Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Alright, Let's Hear It For Civil Wars

Here's a great clip to watch anytime you're feeling blue because you think Ebola is coming to wipe us all out, and if it doesn't ISIS will finish off the survivors.

And I should point out to Matt Funiello that corporations are much kinder than those cruel colonialists. Took the advice of the great people at Patreon who made this and looked up King Leopold II. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more evil person in charge of a country today. As bad as you want to make out your least liked, most hated world leader to be, he is not in a league with this guy. 

Leopold’s actual work in the Congo was enslaving the population and using its labor to cart off resources. He lined his pockets with the profits and financed Belgian public works, bought real estate, built a fabulous villa in the south of France, and achieved what he regarded as greatness.
His regime forced Africans, at gunpoint, to work brutally hard at the tasks of empire: collecting ivory, tapping rubber, mining copper, building railroads, and carrying raw materials on their backs along narrow paths for miles. People who tried to avoid slavery were whipped, starved, and shot. Families were held hostage. People were raped and held as sex slaves. Crops were burned. Villages were leveled.

That's just a small sample. I implore you to read it all.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

One More On The Election

I really did want to have done with the election, already. This past week saw the arrival of the post-election Chronicle with comments by my two favorite MFer's, though. Mark Frost stayed relatively inoffensive toward Aaron Woolf and Dems in general. He calls the Woolf campaign a "wet noodle" and proves that he's no comedian. Not much to disagree with there. If Metroland covered GF, I wouldn't have to bother picking up the Chronicle. Hey, I'm joking! About Funiello, he says:

If he were serious about winning, he might actually seek to line up support in the Democratic hierarchy. Matt as the Democratic and Green Party candidate is at a whole other level than Matt as Green Party candidate.

First, because they say start with a compliment; good use of the adjectival form of Democrat. Now. Hierarchy? I'm just a run-of-the-mill, lowly Democratic voter and I don't want him anywhere near my party. I wouldn't vote for him or give him a dime's worth of support. He wasn't and isn't a candidate for anything. He's performance art.

As for the Green Party candidate himself, he is now Matt Funiello. It's easier to write and say. And it's a reminder that it's not the Democrat Party. If he was looking for my support, he wouldn't be mouthing right-wing stupidity. Consider my goat gotten, Mr. Funiello. Here he is on running as a Dem:

"I'm planting the seed right now, If they really want me to run as a Democrat and like what I say and they think I'd be a good candidate but I can't win without Democrat support, I would say, then don't run somebody next time."

That's Democratic support and I don't think you want it very badly. And I would say "don't run anybody," but then, I speak English. Not wingnutese.

"Just don't run anybody, and we don't have a problem."

Overlooking the fact that it sounds like extortion, I'd have to say, I'd be voting for Elise Stefanik because she would be the lesser of the crazies, if not the evils.

I don't know how plausible that is, but the more I think about it what does the Democrat Party stand to lose by not running somebody in CD21?

Once again, that's the fuckin' Democratic Party, you fuckin' schmuck. And, if I thought he'd honor it, I'd suggest a deal. He goes mano a mano in 2016. After he gets his ass handed to him with a 60 point loss, he goes away.

Special Hometown thank you to Lynne Boecher for pointing out that we don't have openings for conspiracy theorists in the Democratic Party. He's a birther and a truther and a gun nut. Three strikes! From the February interview:

"If you don't feel we need guns to defend ourselves against tyranny, then you're not paying attention."

I pay enough attention to spot a wingnut when I see one. Just gotta ask, since the Warren County sheriff's have an MRAP now; how much firepower do you have? I think there's a good chance they're working for the tyrant.

Jen Sorensen:

Low-information Nation: Midterm Elections Edition

Friday, November 14, 2014

Kansas: Poster Child for Republican Economic Policy

Beyond courses in micro and macro long ago, I don't have a great knowledge of economics. That may still be more than Arthur Laffer has.

Gov. Sam Brownback and his celebrity tax policy consultant, Arthur Laffer, said Tuesday that the income tax cuts Kansas lawmakers approved earlier this year will drive growth and make Kansas more competitive with surrounding states.

