ustoo Dead

Sites to see:

Essential
Almost Essential
From the Left
From the Right
Magazines and Journals
Various Weblogs and Pundits
Think Tanks
Data
Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
Shrill Leftist Garbage

 

Saturday, April 30, 2005

No words... 

Catholic hospitals Colorado have a policy of not informing women who've been raped about emergency contraception if they've ovulated. This is cruel beyond words.

More from Scott Lemieux and Hilzoy.

-Ziggy Stardust  16:56 EST | |

Sweatshop labor for lawyers? 

Well, not me anyway... but I do have several close friends who want to be public defenders. Don Herzog makes the job look rather tough.

-Ziggy Stardust  15:37 EST | |

Friday, April 29, 2005

Panic. 

"Hitchhiker's" sucks. Really, really bad. I haven't felt this good since November.

-Miguel Sanchez  15:12 EST | |

I should be studying... 

...but I have to link to someone who is bashing the WSJ editorial page (which is otherwise a great paper). Here's an excerpt:

A Wall Street Journal editorial this week cites a recent IRS study detailing which income groups pay what level of taxes. The editors note with satisfaction that the highest-earning 0.1% of the population paid 5.06% of the federal tax burden in 1979, and was paying 9.52% as of a couple of years ago.

To the Journal editors, this proves that "the overall tax burden grew more progressive from 1979 to 1999." The editorial goes on to note that any move to raise taxes on the rich would be deeply unfair because those poor folks "already bear an outsized share of the American tax burden."

It is certainly true that the richest 0.1% are paying a higher share of the national tax burden. Is that because they're getting socked by the tax code? No, it's because the very rich are earning a far bigger proportion of the national income. In 1979, the highest-earning 0.1% took home about 3% of the national income, and paid about 5% of the taxes. In 1999, they earned about 10% of the national income and paid about 11% of the taxes.

In fact, the tax rate borne by the very rich has plummeted. In 1979, the top 0.1% paid, on average, 32% of their income in taxes. Today, they pay less than 23%. So what's happening is that the top 0.1% are paying a higher share of the tax burden because their share of the national income is rising faster than their tax rates are falling. The Journal editorial board sees this state of affairs as class warfare against the rich.

At this point, you may be wondering whether it's really possible that professional editorial writers at a first-rate newspaper — people who, after all, are paid to think seriously about issues like this — could make such a simple statistical mistake. Are they really so dishonest or so dumb as to think that you can measure the fairness of a tax code by looking at what share of the taxes various groups pay without considering how much they earn? I can tell you, as a regular reader of that page, that the answer is: Yes, they really, really are.

-Daddy Brooklyn  13:37 EST | |

Fodder for The Daily Show 

The transcript of Bush's press conference is here.

Bush says without a hint of irony:
But, nevertheless, there are still some in Iraq who aren't happy with democracy. They want to go back to the old days of tyranny and darkness and torture chambers and mass graves.
And on Social Security:
Third, any reform of Social Security must replace the empty promises being made to younger workers with real assets, real money....

...I know some Americans have reservations about investing in the stock market, so I propose that one investment option consist entirely of treasury bonds, which are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.
So, replace "empty promises", which are in fact Treasury bonds backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government with more Treasury bonds? Okay, this isn't that good of a punchline, but why the fuck is the president referring to US bonds as empty promises?

I only read about two-thirds of the transcript (I've found that my anger is less visceral and more rational when I read Bush sinstead of watch him), but really, Bush sounds like he's either an eight year old or he's trying to explain complicated things to eight year olds. Like this:
Today, I talked to the prime minister of Iraq; had a great conversation with him. I told him I was proud of the fact that he's willing to stand up and lead. I told him I appreciate his courage and the courage of those who are willing to serve the Iraqi people in government.

BUSH: I told him, I said, When America makes a commitment, we'll stand by you.

I said, I hope you get your constitution written on time. And he agreed. He recognizes it's very important for the transitional national assembly to get the constitution written so it can be submitted to the people on time. He understands the need for a timely write of the constitution.

-Daddy Brooklyn  10:53 EST | |

If you don't stop looking at my girlfriend 

I will be legally entitled to kill you in the state of Florida.

