06.24.11

Today’s Google Adsense funnies

Posted in Phlogiston at 9:25 am by George Smith

At GlobalSecurity.

Listen for the punch line

Posted in Extremism, Phlogiston at 7:20 am by George Smith


Good news, lads! Good news! It’s accurately rude at 0:56.

Governor Chris Christie cuts union health worker pensions, slags Obama on the debt ceiling, is pumped again by Ann Coulter in Fox, to delight of Roger Ailes:

HANNITY: But meanwhile, our next guest thinks only one person has the goods to take on “The Anointed One” and insure that he is a one term president. Only problem? This 2012 favorite swears he has no plans of running in 2012.

I sat down with the author of The New York Times, bestseller “Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America,” the one and only, Ann Coulter, as she continues to sing the praises of a certain Garden State governor …

HANNITY: You’re insane. I don’t know who is more insane, you or Breitbart. He goes to the “NetKooks,” you go to these liberal universities all the time to get heckled, and they throw pies, they miss but they throw pies at you and.

COULTER: Well I have a bodyguard and I’m hoping I will be able to use him one of these days.

HANNITY: That is coming.

All right. Look, after our last — this is going back about two to three months ago. We had a discussion about who you wanted to run for president. You are obsessed with Chris Christie. No matter what happens, Chris Christie — I’ve interviewed him twice since you’re obsessive remarks. I asked him and on certain terms, he says he’s not running …

HANNITY: — and I think you must have an alter [sic] of Chris Christie in your house.

COULTER: It’s a big alter [sic].


HANNITY: Do you like Pawlenty?

COULTER: He’s OK.

HANNITY: He doesn’t do a whole lot.

COULTER: He’s no Chris Christie.

[Demonstrably true. It would take at least two Tim Pawlenty’s to make one Chris Christie.]


HANNITY: You are obsessed. Have you ever met your hero?

COULTER: Yes, I met him briefly, once.

HANNITY: Did he know who you were?

COULTER: Yes, of course.

The Empire’s Dog Feces: Friday morning edition

Posted in Bombing Moe, Decline and Fall at 6:49 am by George Smith

From the assholes at TAME magazine (no link):

[The] Administration defines hostilities – an interpretation concocted over the objections of two top Pentagon lawyers – as a condition that exists only when U.S. troops are in a position to be fired upon …

With the libertarian-leaning GOP freshmen and progressive doves up in arms over the “war,” Boehner has little choice but to address the issue. But he wasn’t about to allow his conference to pass an extreme measure defunding all U.S. action in Libya, which would freak out the European allies who are leading the mission.

The only change would be a ban on attacks by drones or manned aircraft.

Sales of smart bombs and cruise missiles to Little Tommy Atkins and the rest of the toadies and pantywaists to remain bullish. Raytheon and Lockheed Martin CEO’s continue to report good quarterly results.

No real concern over terrible trade imbalance with China due to deindustrialization of almost everything but arms manufacturing.

However, having rid ourselves of a lot of annoying labor in dual use manufacturing, as in electronics kit:

The Senate Armed Services Committee urged China to let investigators travel unfettered to the Chinese mainland to probe reports that Chinese-made counterfeit parts are making their way into U.S. weapons and other electronics …

A range of U.S. companies interviewed by the committee, from military contractors to consumer electronics makers, have pointed “almost totally and exclusively” to China, and more specifically to Shenzhen, in Guangdong province, as a source of counterfeit electronic parts, Levin said.

Ultimately, he said, what was at stake is the U.S. ability “to have reliable weapons for bombing paupers and selling to panytwaists worldwide” “to defend itself with weapons systems that we can rely on.”

06.23.11

These documents get you jailed (still)

Posted in Ricin Kooks, War On Terror at 12:50 pm by George Smith

From the wire, in the United Kingdom:

LONDON — A British man appeared in court on Thursday accused of having instructions to make a bomb and being in possession of a recipe to make the deadly poison ricin.

Asim Kauser, 25, an unmarried British national whose family hail from Pakistan, is charged with four offences under anti-terrorism legislation after material was found on a USB key.

Kauser, from Bolton in Lancashire, was arrested at his home on June 6 “on suspicion of possessing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing, or preparing an act of terrorism, between January 2009 and June 2011”.

He was charged with having “various instructions in how to make an improvised explosive device”.

