A Roundabout Way to Kind of Make a Point

Pic of the day, part i: The Intervention of the Sabine Women, By Jacques Louis David

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At every step one has to wrestle for truth; one has to surrender for it almost everything to which the heart, to which our love, our trust in life, cling otherwise. That requires greatness of soul: the service of truth is the hardest service. What does it mean, after all, to have integrity in matters of the spirit? That one is severe against one’s heart…that one makes of every Yes and No a matter of conscience.

Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist

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A roundabout way to kind of make a point:

There are commercials that air on New York radio that are propaganda. Plain and simple. Pollution of the airwaves, care of those enemies of freedom, clear channel. Overkill you say? They are the ones that broadcast nationally Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck’s radio show, Sean Hannity, and a great many other conservative radio programs. They have had some liberal shows on, but dropped them to air sports instead, despite good ratings.

Light fm 106.7 in New York is one of those stations. It is a light music station that touts its variety of music, while playing the same 15 or 20 songs on a three hour rotation. Clear Channel sucks from one end of the spectrum to the other and everywhere in between. There is nothing but bland crap music on that station, but weak crap on the radio is another article for another time.

These people have an agenda, and the ads that air there show it. One of the ads has New Jersey Governor Christie and his attempt to whitewash the truth about his tax cut for the wealthy, planning to make it look like the “Corzine Democrats” are trying to fuck New Jersey when it’s that fat bloated sack of shit Christie that’s doing the fucking. Uses the term “Corzine Democrats” several times while at the same time calling the bill he is trying to ram through the Jersey legislature bipartisan. Bullshit is a better term.

Then there’s the beverage ban commercial, brought to you by Pepsi, Coke and Snapple. The one with “real” new yorkers. The real fake ones that sound like people who are faking New York accents. Which fucking drives me nuts.

Now before I begin talking against next commercial I need to say that I am not for the ban myself. It makes no sense for the Mayor to stop people from doing that which they want just because he doesn’t think it’s right. That is silly. If people want to drink a lot of crap in a large container, let them. I see no reason to drink one of those fucking behemoth things, but I see no reason to ban it either. Seems dumb.

That said, I am opposed to large corporations jumping into the fray to try to stop this. The ad in question makes it seem like all New Yorkers are being oppressed by the Mayor because he wants to ban large drinks. But that is not what the ban is about. The ban isn’t about choice, it’s about sugar intake. At it’s base the Mayor, wrongheaded as he usually is, has a point here. New Yorkers and Americans in general take in too much sugar. It’s unhealthy. And that is what the mayor is trying to do something about.

He’s an idiot, so he does it wrong, but he’s trying to look out for us.

I don’t like the Mayor doing this, out of principle. I don’t like Coke and Pepsi fighting this on the airwaves without some kind of counterpoint from somewhere. Pollutes the entire subject. And lobbying groups like the one putting these ads out don’t belong using the airwaves, and by extension us, the way they use congress to put out pro-business propaganda. Especially not under the clearly false guise of having our freedom of choice taken away from us.

I can still vote for whomever I like. I can still eat and drink what I want. He isn’t banning Coke, Snapple and Pepsi from the city limits.

Someone needs to step up and make the point that the mayor should be making if this is the fight that he wants to fight.

Sugar is the issue. Not the drinks themselves.

Obesity, insanely fat and unhealthy people who don’t have to be like that is the real issue.

Oh and the other thing that people are missing. The beverage ban would NOT ban large drinks outright. It would only stop their sales at restaurants, movie theaters and stadiums. If I wanted to buy a buttload of 3 litre bottles of soda at Pathmark in my neighborhood after the ban, I still could.

People protested this too. They take away your 4th amendment rights and you sit at home and watch the ballgame, but try a partial ban on big sodas and everybody takes a giant shit all at once and lose their friggin minds and take to the streets…. When did our priorities go so wrong?

So…

The ad sucks. Roundabout way to make that point, but I had fun doing it. And I got to say the Mayor was wrong, that the people at Pepsi, Snapple and Coke suck, Governor Christie is a fat bloated sack of shit, and that Clear Channel communications is evil. That’s 4 for 4 in my book. And that bold Italicized sentence has a point all it’s own.

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Pic of the day, part ii: The Oath of the Horatii, by Jacques Louis David

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What then is truth? A movable host of metaphors, metonymies, and; anthropomorphisms: in short, a sum of human relations which have been poetically and rhetorically intensified, transferred, and embellished, and which, after long usage, seem to a people to be fixed, canonical, and binding.

Friedrich Nietzsche, On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral sense

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That’s it from here, America. G’night.

