Much of the political debating going on these days centers on the beliefs of the candidates. It is amusing to watch these people clawing at each other over whose belief systems are more authentic or pious or ‘American’. The joke, of course, is that believing they will do what they say they’ll do once they’re elected is about as trustworthy as believing the sun revolves around the earth and that little green men have landed from Mars and are occupying the White House. Come to think of it, has anyone checked the White House lately…
Anne Frank, a Mormon?
Maureen Dowd | NYTimes | 18 Oct 11
At an appearance at George Washington University here Saturday night, Bill Maher bounded into territory that the news media have been gingerly tiptoeing around.
In my last post I mentioned Timothy Egan’s history of the dustbowl era in the America. The description of that time was horrific. This video, posted in October of this year, gives you a sense of what that period must have been like. This event, however, lasted for a few hours. Dust storms during the 30s lasted for weeks…
I just read Tim Egan’s history of the dustbowl era in America. It’s amazing to read how human ignorance combined with political hubris could cause such astonishing damage. Imagine the wind picking up the ground of six states and sending it in black clouds around the world. For six years. In Oklahoma when the ‘dusters’ hit there was no sunlight at all, people and animals choked and died from dust inhalation, cars would stall and houses would be buried. All because some politicians and land grabbers had a vision of unlimited wealth from plowing up the great plains. The author of this story writes here of today’s version of the same story in the persons of Herman Cain and his right-wing fanatic co-conspiritors. Hang on to your hat folks, it’s a foul wind that’s brewing…
Cold Pizza from Herm Cain
Timothy Egan | NYTimes | 13 Oct 11
By almost any measure — social, political, economic, logical — Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan is nuts, nuts, nuts. Go ahead and jack up the price of nearly everything that moves in the United States with a 9 percent national sales tax on all new purchases and services. Talk about instant branding: every time you buy something, you’ll be hit with the Herm Cain tax at the checkout line.
And this is just the start. The nearly 50 million filers whose main federal tax is now a payroll deduction and not an income tax would see their overall bill from the government increase by nearly 100 percent. This conclusion comes from the economists and fact-checkers who have actually looked at the napkin sketch of a plan Cain got from some accountant friend of his in Cleveland.
Reading the transcript of Tuesday’s Republican debate on the economy is, for anyone who has actually been following economic events these past few years, like falling down a rabbit hole. Suddenly, you find yourself in a fantasy world where nothing looks or behaves the way it does in real life.
And since economic policy has to deal with the world we live in, not the fantasy world of the G.O.P.’s imagination, the prospect that one of these people may well be our next president is, frankly, terrifying.
____________________________________________________________________________ Sarah Wikens is a student at London’s royal Academy of Art. Her ‘speciality’, as they say in the UK, is using light in animation to communicate a message or other meaning. In her words, ‘I like to experiment with combining techniques and finding new ways to make animation; in my graduation film I use windows and stencils to create animation from sunlight as it travels around my bedroom.’
What Steve Jobs Understood That Our Politicians Don’t
Matt Bai | NYTimes | 6 Oct 11
As in most other big American cities, it would be hard to walk 100 feet in Washington and not slam into somebody who’s using something that Apple created — an iPhone or an iPad or a Macbook Pro. And so it’s staggering to contemplate just how little of Steve Jobs’s genius ever permeated the nation’s politics, and how much he understood about modern America that those who govern it still don’t.
After all, if you wanted to really get a picture of how the national culture has evolved in the last few decades, particularly in the urban areas that drive economic growth, you could do a lot worse than to study Apple’s string of innovations. Mr. Jobs understood, intuitively, that Americans were breaking away from the last era’s large institutions and centralized decision-making, that technology would free them from traditional workplaces and the limits of a physical marketplace.
The fact that I am posting this video is itself a testimonial to Steve Jobs. It was his company, NeXT, that introduced the first web browser running on a machine with an operating system which later became OSX. But it all started with the Mac…
Every ‘blip’ you see here indicates a nuclear explosion, above and underground, which would have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people if the bombs were exploded over populated areas. Fortunately (with the exception of Hiroshima and Nagasaki) these blips all occurred in places like New Mexico or the middle of the South Pacific. Curiously there were a number of tests in Australia. Never knew that. Don’t see any occurring in France though. Guess they didn’t want to dump their garbage on themselves. In any case, the good news is that after 1998 all the ‘blips’ stop. Let’s hope they never start again…