about being liberal or conservative anymore y'all. That is a hype offered by the fascist whores who want to confuse the people with lies while they turn this country into an aristocratic police state. Some people will say anything to attain power and money. There is no such thing as the Liberal Media, but the Corporate media is very real.
Farm laborers in Australia make much more than American ones. And yet they still have a functional
agricultural sector. It turns out that allowing companies to import an unlimited number of foreign
workers desperate to work at a wage of epsilon will create shitty working conditions and low wages!
Labor costs as a percentage of consumer cost of most fruits and veggies are pretty tiny. Even
for fruits like raspberries, they're on the order of 15-20%, and for most crops they're much lower.
You could double or triple labor prices and, even if all the costs are passed off to consumers and
there are no productivity boosts, there still wouldn't be particularly large increases in produce
Noah Smith recently offered an interesting take on the real reasons austerity garners so much
support from elites, no matter hw badly it fails in practice. Elites, he argues, see economic
distress as an opportunity to push through “reforms” — which basically means changes they want,
which may or may not actually serve the interest of promoting economic growth — and oppose any
policies that might mitigate crisis without the need for these changes:
[SOURCE:Paul Krugman | New York
Times | 16 May 2013]
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 at 19h 11m 53s
Funny thing I just thought of
Talking to a moron is like a circle trying to explain a radius to a square. What do you mean all
points equidistant from the center? A square has no idea what that means.
Lots real scandals out there, just not ones our Villagers care much about. Wrongful foreclosures,
massive long term unemployment, bankster fraud.
Edited talking points. That's the one that got them.
Wisconsin Rethuglican governor Scott Walker has been a running soap opera of scandal for the
last two years
The Offshore bank account scandal !!!!!!! (See ... I told you they'd bury the real scandal with
Various non-profit political groups that filter and funnel money into localities and states to
circumvent the local laws against outside money
The on-going revolving door between appointed staff and bureaucrats and legislators who serve
the interests of the corporations that hire them for large salaries after their brief interim in
The ongoing illegality of Guantanamo and the current massive hunger strike where almost every
single "prisoner" is having to be feed intravenously
Yep, plenty of scandals abound for the press to do its job and educate the people. But that's not
the purpose of the "mainstream" press. The "mainstream" press creates the normative background that
crowds out other facts and topics that occur within the reality of the now. This is how the public
is "managed" and "massaged".
You want a scandal. How about when Team Bush fucked up the "war effort" so poorly that they forgot
to organize the distribution of food and collection of the mail because they outsourced everything
to private insider groups under the guiding philosophy that the "free market" would
the troops with their food and bring them their mail. American soldiers were having to get their food
from Italian troops because the food their "free market" distribution system was getting them was
often rancid and unedible. The privatized mail delivery system would drop the mail at a few central
locations and expect troops to come get their own mail, sometimes a hundred miles away. And
soldiers were complaining of the pilfering of the mails. The fly-by-night corporations set up by the
"free market" entrepreneurial insiders were only out to make a quick buck. They were unwilling to
invest in a
business model that provided quality efficient services. It didn't happen. Once again privatized
But at least they proudly sang the God Bless America and put a metal flag pin on their lapel.
Now that story never became a scandal. I heard it on a radio show and have remembered it ever since.
I think there was a small New York Times article, but that's it. Back when the story broke, it
became quickly pushed aside by one of Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge's mysterious Terrorist
Alerts about possible terrorist activity.
Just like they have pushed aside the Off-shore banking scandal with this nonsense scandal called
What happened in Benghazi was that a CIA operation got hit, and the state department and CIA were at
odds about how to portray the event. The talking points of the event is what the scandal is now about.
Richard Nixon has been vindicated because big bad Team Obama used poor talking points. Gosh darn.
If Team Obama would have just used better talking points, this would have ended ... right?
Sunday, 12 May 2013 at 12h 46m 30s
This Week's Gun Fail
One of the bloggers at Daily
Kos David Waldman has been doing a Gun Fail weekly log of all the incidents in which people
accidentally shot themselves or someone else. It happens more often then you think.
This week's compilation includes incidents in which seven kids were accidentally shot, three of them
by other kids. A pair of adult brothers joined the parade of sibling shootings this week, of which
there were four. It was a bad week for concealed carry ninjas, both licensed and unlicensed, with
five shooting themselves and three forgetting their guns, bringing the total of Patriots who forgot
to keep their guns in their hands until they were cold and dead to six for the week. There were
three "home invasion" shootings, in which Patriotic Freedom Lovers shared their Liberty Projectiles
with neighbors, three people who shot themselves or others while cleaning loaded guns, two hunting
accidents, three girlfriends and/or wives, four cops and one security guard accidentally shot.
