Would you notice the serial killer next door?

September 25, 2009 at 09:33 | Posted in Humor, Michael Moore, Society | Leave a comment

Ok, Michael Moore annoys me as much as the next sensible person, but every once in a while, he comes up with something clever:

Advertisements

Justin Raimondo’s obit for Irving Kristol

September 23, 2009 at 16:34 | Posted in Foreign Policy, International Affairs, Irving Kristol, Justin Raimondo, Neocon | Leave a comment

 

Irving Kristol, RIP

The "godfather" of the neocons leaves a legacy of perpetual war

by Justin Raimondo, September 21, 2009

To my knowledge, the late Irving Kristol was the only self-admitted neoconservative in existence. With his death, at the age of 89, does this mean the species is extinct? Far from it. In spite of the odd tendency of neoconservatives to deny their ideological heritage, there is no escaping it. The title of Kristol’s 1999 book pinpoints the problem: Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea.

[read the rest here…]

The Nation begging for Donations

September 23, 2009 at 15:28 | Posted in Glenn Beck, The Nation | Leave a comment

 

Every few weeks or so, the Nation – purveyor of conventional foolishness – sends me their whiny “Donate, please” letters.

Don’t get me wrong, I have very mixed feelings – to put it mildly – on the Tea Party folks, but to claim that during their big march earlier this month there were “tens of thousands waving Confederate flags, anti-gay hate signs, and shouting "White Power!"" is a little much.

Dear Katrina vanden Heuvel, if facts don’t support your cause – maybe it’s time to abandon it?

The Nation

Dear Nation Friend:

Support The Nation‘s Student Outreach Program

If you think the "Age of Obama" has miraculously swept clean right wing influence in American schools and on campuses, think again:

  • Just weeks ago, Rush Limbaugh, the crown prince of hate speech, twisted words and logic to turn a simple presidential speech encouraging school children into a sinister political plot.
  • Just days ago, Glenn Beck led the astro-turf 9-12-09 "Taxpayer March on DC."  Compared to the millions who have marched for civil rights, equal rights, and gay rights, and against the war, Beck’s 70,000 would be small stuff — except for the tens of thousands waving Confederate flags, anti-gay hate signs, and shouting "White Power!"

Well-equipped minds have no trouble countering an increasingly dangerous, racist and radical right wing.  And, unlike any other magazine in America, The Nation‘s unique Student Outreach Program equips students to question… think… and seek the truth.

Won’t you give a gift today to keep this essential program going strong?
In the face of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin and other purveyors of misanthropic "free speech," our goal for the year ahead is to grow every aspect of our Student Outreach Program … including expanding our Student Essay Contest, beefing up our Student Nation webpage, hosting more students at our Student Journalism Conferences, and aggressively marketing our Classroom Education Program that offers free teaching guides, an email newsletter, and discounted bulk subscriptions to high school and college teachers.

With a million dollar deficit, thanks to a $600,000 postal increase and plummeting ad revenues, without your urgent help this valuable program is in danger of shutting down.
And if you can donate today, we’ll send you information on how to join a special donors-only conference call on progressive student activism and how it can counter a resurgent extremist right wing.  The call will feature Kristina Rizga, executive editor of WireTap (an online political youth magazine) and project director of Future5000.com, along with Nation associate publisher Peter Rothberg.

All it takes to keep this going strong is the one thing the right supplies to its forces in such overwhelming quantity and that is, for us, in such short supply….funding.  Please make a donation today.

Sincerely,

Katrina vanden Heuvel
Editor & Publisher, The Nation
P.S.  If you donate today we’ll send you instructions on how to join our Student Activism conference call later this month with Kristina Rizga and Peter Rothberg.




You are receiving this message because you are a member of The Nation community. If you want to stop receiving messages like this from us, replying to this e-mail will not work. Instead, Click here.

Please do not reply to this email as it will not be answered.
To reach the correct department at The Nation, Click here.

The Nation, 33 Irving Pl, New York, NY 10003

From Temple of Ignorance to House of Learning

September 23, 2009 at 14:11 | Posted in Architecture, Religion | Leave a comment

 Wp-Content Uploads 2009 07 Bookstore-Selexyz-Dominicanen-By-Merkxgirod-Architects-In-Netherlands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BoingBoing.Net reports that “this breathtaking place is a former Dominican church that was converted into a new retail location for bookseller Selexyz Dominicanen.”

