(Mike Luckovich via GoComics.com)
Serious economic terms of great vividness! Professor Krugman, on the Right’s “Bodyguard of Zombies, Counterattack by Cockroaches”:
… Today’s right wing never gives up on a politically convenient argument, no matter how thoroughly it may have been refuted by analysis and evidence. It may downplay that argument for a while — though often even that doesn’t happen — but it always comes back.
Inequality is a clear though not at all unique example. Consider three arguments one might make against 21st-century populism:
1. Inequality isn’t increasing.
2. OK, inequality is increasing, but it’s not a problem.
3. OK, it would be nice to have lower inequality, but any proposed solutions would do more harm than good.
Which of these arguments does the right choose, when making its stand? The answer is, all three. Argument 1 faded away briefly when the CBO published its landmark study documenting the rise of the one percent, but as we’ve just seen, it’s back (this is an illustration of the concept of cockroach ideas.) Argument 2 doesn’t stand up under scrutiny, but it just keeps being made anyway — it’s a zombie. But meanwhile, argument 3 is made against anyone like, say, the new mayor of New York who proposes even the slightest effort to equalize opportunity.
This kind of thing flummoxes many people, who imagine that we’re having a real debate. It makes perfect sense, however, once you realize that the other side here isn’t engaged in good-faith argument, just looking for anything that comes to hand, with no regard for consistency…
I’d love to be having real debates on these issues. But we aren’t having and can’t have such debates, because the cockroaches and zombies get in the way.
Apart from unpleasant topics like zombies, cockroaches, rightwingers and the current weather, what’s on the agenda for today?
After getting a foot of blowing, drifting snow, the temperature is below zero with an expected high in the low teens. I’m not really going to be doing much but cleaning the house and working on my resume.
I could wish our media would take a page from Matt Young’s book, over at The Panda’s Thumb, where, talking about the upcoming debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, he says:
Of course, refusing to ever quote or give a Republican airtime, while improving the quality of political discourse in this country, would bankrupt the media faster than the Flash at the finish line in a race with Superman. But we can dream :-)
More taping. By the middle of next week that should be done and I can move on to installing the last 3 replacement windows in the old part of the house. Of course, we are supposed to get hit by a real blue norther this wkend and they are calling for below zero weather all next week. The high on Monday? -1.
Maybe this is the week I should go see my son in Baton Rouge.
One thing is certain, if the Republicans can prevent any effort to lessen our inequality from succeeding, they will. As with the ACA, Republicans won’t care who suffers, who gets hurt, who dies, who goes bankrupt. They are perfectly willing to take terrible policies and continue to try to cram them down the throats of Americans, rather than look at the world objectively, identify pragmatic programs that will benefit virtually everyone (except some of our richest CEOs and investors), and work to get those programs enacted. The most obvious of these policies is a universal health care system free from the waste of for-profit insurance companies. It doesn’t matter to them that such a program is our best alternative in providing high quality affordable health care to all our citizens. To them, ideology comes first. Any program seen as not sufficiently market-oriented is automatically eliminated from consideration, even when all the evidence points to that program as the most likely to accomplish the best for the most.
They are sick people. (And the best health insurance in the world won’t help cure what ails them.)
Going to work and dreading it. Jeebus but it’s cold outside! It is currently 9F with wind chills at -7F and going up to a whopping 11F this afternoon. And I have to run out at lunch to pick up some necessities so I don’t have to do it after work as it’s getting dark. Have a hair appointment tomorrow morning and I’m praying to the FSM that it goes up to at least 20F for that excursion.
From the Guardian:
Original Cheerios to go GMO-free
yeccch on the weather. It is dropping all the way down to 48 degrees F here today in the PHX-burbs. BRRRRR!
More good news:
Toronto mayor Rob Ford signs up for re-election despite crack scandal
It’s 255 kelvin outside. Hopefully changing the scale will make it feel warmer.
@2liberal: It’s 51 outside here in L.A. BRRRR.
I hate you. It is 4 degrees here.
What you have is shorts weather.
