Monday, August 27, 2007

Goat Report, 8/27/07

If 100 goats wasn't bad enough, what about the mites they carry with them?


Friday, August 24, 2007

Kucinich getting hosed

While he is my favorite of the Democratic candidates, I don't really think that Dennis Kucinich has much of a chance to win the presidency in 2008. He's sort of short, has a higher-than-normal voice, and a wife taller than himself, all bad things in today's dopey political culture. But even worse, his politics are easily labeled 'liberal', which is still a bad word in America despite the fact that in a blind test, most Americans agree with his views. Now it turns out that ABC doesn't want to give him publicity; or maybe somebody else knows he's not electable and wants a Democrat to win. Seriously, if his policies were coming out of the mouth of Wes Clark, the election would already be over.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What's the Matter With Kansas?

Last month I enjoyed going thru What's the Matter With Kansas? by Thomas Frank. While I found it to be very interesting in terms of the history of Kansas politics and the modern conservative movement, it lost a bit of its narrative steam towards the end and turned into some distantly related articles on religious sects in Kansas. The book came to mind during our recent drive through Texas and Louisiana (which I need to post about): I saw a few small towns that only had a Wal-Mart and no other grocers, as well as lots of antique shops, something he says has happened all across the deserted small towns of Kansas.

Frank brings up the wide socialistic swing that populism took back in the early 1900s and repeatedly points out that citizens back then would not put up with recent Republican leadership. He casts the shift back towards conservativism as being a well-masterminded backlash movement but I couldn't help but wonder if maybe the less-educated are just easily swayed during different times (he even points out how the movement filled with the great unwashed). While times are certainly bad now maybe times were worse back in the late 1800s and that inspired the liberal swing, rather than people just being smarter back then. It seems pretty simple: when times are tough enough, the masses listen to the liberal bumpersticker slogans; when times aren't so tough, they listen to the conservative ones (and are more vulnerable to divisive tactics like race-baiting).


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ditherati etc

Very excited a few weeks ago to see that Ditherati had returned, once again bringing choice quotes from the masterminds of the tech biz.

If perusing those archives doesn't amuse you, perhaps The Nietzsche Family Circus will. Reminds me a little of the Surrealist Compliment Generator.



Looking at the title of the latest Benjamin Barber book, Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole, I was hopeful that this would be an assault on capitalism by a well-known political author, something that would probably spread the good word of socialism. A review of the book says it's not quite that, which is disappointing. But it's a step in the right direction, as the title talks about the effects of capitalism (or 'markets') on one's own person. During my last time between jobs I found the following quote from Marshall Berman to be most apt:

The crucial reality is the need to sell your labor to capital in order to live, the need to carve up your personality for sale -- to look at yourself in the mirror and think 'What have I got that I can sell?'


Monday, August 13, 2007

Not a surprise...

Your results:
You are Spider-Man
You are intelligent, witty, a bit geeky and have great power and responsibility.

Spider-Man 85%
Green Lantern 60%
Robin 55%
Hulk 50%
Iron Man 45%
Supergirl 45%
Superman 45%
Catwoman 45%
The Flash 40%
Batman 35%
Wonder Woman 30%
Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Goat report, 8/2/07

Believe it or not, it doesn't take much to catch a wild goat, just some salt and some mild restraints. The goats I know would leap at the chance to move to a place called 'the Strawberry mountains' but I guess each to their own.


Goin' solar

If all works out ok, in the next few weeks we could be producing solar power for ourselves and (when we're not using enough) the rest of California. It's been a lot of paperwork, waiting, red tape, waiting, and a little bit of equipment to be installed but it looks like it's going to happen. It really shouldn't be so much of a hassle, should it? Why isn't the process getting more support from the government, like in Germany (where we'd be making lots of cash given their subsidized sell-back rates). Will signing something like a petition help? Give it a try, won'tcha?