Thursday, September 03, 2009

IGNORANCE

Just found out my old school district will not be letting students watch The President's address on the 8th.

Here is the e-mail sent to the teacher's from one of the principals -

From: Ernie Salazar
Sent: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 1:37 PM
To: - North Campus High School
Subject: Presidential Address


We have been instructed not to show the live broadcast of the President’s address to the students on September 8th, 2009 at 1:00 pm.   Please line this off your calendar for this month.  We plan to record the event, after which, we will evaluate the message and where best to use it, if at all.  Some parents may opt their children out of a lesson, with the understanding that there may be an alternate assignment.

Again, please do not show the live broadcast.  Thanks 

Ernie Salazar
Principal
Deer Park High School-North
832-668-7300

Sunday, August 09, 2009

hey!

i can post to blogger from my phone now!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

LEAGUE OF MELBOTIS: The League (Finally) Watches: Watchmen

LEAGUE OF MELBOTIS: The League (Finally) Watches: Watchmen

"I won't belabor what is a lengthy post here with a plot synopsis, but in re-reading Watchmen and seeing the movie, its fascinating to note that we should be starting our second generation at this point who has no concept of the Cold War as a fact of life, and how and why it influenced so much of culture. I, for one, fully believed I would be nuked at some point in my life, probably before I was old enough to drink. The very specific fear of a terrorist driving a plane into my office building seemed rather small in comparison. I do not know if the Cold War means anything to those in their twenties or younger."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

TomPaine.com - E. Coli Conservatism

TomPaine.com - E. Coli Conservatism

"The Associated Press studied the records and found that between 2003 and 2006 the Food and Drug Administration conducted 47 percent fewer safety inspections. FDA field offices have 12 percent fewer employees. Safety tests for food produced in the United States have gone down by three quarters—have almost ground to a halt—in the previous year alone. What does that mean, in practical terms? Consider the peanut butter."

Let's hear it for the strong moral principles that lead to the poisoning of the American people and their pets!
GO CONSERVATIVISM!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Daily Kos: Not Quite Liveblogging Glenn Beck

Daily Kos: Not Quite Liveblogging Glenn Beck

"50 mins or so: Well, I have no idea what the overall 'plot' of Beck's little program is supposed to be, other than John Galt Pity Party."

ok...  who's ready to form another band?
John Galt Pity Party - Live at Super Happy Fun Land...


Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Washington Monthly


"A group of people are working diligently to put out a raging fire, and the failed minority party, which helped set the blaze, can't imagine why no one is taking their more-lighter-fluid agenda seriously."

perfect.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Mutual Assured Destruction - the 80's and the world of The Watchmen

Watchmen Review: Watchmen Proves The Cold War Is An Alien World


Watchmen Review: Watchmen Proves The Cold War Is An Alien World
This article is pretty right on.
I'll be 39 at the end of this month.The 80's were all about Reagan and AIDS.
Reagan never of course said the word,but it was there.
When people today think about Reagan they think about economics (FAIL) 
or maybe Bedtime for Bonzo
 but Reagan was all about the cold war.
I remember having nightmares about nuclear war.
Reagan escalated the rhetoric.
The Evil Empire.  
Dr. Strangelove became War Games.
Things were out of control.  
Matthew Broderick could've killed us all with a 300 baud modem.
Then we would have never been blessed with Project X.  
Anyway, yes - as this article states - the cold war was madness - as is the war on terror... it is rhetoric used to scare and control us. To make us accept the ever growing police state.
But in the mind of a teenager in the 80's (or at least this teen), the threat of nuclear destruction seemed very real.
I believed, like Sting, that the russians loved their children too - but if a crazy general or a teenager with a commodore 64 could start a nuclear holocaust then what did that even matter?  and then there were people like Kissinger and Reagan.  
We've outlawed the soviet union - the bombing starts in two minutes.  
80's nostalgia is weird to me.
Sure we listened to The Cure -but we were also full of fear
in a world out of control...
We were crazy.
We are crazy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

End of an era: Touch and Go Records will stop distributing smaller indie labels - Jim DeRogatis

This is sad.


End of an era: Touch and Go Records will stop distributing smaller indie labels - Jim DeRogatis: "In a move certain to have a wide-ranging negative impact on the independent music scene in America, Chicago-based Touch and Go Records has announced that it's eliminating the part of its operation that has provided manufacturing and distribution services to dozens of smaller record labels across the country for the last two decades."