@2liberal & @BillinGlendaleCA: It’s about 50 right now on the west coast of FL and windy as heck. Sun’s not even up, but the high is only supposed to get up to the mid-50s, and there’s a small craft warning all day.
@Botsplainer: Maybe in the daytime, got up to 83. Now it’s long pants and thick jacket weather.
The creationists are getting plenty of attention on MSM so it’s time for Bill Nye and others to fight back. There is no science behind the religious theory. When Broun, who is a doctor and possibly the next Senator of GA, doesn’t understand evolution, we are in trouble as a country.
According to my thermometer, it’s nineteen. It’s suppose to warm up to the mid thirties today. My greens in the garden are not happy.
We woke up to 3 – 4 inches of fresh snow on the ground yesterday morning. This morning, the temperature is 1 degree F. The cats have repeatedly demanded we open a door, show them it is still cold as Nordic H*ll outside, then turned around and decided the litter box in the garage is a fine place after all.
Here is the 5:40 am bulletin from the national weather service for south central Indiana. In a word, button up for the weekend.
DISCUSSION: A STORM SYSTEM THAT IS EXPECTED TO MOVE THROUGH THE
OHIO VALLEY ON SUNDAY MAY BRING ABOUT 6 TO 10 INCHES OF SNOW TO
THE AREA STARTING SATURDAY NIGHT AND ENDING SUNDAY NIGHT. BLOWING
AND DRIFTING SNOW IS POSSIBLE SUNDAY NIGHT AS WIND INCREASE IN
THE WAKE OF THE STORM. BITTER COLD AIR EARLY NEXT WEEK MAY RESULT
IN WIND CHILLS IN THE 10 TO 40 BELOW ZERO RANGE ON
SUNDAY…MONDAY…AND TUESDAY NIGHTS. ANOTHER STORM SYSTEM MAY
MOVE INTO THE OHIO VALLEY TOWARDS THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK…RESULTING
IN THE POTENTIAL FOR ACCUMULATING SNOW NEXT WEDNESDAY AND
It’s 23 and blowing in Charlotte. I was at work for over an hour before anyone else showed up. It was kinda nice…
We just had an extremely hot day 40ĉ tomorrow 43c . A great contrast
to your current experience. A few storms, still hot tho
Predictions have temps back to 28c by Tuesday thank goodness. That’s the day I have to travel to the specialist in Brisbane CBD.
@JPL: He understands it perfectly, it’s for the goobers that vote for him.
I’m animating magnets. It’s a pretty cool gig, but a complicated bugger… ballooned out to 4Kf so far, and counting.
Also a chicken/Udon noodle soup in the crockpot that’s not meant for mortals (2 heads garlic, 1/2 dozen jalapenos, 9″ of ginger). It makes you sweat and clears your sinuses, but half an hour later you think “Damn. I feel awesome”. If food is medicine, this is a serious tonic.
@2liberal: I hear you, buddy. I had to put on socks this morning.
We “only” got 8 – 10 inches here North of Baltimore but the temp is in the low teen’s. Speaking of teen’s, my daughter made it to St. Louis airport late last night (Logan was closed and most of the flights into Baltimore’s and Washington airports.) She was picked up by her aunt. Being a minor (yet just finished her first semester at MIT), the airline was desperate to find any airport she could go to and safely stay the night; very nice of South West to go to all that trouble and arranging the flights. Class act. I do, however, feel bad for all the people who got stuck at some many airports due to this storm – that must be a terrible pain (and costly for those paying for rooms/taxi service!)
Sheltering in place here in the urban hellhole (h/t Atrios) of Philadelphia. Kids no school, wifey no teach school, dad no go to work. Shoveling to come as falling snow has pretty much ended. Maybe some sledding later, but wind chill looks to be downright miserable , so we’ll see. Guesstimate looking out back door is 7-8 inches of fluff.
We had no new snow, but it’s cold and getting colder. The expected high for Monday is somewhere in the minus teens with wind chills 40-something below. Why do I live here?
