Thursday, September 30, 2010

THE INTERNET REVENGE SQUAD IS FULL OF SHIT, AS USUAL: This "Rutgers freshman commits suicide after he finds out his roommate caught him doing the act on camera" story is driving me up the wall. I mean the media cannot even get basic facts of the case straight. Read this. According to Tyler Clementi himself at no point were his sexual acts broadcast on the Internet. He made sure they weren't. "[M]eanwhile I turned off and unplugged his computer, went crazy looking for other hidden cams....and then had a great time." Look at Dharun Ravi's twitter page. The only thing he witnessed was two dudes making out. That he watched on his friend's computer. And his friend--Molly Wei--well she needs TO BURN IN HELL too apparently, because it was her computer. Because a whole lot of assholes have a righteous cause or something, and facts are superfluous. Even though it's hard to get "bullying" out of the facts of this case, but still, this must be part of the national gay bullying phenomenon! It just has to. Look, it's not like Ravi has nothing to answer for here (Wei seems to have next to nothing to answer for, but still, shitheads gonna hate) but it's impossible to read that Gawker link above there and get to "Dharun Ravi practically pushed Tyler Clementi off that bridge." Unless you're a member of the Internet Revenge Squad, who always get their man, or woman, because on the Internet revenge is a dish served incredibly easily.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

WELL YES, THERE'S A NEW TAIBBI TEA PARTY ARTICLE: And it's fantastic, as it usually is, but I would like to note this undercurrent of Taibbi hate from odd sources, like erstwhile "liberal" twitterers, or people who post in the Balloon Juice comments section. Think it's closely related to Greenwald hatred. He's just not a blue team member, and the true blue people know this and resent him for it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

WAIT, THIS ISN'T GOING TO MESS UP THE SOCIAL NETWORK'S PERFECT SCORE ON ROTTEN TOMATOES, IS IT?: Jeff Jarvis did not like it, because it's not very accurate at all about the founding of Facebook or Zuckerberg or anything else. Which, for me, is more reassuring, because the idea of a movie that's about the founding of Facebook and how a rich, entitled Harvard kid became more rich and more entitled is not really something I'm interested in. And since the trailers tell me that's what The Social Network is going to be about I'm thinking the trailers are doing the movie a disservice. The trailers are telling me this is the story of Zuck starring Justin Timberlake and Fake Michael Cera and that's not much of a hook, aside from the "directed by David Fincher" part. A movie that owes its existence to some Hollywood producer saying "Facebook? Everybody uses Facebook! We'll make a mint!" is paradoxically difficult to sell, going by all the people dismissing "that Facebook movie." Because--yes! They are right! A Facebook movie does sound dumb! I'd be avoiding it myself if the reviews weren't so positive.

Monday, September 27, 2010

WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT FAMILY DICTATORSHIPS RARELY LASTING PAST THREE GENERATIONS?: Meet the Dear Leader in waiting:

Jae H. Ku, director of the U.S.-Korea Institute at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, said there was a stark contrast between this transition of power and the one that occurred when Kim Jong Il took command after the 1994 death of his father—“Great Leader” Kim Il Sung, the nation’s founder.
Ku said the “Dear Leader” was “groomed for the job over a good 20 years” and had solidified his power by the time of his father’s death.
“Now we have a person who has been groomed for the job in less than two or three years,” he said of the Dear-Leader-in-Waiting, Kim Jong Un. “It’s amazing—we know so little about this guy. We have so little to work with.”
 Title refers to some article I remember reading that said dictatorships like the Kims do not last beyond one or two transfers of power, that I can't google back into existence at the moment. Kim Jong Un is not the guy who got arrested trying to get into Tokyo Disneyland, by the way.
FORGOT TO POST YESTERDAY TOO: Whatever, it's the weekend. Good to see Texas get crushed. Shame Alabama lost, more BCS teams with unblemished records means less chance for CHAOS!

Oh, and usually the Big East isn't the worst football league. People always think it is, because it's the smallest, but usually there are at least two BCS leagues behind it (the ACC and whatever other league has a bunch of shameful losses to lower division teams.) This year? I mean there are no losses to FCS teams like the ACC, but there are plenty of head to head losses versus the ACC, and a lack of wins over BCS schools in general. It really is the worst BCS conference, and probably sub-Mountain West and WAC as well since there are no Boise or Utah caliber teams.