Monday, February 16, 2009

File Under: The New Deal Worked! SUCK IT!

Paul Abrams: Winning the Economic Argument: Show Opponents This Graph, and Ask Them to Explain

"As pointed out in the above-referenced article, the key observation in this graph is the downturn in 1936-37. This is as close to a 'scientific experiment' as there can be in macroeconomics: from '33 to '36 Roosevelt unleashed the New Deal and what passed at the time as massive spending. The GDP grew every year by double-digits.

Then, in a reversion to his true roots as a fiscal conservative, FDR decided that it was time to slash spending to balance the budget. The economy contracted. Then in '38, realizing the error of his ways, Roosevelt started spending again, and GDP grew every year thereafter."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

File Under: Great Moments in Capitalism

Two Pennsylvania Judges Accused Of Jailing Kids For Millions Of Dollars In Kickbacks

"In one of the most shocking cases of courtroom graft on record, two Pennsylvania judges have been charged with taking millions of dollars in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers."

MAKE: Blog: HOW TO - Make Skittles vodka

MAKE: Blog: HOW TO - Make Skittles vodka

"Infusing vodka with Skittles is a very popular trend right now"

Guy came in the candy store today asking about this...
he ended up getting Cantaloupe flavored jelly bellys...
I'm curious to hear how it turns out.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Projected impact of the stimulus - in Texas

AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT PLAN:
THE IMPACT FOR TEXAS
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan is a nationwide effort to create jobs, jumpstart growth and transform our economy for the 21st century. Across the country, this plan will help businesses create jobs and families afford their bills while laying a foundation for future economic growth in key areas like health care, clean energy, education and a 21st century infrastructure. In Texas, this plan will deliver immediate, tangible impacts, including:
Creating or saving 285,700 jobs over the next two years. Jobs created will be in a range of industries from clean energy to health care, with over 90% in the private sector. [Source: White House Estimate based on Romer and Bernstein, “The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.” January 9, 2009.]
Providing a making work pay tax cut of up to $1,000 for 8,170,000 workers and their families. The plan will make a down payment on the President’s Making Work Pay tax cut for 95% of workers and their families, designed to pay out immediately into workers’ paychecks. [Source: White House Estimate based on IRS Statistics of Income]
Making 346,000 families eligible for a new American Opportunity Tax Credit to make college affordable. By creating a new $2,500 partially refundable tax credit for four years of college, this plan will give 3.8 million families nationwide – and 346,000 families in Texas – new assistance to put college within their reach. [Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of U.S. Census data]
Offering an additional $100 per month in unemployment insurance benefits to 677,000 workers in Texas who have lost their jobs in this recession, and providing extended unemployment benefits to an additional 125,000 laid-off workers. [Source: National Employment Law Project]
Providing funding sufficient to modernize at least 937 schools in Texas so our children have the labs, classrooms and libraries they need to compete in the 21st century economy. [Source: White House Estimate]
In addition to this immediate assistance for Texas, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan will help transform our economy by:
Doubling renewable energy generating capacity over three years, creating enough renewable energy to power 6 million American homes.
Computerizing every American’s health record in five years, reducing medical errors and saving billions of dollars in health care costs.
Launching the most ambitious school modernization program on record, sufficient to upgrade 10,000 schools.
Enacting the largest investment increase in our nation’s roads, bridges and mass transit systems since the creation of the national highway system in the 1950s.

The "FDR Failed" Myth | OurFuture.org

The "FDR Failed" Myth | OurFuture.org

"In fact, like every decade between 1850 and 1990, the 1930s suffered two distinct downturns. The official U.S. Business Cycle Dating Committee established that the downturn that began in August 1929 ended in March 1933 with the remarkable economic expansion that started within days of FDR’s bold—if trial and error—New Deal programs. By any normal definition, the Great Depression had ended by late 1936, with all major indicators surpassing their previous peaks.
A second cyclical downturn officially began in May 1937 when FDR, always a fiscal conservative, mistakenly thought the economy had become self-sustaining and slashed public spending programs to balance the budget. These harsh and premature spending cuts caused another severe recession that ended after 13 months in June 1938.
Even in this severe downturn, annual GDP did not fall back below its 1929 peak. And although many suffered and most economic measures did fall back below their 1929 levels, not one fell anywhere close to its March 1933 low. For example, although industrial production fell sharply in the 1937-38 recession, at its low point, in April 1938, it remained 49 percent above its level of March 1933.
When the economy again contracted sharply in late 1937 and early 1938, FDR quickly reversed course and rapid growth immediately began again. GDP soared by 10.9 percent in 1939 and industrial production soared by 23 percent."

