9.23.2018

Sunday Morning

Music




Rants

Software disenchantment - A good and mostly right-on rant about the state of software.
Look around: our portable computers are thousands of times more powerful than the ones that brought man to the moon. Yet every other webpage struggles to maintain a smooth 60fps scroll on the latest top-of-the-line MacBook Pro. I can comfortably play games, watch 4K videos but not scroll web pages? How is it ok?
I think we've passed the point where tech and programming were the driving force of the tech revolution and showing the business world how all this computer stuff could make people rich. Now we've reached the point where the business world is driving the process and demanding tech produce at a faster rate. More profits now ! Fuck the quality! The capitalist are in control, there is no time for tech to catch up. The capitalist race to the bottom?  
A side note.... Lack of broadband in large parts of the US amplifies the problem. Try dragging bloated pages, with slow, crappy code across slow, throttled connections. It ain't pretty. 
Also,.... on this
Would you buy a car if it eats 100 liters per 100 kilometers? How about 1000 liters? With computers, we do that all the time.
It wouldn't matter to most people if the liters and the cost to store them were basically free. 

Economics

Tariffs vs Taxes - Political Irony: When is a tax not a tax?
How does this differ from a tax? I can’t think of any substantiative difference. If you buy anything from China or other foreign nations, you will be pay what is basically a sales tax to the federal government. Can you imagine the uproar if the government levied a sales tax of 25% on mobile phones, televisions, washing machines, solar panels, and other goods? Well, they have basically done that, and are threatening to tax those things even more.
I'd guess in some cases, tariffs would help home nation businesses more than a tax. Tariffs on large displacement motorcycles in the 80s helped HD survive but I'm not sure it will work like that with Trumps wide-ranging tariffs. 
But like a sales tax, cost to the end consumer will rise and the poor and middle class will be hit harder than the rich.




9.21.2018

This Week

Capitalism's race to the bottom

Your wireless carrier is definitely throttling video, but not because of network congestion (Verizon's the worst). More details here: They’re all in on it

Payday Loans Are Coming For Everyone

Deceptive packaging makes it look like you are getting 3 pens, but there's only one in the box

















Politics

Beto O’Rourke Is Crafting His Own Mythology
Cruz, meanwhile, is still the guy about whom a Republican colleague once said, “If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.” Pretty much everyone in Texas knows who Cruz is, and he isn’t particularly beloved. A recent Emerson College poll found that 44 percent of Texas voters had an unfavorable opinion of him. (This is in a state where he got 57 percent of the vote in 2012.) 
O'Rourke is getting the press and may have a chance but the main story here is that our country is so screwed-up that he is still behind a person as detested as Ted Cruz.

With Supreme Court Decision on Dark Money "We're About to Know a Lot More About Who Is Funding Our Elections - Maybe.... Big Money and Big Power have a way of getting around laws like this.


Inequality

Rich Folk are nuts -  The $675,000 License Plate


Healthcare

Best healthcare system in the world my ass. These Are the Economies With the Most (and Least) Efficient Health Care - Medicare for all !!


9.18.2018

From the Last Few Days.

Cool Stuff

Si-Fi KFC - found at Dangerous Minds




Medicare for All

Government spending would increase but the nation's total health care spending would decrease



What could go wrong?

British private security firm hires ex-military from Sierra Leone at $250 a month to help the US military in Iraq.  The price of precarious labour in contemporary warfare


Corporate American

Umair Haque on Why a Divided America is Collapsing
"Corporations became people in a clever legal trick — basically, to evade taxes. And over the years, their powers expand and multiplied, quite naturally, as their money did. So now America has a strange and bizarre situation where corporations are super-people. They have powers actual people don’t — and can’t. They can be in infinite places at once. They know where you live and track your moods and your emotions and thoughts. And they don’t have to pay taxes or live in the country and so forth. Actual people are puny things compared to corporate people. But corporate people are just legal and social fictions which represent capitalists. (In Europe, though, corporations are not people — not in remotely the same way as in America — and so such a class does not really exist, a point I’ll return to.)"
I agree. Corporations have too much power. We have to start putting not only CEOs but top management and board members in jail for corporate actions that would land the perp in jail if done by normal person. The Boston gas explosions come to mind. 

Media

Trump won most counties with the lowest newspaper circulation rates - I'll bet they had Fox News though.


The Lobby

Wow....Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israel was brought to you by Jeffrey Goldberg. This'll fire'em up.

TEXAS REQUIRES SCHOOLS TO BLAME ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT ON ARABS - do they mention the occupation?


Trump

Farm Country Gets What It Voted For - Trump's policies hurting farm income.






















