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.
NEWSWEEK has also learned that Palin's shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously
reported. While publicly supporting Palin, McCain's top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous
profligacy. One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But
instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family—clothes and accessories from top stores such as
Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a
wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill. Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their
credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent
"tens of thousands" more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some
articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting
Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.
A Palin aide said: "Governor Palin was not directing staffers to put anything on their personal credit cards, and anything that
staffers put on their credit cards has been reimbursed, like an expense. Nasty and false accusations following a defeat say more
about the person who made them than they do about Governor Palin."
McCain himself rarely spoke to Palin during the campaign, and aides kept him in the dark about the details of her spending on
clothes because they were sure he would be offended. Palin asked to speak along with McCain at his Arizona concession speech
Tuesday night, but campaign strategist Steve Schmidt vetoed the request.
If you click the link, the following is on page 2 at the very bottom of the bullet list.
When he was preparing for them during the Democratic primaries, Obama was recorded saying, "I don't consider this to be a
good format for me, which makes me more cautious. I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, 'You
know, this is a stupid question, but let me … answer it.' So when Brian Williams is asking me about what's a personal thing that
you've done [that's green], and I say, you know, 'Well, I planted a bunch of trees.' And he says, 'I'm talking about personal.' What
I'm thinking in my head is, 'Well, the truth is, Brian, we can't solve global warming because I f---ing changed light bulbs in my
house. It's because of something collective'."
Yeh, like Brian Williams knows something about "personal".
Systematic problems cannot be effectively managed if the method is dependent upon voluntary behavior.
We can't just advertise actors or real people who show us "the way" on the television. Some people will respond, but many others
will not. Yet the impression of the effect is still the same, because everyone will "see" the same advertisements. This is not how
you solve systemic problems.
If you want to improve the entire system, you can't think that a small percentage of the elements that create the system will
change the system if the remaining elements don't change. When you clean the house, you don't clean a small percentage of the
house and actually call it clean.
The only way to treat a systematic problem is to involve 100% of the elements that make up the system in the collective solution
to the systematic problem. The necessary functions of the government need to be paid for? Solution: assess taxes on every
single citizen, maybe even while taking into account income. Want to make sure everyone has access to sanitation and water?
Make a law that mandates every abode has to have running water and needs to get inspected by a government official.
I've spoken about this many times. The idea that we can run a government based on voluntary compliant with the law is
Joe "the plumber" says its a matter of "principles" whenever he was asked why people making more than $250,000 (less than 2%
of the entire population) shouldn't pay more taxes. He'll talk about how people who "work hard" shouldn't be penalized in order
to help others who don't work. "Why should my hard earned money pay for someone else?" is the typical rhetorical question this
line of argument will use to unhinge the notion of collective responsibility. This is the selfish position. I makes my money and I
owns my property.
But it is also the most dysfunctional, because we are all connected and interdependent whether we like it or not. The right-wing
conservative belief in "liberty" and "freedom" from government presumes otherwise, and here is the important point: their linking
to those words are through the filter of this presumption. The idea that the roads they drive on, the toilets they flush, and the
telephone systems they use have anything to do with government and collective responsibility is vanished from these "principles".
Self-flattery will always use the most elated words as justification for selfishness.
Sunday, 2 November 2008 at 17h 32m 40s
Palin falls for prank phone call from French President
This is hella funny. She actually thinks President Sarkozy is calling her.
Friday, 31 October 2008 at 0h 9m 43s
Just another good ole boy
Village Voice::14 May
''[The Wall Street Journal's John Fund] was supposed to spend Thanksgiving with me and didn't,'' she recalls. ''I questioned him
when he got home and he beat me up. I was cowering in the corner. He was screaming. He said, 'Get out, bitch,' and he left, and I
called the police. He came back and beat me up again. When the police arrived, I was shaking and crying and very upset. He was
very calm. A lady officer walked in and asked me if I was on drugs. John told me that none of the charges would stick.'' In mid
January, the mainstream media first reported on Fund's alleged abuse.
Around that time, Pillbury says, she moved out and Fund agreed to give her money to help pay her bills. He watched her write
checks from his account and deposit them in her account. Soon after, she says, ''I found out that my accounts were frozen and he
told me that they were going to stay frozen until I contacted these members of the media and gave them papers saying that I had
lied about the abuse.'' She says the bank did not return her calls. Says Pillsbury-Foster, ''This is obviously part of a pattern of
abuse and attempted control, and yet the D.A. refused to listen to her.''