O.k., all you free market fundamentalists, take a look at this and tell me what you think...
then I can tell you that you're wrong - and at least I'll have some data to back me up.

The "FDR Failed" Myth | OurFuture.org

The "FDR Failed" Myth | OurFuture.org

"At such a moment, it is imperative to expose a dangerous popular myth regarding the efficacy of President Roosevelt’s actions: that it was not the programs of the New Deal, but only the placing of the nation on a wartime footing years later, that restored the health of the nation’s economy.
This belief, though widely held, cannot stand up to even the most basic economic analysis."


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Joe Lauria: Wall Street Hated FDR Too

Joe Lauria: Wall Street Hated FDR Too

"FDR was right to claim after his 1936 re-election that he had saved capitalism from the excesses of a communist or anarchist revolt. There was great anger in the land and labor unrest then, the kind we are seeing in Europe today and possibly again in America? It is not widely understood today how popular communism and anarchism had become in the U.S. Several public buildings were bombed and businessmen and their allies in Congress genuinely feared social revolution."

It was Marx didn't foresee.  Capitalism reforming just enough to save itself.  Obama is just trying to save capitalism.  Isn't that what you people want?  

Me?  I say the sooner we get one world gov't and unregulated markets the sooner we get to the revolution...

in the immortal words of two time Presideng George W. Bush,

"Bring it on!"

Thursday, January 29, 2009

White House Unbuttons Formal Dress Code - NYTimes.com

White House Unbuttons Formal Dress Code - NYTimes.com

Bush was a small man.
Far too small for his position.
His concerns were the concerns of small men.
Appearances.  Dress codes.  Punctuality.

I had a coach for a math teacher once.
He was far more concerned with making sure
we had our shirts tucked in and that our 
papers were stapled correctly than he was
with making sure we learned any math -

that is George W. Bush.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kevin Drum - Mother Jones Blog: Stimulus Pills

Kevin Drum - Mother Jones Blog: Stimulus Pills

"But here's the funny thing: culture war issues aside, this is probably pretty good stimulus. If you eliminate the requirement for states to get Medicaid waivers in order to fund family planning, lots of low-income women will take advantage of it, and they'll probably take advantage of it pretty quickly. That's a boon for the contraceptive industry and all the fine people who work in it. Just be sure to buy American!"

Sunday, January 25, 2009

IS PLANET OF THE APES GETTING REBOOTED AGAIN?

IS PLANET OF THE APES GETTING REBOOTED AGAIN?: "But right now, in the halls of Fox, there is another new version of Planet of the Apes that has been kicking around for the last year. It's not a sequel to the Burton film, and it's not another remake of the original. To the general audience it's a prequel to Planet of the Apes, but for the initiated it's something totally different.

It's a remake of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes."


I really hope this gets made.  Conquest is my favorite of the ape films.  HAIL CEASAR!  I for one can't get enough of the monkey revolution!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tara Stiles: Orthoskepsis: When Too Much Thinking Is A Bad Thing


Tara Stiles: Orthoskepsis: When Too Much Thinking Is A Bad Thing

"Perhaps thinking too much could be the problem. American physician Steven Bratman proposed the term orthorexia: 'orth' (right and correct) 'orexia' (appetite). The term refers to an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. Orthorexia is not yet an eating disorder recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. However, academic investigation is underway. I am convinced we also have an unhealthy obsession with thinking. What would that be called? Orth-o-skepsis (orth, plus the Greek skepsis: examination, doubt, skeptical philosophy). I just made that up. I threw in the 'o' so it would sound ok."

I'm not sure what I think about this.  On the one hand thinking too much is the cause of a lot of my misery, on the other trusting yr gut turns you into George W. Bush...


Friday, January 23, 2009

Conservatives lose first evolution vote | KXAN.com

Conservatives lose first evolution vote | KXAN.com

"AUSTIN (KXAN) - The drama over the potential inclusion of creationism or intelligent design in Texas biology curriculum is over for now as a coalition of six Democrats and two Republicans defeated an amendment that would have maintained discussion of evolution's 'weaknesses.'"

