09.24.12

Fatso for Akin

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle at 3:27 pm by George Smith

Cult of Electromagnetic Pulse Crazy chieftain endorses Todd Akin:

Former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich broke with national party leaders and endorsed Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, saying other Republicans must “in good conscience” do the same.

“If Todd and the people of Missouri prove it’s a close race, what’s the moral case for not backing the Republican nominee?” Gingrich said.

The moral case? That’s an easy one: You shouldn’t vote for dicks.

Newt Gingrich never does anything without getting paid. One wonders the amount of ransom he required for this?

Corporate vermin dump the Village Voice

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 12:50 pm by George Smith

Tricia Romano, once an editor at the Village Voice, has a Twitter story stream that succinctly described what Michael Lacey of New Times did to the New York altie when it bought the franchise in 2006.

It’s here.

Over the course of seven years, Lacey torched the place until, this weekend, the Voice was sold off to someone else:

Our parent company, Village Voice Media, has been sold to a group of the company’s editors and publishers in a deal that includes the Voice and our 12 sister publications across the country … In a letter to staff announcing the sale, VVM Executive Editor Mike Lacey says he and business partner Jim Larkin “never wished to be the last ones at this remarkable party.”

From 1999 to 2006 I wrote many things for the Voice, including a column on the Iraq war called Weapon of the Week, a cover story, essays and lots and lots of pop music reviews.

When Lacey bought the Voice, he and New Times minion proceeded to fire every editor in the place, naturally including all the people I had written for and pitched to.

The rancor towards them in Romano’s comments fairly reflects what was done to the place.


Under Lacey the Village Voice lost 40 percent of its readership, according to a digest news piece on the matter at Poynter.

Village Voice Media has lost advertising revenue over Lacey’s dual ownership of Backpage, an often sued site infamous for its sex-trafficking and hooker ads.

Lacey, reads the Poynter piece, will devote his time to defending Backpage.

From the Chicago Tribune:

The company split appears aimed at slowing an exodus of national and local advertisers from Village Voice Media in recent months.

In April, the drug company Pfizer agreed to remove its advertising from VVM’s flagship publication, the Village Voice, after pressure from activists who contacted advertisers directly about Backpage’s adult content.

In an April letter, Pfizer sent to a New York based-activist at the forefront of the campaign to pressure VVM to shut down Backpage, which the activist provided to Reuters, a Pfizer representative wrote “we received your inquiry, and Pfizer has decided to remove its advertising in the Village Voice.” Nearly a dozen similar letters from advertisers were provided to Reuters to show that the campaign has been effective.

American Airlines, Best Buy, AT&T, Ikea, H&M, IHOP, Macy’s and the Miami Dolphins professional football team have all stopped advertising in VVM publications in recent months.

Chalk up a small victory for Nicholas Kristof who had used his position and column at the New York Times to publicly shame the Voice over
Backpage.

When you ride with Apple you’re riding with the enemy

Posted in Made in China at 10:18 am by George Smith

From the wire, on an iJunk manufacturing plant in China:

About 2,000 Chinese employees of an iPhone assembly company fought a pitched battle into the early hours of Monday, forcing the huge electronics plant where they work to be shut down.

Authorities in the northern city of Taiyuan sent 5,000 police to restore order after what the plant’s Taiwanese owners Foxconn Technology Group said was a personal dispute in a dormitory that erupted into a mass brawl.

However, some employees and people posting messages online accused factory guards of provoking the trouble by beating up workers at the factory, which employs about 79,000 people and is owned by the world’s largest contract maker of electronic goods.


Apple uber alles. Gotta have the iJunk.

“Comments posted online, however, suggested security guards may have been to blame … In a posting on the Chinese Twitter-like microblog site Sina Weibo, user ‘Jo-Liang’ said that four or five security guards beat a worker almost to death,” reads the story.

