang his head in shame and quit practicing the smarmy tactics I've talked about here before.

Dubya today:And given the events of September the 11th, we know we could not trust the good intentions of Saddam Hussein, because he didn't have any. Never mind that it's a stupid sentence, a non sequiter. Once again he's used the terms Hussein and 9/11 in the same sentence, the same breath. He's working an angle: some people are going to unconsciously associate the two, because they hear them together over and over. He's said he knows there's no connection. But he still wants people to believe there is a connection.

It's despicable.

Thanks to Globalize This!.
 
Thursday, January 22, 2004
 
Skull v Bones?...Posted by C

So Kerry and Dubya are both members. Heard this on Democracy Now this morning.

Update: Evidently, via tbogg, Barbara has not been "tapped."
 
 
Dubya's largesse...Posted by C

I couldn't watch the SOTU address, can never listen to that man speak.

Via tbogg it seems the president said this:

This year, some 600,000 inmates will be released from prison back into society. We know from long experience that if they can't find work, or a home, or help, they are much more likely to commit crime and return to prison. So tonight, I propose a four-year, $300 million prisoner re-entry initiative to expand job training and placement services, to provide transitional housing, and to help newly released prisoners get mentoring, including from faith-based groups. (Applause.)

Let's see... 600,000 inmates per year. Four years. That's 2,400,000 inmates. 300 million dollars divided by 2,400,000. That's a whopping $125 per inmate.

Update: Of course, this money won't be actually spent by our government on prisoners. It will be given to "religious" organizations who "work with" prisoners, like, say Scientology.
 
Thursday, January 15, 2004
 
About the Forest... Posted by C.

CalPundit notes that

housing prices in Los Angeles increased 22% in 2002 and 24% in 2003. That's a 50% increase in 24 months.


Jeez. If I would have bought a house I couldn't afford, for say 300K, racked up 50K in credit card debt in order to eat-- things my mother taught me not to do-- I could have sold the house for 450K, paid off the CC debt and walked away with 100K-- almost two years of my salary.

Who knew? Am I stupid or what?

In the broader sense what's frustrating about this is how it's an example of the change in the relative value of capital and labor. (I know one is not supposed to talk this way in polite company.)

The stock market goes up, housing prices go up. Those who have managed to inherit or acquire some wealth see their wealth grow. Those who haven't not only don't see their wealth grow, but even the possibility of acquiring wealth-- or even a little security-- through their labor has diminished.

It's not just that my neighbor who owns her house has been made richer, most of my neighbors and I have been made poorer because the relative value of capital and labor has changed. We only have our labor, so when it becomes worth less relative to capital, our social and economic security and mobility is hindered.

(Note: record numbers of people are buying second homes in L.A. Where are they getting the money, when most of us can't afford to buy a home at all?)

Now, I'm no communist. But I'm not a starry-eyed libertarian either. Capitalism is generally fine and dandy for producing goods and services. Yee-haw. But it takes regulation, oversight, even intervention to maintain a healthy society. It is perilous in the long run to impoverish the working class.

This does not bode well for the future of our country.
 
Monday, January 12, 2004
 
Meet George Bush... Posted by C

Via tbogg

A quote from W:

"No President has ever done more for human rights than I have."

Can you say "megalomania?" I knew you could.
 
Friday, January 09, 2004
 
Why I hate WebLogs... Posted by C.

This is pretty funny.

I don't suppose the irony will be lost on anyone that this person is posting her or his opinions to the web...

I think the case could be made (just as hyperbollically, should one choose) in the other direction: that blogs are good and important.

They are good because some people are writing, thinking, and arguing instead of watching TV.

They are important because they do, in fact, have an impact. For instance, Newt Gingrich may have fallen more than anything else because of Atrios' blog. (He posted previous instances of Newt making the same infamous comment about Strom Thurmond-- one version in a sound file-- and I think there's good reason to think that when the press reported it, it was because lots of people were sending letters and emails pointing the press to his blog, and demanding that they report it.)

Our political system has devolved over the last two hundred years in such a manner that now only the very rich and a few crafty power-hungry individuals who've clawed their way up the political pyramid can play any significant role in influencing public policy. The views of the populace only come into play when they are sufficiently disenfranchised as to become revolutionary-- at least in the sense of "throw the bums out."

The blogosphere, by linking and giving voice to-- for lack of a better term-- isolated intellectuals, is impacting in subtle and not so subtle ways the political landscape. Dunno how it'll all shake out, but I think that blogs are part of an emerging "public square" to replace the one that was lost as we urbanized and industrialized.
 
Tuesday, January 06, 2004
 
The S factor Posted by C.

Suburban Guerrilla points to this article on the S (Stupid) factor in explaining much of the popular support for W.

I think this is important to keep in mind. As Robert Anton Wilson wrote somewhere on the implications of IQ statistics (I'm paraphrasing), "Think about how stupid the average person is. Half the population is stupider than that."

That's downright scary. Depressing.

What does it mean? It means that people will continue to think that Sadaam was behind 9/11. It means that people will continue to vote against their own economic interests in the vain hope that someday they may somehow strike it rich. It means that it's not enough for democrats to be right (or better) in 2004, they have to be more convincing to dumb people-- a wholly different objective.
 
 
This is war. Posted by C

Discourse.net found an AP story outlining how the Labor (read Business) Department is advising employers how to avoid paying overtime, without getting rid of it. Thanks to Atrios for the link.

Somebody oughta make a list of all the working class bashing actions of the W administration to be trotted out whenever a republican (or right-wing pundit) accuses a democrat of fomenting class warfare.
 
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