I think Colorado's "Make My Day" law is fine and reasonable; if some dark figure is lurking in your home you can't identify in the middle of the night, shoot away. Kicking up a notch, Jeb "Culture of Life" Bush signed a bill this week that makes preemptive strikes not just whizbang foreign policy, but everyday "common sense crime reduction". Now if I "feel threatened", I can start shooting, say, in broad daylight, in the mall, when I see some surly teenagers. If I ever find myself in Florida, I will just shoot everyone I see dead as soon as possible, based on the idea that I am threatened by their potential to become threatened by me and then be legally allowed to kill me.

What the fuck are these people thinking? Oh, Bernard Goetz! You were simply ahead of your time, and north by 2000 too many miles.

-Miguel Sanchez  10:13 EST | |

Go To Hell, You Old Bastard 

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Real Life v. Internet (or, How to Not Study Property) 

After some personal debate I decided this was worth sharing. I thought it was especially funny when I recognized some of the bloggers here in the video.

Disclaimer: I am easily amused right now.

-Lucky  20:06 EST | |

Speaking of Highways 

There is a plan in the works to build a privately owned, 95mph super highway from Ft Collins to Pueblo, speeding about 20 miles East of I-25. It is rustling some feathers beck here in Colorado, specifically over the proposed use of emanent domain to secure the right of way - a bill is being debated in the current state assembly that would allow just that.

The pros of the deal are that it would move a lot of truck traffic off of I-25. Also, the path would be used to shift the rail lines moving through Denver out to the eastern plains, freeing up now valuable real estate in the heart of the city.

Some questions I have: What will the environmental impact of such a project be? Does the state patrol have a mandate to police a privately owned road? What happens in 20 years when the project is paid off and the investors want out? Who will fund the needed increases in police, fire and EMS in the rural communities the road passes through?

-Ben  16:35 EST | |

The things that get ustoo in a search engine 

From time to time, I look over the referrers list on our tracking page. One of the listings we get is "last 20 search engine referrers." I am often shocked at the searches that result in an ustoo hit.

Here's a sampling:
  • psychologists that believe that adoption by same-sex couples is wrong
  • writing about deflower a girl first time
  • how should we judge like god want's us to judge one another
  • "sexless marriage" sin
Hmmm...

-Ben  15:33 EST | |

grist for geeks 

Kevin Smith reviews the new Star Wars flick (anybody in Denver wanna go see it?)

And, if you are so inclined, check out Darth Vader's blog.

-Ben  15:18 EST | |

I love this idea 

I love the idea of congestion pricing rush hour commutes, or basically anything that internalizes bad car externalities. It makes so much sense, especially when you read those studies that say something like a 15% (or so) reduction in traffic in certain places would eliminate gridlock.

This is probably one of the few times that I mostly agree with small government conservatives on something, though from my perspective (I'm dead tired and maybe not thinking straight), it seems like it would be easier and cheaper to just raise gas taxes rather than build the infrastructure to collect tolls alll over less congested highways (like those in TX). I know it ain't gonna happen, but it seems like a better idea.

-Daddy Brooklyn  00:41 EST | |

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Something that's been in the back of my head, maybe Josh or Matt can help 

So there was a song playing on top 40 radio during or around our last years of college, 2000-02. The song was by a band I always confused with Jimmy Eat World, but I don't think it is that band. The song had a video that was filmed inside a house with the camera circling around the lead singer.

Does anyone have any idea of what I'm thinking of?

-Ziggy Stardust  23:43 EST | |

Michael Walzer is also spot on 

Walzer's piece in Dissent about the temperamental shift in American politics is great.

Additionally, check out my former comparative con law professor's radical position on judicial review. If it wasn't for the costs to reproductive rights, I'd sign up. (It is the article by Mark Tushnet, for some reason DISSENT doesn't like article-specific hyper-links).

-Ziggy Stardust  20:38 EST | |

Thomas Frank 

Those crazy lawyers, otherwise known as scum 

At Holland & Knight (in Florida)... I mean, if you can't sexually harass associates as a partner, why even put in the hours? Does it make me jaded that I'm not at all surprised the asshole didn't lose his job?

Via Unfogged.

-Ziggy Stardust  18:28 EST | |

To do when procrastinating: 

Dicover the popularity of first names over time (cool graphics included).

-Ziggy Stardust  18:26 EST | |

Monday, April 25, 2005

Where did they get this guy? 

The new Times columnist just came out with the most asinine op-ed I've read in quite some time. This must be intentionally disengenuous.

