Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hate your next-door neighbor, but don't forget to say grace

If you can get into the iPlayer, The One Show followed up with the mood on the morning after. (And even if you can't get into iPlayer, here's "Both Sides the Tweed" in full.) Only three precincts voted Yes. That came as a surprise to a lot of people, but folks in the Orkneys don't expect any more from the elite of Scotland than they do from those toffs in Westminster.

Meanwhile, you might not expect it to be good news when the court rules that Kansas must remove the Democratic candidate from the ballot, but it's actually great news.

At Angry Bear:
Beverly Mann on "Freedom! Liberty! And Being For the Little Guy. As Brought to You By the Conservative Movement"
Edward Lambert, "In Praise of Net Social Benefits [...] The low Fed rate increases the existence of low road firms, as Bruce Kaufman calls them. The result is that they impede healthy organizational investments for long-run growth. Thus, net social benefits are reduced."
Stephanie Kelton on Government big and small

Via "Eschaton:
After Surgery, Surprise $117,000 Medical Bill From Doctor He Didn't Know [...] In operating rooms and on hospital wards across the country, physicians and other health providers typically help one another in patient care. But in an increasingly common practice that some medical experts call drive-by doctoring, assistants, consultants and other hospital employees are charging patients or their insurers hefty fees. They may be called in when the need for them is questionable. And patients usually do not realize they have been involved or are charging until the bill arrives."
"Lost in the Hedges: Fund players, not casino experts, behind majority of A.C.'s failed rescues."
"Israel's N.S.A. Scandal [...] Mr. Snowden stressed that the transfer of intercepts to Israel contained the communications - email as well as phone calls - of countless Arab- and Palestinian-Americans whose relatives in Israel and the Palestinian territories could become targets based on the communications. 'I think that's amazing,' he told me. 'It's one of the biggest abuses we've seen.'"

"To recline your seat or not? Stop arguing. Capitalism already won this stupid war" - Toldya.

Facebook for rich people (for just $9,000)

Ruth with some archeological news about a Unique Discovery in Pennsylvania Dig

This is a couple of years old, but Kevin Phillips was a big deal operative in the Republican Party and they say he wrote the book, and here he tells Democracy NOW! why he's become an apostate. "Well, I think the Republican Party today is not very sure of what it is. It is a little bit too interested in upper-bracket America. But I think the party system as a whole has drawn away from its moorings. You have a Democratic president supporting the bailouts of banks. The history of the Democratic Party, under Jefferson, Jackson and FDR, was to crack down on the banks. So I think you have both parties today don't stand for very much aside from self-interest, and they're mostly involved in hustling money from the 20 or 30 richest zip codes in the country."

This is for fans of Harley Quinn.

Paper Sculptures by Hari & Deepti
Pin-ups - retro cheesecake.
Nils Frahm's "Inside Me" is a bunch of pretty swirls.

P.F. Sloan

Monday, September 15, 2014

Even slower glass

Marcy Wheeler and Richard (RJ) Eskow were this week's panelists on Virtually Speaking Sundays. They talked about war, spying, and how ISIS is sucking out all the air of Democratic efforts to look back at economic issues (esp the minimum wage).
- McJoan and Gaius Publius discussed the New York Dems, Dems in general, what we need from Obamacare; net neutrality and other stuff on Virtually Speaking Sundays last week.
- Philip Napoli discussed oral histories from Vietnam vets, and the source of trauma, on Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd.

OK, the reason Scots want independence from Westminster is that Westminster is being run by a load of right-wing scum that seems to take special pleasure from screwing Scotland. (Well, Maggie sure did.) Of course those people are also screwing most of the people in England, which is now a runaway train, thanks in large part to the way the Labour Party membership has allowed their own party to be run by people who may not be capital-C Conservatives but are certainly Tories. Which sounds a lot like American politics, of course, except that there doesn't seem to be much threat of, say, California declaring itself an independent nation and taking it's Democratic votes in the Electoral College with it. A lot of people are fretting that without Scotland, England will be stuck with Conservative governments forever, but that is true only to the extent that everyone is happy to let neoliberal policies keep marching on without an argument. The question, judging from the kinds of arguments some of my friends are having, is whether the answer is a new generation of Labour members banding together to take back their party on behalf of real people, or whether creating a new party is the more feasible path to that end. Again, sounding familiar. In both cases, of course, nothing is going to work unless people are prepared to fight the right-wing rhetoric, as well as the policies, with something more than fevered angst.

"California School Cops Received Military Rifles, Grenade Launchers, Armored Vehicles. [...] The spokesperson said one reason the school district sought the military gear was to prepare for a mass shooting incident like Columbine High School or Sandy Hook Elementary School." Because that would have worked so well to prevent those incidents.

You know, it used to be understood that you didn't want to allow foreign powers to be able to put their influence into American elections because, you know, they might not have America's best interests at heart. That's one reason we used to expect transparency in campaign donations, among other things. So...
"SEC Inundated by One Million Requests for Corporate Campaign Contribution Transparency: On September 4, Public Citizen held a news conference to urge the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to consider a rule that would prohibit corporate campaign contributions from being cloaked in secrecy. The organization announced that one million people in the United States had either sent formal comments to the SEC or signed a petition to bring transparency to corporations contributing shareholder-owned funds to elections without full disclosure."
Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks.

Marcy Wheeler, "Awlaki Really Seems to Have Been Drone-Killed Exclusively on Presidential Authority [...] Man. It's just like they kept throwing legal arguments against the wall in hopes that one saying 'You can kill Americans with no due process' would stick. And since this one is not signed, we may never know what lawyer gets rewarded with a lifetime judicial sinecure!"

Matt Stoller, "5 Reasons for the Zephyr Teachout Phenomenon, and 5 Reasons Andrew Cuomo Is Still Governor" - Cuomo had a lot more money to spend than Teachout did, but he won with "a shockingly low percentage of the vote, roughly 20 points less than Spitzer got in his primary for Governor in 2006." That makes a real difference not just in New York, but in national politics, as well. And more could come, if people know how to take advantage of this.

I don't know if the book is any good, but "Give the Anarchist a Cigarette" is the video for Peak Inequality: The .01% And The Impoverishment Of Society.

I think there may be someone sane on the editorial board of The Washington Post, but they didn't have any input into this cheerleading for holy war.

"Police intelligence targets cash" - This is a big profile in The Washington Post of a guy who has made a lot of money out of going after suspected drug dealers of color. It's also about the profitability of asset confiscation.

