Sunday, December 07, 2008

It is a new day

Change has come:

When it comes to the situation here in Chicago with the workers who are asking for their benefits and payments they have earned, I think they are absolutely right. What's happening to them is reflective of what's happening across this economy.

Thanks to TPM.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

One reason I voted for Obama

Very early in the campaign (I think the primary, but cannot be sure), I heard that some talking head asked Obama what he would do if he became president. His answer? The first thing he would do would be to reverse every Bush change he could by Executive Order. And as Hilzoy notes, that is the first thing that Obama will do.

Wow, Obama's victory was a landmark election.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Taxonomy of Philosophy

Here is an attempt at creating a taxonomy for academic philosophy (VERY analytic). David Chalmers explains some of the thought behind it. It has (obvious) areas that are stronger then others (Chalmers is heavy into philosophy of mind, so that area is much more detailed).

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Fox goes to Deal before election ended?

I was in a bar with friends being appalled by the Rethuglican crowds booing over McCain who a day late, dollar short decides to be the man he once was...anyway, the channel jockey went to channel 30 here in STL (the Fox affiliate) around 10pm and lo and behold: it was Deal or No Deal! I about died laughing at the jackassery: did Fox "News" really just end for Deal or No Deal right about when the race was called for Obama?! Hah!

We need a better press corp.

Yes We Can!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

RSS This Site

If you really want to watch the polling landscape like I do, this is the place to fire up in the RSS reader every day. It shows Obama with 346.5 Electoral votes, well over the 270 mark needed for election. On the one hand, I really want that vote to come out that way. But on the other, no matter how the elections ends, I am fascinated to watch how the polls move compared to the final vote tally on 11/4. How good are we are polling?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Change is Coming

You can say what you want about who is the best candidate for president, but one thing, to me, is certain: Obama is the candidate of change. No one can reasonably hold, due to a plethora of empirical evidence, that McCain will not closely follow Bush's policies. This is, I think, central question: do you think that we need a change of leadership in the US from GW. I think the answer will come out as voters will want change and that this is the central reason Obama will win this election.

Here is some evidence that it is a slam dunk.

David Sedaris on The Undecideds

David Sedaris: the funniest long-form humorist alive (the funniest short-form humorist is the genius behind Fafblog). And here is his take on undecided voters:

I don’t know that it was always this way, but, for as long as I can remember, just as we move into the final weeks of the Presidential campaign the focus shifts to the undecided voters. “Who are they?” the news anchors ask. “And how might they determine the outcome of this election?”

Then you’ll see this man or woman— someone, I always think, who looks very happy to be on TV. “Well, Charlie,” they say, “I’ve gone back and forth on the issues and whatnot, but I just can’t seem to make up my mind!” Some insist that there’s very little difference between candidate A and candidate B. Others claim that they’re with A on defense and health care but are leaning toward B when it comes to the economy.

I look at these people and can’t quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?

To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

Thanks to Jender for the link.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


A really funny return by the "Whaaaasup?" guys.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Its Good Work If You Can Get It

$18million for 3 weeks a the helm of Washington Mutual. Now THAT'S a payday.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I call it - Obama

Another reason to call it for Obama: the subtlety of a swift kick in the crotch when you least expect it. He never mentions McCain, but the allusion is unmistakable. Gotta hand it to him: he is one damn fine campaigner. If he pulls it off, its because he played the cards perfectly.

The stupid, it burns!

Wow. I am sorry, but Palin is just plain incoherent and well, dumb. I mean, who the hell vetted her? Oh right, no one really, as they only vetted her with one interview within 48 hours of their announcement of her being picked for the VP slot.

Jurrasic Beer

Modern genetics is a marvel: 45 million year old yeast extracted from amber to brew beer. Yum!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It tastes like burning!

Barney Frank gets off a good one about McCain's desperate attempt to get the VP debate off the radar by "postponing" Friday's debate so he can work oh so diligently at saving Wall Street from themselves:
It's the longest Hail Mary pass in the history of either football or Marys.


I call it - Obama

I know people do not like to prognosticate about the presidential election and all that but this clinches it for me: I call the election for Obama. It will definitely be an Electoral College win (obviously) but I think he may pull off 5+% of the popular vote. 10% is a long shot, but I think I would take the over on 5.

McCain is running scared and Palin will go double digits in negatives after the "debate".

You heard it here first.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Oh, I like this idea

Here. The idea is to donate to Planned Parenthood in Sarah Palin's name, she who thinks the victims of rape should pay for their own rape kits and that enforcing domestic violence in the state that leads in per-capita forcible rape is something to fire someone for.

