09.28.12

Nugent recommends work crews for the 47%

Posted in Extremism, Psychopath & Sociopath, Ted Nugent at 11:06 am by George Smith

From the Washington Times, Nugent explains the weird GOP conspiracy theory about the Democratic Party:

As I’ve written before, for at least the past 50 years the Democratic Party has intentionally engineered a class of political “victims” who have been bamboozled into being dependent on the federal government for their subsistence, including food, housing and now health care. They get this without paying any federal income taxes, and that’s wrong. Something for nothing is always a scam. This is how you buy votes, plain and simple.

“No able-bodied American should get anything for free while doing nothing to earn it,” he concludes.

Work crews are the answer, presumably: “Put a rake, shovel, paint brush or broom in their hands …That will instill some pride back in their lives…”

In the face of such irresistible logic it would seem pointless to say: “But almost all of them are already working.”

09.27.12

The Bomb Iran lobby

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Extremism at 2:49 pm by George Smith

If they could personally touch off a war with Iran before the election, they would.

From the Cult of Electromagnetic Pulse Crazy, and the anti-shariah law/get Huma Abedin crew, this — timed for Netanyahu’s “red line” speech at the UN.

It’s useful to see how the Cult is doing its best to start another war in the Middle East.

Times are hard for the Cult of EMP Crazy. It’s old Congressional main man, Republican Roscoe Bartlett, may lose his House re-election bid in November.

Bartlett, whose career cause has been one warning about electromagnetic pulse doom after another and getting ignored or having his legislation on it wiped off bills by other more powerful pols in his own party, stepped in it earlier this month at a town meeting in his district.

From the WaPost:

“I’m for student loans. I want kids to have an education,” Bartlett responded. But he explained that he had read through the Constitution carefully and could find no evidence “that the federal government should be involved in education.” Then Bartlett expanded on that point (at the 3:35 mark in the clip above, which was passed along by a Democrat).

“Not that it’s not a good idea to give students loans; it certainly is a good idea to give them loans,” Bartlett said. “But if you can ignore the Constitution to do something good today, tomorrow you will be ignoring the Constitution to do something bad. You could. There are more people in our, in America today of German ancestry than any other [inaudible]. The Holocaust that occurred in Germany — how in the heck could that happen? And when you start down the wrong road, it can be a very slippery slope.”

Loosely comparing the granting of student loans to American German citizens, Hitler and the terror that led to the Holocaust in Nazi Germany probably lost him a few votes. If anyone was paying attention.

Someone should probably purchase Bartlett an old used copy of William L. Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

It is a thick book but Roscoe Bartlett will have time to read it when he continues prepping for the coming collapse after the election. The book makes it hard to square the alleged problem of more school loans with, say, the burning of the Reichstag, the murder and imprisonment of thousands of the Nazi Party’s enemies, and the bestial reduction of German Jews to non-citizen “objects” while the Fuhrer was taking dictatorial power in the final days of Weimar Germany.

The Washington Post may have unintentionally written Bartlett’s political obituary, in August, here.

The article was a laundry list of right-wing survivalist/electromagnetic pulse doom crazy: “The idea that the end of the world is near, and that people will be judged, is a key tenet of [Roscoe Bartlett’s] Adventist beliefs.”


Roscoe Bartlett and the Cult of EMP Crazy — from the archives.

‘Who did you assign to the case?’

Posted in Rock 'n' Roll at 10:44 am by George Smith

Mr. Herbert Lom had the title role in a not very successful remake of “The Phantom of the Opera” (1962); he was Van Helsing in “Count Dracula” (1970), one of many movies starring Christopher Lee as the notorious vampire; and he played a bloodthirsty witch hunter in 18th-century Austria in the ultra-gory German-made “Mark of the Devil” (1970), which developed a cult following for its explicit torture scenes; audiences were handed “stomach distress bags” at cinemas around the world. — the New York Times

While I remember the vomit bags at the Pine Grove matinee, I don’t recall much about the movie. However, Chief Inspector Dreyfus was unforgettable. Would Peter Sellers have been quite as funny without him in the alternating scenes?