"Washington Supreme Court Holds State In Contempt: The Washington Supreme Court issued a decision Thursday holding the Legislature in contempt for its lack of progress on fixing the way the state pays for public education but withheld possible punishment until after the 2015 session."

Actually, I think everyone should be whining about the way airlines are packing people into tin cans like sardines and making us all fight for space in such increasingly unpleasant surroundings. Air travel did not used to be Hell, and there is no reason it should be, now. Before deregulation, fear of flying was about the actual being thousands of feet off the ground held up only by theories part of flying, and not about being crammed in with a bunch of people who had already been aggravated repeatedly at the airport and now couldn't even stretch their legs, let alone find room for their carry-on luggage (which now has to be much smaller than it used to be and your handbag has to fit into it). I don't blame people wanting to put their seats back (although I never do unless the person in front of me has, partly because it isn't really that much more comfortable and partly because I don't want to force the person behind me to do the same), and I really don't blame people for wanting to stop the person in front of them from putting their seat back. Flying shouldn't be this unpleasant in the first place, it didn't used to be, and, by the way, before deregulation, the airlines used to make real profits and did so without so seriously underpaying their flight staff that they had to get flood stamps. When I hear about people fighting over space in a plane, I know where to point the finger, and it isn't at the passengers.

I've never actually had any stomach for the "principled stand" of showing deference among the boys, even fairly liberal Democrats, to right-wing guys who might be, y'know, John Ashcroft or Michael Boggs. Principle would surely mean refusing to vote for someone who clearly does not belong on the bench, wouldn't it?

At Naked Capitalism, "All in the Family: How the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Sam Walton, Bill Gates, and Other Billionaires Are Undermining America [...] There is no Tycoon Party in the U.S. imposing ideological uniformity on a group of billionaires who, by their very nature as übermensch, march to their own drummers and differ on many matters. Some are philanthropically minded, others parsimonious; some are pietistic, others indifferent. Wall Street hedge fund creators may donate to Obama and be card-carrying social liberals on matters of love and marriage, while heartland types like the Koch brothers obviously take another tack politically. But all of them subscribe to one thing: a belief in their own omniscience and irresistible will."

Elizabeth Warren talks to Bill Moyers.

Lee Camp on Operation Northwoods

I enjoy a lot of Russell Brand's analysis, which isn't at all stupid, but he still makes me think of every person I've run into, left or right, who imagines the answer to bad politicians is to walk away. When Brand brags that he doesn't vote, he's erecting a fantasy in which sheer magic will take down the corrupt, ugly system that's been built up around us. So, don't vote, don't organize, don't come up with a coherent response to what the bad guys are doing, just...what? Wish for it? And that's precisely the ground on which fascism grows.

Tansy Rayner Roberts on "Pratchett's Women: The Boobs, the Bad and the Broomsticks" - Part 1, apparently. Nicely done.

The title of this article should actually be something like, "Don't leave ripe tomatoes on the counter for four hot days."

Painted Ladies - I love this stuff.

Truth is Beauty, a spectacular sculpture by Marco Cochrane

Steve Simels made me listen to this, and it truly rocks.

And, in case you're wondering, here's the Box Tops and Alex Chilton really not getting into the spirit of lip-syncing "The Letter".

Friday, September 5, 2014

I can't hide and I just can't fake it

Brian Burghart talked about his project to create a database of police killings on Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd. Here's the homework:
"Fatal Encounters - 'A step toward creating an impartial, comprehensive and searchable national database of people killed during interactions with law enforcement'
"What I've Learned from Two Years Collecting Data on Police Killings"
- Digby and Rick Perlstein discussed Rick's book, The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan, on Virtually Speaking.
- David Dayen and Dave Johnson talked about Ferguson, shutting down government, austerity, Rick Perry's indictment, the Bank of America mortgage settlement, etc. on Virtually Speaking Sundays.
- Kathleen Geier discussed Women, Public Policy and the Workplace on Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd.

Alan Grayson's attempt to demilitarize the police didn't get very far in Congress. Legislators seemed concerned that doing so would "devastate police departments." "Here's How Lawmakers Use The War On Terror To Defend Police Militarization. [...] Grayson pointed out that police aren't using military weapons for terrorists. 'Where is the terrorism on our streets? Instead, these weapons are being used to arrest barbers and to terrorize the general population,' he said. 'In fact, one might venture to say that the weapons are often used by a majority to terrorize a minority.'"

Intercept Reporter Shot With Rubber Bullets and Arrested While Covering Ferguson Protests

Marcy Wheeler at The Week, "This is why you can't trust the NSA. Ever." - Let's just say their reports on themselves leave a lot of gaps.

"Anti-trans trolling spree forces Wikipedia to ban U.S. House staffers for third time [..] According to The Hill, Wikipedia instituted the ban on Wednesday night after users operating from the House IP address made a series of anti-trans edits to the page for Netflix series Orange is the New Black."

Sirota has been doing lots of coverage lately of the blatant corruption in, well, everything. Recent stories include "Small State, Big Losses On A Wall Street Gamble", "SEC Complaint Filed Against Erskine Bowles", and "Chicago Mayor Received $100K From Comcast Before Boosting Merger". Sam Seder talked to him about Taxpayers Funding the Marriage Between Wall Street & Politicians on The Majority Report

Amazingly, Princeton notices that the U.S. is No Longer An Actual Democracy: "A new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy - namely, that it no longer exists. Asking "[w]ho really rules?" researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argue that over the past few decades America's political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power. Using data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, the two conclude that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters." Well, fancy that.

How the Democratic leadership sabotages the Democratic Party in Tennessee and in Ohio. It's almost like they don't want to win.

Walsh in Salon, "Exclusive: Secret new tape exposes Kochs' ludicrous strategy to win over America: Takeaway from secret panel on outreach to women, Latinos and youth? Dems should fear Koch money, but not messaging" - Actually, Dems should fear Koch messaging when it comes from the mouths of Democrats, as it has done for more than a couple of decades, now.
Lauren Windsor at the HuffPo, "Top Koch Strategist Argues The Minimum Wage Leads Directly To Fascism"

Tom Sullivan at Scrutiny Hooligans on Fighting A Command Economy With Monopoly: "At the end of the Revolutionary War, there were an estimated half million Tories in this country. Royalists by temperament, loyal to the King and England, predisposed to government by hereditary royalty and landed nobility, men dedicated to the proposition that all men are not created equal. After the Treaty of Paris, you know where they went? Nowhere. A few moved back to England, or to Florida or to Canada. But most stayed right here." With lots of quotes from Thomas Frank's interview with Barry Lynn, "Free markets killed capitalism: Ayn Rand, Ronald Reagan, Wal-Mart, Amazon and the 1 percent's sick triumph over us all ".

