Monday, March 31, 2014

Marxism: So great before it went mainstream

Supermarx. Via Inciclopedia.
Well, glory be, the Revolution must have been and triumphed without anybody noticing it, because here's the New York Times seriously running a debate as to whether the theories of the noted economist Karl Marx could have some contemporary relevance—

Sunday, March 30, 2014

White House fool report: I channel Maureen Dowd

Normal Chelovechik.
Apologies to President Obama, who was as it turns out not trolling me at all. Actually he was trolling National Review's Andrew Stuttaford-Stuttaford of That Ilk, I think:
(I’m sorry Mr. President, Russia is rather more than the “regional power” that you were — ludicrously — claiming the other day)
And Dr. Krauthammer:

No law of capitalism?

Image via GulfCoastProgressive, 2006.
Wanted to reply, but didn't,

Friday, March 28, 2014

Cheap shots and objets trouvés


White House fool report:

Image from Mi Ex es una Meme.
Hey Mr. P,

You're trolling me, right? At the Palais des Beaux-Arts? As quoted in Slate?
Russia has pointed to America’s decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy. Now, it is true that the Iraq war was a subject of vigorous debate, not just around the world but in the United States, as well. I participated in that debate, and I opposed our military intervention there.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


There once were some bold employees
Who wanted to use IUDs;
But the boss, with his hobby
Of rushing the lobby,
Just wanted them all on their knees.
Lord's Prayer Pillar Candle from Hobby Lobby, $17.99. Wonder if it feels weird to be melting the Word of the Lord.

Everybody baits Chris

Jennifer Stefano in 2010, via Robert Stacy McCain.
“Throw out the mandate, throw out the exchange,” Hayes then told her. “Bumping up Medicaid eligibility from 100 percent of poverty line to 133 percent of poverty line so that some working poor people can get some health insurance — what is the objection to that? Why does every conservative Republican governor oppose that? Explain that to me.”

The only thing we have to fear is looking too brave

Ratchet Deadlocked Campfire, by weslouie at DeviantArt.
The trial of Sulaiman Abu Gaith on conspiracy to kill Americans, and providing support to Al Qa'eda was held in New York City and came to a successful conclusion, like the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohamed before it, in spite of fears that—well—something...
In a letter to Obama, Dianne Feinstein, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, suggested that holding a trial in New York was dangerous. “New York City has been a high-priority target since at least the first World Trade Center bombing,” she wrote. “The trial of the most significant terrorist in custody would add to the threat....”

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

No, you can't. It's classified.

Image via FoodJobsBlog.
The great filmmaker Errol Morris has a new film, to be released April 4, The Unknown Known, on former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld, contrasting I guess his sublime psychopathy with the confused guilt of Robert McNamara captured in The Fog of War. His series of articles on Rumsfeld and the film, "The Certainty of Donald Rumsfeld", is just starting in the Times, and I wanted to single out this bit from an interview with NBC Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski, the reporter who asked Rumsfeld the question that led to the famous "unknown unknowns" remark:
JIM MIKLASZEWSKI: Well, not just [Rumsfeld] but the entire building was in denial. Doug Feith — don’t get me started on Doug Feith — told me that they had a Marshall Plan all set to go in terms of rebuilding Iraq. And he pointed to this stack of huge three-ringed binders, all of them black. There must have been about 10 of them stacked up on top of a cabinet. And I asked to see them, and he said, “No, you can’t. It’s classified.” And I said, “Well, O.K., I understand that, I guess.” But I raised it to somebody else within the next couple of weeks. I said, “Well, Doug Feith showed me the Marshall Plan for Iraq.” And this person laughed, and he said, “Mik, that was the Marshall Plan.” It was a copy of the original Marshall Plan, not a plan for Iraq.
"Dumbest fucking guy on the planet" according to General Tommy Franks (no slouch in the dumb department himself). But as with Rumsfeld—and George W. Bush himself—the stupidity is a kind of act, masking the operative feature of total pathological irresponsibility.Via HuffingtonPost.
Fellow dirt miner Driftglass has been visiting the same places as me again, and has more to say, essential as usual.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Let them eat policemen