The California Federation of Republican Women holds its big two-day conference down in Ontario (San Bernardino County) over
the weekend -- but the private buzz isn't about President Bush, it's about John Fund. If the name escapes you, he's the Wall
Street Journal's online columnist who -- after taking aim at Bill Clinton's sexual exploits -- wound up with his own tabloid
troubles. Fund's fun in the sun began with an affair with Melinda Pillsbury-Foster some two decades ago. It ended in 1998 when
Fund took up with Pillsbury-Foster's grown daughter, who accused him of getting her pregnant and then asking her to have an
abortion -- all of which he's denied. Fund was later charged with domestic abuse, but a judge dismissed the case in December.
Bradblog(with video):18 May 2007
John Fund is an evil, unrepentant liar who despises democracy and the very American values that it represents.
[SOURCE:Cynthia Cotts | Village Voice | 14 May
[SOURCE:Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross | SF Chronicle | 5
Friedmann | Bradblog.com | 19 May 2007]
with John Fund | Bill Maher Show | 18 May 2007]
His eyes get tight and very deep with the darkness of deception. Funny how he resurfaces in 2007 with all the turmoil of 2002-
2003 behind him. But of course.
Friday, 31 October 2008 at 23h 5m 57s
They call her Digby
This writer is always dead onto something interesting. I have personally never read anything from her that is not relevant and
profoundly interesting. Digby is a sweet additive to our
We live in a world where the right wing ruthlessly and without mercy degrades and attacks by any means necessary what they
perceive as the enemy, and then uses the great principles of democracy and fair play when the same is done to them. They leave the
rest of us standing on the sidelines looking like fools for ever caring about anything but winning.
Click here and read about how the
McCain campaign volunteer base consists of 1,000 national volunteers and Barack Obama has 5 million.
Makes you wonder how it is possible the McCain campaign can win. The volunteers of Obama dwarf the Republicans. The voter
turnout in the primaries and in the early voting is polling more than 2 to 1. Even the McCain campaign itself is showing signs of
acknowledging the coming event.
I don't want to jinx anything. We will find out in 5 days.
Definitely these 23% are ignorant -- which is completely due to the pathetic Texas School system : the void filled in by 24-7
commercial television. If you got your ed'ucation from TV, imagine the boundaries of your global and historical understanding.
But here is what is potentially wrong with this poll.
For starters, the "poll" of 550 votes itself doesn't really tell us much, because it's statewide, and with that small a sample, it
would be tough to correlate the ignorance with the location or type. It is very possible that the percent of those who believe
could be higher in different parts of the state. This poll is really limited to a macro-perspective.
It would also be interesting to know how the poll samples were collected. "A statewise survey of 550 registered voters" means
what? Did they make phone calls? Did they interview voters? Did they have the voters fill out forms? All we know is that the poll
was conducted from Oct 15 to 22. Did they make phone calls at specific time intervals, or during specific times? Were the phone
numbers from land-lines or were the calls random numbers? How many non-responses were there?
Most importantly: Did they do a stratified organizing of the sample to ensure the ratios of the various groups are correctly
proportional? If the percentages in the poll increase or decrease in certain ares, care must be taken that the ratio of the samples
are as close as possible to what they are in the larger population. All sample gathering and analysis techniques must use a
known proportion from the larger population (called a parameter) to base the sample analysis on.
You can't just take the first 550 people who respond to your call and call it a day because Clustering is quite possible and
potentially influential with such a small sample. Anything less than 1% has the potential to be affected by clusters sort of like the
first 500 flips of a coin : it is more probable that you will not have exactly 250 heads and 250 tails, and there will be runs of 5 to
6 similar tosses and maybe 10 straight (or more) during the 500 tosses. The problem of clusters in a small sample is that you
might get 10 such events that aren't balanced because the nature of chance the order of events can never be guaranteed.
In order to decrease the potential bias due to the cluster effect all good statisticians must pair the samples to actual ratios that
exist in the larger population. If 20% of Texas live in the panhandle, 60% live in East Texas, and 30% live in the south by
Galveston, then the ratios of location should exist in the survey. So if you want a sample size of 600, you take 60%, 20%, and
30% of the 600 to get the numbers you need from each region (360, 120, & 180).
There are two ways to do a survey that wants to mitigate the cluster effect:
1) Know what the numbers you have to have and keep doing the survey until all the numbers you need are reached. You will
probably have more than you need in some of the categories, so randomly remove samples until you reach the correct number.
2) Make calls to each region and stop when you get the required count. In this method the entire region is put into groups and a
certain number of random calls go to each region until the number from each group is reached.
It is not clear whether the University of Texas poll did any of these things.
By the way, the so-called margin of error is just 3 times some number called the standard error. Divide the 4.2 by 3 and you get
1.4. This is the average distance from the mean for all of the samples. Squaring 1.4 equals 1.96, which is the average sum of
squares of the differences between the average and the samples. Multiplying by 550 is 1078, and now taking the square root
you finally get the important number : 32.83. (Trust me if you don't understand).