-Daddy Brooklyn  23:03 EST | |

Oops I Did It Again: The Original 

Running numbers 

In Mob movies, I knew that when cops said someone was in to numbers it meant they were running some gambling operation, but before I read this article, I had no idea what "numbers" actually was. It's kinda like the lottery.

-Daddy Brooklyn  14:37 EST | |

Saturday, April 23, 2005

BlogShares 

Check out blogshares, the stock market for blogs. And buy my shares so that I can be rich. In fake play money.

-Matt  16:27 EST | |

Friday, April 22, 2005

Because it's Passover 

This was on overheardinnewyork
Daughter tourist: Wow! Look at him.
Mother tourist: Yeah, who knew there were so many Amish in New York?

--Bowling Green Park

That's funny.

-Daddy Brooklyn  17:23 EST | |

Kung Fu Hustle 

"like Jackie Chan and Buster Keaton meet Quentin Tarantino and Bugs Bunny."

I'm definately seeing this one.

-Ben  17:12 EST | |

Turn on CSPAN now 

Anyone who can tune to C-SPAN right now should.

There is a great panel discussion with O'Connor, Breyer, and Scalia on " the role and operation of the Supreme Court, the state of civics knowledge and education, and the evolution of democratic institutions and principles during periods of societal change"

115-215 PM EDT.

-Ben  13:41 EST | |

Note to Pandagon: 

Jessee, Amanda, why are you not posting? I appreciate the fact that you are moving servers and redesigning the site, but you haven't posted in days.

We rely on your erudite wit and political ramblings as part of our daily routine. Maybe we'd begun to take it for granted, but now, without your posting, we've realized how much we value you.

Please come back soon.

P.S. We miss Ezra, too.

-Ben  13:18 EST | |

WSJ slams Bush Admin budgeting 

This Article, so kindly reprinted for us by the Cato Institute, has some tough words for the Bush administration and it's budgeting policies. Best line:
In prior years, Congress has ignored most of the limited cuts proposed by the administration because of a conflicted message from the White House -- namely, We want spending restraint, except in the many areas where we want increases
Another interesting tidbit is that "Overall spending is projected to rise 3.6% [excludes Iraq -ed] in 2006, but that follows an enormous 33% increase over the past four years"

It's an worth a read.

-Ben  13:11 EST | |

You've paid once, now pay again, please 

A bill going through the Senate would pull NOAA weather data off the internet.

What's the deal here? According to the Bill's sponsor, Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) "It is not an easy prospect for a business to attract advertisers, subscribers or investors when the government is providing similar products and services for free."

So by "free," you mean "with taxpayer dollars", right?

Sorry, businesses. Did you want the government to withold any other information while we're at it? How about property information or securites info? Zip Codes?

According to their website, NOAA's National Weather Service is "the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States" and that "Television weathercasters and private meteorology companies prepare their forecasts using this information." This makes me curious when I read that "the National Weather Service has not focused on what its core mission should be, which is protecting other people's lives and property" from a Bill Myers, Vice President of AccuWeather.com, a supporter of the bill.

Odd, It looks to me like the NWS's core mission is to provide weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States. Presumably, the NWS would not stop doind this under the bill, the information would simply no longer be available for free to taxpayers.

In short, the bill is designed to force consumers to get weather information from the businesses who present it in their own form, instead of directly from NOAA.

Maybe, just maybe, these businesses could attract advertisers, sbscrbers and inverstors by providing a product that is superior to what is freely available. Maybe senator Santorum should not be trying to enrich businesses by denying taxpayers access to information they are already paying for.

Maybe this pisses me off a little bit.

-Ben  12:17 EST | |

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Religious bigotry in Colorado Springs? 

TPM discusses the NYT story about complaints at the AFA about religious discrimination against non-Christians. I'm not sure what to make of it.