That was in August of 2012. And also:

Laffer said his studies show states with lower tax rates outperform high-tax states — a notion several other tax policy analysts say is misleading. Laffer said lower taxes may not work every day of every week, but he said economic growth is consistently driven by low-tax, low-regulation policies.

Ensconced here in the high tax, high regulation state of New York, it's interesting to see how this experiment in supply side progresses. 

Kansas will face a $279 million budget shortfall by July, far worse than state officials had thought before a new revenue forecast Monday that will force Gov. Sam Brownback and legislators to consider spending cuts.

The state will also be required to close an even bigger additional gap — $436 million — during the following 12 months, according to the new forecast.

What to do moving forward?

Brownback and many Republicans in the GOP-dominated Legislature are not publicly rethinking aggressive cuts in personal income taxes enacted in 2012 and 2013 to stimulate the economy. The state cut its top rate 26 percent and exempted the owners of 191,000 businesses from income taxes altogether, and further reductions are promised, including a decrease in the top rate next year.

Double down! Not sure it works at casinos (not being a gambler), but maybe it works with state budgets. Nothing to do but stay tuned.

Just wanted to throw in this bit of apostasy:

A board of medical professionals appointed by Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday that the state should provide health coverage to low-income Texans under the Affordable Care Act — a move the Republican-led Legislature has opposed. 

Say it ain't so, Rick!

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/article1097282.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/article1097282.html#storylink=cpy

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Photos From Paradise

Tuesday was a beautiful day here in Andrew Cuomo's Northern Kingdom. Everything else (nearly) about the election pissed me off so much, I was actually glad he won. Nearly is because Carrie Woerner was a bright, shining light. Anyway, had to harvest my leaves that are finally dropping. When Baal gives you leaves, make compost.


And Tuesday was baking day, since I was home all day raking and piling leaves. BTW, I did not rake all those leaves on Tuesday. Anyway, since I haven't posted any bread porn in awhile:

That's a wild yeast sourdough, a levain if you will. And it's a good thing I got those leaves up on Tuesday because the weather is changeable here in Utopia.

Actually, that was on my camera. It's from last winter. A chilling reminder of what's ahead. The Kindle and my pantry are loaded, though.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Moving On

Well, I've spent the past week sitting shiva for the election. Time to move on. Now I start to put together my platform for the 2016 run for representative in the district. If Funiciello can run, anyone can. I haven't chosen a party yet and none have chosen me. But, it's early. As an opening plank, I'm advocating for a mandatory 30 hour work week. No overtime for any reason, love or money.

We used to send children down mines, sack women when they got married and expect workers to put in 12-hour day, six days a week. For more than 200 years, we have associated better working conditions and shorter hours with human progress. An average workweek of 40 hours nowadays looks old fashioned and backward.

That's right! All the candidates running in this past election were willing to allow Americans to continue to suffer the 21st century equivalent of Dickens' London. More people working fewer hours equals more people employed in my macroeconomic view. I have more bold ideas in my platform and they will be unveiled over the course of the next year and a half or so.

Moving on to other local happenings: My former employer had a name change announced today. I heard it on the radio as I lie semi-comatose in bed this AM. I first thought they'd be changing it back to Central Market (which seemed like a good move). In the second sentence I heard they were changing it to Market 32 (which seemed like WTF?). Going on-line confirms that I was not still dreaming.

The chain's new name will be Market 32, a reference to Price Chopper's founding by the Golub family in 1932.

OK, still WTF? And they're spending $300 million on it. No, spend money hiring more help, paying more people full-time. I may not have mentioned in awhile that I don't work and it's entirely thanks to Price Chopper for working me like a galley slave for $9.90 an hour. Thanks Golubs.

In national news, not so much with IS, but our war on Ebola has apparently been won. Break out the ticker tape parade for Barack.

Fox News announced on Wednesday that it is terminating its coverage of the Ebola virus effective immediately, because, in the words of the host Sean Hannity, “Our work is done.”