32.83% (or .3283) is the sample standard deviation. Notice that 3 times this number is damn close to one. This essentially
means that anything between 0 and 1 is possible. The average of the numbers between 1 (yes) and 0 (no) is 0.23, with the
average distance from 1 and 0 (representing all the people who answered yes or no) being represented by the important number
Now, since the two numbers subtracted from 0.23 are either one (yes) or zero(no), we are actually just adding a bunch of squared
0.23 and 0.77 values. The square root of this sum after being divided by 549 is .3283. The ratios here are 18% and 82% (.3283-
.23 divided by .77-.23).
This means that we should expect clustering within the population anywhere between 18% and 82%, with the average being
32.83% not 23%.
Most of these surveys really aren't worth their namesakes. Did you realize "a margin of error of 4.2%" actually means the sample
has a high potential for bias due to clustering?
Wednesday, 29 October 2008 at 1h 41m 12s
Socialism a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and
exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
Marxism Central to Marxist theory is an explanation of social change in terms of economic factors, according to which the means of
production provide the economic base, which influences or determines the political and ideological superstructure. Marx and
Engels predicted the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism by the proletariat and the eventual attainment of a classless
Communism a political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned
and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs.
Obama's tax adjustment policy giving the middle class a tax break.
Rearranging the manner in which government tax revenues is collected is not socialist, marxism, communism, or any other
speculative far leftist-extremist conjecture by the idiots that tout this nonsense. The method by which the tax is collected is a
legitimate basis for discussion and exchange of ideas. Businesses don't get owned by the government just because the tax rates
are readjusted to give a tax break to those who earn less than $250,000 a year. Asking multimillionaires to cough up an extra 50
thousand is as much of a burden as asking someone who makes $30,000 a year an extra $30. Get real. Less than two per cent of the
nation makes more than $250,000.
This is the last pathetic attempt by elitists and corporatist lackeys to distinguish themselves from modern discerning adults who
know the difference between adjusting the tax codes and public ownership of all economic enterprises. This rhetoric is ridiculous
and so narrow-minded, it is damn near insulting to have to hear it by others who claim to be authentic and without a hidden
agenda. Ah, me, the foxes and wolves always protest to have the best intentions.
The Republican campaign strategy is to bring out fake pretenders
named Joe-American while using the scare tactics of old-world red scare nonsense, because they have no governing principle
other than win at all cost. If they somehow win, they will install their lobbyist friends network all throughout the government,
rather than pick the best, most knowledgeable, and most qualified for the positions.
It would be an extension of the Bush Disaster, only worse.
Wednesday, 29 October 2008 at 2h 8m 2s
Economics in 14 words
les investissements d'aujourd'hui sont les profits de demain et les emplois d'après-demain-- Christian Schmidt
"The investments of today are the profits of yesterday and the employment of tomorrow."
Hagel’s unwillingness to endorse McCain is generally perceived to be a result of their ongoing disagreements over the Iraq war.
But he told me that the gulf between them is much deeper: “In good conscience, I could not enthusiastically—honestly—go out
and endorse him and support him when we so fundamentally disagree on the future course of our foreign policy and our role in
Hagel, citing McCain’s repeated calls for Russia to be expelled from the Group of Eight, the association of major industrial
democracies, said, “You’re not going to isolate Russia—that’s completely crazy!” He told me that McCain’s approach to Russia
was one of the reasons that he could not endorse him.
McCain has often spoken about his desire to create a League of Democracies. Discussing Iran during the first Presidential debate,
he said, “Let’s be clear and let’s have some straight talk. The Russians are preventing significant action in the United Nations
Security Council. I have proposed a League of Democracies, a group . . . of countries that share common interests, common
values, common ideals. They also control a lot of the world’s economic power. We could impose significant, meaningful, painful
sanctions on the Iranians.” He concluded, “So I am convinced that together we can, with the French, with the British, with the
Germans and other countries—democracies around the world—we can affect Iranian behavior.”
Critics have suggested that McCain’s League of Democracies could diminish the role of the United Nations. When I mentioned this
to Hagel, he said, “What is the point of the United Nations? The whole point, as anyone who has taken any history knows, was to
bring all nations of the world together in some kind of imperfect body, a forum that allows all governments of the world,
regardless of what kinds of government, to work through their problems—versus attacking each other and going to war. Now, in
John’s League of Democracies, does that mean Saudi Arabia is out? Does that mean our friend King Abdullah in Jordan is out? It
would be only democracies. Well, we’ve got a lot of allies and relationships that are pretty important to us, and to our interests,
who would be out of that club. And the way John would probably see China and Russia, they wouldn’t be in it, either. So it would
be an interesting Book-of-the-Month Club.