The wit and wisdom of Mitt Romney

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 9:56 am by George Smith

Mitt Romney is the syphilis of presidential candidates. He is the worst example I’ve witnessed. Every day brings something new, repugnant, and or stupid from him — like a fresh chancre sore:

When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem. So it’s very dangerous. And she was choking and rubbing her eyes. Fortunately, there was enough oxygen for the pilot and copilot to make a safe landing in Denver. But she’s safe and sound.

Ol’ Syhilis had flown in to soCal to raise money at one of his infamous 50k a plate do’s.

And while he couldn’t get elected to be a dog catcher in the state there are always handfuls of fascist toffs willing to come to Beverly Hills for milking.

09.21.12

The Farmers’ Bummer: Slave labor pool diminished

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall at 1:49 pm by George Smith

One can almost hear the angry sobbing:

Ralph and Cheryl Broetje rely on roughly 1,000 seasonal workers every year to grow and pack over 6 million boxes of apples on their farm along the Snake River in eastern Washington. It’s a custom they’ve maintained for over two decades. Recently, though, their efforts to recruit skilled labor, mostly undocumented immigrants, have come woefully short, despite intensive recruitment efforts in an area with high rates of unemployment.

The Broetjes, and an increasing number of farmers across the country, say that a complex web of local and state anti-immigration laws account for acute labor shortages …

So, across the country, they have started to lobby Congress for an legal illegal immigrant slave labor exemption, to restore business. Only it’s called a national guest worker program so that America can once again compete with the agricultural nations employing slave labor, globally.

“The United States farmer is still the most efficient in the world, and if we want to be in charge of our food security and our economy and add favorably to our balance of payments, we need to support a [slave] labor force for agriculture,” said some douchebag to Time magazine.

iJunkmania

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall at 9:17 am by George Smith

Let out a roar for buying something shiny in the Culture of Lickspittle:

Long after Sayed managed to escape the clutches of reporters, cheers continued erupting each time someone exited the Apple Store, with a new iPhone 5 in hand. The applause could be heard for blocks.


Placard from an Occupy Wall Streeter outside the Apple store who dryly noted the police will arrest you for sleeping out overnight in protest of inequality but not if you’re going to be purchasing iJunk.


Apple uber alles.


Meanwhile, the life expectancy of white people in the economic slice that can’t afford iJunk is crashing in the US.

When you ride with Apple, you ride with the enemy.


The Sexy New iPhone from Alison Becker

There was a technical name for things that collected germs from being in or near your mouth, or ass, down your crotch, etc… It adapts itself well to Apple:

iFomite

I’m betting iJunk is great in this role, particularly in a household with one or more children.

Hat tip to Pine View Farm.

09.20.12

My ass

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 11:35 am by George Smith


Now imagine what happens when you’ve realized that silver nitrate-coated pencil you used yesterday also touched your nose and maybe your ear. Haw haw, nerd, you look funny.

Reads the headline at the Wall Street Journal:

Periodic Table Is New Touchstone of Geek Chic: Chemical Elements Are All the Rage

I was a Ph.D. chemist. Ninety-nine point eight percent of the losers making the fad are never gonna to be that no matter how many pix of odd elements they look up on the web.

“A clip of the 23-year-old actor Daniel Radcliffe on a British talk show singing ‘The Elements,’ a litany of chemical names, has had more than 3.7 million hits on YouTube,” it reads.

Hey, toss a copper penny into a beaker of concentrated HNO3. Breathe deeply.

I used to do stuff like that when I wanted to, like, be irritating. Like fads about chemistry, only for real, not vicariously. And that was just the beginning.

Silver nitrate on coffee cups and pencils, white phosphorus, hydrogen sulfide and other mercaptans, lachrymators, phenophthalein chiclets — good times, good times.

Supplier businesses to the Psychopath vote …

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Extremism, Imminent Catastrophe, Psychopath & Sociopath at 9:49 am by George Smith

Are dependent on an Obama win for a continued business boom, according to the Wall Street Journal:

As Cabela’s Inc. prepares the selection of guns it will sell for the holiday season and winter hunting, the outdoor-gear retailer has two plans: one if President Barack Obama is re-elected, and one if he isn’t.