I used to work outside in this crap (currently -7) all the time. I would freeze my a$$ off until morning break @ 10, and then for some reason, no matter how cold it was, my body would flip a switch and I would be fine after that.
A couple years ago out at the Fort I was up on an 8ft fiberglass step ladder on slightly uneven ground with my foreman as my cut man. It was somewhere below zero with about 6 inches of dry powdery snow on the ground. We were the only ones on the jobsite as all the other subs had said, “Fwck that sh!t.”
I leaned forward a little bit to get a measurement and the next thing I knew I hit the rock hard frozen ground directly with my rib cage. Felt like somebody hit me in the side with a sledgehammer and the shockwave hit both my lungs like a tsunami. I knew I had broken some ribs and was scared to death I had collapsed at least one of my lungs. (been thru that once before, emergency surgery w/o anesthetic and a week of hell with a tube coming out of my chest cavity going to a container holding some dog-awful mixture of blood and fluid) (morphine- wonderful stuff)….
Anyway, as you are driving into work this morn and you pass some under-construction bridge or a new skyscraper take a moment to think of the iron workers and carpenters etc. who are starting their day by knocking the ice off the I-beams or the forms or the trusses. I used to love that sh!t. I never felt more alive.
broun ain’t the only delusional moron running for senator in jawja.
in the last year or so, kingston proclaimed “i ain’t no monkey” and although technically correct (he’s an ape) i don’t think he had that sort of distinction in mind.
kingston is also the “let the poor children who get free meals at school sweep the cafeteria so they won’t think there’s anything such as a free lunch” moron.
sounds delicious. do you have a more detailed recipe?
On another subject, last month I finally dropped Sprint/Virgin Mobile (really godawful local network buildout) after 3 years and bought a unlocked Nexus 5 from Google.
Experimenting around with prepaid GSM (I refuse to get locked into a contract) carriers, l’ve learned a few things about the various carriers.
Straight Talk/Net10 (both owned by America Movil):
$45/$50 monthly unlimited talk/text/2.5GB high speed data.
Cheapest by far for what you get.
Depending upon the network provider, either excellent (Verizon, ATT), so-so (T-Mobile), or godawful (Sprint) coverage.
Unless you speak fluent Hindi, plan on no phone support.
Throttling that varies depending upon moon phase, it seems, even if you haven’t exceeded the 2.5GB allotment.
Ping times that are truly awful because of network proxies.
Aggressive network monitoring for tethering/streaming video.
Still, if you have a smartphone and are on a budget and don’t mind being your own tech support, worth a shot.
$55 monthly unlimited talk/text/2GB high speed data.
ATT owned MVNO. If you like ATT’s coverage, they use the exact same network.
‘Soft’ bandwidth cap. After you exceed 2GB you’re throttled down to 2G speeds until the next plan month.
Ping times are about double that of plain ATT because of network proxies.
Speeds are capped at 4Mbps for 3G/HSPA+ and 8Mbps for LTE.
CS people are Indian, but are more understandable than ST/Net10’s.
No ‘short code’ (Dial codes for plan balance, minutes remaining, etc.) support.
Tethering is outright prohibited in the TOS, but I’ve done so with no problems.
Will unlock network locked phones after 4 months.
$60 monthly unlimited talk/text/2GB high speed data.
Same network priority and proxies as postpaid customers, so no network delays due to being on a prepaid plan.
US based and native English (If you count Southern as part of the English language) speaking phone support.
‘Hard’ data cap. Exceed the 2GB allotment and no more data until the next plan month.
Short code support. Just hit ‘check data’ in your address book and the amount remaining appears seconds later.
Will unlock network locked phone after 6 months.
Speeds are uncapped. See screencap below.
Tethering isn’t included, but I tether with no problems using the Nexus 5.
$30 monthly 100 minutes talk/unlimited text/5GB high speed data.
If you don’t talk much, best data plan you’ll find.
Again with the Indian tech support personnel that barely speak comprehensible English.
Same network priority as postpaid customers.