Leaning Together

Pic of the day, part i: Symphony in White no. 1 (The White Girl), By James McNeill Whistler

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Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all: —
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.

T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

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Silly story of the week. Some guy challenged the President to arm wrestle in exchange for a vote for him on election day. The President, not surprisingly declined. The President is a skinny dude, and frankly, skinny people have no business arm wrestling. Should’ve challenged him to a game of chess, or, in a nod to the movie War Games, global thermonuclear war. Don’t think arm wrestler man could handle that shit.

That would have been fun!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

The President, while he was out and about said he had filed a complaint with the WTO over unfair tariffs on American cars in China. Which is good news, try to get our cars out on the international market, and selling as much as they can by trying to get other governments to lower taxes on them.

Maybe he can get American car manufacturers to lower their car prices here so people can afford the damn things without having to take out a loan or sell a kidney every time they want to buy a new one.

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The Jobs picture will again be in focus tomorrow morning. The few places that I have read say that they think that the jobs numbers are again going to be soft, and that the market is as a consequence going to tank. But other numbers, like the challenger job cut numbers and the ADP employment report seem to be pointing to a more robust jobs picture. The consensus numbers from ADP before the numbers came out said that there would only be an increase in private payroll of 95,000 people. The actual number was much higher, at 176,000, higher than even the most optimistic numbers expected from ADP.

Good news indeed.

Add to that the fact that jobless claims for the week dropped by 10,000 people more than expected. With luck tomorrows numbers look good and the market reacts strongly to it.

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Pic of the day, part ii: Nocturne in Blue and Gold, Old Battersea Bridge, by James McNeill Whistler

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We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw.

T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men

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That’s it from here, America. G’night.

The Second?

Pic of the day, part i: Jabberwocky, by John Tenniel

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Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe

Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll

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Spending a quiet and happy fourth of July sitting around with my wife. We were going to go out earlier this afternoon, but it was about a billion degrees out. She doesn’t take the heat well, so she decided against going. So we stuck around the home sweet apartment, made macaroni salad, quesadillas, and a few other things, and generally just enjoyed being together.

As we speak, she and I are watching the fireworks on TV from Macy’s. I did my usual goofing on that crap Lee Greenwood song. You know the one. It’s not a bad song, I just like to make fun of it. Ya know because 5’9″ Mikey likes to goof around and sing “I’m proud to be an American where everyone is six foot three” or some such silliness.

My wife and I made fun of the people holding the blue day glow thundersticks. She calling them thunderdicks, and I asking all those American parents how it felt to have 9 year olds girls holding glow in the dark 3 foot Phallic symbols for the whole world to see. Sure their dads were proud.

That’s a whole new way to be proud of being an American. One which makes me laugh my ass off.

I love America. But I have a small problem with celebrating the 4th.

We should be celebrating the 2nd.

Like John Adams, I think the celebration comes a few days too late. The declaration officially passed on the 2nd, not the 4th. John Adams boycotted, as long as he lived, any celebrations of the 4th because it was the wrong damn day. I like John Adams for that, amongst other things.

And Lee Greenwood sucks. When Slayer or Dillinger Escape Plan sings that song, I’ll listen to it without making fun of it.

Maybe.

Hope you all enjoyed the holiday.

Now go get ready for work tomorrow.

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Pic of the day, part ii: A Mad Tea Party, by John Tenniel

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‘Have you guessed the riddle yet?’ the Hatter said, turning to Alice again.
‘No, I give it up,’ Alice replied: ‘what’s the answer?’
‘I haven’t the slightest idea,’ said the Hatter.
‘Nor I,’ said the March Hare.
Alice sighed wearily. ‘I think you might do something better with the time,’ she said, ‘than waste it in asking riddles that have no answers.’

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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That’s it from here America. G’night.

Life And Death?

Pic of the day, part i: Scenes from the life of David, by Hans Sebald Beham

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People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Roger Clemens did not lie to congress. Kinda surprised me when I heard that. Sounded like he said he didn’t do steroids. But he did. That is what everyone has heard. That’s what everyone believes.

Maybe everyone is wrong. Maybe they aren’t but maybe they are. Never say you know when you weren’t there. I was not in the locker room with Mr. Clemens when he could have done them. I was nowhere near the scene at the time. I just don’t know the truth.

Now I can speculate, but how much of that speculation is simply what I want to think about someone rather than something that might be realistic. How much of the picture of Mr. Clemens is painted by not only my own wants but by sports commentary suffering from much the same problem that I suffer from, egoism?