The Sidney, Neb.-based retailer and other companies in the guns-and-ammo business say if Mr. Obama wins a second term they are preparing for a surge in sales—the same as they saw after he was elected in 2008—from buyers fearful the president would back policies to make buying a gun more difficult. If Republican challenger Mitt Romney wins, though, the chain plans to stock more items such as waterproof boots and camouflage hunting gear.

“[Mr. David Humke], an avid deer hunter, worries guns might become less available in the future,” reads the Journal. “People feel it’s coming so they’re stockpiling,” he said.


Obese white guy in gun shop, with kid in cart, the kind of dude DD never meets, anymore. Different worlds, Nebraska might as well be Pluto.


Growing up in southeastern Pennsyltucky, I was in a community of hunters. Public school was always canceled the first day of hunting season. In fact, it was rare that people didn’t have guns in Pine Grove, PA. I had no problem with gun ownership.

But the continued completely irrational surge of gun sales nationwide during the Obama administration, in the absence of any gun legislation, is the hallmark of a people and culture with which I have nothing in common.

I don’t want to meet them again. What happened to their minds?

Poverty in the economy of FU

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall, Extremism, War On Terror at 8:21 am by George Smith

The Congressional Research Service continues to produce reports laden with information on major issues, analysis unlikely to be popular with one entire side of the political spectrum. For this, it deserves a pat on the back. Sadly, it would seem facts do have a liberal bias, to repeat a common saying some now find annoying.

And Steve Aftergood’s Secrecy blog continues to make the Service’s reports available to the web, as it has done with Poverty in the United States: 2011.

“In 2011, 46.2 million people were counted as poor in the United States, the same number as in 2010 and the largest number of persons counted as poor in the measure’s 53-year recorded history,” reads the opening sentence in the report’s summary.

“The increase in poverty over the last four years reflects the effects of the economic recession that began in December 2007,” it continues. “Some analysts expect poverty to remain above pre-recessionary levels for as long as a decade, and perhaps longer …”

Excerpts from graphs in the CRS report, Poverty in the United States: 2011, illustrate the assertions.

The graphs show that poverty reached a low at the end of the Clinton administration, but began a slow rise during the presidency of George W. Bush, reaching a plateau in the middle of its eight years before abruptly beginning to soar in 2007, the onset of the economic collapse brought on by Wall Street.

The Obama administration inherited the Bush economy, one that was failing catastrophically in 2008, when the number of people falling into poverty increased at a chilling rate.

The graph excerpted above shows the millions of people in poverty from 2000 to 2012, the red line showing totals, the blue — the elderly, and the green line, the national average in terms of the percentage of the national population.

This second graph shows poverty statistics by age group, one in which children are shown as the most affected.

The above map shows the states with the highest increases in poverty. In a fair interpretation, although poverty has increased virtually everywhere in the country (except perhaps in a geographic ring around the capital marking the governing population and its support) the modern radical GOP control the majority of the economies of the states where things are the worst.

Over the course of the Obama administration, GOP politics in the House and Senate have made it largely impossible to do anything about the economy except practice austerity and maintenance of the status quo. It is therefore remarkable, that at least for the elderly, poverty — the CRS notes — has reached an historic low.

However, not all of the nation has done very badly in the last few years. And, for this, the Obama administration must shoulder responsibility.

At a time when so many Americans at home see their lives blighted by an economy of no opportunity, there is one place immune from the problems of being poor.

It is in arms manufacturing and sales, and the following chart — published originally at the New York Times, shows a stark moral dilemma faced by the United States.

In a nation as powerful and with as many resources as ours, it is unconscionable that such a divergence in conditions between the many, and a chosen few — in this case, the makers of the instruments of war, exists. It is pure immorality — in graphs.

Again, Poverty in the United States: 2011, at the Secrecy blog, is here.


Alert readers will have noted the number of people in poverty aligns closely with the number receiving food stamps — 46-47 million.