[read more here…]

Inflation ain’t coming, and other howlers…

September 23, 2009 at 04:46 | Posted in economics, Gold bug, inflation, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Just found this in the Globe and Mail, one of our leading national newspapers. That’s why I read the National Post.

For special laughs, watch out for the hidden Phillips Curve reference…

Sorry, gold bugs, but the facts just don’t add up

Boyd Erman

It seems a shame to trash the party just when it’s finally becoming fun to be a gold bug.

Bullion is flirting with $1,000 (U.S.) an ounce and hoarding the metal is no longer just a pursuit for Eric Sprott and assorted conspiracy theorists with caches of canned food. Even the guy behind the bar at dinner the other night was long gold and happy to expound on why.

It’s all about inflation they say, and gold as a store of value. Except for one thing: The facts don’t back it. (Unless you’re an American buying bullion because you’re worried about the inexorable decline of your dollar. In that case, you should be worried.)

Almost every real measure of actual inflation pressure – as opposed to the inflation paranoia inherent in the gold price – shows little in the pipeline. One of the best long-term indicators of inflation expectations for the next decade, the price premium built into inflation-protected U.S. Treasury bonds, is indicating that prices will rise 1.75 per cent a year.

Yet the bullion pushers forge ahead. After 20 years of being wrong when gold was stuck around $350 an ounce through the 1980s and 1990s, they are nothing if not persistent.

The key to their argument is the man they call “Helicopter” Ben Bernanke, the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve, and all the cash he and his peers at central banks around the world are creating to revive growth in the world economy. At some point, that money will sluice out of the banks into the economy, inflation will be upon us like a tsunami, and gold will be treasured as a store of value.

The proof, as gold bugs see it, is in the price of gold. It rises when inflation is a risk, so inflation must be a risk. Get it?

The problem is one of simple math: Those helicopter-loads of cash, even if they were making it into the real economy, are not nearly big enough to fill the Sudbury-size crater in the global economy created by the crash in the world’s housing and stock markets.

The Fed balance sheet, a focal point of inflation hawks, has expanded by about $1.3-trillion as Mr. Bernanke pumped cash into the lending system. Added to that, the Obama administration has come up with close to $1-trillion in stimulus, the biggest of a global group of packages totalling about $5-trillion.

However, the decline in assets is much bigger. The value of global stocks has fallen by more $17-trillion since the markets peaked in 2007 and U.S. housing is down more than $4-trillion since topping out in 2006.

On top of that, the financial institutions that are supposed to push that cash into the economy aren’t doing it.

U.S. bank lending, by some estimates, is contracting at the fastest rate since the Depression. Bank credit in August in the U.S. shrank at an “epic” pace equal to 9 per cent a year, according to David Rosenberg, chief strategist at Gluskin Sheff.

The result is a real money supply that’s actually shrinking at the same time as the jobless rate is at a cyclical high and factories are idle.

Not surprisingly, executives scoff at the idea of raising prices any time soon, with one telling The Globe and Mail not so long ago that it would be “very cavalier” to even try. That utter lack of pricing power is clearly reflected in Friday’s numbers showing that underlying inflation is still slowing on both sides of the border.

To that, many gold bulls retort that central banks are going to miss the transition to hyperinflation when it comes, or be unwilling to fight it with higher interest rates because of political pressure from indebted governments.

That seems far-fetched. Central banks have become very good at keeping inflation anchored. In the 18 years since the Bank of Canada adopted the goal of keeping inflation centred between 1 and 3 per cent in Canada, consumer price increases have averaged a 2.1-per-cent pace. Not bad.

There will likely be plenty of warning before inflation takes hold, as capacity use creeps up and unemployment ebbs.

Those real facts go a long way to explaining why even though gold is at $1,000, inflation fears have yet to become mainstream, and discussion of exit strategies to pare back government stimulus programs before prices take off – talk that dominated the last big G20 meeting in April – has largely, and mercifully, fallen by the wayside.

Mercifully, because if the gold bulls and their view on inflation really held sway, the exit would already be on. Interest rates would already be rising and the world would be well on its way back into recession. The bugs should be careful what they wish for.