-Ziggy Stardust  12:04 EST | |

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Clowns, Face-Painting, and Carnies 

As the craziest and most radical-sounding person on this island we here like to call "ustoo", let me recommend a wonderful sideshow of treats in the blogging world known as The Carnival of the Un-Capitalists (more here). A disclaimer should here be put: I make my own bread and have stopped shopping at major food retailers, choosing instead for the simplicity of a place like Trader Joe's and the love of a good Farmer's Market. I take no medications, save a few vitamin supplements. I never eat fast food and I'd make my own clothes if I could learn how to sew without bleeding. I'm probably the most radically-left person on this blog, as I believe in mass-sterilization of not only the sex-offending variety, but also the people who "can't learn", like certain world-leaders. I believe in the destruction of profit-motive at the hands of a government that will tax businesses at a rate higher than potential profit if the business' profit is made by doing things that are harmful to workers, the community, or the environment. I think the advertising industry should be destroyed, not by government, but by the forced-education of the masses via a nationally well-funded public school system paid for by the sales of sports memorabilia (a law the government will have passed prohibiting anyone save public education from receiving funds from the sale of sports-related merchandise). I dream of a world where Donald Trump has to hold a clever cardboard sign in order to scrape together enough to eat and the people have revolted against the oppressions they've made for themselves with what they buy, what they watch, what they wear, and what they eat. Health care for everyone will be paid for, first through the massive lawsuits brought against pharmaceutical companies on behalf of half the known world and then, as healthcare becomes less necessary because of the general improvement in health because of the nationalized education policies, less money will be necessary to fund it. What money is necessary will come from a radicalized tax policy that taxes those who have made more money than the rest of humanity merely by being rich and well-educated as children, having dumb luck, or through gross profiteering (those few who made their money the "good 'ol fashioned way" will be known by me and will have to pay no more or less than all the other rich people). Also, there should be abortions for all and tiny American flags for others. And everyone should be forced to try homosexuality once.

There are two problems with this that I see: first, sweeping governmental changes will be necessary - specifically, I need to be elected emperor of the world. I promise not to abuse my power any more than has already been described. And I don't want to do this by killing a lot of people (some, not a lot), so you all need to just peacefully agree that I know what's best (and, if not, I know someone who knows what's best).

Second, my current employment consists of being a bourgeois capitalist pig (possibly leading to a questioning of the veracity of what I claim to believe), but I'm doing that just to learn what I hate, I promise.

-Matt  22:00 EST | |

Monday, April 18, 2005

Housekeeping 

I am sick of this half page long list of bios. Here's what we are going to do now. Everybody write him or herself a bio as a post, whose title will be "Your name" (quotes excl), or someting clever, or both. Then, Where the current bios are, I will put a link with your name that links to that post. Blammo! instant blog bios.

Also, I am still waiting on lists of top liks from: jess, miguel, ziggy and alex. C'mon people.

-Ben  19:40 EST | |

The U.S. Economy is A-Okay 

Two guys from credible institutions write in Foreign Affairs that the U.S. economy is just fine; that we don't need to worry about the current account deficit, the low savings rate, and other such things. I wish I was equipped with the knowledge to really judge these claims.

-Daddy Brooklyn  14:38 EST | |

I've been wondering about this... 

Statistics on Deadwood (the second best show on t.v.).

-Ziggy Stardust  12:03 EST | |

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Perhaps a site only Mark would love 

I remember those $10 beers in Norway 

This surprising story says that once you adjust for purchasing power, the three poorest countries in Western Europe are Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

My hunch--I think it's more than a hunch--is that all of the moguls in the U.S. pump up the average income and make up for the poor people who don't do their part when it comes to making money. The average standard of living may be lower in Scandanavia, but there is far less income/wealth inequality in these countries and there is more uniform access to things like basic health care and school. Such an egalitarian society (which I'm totally in favor of) probably retards economic growth--I wonder if Scandanavian growth will ever slow so much that the people will there clamor to do away with their welfare state and be all callous like us.

-Daddy Brooklyn  11:49 EST | |

Bob Kerrey for mayor 

This is bound to interest only Ziggy and me. Man I would love it if Bob Kerrey* ran for mayor.

I'm lukewarm and admittedly pretty ignorant about the Democrats who are in the race. And I have mixed feelings about Bloomberg: he's done some good budget work, but he wants to put a damn stadium on the west side of Manhattan and he kowtowed to the national Republicans last summer.

*Will this inevitably lead to some swiftboat like attack on Kerrey?

-Daddy Brooklyn  11:43 EST | |

For all of you H2G2 fans 

The movie adaptation of a true classic, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, is set to be released on April 29th. If you are excited about it as I am, you might enjoy this review.

-Ben  03:57 EST | |

Saturday, April 16, 2005

What the hell? 