Shorter David Brooks, "The Republic of Fear", New York Times, March 25 2014:
Several horrifying anecdotes prove that the entire developing world is locked in the grip of fear because the United States spends more money on eradicating poverty than on creating better justice systems in these unhappy countries. Startlingly, it seems that instead of having too much government, they don't have enough. Forget being the world's policeman, we need to be the world's personal organizer.
Kirsten Dunst in the 2006 film by Sophie Coppola.
The message Brooks is cribbing today is from a quite new book by Gary Haugen and Victor Boutros, The Locust Effect, whose authors and publisher will no doubt be too [jump]

Monday, March 24, 2014

Secret policy department

Photo via MobShield.
One of the most gratuitously bad policies anywhere in the Bloomberg administration was the one relating to students' use of cell phones in public schools, and I'm glad to hear that it is being revised under the Soviet dictatorship of Bill De Blasio and his educational minion Chancellor Fariña. But the message I've just received from Young Harry's school is not very encouraging, nor does it suggest the Most Transparent Administration in History:

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Cookie Wookiee

Image via TorWars.
In a fairly astonishing tour de Cooke or Cooke's tour, as we call them in English, Master Charles C.W. (Chemical Weapons) Cooke (Oxon.) takes on President Obama's unseemly witticisms:

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Or maybe you should just stay where you are and eat a madeleine

Shorter David Brooks, "Going Home Again", New York Times, March 21 2014:
Sting got over a decades-long writing block by going back home to north England, where he got in touch with his childhood and exploded with new songs. Coincidentally, I went to Canada, I mean not Toronto, where I was born, but Vancouver, where they were having the TED conference, but that must be pretty much the same thing, right? I wonder when the ideas will start to flow.
Sting as Feyd-Rautha in David Lynch's Dune (1984). The original source for this GIF seems to have abandoned it to the aether, or I'd credit it.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Cheap shots and dust storms

Worst thing about the NSA? They're all apparently 9 years old:

And cops and hookers, boobs and haboobs and much much more below the fold!

Dire Straights

From Sun Club Color Studio, of Mobile, via Action News 4 Pittsburgh.
Katrina Trinko in the DeMintia ward on St. Patrick's Day defending the parade organizers in New York and Boston for refusing to allow LGBTQ groups to march openly, and kind of disappointed in the beer companies that withdrew sponsorship:
Let’s just imagine the situation reversed. In Alabama, for instance, let’s say there was a Thanksgiving parade. Traditional marriage advocates wanted to march holding signs about marriage – [jump] 

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Kuangshan in present-day Sichuan, where the poet Li Bai (701-62) is thought to have studied Chinese as a boy, in a Buddhist monastery. Painting by Lu Yanshao, 1979.
Du Fu on Li Bai
It's a long time since I saw my friend Li, feigning crazy, truly pitiful!
Everyone wanted him dead, I alone cherished his tender talent.
A thousand poems leapt in the air, a cup of wine dropped to the ground.
On Kuang Mountain he learned his letters; good if he could return, with his white hair.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cheap shots: Give me Linzertorte or give me death

Marble macarons by Unlimited Curiosity at DeviantArt.
Bloody tyranny reported by the Lonely Conservative:

White House Pastry Chef Quits Thanks To Michelle Obama

Gingerbread White House on display in the State Dining Room in Washington
White House pastry chef Bill Yosses has turned in his resignation because First Lady Michelle Obama changed his job duties. The openly gay chef was hired in 2007 by former First Lady Laura Bush to make cookies and sugar sculptures. (Wait, I thought all Republicans hate gay people? Oh, never mind.) Then Michelle came along.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

David Brooks goes to Newark

Really. He was seen. And on the basis of his experience, he's written a little campaign piece on behalf of Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries.