Jacques Ellul – The Betrayal by Technology

September 21, 2009 at 19:30 | Posted in Betrayal by Technology, Interview, Jacques Ellul | Leave a comment

Jacques Ellul is easily one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century. I have been looking for interviews with him for quite some time.

(click on the link if you cannot see the embedded video)

The Betrayal by Technology from Hive 2.0 on Vimeo.

By the way, if you like this even a little bit, you absolutely have to read his masterpiece “Propaganda”. One warning, though: it will most likely make you feel worse about the world then you already do.

Steven Pinker on Political Rhetoric

September 21, 2009 at 19:22 | Posted in politics, Psychology, Steven Pinker, Theory | Leave a comment

There is no Secrecy on the Internet

September 21, 2009 at 19:11 | Posted in google, Secrecy | Leave a comment

And just between you and me – it’s a good thing, too. I think this is a great reminder to all those cowards who hide behind ‘anonymous’ e-mail accounts to spread libel, hatred, and – lies.

Google ordered to ID authors of emails to York University

Adrian Humphreys,  National Post

TORONTO — York University has won court orders requiring Google Inc. and Canada’s two largest telecommunications companies to reveal the identities of the anonymous authors of contentious emails that accused the school’s president of academic fraud.

The university took the extraordinary measures after an email was circulated alleging that president Mamdouh Shoukri "perpetrated an outrageous fraud" when publicly touting the appointment of a new dean.

In January, the school announced its hiring of Martin Singer as its inaugural dean of the new Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, said to be the largest faculty in the country. The announcement called Prof. Singer a "renowned scholar of Chinese history" and quoted the president as saying: "York University is fortunate to have attracted such a strong scholar and administrator."

A week later, an email in the name of a group called York Faculty Concerned About the Future of York University was sent using a Google Gmail account to members of the York community challenging the statements regarding Prof. Singer’s scholarly output. "Lying about scholarly credentials is the gravest offence," the email said before calling for the president’s resignation and a new search for a dean.

York obtained a court order in May compelling Google to turn over Internet Protocol addresses associated with the Gmail account. Google identified Bell Canada and Rogers Communications as the relevant Internet Service Providers.

Last month, York sought similar orders compelling Bell and Rogers to disclose the contact information of the customers who accessed the account, a motion that went unopposed by the telecom giants. This week, Justice George R. Strathy of Ontario Superior Court released his reasons for granting the orders, saying it was a reasonable balance between protecting freedom of speech and protection from libel.

David Noble, an outspoken professor at York, was listed in the email as a contact person. In an interview yesterday, he denounced York’s legal moves as "a fishing expedition" that was unnecessary since the allegations raised were shown to be correct by statements from both the president and the new dean. "I think they are trying to create a chill among faculty," he said.

"They are spending enormous sums, for what? I think they are just desperate to find out who is involved." He said his colleagues sought anonymity because they are "afraid of reprisals."

Will McDowell, a lawyer for the university, defended the action. "Academics enjoy quite extensive latitude in what they say and what they write and what they research at Canadian universities but I would say this about any of us: The right of free speech is not unlimited," he said.

"What was said is quite damaging to the institution."

The school now has the identities of five or six people who allegedly had access to the Gmail account. Justice Strathy said the information is only to be used for the purpose of commencing litigation.

Neither Prof. Singer nor Prof. Dirlik could be reached for comment.

National Post

ahumphreys@nationalpost.com

What it would take to create a 9/11 Inside Job

September 21, 2009 at 11:49 | Posted in 9/11 Conspiracy, Critical Thinking | 2 Comments

Massive Conspiracy

All the people who would have to be involved in order to pull this massive conspiracy off…

The Bush Administration, who failed at everything they ever did. Yet all of them and the people below are helping him cover up the largest mass murder in US history…Some of them like Richard Clarke and Paul O’Neil have come out for less.