Friday, September 24, 2010

HAYEK FORGOT TO TELL ME ABOUT THE DRUG WAR: Conor Friedersdorf's shortcut to serfdom. In Forbes! I forgot they had bought True/Slant--it looks like they didn't change it at all, just slapped their logo on the top of everyone's pages.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

TWO POSTS CONCERNING JAPAN: To make up for my zero posts about Japan yesterday, and my zero posts about anything yesterday:

1. If you're wondering why a Chinese fishing boat is raising Japan-China tensions to an uncomfortably high level, Shisaku has some answers. China has not forgotten the 19th century--probably a good thing in general since they had a lousy 19th century. But not good in this case, where they are remembering the past a little too clearly.

2. D. finds a Japanese equivalent of a Tea Partier. Or a nativist, or a God-and-guns type, or whatever, these cross-cultural "X is the Y of Z" comparisons are never exact. Love D.'s blog, if you've ever been tempted by the "Japan IS JUST SO DIFFERENT" line of thinking he's always there to beat it out of you. Put it this way: suspecting the politicians you don't like are secretly foreigners is not a strictly American phenomenon.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

PROFESSOR HENDERSON'S DAY OFF: Internet retirement, of course, is about as permanent as professional wrestling retirement, and as much of a gimmick, but he has lain down his keyboard. Or fired the person he hired to type things on his keyboard, thanks to that Marxist Obama! But he's not rich though. Everyone he knows has a person to type things into their keyboards. Their jewel-encrusted keyboards made of pure ivory.

Anyway, Henderson deleted his original piece that started all this, but Delong rescued it from the cyberaether. And commented on it. And Felix Salmon, and--John Scalzi?! You know your post has made it when it escapes your little corner of the blogosphere.

EDIT: Though maybe it isn't a gimmick retirement, since the original post was done over the strenuous objections of his wife.

Monday, September 20, 2010

DEPARTMENT OF UNUSUAL CORPORATE CROSSOVERS: Colonel Sanders guest starring in Phantasy Star Portable 2. Usually it's the video game characters appearing on the limited collector's glasses...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

ARRGH, AND THEN THAR BE SOME DAYS WHEN YE DON'T HAVE TWO POSTS TO SWAB TOGETHER: Thank the ghost of Davy Jone's lockers that those days also happen to be--ARRRR--fictional Internet holidays. Arrrr. Verily. No, wait, that's for International Talk Like An Asgardian Day...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

SHE WAS ON TWENTY-TWO EPISODES OF POLITICALLY INCORRECT?!?: Those poor Media Matters and Think Progress interns are going to be doing mad overtime! Except non-profits don't pay overtime. Well, whatever! The effort will be there for their sub-subsistence wages.

So anyway, she--the one, the only Christine O'Donnell--was on that Bill Maher show quite often. One wonders since she was on so much, and in various other media places as well, during her culture warrior years in the 90s that it won't hold back her campaign that much. This is not somebody running a squeaky clean campaign and somebody finds her college thesis and finds something questionable. No, this is somebody with a huge video trail, and when so much stuff gets leaked at once the overall impact is muted. Like today's OMG SHE DABBLED IN WITCHCRAFT THAT'S HILARIOUS. More or less hilarious than the masturbation stuff? Or thinking God would magically whisk Jewish refugees to safety from the Nazis so she wouldn't have to lie to them? There's just so much there to point and laugh at that perhaps the overall impact is blunted.

Besides: way more attractive than Sarah Palin. Ain't even gonna lie about this. Especially in her S.A.L.T. years.

Friday, September 17, 2010

YOUR E-MAIL CHAIN FORWARD OF THE DAY: Oh, and happy Yom Kippur:

ACCORDING TO THE JEWISH CALENDAR FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 17,2010 YOM KIPPUR
WILL MARK YEAR 5771

ACCORDING TO THE CHINESE CALENDAR THE YEAR IS 4708

THIS MEAN THE JEWS WENT WITHOUT CHINESE FOOD FOR 1,063 YEARS

Stolen from wlu_lax6 in The Swamp.
SO IS HAROLD KOH STARTING TO ACT A LITTLE LIKE JOHN YOO?: I'm no legal mind--I'm barely a mind--but: Hmmm.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

THE LATEST IN VIDEOTAPING WHILE NOT BEING A COP: Carlos Miller covers this stuff all the time, but this one looks particularly bad:


It was no surprise to her when she pulled up to the theater and learned that the officer who had detained her son was the same officer who had detained him in March 2009 after he was accused of entering the theater without paying for a ticket.
The same officer who arrested her on wiretapping charges after she videotaped him in a public parking lot of the movie theater.
The same officer who is named in a federal lawsuit she has against the Boynton Beach Police Department.
His name is Robert Kellman.
“He is angry at me for the lawsuit so he’s taking it out on my son,” Ford said. “He is a ticking time bomb.”