In fact, according to study of data published in the the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
, guns in the home are more likely to be used stupidly then against an intruder. This is why
having a police department is important. Citizen vigilantes will over-react and screw-up more often
[SOURCE:John Timmer | ArsTechnica | 27
And According to a Harvard 2007 Study : States with higher levels of household gun ownership had
higher rates of firearm suicide and overall suicide.
I've said this so many times it's nice to see a TED Talk that says the same thing.
However, this TED Talk was "banned" from the TED website because it was considered "controversial".
Strange, that of the plethora of things that are on TED, this topic is "controversial".
Acuff | addictinginfo.org | 11 May 2013]
Saturday, 11 May 2013 at 8h 34m 53s
You get to ignore your responsibility for the violence and blame it on that primative religion over there
That's a quote from Glenn Greenwald at the end of this Bill Maher segment.
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 at 18h 1m 41s
I just realized I've been blogging for 10 years at a website in my own name. Wow.
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 at 18h 17m 53s
Preying on the innumeracy of the general public
Kevin Drumm is awesome. I've
been reading him for more than a decade now, back when he was just a Left coast blogger in the
pre-9-11 era. For the last few years he's continued the excellent tradition of information at
But he also has an uncanny knack of describing my own sentiments and thoughts in reaction to the
human insanity we experience in this world of humans driven by motives and disguises. I quote this
enter post he has on a Washington Post story about less than a million dollars in bank accounts that
is being wasted. Being a math teacher, I think the entire blog piece is instructive, so I'd like to
have a permanent record source.
Compared to a 3.5 trillion budget, 1 million dollars is .000025 percent, or 1 divided by 3,500,000.
Ask yourself: if you had a million dollars would you worry about losing a quarter every year?
Wed Apr. 24, 2013 10:45 AM PDT
Here's the lead headline at the Washington Post right now:
Feds spend at least $890,000 on fees for empty accounts
This kind of stuff drives me crazy because it preys on the innumeracy of the general public. Should
agencies be more careful about shutting down bank accounts they no longer use? Sure. And does
reporter David Fahrenthold acknowledge that the money involved is "a tiny fraction of the federal
budget"? Yes he does.
But seriously, folks, "tiny fraction" barely even begins to describe this. In numbers, it represents
about 0.000025 percent of the federal budget. But even that's too small a number to really get a
feel for, so let's put this into terms that the Washington Post can understand.
Annual revenues at the Washington Post hover somewhere around $500 million. So how much is 0.000025
percent of that? Answer: $125. Would the Washington Post run a lengthy story about two empty bank
accounts that the Washington Post hasn't closed yet, which cost the Washington Post's shareholders
$125? No. The story is so self-evidently ridiculous that they'd laugh at anyone foolish enough to
even mention it.
Look, I get it. The empty bank accounts are just being used as an example of "old bugs, built into
the machine of government, that make spending money seem easier than saving it." The problem is that
dumb stuff like this is what convinces people that government is wantonly wasteful, when the fact is
that every corporation in America has inefficiencies this large. It's just part of human beings
running a human organization.
And focusing on this stuff is lazy. If you want to demonstrate that the federal government wastes
money, then write a story about actual, substantial waste. Is that too hard? If the government truly
is wasteful, it shouldn't be. In a $3.5 trillion operation there ought be dozens, even hundreds, of
easy examples that cost real money. If there aren't, then perhaps the real story is that the federal
government is actually about as efficient as any other big organization.
The basic problem here is that it's hard to grapple with the sheer size of the numbers involved. Any
corporation in America that kept wasteful spending down to 1 percent would be pretty happy. That
number represents a tightly run ship. But the federal government is so large that 1 percent waste
amounts to about $35 billion. That's a scary sounding number, but in fact, it's pretty small. The
truth is that if you can't dig up at least that amount in wasteful spending—not spending you
dislike, but actual wasteful spending—you don't have much of a story.
[SOURCE:Kevin Drum | Mother Jones |24 April 2013 ]
These criticisms are often made by individuals who themselves, in their own businesses, do
not have any better means of reducing the inherent inefficiencies of any revenue stream. A one
million dollar business would not hire legal advice to pursue the loss of 10 dollars a year, or
0.001 percent (Note: 0.001 percent, is 35 million to the federal government). But the
ideological owner of said business will gleefully whine about the big bad
g'ummament "wasting" a percentage of total revenue that is much less because of the corporate media
that is paid for to put this into their heads. The reporter at the Washington Post knows what his
bosses want him to write about, and if he performs as expected, his future is clear and he can look
forward to promotions and a bigger salary. If not, there will be someone who will be glad to play
That's what you have to understand about the corporate media. What information you get is always
filtered and channeled by this process, what details are focused upon and/or ignored, who is quoted,
and any conclusions that are made. Nothing is free from the sullied fingertips of a bunch of people
hired to play the pretend game of journalists who are really just the public relations agents of the
That's why the younger generations don't read newspapers. Listen to the streets. People know