Coverage is almost acceptable locally*
The dealbreaker for me what that when I activated the account they automatically activated ‘webguard’, which is a filtering service designed to block ‘inappropriate’ websites.
I found this out when I tried to visit fanfiction.net and got a site blocked message.
IMHO, such services should be opt-in and not opt-out.
If you have a Nexus 5, tethering can be a problem though there are solutions that don’t involve paying $15/month extra. :)
In the end, I’ve decided to suck up and pay ATT $60/month.
The knowledgable tech support that spoke clear English and was able to quickly resolve my connection issue, along with the uncapped speeds, were the deciding factors.
Sometimes you do get what you pay for.
*T-Mobile’s coverage is almost acceptable (better than goddamn Sprint, anyway) in my movements around town, but the band hunting isn’t acceptable.
With a weak LTE signal, the phone keeps jumping between LTE, HSPA+, W-CDMA 3G, and EDGE. eventually settling on 3G.
@Bruuuuce: I agree with Matt Young, that participating in a “debate” of this kind gives the creationist side unwonted legitimacy. Problem is that if Bill Nye doesn’t participate, Ken Ham and his ilk can (and will) say “See? Even the sciency BillNyeTheScienceGuy is afraid to debate us! That proves Jeebus rode dinosaurs!” Can’t win for losing.
@JPL: I saw a huge, really outsized Broun for Senate yard sign a couple of days ago. A bit discouraging, almost a year before the election. But I have signed on as a volunteer for Michelle Nunn’s campaign, and while she’s no flaming liberal by a long shot, I think she’s got as good a chance as any Democrat to win a statewide race in Georgia. And I live in hope that Dr. Broun will let his freak flag fly high during a primary debate so his fellow Republicans are forced to point and laugh at the crazy.
@OzarkHillbilly: thank you for posting this.
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (tasty, but pain in the ass to debone) or thighs/drumsticks (-ish, but easier – just watch for the little bones.)
Celery (use about half the stalk)
2 heads of garlic
A good 8 inches of ginger
Pack of Udon noodles
Mince the jalapenos, garlic, and ginger. Throw the whole thing in the crockpot on low (except the noodles) for 5 hours with a ~1/8-1/4 cup of soy sauce, a tbsp or so of dry mustard, water to just barely cover it, and peppered until your arms get tired.
After 5 hours, pull the chicken, debone it, shred it (including skins) with forks, and throw it back in for another 3 hours.
After the 8 hours are up, cook the noodles to directions, rinse them in cold water, and let the soup cool a bit before mixing them in.
Well thank goodness you have all those folks at home to shovel for you. If I were you, I’d claim that my organizational experience meant that I was too valuable to send to the front. Offer to man the stove.
I just got my wife dropped off for her next 72 hours of hell. Connecting in Chicago, flight to Hong Kong for an overnight layover, then on to Bangkok.
On the good side for her, for her time in Thailand and Cambodia, it’s gonna be about 200 degrees. It’ll go well for her premenopausal self as she hot flashes…
Is it a dry heat?
Seriously 40+ Celsius and humid is terrible. Your clothes stick to you the second you step out of the house.
I am envious of the 28 C weather though.
On the Republican side, there are not only Broun and Kingston, but also Karen Handel and Phil Gingrey. Handel was VP for Policy of the Susan G. Komen Foundation a couple of years ago when SGK decided to cut ties with Planned Parenthood.) And Gingrey (“Repeal or Go Home!”) was caught a few months ago whining that although congressional aides are free to go off and become well-paid lobbyists, “Meanwhile I’m stuck here making $172,000 a year.” In mid-November, his four top campaign staffers resigned.
The GOP debates should be vastly entertaining.
Consider three arguments one might make against 21st-century populism:
There’s a fourth: Inequality is deserved. If people are poor it’s because they’re lazy and if we do anything to address inequality, they’ll just get lazier.
My last work day last year was December 19th – I had to burn PTO by Jan 1st or lose it. Also, too, winter break for my 10 year old. Yesterday was supposed to be the first day back for both of us, so he was sick and I worked from home. Today school is closed because of snow, so again I’m working from home. By the time I go back on Monday, I will have been out of office for 17 days.