Now he might have gotten one by the congress and the jury as well. But I never even thought until now that I could be wrong about this, that there could be any outcome but the one I wanted, the one I thought was right, the guilty verdict.

But if Roger Clemens did not lie, does that mean that someone else did? And how many other cases in the public eye have I acted as judge, jury, and executioner, in error? Many, one presumes, because guilt is always presumed until innocence is proven. But it is rarely proven enough for our liking. Hence a sense of disbelief. I could not find many who agreed with the jury. Could you? If we thought we could be wrong, would a sense of disbelief exist?

And a bigger question. Now that the trial is over, can his reputation be fixed? Or has he been damaged beyond repair by the circus that has surrounded him? I am of the belief that the man, with the trial behind him, should get the full measure of respect that a man who did what he did throughout his career should get.

The hall of fame should be a lock. He should again be spoken of alongside the greats of the game. Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, Grover Cleveland Alexander, and Nolan Ryan now have another name to add to the absolute best the game has ever seen. Roger Clemens.

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Pic of the day, part ii: Braque Family Triptych (closed)

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A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Read a headline that made me giggle. “Romney says US can “learn a lot” from Wisconsin Governor.” I think he may have a point, but not the one he intended. I wonder if he meant that once you come to power, you can feel free to screw your people over publicly, subvert the system to work to your advantage, destroy the power of the people, and then when the people call you out and demand change, you can then use outside money to buy an election and subvert the will of the people a second time?

If that’s what he meant , he may well be right. And if he is right, does that mean that we should break out the pitchforks and mass on both Romney and Walker’s doorsteps and tar and feather the no good rat bastards? Because that is what learning that lesson makes me want to do.

Just saying…

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That’s it from here, America. G’night.

Ten Aphorisms

Pic of the day: Dragon by Katsushika Hokusai

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We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. … I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.

Thomas A. Edison

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Ten Aphorisms:

1 ) Don’t stop feeling awe just because you think you’ve seen it all. The world is an amazing place, filled with amazing things, and amazing people. And regardless of what you think, you ain’t seen nothing. Yet.

2 ) If people actually got what they thought they deserved for themselves, the world would be no better a place for it. Because the moment they got it, people would think they deserved something else. Entitlement thinking exists in most every person, regardless of what they think.

3 ) Being sore and tired at the end of the day is not a bad thing. That is your body telling you that today you did what the world needed you to do, what you needed you to do. Go take some aspirin, rub some dirt on it, and get ready for tomorrow.

4 ) Just because you have an opinion, doesn’t mean you are right. If you haven’t questioned you’re opinion about anything today, chances are you were wrong about something. Doubt of self and self examination creates vitality of mind. Self assurance is a sign of weakness.

5 ) Can millions of people be wrong? Yes. Can you? Stands to reason.

6 ) Beware of other peoples opinions. A trusted friend. Mine. Any opinion. Any person expressing an opinion has their self interests at heart. Not yours. Never mimic another humans opinions, unless you like being their puppet.

7 ) Government is not intrinsically evil. Corporations are not intrinsically evil. But both are capable of it, and tend towards it the longer they exist and stronger they are. Trust neither. Government in America at least has one thing that works for us that corporations do not have. We can, in this nation, get rid of the bums by voting them out, and bringing someone else in. When was the last time you had a say in the hierarchy of Citibank? JPMorgan? Wells Fargo? Thought not.

8 ) Is there life after death? I have no idea. It’d be nice, but I’m not counting on it personally. I’m concentrating on here and now at the moment. Perhaps it is because people aren’t paying enough attention to here and now that this world is a mess. Life is for the living. Unless you are at deaths door, don’t concern yourself with heaven. If you’re good you’ll get there. Focus on where you are before where you are becomes where you were.

9 ) There is no such thing as world peace. We are a warrior species, fighters all despite our silly notions to the contrary. We as a species have been at war for several millennium in some fashion or another. There is a reason for this. There are always people with an agenda who want other people to live the way they want them to. Until that changes, no world peace. And that busy-body “I want you to live my way” bullshit is part of the human psyche.

10 ) You can take the asshole out of the jungle, but you cannot take the asshole out of the asshole. Not without sharp implements, extreme violence, and a lot of screaming at any rate.

🙂

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That’s it from here, America. G’night.

Purging Florida

Pic of the day: The Benzaiten Shrine at Inokashira in Snow

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Idque apud imperitos humanitas vocabatur, cum pars servitutis esset. Translation: Because they didn’t know better, they called it ‘civilization,’ when it was part of their slavery.

