I ran across this online:
A pretty stark difference, hmm?
I ran across this online:
A pretty stark difference, hmm?
First of all, I’ve changed the theme! Hopefully it’s more readable and maybe a bit easier on the eyes. Let me know if it poses a problem, okay?
I’ve been watching the Yale Open Course series recently on Youtube, and one course that looks really fascinating is this Post-Emancipation African-American Experiences course! I’m already hooked and will probably watch the lectures through to the end.
On a more prosaic note, I’d like to make reference to Fundamentals of Physics. It’s a very good, reasonably accessible lecture series – by which I mean that the professor teaching it doesn’t try to overwhelm with math, but instead tries to get across the physical meaning of what it is he’s talking about. So if you have a few hours to spare and you want to learn some physics, go for it.
So I was browsing around imgur, and I ran across this image. A little bit of checking revealed the original reddit post. Now, readers who remember my comments from over on Slacktivist will know I’ve occasionally made ironic comments about the USA morphing into some kind of bad copy of the USSR.
Now, the USSR had a systemic tendency to resist innovation, and added to problems with the central planning apparatus, this created a country with an economy that was becoming more sluggish with every passing year. Now, in the Soviet Union, technological innovation would have proved beneficial and probably helped quite a few of the problems they were having, but when you have a society whose political and administrative apparatus is geared to doing the same thing over and over and over because it works, it produces a huge inertia that’s hard to overcome.
Well, that has finally come home to roost in the USA too it seems, in a uniquely capitalistic individual utility-maximizing fashion. Technological innovation apparently too often results in companies pursuing “rational” goals of maximizing the profit and monetary gains to a small core group who operate the company, while tossing employees out onto the street by the store-load.
Capitalism, unlike the Communist system employed in the USSR, actively seeks out technological innovation. It has to, because the drive for profit necessitates slashing costs as much as one can.
But, in the very course of this innovation-seeking, the people who run businesses have become used to the idea that innovation lets them get rid of workers instead of keeping workers to do more productive things with their time.
So in a rather perverse way, resistance to technological innovation by employees is now almost mandatory as a way to preserve the jobs and interests of fellow employees!
As this commenter said:
As a MySQL/Oracle DBA whose girlfriend works in retail, I whole heartedly approve of your saving people’s jobs at the cost of maintaining the inefficiencies of a soulless corporation that takes every chance it can get to fuck over it’s employees.
When the economic system we live in requires the generation of purposeful inefficiencies as a way to keep people from being mistreated by corporate bigwigs, it’s time we had a serious look at why we still seem to need to work 40 hours a week when that’s been the norm since the 1950s.
A couple of relevant articles:
It seems even Republican politicians know when enough shit disturbing is enough. Obama is solidly locked in as President for his second term.
Also, it seems the Repubs won’t likely get a chance at the White House any time soon, especially as a Biden/Warren ticket could be in the cards for 2016, and Biden has proven himself to be a pretty solid, stand-up guy as Vice-President.
So! That Solamere company? Which totes denied that they could in any way affect the voting machines?
Seems that Tagg Romney was busy building a little Empire of Graft:
Have you been following the career of Mitt Romney’s boy Tagg? As his dad runs for president denouncing “crony capitalism” and “big government,” Tagg has been gathering some of Mitt’s richest friends into a private-equity fund called Solamere — a clever instrument for pursuing government subsidies, contracts and tax breaks should Romney win.
You see, disclosure laws would make it hard for a President Romney to hide many conflicts of interest. But if the money guys are in Tagg’s Solamere, we don’t know what conflicts of interest the Romney contributors are profiting from. We may not even know the investors’ names.
“The close relationship with Romney and this investment opportunity looks to me like people are investing to buy access,” Bob Edgar, head of Common Cause, told me. “People are (literally) speculating that Romney may become the next president of the United States. It doesn’t smell good.”
Before Solamere, Tagg’s main claim to business fame was as a marketer for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now he’s playing financier. The interesting part is that whether Mitt wins or loses (and he and his wife have given Solamere $10 million), Tagg and Spence Zwick — his campaign’s finance chairman and a Solamere partner — make a pile.
Real nice guy, huh? At least he didn’t threaten to ‘punch out’ Obama this time.
Just when you thought Mitt Romney might have shown a touch of class and humility with his concession speech, he goes and does this.
It takes some serious brass balls to be that much of an asshole.
Any reader who still thinks Republican politicians are basically decent people should, by now, be disabused of the notion. In their words and deeds, they reflect on a personal level the attitude they bring to the government and the people it’s responsible for. If you’re just some wage-earning schmuck, you’re not worth treating with any basic respect.
But if you’re George W. Bush’s “base” – the haves and have-mores – roll out the red carpet! Enable the ongoing plunder of the middle class and the poor for the benefit of a tiny sliver of the upper crust!
Thus is born the 99%/1% paradigm. One percenters get the gold, ninety-nine percenters get the coal.
For those who aren’t aware of the phrase, it loosely means “things as they were before the war”.
And if you look at US election results, that’s basically what’s happened. Obama is still President, the Repubs still have the House, and the Dems still have the Senate.
But there are deeper undercurrents.
Referenda have increasingly shown a greater tolerance for things like medical marijuana, same-sex marriage, and in some cases, refusing to endorse the rollback of Obamacare at the state level (states can have opt-outs on the federal ACA under certain circumstances), so it is clear that US voters are, at least for certain things, willing to endorse greater personal freedom of action for which the government need not intervene.
And the composition of the Senate in particular is of importance. If the overall Democratic composition is more liberal than the outgoing Senate, then perhaps we may see a weakening of the tendency of Blue Dogs to vote with the Republicans, and perhaps see the US’s tax system be reformed along 1990s or 1970s lines, which would in turn de-legitimize Canadian politicians who constantly call for more tax cuts as the solution to their largely imaginary fears of lost Canadian productivity or economic well-being.
And perhaps President Obama, in his second term, will finally get tough with Republicans and refuse to constantly try to “bipartisan” his way through political life with a party that refuses to work in good faith with a President who happens to be a person of color.
Time will tell, and it is probably best to be cautious, given the heady pronouncements in 2006 and 2008 of possible Democratic control over the House and Congress for the next generation, which obviously did not pan out.
And now with the election out of the way, it’s probably time to get back to Edge of Apocalypse; expect a writeup this week on
Mitt Romney Joshua Jordan. (seriously, spot the parallels. )
Tagg Romney, the son of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, has purchased electronic voting machines that will be used in the 2012 elections in Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, Washington and Colorado.
How cute. The same douchebag who said he’d like to ‘punch out’ Obama.
EDIT: Snopes. That said, there is the appearance of a conflict of interest and that alone should have made the Romneys do more due diligence than they apparently have to date.
So you know how some folks out there keep claiming if Barack Obama had just worked a little harder or bent over backwards even more the Repubs would have “worked with him”?
Let anyone still try and claim being “bipartisan” means anything different than “either cave to the Republicans or bypass them entirely” as the only two viable options.