The science of beachcombing

October 31st, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

It seems 2003 was a big year for Plastica fans.

The continent of Plastica

October 31st, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Just the sort of information you need to convince you that, if global warming doesn’t get us, we’ll be buried by our own garbage.

I wonder if the rubber duckies that served as this year’s media fillers during the summer doldrums ever stop off at Plastica for a bit of R&R.

I have seen the future ~ and it terrifies!

October 30th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

The latest diatribe from Mark Morford on sfgate.com would put the heart crossways in you. Looks like the future is going to consist of billions of horny and probably aggressive Asians and an America run by people whose IQ would make the present incumbent seem like a genius.

Great take on the amount of mandatory testing going on in American public schools today, from a teacher: “It’s like weighing a calf twice a day, but never feeding it.”

Il Duce, Rudy Giuliani

October 27th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

If any part of this article in the Washington Monthly is true, then Rudy Giuliani is one scary dude.

Consider this: “His administration tussled in court not only with the IBO but also with numerous interest groups, the state comptroller, the public advocate, and the city council. “All of those were effectively cases that said, he’s gone beyond the restraints on executive power,” said Eric Lane, director of the 1989 charter commission and a law professor at Hofstra University. By 1999, the city council was forced to allocate money specifically for the purpose of suing City Hall, which had 685 lawyers on its payroll and had increased its legal budget by 41 percent since Giuliani took office.”

Or this: What is most disturbing is the likelihood that a Giuliani administration would venture beyond the expansive claims of executive authority staked out by the Bush White House. For instance, though Bush has demanded that Congress fund the war in Iraq, he has never openly questioned Congress’s power of the purse. Giuliani, however, told a reporter that the president has the right to provide money for the troops to stay in Iraq even if Congress withdraws funding.”

Bill Maher tells it like it is

October 27th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

New Rule: This Halloween, every time you see something that’s supposed to scare you, like a skeleton or a severed head or the ingredients in diet pudding … take a moment and think about fear: What are you afraid of; what should you be afraid of. What’s really scary this Halloween is that the same group of idea-free losers who won the last presidential election could win the next one by making us afraid of the wrong things. Which is why this year for Halloween, I’m going as something truly horrifying: a melting polar ice cap.

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Laura Bush smackdown

October 26th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Susan J. Douglas asks How Does Laura Bush Sleep at Night? in a take-no-prisoners article in the August edition of In These Times. I like her characterisation of Laura as George’s beard. Despite her recent OpEd in the Washington Post on Myanmar, she really has been a pretty useless First Mate. And it’s true what Douglas says: how can the mother of two girls stand idly by while her husband and his cronies gut women’s programs? The same question could be asked of that other beard, Lynne Cheney.

The Inquisition rides again

October 25th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Claire Fox writes in the Independent today about the way in which people like James Watson are being silenced for voicing unpopular views.

“A new priestly class has arisen to police secular heresies. Say the wrong thing on race and watch the CRE swoop zealously to demand you retract, are sacked, are humiliated. Their viciousness and intolerance would make medieval cardinals blush. Dare you challenge global warming orthodoxy, and watch everyone from the Royal Society to environmentalists shout “blasphemy”? James Watson may not have been shown the instruments of torture as Galileo was but his treatment speaks to some chilling similarities between the new and old inquisitions.”

I’m not sure I agree that this is all new. I’m not a card-carrying member of the loony left anymore, although I would still describe myself as left-leaning. But, even in my looniest days, I loathed the harsh response to any deviation from the party line. And it has always been thus in socialist politics. Look at Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, to name but a very few. And let’s not forget that Fascism and Nazism started out as socialist parties.

Three grand – for Bon Jovi?

October 24th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Are these people crazy? I wouldn’t open my window to hear Bon Jovi, if he was playing in my backyard!

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