Tacitus, Agricola

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Florida. Nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there. Especially if you vote. They are trying to purge the voter roles, if looked at from one side of the political argument. The other side of the argument states that it is only .02% of the total voting population that is affected, so it therefore should not be a big deal.

Let me make a point here. Florida has over 11 million registered voters. .02% of the voting populace is over two hundred and twenty five thousand people. That is equivalent to the entire population to St. Lucie county, Florida. There are 46 counties in Florida with smaller populations than St. Lucie county.

States have the right to make sure that their voter roles are kept to only those who are eligible voters. There are laws however that are at the heart of the real issue with this happening here. The National voter registration act of 1993 , aka “Motor voter” has within it a clause that states any attempts to remove ineligible voters must be complete 90 days prior to either primary or general elections. There are primary elections going on in Florida on August 14th.

Meaning that any attempt by the state of Florida to remove ineligible voters from the voter rolls has to be complete, according to federal law, by May 14th. The attempt by the state of Florida to “purge” their voter rolls is illegal. Not because it is wrong to do this, but because federal law states that the date this action needed to be complete by has already passed.

I almost feel for the crazy people who are afraid of illegals with drivers licenses stealing their elections. There may well be a few people who do try to cheat the system. But I tell you this. The problem of voter fraud is a small one in America. There have been 49 cases of voter fraud in Florida over the last 4 years. 49. In a state of with over 11 million voters. Over four years.

Even if there were a hundred people involved in each case (and I know of one case where 9 people were involved, and odds are that a great many others involve individuals) it would only amount to roughly .02% of the .02% of the registered voters in Florida that would be purged. If I am not supposed to care because there are only two tenths of one percent of the populace involved in the voter purge, why then am I expected to care about the two thousandths of one percent of people who may actually be fraudulent?

And what is the nature of that fraudulent vote? A difference in birthdays between birth certificate and driver’s license? That is the case with one 91 year old veteran who may be stripped of his right to vote because of just that happenstance.

While democratic partisans are using this as another chance to get a dig in on the Republicans(which I have no problem with), the reason this is an issue is that the state of Florida is blatantly breaking the law by doing this.

And something is being done. The feds are telling the state of Florida in no uncertain terms that they must stop.

Burn this one into your memory banks folks, I’ve never said this before, and don’t expect to say it often in future.

GO FEDS!

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That’s it from here, America. G’night.

A Few Basic Questions for Mitt Romney Regarding His Tax Plans

Pic of the day: Haneton Triptych, center panel

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Schisms do not originate in a love of truth, which is a source of courtesy and gentleness, but rather in an inordinate desire for supremacy… In fact, the real disturbers of the peace are those who, in a free state, seek to curtail the liberty of judgment which they are unable to tyrannize over.

Baruch Spinoza

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It’s official, Mitt Romney is the nominee of the Republican party for President of the United States of America. It became official a few hours ago when Mr. Romney won the Texas primary. Congratulations Mitt!

Now all you have to do is convince a plurality of Americans that voting for you is the right thing to do. And like any member of the two major parties in this country, you already have about 45% of the nation already in your pocket simply by being the nominee of one of those parties. Each party, without the slightest bit of help get about 45% of the populace to vote for them.

But that last 10 percent of the nation that is left over, I tell you brother, they are not easy people to convince of anything.

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I am at this moment reading Mr. Romney’s website and will, when finished give a detailed account of exactly what he says about foreign policy and taxation and Social Security and a host of other issues.

I have read his tax plan. On the surface it is nice but there are questions I have. They may be answered by other things in other places on the site that I have yet to get to. The questions are as follows:

How do you plan to make up for the shortfall created by the 10% across the board cut in the corporate tax rate. Government has not shrunk in size in our lifetimes, whether a Republican or a Democrat was in office. To make that drastic a cut in taxes must surely be made up for with an opposite and equal level of cuts in Government spending or increases in taxation elsewhere. Will you cut Social Security? Defense? Medicare? There isn’t enough discretionary spending out there that could be cut to make up for the shortfall, so I’m curious to see who will get hit with the budget axe.

The other tax cuts you propose beg the same question.

There is no word in the tax section about the Bush tax cuts. I was curious to see what exactly he has to say about the Bush Tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of this year. Those tax cuts have cost us trillions of dollars and not helped create job growth as they were supposed to. Will he extend the Bush tax cuts or will he raise the tax rate on the rich by 4%?

How can he justify the statement that the President has “exploded the size of government” when the size of government has actually risen more slowly under President Obama than any other President in the last 60 years?

There will be much more on Mitt Romney in the coming weeks and months, as his candidacy merits much scrutiny.

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That’s it from here, America. G’night.