Michael B. Duff

Lubbock's answer to a question no one asked

Archive for November 2010

links for 2010-11-26

Written by Michael B. Duff

November 26, 2010 at 23:11

Posted in Uncategorized

links for 2010-11-25

Written by Michael B. Duff

November 25, 2010 at 23:21

Posted in Uncategorized

links for 2010-11-24

  • Palin's backers say that the Left constantly attacks her because it is afraid of her. I think most liberals detest Palin, but I don't think they fear her. On the contrary, I'm pretty sure most liberals fervently hope that she will be the Republican nominee in 2012, and they put the spotlight on her in part because they think it weakens the GOP and the conservative movement if she is our most visible spokesman.
  • Where are the liberals outraged at this government intrusiveness? Where is Paul Krugman? Where is Arianna? Where is Frank Rich? Where is the New Republic? Oh sure, civil libertarians like Glenn Greenwald have criticized TSA excesses. But mainstream liberals have rallied around the Department of Homeland Security and its naked pictures: Dana Milbank channels John (“phantoms of lost liberty”) Ashcroft…
  • In April, Bradford had decided that each household should be assigned its own plot to cultivate, with the understanding that each family kept whatever it grew. The change in attitude was stunning. Families were now willing to work much harder than they had ever worked before. In previous years, the men had tended the fields while the women tended the children at home. “The women now went willingly into the field,” Bradford wrote, “and took their little ones with them to set corn.” The Pilgrims had stumbled on the power of capitalism. Although the fortunes of the colony still teetered precariously in the years ahead, the inhabitants never again starved.
  • I want to know who the mastermind is behind Sarah Palin. Some Karl Rove protege has latched on to this woman and taught her how to hit all the right populist buttons. I can't take Palin seriously as a politician or as a media figure, but somebody smart is trying to use her as a weapon against the Republican establishment.
  • Salon's Glenn Greenwald destroys a shameful, fact-free smearjob in The Nation that accused John "Don't Touch My Junk" Tyner of being a Tea-Party-stooge duped by the Koch brothers; and goes on to accuse everyone who believes that the TSA's sexual harrassment security theater is unwarranted and illegitimate of being a tool of some shadowy right-wing conspiracy. Hey, Nation: I remember when being anti-authoritarian, pro-dignity and pro-freedom were values of the progressive left. Some of us still embrace them.
    (tags: tsa rights travel)
  • Your crazy uncle Henry may never take your advice to sell his stocks and buy precious metals but he just might take your advice to stock up now on essentials, before the prices skyrocket. Tell him that if he's going out to buy a new pair of pants, he should buy two. Tell your sister that instead of just buying her kids' winter coats for this year, she should buy coats for next year, too. Tell your cousin that instead of buying groceries every week to, instead, buy a whole dressed-out cow and put it in the freezer along with all the other dried and canned goods she can store.
  • A video is worth a thousand indignant essays.
  • And judging by the market's reaction, and the dollar resurgence overnight it appears that everyone has read through this as just posturing. Furthermore, keep in mind that Russia was not even a top 10 trading counterparty of China in 2010. If China does the same with any of its top 10 partners then there may be a reason to worry. For now, China is merely testing the waters, and has absolutely no intent on isolating the US, nor making its nearly $3 trillion US FX reserves lose a double digit percentage of their value overnight.
  • China and Russia have decided to renounce the US dollar and resort to using their own currencies for bilateral trade, Premier Wen Jiabao and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin announced late on Tuesday.

Written by Michael B. Duff

November 24, 2010 at 23:01

Posted in Uncategorized

links for 2010-11-23

Written by Michael B. Duff

November 23, 2010 at 23:03

Posted in Uncategorized

links for 2010-11-22

Written by Michael B. Duff

November 22, 2010 at 23:31

Posted in Uncategorized

Headlines from THE FUTURE!

After a brutal 18-month battle, House Republicans have finally passed their historic Fiscal Responsibility Act — a bill that promises to reduce the rate of increase in government spending by .05 percent by 2016.

Democrats have universally condemned the bill, insisting that these cuts occur at the expense of the poor and elderly. A Senate version, expected to reduce spending by .01 percent in 2018, is expected to be out of committee by October.

President Obama has promised to veto the bill, saying that he will not balance the budget on the backs of the poor, calling this, “the most egregious act of fiscal brutality” since Ronald Reagan cut spending by 1 percent in 1989.

These bills are not expected to affect the second round of European bailout talks, scheduled for August.

Boehner and the House Republicans have announced a 38-state “We Listened!” tour that will begin next week.

Written by Michael B. Duff

November 22, 2010 at 06:43

Posted in Politics

links for 2010-11-21

  • Mr Kristof repeatedly cites the percentage of total national income taken in by the top 1% of American earners, as if this number taken in isolation contains useful information about the quality or justice of American institutions. But it doesn't. If we take a moment to note that the United States contains 40% of the world's billionaires, and stop to see how America's wealthiest people came by their fortunes, it's easy to conclude that the statistic Mr Kristof waves about like a bloody shirt actually reflects the fact that American institutions are unsually conducive to innovation and the creation (as opposed to the expropriation) of immense wealth.
  • “Oil and gas will continue to be pillars for global energy supply for decades to come,” said James Burkhard, a managing director of IHS CERA, an energy consulting firm. “The competitiveness of oil and gas and the scale at which they are produced mean that there are no readily available substitutes in either one year or 20 years.”
  • The biggest difference? Ethnic profiling.
  • Steve: Don't tell him I put this in here, but one time Keith was playing a character he really loved. It was this half-orc fighter named Deatharm. He had won the heart of a hot babe and built a castle and everything. Deatharm fell into a spike trap in a lame dungeon I was running and Keith cried. That character was only like level 8 or 9. Imagine if he were level 14.

    Zack: Yeah, but how old were you at the time?

    Steve: 24.

Written by Michael B. Duff

November 21, 2010 at 23:02

Posted in Uncategorized