I love Texas.  It is nice not to have to be ashamed of it today.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Reviews: November 1979

Reviews: November 1979:

"Painter, playwright, novelist, aesthetician, and philosopher, Witkiewicz -- or Witkacy as he called himself -- belongs to the writers and thinkers known in Poland as catastrophists, who sprang up in the period framed by two world wars, the first of which brought the Polish state back into existence after nearly 150 years of dismemberment, and the second of which threatened the nation with total annihilation. Poised between cataclysms, Witkacy forecast an apocalyptic close to Western civilization and wrote with sardonic humor about the approaching end of the world."

Witkiewicz

Witkiewicz

"Reared in realistic ideology, we always ask of each work of art, 'Well all right, but what is it trying to say? What is it supposed to represent? What is the 'idea' behind this work?' As soon as we fail to get satisfactory answers to these questions, we turn away in disgust from the work under discussion, swearing more or less politely and repeating triumphantly, 'I don't understand.' We do not want to grasp the simple truth that a work of Art does not express anything in the sense in which we have grown accustomed to use the word in real life. Thus it always has been and always will be until Art comes to an end, which probably (and fortunately) will not happen in the form of naturalistic stagnation, as our stormy and anguished times prove. We do not understand that a work of Art is what it is and nothing else, since we have grown accustomed to think that Art is the expression of some kind of real-life content, the representation of some real or fantastic worlds, something that has value only when compared to something else of which it is the reflection. Even if we actually experience something else, which was and is the deepest essence of our individuality -- its directly given, irreducible unity -- we pay no attention to this impression under the impact of an ideology falsified by realism . . ."

Witkacy: Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz (1885-1939)

Witkacy: Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz (1885-1939)

"He wrote: 'On leaving the theater, one should feel that he has woken up from some strange dream in which even the commonest of things possessed some strange unfathomed charm characteristic of dreams incomparable to anything else.'

This dream-like world is the only way, according to Witkacy that the theater can fulfill its task, which is to transport the spectator into an exceptional state, the state of sensuous comprehension of the Mystery of Existence which, in its pure form, cannot be reached so easily in the passing of daily life."

Witkacy: Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz (1885-1939)

Witkacy: Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz (1885-1939)

"According to Witkacy, this Mystery can never be solved, but it can be experienced. In his theory of art, he claimed that through the experience of true art (primarily painting, drama, music) an individual intensifies his or her feelings of individuality and affirms his/her own uniqueness in the face of an alien universe. As a result, the individual restores temporarily what Witkacy calls Metaphysical Feeling of the Strangeness of Existence, which simultaneously creates a childlike sense of wonder and anxiety."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The New #2

The Prisoner Reboots the Panopticon for 21st Century | The Underwire from Wired.com

"'We're run by the Pentagon, we're run by Madison Avenue, we're run by television, and as long as we accept those things and don't revolt we'll have to go along with the stream to the eventual avalanche.... As long as we go out and buy stuff, we're at their mercy.
'We all live in a little Village,' McGoohan concluded in the same interview. 'Your Village may be different from other people's Villages, but we are all prisoners.'"

There is a new Prisoner mini-series coming up.  I love the original, but will give the new one a chance.  A Prisoner for today could be great.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

yeah, about that...

I demand
consistency
from others
that I do not
myself deliver.
I demand
devotion
that I myself
don't show.

how are you?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Polish culture: Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy)

Polish culture: Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy)

Witkiewicz's plays, unappreciated and largely misunderstood before World War II, were rediscovered in Poland in the 1960s and 70s. Largely characterized by a tone of parody, Witkacy reveals his derisive abilities in them with great force. All the literary references in the plays seem to reflect these abilities. What we have here is both mockery of the rhetoric of the Romantic and Young Poland movements, as well as a parody of motifs drawn from Ibsen and Strindberg, Shakespeare and Wyspianski, Rittner and Conrad. In Witkacy's works, humor almost always becomes macabre, a burlesque tone - an invariable ingredient of Witkiewicz's plays - combines with fantasy. Bitter irony and sarcasm strongly color the represented world, in which seriousness and "elevated" philosophical discourse are mixed perfectly with, and complement, the comedic tone. Konstanty Puzyna, in his classic introduction to the first full edition of Witkiewicz's plays, classified the writer as an exponent of the avant-garde current in European playwriting. Puzyna highlighted certain similarities with Expressionism, wrote about the parallels between Witkacy's plays and Alfred Jarry's UBU ROI, referred to the writer's poetic as Surrealist.