The NYC Fire fighters who know more about building collapses than most, if not all,of them. It’s their LIFE to know. Literally! Yet they don’t call for an investigation into the MASS MURDER of over 300 of their brothers… Why? (The twisting of these peoples’ statements for donations and DVD sales sickens me.) We have uncovered the myth about a gag order imposed on all fire fighters. Only 9/11 conspiracy sites say this. ONE person who sued Bush for not taking action before the event is ordered by the court not to speak to the media about the case. This is not imposing a gag order on the whole fire department as some of these sites claim. They are lying to cover up this mass murder by the government or the building owner. Why? They don’t even know…

Conspiracy theorists bring up an article in Fire House magazine which says the fire department wanted to stop the steel from being sold in order to test the fire proofing and other non-bomb/controlled demolition related investigations. They twist the article’s context to make it seem like the firefighters questioned the idea that fire brought down the towers.

http://fe.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=
OnlineArticles&SubSe%20ction=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=
25&ARTICLE_ID=131225

http://fe.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles&
SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=25&ARTICLE_ID=130026

Many of these men and women come from the military, yet we are to believe they are so afraid they rather die in the government’s next mass murder than come out and expose this.

The courts for imposing a gag order [SEE above]

The NYC Police department who lost over 20 lives. They didn’t ask for an investigation. Motive? None…

The NYC port Authority who lost personnel. Motive?

All the people in the Pentagon who have not called for an investigation. Many who are liberal and centrist. They did or said nothing while people supposedly trucked in airplane parts to cover the crime. Why? Again, no answer…

The more than 1,600 widows and widowers of 9/11 who would rather have investigations of the decisions which led to the terrorist getting away with this. They don’t want to waste time investigating the mass murder of their loved ones. Even the Jersey Girls. Why? They say it’s the money… [note: Whenever killing someone, pay off the relative. They won’t say anything.]

The media (This one I almost believe) who doesn’t follow up on the biggest mass murder and conspiracy in American history. It seems no one wants a Nobel prize for journalism. Not only the American media but foreign press like the BBC and Al Jazeera. Why? No answer here either…

The photographers from around the world who took pictures of the towers which clearly show bowing of the perimeter columns. These photos support the NIST hypothesis that the sagging trusses lead to the collapse. Some photos also show the core intact shortly after collapse which also not only support the NIST hypothesis but discredits the "Controlled demolition" account.

Popular Mechanics who debunked these sites are also helping Bush commit the biggest mass murder in history.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/defense/1227842.html

PBS Nova since they created a documentary explaining in detail how and why the buildings fell. None of it said bomb.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/wtc/

Everyone in the NIST who covers up the largest mass murder in US history. This independent organization doesn’t have a moral person in hundreds of employees because not one has come out exposing this so called "Conspiracy". In fact, the hundreds of scientist who signed onto the report are willing to not only lie for Bush but cover up the largest mass murder in American history. Some suggest only a handful can do the job but that’s simply impossible. The team in charge of the computer modeling has to be in sync with the team of structural engineers and so on. There are hundreds involved in this investigation and every team has to work with other teams using the same evidence and specifications.

NY Governor Pataki because he sold steel from the WTC for the construction of the USS New York. If the argument is the government sold the steel in order to cover up the crime then Pataki is one of the criminals.

The NY city scrap yards because they also sold steel to China before all of it was tested. Bush would have needed to call them up and tell them to sell it before they could have investigated every beam. A task which would have taken years and years not to mention millions more. Ironically the republican Mayor Bloomberg could not be involved since he asked the scrap yards not to sell the steel on behalf of the firefighters.

EVERY STRUCTURAL ENGINEER IN THE WORLD who doesn’t write a paper for a mainstream peer reviewed journal saying the towers were brought down and could not have fallen due to fire. If laymen can prove things just by looking at videos and reading interviews out of context, then all those structural engineers MUST be working for Bush right? Even the ones in other countries. Why? The answer they give is that the engineers don’t know about Jones’ work. So in all this time no one has e-mailed Jones’ work to any structural engineer?

-Structure Magazine who published a report saying the collapse of WTC 7 may have been due to one column failing.

The liberals who don’t believe the towers were brought down. (Like me) They’re helping a neo-con cover-up the largest mass murder in this nation’s history. Why? No clue…

The CIA
-The FBI
-FEMA
-The American Society of  Civil Engineers
who have produced peer reviewed papers showing how what Conspiracy Theorists say is impossible is possible.
-NORAD
-The FAA
who saw planes which conspiracy theorists say never existed.
-The Silverstein Group
who they say got together with Bush to blow up the building for insurance money.