Wow that looks good. Thank you for the recipe. I might skip a few jalapenos, but soup sounds reviving.
@SiubhanDuinne: Oh, yes, it’s set up for a lose-lose for the good guys. The only good part of this is that Bill Nye is so well-known, well-liked, charismatic, and trusted, that (assuming he prepares for all the Creationists’ dirty tricks), he might be able to make a dent in the chunk of watchers who have doubts. The larger point, of course, is that it would be nice if the MSM would treat Republicans the way Mr. Young proposes treating Creationists.
Home today and I think the snowshoeing trip is off-because it is -9 but feels like -30 today. Just did the moving of the cars for the snowplow. Now I’m going to sit by the fire, drink my coffee and relax.
I watched about 3 1/2 minutes of Morning Joe and it made me feel too stabby so I’m going to avoid “news” channels.
Will they ever stop blaming government regulations for every economic woe?
@J.D. Rhoades: Poverty is better for the poor than dependency.
If anybody is feeling stabby (I’m alternating between stabby and hunger euphoria – am on one of those 500 cal/day medically supervised weight loss thingies, with hormone injections because all that stuff is out of whack due to middle age), then I present this glorious thing to everybody.
@OzarkHillbilly: Like I said – food as medicine. Specifically, anti-inflammatory/hypertension (at least for me.) And I physically feel the difference within half an hour.
Tom yum goong has a similar effect on me, but lemongrass and kamfir lime leaves are harder to find around here.
@J.D. Rhoades: There are some religious ones too:
“Jesus said ‘the poor you will always have with you,’ so attempting to eliminate poverty is blasphemous hubris.”
“Church-based charity saves the souls of the people doing the giving, and maybe the recipients as well if they come to Jesus. Handing welfare over to the state corrodes church-based charity and therefore eliminates the potential for salvation.”
@Botsplainer: “Jesus! You sound just like your Mother”
It’s beautiful outside in Northern Virginia. We got maybe 2-3 inches of snow. Looks like popcorn on the bare bushes, ice crystals sparkling in the bright sunshine. Snow flying around in heavy gusts of wind.
Perfect day to stay inside with you buds, some good coffee, and eventually finish cooking my pot of chicken and noodles for dinner tonight.
Trying to be offline and read books more this year.
Trying to re-establish my concentration and focus. Used to be able to polish off a book in a day or two. I don’t even have the attention span for a 30 minute TV show now! (Although caught some Breaking Bad episodes, and they’re catnip and habit-forming.)
@Elizabelle: Put in a few jalapeneos. There’s something (chemically) about the ginger/garlic/jalapeno combination, with the 8 hour slow-cook, that will make you notice.
It’s not hot on the tongue, like a hot sauce, it’s more like: you eat a bowl of delicious chicken noodle soup, and then you sweat for a minute or so after you’re done.
And then in 30 minutes you want to go jogging. Srsly.
Will do. If I had the ingredients in house, I’d make up a pot today. It’s perfect for looking out at trees lacy with snow.
Picking up jalapenos, ginger and all next shopping trip. Yum.
the goal is to oppose liberalism, always. that means that they won’t always end up on the side with the best arguments; some things just shouldn’t be opposed because it’s nonsensical to do so. but, opposition is the goal, not intellectual rigor, so they do what they can.
@tybee: Kingston is the sanest among the bunch of repubs running and unlike
SiubhanDuinne, I don’t think Michelle Nunn stands a chance. She’ll run a republican like campaign.
@raven: Oh great, another liar.
I was out walking last night when it was really coming down. I got soaked even with a coat, an umbrella and snow shoes. But–it was the most peaceful beautiful walk. A much needed moment of zen.
Also. Too. It is way too fucking cold for tropical me. I to actually translate the temperature to Celsius to have my mind comprehend just how cold it was. Brrrrrrrrr. / and yes I know it isn’t even as cold as in other places.