The election of a Republican-led Congress may or may not have ended the War on Terror. Sleep soundly or not, depending on your party affiliation.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Thoughts on Chronicle Reprentative Endorsement

I want to jot down a few thoughts on Mark Frost's endorsement of Matt Funiciello. At first, yes I was shocked at the endorsement since Funiciello is quite a bit to the left of Obama. Like all Dems, seemingly, our president is a corporate puppet. Then Frost admits he would not be dismayed if Elise Stefanik was to win and my world is spinning the right way again.

I like the idea of Kate Hogan, Larry Bulman and Funiciello in a 3-way race. And I appreciate that he lobbied them to run. Oh well, one out of three ain't bad. Of course, they're all from Warren County. There are 11 other counties. But, that just goes to his point, that in a district as large as the 21st there are few natives stepping up to run. Mind you, I'd still like to see the most capable person elected over some yokel like me who has lived here for 57 years.

We run into some disagreement at, "I see Aaron Woolf as a privileged dilettante from NYC."

At the point in the election where this statement was made, Aaron Woolf was down by 18 points. I realize politics ain't beanbag and all. But, this seems a little unnecessarily petty. We've had many politicians from the founding fathers forward who would qualify as privileged. Pretty sure Frost would not have referred to Willard Romney as a privileged dilettante. The definition of ad hominem:
    1 :  appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect
   2 :  marked by or being an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made 

Better yet, from the urban dictionary:

An attack upon an opponent in order to discredit their argument or opinion. Ad hominems are used by immature and/or unintelligent people because they are unable to counter their opponent using logic and intelligence.

He also points out that Woolf only registered to vote in the district 5 days before declaring his candidacy. He declares Woolf to utter Democratic talking points and to have a generic candidacy. You know who else utters their party's talking points and has a generic candidacy? Elise Stefanik! Pretty sure she hasn't been registered to vote in the district all that long either. 

But, when he gets to Stefanik, Frost expresses great affection. He really, really likes her. He states, "She's smart and able-and I like how hard she's working to get to know the district and its people. She's paying some dues." Not like that big city phony, Aaron Woolf.
I'm not going into the actual endorsement except to say thanks for the news that Matt is a Truther Questioner. That bit hadn't hit my RADAR. Also appreciate the Chronicle interview from back in February. There was enough in there to keep me from considering to vote for him.

That reminds me: there was this constant drumbeat from the Chronicle for Woolf to do an interview with them back then. He did two. Stefanik never did one at all, that I saw. And what else I didn't see was the idea that she was ducking them, as was put forth for Woolf. It's different for Republicans.

Random Sunday Thoughts

This just in from poor relation, Kansas. Now that the election is safely over.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and the GOP-dominated Legislature will get new revenue projections that are expected to make the state's budget problems look worse and intensify discussions about trimming spending.

The budget problems come after legislators enacted massive personal income tax cuts at Brownback's urging to stimulate the economy. The state has cut its top rate by 26 percent and exempted the owners of 191,000 businesses from income taxes altogether.

Supply-side, voodoo economics fails again. What to do? Maybe Kansas ain't Christian enough. Well, you know what is? Phil Robertson.

Along with eldest son Al, ‘Duck Dynasty’ star and family patriarch Phil Robertson has embarked on a new venture designed to share his faith in God with as many people as possible. Having already faced significant backlash from secular leftists over his Bible-based views of marriage, sex, and other issues, the 68-year-old has joined forces with Thomas Nelson Publishers to release a special edition of the Holy Bible.

I saw somewhere else it's priced at $29.99. I already have a copy stolen from a hotel room, unfortunately without Phil's explanation of how the gay is wrong and probably anyone not buying a copy is going to Hell anyway.

This has to go into the category of "more shit Matt and I probably agree."

A federal judge has turned down a request from a Guantanamo Bay hunger striker to alter the way he is force-fed, including the daily practice of inserting and removing his feeding tube.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler on Friday ruled against Syrian prisoner Abu Wa'el Dhiab, who's been held at Guantanamo without charge for 12 years and was cleared for release in 2009.

This is disgraceful and, in this anyway, there is not a difference between Obama and Bush. If Phil's God exists they are both going to have a lot of explaining to do. Phil, himself, would likely find nothing wrong with force-feeding Guantanamo detainees. Preferably to sharks.