The state department has discontinued it's "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report.

This is the same report that shows global terrorism (excluding attacks against troops in Iraq) up 350% in 2004, and the same report that created such a stir last year when the 2003 numbers had to be revised because they were too low.

Thanks, Condi.

Via Yglesias.

-Ben  20:08 EST | |

Efficient Market Hypothesis and the Papal Enclave 

No, this isn't about Scalia. But I'm just a tease/slave to Mark's orders...

-Ziggy Stardust  18:01 EST | |

Friday, April 15, 2005

Mark want's something to read at work, well... 

God bless John McCain 

It's unusal for a senator to admit something that's uncomfortable--even if it's true and well known. On TV, McCain said: "By the way, when Bill Clinton was president, we, effectively, in the Judiciary Committee blocked a number of his nominees," Mr. McCain said. What a good Republican.

The article is about activist anti-Christian liberal judges and a telecast rallying against them.
Fliers for the telecast, organized by the Family Research Council and scheduled to originate at a Kentucky megachurch the evening of April 24, call the day "Justice Sunday" and depict a young man holding a Bible in one hand and a gavel in the other.

-Daddy Brooklyn  12:33 EST | |

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The purpose of this blog 

What with our erudition and quck wits, I know all of us could be renowned members of the commentariat if we only tried. But we have other things going on, so we rarely write anything original or substantive here. If I remember correctly, writing original and substantive things wasn't the purpose of this blog--we really just wanted to have an orderly place to point out interesting things that we had read. And maybe add a sentence or two. I think we should do a little more of this, if only because I want to have more to read when I'm at work.

-Daddy Brooklyn  21:03 EST | |

Damn the judges 

This latest conservative crusade against "activist judges" illustrates just how far off-kilter the right has become.

This is the party whose basic tenants promote moderation, individual responsibility, and protection of rights. Now, we find them waving a bible in one hand, the constitution in the other, and advocating for the impeachment of any judge who does not agree with them. Why would we impeach a judge - one sworn to uphold the law, rather than the whim of Tom DeLay and whatever might grant him the most political capital that weeek - who is simply doing his job?

My best guess is that the Right has found such great sustinence in conservative christians that they are willing to stoop to any level to please the new masters.

Any thoughts?

-Ben  10:00 EST | |

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Junior Book Review Club 

Ah, townhall. You are a venerable repository of well-formed opinion. Take for example, this guy, who offers parents a list of books to save their children from being brainwashed into commie-hood by America's evil professors. Among his surprising opinions are the following: (a) the Vietnam war era was a time of wonderful simplicity (b) socialism and communism are the same thing (c) George Orwell's Animal Farm is a pro-capitalist tract, on the level of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. With regard to point (c), the author admits he does not have a literary mind. He states he failed High School lit 4 times, unable to understand symbolism he himself calls "obvious". He claims that despite this handicap, he ran to a finish line called Animal Farm in a literary Special Olympics of one. Sorry. You tried your hardest, but you didn’t win.

Animal Farm is a condemnation of human nature, beginning with capitalism. What is it that motivates the animals to expel the farmer? His farming (his capitalism), that devalues and exploits the lives of the farm animals. The animals form an egalitarian collective after overthrowing the farmer, which then evolves into a Stalin-esque totalitarian state. The book concludes by condemning the pigs running the farm as being indistinguishable from the farmer men. The damning condemnation of communism in this book is that it is just as bad as (or slightly worse than) capitalism. I know you tried hard, junior, but you're not the fastest runner in the world yet. Another hidden gem in this article is the open advocating of subsidies to correct perceived market failures. He tells parents to pay their children to read Atlas Shrugged. So, socialism is uniformly bad, but artificially stimulating demand is good? That doesn't make very much sense. Another swing and a miss, townhall. But keep try! A hundred monkeys at a hundred type writers and all that.

Article via Third Wave Agenda.

-Miguel Sanchez  13:11 EST | |

Monday, April 11, 2005

From the "well worth the time wasted" dept. 

These guys have been mining Google News for a couple of years now and developing geographical representatiions of the news for a given day.

For example, If Washington is mentioned in an article, it gets a mark. The more references found for Washington on a given day, the bigger Washington's dot get's on the map. It gets better. Lines are then drwan showing the connectedness between two places (I assume that if an article mentions, say, DC and Paris then a connection is drawn between the two).