University penis measuring

Posted in Bioterrorism, Culture of Lickspittle at 9:16 am by George Smith

Magazines and news organs are obsessed with rating schools. Today’s example, CNN Money’s list of universities that produce the “highest paid grads.”

They all cluster around computer science, engineering and hard science degrees.

Lehigh, my alma mater, is number six in the list.

As far as LU went, the benefits of the school reputation, when it came to immediate hiring, went exclusively to the civil, mech and chemical engineers. Those were the only students corporate America deigned to send recruiting scouts to the school for.

During this time the student body and athletes were “the Engineers.”

Today, the school is the home of the much less inspiring “Mountain Hawks,” changed because it now has more non-engineers enrolled than the real thing.

Also in the list, the obvious — CalTech, here in Pasadena, MIT, the Ivy League schools … (Harvard’s there, where you must go and learn to be a lawyer to have any chance of being among America’s nobility, or at least one of its immediate shoeshiners.)

Surprisingly, the service academies at Annapolis and West Point are included, again for their undergraduate engineering degrees. (The inclusion of Stevens Tech in Hoboken, and a couple other old but small relative unknowns made me laugh, names that show the editors were pooching their list to add a few surprises.)

So if the only measuring stick is bucks on hiring and at mid-career, perhaps all the schools are a good bet, if you’ve the right degree and can survive the four years with a reasonable record.

Otherwise, I’m jaundiced. Monetarily, Lehigh has never been of even the slightest value. And of the majority of the peers I recall in my classes, not so much, initially, for them, either.

However, I was able to make a difference at the school. Unlike the vast majority of engineers who there at the same time.

I discovered the basic science of one of the species in the category of flesh-eating bacteria, when very few others were interested. Lehigh gave me the time and resources to do that.

That was as a doctoral student which, most people will recognize, doesn’t come with a salary.

09.26.12

Stench (The Musical)

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Phlogiston, Rock 'n' Roll at 7:41 pm by George Smith

If you don’t think it’s funny you can’t be my friend.

A little over two hours of recording, not bad for a quick joke where I had to come up with a song to fit a comical monster movie vibe. And, yeah, except for the drums which are programmed, I do play all that stuff.

Stench

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Extremism at 9:40 am by George Smith

I’ve been calling him Ol’ Syphilis, but this is good from a joke column at Politico:

“I hate to say this, but if Ryan wants to run for national office again, he’ll probably have to wash the stench of Mitt Romney off of him,” Craig Robinson, a former political director of the Republican Party of Iowa, told The New York Times on Sunday.

Coming from a resident of Iowa, a state where people are polite even to soybeans, this was a powerful condemnation of the Republican nominee.

Though Ryan had already decided to distance himself from the floundering Romney campaign, he now feels totally uninhibited. Reportedly, he has been marching around his campaign bus, saying things like, “If Stench calls, take a message” and “Tell Stench I’m having finger sandwiches with Peggy Noonan and will text him later.”

Even before the stench article appeared, there was a strong sign that Ryan was freeing himself from the grips of the Romney campaign.

It sucked in Paul Krugman.

Hey, it happens. A couple weeks ago I fell for a similar joke piece in which Todd Akin was said to have told a political reporter gayness was cured by breast milk.

Anyway, when everyone is making your campaign the butt of jokes, it’s over. No one is bothering to hide the contempt.


Another bad 24 hours, by viral accident, for Mitt Romney.

09.25.12

Eat the Paste: Happy Days Are Here!

Posted in Made in China at 4:08 pm by George Smith

Maybe you can have a temporary minimum wage job in retail with bad hours and no benefits for three months this year, ringing the cash register for stuff made in China. You may not be able to afford holiday gifts but you might be able to wrap or bag them!

Hallelujah!

There are also signs of an improving jobs picture. The best gift this holiday season may be more jobs.