Silverstein’s Insurance Company who didn’t question the collapse and paid out over 2 billion to Silverstein. Why? Conspiracy Theorists say the insurance company just wants to pass on the bill to the public but they already fought Silverstein in a number of law suits concerning the amount.
-American Airlines
(Pentagon)
-United Airlines
(Pentagon)
-Logan, Newark and Dulles Airport
for losing the planes
-Scientists and engineers who developed the remote control plane technology
-Installers of the remote control devices in the planes
(Pentagon)
-Remote controllers of the planes
(Pentagon)
-Scientists and engineers who developed the new demolition technology and carried out practical tests and computer models to make sure it would work.
-Installers of the demolitions devices
in the three buildings
-People who worked at the company(s) the installers used as cover
-Airphone etc employees who said they got calls from passengers
(Pentagon)
-Faux friends and relatives of the faux passengers or just the faux relatives who claim to have been called by their loved ones or just the psyops who fooled relatives into thinking they really were their loved ones.
(Pentagon)
-People who detonated the buildings"

anyone who thinks the conspiracy is a diversion to take liberal activist focus off of real crimes.

Even conspiracies with a few people are doomed. Look at Enron and Watergate. The more people you involve, the more likely the conspiracy will fall apart. The amount of people needed for this conspiracy could fill one of the towers. It’s absurd to think this many people could keep a mass murder for Bush secret for this long. Absurd…

Update:

A common excuse for no one coming out who was part of this so called  9/11 conspiracy is they fear death. If you analyze the argument carefully you realize they are debunking themselves. Why would even people in the military be more fearful of exposing this than the common conspiracy theorists behind a computer monitor? Either they don’t believe what they’re saying or they actually think they are more fearless than the thousands of others who would have had to be "in on it". As if people in the CIA or FBI couldn’t figure out how to get the message out if they wanted to without exposing who they are. People, dates, places, memos and other evidence could easily be disseminated to the public without exposing who they are. The only reason they claim the people are paralyzed with fear is because they have too in order for the conspiracy story to work.


Noam Chomsky on 9/11 Conspiracy theories


Update:

More from Noam Chomsky

"…I am not persuaded by the assumption that much documentation and other evidence has been uncovered. To determine that, we’d have to investigate the alleged evidence. Take, say, the physical evidence. There are ways to assess that: submit it to specialists — of whom there are thousands — who have the requisite background in civil-mechanical engineering, materials science, building construction, etc., for review and analysis; and one cannot gain the required knowledge by surfing the internet. In fact, that’s been done, by the professional association of civil engineers. Or, take the course pursued by anyone who thinks they have made a genuine discovery: submit it to a serious journal for peer review and publication. To my knowledge, there isn’t a single submission."

"I think this reaches the heart of the matter. One of the major consequences of the 9/11 movement has been to draw enormous amounts of energy and effort away from activism directed to real and ongoing crimes of state, and their institutional background, crimes that are far more serious than blowing up the WTC would be, if there were any credibility to that thesis. That is, I suspect, why the 9/11 movement is treated far more tolerantly by centers of power than is the norm for serious critical and activist work. How do you personally set priorities? That’s of course up to you. I’ve explained my priorities often, in print as well as elsewhere, but we have to make our own judgments."

"…I don’t see any reason to accept the presuppositions. As for the consequences, in one of my first interviews after 9/11 I pointed out the obvious: every power system in the world was going to exploit it for its own interests: the Russians in Chechnya, China against the Uighurs, Israel in the occupied territories,… etc., and states would exploit the opportunity to control their own populations more fully through "prevention of terrorism acts" and the like. By the "who gains" argument, every power system in the world could be assigned responsibility for 9/11."

"I think the Bush administration would have had to be utterly insane to try anything like what is alleged, for their own narrow interests, and do not think that serious evidence has been provided to support claims about actions that would not only be outlandish, for their own interests, but that have no remote historical parallel. The effects, however, are all too clear, namely, what I just mentioned: diverting activism and commitment away from the very serious ongoing crimes of state

How to talk to media … when you don’t want to…

September 21, 2009 at 11:09 | Posted in Albino Alligator, Humor, Kevin Spacey | Leave a comment

This one always cracks me up… by the way – go watch Albino Alligator, it’s Kevin Spacey’s directorial debut, and it’s neat.

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.