Pretty neat. They have some cool maps showing connections from the period of the SARS outbreak. Interesting way to see what news is getting to whom.

Thank you, Slashdot.

-Ben  21:36 EST | |

A few words on Donnie Darko 

Have you seen it? I watched it last night and was then plagued with very, very strange dreams.

The movie begins when our hero, Donnie, is awakened in the middle of the night by a man in a monster/bunny suit who lures him outside the house. Suddenly, a Jet engine falls from the sky and into Donie's bedroom - this baffles the FAA becuase there were no reports of a plane losing an engine. Donnie, of course is spared because he was talking to a bunny rabit and, well, it gets a little wierd after that.

Enjoyable movie though. I laughed, I cried, I said "well, that's weird" many times.

-Ben  18:21 EST | |

Dr. Dobson is out of his mind 

Here Josh Marshall points out that James Dobson compared the Supreme Court to the Ku Klux Klan on his radio show today. I streamed parts of the broadcast; the remarks weren't in some context that makes them any better than they seem.

I listened to a little more of the broadcast, the great moral issues that Dobson cares about are the sactity of marriage, unborn children, stem cell research, and cloning. No mention of poverty, racism, war--nothing like that.

-Daddy Brooklyn  16:38 EST | |

What question should I ask Scalia? 

Scalia is teaching my con law class tomorrow. What should I ask him?

-Ziggy Stardust  12:10 EST | |

Out damned DeLay: republicans turning on Boss Tom 

Clear signs over the weekend that Rep. party sentiment is turning against Tom DeLay.

Santorum (PA):
"I think he has to come forward and lay out what he did and why he did it and let the people then judge for themselves," Santorum said. "From everything I've heard … everything he's done was according to the law."
Shays (CT):
"Tom's conduct is hurting the Republican Party, is hurting this Republican majority, and it is hurting any Republican who is up for reelection...My party is going to have to decide whether we are going to continue to make excuses for Tom to the detriment of Republicans seeking election."
Forget for a moment that both these guys live in relatively moderate districts and are probably getting call after call with questions about DeLay, it's just nice to see a crack appear in the republican's Iron Curtain of party unity. Does Tom have enough hands to plug those cracks while defending himself?

Maybe soon they'll be eating their young just like the Dems.

-Ben  10:54 EST | |

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Unitarian Jihad 

Beware the power of the neutron bomb of serenity: The Communique.

Another bit:
We are Unitarian Jihad, and our motto is: "Sincerity is not enough." We have heard from enough sincere people to last a lifetime already. Just because you believe it's true doesn't make it true. Just because your motives are pure doesn't mean you are not doing harm.
Via Billmon.

-Ziggy Stardust  14:08 EST | |

Early Epitaph for The Simpsons 

NB: the book Planet Simpson, in which the author, Chris Turner, argues that "satire was America's most exciting pop-cultural export of the 1990's" looks to be a good book, though mostly just an encyclopedic retelling of the show's good years. Aah... the good years--doesn't it make you sad when something tired and sad just won't die?

Reviews here, here, here, and here.

-Ben  03:47 EST | |

Friday, April 08, 2005

No commentary needed. Wow. 

townhall.com

Printer-friendly version
President Clinton
Kathleen Parker (back to web version) | email to a friend Send

April 7, 2005

Pledge drives are annoying. Everyone wants you to give, give, give, as though you haven't given enough. Between tsunami victims, AIDS babies and Amazon deforestation, compassion is bankrupting conservatives. And now Townhall wants your money, too. Why should you give a single penny to support a website that packages the most important news and sharpest commentary for your moral edification and intellectual stimulation, not to mention one-stop convenience?


Beyond the fact that it is the decent, ethical thing to do – nothing's free, Bub, and you get what you pay for - no reason at all. Well, except for this. If you don't contribute generously and soon:

Sen. Hillary Clinton will become the first woman president of the United States. Michael Moore will make a documentary about sex on America’s college campuses. He will film it at your daughter's school. He will try to date your daughter. PETA will paint a red bulls-eye on your front door to indicate that you are a family of carnivores who probably own fur wraps. The Rev. Jesse Jackson will come to your house and pray while trying to hold your hand. Michael Jackson will make frequent visits to your son’s elementary school. The ACLU will merge with the Department of Education.