A little progressive Jujitsu.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Oil Markets 101

Anyone that touts "independence from oil by drilling" is bullshitting you, straight up. Oil is a commodity which is sold on a market, not something we can just pump into the frickin' gas tanks of only good, patriotic Americans who kill moose and are for abortions for our daughters but no abortions for anybody. Any country can buy the stuff to fulfill their demand. Jeebus....

Is the Straight Talk Express coming off the Rails?

I am not a political science guy (beyond the 1/3 of a poli sci major I started in college) but the way politics is run has been something I have quietly observed from afar for a while. Anyway, my meandering point is that McCain seems to be quietly imploding, one cell at a time. I mentioned here and here how it may be that the press has stopped is fluffing The Maverick. Now, it seems that Palin is all he's got.

That has gotta hurt.

Preemptive lying

Wow. This is just. Wow. McCain, truly, is outrunning George Bush, no small slouch when it come to prevarication. I give you: preemptive lying. About something Obama MIGHT say about another McCain cock up, but HASN'T YET. Wow.

The Roadmap to Obama's Presidency

If Obama is going to win, the chipping away at McCain as to be incessant. Part of the chance of Obama winning is the press coverage when a candidate flubs one. Obama gets free negatives against McCain and does not spend a dime. Think this is unseemly? Email

One story that is breaking Obama's way is the interview in Spain where an addled McCain seemingly misunderstands that José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (in the interview named as 'Zapatero') is the democratically elected Prime Minister of Spain. He is asked, repeatedly what he thinks of Zapatero and McCain will not commit to diplomatic relations with his government. Given Zapatero's liberalism, maybe this is understandable. Except, if you watch it, it seems nothing like that:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

David Broder on Obama's plan to win

I was hoping this is what is happening on Obama's part: let McCain go negative all he wants with quick but restrained response and work on the grassroots. Obama just may have found the way to make this work. I have heard rumors of Obama's campaign being confident in Obama's chances, even given the poll numbers shifting in McCain's direction recently (but not in some meta-poll polls which aggregate data which is interesting).

Monday, July 28, 2008

Oh This is Telling

German Chancellor Merckle rescinds the don't touch me rule:

Friday, July 25, 2008

I heart Photoshop Disasters

I love this one.

Vista Magazine (i.e., windows vi$ta) puts a photo:

  1. On an old Mac Powerbook
  2. With a weird, trapezoidal screen
  3. And caught by Commenters, a screen shot of an old Open Office site, an Open Source replacement for Micro$oft Office

Monday, July 21, 2008

More on China "Greening up" the Olympics

Visited this here. More on Slashdot here:

"With the Olympics due to start in less than three weeks, Beijing is cranking up antipollution measures by yanking cars off the roads, expanding mass transit and staggering work hours in a bid to meet its pledge of a "green" Olympics. Beijing has gone on a spending spree, relocating factories, seeding clouds, retiring old vehicles, planting millions of trees and halting building construction amid concerns that athletes and visitors could suffer breathing problems. For the next two months, owners of 3.3 million private cars can drive only on alternate days in China's capital, based on whether the last digit of their license plates is even or odd."

Steve Jobs not long for this world?

There have been rumors that Steve Jobs, who had a bout with a treatable form of pancreatic cancer - usually terminal but in Job's case not - may have relapsed and had the pancreatic cancer come out of remission. A good article about Apple is here. Those who know me know I love Apple products though I have had bad luck with their later lines of hardware (my Mac Pro had an out-of-warranty issue recently).

Template Change

Thought I would change up the template. Too lazy to customize one of the default templates that Blogger provides. Let me know if there are issues, either technical or aesthetic.

The surge is working? NOT!

Is this so surprising:

Despite all the talk about Iraq being "calm," I'd like to point out that the month just before the last visit Barack Obama made to Iraq (he went in January, 2006), there were 537 civilian and ISF Iraqi casualties. In June of this year, 2008, there were 554 according to AP. These are official statistics gathered passively that probably only capture about 10 percent of the true toll.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

This needs to be shouted from the rooftops

As usual, Juan Cole tells the story that no one reports on anymore:

By now, summer of 2008, excess deaths from violence in Iraq since March of 2003 must be at least a million. This conclusion can be reached more than one way. There is not much controversy about it in the scientific community.
Really, how do we sleep at night?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Obama's Baby Mama

Holy hell in a hand basket, how low CAN they go?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Communism works!

Somewhere I remember reading that one advantage a command-and-control economy has is rapid development. China is the paradigm example: they are going through an Industrial Revolution that took the US more then 100 years to do, and they are doing it in 50 odd years. Here is another example: for the Olympics, to clean up the air, the government is removing all of their cars from the road and think they can drop emissions 63% within 3 months.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Here we go again

In this article in the Atlantic, it talks about a new wave of crime that seems to be centered around Section 8 housing. Kevin Drum has a nice synopsis here.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

When will Obama Learn?