9.15.2018

From the Last Week


Cops

Baltimore police officers carry toy guns to plant on people they shoot


Free Speech

Trump administration moves to curb campus criticism of Israel - Fuck the First Amendment.... there's a hurricane coming.


Politics

Yes, let's wipe out Trump. But take neoliberal Democrats with him, too -  Yep. My plan for the youngsters is.......
  • Always Vote. 
  • Always Vote for the most progressive choice.
    • A Social D in the D Primaries.
    • The Left most in the General.
  • oh, and Always Vote


Corporations are people too.

Except a person would go to jail if they blew up 39 houses.


Trump

The American Conservative on Trump's Foreign Policy
So America under Trump has become a cat’s paw in a Middle East intrigue that is very likely to lead to war. This is not how he campaigned in 2016, and it is not what the American people want. If Trump doesn’t veer away from this path to war and the result is further Mideast blood and woe, he likely will go down in flames. That would be fitting and proper. But the rest of the world wouldn’t deserve the result.

No one really likes Trump. His supporters like the person he plays on TV but they'd hate him too if they ever had to work with him or even be around him for a few days


9.11.2018

Mid Week


Cool Stuff













Some good shots of pre-war bikes. by Paul Clifton


Politics

Generation Gap
"We have impressions – things which enter our mind with “most force and violence” – and ideas, which are “faint images”. Our experiences in our formative years are impressions; everything else is an idea. This, I suspect, lies behind at least some of the generational divide in politics. And its partisans are insufficiently aware of it."
I agree. Here in the US, the depression era has been forgotten and we're in the death-throes of the Reagan generation with a shot of 9-11 and a  hint of the Vietnam era thrown in the mix. I can't wait for the younger, friendlier, grunge-rockers and Obama babies to really take control. 


Kavanaugh

The best thing I've read on Kavanaugh - I, TOO, GREW UP IN THE CRIME-RIDDEN STREETS OF BETHESDA, MARYLAND


Trump

Trump mocks NFL for ratings drop in season opener; suggests numbers would improve if players didn't kneel -  Hell, I've been boycotting NFL games because they black-listed Kaepernick.

On the Economy. “Best Ever” Economy?

The US is above the law, International Law that is.


Middle East

We use a carrot with Israel, moving the embassy to Jerusalem and allowing the settlements, but we use a stick with the Palestinians.


Our Crappy Media

CNN on the Economy - Trump's economy is roaring -- but the controversies around him are drowning it out. A  better headline would have been "The economy is rolling despite the Trump controversies" Liberal Media my ass.

Another left-wing, anti-war type blindly accepting that the Syrian chemical weapon attack was the real thing. Did Trump almost start WW III with Russia with Proposed Massive Bombing of Syrian AF?
"Knowing that the Russian Aerospace Forces personnel were all over Syrian air bases, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis became alarmed, and shaped a limited response to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons at Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, 2017"

Capitalism's Race to the bottom.

About a quarter of rural Americans say access to high-speed internet is a major problem
Yep. It's a bitch. I live in Teabagistan (eastern Indiana) about a mile from a town with cable broadband and about 10 miles from a larger town with cable, wireless, and fiber broadband. The best available to me is copper-fed DSL at about 2.8MB. It's passable but barely. 
Not far from me we have $200,000 to 300,000 houses with no access to broadband. 
I expect 5G will help but until the phone carriers change their thought process from phone-like plans to more full-access, electricity-like service it will never work for users. Currently, Sprint 4G is my best option, 50gb for 50$ then the speed is cut. 50gb is about 10 days of use for an older, nearly-retired couple. That ain't going to get it. 
If I had to buy electricity like that, I'd get 500kwh a month then the house would go dark or I could turn on lights but couldn't use my oven, water heater or heat-pump.  

Still, I guess our broadband isn't as fucked up as our health care. - Insulin's High Cost Leads To Lethal Rationing.


Foreign Influence

Ex-Trump adviser was reportedly accused of being unregistered Israeli agent. Wow, I thought he was working for Russia.



9.09.2018

Over the Weekend

On Trump

The always good Stonekettle Station - Jenkins.
And that’s Trump, America’s shitty boyfriend. Selfish. Self centered. Stupid. Too much money and not enough goddamned sense. Entitled. Spoiled. Emotionally stunted. 
Trump daily complains about the news media, who he says doesn't really have the inside scoop on his administration  ... and then, instead of quoting his own staff, his own agencies, his own experts, his own government, he always, every time, presents information filtered through the media instead

Trump says he could use the MILITARY to build his wall if Congress won't fund it through Homeland Security's budget - and he won't rule out another government shutdown to get his way -

And American will pay for it?