"Progressive Left's Latest Target: EMILY's List" - EMILY stands for Early Money Is Like Yeast - but the organization isn't really that interested in people who aren't already getting money from other sources. "Saldana said that in one conversation with EMILY's List officials, they pointed to the gangbuster fundraising that Christie Vilsack, the wife of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, was doing in her congressional race in Iowa. 'I thought, "OK, I am not married to a Cabinet member. I would love to do a fundraiser in Washington, but I don't have those connections,"' Saldaña said. 'I wouldn't even say they supported me. Everything was met with resistance because we weren't wealthy enough.'"

"Incarcerated For Writing Science Fiction: A Dorchester County, Maryland, teacher was taken in for an "emergency medical evaluation," suspended from his job, and barred from setting foot on another public school. Authorities searched his school, Mace's Lane Middle School in Cambridge, for weapons. As classes resumed, parents worried that their children were in danger, so police decided to remain on the premises to watch over them. What happened? The teacher, Patrick McLaw, published a fiction novel. Under a pen name. About a made-up school shooting. Set in the year 2902."

This week in astroturfing, "Sacramento: Debate over plastic bag ban takes a weird but familiar turn" when it turns out that advocacy groups for keeping plastic bags are just industry lobbyists in disguise.

I am delighted that Nobody likes Andrew Cuomo anymore, even the NYT. Putz.

Thomas Frank interviews Cornel West: "He posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency. The torturers go free. The Wall Street executives go free. The war crimes in the Middle East, especially now in Gaza, the war criminals go free. And yet, you know, he acted as if he was both a progressive and as if he was concerned about the issues of serious injustice and inequality and it turned out that he's just another neoliberal centrist with a smile and with a nice rhetorical flair. And that's a very sad moment in the history of the nation because we are - we're an empire in decline. Our culture is in increasing decay. Our school systems are in deep trouble. Our political system is dysfunctional. Our leaders are more and more bought off with legalized bribery and normalized corruption in Congress and too much of our civil life. You would think that we needed somebody - a Lincoln-like figure who could revive some democratic spirit and democratic possibility." (Via Welcome to Pottersville 2.)

Fastest Internet in US? It's Chattanooga, TN, Thanks to Local and Fed $$$ (PS. Big Cable Very Angry)

"Workers Win Supermarket President's Job Back" - This is a rather inspiring story of customers and workers getting together to force a company to do what the workers are demanding. (via)

How health insurance companies still cheat customers under Obamacare: "One of the things that the Affordable Care Act (aka ACA, aka Obamacare) was meant to do was make sure that people with pre-existing medical problems could get health insurance. And that their insurance was affordable. But that may not be the case with some insurance companies. What these insurance companies seem to be doing is targeting prospective patients who have medical illnesses that require a lot of treatment and placing obstacles in their way to getting insured with the offending companies."

Comment at DKos from Joy22: I've been a nurse for 32 years....part of that in an emergency dept. Dealing with combative, physically and verbally abusive patients was a frequent occurrence. We've been cursed, pushed, swung at, bitten and spit on. We've dealt with patients who are confused and belligerent due to drunkenness, drug reactions, head injuries, mental illness and even diabetics with low blood glucose levels. We didn't have guns or mace or tasers or clubs. We were armed with only a stethoscope. We used our training, our skills and our wits to subdue aggressive patients. Yes, there were times when we had to restrain and sedate patients....but there are ways to accomplish this without further harming your patient or allowing them to harm themselves. There was no beating, kicking or choke holds involved! Maybe cops need to take the medical profession's motto into consideration: "FIRST DO NO HARM". Our lives are on the line too.....especially considering the numerous life threatening blood borne illnesses that we are in contact with. Somehow.....we manage to get out jobs done without shooting anyone."
Sam Seder talked to Dana Goldstein about the Teacher Wars on The Majority Report.

The Great Dereliction: "A quick thought experiment: name a leader in a position of power you (really) admire, trust, and respect. Not just the head of an 'alternative' company or political party, but a well-known, mainstream, orthodox, leader of the status quo. Can you?"

"Obama Weighing Delay in Action on Immigration" - This guy is such a coward I can't believe it.

Justice Ginsburg Laments 'Real Racial Problem' in U.S.

This NYPD Idea Backfired Horribly On Twitter

Gorgeous landscape/skyscape photography by Lars Leber

Rock and Roll: The Blue Pills

Someone find me the .pls file for this radio station, I like it.

Carol King and Danny Kootch, "It's Too Late", 1971.

Sorry it's taken so long for this one, not least because the longer I take to post, the longer the posts get. But at least I've finally finished re-reading the entire Thunderbolts saga from start to finish. Now I just need to catch up with the Honorverse and - wait, no spoilers on whether Weber ever figures out that centrism is bad economics.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Roll up

Man, that convention took more out of me than I expected. They have a big truck full of mobility scooters waiting for people to find out just how far you have to walk in the ExCeL merely to get a glass of water or go to the loo. And then you find out they charge £25 a day for them and by god they can get it, too, even though it is extortionate. I can't spend money that fast, I just sat down a lot. It's been so long since I've seen some people that we almost didn't recognize each other - and after the first day, I realized that if I didn't wear my hair down, no one would recognize me, so I took it down and people started finding me after that. Evidence that you never quite grow up even when you've been around for quite a while is that it still hadn't crossed my mind that my plucky little insurgent pals would someday grow up to be WorldCon Guests of Honor. Wait, aren't you still a teenaged trouble-maker doing funny little fanzines on twiltone? Gosh! (And yet, somehow, deep down, we still are.)