Your doctor will be named Mohammed Yousef Jabar, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but he will not be a legal citizen of the U.S. Also he will not speak English. Nor will increasing numbers of Americans as the illegal alien population continues to grow. Not that there's anything wrong with that, though you will have to learn Spanish, whether you want to or not. Dentro de unos años, todos en este país tendrán que hablar español para hacer negocios o encontrar empleo. Puesto que a mí me gusta hablar español, no es problema para mí, pero para los demás– tal vez algunos de ustedes – mala suerte. Como dijo el gobernador de California: “Hasta la vista, baby.”

See what I mean? That wasn't fun at all, was it?

Okay, I'm exaggerating. Maybe. In any case, you're less likely to have to worry about these developments if you continue to stay abreast of current events through the clear thinking and thoughtful commentary you’ve come to expect – and take for granted? – on Townhall.com. If you care about your country, your children, the future of the planet and, not least, my continued employment, you’ll write a check or donate online today. If you don't, I can't swear that life as you know it will come to an abrupt end, but I can't promise it won't.

-Ziggy Stardust  22:37 EST | |

Updating the blogroll 

I agree with Mark. We have way too many links up on this thing. What I would like is for everyone who posts here to email me with a list of their top ten links, I will then compile a list of the ones that everyone agrees on, followed by links by person (Ben's links, Doug's links, ete.) I don't know if we need to link to CNN, NYT, etc. Everyone knows what those are. Let our reader know what your interests are.

-Ben  10:17 EST | |

Thursday, April 07, 2005

This has to be some sort of parody 

From the Gazette...

Ironic Agenda

Anti-Wal-Mart coalition shows anti-capitalist colors

The declaration of war comes belatedly, after many salvos already have been launched. But the announcement last week that a new coalition is forming to escalate the war against Wal-Mart, led by environmentalists, labor unions and academics, at least made the group's goals explicit. What these groups have in common, even more than a disdain for the world's biggest retailer, is an abhorrence of the capitalist system Wal-Mart symbolizes. Also on the coalition's hit list are the things that make Wal-Mart possible, including free markets and free trade, competition, consumer choice, a unionfree workplace and the allegedly wasteful lifestyles of average Americans.

The war against Wal-Mart is also an effort by special interests to pre-empt the consumer choices of Americans who patronize the stores. As such, these groups also are targeting the pocketbooks, buying power and quality of life of millions of Americans.

"We recognize that we are much more likely to win the battle against a giant like Wal-Mart if we act on multiple fronts," Carl Pope, president of the Sierra Club, told the New York Times. "You don't want to challenge Wal-Mart just on health care or just on the environment or just on sex discrimination. You want to pressure them on all three. This is an assault on a business model. We're not trying to shut Wal-Mart down. We're just trying to change the business model."

But if your goal is to "assault" a business model that has resulted in such success, might you not also succeed in eliminating the profits that sustain the company? We don't believe for a moment that these groups are merely reformers. If they can't impose a new business model or succeed in unionizing the company, they are bent on discrediting and destroying it.

There are many ironies in such an agenda, since it is capitalism and all the good things that come with it that also make these groups possible. Without the wealth and leisure class capitalism generates, there would likely be no environmental movement. Without capitalism, and the jobs and industries it makes possible, there would be no labor movement. Without capitalism, and the premium an affluent society places on higher education, there would be no academic ivory tower from which collectivists and statists could lob bombs.

All three factions are - let's be frank - parasites that live off the host called capitalism. But unlike parasites in the natural world, such groups don't know enough not to kill off the source of their second-hand sustenance.

Perhaps most instructive and ironic is the environmentalist attack on Wal-Mart. It's instructive because it confirms that there's an economic agenda lurking beneath a movement most Americans naively equate with saving trees or eagles. It's ironic because the wealth generated by capitalism creates the conditions in which environmentalism can flourish.

After all, poor nations are too focused on survival and productivity to engage in such preoccupations. Only a nation as wealthy as ours, successful as ours, capitalist as ours can afford to hamstring economic productivity in the name of mitigating environmental impacts. Only a relatively wealthy people have enough discretionary income to donate to such organizations. And most of the large foundations underwriting the movement were the creation of — who? — hugely successful industrialists and capitalists. Therefore, greens do the planet and themselves no favors by undermining the political and economic system that permits the luxury of conservation, the luxury of stewardship, the luxury of taking their expensive and extreme demands seriously.