One criticism I have Obama is his seeming unwillingness to react strongly and quickly to negative (non)stories leveled against him. One further example is James Johnson who is leading Obama's Veep search. He also had long-standing and lucrative dealings with Countrywide Financial, one of the worst offenders in the mortgage crisis. I know he wants to run a "different campaign" but he cannot respond a whole news cycle late to these sorts of things.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Refutation reached

But then again, McCain can do this: if a tree lies is a forest and no one is there, do they win a Pulitzer?

McCain's dilemma

All things are uncertain when it comes to politics but I agree with Kevin Drum here that McCain really has no chance of pulling off a George Bush-style win in November:
Given all this, it's hard for me to see how he wins Ohio — the subject of Wallsten's piece. George Bush only won it by a whisker in 2004, and Obama is a much more formidable candidate than John Kerry was. Add to that GOP fatigue, fundraising woes, and the economic downturn, and then add to that lukewarm support from evangelicals for a candidate who's obviously not one of them, and it's hard to see how McCain doesn't run half a million votes or more behind Bush's numbers. Even if you cut that in half because there are some voters who just won't punch the button for the black guy, McCain is doomed. And if he doesn't win Ohio, there's no way he picks up enough votes elsewhere to make up for it.
I pretty much see it this way as well. What Drum did not mention is a few of the wild cards: the African-American and the young voter as well as overall turnout (the Democratic primary blew all attendance records away). I have to imagine there are 1 Million voters in there pulling the handle for Obama in key states (Ohio being one of them). And there are a few red states that trended Blue and were almost won for Kerry.

But we shall see.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A good question for creationists: is there a purpose to life? No.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Buy one HOUSE, get one free

Wow. How bad has the housing market gotten?

Its a big job at the top

Pharyngula, a site run by an evo-devo scientist P.Z. Meyers, is probably the largest science site on the web. He gets mucho hits. Here he goes over all the people who are in his killfile, blocking them from posting to his comments (there are usually 100s per post). He is also a rabid atheist (I mean rabid in the good sense), so he gets lots of "God's Children" clogging up the stupid meters.

Its hard work at the top.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Japanese come 5000 miles to beat it

Strange story here. A public masturbation thingie is San Francisco. Two Japanese guys went at it for approx. 20 hours and took the World's Record for longest self-flagellation.

Monday, June 02, 2008

It is with great honor...

...that I link to fellow Blogspot-ter Fafblog. How can Hilary win this election? Fafblog tells the tales:

So Barack Obama's all "I will defeat you Hillary Clinton and steal the nomination forever ha ha ha" but Hillary Clinton knocks im down with her kung-fu action punch like KA-SMMEESSSSHH! but Obama's all "now I shall reveal my TRUE IDENTITY" an he turns into this evil cyborg dude here an fires his auto-launching arm missiles like KA-PEWW, KA-PEWW an then Godzilla an the Decepticons show up but Hillary Clinton fights em off with her laser breath an her robot pony friends an it's totally awesome an that's when the dinosaurs attack.
Its so crazy, it just might work.....

Learn Japanese over the Internet

I have not actually checked out all the links here, but if one is interested in learning Japanese, it has several links to Internet resources.

Bury me now in a lone Pringle's can

Wow. This guy really likes his design achievement of the Pringle's can.

Japanese: not religious, but believers in supernatural

Interesting article on a survey related to religion and belief in the supernatural. Although 26% of Japanese consider themselves as part of a religion, 56% say they have had a supernatural experience. That number may be as high as the US number, but I cannot find a good citation. Trust me! :)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

You frog punchers get off my property!

"You can't tell how far a frog will jump until you punch him." - a quote from a recent interview Hillary Clinton gave about the state of her campaign; I think she is losing it.

Please Hillary, drop out and endorse Barack. The writing is on the wall. Do read it.


I like music. I found this store in San Francisco that has a web front. I found a couple of CDs from a local Chicago band called Angel Eye I happen to catch after a Naked Raygun Christmas show last year (I met Jeff Pizzati and watched him get hit on by my hot friends. He is the coolest, punkiest nerd I have ever seen. Pictured above). Anyway, I found a cool French band named Soggy that sounds remarkably like old Iggy and the Stooges; the lead has Iggy down! Check out the video here.

Holy Long Absences, Batman!

Look whose back. I will start posting again, for the heck of it. Looks like my last post was September 2007.

From the "We are doomed" files, here are two stories that pre-date our soon-to-come obsolescence: monkey are using electrodes in their brains to remotely control robotic arms and computers are being taught to read our minds. Soon, the monkeys will control the computers that will know what novel words we are thinking about as they beat us mercilessly with robotic, ass-kicking arms. God save us.