Politics - Fox and CNN




A Trump insider, a right-winger, keeps his mouth shut for almost two years while the Trump administration works to trash human rights, civil rights, the world economy, the US budget, pal around with dumb-shit dictators, divide the country, all while handing even more of our national wealth to the rich and powerful and now CNN, the so-called left-wing media, calls the insider a hero?

That ain't left-wing media. Fuck CNN, oh and also,... Fuck Fox News.


Israel

I thought America's Christians were the "Chosen People"?















The Chosen People won't think twice about killing your arms-in-the-air ass.














International Law

Note, the US and Israel don't seem to have any problem breaking international law.

US Ambassador Friedman: Israel Shouldn't Have to Ask U.S. Permission to Build in West Bank
According to Friedman, the current administration has never challenged an Israeli construction plan in the West Bank.
The International view of the West Bank
"The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.[6][7][8][9] The International Court of Justice advisory ruling (2004) concluded that events that came after the 1967 occupation of the West Bank by Israel, including the Jerusalem Law, Israel's peace treaty with Jordan and the Oslo Accords, did not change the status of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) as occupied territory with Israel as the occupying power.[10][11]"


9.07.2018

This Week


Media

THE CONSISTENT NON-INTERVENTIONIST MINDSET OF DONALD TRUMP
"After Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad launched a chemical attack on civilians in April 2017, Trump called Mattis and said he wanted to assassinate the dictator. “Let’s fucking kill him! Let’s go in. Let’s kill the fucking lot of them,” Trump said, according to Woodward." 
Assad's Chemical attack is just accepted as fact by our media, left or right. It was never proven. There was at least some evidence it was staged but now, it is accepted as fact forever by both sides. 
U.S. Envoy Warns That Syria Preparing To Use Chemical Weapons In Idlib - Here we go again.


Trump

Exploring Trump's Claim of Using Tariffs to Pay Down $21 Trillion in Debt - Believe it when you see it.

The United States is going to become the warehouse for global soybean supplies - Making Brazil Soybeans Great

The OP-Ed. I'm going with Pence. Even though it says the person "could be fired" and Pence really couldn't.
All BS all the Time: Trump Shows Reporters an Article Praising Him, Then Lies About What It Says

And...Trump Suggests Nike’s Kaepernick Hire Is Fine – Because They Rent From Him
"Donald Trump is the most dishonest president in American history 95 percent of the time. But during that other 5 percent, his shamelessness — and utter dearth of impulse control — renders him the most disarmingly (and self-destructively) honest public figure in modern memory."

Medicare for All - or better yet, complete-full-coverage, Medicare for All!

Soaring bankruptcy rates signal a 'coming storm of broke elderly,' study finds
Medical costs are a frequent tipping point for older bankruptcy filers, the study found.

Politics

Speaking Interfering in our Politics - Israel Targeted Black Lives Matter Movement: Documentary


War 

What could go wrong?








9.06.2018

9.03.2018

The Weekend


MAGA?

Trump's moves are spurring the rest of the world to look away from the US and its mighty dollar.

When Will The US Lose Control Of the World Payments System?

Germany calls for global payments system free of US

China defies Trump on Iran, Creating new Benchmark Crude Market in Yuan
"Reuters speculates that thwarting US sanctions on third parties that buy Iranian crude, due to kick in November 1, is one reason for the establishment of the Shanghai exchange. Since it functions in yuan, not dollars, the US Dept of Treasury has no say over it. If Chinese banks are used to transfer the yuan payments, Treasury cannot do anything to the companies involved."
Trump’s Policies Will Displace the Dollar

Turkey calls US ‘Wild Wolves,’ vows to Dump Dollar for Russia, Iran Trade


Israel vs US

Obama’s foreign policy options were continually limited by Netanyahu and the lobby — Ben Rhodes

The Lobby


The Working Class

Our Anti-Worker President

A new report shows how the United States is lining corporate executives’ pockets with tax dollars.
 ".. the report found that the corporations that received the most government funds often had the highest CEO-to-median-worker pay ratios." 
The Online Gig Economy’s ‘Race to the Bottom’: When the whole world is fighting for the same jobs, what happens to workers?


Politics

McCain



8.31.2018

Friday

Trump

Medicare is socialism and our president is an idiot.

His Promises - Trump: My first day in office
"You're going to have such great health care at a tiny fraction of the cost and it's going to be so easy." 
Anyone who knew anything about our health care system knew he was lying but the Trumpers believed him because they never hear an opposing thought from the Fox Propaganda Network and the all believe everyone else is lying to them. Their fucking propaganda works.