Toys “R” Us said Tuesday it will take on 45,000 seasonal workers this holiday — 5,000 more than last year.

Kohl’s, the department store chain, is adding more than 52,000 holiday workers, about 10 percent more than last year.

Target’s seasonal workforce will be 80,000 to 90,000, down slightly from a year ago.

But Walmart is adding 50,000 jobs, slightly more than last year, and Gamestop will add 17,000.

But a much better job would be to be the kind of journalist writing these evergreen stories, positions which pay more, come with benefits and, perhaps, longer duration. Plus you get to think and act like you eat paste all day.

“Apple has already sold more than 5 million iPhone 5s,” it reads. “That doesn’t sound like an economy in recession,” said a vice president from GameStop.

Lessee, 5 million iPhones versus 46-47 million unemployed/underemployed or on food stamps. Ignore the eaters of paste.


You’ll get to work into January, too. Returns, ya see.

Terror weapons

Posted in Bombing Paupers, Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, War On Terror at 3:16 pm by George Smith

American human right researchers on both coasts — at Stanford out here, and NYU, have published a collaborative study on the drone campaigns in Pakistan. And it isn’t pretty. For practical purpose, drones are conducting a campaign of terror despite official blandishments to the contrary.

The drone campaign is also free of democratic control.

Wrote the LA Times today:

Far more civilians have been killed by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas than U.S. counter-terrorism officials have acknowledged, a new study by human rights researchers at Stanford University and New York University contends.

The report, “Living Under Drones,” also concludes that the classified CIA program has not made America any safer and instead has turned the Pakistani public against U.S. policy in the volatile region.

Notably, this story was not written by the newspaper’s drone flack, W. J. Hennigan, who over the space of the last couple years has been something of a p.r. office for the armed drone industry.

From the executive summary of Living Under Drones:

[US drone strike policies] cause considerable and under-accounted-for harm to the daily lives of ordinary civilians, beyond death and physical injury. Drones hover twenty-four hours a day over communities in northwest Pakistan, striking homes, vehicles, and public spaces without warning. Their presence terrorizes men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities. Those living under drones have to face the constant worry that a deadly strike may be fired at any moment, and the knowledge that they are powerless to protect themselves. These fears have affected behavior. The US practice of striking one area multiple times, and evidence that it has killed rescuers, makes both community members and humanitarian workers afraid or unwilling to assist injured victims. Some community members shy away from gathering in groups, including important tribal dispute-resolution bodies, out of fear that they may attract the attention of drone operators. Some parents choose to keep their children home, and children injured or traumatized by strikes have dropped out of school. Waziris told our researchers that the strikes have undermined cultural and religious practices related to burial, and made family members afraid to attend funerals. In addition, families who lost loved ones or their homes in drone strikes now struggle to support themselves.

The Living Under Drones researchers recommend the US government institute a new set of procedure, all of which will presumably be found quite unpalatable by the Obama administration.

They include: “[ensuring] independent investigations into drone strike deaths.” conducting “robust investigations and, where appropriate, prosecutions [while establishing] compensation programs for civilians harmed by US strikes,” and fulfilling “its international humanitarian and human rights law obligations with respect to the use of force, including by not using lethal force against individuals who are not members of armed groups …”

Journalists, it advises, “should cease the common practice of referring simply to ‘militant’ deaths, without further explanation. All reporting of government accounts of ‘militant’ deaths should include acknowledgment that the US government counts all adult males killed by strikes as ‘militants’ …”

Naturally, there has been a loud cry against the incessant escalating use of drones abroad. In a slew of cartoons, editorials and even some news pieces, the drone campaign has been heavily criticized.

All without effect, demonstrating how the drone program has gone completely beyond democratic control. Indeed, the use of drones to kill people in the poorest and most desperate places of the world has not even been a momentary topic for discussion in the current presidential race.

Osama bin Laden is dead and al Qaeda has been rendered virtually non-operational, except for moments of opportunity in places wracked by civil war and total societal breakdown.