Clearly what you are saying is that we need to raise the retirement age because we need entitlement reform.
@Elizabelle: If you remove the seeds, jalapenos are not that hot. When a soup calls for peppers, I often use a jalapeno for the added flavor.
I guess TPM ran a favorable Obamacare story this morning, because Josh Marshall is retweeting some of the unhinged wingnut responses he’s getting.
@Glocksman: Thanks, nice post!
Good call on the seeds.
PS: Whenever I see your nym, I think Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
(Which is good. Good work, smart folks, Pasadena area, mountains, occasional cougar.)
Last night he put out the number of people covered and then wrote up a piece about how it is breaking the conservatives’ brains. He has been getting a flood of teh stupid. Amazing to read really.
I don’t know if prepaid is different, but Verizon Wireless’s customer support has been shockingly good recently.
Can’t wait for the final numbers to come in at the end of March.
arguments 1-3 as to inequality sound exactly the same as the gooper line regarding climate change. it’s the same script.
I have to admire this TPM headline: “Report: Kim Jong Un’s Uncle Was Eaten Alive By Hungry Dogs”.
We really need better anonymous sources in Washington so that we can have local headlines of this sort. “According to a highly placed administration source, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee was tossed into a pit of vipers”.
I don’t yet know what kind of campaign she’ll run. I know she spent a lot of time last year visiting every congressional district in the state — a state she already knew pretty well. Not sure what you mean by a “republican like” campaign. Anyway, we shall see. If it turns out to be a fustercluck, I’ll get out or at least reevaluate my level of commitment.
Last August, PPP (I know, I know, but so far they’re the only ones who’ve polled) ran Michelle Nunn against the seven (at the time) declared GOP candidates. She ran a few points ahead of five of them, dead even with the other two, trailed none. In this state, I take encouragement where I find it :-)
I posted my experience (premiums cut in half) on Josh’s Twitter feed. Suggest others here do the same to counter the stupid.
Is this the new “babies tossed out of incubators” bogus horror story?
Ten am and six below zero. There’s a song title here, now if I could only come up with lyrics and a tune….
TPM’s on a roll today. Check out this headline, too.
“According to a highly placed administration source, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee was tossed into a pit of rabid wolverines”.
The initial rumor report was that he had been executed with an anti-aircraft gun. (I’m presuming a rapid-fire 23mm)
No, this one originated from China, a source unlikely to be trying to draw international condemnation and an escalation of tension.
Beijing may be signaling that they’re sick of that family.
It will be 57 and sunny here in Denver today but snow tonight and colder into the weekend at 24. Sure we get cold weather and snow, but most of the time the sun is shining and it is warmer than the reported temperature. I love the weather here.
The third right-wing argument: “OK, it would be nice to have lower inequality, but any proposed solutions would do more harm than good.” is the one validly serious argument in their quiver, because it’s in fact true in part, but ONLY in part. It has to be met by the complementary counterargument, which is that excessive inequality is also far more seriously harmful than good, not just to the people on the lower economic rungs but for growth benefitting the upper half of society as well. Otherwise, what results is a bannana republic type economy without the middle class to support more than a small rich elite.
For example, Sweden had to dial back its socialist economy a decade or two ago, because they’d gone too far and undermined economic sustainability. But neither did they dial it back to become any sort of glibertarian paradise either – it’s still a strongly social democratic economy with universal health care etc., as are all the Scandanavian countries, and they are not about to run into the conomic ditch.
Why does the structure of these postulates sound familiar? Replace “inequality” by X. Then X can take the value of “global warming”, “measles”, “school shootings”, etc.
ETA: chopper beat me to it. It’s a handy format.
@kdaug: That sounds awesome. I’ll squeeze a lime into it and add chopped cilantro to garnish.
“Support” can also mean suspending them from streetlights with hemp rope, which they may want to keep in mind if they’re really determined to squeeze the life out of everyone else.