Jeffries, son of an absent father, his mother murdered by an abusive boyfriend when he was only ten years old, raised chiefly by his grandmother and a community of watchful cooperative neighbors in the city's South Ward, with a big assist from scholarships to Seton Hall [jump]

Monday, March 17, 2014

Ryan through his teeth

Remember vice-presidential candidate Ryan pretending to wash the dishes because he didn't really have time to help but could make plenty of time for a photo op? There's a man who understands the value and the culture of work, eh? Via Hinterland Gazette.
The whole editorial staff of the National Review gathers to argue that "Paul Ryan is Right":
New York City manages to graduate barely half of its black male students from high school — and among high-school dropouts, two-thirds reach the age of 26 without ever having held a full-time job lasting at least one year. And perhaps most significant, the vast majority of blacks are born out of wedlock. You could not come up with a more effective system [jump]

Monday cheap shot: Crimea does not pay

Don't know if the typo in this email from Foreign Policy counts as Freudian or what:

We all know Russia is ruled by crooks, but I thought the crooks were fairly comfortable in Ukraine too.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Get real

US Army Specialist Simran Lamba, first American Sikh soldier to have his religious needs accommodated since 1984, and about time, too. AP.
Allen West (last seen in these parts trying to prove that slavery was the liberals' fault) at the CPAC conference:

Friday, March 14, 2014

Shorter David Brooks

Shorter David Brooks, "The Deepest Self", New York Times, March 14, 2014:
You know how your deepest inner self is down there in the old reptilian brain among the basal ganglia? And yet if you followed your nose and behaved according to the dictates of your nucleus accumbens, you'd be a pretty shallow person. Is that wack or what? Maybe I should write that book after all. Or find some weed. Anybody know how you buy weed nowadays? 
Static, by Kago Shintaro, via Fleurmach.
This column has not attracted a lot of attention from the usual sources, but there's a beyond masterful Shorter from the great Dr. Turk. I'll try to keep you posted.

Cheap shots and pink helicopters

Authenticated photo of the unmanned aerial surveillance vehicle outside Senator Dianne Feinstein's house, June 15 2013. Image from Demotix.
We've previously noted how Senator Feinstein (R–Military-Industrial Complex) had a strange, not to say psychedelic, encounter, last summer, with an overly friendly airborne robot:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein says she once found a drone peeking into the window of her home — the kind of cautionary tale she wants lawmakers to consider as they look at allowing commercial drone use.... Feinstein said she encountered the flying robot while a demonstration was taking place outside her house. She said she went to the window to peek out — and “there was a drone right there at the window looking out at me.” (Politico)
It now seems, as Politico is (not exactly) reporting, that it was only the first blow in the Senator's war with the Central Intelligence Agency, and we have sourced some pictures of the incident here:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Annals of derp: Elective amenities

Report: U.S. Is One of Seven Countries That Allows Late-Term Abortion
The United States is one of only a handful of developed countries in which late-term abortions after 20 weeks—five months—are allowed, according to a new report from the Charlotte Lozier Institute. At that stage, the child is capable of feeling pain and women are at increased risk for the negative effects of abortion.
Except it's no truer than the last time the claim went around (when it was Mrs. Governor Anita Perry of Texas and former California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina who gave the number as 4 rather than 7. As Politifact Texas explained at the time,
Image via Crazy Uproar.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Slightly updated at the end
Illustrations via
David Brooks writes:
We're in the middle of a frightening generational shift in the way people see government and its relation to the community in general. According to the most recent Pew Research Center survey Millennials, the cohort of adults aged 18 to 33, are less likely to regard themselves as religious or [jump]

Monday, March 10, 2014

Annals of derp: Is Obama after Ukraine?

Evidence of the crime: Senators Lugar and Obama inspecting a Donetsk arms dump, and I do mean dump, in August 2005. Photo by Reuters.
One of the odder bits of storyline floating around the World Wide Entertainment Web is that of young Senator Obama personally disarming the Ukrainian armed forces back in 2005, apparently so that Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, when the time came, would be able to move in on those Ukrainians without meeting any resistance: it turned up in National ReviewPJ Media, the Daily Mail, and so on, finally winding up yesterday at the digs of the dumbest man on the Internet, Jim Hoft:

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Propaganda lesson

From Check it out.
Master Charles C.W. (Constant Wanker) Cooke (Oxon.) informs us that Harry Reid treats the philanthopists Charles and David Koch exactly the way Stalin treated Leon Trotsky—or at least the way Big Brother and the Ministry of Truth treated Emmanuel Goldstein, with [jump]