This ricin recipe can get you jailed, from my now half a decade old work at GlobalSecurity.

They’re cheap tickets for enjoyment of the hospitality of Her Majesty. Or a bunk in the bighouse.

This is not progress in service of the rule of law, it’s decline.


This was published, in very readable form, in the Washington Post years ago. In England, it’s good for a conviction if in your possession.

The UK has a solid record of jailing people for possession of “terror documents” judged to be useful in facilitating terrorism. The enthusiasm for it has waxed and waned over the course of the war on terror. But it is always present.

One example, from 2008, at old DD blog is discussed here.

And here, in a case in which Samina Malik — a hapless person with what turned out to be legally hazardous curiosity, was convicted. (Disclosure: Malik’s defense, at one point, asked me to describe — for her defense — the nature of the materials she had downloaded.)

It is entirely remarkable that ten years into the war on terror, when all these things first came to mainstream media notice, fools everywhere still download the same old rubbish.

And the same old trash shows up in court cases again and again, the moldy mythology of printed out useless terror tracts — originally minted by the American right wing survivalist fringe in the Eighties, still very capable of sending people over. (This is the legacy of publishers who specialized in this market, like Loompanics, which went out of business a couple years ago.)


And then there’s the common story of the young man of Pakistan, or Pakistani descent, and the fascination with downloading bomb recipes. It is also a measure of the amount of scrutiny they now all receive, deserved or not, from counter-terror agencies.

It so happens I covered the metric on that, too.

The other obvious source of cheap labor

Posted in Decline and Fall at 12:26 pm by George Smith

Upon running the illegal immigrant farm labor out of Georgia, the locals find their crops rotting in the sun, being unable to fill the jobs for lack people willing to do the hard stoop labor for the current compensation.

It didn’t take any time at all for some Georgia politicians to come up with the idea of pressuring ex-cons out on probation into the work. Since probation requires they be employed.

The only slight fly in the ointment is the ex-cons can still walk off the job.

It’s reported as attempting to steal labor and that’s accurate. The comparisons to slavery aren’t hard to find.

At Pine View Farm, Frank calls it revival of press gangs.

At Balloon Juice, the assessment is far worse.

It’s deeply immoral.

Naturally, America’s weapons shops have dipped into this pool already.

And this post marks the beginning of the new category of Decline and Fall. Permanent Fail is full up.


At InTrade, the likelihood that Congress will force the US into default over the debt ceiling is only 1-in-4.

06.22.11

The Triumph of the American Dumbshit

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Extremism at 3:35 pm by George Smith

In Schuylkill County I grew up with people are now the Michele Bachmann demographic. They became the Tea Party.

Matt Taibbi profiles Bachmann in Rolling Stone this week.

He astutely notes that in 2011 America, laughing at the dumbshits on television for being dumbshits only makes them stronger. And before you know it, the most camera-genic and determined among them is running for President.

Some bits from it:

When you laugh at Michele Bachmann for going on MSNBC and blurting out that the moon is made of red communist cheese, these people don’t learn that she is wrong. What they learn is that you’re a dick, that they hate you more than ever, and that they’re even more determined now to support anyone who promises not to laugh at their own visions and fantasies.


Given how Bachmann’s stature rises every time she does something we laugh at, it’s no wonder she’s set her strangely unfocused eyes on the White House. Since arriving in Congress, she has been a human tabloid-copy machine, spouting one copy-worthy lunacy after another. She launched a fierce campaign against compact fluorescent lights, claiming that the energy-saving bulbs contain mercury and pose a “very real threat to children, disabled people, pets, senior citizens.” She blasted the 2010 census as a government plot and told people not to comply because the U.S. Constitution doesn’t require citizens to participate, when in fact it does …

[And they listened to her. The census enumerators saw it, even in Pasadena.]


Even other Republicans, it seems, are making the mistake of laughing at Bachmann. But consider this possibility: She wins Iowa, then swallows the Tea Party and Christian vote whole for the next 30 or 40 primaries while Romney and Pawlenty battle fiercely over who is the more “viable” boring-white-guy candidate. Then Wall Street blows up again — and it’s Barack Obama and a soaring unemployment rate versus a white, God-fearing mother of 28 from the heartland.