Oh, and he is just a dick. For Labor Day, Trump Wants to Take Away Federal Employees' Raises 


Media

Fox is the problem - Florida Edition

Trump, Corporate Media Are Both Enemies of the People - CNN and MSNBC have more in common with Fox than they do with their own viewers
"How could it be otherwise? Just six massive and global corporations—Comcast, Viacom, Time Warner, CBS, the News Corporation and Disney—together control more than 90 percent of the nation’s television stations, radio stations, movies, newspapers and magazines." 

Middle East

Israel is Building Another 1,000 Homes on Palestinian land. Where’s the Outrage? Trump and the US Government would be pissed if this were some South Africans taking land from white farmers. 

The Last Few Days

The Economy

Jobs - Obama's last 18 months vs Trumps first 18 months.













Bernie vs Amazon - Click and read the thread.

Medicare for All

Hospital Bill Horror Story - Life-Threatening Heart Attack Leaves Teacher With $108,951 Bill - A great example of how our health care system rapes people.


Politics

It Would Take Only a Single Senator
"With Republicans clinging to a precarious 50–49 majority, every individual GOP senator can serve as a check on Trump’s excesses whenever they choose to act."
Trump and the current GOP group are doing lasting damage to their party. The youngsters will remember this.  
Neocons Rising


Corruption

Cuomo Received $25,000 From Weinstein Lawyer’s Firm as He Suspended Probe


Media

No More Mister Right Blog is Right! - Most right-wing sites don't do news, just opinion and fear mongering.

Trump’s latest misleading attack on Google, explained - Everyone hits Trump for these bogus "fake news" stories but they almost always originate from Fox News. Trump is a symptom. Fox is the problem.

Detecting Deep Fake Videos - I guess it might work for a while.

Iran-based political influence operation - bigger, persistent, global - This sounds like a planted story to bolster the "Iran is evil" meme. This is the tell......
"...U.S.-based cyber security firm FireEye Inc and Israeli firm ClearSky..."

8.27.2018

Over the Weekend


Politics

Polite Republicans - A pretty good description of our mainstream media here. Polite, centrist-to-conservative, don't really want much change. They're only liberal when compared to Fox News.

I wish everyone would stop talking about impeachment. My god folks, Mike Pence would be in charge.



Also, The Clintons... AS TRUMP'S TROUBLES DEEPEN, WINGNUTS REDOUBLE THEIR EFFORTS TO TARGET ... HILLARY CLINTON
Everything is the Clintons' fault. Everything is always the Clintons' fault.
Yep. A good reason for The Clintons to get out of politics. They will always be the enemy the right can use to wind-up-the-wing-nuts.
and by the way, Sheldon Adelson owns the Rs


McCain

I never really liked the guy and never understood why the media revered him. I didn't know the details of his POW stay, it's quite a story, and for that alone he deserves some "hero" status. Still, as a politician he always struck me as not really that sharp on things that were out of his wheelhouse and his wheelhouse was really only war, bombs, POWs, and torture.



Economy

Household Savings: Average vs Median - Mish is right, Averages lie.
The average "boomer" headed into or in retirement has $274,910 in savings.
What's wrong with that?
Well, 50% of boomers have less than $24,280 saved up.

Stumbling and Mumbling on Socialism in One Country - Capitalism makes the pie bigger for everyone, until it doesn't, then it starts eating the pie from the inside. The US reached that point sometime in the late 80 or 90s. I think (hope) we're at peak-pie-eating now.


Raising prices for part of his base
 - I'd guess a lot of Fox-News-Watching, Trump-Voting old ladies buy their sewing and quilting supplies from Joann's. I don't think they'll like to see the prices going up.


Medicare for all
“The Reuters–Ipsos survey found 85 percent of Democrats said they support [Medicare for All] along with 52 percent of Republicans.” [Link]
So why can't we have it? Because that's what the people want and in the US, our policies are determined by what business wants.
Medicare for all two problems

Medicare for All - This assumes a lot of D winning.


Crappy Media

WSJ - Low levels of unemployment and high demand for H-2B visas mean there aren’t enough people working in landscaping this summer - I hate these "We can't find workers" articles. If they pay enough with the right benefits, they will get the workers. If you raised wages 40% over the last four years and you still can't find people then you haven't raised them enough. It's basic supply and demand,... free market assholes.

The lesson we refuse to learn about Republican voters


8.23.2018

Thursday


Tech

It's Time to End the 'Data Is' vs 'Data Are' Debate - "Data is" it is.