Polish culture: Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy)

Polish culture: Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy)

Witkacy wrote of drama that it should be akin to "the brain of a madman presented on stage."

and who can disagree with that?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cool Scientist Alert

Why Did Western Drs. Promote Tobacco While the Nazis Fought Cancer?
| Health & Medicine
| DISCOVER Magazine
"It seems you have endless curiosity.

I’m amazed by people who don’t ask questions constantly. I was raised to think that the good life is asking questions and then always realizing that there are infinitely many more questions and that basically what we know is an infinitesimal part of what we might know. I’m interested in human suffering. I’m interested in the big, unanswered questions—in the massive infinity of ignorance that we swim in."

Friday, January 09, 2009

Hollywood and Fine - Marshall Fine Blog � Blog Archive � I hate myself for loving ‘24′

Hollywood and Fine - Marshall Fine Blog � Blog Archive � I hate myself for loving ‘24′

"Man, I love me some “24.”


I love the headlong pace. I love how much action, how many moments of confrontation, life-or-death decisions, jeopardy and fight-to-the-finish situations they pack into each 42-minute episode."

yup.  easily the most ideologically dangerous show I enjoy...

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Stooges mattered to me at a time when bands REALLY mattered to me. I still read Rolling Stone and SPIN regularly. I still sought out new music. I got Raw Power in high school. CBS nice price cassette. It was good. better than bowie. then freshman year of college I discovered the first album. Self-titled. That was the stuff. That wah guitar. There are, in my mind, two ways to use a wah pedal - like Jimi Hendrix or like Ron Asheton. Then, Oh My GOD, Funhouse. Calling from the funhouse, with my song... The best album ever made by white people. These records, this band, brought me to Sonic Youth, Mudhoney, Sugar Shack, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, and damned near everything that meant anything to me from the time I was 16 till, well, forever... There was a reunion tour recently and I didn't make enough of an effort to go. The reunion album - well, it just made me kinda sad - the new mudhoney album sounded to me like what i wanted a new stooges record to be... but I saw the dvd - and they rocked live - the old stuff still worked - and they were having fun... God I hope I have people like that in my life to have fun with years down the road... Some people say you can tell a lot about a person by asking, "The Beatles or The Stones?" I'd rather ask, "The Stooges or The Velvet Underground?" and for me, the answer is always, "The Stooges." ugh. I wanna be yr dog.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Marginal Revolution: Department of No

Marginal Revolution: Department of No:

"Of course they want a bailout but this is for me not a priority.� Given the new distribution of wealth, arguably we need more culture for lower-income people and less culture for the rich.� I don't think the old distribution of wealth is coming back anytime soon.

It's something to watch when the egalitarian and elitist tendencies of modern liberalism clash so strongly.� When it comes to high culture it's like this:� 'I don't think they should have so much money, but I sure like what they spend their money on.'� Yet if deflationary pressures are going to benefit lower class individuals with jobs, something has to give and that is, in part, the discretionary arts spending of the wealthy."

Interesting discussion in the comments...
some things for those of us in the arts to think about...
I hope to make theatre around the fire in the tent cities of the future - but I'm an optimist.

Jonathan Tasini: Conspiracy of Silence: Wage Collapse Caused Crisis

Jonathan Tasini: Conspiracy of Silence: Wage Collapse Caused Crisis:

"Basically, the basic bargain was roughly this--if you worked hard and became more productive, you would see that sweat of the brow in your wages. And from the post-war era until the 1970s, that deal basically held--as you can see from the lines that are basically close together until the 1970s.

Then, the lines diverge--dramatically. You can see it yourself. If the lines had continued to track closely together as they did prior to the 1970s, the MINIMUM WAGE would be more than $19 an hour. THE MINIMUM WAGE!!!"


Class War - the only war worth fighting - every other war is just them using us to fight each other...

I think things are going to get worse before they get better and the purposeful misunderstanding and misrespresenting of our current crisis is not helping.
The folks at the top of the pyramid are still concentrating on sucking any excess from those at the bottom.

I nearly got into a fight with some rich dude at Notsuoh on Jim's birthday. When I said that no C.E.O. works 800 times harder than I do he treated it like a personal affront. The idea that maybe the system is rigged and the elites exploit the middle and punish the lower he took as some kind of personal attack on his worth. maybe it was. if it wasn't at first, well, then, after he responded like a dick, it certainly became one... it took a cute 22 year old and a passed j. to diffuse the situation...

Spreading the wealth is the only way you richies are gonna get to keep even a portion of yrs... keep demanding it all and eventually we will rise up and take our share.

Friday, January 02, 2009