I think we’ve already seen a lot of the economic results of this type of society: rampant rent-seeking and bubbles from synthetic financial speculation. If you’re already powerful and on top of society with inherited property, you’re not going to want to risk a lot of it on a new industrial or commercial venture, since it’s much easier to shake down the masses to access things they need already. So copyrights are extended indefinitely, tuition continues to explode, fees for every financial transaction continue to go up, land and house prices are propped up, and shit like that. On the other side of the tracks, hollowing out the economy means there’s still a ton of rich people’s idle money chasing a smaller set of productive investments, so rampant derivatives and commodity speculation as well as outright pyramid schemes.
it is now in the crockpot. i added some crushed lemon grass stalks ’cause i like them and i have several large patches of the stuff.
Oh man…this deserves it’s own thread:
“I smoked pot with David Brooks.”
Such a beautiful takedown. Crystalline in its perfection. Ah Bobo! Ah Humanity!
Comrade Colette Collaboratrice
Has anyone noticed this? North Carolina Politician Writes Resignation Letter in Klingon
Oh, that explains it:
“Waddell says he also needs to devote time to mounting a write-in campaign on the Constitution Party’s platform against U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan.”
@EdTheRed: Oh, god. That is perfection.
@Violet: It’s just so beautiful. It pretty much lays waste to the entire Bobo ethos.
pretty good shit. so to speak.
@EdTheRed: I especially love how he let the black kid take the rap for his own pot smoking. Bobo is who we know he is.
@Violet: and was able to justify it, too.
What David learned from smoking pot is that if you know the cops, you can get away with a great many things while being morally smug.
I’m actually a little miffed that the writer seems to treat this so glibly, seeing how he knew the truth and didn’t do anything about it either. Certainly didn’t throw Brooks under the bus so that someone else wouldn’t go to jail.
@Violet: “I especially love how he let the black kid take the rap for his own pot smoking. Bobo is who we know he is. ”
I think Greenberg was practicing creative writing. It all should be true, but has nothing in common with actual events.
@catclub: When I finished reading, I neither knew nor cared whether it was “true,” because, well (and as you imply), that didn’t seem to be the point. Then again, I thought the fact that Greenberg’s bio on his site ends with “…and he is the recipient of the Erik Erikson award for mental health reporting” ensured that the whole page was a spoof…so I googled it, and it turns out, Erik Erikson was actually a giant in the field of developmental psychology, and Erick Erickson is the guy who needs a developmental psychologist in a bad way.
@EdTheRed: Ugh. The part where the black kid got blamed for Brooks’ actions. It takes a very special person to so directly participate in delivering unfair punishment to black kids and then be a champion of it for the rest of your life.
Thanks for posting the information on the cell plans. It looks like I am going to have to join the current century and have a cell phone if I want to travel. Last trip I was on the only way to know that the plane was cancelled was when they called or texted you. The reader board at the gate showed nothing to indicate the cancellation.
The Ancient Randonneur
Q: Which one of these three doesn’t belong here, and why?
A: Zombies. At one time they had a beating human heart that pumped human blood through it.
You should definitely find out which cell companies have the best coverage in your area — I have a Virgin Mobile phone (Sprint network) in the Los Angeles area and have very few problems with my coverage, but Sprint has lousy coverage in other areas. When the iPhone was first released, people in the Bay Area complained mightily that AT&T had been chosen as the carrier, because AT&T has lousy coverage up there. Etc. All of the prepaid companies have to tell you whose network they’re using, so it’s worth checking that out before making your choice.
(I have an iPhone that I had to pay full price for, but I only pay $30 a month for 300 minutes, unlimited texts, and 2GB of data, so I’m actually going to save about $300 over getting a “free” phone under a contract.)
If you’re not wanting to sign a contract, I saw yesterday that Verizon will be offering the Moto G for $99 for prepaid customers.
This is by far the best deal on an affordable android prepaid phone I’ve seen and Verizon’s network is widely acknowledged to be the widest.
There are other android options, but the other under $200 phones available would send me screaming to the nearest Apple Store.
Then again, if $99 is too much but you still want a useable device, you can find the ATT Nokia 520 GoPhone for as little as $60.