Friday, March 7, 2014

Jihadi Jindal

So after Jindal accuses Attorney General Holder of trying to stand in the way of poor black children from getting to go to private schools just the way old George Wallace stopped the then Vivian Malone from going to the University of Alabama*, Holder sends Jindal a copy of John Lewis's Walking with the Wind with a bookmark at the page where Lewis notes that that Vivian Malone, later Vivian Malone Jones, who passed away in 2005, was Holder's sister-in-law, and Jindal responds with the following.
Cute video about more or less how God sent Jindal to Louisiana so these women could avoid sending their kids to the awful New Orleans public schools, but I've often wondered how many kids these programs rescue in this way, and so I put the question to Dr. Google. [jump]

*DOJ contends in an ongoing if not very active lawsuit that Jindal's private school voucher program tends to affect racial balance in some school districts under desegregation orders.

Cheap shots and literal butter

Wedding cake via Tracy "Dezzie" Rhodes at PinupLifestyle.

Rep. Steve King of Iowa worrying about whether wedding-cake buying couples might just be pretending to be gay in the interests of mounting a discrimination suit against the bakers:
KING: The one thing that I reference when I say “self-professed” is: how do you know who to discriminate against? They about have to tell you. And, you know, are they then setting up a case? Is this about bringing a grievance or is it actually about a service that they’d like to have?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Annals of derp

From Jim Hoft, often regarded as the "Stupidest man on the Internet", the following chart showing that Obama has impoverished our country by taking everybody's job away:

Or you might look at it a different way, in terms of how the unemployment rate changed during each presidency, showing what each president might be said to have achieved rather than splitting the difference between the beginning and end of his time in office:
i.e., under Clinton from a little over 7% to a little over 4% (creeping upward at the end of his term toward the 2001 slump, one of the mildest in US history), under George W. Bush from a little over 4% toward a high of about 10% before Obama and Bernanke's Federal Reserve were able to bring the situation under control, and under Obama from 10% back down to 6.6% at last report 6.7% as of March 7 (about a year earlier than MarketOracle was predicting in 2012).

You might also note from the convenient chart below that the US and the European Union entirely ceased to track together during the Obama presidency, as Europe followed what can only be described as a Republican policy of stern budget-balancing, while the US did not, as far as Congress allowed us to while the Fed took up some of the slack that Congress refused to carry.
This is really not rocket science.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Brooks can't stop even if Putin can

St. Vladimir. Via Eastern Gift Shop.
Mr. Pierce and Drifters have the savage irony department covered on the subject of David Brooks condemning the old launch of a messianic preemptive war thingy:
Let us pause for a further moment and see if we can recall, in our recent history, a war of aggression launched melodramatically and in pursuit of grandiose eschatalogical visions. Let us pause for yet another moment and see if we can recall a war launched based on a nation's notion of itself as exceptional, with a unique spiritual status and purpose
What I'd like to do is dwell for a while on the Protean skill with which Brooks recasts himself from moment to moment as the universal pseudo-polymath, the Tory Professor Corey, the Isaiah Berlin of derp, leaping from posing as the World's Foremost Authority [jump]

Monday, March 3, 2014

How do you ask a man... be the last man to die for a "completely trumped up pretext"?
Via Ghosts of Tom Joad.
Secretary Kerry Facing the Nation, via Tengrain:
[I]t is an incredible act of aggression … really a stunning, willful choice by president Putin to invade another country. Russia is in violation of the [jump]

Russia's Munich moment

Balaclavas in Balaklava, at least the guy on the right: Ukrainian border guards at the Crimean town. Photo by Sergey Ponomarev for the New York Times.
Unexpectedly, the first hack to come out crying "Munich" over Russia's ongoing adventure in Crimea seemed not to be one of the usual wingnuts (except clearly fascist commenters at The American Interest) but Dr. Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzeziński (McGill, Harvard) on CNN.

But here's Forbes [jump]

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Who's the boss?

Why can't Obama just put Putin in his place—you know, like Superman did with Dr. Doom? Via Auggie18.
Senator Linsey-Woolsey Graham, on CNN (via Crooks & Liars):
Well, number one, stop going on television and trying to threaten thugs and dictators. It is not your strong suit. [jump]