Last week' panelists on Virtually Speaking Sundays were Avedon Carol and Cliff Schecter, talking about militarized police, Ferguson, the war at home, and also the attacks on Rick Perlstein. And here are some relevant links:
"Militarized Policing: One Nation Under SWAT"
Meanwhile, there seems to be a new example of what's wrong with the police every day.
I don't think it's a coincidence that the three (weapons the cops in Ferguson claim to have confiscated from the crowd are three identical, rare (and brand-new-looking) guns made exclusively for law enforcement.
"In Ferguson, Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery gives account of his arrest."
"Missouri Police Cite Threats in Deciding Not to Name Officer Who Shot Teenager."
"Dallas PD leaders speak out on police shootings, militarization and protest."
Justin Raimondo, "Ferguson: Ten Days That Shook the Country [...] When one of the provinces rebel - be it in Donetsk or Nevada - the Empire's response is identical. The MRAPs assemble in military formation, the Long Range Acoustic Devices are set off, and the helmeted camie-wearing troops advance toward the crowd, guns pointed at the rebel rabble."
Veterans on Ferguson

Criminalizing Motherhood: "Nightmarish stories about the criminalizing of motherhood have been making headlines of late. There was Shanesha Taylor, arrested on child abuse charges for leaving her kids in a car to go to a job interview; Debra Harrell, locked up for child abuse for letting her 9-year-old play at a nearby park while she worked her shift at McDonald's; Mallory Loyola, the first woman to be charged under a new Tennessee law that makes it a crime to take drugs while pregnant; and Eileen Dinino, who died serving a jail sentence because she was too poor to pay legal fees from her kids' truancy cases. Other countries provide social programs and income supports for poor single mothers; in the United States, we arrest them."

Radley Balko has Good news from Mississippi - Steven Hayne, a "controversial medical examiner who has testified in thousands of cases, and whose testimony, professionalism and credibility have been under fire for years," finally has his credentials challenged in court in such a way that it might make a real difference, and the court found his testimony to lack credibility. This could actually turn out to be a pretty big deal - although not, alas, for victims whose lawyers realized too late that this "expert witness" was a bit of a fabulist.

"Priceless: How The Federal Reserve Bought The Economics Profession: The Federal Reserve, through its extensive network of consultants, visiting scholars, alumni and staff economists, so thoroughly dominates the field of economics that real criticism of the central bank has become a career liability for members of the profession, an investigation by the Huffington Post has found. This dominance helps explain how, even after the Fed failed to foresee the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression, the central bank has largely escaped criticism from academic economists. In the Fed's thrall, the economists missed it, too." (Is it just me, or does anyone else have problems with the way HuffPo loads? I really hate going there.)

Thomas Frank on "Jon Stewart is not enough: The curse of centrism, and why the Tea Party keeps rolling Daily Show Democrats [...] Let me explain what I mean by reminding you of one of the most disturbing news stories to come across the wires in the last month. In a much-reported study, the Russell Sage Foundation discovered that median household wealth in this country fell by 36 percent in the 10-year period ending last year. Wealth for people at the top, as other news stories remind us, has continued to soar. These things are a consequence of the Great Recession, of course, but they are also a reminder of the grand narrative of our time: The lot of average Americans constantly seems to be growing worse. The Great Depression of the 1930s was awful, but it set America on the path toward a period of shared prosperity. Our bout of hard times has had the opposite effect. It has accelerated the unraveling of the middle class itself. Now, you can blame the risible, Ayn Rand-reading Tea Party types for this if you like, and you can also blame the George W. Bush Administration. They both deserve it. But sooner or later you will also have to acknowledge that there are two parties in this country, not just one; that the Democrats held significant power during the period in question, including (for much of it) the presidency itself; and that even when they are not in the White House, these Democrats nevertheless retain the capacity to persuade and to organize. For a party of the left, dreadful news like this should be rocket fuel. For the Dems, however, it hasn't been. Why is that? Well, for one thing, because a good number of those Democrats have not really objected to the economic policies that have worked these awful changes over the years. They may believe in the theory of evolution - hell, they may savor the same Jon Stewart jokes that you do - but a lot of them also believe in the conventional economic wisdom of the day. They don't really care that union power has evaporated and that Wall Street got itself de-supervised and that oligopolies now dominate the economy. But they do care - ever so much! - about deficits and being fiscally responsible. Bring up this obvious point, however, and you will quickly discover what a dose of chloroform the partisan style can be. There's a political war on, you will be told; one side is markedly better than the other; and no criticism of the leadership can be tolerated. Instead, let's get back to laughing along with our favorite politicized comedians, and to smacking that Rick Santorum punching bag." .

Unbelievably, George F. Will explains that Nixon was a criminal. Not that everyone didn't know that already, but it's fascinating to me that conservatives have thrown Nixon under the bus even though they still seem to think he was "hounded out of office" by evil liberals.

Good on the Public Editor at The New York Times for answering the question, "Was an Accusation of Plagiarism Really a Political Attack?" regarding their article promoting the flimsy charges from right-wing operatives against Rick Perlstein's latest book: "So I'm with the critics. The Times article amplified a damaging accusation of plagiarism without establishing its validity and doing so in a way that is transparent to the reader. The standard has to be higher."

The Zero Hour

How can you live without these socks?

When Gregory Benford met Philip K. Dick

Worldcon - Seacon, Brighton, 1979

Flowers I didn't expect to see

"Holy crap, these bionic arms look just like Doc Ock's"

Photo: The Beatles on Plymouth Hoe in 1967, taking a break during the filming of Magical Mystery Tour

"Magical Mystery Tour"

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I ain't quite a ready for walkin'

This week on Virtually Speaking Sundays, Jay Ackroyd asked Stuart Zechman, "Why can't we have nice things?
On Thursday, RJ Eskow talked about Insiders vs. Outsiders.

"Exiting the Vampire Castle" is an important piece I wish more people who think they are doing good work would read. Look, you grew up here, you're bound to say stupid things from time to time. If everyone who might say something stupid is afraid to speak because they are going to get called out and branded a sexist/racist/size-ist/looksist oppressor for all time, it's not going to do a damned thing to improve the lot of women or minorities or anyone else. The first law of the Vampires' Castle is: individualise and privatise everything. While in theory it claims to be in favour of structural critique, in practice it never focuses on anything except individual behaviour. Some of these working class types are not terribly well brought up, and can be very rude at times. Remember: condemning individuals is always more important than paying attention to impersonal structures. The actual ruling class propagates ideologies of individualism, while tending to act as a class. (Many of what we call ‘conspiracies' are the ruling class showing class solidarity.) The VC, as dupe-servants of the ruling class, does the opposite: it pays lip service to ‘solidarity' and ‘collectivity', while always acting as if the individualist categories imposed by power really hold. Because they are petit-bourgeois to the core, the members of the Vampires' Castle are intensely competitive, but this is repressed in the passive aggressive manner typical of the bourgeoisie. What holds them together is not solidarity, but mutual fear - the fear that they will be the next one to be outed, exposed, condemned."