From the Los Angeles Times, a political reporter — perhaps unaware of the data graphed in the latest CRS report on poverty, delivers this:

[Romney] went on, “The numbers on food stamps are really revealing. When the president took office, 32 million people were on food stamps. And now that number is 15 million higher, almost 50% higher. Now, 47 million people on food stamps. You’ve got Americans falling into poverty under this president.”

That’s a rhetorical one-two punch, first emphasizing the need for jobs — a message that resonates at every rung of the economic ladder — then cite data showing how things are getting worse, not better, under Obama.

Granted, the food-stamp issue could be problematic for Romney too. Republicans have proposed to cut billions of dollars from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by narrowing eligibility for benefits …

And part of this is certainly true. But as everything from the Romney secret video, it also shows a grotesque and twisted view of how things have transpired. The majority of those who qualified for food stamps during the Obama administration do so as a consequence of the economic collapse that came upon the nation in 2007, during the Bush administration. The data is quite clear.

It should also be noted, although it contains little solace, that the graphs from the CRS report show a stabilization of the percentage of those in poverty over the last two years.

09.19.12

Mitt Romney’s Battleships and the 1917 US Navy

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 10:55 am by George Smith

There are no rays of light for Mitt Romney in the secret video. Everything said at the private Florida toff’s club is a liability.

On security, Romney also had much to say. Most notably, the following on alleged weakness in the US military under the Obama administration:

[And] about twice as much as China, not 10 times as much like it’s reported. And we have responsibility for the whole world. They’re only focused on one little area of the world, the South China Sea, the East China Sea, that’s it. And they’re building a military at a rapid rate. So this idea that somehow we’ve already spent so much money in the military—it’s like, guys, don’t overthink how strong we are. We—you probably know it, this was a couple of years ago, but we had one of our aircraft carriers sailing by Japan, and the Chinese pulled up behind it in a diesel sub, in a super-quiet diesel sub, pulled up behind it. It could have been torpedoed. And, I mean, we’re in that kind of—our Navy’s smaller in number of ships than anytime since 1917, and this president wants to shrink it. The list goes on. Our Air Force is older and smaller than anytime since ’47 when the Air Force was formed, and he wants to shrink it. If we go the way of Europe, which is spending 1 to 2 percent of their economy on the military, we will not be able to have freedom in the world.


A 1917 battleship, the Delaware, scrapped in 1924.

The only thing standing between the world and a new Dark Age is the US military.

More simpleton is the unfavorable comparison of number of ships in the USN today versus the the World War I navy, and that this has some dire meaning.

Lets have a look at the US Navy in World War I, from an historical site:

The US Navy inflicted few losses on the German Navy – one definite U-boat plus others possibly mined in the huge North Sea barrage laid in part by the US Navy between Scotland and Norway. Also few major ships were lost to enemy action – one armoured cruiser and two destroyers. However the large and still expanding US Navy came to play an important role in the Atlantic and Western European waters, as well as the Mediterranean after the declaration of war in April 1917.

Most of the battlefleet stayed in American waters because of the shortage of fuel oil in Britain, but five coal-burning dreadnoughts served with the British Grand Fleet as the 6th Battle Squadron (US Battleship Division 9) tipping the balance of power against the German High Seas Fleet even further in favour of the Allies.

In WWI, the Royal Navy was the most powerful projector of national power in the world, followed by the German High Seas Fleet. The 1917 USN — eh.

From another historical site:

In 1914 the Royal Navy was by far the most powerful navy in the world … By early 1914 the Royal Navy had 18 modern dreadnoughts (6 more under construction), 10 battlecruisers …

The Royal Navy fought the biggest heavy ship fleet action in history — the battle of Jutland in 1916, against the High Seas Fleet — and won.

By World War II, the “modern dreadnoughts” of the Royal Navy and USN were obsolete. Practically speaking, only the British capital ships of the 5th Battle Squadron — composed of the Queen Elizabeth class — fought successful actions in both world wars. Warspite, one of these ships, is usually regarded as the best fighting battleship in naval history.