“But in order to solve problems you’ve got to have all the players at the table,” Hagel went on, his voice rising. “How are you
going to fix the problems in Pakistan, Afghanistan—the problems we’ve got with poverty, proliferation, terrorism, wars—when
the largest segments of society in the world today are not at the table?” He paused, then added, more calmly, “The United
Nations, as I’ve said many times, is imperfect. We’ve got NATO, multilateral institutions, multilateral-development banks, the
World Trade Organization—all have flaws, that’s true. But if you didn’t have them what would you have? A world completely out
of control, with no structure, no order, no boundaries.”
McCain has said that an American victory in Iraq will enable the country to become “our stable, democratic ally” against Iran. But
Hagel argues that McCain overlooks the reality of Iraq’s relationship with Iran. “We bluster, we threaten, we say we’re not going to
engage [Iran],” Hagel said. “Yet our ally, the elected sovereign government of Iraq, is talking to Iran every day. Maliki”—Nouri al-
Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister—“and most of the Shia government were exiled in Iran. So we’ve got Ahmadinejad”—the President
of Iran—“in and out of Baghdad, Maliki in and out of Tehran: that’s going on without our even acknowledging it.” Hagel added
that this collaboration should be encouraged, for the sake of stability in Iraq.
“Whether we like it or not, there will be no peace or stability in the Middle East without Iran’s participation,” Hagel said. In early
October, he prevented action on a bill, which had passed in the House, proposing economic sanctions against Iran. Hagel has
long criticized unilateral sanctions as ineffective and counterproductive. (Howard Berman, the chairman of the House Foreign
Affairs Committee and the legislation’s sponsor, told me that he supports unconditional engagement with the Iranians but favors
a twofold approach: “You increase the pressure on them, and you offer to engage with them.” He added that although he shares
Hagel’s negative appraisal of the Bush Administration’s unilateralism, he thinks that Hagel opposes this kind of action “too
The notion of “winning” in Iraq is a “failed way of thinking,” Hagel said. “If we frame this as win or lose, we’ll be there forever.” He
added that this logic is equally flawed with respect to Afghanistan. “I agree with Obama that we’re going to have to put several
more brigades in there,” he told me. “But there is no military solution, so we have to be very careful that somehow we don’t just
ricochet out of Iraq into Afghanistan, with another hundred-and-fifty-thousand-troop buildup.” According to Hagel, confronting
the problems of Afghanistan requires an understanding of its internal politics, its narcotics trade, and its endemic corruption, as
well as a regional diplomatic approach, involving Pakistan, India, and Iran.
McCain “thinks we just need more military,” Hagel said. “I’ve talked to John about this many times. I’ve said, ‘John, we’re limited.
We’re doing tremendous damage to our Army and Marines, we can’t sustain this.’ ”
Hagel may be the only senior Republican elected official who has publicly criticized McCain’s choice of Governor Sarah Palin as
his running mate. “I don’t believe she’s qualified to be President of the United States,” Hagel told me. “The first judgment a
potential President makes is who their running mate is—and I don’t think John made a very good selection.” He scoffed at
McCain’s attempts to portray her as an experienced politician. “To try to make the excuse that she looks out her window and sees
Russia—and that she’s commander of the Alaska National Guard.” He added, “There is no question that this candidate is arguably
the thinnest-résumé candidate for Vice-President in the history of America.” Hagel’s criticisms have prompted protests from
Republicans, including Senator Orrin Hatch, of Utah, who said in an e-mail statement to me, “Senator Hagel knows that decades
of foreign-policy experience in the Senate did not stop countless Democrats and some Republicans from declaring the surge a
failure before it started and recommending instead a disastrous policy of withdrawal and retreat in Iraq.”
For Hagel, almost as disturbing as Palin’s lack of experience is her willingness—in disparaging remarks about Joe Biden’s long
Senate career, for example—to belittle the notion that experience is important. “There’s no question, she knows her market,”
Hagel said. “She knows her audience, and she’s going right after them. And I’ll tell you why that’s dangerous. It’s dangerous
because you don’t want to define down the standards in any institution, ever, in life. You want to always strive to define
standards up. If you start defining standards down—‘Well, I don’t have a big education, I don’t have experience’—yes, there’s a
point to be made that not all the smartest people come out of Yale or Harvard. But to intentionally define down in some kind of
wild populism, that those things don’t count in a complicated, dangerous world—that’s dangerous in itself.
“There was a political party in this country called the Know-Nothings,” he continued. “And we’re getting on the fringe of that,
with these one-issue voters—pro-choice or pro-life. Important issue, I know that. But, my goodness. The world is blowing up
everywhere, and I just don’t think that is a responsible way to see the world, on that one issue.
[SOURCE:Connie Bruck | New Yorker | 3 November
Watch this guy very closely. He always gets great publicity.