Lady gets arrested for photographing cops during her son's initial arrest, which isn't illegal, files lawsuit, son gets arrested as a retaliation. That's a whole lotta abuse of power! Stuff like this is what drives good people to libertarianism..

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WHEN IN DOUBT, LINK TO YVES SMITH: Or Tim Duy posting on her blog:

What it all boils down to is this: There apparently is no motivation for global central banks to stop directing capital inflows at the US in an effort to support mercantilist objectives. If it isn’t China, it will be some other economy. And equally apparent, there is no motivation among US policymakers to address such government directed capital flows. Which will leave politicians falling back on ultimately harmful trade barriers. The absolute inability of US policymakers to seriously address a global financial architecture where a rule of the game is “when in doubt, by Dollars” will ultimately have serious consequences via disruptive adjustment when the system can no longer be maintained, via either external or internal forces.
And to think originally I was just going to post something from this post (actually by Yves):

Big finance has an unlimited credit line with governments around the globe. “Most subsidized industry in the world” is inadequate to describe this relationship. Banks are now in the permanent role of looters, as described in the classic Akerlof/Romer paper. They run highly leveraged operations, extract compensation based on questionable accounting and officially-subsidized risk-taking, and dump their losses on the public at large.
But the subsidies go beyond that. To list only a few examples: we have near zero interest rates, which allow bank to earn risk free profits simply by borrowing short and buying longer-dated Treasuries. We have the IRS refusing to look into violations of REMIC rules, which govern mortgage securitizations. We have massive intervention to prop up real estate prices, with the main objective to shore up banks; any impact on consumers is an afterthought.

Which is disturbing! But it's, umm, known disturbing. This Japan vs China vs us currency manipulation, government-directed dollar flow stuff, it's a bit newer to me, and something that I was looking for more info on. So it goes first!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

AND THE MARCH TO US ALL FLYING TOTALLY NUDE, UNCONSCIOUS, AND HANGING FROM THE CEILING LIKE SLABS OF BEEF CONTINUES: "They’d sit at an angle with no more than 23 inches between their perch and the seat in front of them — a design that could appeal to low-cost airlines that have floated the idea of offering passengers standing-room tickets on short flights." Air travel IN THE FUTURE sort of sucks. Where's my goddam jetpack??? Via Collette Bennett.

Monday, September 13, 2010

BUT, BUT, SAINT RONALD OF RAY-GUN PROMISED ME IT WOULD TRICKLE DOWN: But it actually doesn't. And it doesn't give the government additional revenue in some silly "a rising tide lifts all boats" way either. Nope, tax cuts for the rich leave the rich in the same state they were before their taxes were cut: rich! How very convenient for them.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

FIORINA WAS JUST PART OF THE GENERAL PATTERN, APPARENTLY: HP's board = total mess. Read! Be appalled! And not just at the board but at the large figures people command for being in charge of fairly terrible companies like HP. There's some talk of reform here:

But when I asked her what could be done about a board like H.P.’s, she lit up. Under the new Dodd-Frank bill, she said, shareholders for the first time will be able to nominate their own candidate for the board. To do so, the nominating shareholders have to hold 3 percent of the stock — for three years.

That was a high bar, but not an impossible one, she believed. She said Calpers — the giant California public pension fund — “and a couple of its buddies could get together” and nominate a director or two.

She added: “It won’t work unless you can leverage extreme shareholder unhappiness. You can’t find a better example of that than at H.P.”


Which is something, I guess, though giant public employee unions would not be my preferred agents to reform corporate boards. Via the invaluable Felix Salmon twitter.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

HAPPY REPUBLICAN THANKSGIVING!: Trademark Jim Henley. Where "never forget" means "always fight."