In 1917, there were obviously no nuclear-powered carrier action groups, no nuclear attack or ballistic missile submarines, no cruise missiles, no nothing associated with the modern US Navy. (Number of capital units in the modern USN: 11 supercarriers, 18 ballistic missile subs, nuclear attack submatines — lots, etc. Number of “capital,” ahem, ships in 1917 USN: 16 battleships and another 23 pre-BB antiques.)


Part of the Mitt Romney comparison battleship navy, the Kansas: Done for by the early 1920’s.

To go further into destroying Mitt Romney’s weird comparison would be the same as wasting one’s time chatting with a cinder block. It’s as dumbfounding as everything else in the secret video. And while Romney’s vignette may have been effective with hedge fund wealth at the secret dinner, it leaves one wondering just how he came up with it.

Old Bush security advisors, one presumes. His campaign lists his national security staff here.

It is replete with old Bush administration men. One very familiar name jumps out — Jim Talent — one of the famous quack lobbyists for bioterror defense during the height of the war on terror.

Recently, Paul Krugman characterized Romney’s national security team in this manner:

And in general Romney has gathered around him the very same crew that botched Iraq.

Bear in mind that this is really a choice on Romney’s part; he’s under a lot of pressure from the Tea Party to show himself properly right-wing on domestic issues, but I don’t think there’s an important part of the GOP base that cares much either way whether he’s listening to Dick Cheney’s foreign policy team.

I understand, in a way, why these people are still at it; research shows that the truly incompetent often have high self-confidence, because they’re too incompetent to realize that they’re incompetent …

Also from the secret videotape, Mitt Romney on Iran:

You are right, which is a nuclear Iran is an unthinkable outcome, not just for our friends in Israel and our friends in Europe, but also for us. Because Iran is the state sponsor of terror in the world, has Hezbollah now throughout Latin America, Hezbollah with fissile material. If I were Iran, and a crazed fanatic, I’d say let’s get a little fissile material to Hezbollah, have them carry it to Chicago or some other place, and then if anything goes wrong or if America starts acting up, we’ll just say, “Guess what, unless you stand down, why we’re gonna let off a dirty bomb.” This is where we head, where American can be held up and blackmailed by Iran, by the mullahs, by crazy people. So we really don’t have any option but to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon.

I’ll give the specifics about Iran, and then maybe talk more broadly about foreign policy. The specific on Iran is that we should have put in place crippling sanctions at the beginning of the president’s term. We did not. He will say, “Yes, but Russian wouldn’t go along with us.” Well, he gave Russia their No. 1 foreign objective: For a decade, all they’ve cared about is getting the missile defense sites out of Poland, and he gave them that and got nothing in return. He could have—I presume—gotten them to agree to crippling sanctions on Iran. He did not, which is in my opinion, one of the greatest foreign policy errors of the modern time. And by the way, if he could not have gotten that from Russia, he should have kept the missile defense sites in Poland, just to keep a bargaining chip on table. I mean, put nothing in if he wants—I would have kept them, I wouldn’t have traded them away, but that’s where he was.

No. 2, we should have been aggressively supporting the voices of dissent in Iran, and when there was an effort towards revolution there we should been aggressively supporting. And finally we should have made it clear, at least by now, that we have military plans to potentially remove their nuclear capabilities. That doesn’t mean we actually pull the trigger, but it means we communicate to them that we’re ready to do so. And that it is unacceptable to America to have a nuclear Iran. Instead what this administration has done is communicate to the Iranians that we’re more worried about Israel attacking them than we are about them becoming nuclear. It’s extraordinary. So those are some thoughts directly at Iran.

Presently, it appears that the Obama administration is waging a sometimes very hot, secret war against Iran.

Today, there was news of a special forces operation cutting off power to Iranian nuclear facilities.

More recently, the New York Times showed the massive sales of US arms to nations on the southern side of the Persian Gulf.

And there have been the continuing attempts to attack the infrastructures of Iran and other Middle Eastern nations with computer viruses.

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