I bought one as a stopgap before getting the N5, and it is wonderfully responsive with good voice quality and reception.
The only problem is that it runs Windows Phone 8, which means ‘lack of apps’ in Latin. :)
You can find most of the major ones or acceptable substitutes, but it is something to consider.
I would wholeheartedly recommend it for the person who wants a smartphone for occasional web use/texting/etc., and isn’t wedded to either android or iOS.
I wouldn’t recommend it for a ‘power user’ because the restrictions MS baked into the OS drive me crazy.
The way one reviewer phrased it was that Windows Phone 8 is iOS with all of the annoyances and none of the apps. :)
I plan on keeping mine and using it without cell service as a GPS (HERE Maps download for offline use and updates are free), music player, and web browser device.
Locally the carriers rank in coverage are Verizon (best), ATT (close), T-Mobile (so-so), and Sprint (godawful).
One of my co-workers moved here from Michigan and was perfectly satisfied with Sprint until he arrived here.
I stuck with VM because of price, but after several months of cursing Sprint when my shiny new Galaxy S2 was practically unusable due to lack of signal, I decided to switch.
Something else to keep in mind is that almost none of the prepaid plans offer roaming*, which is useful if your provider has no towers in the area.
*Some of T-Mobile’s plans do offer limited roaming, but it’s very limited (50MB data) for data use and only on the more expensive options.
good stuff! the advice to let it cool a bit is spot on. you cannot inhale the hot fumes and breathe. :)
a keeper. thanks.
This is Bob Parks’ attitude too. He refuses to debate these wackos. Says it falsely legitimizes ’em, and he’s right. Why should a physicist and member of the AAS and the National Academy of Science debate some perpetual-motion loon? What is to be gained thereby?
I’m afraid I’m guilty of the same sin with some of the fringe lunatics infesting this website. I really shouldn’t stoop to debating burnspbesq or mnemosyne or eemom or the other cranks and kooks and crackpots who spew gibberish here. It incorrectly makes them seem like serious people with legitimate points to make, instead of the usual fanatical partisans and paid astroturfing hacks whose sum total contribution to the conversation involves name-calling and McCarthy-style smear tactics.
The fact that our financial system still has not been reformed and seems to be building up to a new even bigger collapse than the 2009 meltdown is serious and deserves substantive debate.
The fact that even the best liberal progressives of the lsat 20 years, like the Clintons, remain grotesquely corrupt, and are responsible for a fair amount (though by no means all) of the current financial and social problems eating away at America deserves serious debate. (Under Bill Clinton’s presidency he signed the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the Commodities Trading Modernization Act, NAFTA, and initiated the grossly illegal unconstitutional practice of “extraordinary rendition.” That’s a lot of damage for a liberal president to do to the American economy and the United States constitution.)
The fact that America has put in place such a police state system of surveillance and lawless kidnapping and extralegal assassinations that it is comparable to the police state system of East Germany, and was described as a “stasi-like system” by German chancellor Angela Merkel, deserves substantive debate.
Alas, people like burnspbesq or menmosyne or eemom or yutsano simply have no interest in discussing the facts or logic behind these problems. These members of the lunatic fringe prefer to call names and hurl insults without ever issuing a rebuttal, without ever offering any verifiable evidence, without ever providing any arguments.
People like that shouldn’t be legitimized by engaging them in debate. It makes them seem like serious thinkers with a valid position, instead of sketchy astroturfers who spend essentially all their time in vacuous name-calling.
This is like debating a Xtian fundie – you are never going to “win”, because fundies are NOT interested in facts, reality, or any other logical concept. They have their ideology, and that’s good enough for them. You will pry it out of their (figurative) cold dead hands. They will continue to throw the kitchen sink at you, over and over, until you throw up your hands in frustration and leave.
Been there done that, and reason doesn’t work. The ONLY thing that will work, is when THEIR ox is being gored and then they are suddenly able to see the logic of YOUR ideas. Then they will be all for it, and denying that they ever weren’t, just like the sociopaths that they are.