Friday, September 10, 2010

THIS PHIL DAVISON THING: Here (just the first link I saw.) People are mentioning Chris Farley's Matt Foley but I think it has more of the purely energetic cadence of a professional wrestling promo. As the blogger in my link suggests, someone told him passion makes a good speech so passion was what he went with. Though at least part of it was heartfelt--he's between jobs and probably really needed that gig. Well, maybe he can parlay Youtube fame into some actual cash, like that Double Rainbow guy. Though considering he didn't even know what Youtube was before this...well let's hope he has good management. And that he doesn't end up on the wingnut dole like his lifelong Republican profile suggests (and he's pretty emotional in his speech, suggesting he might be a true believer.) Any dole is better than no dole, of course.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

LATEST BREAKTHROUGH FROM BLOGISTAN MEMETIC LABS (FORMERLY THE BLOGISTAN GLORIOUS MINISTRY OF INFORMATION): We'll start calling Barack Obama....wait for it....Status (Qu)O! Get it? Quo sounds like O, and Barry is dedicated to not rocking the boat, and...ummm...it's a humorous sort of thing, to say, since...since they sound alike....yeah. Too Easterbrook?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

THINGS NOT TO CUT OUT OF THE JAPANESE BUDGET: Because--hey! they're hurtin' too--but the JET program should be maintained, argues Debito Aridou. True, it completely fails as an English instruction program, but the real goal of the program is cultural exchange and it succeeds at that. A solution to Japan's well-known problem with teaching people the English language should be sought elsewhere, goes the argument.
RETAIL INVESTORS CONTINUE TO FLEE THE STOCK MARKET: Zero Hedge. I'm pretty sure "retail" means what I think it means, reg'lar old investors in mutual funds and such, not investment banks and their employees. Just in general I am never quite sure how to take Zero Hedge. All the gold stuff seems to be the purview of cranks. And yet just because one is a crank doesn't mean there isn't an oligarchy dedicated to looting the middle class before it seals itself away in its guarded compounds.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

LOOK, I HATE MURDOCH AS MUCH AS THE NEXT PERSON WHO HATES THE REPUBLICAN PARTY: But this "Murdoch is in business with North Korea!" thing is weak weakass tea. A Fox unit publishing crappy mobile phone games--and only two crappy movie tie-in games, so those are like the worst possible type of games ever, mobile games and movie tie-in games both being on the low end of gaming quality--that were developed in the DPRK is barely greater than nothing. Though I guess it's all right in a "turnabout is fair play" sense. But not in a "being as bad as the villain is bringing us down to the villain's level!" sense.

Monday, September 06, 2010

WELL--HAPPY LABOR DAY: A holiday when you're supposed to enjoy yourself!

The first-ever Labor Day took place on September 5, 1882. It was dedicated to honoring the efforts of America's working class--and it was founded specifically to provide recreation and amusement to them. Isn't it good to know that the government acknowledges your hard work?


Yes! No supernatural beings! No wars to enshrine! Not even any genocide to feel bad about if you start to wonder who was giving thanks for what. Hope you didn't have to work, whoever you are. Though I know some of you did and that's a darn shame. The government probably hates you.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

ANOTHER ENTRY IN THE "WORTHWHILE COMMENTS FOUND IN OTHER PEOPLE'S BLOGS" DEPARTMENT: And possibly the first entry in the "What Liberals Actually Believe versus Caricatures of What Liberals Believe" Department? Who knows! I post lots of stuff. But surely this is among the first entries in the latter Department.

Anyway Erik Kain wrote something, and Larison responded, and Larison is always worth reading. But then the commenters get talking about what liberals actually believe, and there's some neat stuff there. Here's Spiffy McBang:

More over, lefties today nearly always show awareness of the fact that the theory of government intervention to make lives better and the practical application do not match up, or even close to it. This seems to be what a lot of people look at when they scoff at liberal thinking- aspects of old-school liberalism like the beer regulation Kain wrote about not too long ago that made no sense at all. But the idea of government knowing what’s best is definitely not part of current lefty theory; you don’t read anything like that even from people like Digby or Glenn Greenwald, and you are more likely to see government bashing from them over issues like privacy and war than anything positive.