None of the obits I've seen before have mentioned it, oddly, but for many of us, this will always be Robin Williams: Mork and Mindy Season 1 Episode 1 Pilot.

Stephanie Kelton was RJ Eskow's guest on The Zero Hour.

Marcy Wheeler notes that the government keeps freaking out over The Intercept, thereby raising its profile. "The government has chosen to make it a Big Story that at least one more person has decided to leak the Intercept documents." Well, better that than having to admit their terrorist watchlist is getting to just be a watchlist of people who have nothing to do with terrorism.

Martin Longman in The Washington Monthly, "It's Not Easy to Hold the CIA Accountable [...] By any normal standard, John Brennan would be prosecuted for his actions. But he is being protected by the administration. I don't think this is best explained by the idea that Brennan is doing a good job in other respects. He's a major embarrassment to the administration and protecting him makes them look extremely bad. From the very beginning of his administration, I think President Obama has simply been afraid to take on the Intelligence Community. And his official rationale is morally bankrupt."
PS. Hail Hydra. Seriously, they had to call it Hydra?

The water news is scaring the hell out of me. Lots of places where you can't drink the water, or the water levels are frighteningly low. (Thanks to commenter ifthethunderdontgetya.)

Ever since they started lying about alleged falsehoods in Michael Moore's movies, it has been a right-wing tactic to make stuff up about why a particular critique from the left that might get people's attention is academically unreliable. It's not actually a surprise that they are accusing Rick Perlstein of various academic sins. It could be argued that his publisher's decision to put the notes online rather than in the book itself is a mistake (personally, it makes me pretty uncomfortable), but that says nothing about whether the book is well-researched and uses its citations legitimately and properly. Calling it "plagiarism" when the citations are marked in the text, even if you have to go online to read them, is simply wrong. The citations are marked and accessible, it's not stolen material. Perlstein discussed his new book, The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan, as well as the phony attacks, with Sam Seder on The Majority Report.

Mark Regev, deciphered: "This is good. The video above was created by Alex Nunns, who subtitled a BBC interview with Israeli spokesperson Mark Regev. The interview follows the Israeli bombing of an UN school in Beit Hanoun that killed at least 16 Palestinians." (Thanks to commenter ksix.)

"How We Imprison the Poor For Crimes That Haven't Happened Yet [...] 'Evidence-based sentencing' describes the use of data-driven 'risk assessments' in the sentencing phase of criminal trials. This means that people convicted of crimes are given a 'risk score' based on some formula that purports to predict what their risk is of committing more crimes in the future. Are you detecting a few possible problems with such a practice? Yes! I sincerely hope that you are! First of all, these formulas are obscure and not transparent; second of all, the formulas incorporate demographic information such as 'unemployment, marital status, age, education, finances, neighborhood, and family background, including family members' criminal history' which clearly skew them against members of certain socioeconomic groups; and, most importantly, this practice condones people being sentenced more harshly based on predictions of things they haven't done yet." Via Atrios, who congratulated us for being so generous to the poor.

Lee Camp on How To End Police Brutality AND Homelessness

You know, even for Ted Rall, I thought this cartoon was particularly bitter.

Thanks to BruinKid at DKos for telling me what was in Jon Stewart's piece on the invasion of foreign babies and immigration.

John Oliver on the Wealth Gap

The true corporate flowchart - It's all so clear....

David Simon encounters Governor O'Mally on the Acela.

"Why film schools teach screenwriters not to pass the Bechdel test"

RIP: Charles Barsotti, who drew cartoons for The New Yorker from the '60s right up until his death last June. In the most fitting tribute, many of those cartoons have been posted at the link.

Monsters terrorized by children

Fairy Tale Photos by Margarita Kareva
Stainless Steel Wire Fairies by Robin Wight
Marble and Stone Sculptures by Matthew Simmonds
Beautiful Glass Sculptures by Ben Young

Janis Joplin, live on Cavett, "Move Over"

The little girl in some of the pictures I've been posting is the Baby Hurricane, the child of the best sysadmin in the world. He's a lily-white English cavefish from the West Country, and the baby's mom is dark chocolate Carribean woman who works too hard. So Daddy brings the baby over sometimes to wreak choas in our house for a couple of hours and she just makes me laugh and laugh. In recent photos, she destroyed the District Line, walked on the beach, and held a tea party.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Sometimes I wonder, will I ever be the same?

Australian economist Steve Keen discussed his critique of neoclassical economics as inconsistent, unscientific and empirically unsupported, and his book Debunking Economics, on Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd.

David Dayen, at Naked Capitalism, "Financial Predators Move On From Foreclosure Rescue, Enter Student Debt, Military Lending Spaces" - They're still allowing the originating scams on mortgages to continue, but at least they are starting to go after the rescue scams.
- at The Fiscal Times, "From Public Service to Lobbyist - The Revolving Door Is on Auto Pilot" - a little list of corruption atrocities.

Charlie Pierce, "The Tar Comes Home: Almost unnoticed with all the noise surrounding our old friends, the Keystone XL pipeline, the continent-spanning death funnel that aims to bring the world's dirtiest fossil fuel from the blasted environmental moonscape of northern Alberta to the refineries of Texas, and thence to the world, is the fact that a lot of the current mobilization by environmental activists is aimed not so much at the pipeline as at the poisonous glop it carries. Moreover, the controversy over the pipeline has almost completely obscured the fact that the extraction industries want to create a blasted environmental moonscape out in Utah, home of some of the country's loveliest natural moonscapes. Both of these elements have come together in the last week or so. Some 21 activists, many of them from the Ute tribe, were arrested last Monday for chaining themselves to the fence of a construction site in the Book Cliffs Mountains. This fight has been going on, largely out of the spotlight, for years and, once again, our oil-drunk neighbors to the North are behind it. Pretty soon, Joni Mitchell isn't going to be enough of an alibi, folks."

Dan Froomkin at The Intercept, "It's About the Lying: I don't want to understate how seriously wrong it is that the CIA searched Senate computers. Our constitutional order is seriously out of whack when the executive branch acts with that kind of impunity - to its overseers, no less. But given everything else that's been going on lately, the single biggest - and arguably most constructive - thing to focus on is how outrageously CIA Director John Brennan lied to everyone about it. [...] Figuring out how to right the constitutional imbalance between the branches of government, as exposed by this CIA assault on Congress, is very complicated. But doing something about lying isn't. You need to hold people accountable for it. History will assuredly record that President Obama lied about a number of things, particularly as he carried water for the intelligence community and the military. But he's no Cheney. So if you're the president, you fire everyone who lies. Starting with John Brennan."