It could happen. Michele Bachmann has found the flaw in the American Death Star. She is a television camera’s dream, a threat to do or say something insane at any time, the ultimate reality-show protagonist. She has brilliantly piloted a media system that is incapable of averting its eyes from a story, riding that attention to an easy conquest of an overeducated cultural elite from both parties that is far too full of itself to understand the price of its contemptuous laughter. All of those people out there aren’t voting for Michele Bachmann. They’re voting against us. And to them, it turns out, we suck enough to make anyone a contender.

Taibbi, in his last paragraph, is ridiculing those I’ve called the “good boys.”

MSNBC, for example, is just about the best thing that happened to Michele Bachmann.

From the Nation’s Chris Hayes to the the Post’s Gene Robinson, the “good boys” are always on the network, always on hand to laugh at the lunatics for the sake of some good sport while the country slowly burns.

The lunatics, who know this only makes them stronger, went and got elected in 2010 and continued sacking the country.

Good boy Chris Matthews is one of the people who regularly tries to pour all the all the contempt he can on Bachmann. It never seems to occur to him that, on TV, he appears as a creature just as easily despised.

And that’a made clear in the clips featuring him and Bachmann in my “Act Naturally” vid here.


Good news, lads. The Hitler Downfall segment is removed. No more YouTube ad monetization!

David Stockman calls Jeff Immelt a “crony capitalist”

Posted in Permanent Fail at 1:11 pm by George Smith

Dylan Ratigan on MSNBC was worth a cynical laugh just a few minutes ago.

David Stockman, Ronald Reagan’s old Director of the Office of Management and Budget, was a guest and near the end of the show he lit inot General Electric’s Jeff Immelt, calling him a “crony capitalist” on the telephone crying to Bush Sec’y of the Treasury Henry Paulson for a government bailout of Wall Street.

This tableau comes from good boy Andrew Ross Sorkin’s Too Big to Fail, now in movie form on HBO.

General Electric’s GE Capital division had gotten into the same toxic asset trouble as the rest of the Wall Street titans and the book (or at least the movie) have him on the phone with Paulson demanding a rescue of the system after the collapse of Lehman Brothers has caused a domino effect on Wall Street and runs on the investment giants.

Now Immelt is more famous as the CEO of GE, the country’s biggest corporate tax evader. And as one of the leader’s of President Obama’s Jobs and Economy advisory group who, last week, offered as an unemployment solution the boosting of tourism and encouraging more out-of-work people to return to re-education camp enroll in community college.

Immelt, in other words, is a major annoyance, a corporate enemy of the middle class, if average Americans know of him at all. (He’s a beneficiary of my Lloyd Blankfein Rule which stipulates your head is safe from the noose as long as most of the people don’t know who you are).

Paradoxically, GE’s p.r. arm, in an effort to make people feel good about the company, is pushing commercials featuring the company’s investment and financial services arm, GE Capital.

Reader J points out a belated article at the Register on Apple, Google and other big American companies demanding lobbying for a tax holiday on their overseas cash reserves, dangling the blackmail of “job creation” if they get a free pass to bring it back into the United States. (Aside: It’s difficult to muster up much personal enthusiasm for a Reg piece like this since the publication decided to up and ignore me after many years of contribution.)

Anyway, if you read this blog you know tax holidays for US corporations are just bribes. Bad bribes, actually, which don’t result in any of the benefit in job creation those who wish to be bribed promise.

Like, yeah, Apple — which produces all its iKit in every poorer places in the interior of China — is going to create lots of jobs in the US. Sure. Yeah, I hear they’ll be hiring hundreds of thousands of little nerd associates for the Apple stores real soon now.

Come to think of it, don’t read the Register piece. It points to a video the New York Times has made on tax avoidance and repatriation matters.

My video on GE is much much better. Plus, you get a good song for free.

The Empire’s Dog Feces: Arms manufacturing -is- entitlement spending

Posted in Permanent Fail, Why the World Doesn't Need US at 7:22 am by George Smith

A good deal of this blog has been devoted to the Economic Treason and Empire’s Dog Feces tags over the past twelve months. Both deal with the only area where American manufacturing jobs are protected: arms manufacturing.

The rest of the country has been allowed to wither. The primary US export to the world is weapons. The country now leads in very little except minor innovations in the fields of smart bombs and unmanned flying killing machines which are of no benefit to anyone except the CEOs of the companies that make the things.