Yet, eleven years after 9/11, the eye barely blinks when news stories come across the wire on the thrumming of General Atomics’ Reaper drones in the air above the blighted areas of Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. And the subsequent technological vengeance brought down on those in the targeted areas.

The Paste Eaters

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Fiat money fear and loathers at 1:10 pm by George Smith

When you have to start you column like this (it’s like starting one with “It’s not always a bad idea to beat your wife”):

Gold is not just a lunatic fringe investment

Gold is often derisively referred to as an investment that only kooks who are preparing for the end of the world in a bunker can love. But it might be time to stop with all the gold bashing.

Sure, plans to return to the gold standard may still seem a bit extreme. (Sorry Ron Paul and your loyal minions!)

Over at CNN, it’s peppered with “I am not a gold bug” and the disclaimer, “The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Paul R. La Monica.”

At $1770 an ounce the average American in 2012 can really afford to make a killing in gold hoarding, lemme tell ya.

“Now I’m not trying to suggest that gold is the new Apple,” writes the paste eater, trying to have the glue and eat it, too.

Symantec/Norton Anti-virus’ wet dream

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 9:49 am by George Smith

The new fad is mini-series TV for the web. A couple months ago Yahoo rolled out “Electric City,” an animated science-fiction drama starring its bank roller, Tom Hanks as the central figure. I watched two episodes, as thrilling as watching mud dry.

Today Yahoo started “Cybergeddon,” a very poor woman’s “24,” underwritten by Symantec.

You know what it’s all about. Push software button remote terrorism, with all the scenarios and myths the salesmen and fear-mongers have delivered over the last ten years.

Since the episodes are only 10 minutes long, there’s a lot of push-buttoning to be shoehorned into each segment.

The premier, uniquely entitled “Push of a Button,” has its central character, a young lady of the FBI who has just nabbed her first cyber-terrorist in Prague, dumping her boyfriend special agent because she prizes her career track more.

The cyberterrorist is sent to prison in the Ukraine where his term is cut short because he has a smartphone which he pushes a button on to deposit a quarter of a million dollars in the accounts of his guards.

A deal’s a deal — so instead of beating him to death and keeping the cash — the jailers let him out.

Upon which he pushes another button on his smartphone to launch an attack on the, wait for it, water systems of southern California. A virus, said to be like Stuxnet, you know — the one we wrote to attack Iran, has been activated in Los Angeles.

It’s a laughable subterfuge, regularly peddled by cybersecurity salesmen.

Water in Los Angeles county is not centrally controlled or even in one spot. It’s all over, in the little sub-communities and tracts, in the valleys and the foothills, and the smaller to medium-sized cities of the Los Angeles metropolitan complex.

It’s distributed, there’s no way to centrally attack it, or to even attack one piece that would immediately threaten to endanger millions of people. Sadly for terrorists, if not scriptwriters or cybersecurity salesmen, water is durable in the US.

From a month or so ago, when the usual quacks were peddling the idea in hopes of getting some cybersecurity legislation passed:

For example, my brain tells me, and it’s usually pretty good at these things, that it would be virtually impossible to affect water in Los Angeles County short of destroying the Owens Valley, the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the Colorado River and the Colorado River Aqueduct. It would take an almost irreversible blackout in California to hinder the flow of water into LA County.

What, could hackers or cyber-soldiers blow up Pasadena Water & Power or make the complex unusable and all the water unpotable?

Contrary to what may be popular belief, huge vats of poison are not stored right with water so that a “the push of a button” can contaminate it. Too much chlorine, or adding a little too much alum, would have only negligible effects.

Southern California would ignore you, “Push of a Button” cyberterrorist.

The traffic on the freeway through Pasadena would start jamming around three, as usual. The sun would blast the concrete on the el Molino bridge as I walk over it, maybe to Bobby’s for a soda and a taco.

And that’s all I have to say about this piece of pandering crap. I jumped on the grenade.

Cybergeddon — “The Push of a Button” — is here.

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