When Benjamin Netanyahus sounds like Joseph Goebbels. You know, I'm really sick and tired of hearing about how Palestinian terrorists "hide" among the general population and keep their weapons in (unused) school buildings. As opposed to - what? Living in and keeping their weapons in their massive military bases? The Israeli government is bombing civilians because they are trying to terrorize Palestinians into submission, period. It's the whole point of what they are doing.
"Hiding War Crimes Behind a Question"
"Analysis: Hamas history tied to Israel" (2002)
Humanize Palestine.

Political cartoon, 1988

Tom the Dancing Bug, "Corporate Sky-Deity Bless America"

An angry letter regarding Graham Chapman

Jonathan Ross at the Eisners

Fun with costumery (I especially liked the bunnies.)

Photos of Iceland in winter
Lace art on the city streets
Rare photos of interiors of Iranian Mosques
33 Pictures Taken at the Right Moment
Doorways from around the world
Paint the town blue
Baked demons
A dog-eat-dog Game of Thrones

The Four Tops, "Baby I Need Your Loving"

Sunday, July 27, 2014

One can have a dream, baby

Tonight's panelists on Virtually Speaking Sundays are Digby and Gaius Publius. Should be good.
Last week on Sunday, Susie Madrak talked with Jay Ackroyd.

Well, Obama finally mentioned something everyone expected him to deal with early in his first term: "Obama presses to end corporate trick for evading taxes: (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday hammered U.S. companies that avoid federal taxes by shifting their tax domiciles overseas in deals known as "inversions" and called on Congress to pass a bill to end the practice." In the olden days, of course, there was no incentive for companies to do this stuff since we deliberately imposed tariffs to make it more expensive to be a foreign company than to be an American company. We did that because we believed in a thing called "protectionism"; that is, protecting American workers - and the American economy - from unfair competition, either from subsidized foreign companies or from countries that allowed workers to be abused or even used as slave labor in order to undercut fair prices in the US. On Virtually Speaking, Dave Johnson spoke with Frank Clemente of Americans for Tax Fairness about how these little tricks work.

Corruption: With Albany rocked by a seemingly endless barrage of scandals and arrests, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo set up a high-powered commission last summer to root out corruption in state politics. It was barely two months old when its investigators, hunting for violations of campaign-finance laws, issued a subpoena to a media-buying firm that had placed millions of dollars' worth of advertisements for the New York State Democratic Party. The investigators did not realize that the firm, Buying Time, also counted Mr. Cuomo among its clients, having bought the airtime for his campaign when he ran for governor in 2010. Word that the subpoena had been served quickly reached Mr. Cuomo's most senior aide, Lawrence S. Schwartz. He called one of the commission's three co-chairs, William J. Fitzpatrick, the district attorney in Syracuse. And that was the end of that. "Zephyr Teachout to Andrew Cuomo: Resign Now"

"'We don't want politicians who've gotta be cajoled': Keith Ellison unloads to Salon" - interviewed by David Dayen.

"Chris Dodd Warns Of Coalition Between Populist Democrats And Republicans: WASHINGTON -- The rise of anti-corporate conservatives is a significant threat to the American banking establishment, according to former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), who warned a gathering of Beltway centrists on Tuesday about a potentially formidable coalition between hard-line banking critics in both parties. [...] 'There's a new right emerging in the country which is as hostile, in my view, to financial services, as many on the left have been over the years,' Dodd told an audience at a Bipartisan Policy Center event Tuesday. Dodd appeared to be worried that if these "hostile" folks got together they might make Dodd-Frank into a bill that does what everyone hoped it would do in the first place, or something. Why should bipartisan efforts to reign-in the banksters be a problem for the Bipartisan Policy Center? Well. "In D.C. political circles, however, 'bipartisanship' is often used as a shorthand way to describe policies and reforms that are friendly to corporations, favored by corporate elites, or both. This is sometimes referred to as being 'moderate,' 'centrist' or 'bipartisan' because traditionally such policies have been able to find support among both Republicans and Democrats."

Glen Ford, "U.S. Funds 'Terror Studies' to Dissect and Neutralize Social Movements: The U.S. Department of Defense is immersed in studies about...people like you. The Pentagon wants to know why folks who don't themselves engage in violence to overthrow the prevailing order become, what the military calls, 'supporters of political violence.' And by that they mean, everyone who opposes U.S. military policy in the world, or the repressive policies of U.S. allies and proxies, or who opposes the racially repressive U.S. criminal justice system, or who wants to push the One Percent off their economic and political pedestals so they can't lord it over the rest of us."

Dean Baker, "More Confusion on Sovaldi and Government Granted Monopolies at the Washington Post" - WaPo says this drug for Hepatitis C costs less in Egypt ($900) than in the US ($84,000) because "Sovaldi is cheaper in countries where the government sets drug prices." But, as Baker points out, "This is almost the opposite of reality. The price is very high in the United States because the government gives Gilead Sciences (the drug's patent holder) a complete monopoly on the drug's sale. The price is low in Egypt because there is no patent monopoly and manufacturers are free to sell generic versions of the drug. That means the price in Egypt is closer to a free market price. The price in the U.S. is a price that is high because the government will arrest competitors."

Cenk, "Al Jazeera Journalists Targeted By Expanding Israeli War Machine?"

"How VA Reform Fell Apart In Less Than 4 Days" - Republicans complain about costs, but if they really meant it, they'd complain about bringing private commercial interests into the system to siphon off money. Privatizing any part of the VA is obviously going to cost more. So don't. Just fully fund the VA and fix it.

Ian Welsh on "The Barbarism of ISIL, the Taliban and Wahhabism and collapse of hegemonic ideology" - No pull-quote, it's one to read through.

The Democratic Party Apology Handbook

"Do what you love" is a mantra of elites.

A fitting tribute (Thanks, CMike!)

Solar Freakin' Roadways!

Mark Evanier's favorite Rockford moments

Buster Keaton .gifs - and, if you can read the shouty text below, you can find out who saved Buster Keaton's life.

Taral wrote a spooky little fannish story honoring a classic horror theme.