Imagine! The nation that invented rock ‘n’ roll and the electric guitar shipped all that stuff away and fired most everyone involved in making the equipment for it.

But the M1 tank, the F-16, the MRAPS, all the flying drones and idiotic robots and pathetic ray gun test systems — all that stuff is protected labor for which any price will be paid.

Imagine! This is a country that spends more on its expanding killer drone budget for obliterating small numbers of paupers and the even more unfortunate around the world than it wants to expend on ensuring that our food and drugs are safe.

Pine View Farm tips us to an article on the same in the Asia Times today.

An excerpt from the A Times piece:

If [the weapons shops] were disbanded, the economy would be crippled by soaring unemployment, plant closures, and bankruptcies.

Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power, writes:

Most politicians understand … that weapons production is currently the number one industrial export product of the US. They know that major industrial job creation is largely coming from the Pentagon. Thus most politicians, from both parties, want to continue to support the military industrial complex gravy train for their communities.

I’m considering starting a new blog category. Permanent Fail has filled up quickly. Now we’re into the Decline and Fall stage. It needs its own category.

DD on Beijing radio

Posted in Cyberterrorism, Made in China at 7:01 am by George Smith


China Radio International cybersecurity segment. L to R: CRI host Tom; Li Hong, Secretary General, China Arms Control and Disarmament Association; CRI host Qinduo. Obviously, lads, I’m not in this picture.

A one hour talk on cybersecurity and cyberwar with yours truly and others on China Radio International’s Wednesday morning Beyond Beijing news show is here. (Stream or as iPhone mp3 download.)

06.21.11

Castor seed agricultural funnies

Posted in Ricin Kooks, War On Terror at 2:02 pm by George Smith

The rest of the world doesn’t give a shit what America thinks about castor seeds and ricin.

So it continued running castor mills all through the war on terror.

And this is because they were not WMD plants and allowed export of a commodity, castor oil, back into the US — which quit the business long ago because it wasn’t competitive against petroleum-based lubricants.

Now, the fly in the ointment in getting US firms back into castor oil production is price. It’s done cheaper overseas.

But the biggest headache is homeland security.

From a press release on a small Texas pilot project for cultivation of “low-ricin” castor in the continental US:

LUBBOCK – Castagra, a Canadian bioproducts company, has entered into an agreement with Texas AgriLife Research, part of the Texas A&M University System, to test production of a new castor bean with less ricin.

The West Texas project will investigate production potential and sustainable production practices that do not conflict with other commodities grown in the state, according to officials.

Castor oil and gypsum are the two main ingredients in the vegetable plastic and castor beans were farmed in Texas back in the 1970s, officials said. Approximately three acres of low-ricin Brigham castor will be seeded at the AgriLife Research Station in Pecos. The produced seed will be used for crushing and processing trials to determine yield and quality with the remainder dedicated to potential 2012 castor production as planting seed.

Dr. Travis Miller, AgriLife Extension program leader and associate department head for soil and crop sciences at Texas A&M University, said castor previously had a bad reputation because of its potential to contaminate grain crops.

[We] are creating jobs and bringing jobs to America that moved offshore several years ago when castor production was discontinued in Texas in the 1970s. AgriLife ( Research ) has done excellent work recently in improving oil yields while greatly reducing the amount of ricin toxin found in castor beans by as much as 90 percent.”

Dr. David Baltensperger, head of the department of soil and crop sciences at Texas A&M, said new castor varieties have increased salt tolerance and are more drought resistant, “so lands in the Pecos area may once again become productive.”

“Additionally, castor can now be fully mechanized unlike in other castor-producing countries, such that we can now effectively compete against countries like India that export millions of tons of castor oil each year to other countries, including the U.S.”

In terms of “new jobs” for three acres of university-sponsored castor production, estimate this means about five people.

As elliptically referenced by the press release, the rest of the world simply didn’t care what the US thought of castor seeds. “Low ricin” castor seed is an invention nobody cares about, except, possibly — here.

Since “low-ricin” castor plants will not be competing alongside castor plants and seed peddled by garden centers, the invention has virtually no meaning for the usual US white survivalist kooks who buy packets of seeds for fighting off their many imagined enemies.

Expect this to silently piss out and disappear — or be permanently consigned to only very marginal supply — by 2012.

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