An argument might even be made that Wal-Mart is good for the environment and reduces "sprawl." Think of all the driving made unnecessary and strip malls that don't have to be built because Americans can find so many items under one roof.

Nor is it surprising that the coalition's war on Wal-Mart is being coordinated by the former executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and former political director for the Howard Dean campaign. The bias of liberal Democrats against capitalism has for decades been apparent, a subtext of the party's class-warfare rhetoric, industry-killing regulatory agenda and "soak the rich" tax policies.

So the battle lines are drawn and the stakes are explicit. This coalition's crusade isn't just against Wal-Mart; it's also against an economic system that's made America the envy of the world. Once this subtext is understood by more people, it should provoke a backlash against the coalition.

-Daddy Brooklyn  00:39 EST | |

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Instead of Starbucks 

Now, I do love to go to Starbucks when I'm in Colorado Springs because--well--where else am I going to get a decent cup of coffee and the Times? But that's no excuse for not knowing where the better coffee places are: Starbucks Delocator.

P.S. If you're in the neighborhood, Joe on Waverly just west of 6th Ave. is amazing...

-Ziggy Stardust  22:33 EST | |

What is wrong with Michael Kinsley? 

Dumbest LA Times op-ed ever.

And why do I try to study in a room that has the Internet?

-Daddy Brooklyn  20:45 EST | |

Bye 

If you didn't see it yet, you will now: Saul Bellow has died. Another american literary maestro gone.

-Ben  13:11 EST | |

Where Mark and I live 

Here.

Google Maps is amazing. Thanks Kevin Drum! (But you don't need our link!)

-Ziggy Stardust  02:46 EST | |

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Blog updated 

America Attacked! 

By immigrants. According to Social Security's Chief Actuary, nearly 25% of illegal immigrants don't pay ino the social security system. So immigrants are stealing from old people.

The ultra-liberal New York Times claims these illegal immigrants are helping the country by contributing to a retirement system that they will never draw benefits from. That's just absurd.

-Daddy Brooklyn  07:58 EST | |

Monday, April 04, 2005

Minutemen Are Patrolling Our Borders 

A group calling itself The Minuteman Project has begun a campaign to patrol the Arizona/Mexico border. There are only a couple of problems with this: 1. They are in no way associated with any governmental body for oversight or direction and 2. some are armed. The fact that this is drawing hicks from across the land to a war between those trying to get into the country and those who don't want anyone coming into the country, this should be a cause for some concern. Additionally, our good friend from Colorado, Congressman Tom Tancredo, is involved in the project and actually delivered the keynote address. I say send in the National Guard to stop this shit. Then we can figure out something to do to stop the National Guard.

-Matt  01:57 EST | |

Friday, April 01, 2005

Sin City: **** 

Sin City is one of the best new movies I can remember seeing in a long time. It is also one of the most violent movies I have ever seen. I predict a loud and blustery backlash from our society's self-appointed moral guardians.

For those of you who have seen very violent movies and think I am exaggerating, here is a list of movies I consider the most violent I have seen:

Ninja Scroll
The Passion
Man Bites Dog
Reservoir Dogs
8 mm
Dead Alive
Hannibal
Monster
Flower of Flesh and Blood

Sin City beats all of these by a long shot.

-Miguel Sanchez  17:02 EST | |

About us:

This weblog is an ongoing, if periodic, effort by several friends to stay in touch, in reading material, and in ideas.

Lucky Luciano is a former Italian Stallion real estate hustler and Benedict Arnold CEO turned shady lawyer-to-be. He lives in Denver.

Ben is a Paramedic and would-be philantropist who lives in Denver. He knows everything about nothing.

Fuzzy Dunlop lives in Manhattan. He is more than capable of standing up to the stresses of a high crime urban environment.

Jess is a teacher. But have YOU given her an apple? No, you haven't. You should be ashamed of yourself. This crazy feminist currently rests her copy of Awakening in Jersey City.

Matt is a pariah, iconoclast, and professor of gambling living in Oakland.

Miguel Sanchez is not Lionel Hutz.

Daddy Brooklyn lives in Brooklyn. He hates Republicans, though he wouldn't mind being ensconced in the landed elite of New York City.

Paul just smoked my eyelids and punched my cigarette.

Ziggy Stardust has no past.

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