Doctor Who Pre-Movie Theater Introduction

Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston

Monday, July 21, 2014

She never got there, they say

RIP James Garner: "Through many films and two influential television series, Maverick and The Rockford Files, James Garner, who has died aged 86, developed a persona with a subtly different appeal. It began as original and accrued familiarity over the course of four decades: a coward who was the soul of honour, a hero likely to ride away, stick his finger up the barrel of his opponent's gun or get winded in a fight and complain of damage to his dentistry." It's got to be a national day of mourning for at least my whole generation. And the one compensation I ever get from these things is some great story from Mark Evanier about all the great stuff the guy did and when he met him and - but we don't get that this time. Lots of people saying good-bye, of course, he meant so very much. (BBC obit)
Watch Maverick, "Stage West"
The Rockford Files, "The Deep Blue Sleep"
And, of course, there is when Charlie meets Mrs, Barham and what he said to her. (And I know there is a clip of the whole scene in one clip somewhere because I've posted it before, but I just can't seem to find it now.)

Wired: "A California student got a visit from the FBI this week after he found a secret GPS tracking device on his car, and a friend posted photos of it online. The post prompted wide speculation about whether the device was real, whether the young Arab-American was being targeted in a terrorism investigation and what the authorities would do. It took just 48 hours to find out: The device was real, the student was being secretly tracked and the FBI wanted its expensive device back, the student told Wired.com in an interview Wednesday."

Frog Gravy: An Evening Spades Game, KCIW ‘PeWee Valley' women's state prison, near Louisville, sometime in 2009.

David Dayen says, "The Costs of Obama's Housing Mistakes Keep Piling Up [...] When homeowners hear from a government looking to help them, and previous efforts along similar lines led to broken promises and foreclosure nightmares, you can't blame them for saying no. This is why, if you believe in an activist government that can help solve problems, failures of this sort become so debilitating. The housing policy disappointments reinforced the old Ronald Reagan dictum that the most dangerous words in the English language are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

"I was poor, but a GOP die-hard: How I finally left the politics of shame [...] To make up for my own failures, I voted to give rich people tax cuts, because somewhere deep inside, I knew they were better than me. They earned it. My support for conservative politics was atonement for the original sin of being white trash."

ADVICE TO CONSERVATIVES (OFFERED NOT IN KINDNESS, BUT BECAUSE THEY'RE TOO STUPID TO TAKE IT).

"Everyone In Middle East Given Own Country In 317,000,000-State Solution"

Check to see if your website is being blocked in the UK.

John Oliver on Warren G. Harding's love-letters

George Takei on Bill Shatner

It's amusing to see some of our friends in pictures on the Forbes site.

The Iron Throne

Vocabulary word: squick

In Memoriam: "The KKK Took My Baby Away"

Saturday, July 12, 2014

It's a long, long way to Paradise

This week's panelists on Virtually Speaking Sundays were Jay Ackroyd and Avedon Carol, discussing the Supreme Court decision on religious exemptions from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Homework for the show includes:
"Countering Conventional Wisdom: New Evidence on Religion and Contraceptive Use" - new Guttmacher report (.pdf) says pretty much all women use contraception, including Catholic women.
NYT, "Birth Control Order Deepens Divide Among Justices"
The American Prospect, "5 Men on Supreme Court Impose Substantial Burden on Women in Illogical Decision"
Salon, "Here are the highlights of Justice Ginsburg's fiery Hobby Lobby dissent"

- In The Nation, "The Real Reason Pot Is Still Illegal [...] People in the United States, a country in which painkillers are routinely overprescribed, now consume more than 84 percent of the entire worldwide supply of oxycodone and almost 100 percent of hydrocodone opioids. In Kentucky, to take just one example, about one in fourteen people is misusing prescription painkillers, and nearly 1,000 Kentucky residents are dying every year. So it's more than a little odd that CADCA and the other groups leading the fight against relaxing marijuana laws, including the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (formerly the Partnership for a Drug-Free America), derive a significant portion of their budget from opioid manufacturers and other pharmaceutical companies. According to critics, this funding has shaped the organization's policy goals: CADCA takes a softer approach toward prescription-drug abuse, limiting its advocacy to a call for more educational programs, and has failed to join the efforts to change prescription guidelines in order to curb abuse. In contrast, CADCA and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids have adopted a hard-line approach to marijuana, opposing even limited legalization and supporting increased police powers."
- In The Daily Beast, "Why Did America's Only Pot Researcher Suddenly Get Fired?" - They don't say so, but I'm willing to bet that Nation article could help them answer that question.

At Black Agenda Report, Bruce Dixon on "Why Elections Still Matter, Except When They Don't".

"Monsanto's Herbicide Linked to Fatal Kidney Disease Epidemic: Could It Topple the Company?" I really hope something will, because it's become increasingly obvious that Monsanto is doing more harm than good.

Noam Chomsky has some advice for people who support the Palestinians, but that whole two-state solution thing seems a bit dead to me what with what's left after the settlements. I'm not the only one who is starting to think that way.

Via some High Snark from Atrios, here's Kevin Drum baying, "The NSA Said Edward Snowden Had No Access to Surveillance Intercepts. They Lied."

Kentucky court strikes down gay marriage ban. Judge: "These arguments are not those of serious people."

"How is this painting 'pornographic' and 'disgusting'? You might think that in an art world that encompasses the Chapman brothers' phallus-nosed children and Jeff Koons' lascivious studies of La Cicciolina (sample title: "Dirty Jeff On Top"), you would have to sweat blood to produce a work so offensively sexual it would be ejected from a top London gallery. This, however, was the fate meted out to Leena McCall's Portrait of Ms Ruby May, Standing, which was removed from the Society of Women Artists' 153rd annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries after being deemed "disgusting" and "pornographic", according to the artist."

I don't know whether to call this one "RIP" or "Independence Day" since it's really rather a relief that Richard Mellon Scaife kicked the bucket on the 4th of July, one day after his 82nd birthday. Few men have wreaked such destruction on America as Scaife did by financing his far-right gravy train of lies and distortions; beside his works, 9/11 is barely a squib. The Guardian's obituary is more polite, but Counterpunch pulls fewer punches, which is as it should be.

I think Laura Ingraham confused soma with chocolate.

I found a radio station called Absolute Motown.

"Be My Lover", live, with snake.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Make me an angel

Last week's guests on Virtually Speaking Sundays were David Dayen (dday) and David Waldman (KagroX), who discussed the hollowing out of the middle class in a slow growth economy, a solution for the absurdly high college tuition and student loan burdens as an example of counterproductive public policy, and #gunfail. And I was already going to link this story they discussed:
He got disgustingly rich by seeing the emerging patterns and knowing where to bet, and now Nick Hanauer says, "The Pitchforks Are Coming - For Us Plutocrats [...] But let's speak frankly to each other. I'm not the smartest guy you've ever met, or the hardest-working. I was a mediocre student. I'm not technical at all - I can't write a word of code. What sets me apart, I think, is a tolerance for risk and an intuition about what will happen in the future. Seeing where things are headed is the essence of entrepreneurship. And what do I see in our future now? I see pitchforks."