Luck

The radical moral implications of luck in human life
"And yet when you turn 18, it’s all yours — the whole inheritance, warts and all. By the time you are an autonomous, responsible moral agent, you have effectively been fired out of a cannon, on a particular trajectory. You wake up, morally speaking, midflight"

Corruption

Crooks - Rep. Duncan Hunter and wife indicted on fraud and campaign finance charges


Money in Politics - How much democracy can you afford? Adelson gives 55 Million to the R's over the last year. Sheldon and Miriam Adelson give $25 million to help Republicans keep their majority in the Senate

  • Republican megadonors Sheldon and Miriam Adelson combined to give $25 million to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC dedicated to protecting the GOP majority in the United States Senate.
  • Their combined contribution made up nearly all of the $26 million haul that the PAC raised in July, according to new filings with the Federal Election Commission.
  • In May, the Adelsons dished out $30 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC which aims to keep Republicans in control of the House
Also note that Adelson is a one issue guy, he want the US to fully support Israel. That's it. That's what he's paying for. Too bad that he likes the party that also wants lower taxes for the rich and powerful and less support for the poor and working class. 

American Crapitalism

‘We Are All Accumulating Mountains of Things: How online shopping and cheap prices are turning Americans into hoarders: - American hoarding ridiculous amounts of ridiculous shit didn't start with online shopping, we've been filling up storage units for 30 years.



Trump

Making the US Weak Abroad - realizing they need an alternative to the US banking system.

I think this picture sums-up Trump. Thinks he's the smartest guy in the room, above the law (even the laws of nature), and above all just not real bright.



Police State

Federal officers establish unconstitutional checkpoints on road to Burning Man - Because they can.


Politics

Leaving Labour: why a party split is now inevitable - I wouldn't be surprised to see the US D's split over the next few years. The R's have been close to splitting up a few times over the last 10 years but avoided it by letting the crazy Tea-Party types just take over. Hopefully the same will hold for the D's and the more progressive Social-D types will win out.


Advertising

Google created a fake pizza brand to test out creative strategies for YouTube ads - You are the product.


Fake News


Fox News

One of these headlines is not like the others. (Google News 8/23/2018)




Trump South African Tweet

The Fox Fake News Story that inspired the Tweet.  The Fox News report that prompted Trump’s land expropriation tweet

Actual land seizure and expropriations and large scale killing are found here. Israel to Build 1,000 More Squatter Units on Usurped Palestinian Land


The Fox Headline.

Got to get that "Witch Hunt" in there.


Also, I'm sure that Trump supporter really knows her witch hunts.








8.21.2018

Mid-Week


Israel - Palestine

Israel Rejects UN Plea to Allow Blue Helmet Protection to Palestinians, Blames Palestinians - There's definitely been a change in marketing on the US-Israeli side. The claim now is that all these dead Palestinians are the fault of the Palestinian leadership. Well,.. It ain't the Palestinian leadership pulling the triggers on these guns.  War Crime: Israeli Army Again Shoots unarmed Palestinian Protesters, Killing 2, Injuring 270


Speaking of influencing American Politics

Qatar Used a pro-Israel Businessman to Pay Zionist Organization of America $100,000
"A pro-Israel businessman doing public relations work for Qatar donated $100,000 to the Zionist Organization of America out of money Qatar paid him to engage in “community engagement.” 
"Joseph Allaham, an owner of kosher eateries, said his donations to ZOA, a conservative pro-Israel group, came out of $1.45 million intended by Qatar to woo Jewish and other leaders to its side in its dispute with Saudi Arabia, Mother Jones reported. Allaham disclosed the payments in a filing last week to register as an agent of a foreign government."
On Morton Klein - from Wikipedia

  • Klein called Obama "a Jew-hating antisemite."[7]
  • Klein has stated his belief that the U.S. should engage in religious profiling of Muslims. 
  • In February 2012, the ZOA lost its tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service after it failed to file tax returns for three years.[9] The ZOA regained its status in May 2013.[10] Klein said it was a technical "glitch."[10] During the years that the ZOA failed to file tax returns, The Forward reported that Klein's salary increased 38%.[11]
  • On January 20, 2018, shortly after Klein's paid trip to Qatar and just three days before the second $50,000 payment Allaham gave to ZOA on behalf of Qatar, Klein expressed to Haaretz a new, open attitude to dialogue with Qatar.[18] In a subsequent March 2018 interview, Klein then praised Qatar for flying an Israeli flag at a recent handball tournament and said the emir told him that "last summer they stopped funding terrorist groups."[16]

Energy

Stacking Concrete blocks to store energy


 The Cult

Not the Trump Cult. The Fox News Cult, Captured by Trump.


Medicare for all

Fact Checkers - muddying the waters