And Pacific moderate:

Indeed the notion that people on the left are automatically enamored of “ever-expanding government” is a clich├ęd accusation of right-wing bloggers, and unworthy of someone of Daniel’s intellect and temperament. In fact, my impression of plenty on the left is that they’re particularly suspicious of governmental intervention and control over individuals. Free speech, opposition to censorship, opposition to drug laws, etc., are pretty common themes on the left. Where I think liberals differ from at least movement conservatives is that the former dislikes regulation of individual people but feels that GROUPS of people require regulation (since the propensity for human evil is mainly an issue when they get together in the form of businesses, labor unions, religious groups, militaries, governments, etc.)


And Jim Kakalios:

I think your point, Mr. McBang, regarding liberalism distrusting corporations more than they loooooove big government is exactly right. The false choice opponents of HCR presented was between you, your family and your doctor versus the government making health care decisions. In reality, it is between you, your family and your doctor versus the insurance corporations. My sister in law has dealt with a husband’s cancer, and daughter’s diabetes and another daughter’s need for multiple serious surgeries. The time she has spent arguing with insurance companies, to get them to provide services that they agreed to and that they were paid for – well, she could have used those manhours to build a space elevator to the moon. It is hard to argue that the present system represents the finest of the free market, or that it would change in the basence of major government intervention. The completely rational (in my opinion) lack of trust in the behavior of corporations led many to argue for a single-payer system.


A lot of this resembles my own "liberal" drift. It's not that I'm suddenly OMG I HEART STATISM, it's that I distrust corporate power more than government power, and I would seem to have good reason to feel that way, both post-financial crisis and post healthcare "reform."

Saturday, September 04, 2010

AH, THAT SUBTLE NYT SENSE OF HUMOR: Funning us with article titles: "On Economy, Democrats Face a Lack of Unity." There are very few things that couldn't be substituted for the word "economy" in that headline...

Friday, September 03, 2010

IF I EVER I AM TEMPTED BY NOSTALGIA FOR THE DUBYA YEARS: And start to think "shoot, he was an amiable doofus, right? It's not his fault he was a cretin" and really, if you just look at him as a comic figure he'll become tolerable, I hope I remember this and the fact that this is on him. And on us too.

Eventually, he found the police report of Muhammad’s death.

Dated July 3, 2005, it read: “We discovered 11 unidentified bodies, their hands bound from behind, their eyes blindfolded and their mouths gagged. The bodies bore signs of torture.”

“All of us were victims,” Officer Hassan told Hamid, in an attempt at sympathy. “Who was the exception? No one was. Not the martyrs, not the policemen, no one.”

“If they just shot them, O.K.,” Hamid said. “But they beat them, tortured them and then they burned them. Why? And those guys” — the politicians, he meant — “ are just watching.”

“Power and positions, that’s all they’re worried about,” Officer Hassan said.

“Let me be honest,” Hamid said, flashing rare anger at no one in particular. “Just to tell the truth. It would have been better if we had stayed under Saddam Hussein.”

The policeman shrugged and stayed silent.


Via Eric Martin.
WATCHING ESPN HIGHLIGHTS: And watching them slobber over a team that isn't even eligible for postseason play (the University of Smug Cheaters) and not even acknowledge the fact that Hawaii scored 36 points on them is making me hate college football already. Dudes, Coach Pete isn't even there anymore. And you didn't even mention Li'l Lane going for all those assholish two point conversions! If there was a year to not do this, this was it, a year in which USC is irrelevant from the very beginning...and yeah. Lazy coverage remains stubbornly lazy.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

WHEN DIGBY AND RADLEY LINK TO THE SAME INCIDENT: Well, it's worth noting, right? Man tased in his own home. See, he fell and hurt his leg, and some cops showed up, and...and...well he was asking for a tasing, you know? He was just asking for it.

(Digby, Radley. Pretty sure this means the Kochtopus has gotten to Digby.)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

HEY LET'S COMPLAIN ABOUT SOME OTHER COUNTRY'S CRAPPY MEDIA: Reporters for British Murdoch papers are not just hacks, they're hackers. And Scotland Yard and Murdoch are besties so sweet creamy justice is being ladled ever so slowly, and sometimes not ladled at all. A good read from the NYT that apparently is getting underplayed in the UK for obvious reasons ("Murdoch owns everything" is the main obvious reason I'm thinking of.)