I hadn't been aware of the nanny from Hell story, but as Atrios points out, it's a real mark of how much we value kids that we expect to pay their caretakers (nannies or mothers) nothing. Don't like paying teachers much, either, for that matter. And Thursday, Sheila Bapat was on Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd to discuss Economic and gender justice are the focus of Part of the Family? Nannies, Housekeepers, Caregivers and the Battle for Domestic Workers' Rights (reviewed here). Note that Alito actually invented a new category of employee just to prove that he is either stupid beyond credence or will literally say anything, no matter how nonsensical, to get an anti-union ruling out of it.

A new poll says Mitch McConnell's got trouble, but it also says this: "The survey shows that by an almost six-to-one margin, 80% to 14%, voters are more likely to vote for 'a candidate who wants to close loopholes to make sure millionaires do not pay a lower tax rate than the middle class.' Wide majorities of Democrats (87%), Republicans (70%) and independents (80%) support this position. The poll also reveals that by more than four-to-one, 76% to 17%, Kentuckians would be more likely to vote for 'a candidate who wants to make sure that the rich and corporations pay their fair share of taxes,' including 88% of Democrats, 57% of Republicans and 83% of independents. But they would be less likely by a two-to-one margin, 63% to 31%, to vote for 'a candidate who wants to cut the taxes of the wealthy and corporations.' Voters also said by more than a two-to-one margin, 66% to 27%, that they would be more likely to vote for 'a candidate who wants to end tax breaks for corporations that ship jobs overseas.'" What a shame McConnell is just going to be beaten by another "centrist" Dem and not someone who would campaign to give the public what it so obviously wants - and needs. Just think, if we had a politician who would simply vote for what most of these red state Republican voters want, we'd have more liberal policies than the "centrist" Democratic leadership is giving us.

"Flawed Oversight Board Report Endorses General Warrants [...] The board skips over the essential privacy problem with the 702 'upstream' program: that the government has access to or is acquiring nearly all communications that travel over the Internet. The board focuses only on the government's methods for searching and filtering out unwanted information. This ignores the fact that the government is collecting and searching through the content of millions of emails, social networking posts, and other Internet communications, steps that occur before the PCLOB analysis starts. This content collection is the centerpiece of EFF's Jewel v. NSA case, a lawsuit battling government spying filed back in 2008. The board's constitutional analysis is also flawed. The Fourth Amendment requires a warrant for searching the content of communication. Under Section 702, the government searches through content without a warrant. Nevertheless, PLCOB's analysis incorrectly assumes that no warrant is required. The report simply says that it 'takes no position' on an exception to the warrant requirement when the government seeks foreign intelligence. The Supreme Court has never found this exception."

It would be nice to replace the creeps in the Supreme Court with people who are better, but that doesn't usually happen unless other things happen first. It's a mistake to just wait on the Supreme Court. It's also crazy-making to have people talk about how important it is to have a Democrat in the White House to make sure crazy judges don't get appointed when we elect Democrats who go out of their way to protect the nomination of someone like Roberts. Roberts is a radically crazy judge and that was obvious from the outset. People really have to stop thinking that sociopaths can't come in the form of soft-spoken or mild-mannered folk; actually, it is the mark of a really effective sociopath that they don't foam at the mouth.

Charlie Pierce, "The United States Of Cruelty: We are cheap. We are suspicious. We will shoot first. It does not have to be this way. Like Lincoln before us, it is time to do something about it."

Some people complained that they couldn't get the Beth Schwartzapfel Great American Chain Gang piece, so here's the direct link for "Modern-Day Slavery in America's Prison Workforce" in The American Prospect.

John Oliver on Hobby Lobby

Barbara Ehrenreich On Marriage Equality & 2-Party System

Annie Lowrey in the NYT, "Recovery Has Created Far More Low-Wage Jobs Than Better-Paid Ones" The deep recession wiped out primarily high-wage and middle-wage jobs. Yet the strongest employment growth during the sluggish recovery has been in low-wage work, at places like strip malls and fast-food restaurants. In essence, the poor economy has replaced good jobs with bad ones. That is the conclusion of a new report from the National Employment Law Project, a research and advocacy group, analyzing employment trends four years into the recovery.

Surviving the 'Pit of Vipers'

RIP: Frank M. Robinson (1926-2014), author, editor, fan, and Harvey Milk's speechwriter.
Felix Dennis, former hippie street vendor and eventual staff-member of the alternative newspaper Oz, who became frighteningly rich as your basic cut-throat magazine publisher in later years. Christopher Priest, who once shared a flat with him, doesn't remember him fondly.

The Guardian, 100 years ago: "'It is not to be supposed,' wrote a correspondent for the Manchester Guardian analysing the significance of the assassination 100 years ago on Saturday, 'that the death of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand will have any immediate or salient effect on the politics of Europe.'"

"Orphan Black Embodies the Female Gaze Better than Anything Else on Television: As a show chiefly concerned with the ways women's bodies are commodified and controlled, Orphan Black is careful not to view its female characters with that same hungry eye. This is a triumph: On so many shows, the camera works at cross-purposes to the high-minded themes."
"Fandom Fixes: Don't over-dude it, Orphan Black [...] Orphan Black is also the TV embodiment of the modern LGBT community's most perplexing question: Are we born this way? It takes that Pride anthem and flips it on its head, offering up clones created from the exact same DNA who have completely different ideas about sexuality and gender. 'Sexuality is a spectrum,' Delphine says in season one, after finding herself attracted to Cosima. 'But social biases codify sexual attraction, contrary to the biological facts.' And that certainly seems to be Cosima's take on it as well. She's attracted to who she's attracted to. 'It's the least interesting thing about me,' she says."

See the Earth LIVE! ISS HD Earth Viewing Experiment

Yes, kids get into everything.

Who's the mastermind behind this?

Where armor meets corset - and before you ask, yes, they are leather.

When radiologists take a selfie

Well, I had no idea that Harlan was a Scooby-Doo! character. It's the kind of thing you just have to look up.

Donnalou Stevens is hawt.

4th of July Cake Wrecks

Bonnie Raitt, "Angel From Montgomery", live.