Friday, August 22, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Aristotle, Hypocrisy, US, Russia, and Georgia

This is late in coming - it's been done for quite awhile, just been kinda ....busy.

Russia invades Georgia.
World outcry. Sharp, confused (?) criticism by US.
Charge of hypocrisy against US (over Iraq). Duh.

Hypocrisy does NOT weaken an argument, not directly. It lowers persuasive value but the logic still holds.

Three parts to rhetoric: Argument (or logic), the Speaker (how she is perceived), the Listener (his emotions) (the argument being the logic).

So, the US invasion of Iraq doesn't weaken the logic of the simple argument - nations shouldn't invade other nations - but it kills kills kills the Speaker (the US) because no one (few) will take the US argument very seriously due to its own actions of recent history. (Yes the EU is talking too but .... they're not known for action and anyways most of them depend on Russia for their energy).

Hurricane Katrina

Trouble the Water

This looks reallllly good.  The website for the movie has a trailer, and just watching that I realized - in all the coverage of the thing, of the whole ordeal, I can't really remember video or images like what's in this movie.  Always plenty of footage of floods from above, and speeches, and promises, and national guardsmen, but the people?  A neighborhood?

Was I watching the wrong station?  (Was there a right station...)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

That's it. I'm done. Never paying for music again.

Goodbye Pandora (and the rest of web radio)

And it drives me crazy knowing that they don't care - SoundExchange, the RIAA, record labels, they could give a damn about me because they've got millions already paying them. At what point would they care....or could we just get rid of them?

From the article:

Last year, an obscure federal panel ordered a doubling of the per-song performance royalty that Web radio stations pay to performers and record companies.

Traditional radio, by contrast, pays no such fee. Satellite radio pays a fee but at a less onerous rate, at least by some measures.

As for Pandora, its royalty fees this year will amount to 70 percent of its projected revenue of $25 million, Westergren said, a level that could doom it and other Web radio outfits.

Oh, and:
Moreover, they [SoundExchange*] complain, Internet radio stations have done too little to make money from playing their songs.

Seriously? Seriously???

God forbid they just play music for enjoyment.

* SoundExchange is an organization that collects royalty fees on behalf of artists - whether or not the artist wants them to, or is actually getting the cash.

Ah, read it twice...

I was amazed, and at the same time I felt it was ridiculous: in my first shot at the West I was seeing to what absurd devices it had fallen to keep its proud tradition.

God's empty chair

He starts the first chorus, then lines up his ideas, people, yeah, yeah, but get it, and then he rises to his fate and has to blow equal to it. All of a sudden somewhere in the middle of the chorus he gets it - everybody looks up and knows; they listen; he picks it up and carries. Time stops.

Now you just dig them up front. They have worries, they're counting the miles, they're thinking about where to sleep tonight, how much money for gas, the weather, how they'll get there - and all the time they'll get there anyway, you see. But they need to worry and betray time with urgencies false and otherwise, purely anxious and whiny, their souls really won't be at peace unless they can latch on to an established and proven worry and having once found it they assume facial expressions to fit and go with it, which is, you see, unhappiness, and all the it all flies by them and they know it and that too worries them no end.

By this time Dean was so exhausted and out of his mind that everything he saw delighted him

I realized I was beginning to cross and recross towns in America as though I were a traveling salesman - raggedy travelings, bad stock, rotten beans in the bottom of my bag of tricks, nobody buying.

He looked more like himself huddling in the cold, misty spray of the rain on empty Madison Avenue at night.

The muddy cobbles and the Montana logs, the broken steamboats, the ancient signs, the grass and the ropes by the river. The endless poem.

He's on his way already ... Suddenly I had a vision of Dean, a burning shuddering frightful Angel, palpitating toward me across the road, approaching like a cloud, with enormous speed, pursuing me like the Shrouded Traveler on the plain, bearing down on me. I saw his huge face over the plains with the mad, bony purpose and the gleaming eyes; I saw his wings; I saw his old jalopy chariot with thousands of sparking flames shooting out from it; I saw the path it burned over the road; it even made its own road and went over the corn, through cities, destroying bridges, drying rivers. ... Behind him charred ruins smoked. He rushed westward over the groaning and awful continent again, and soon he would arrive.

Sal, I am digging the interiors of these homes as we pass them - these gone doorways and you look inside and see beds of straw and little brown kids sleeping and stirring to wake, their thoughts congealing from the empty mind of sleep, their selves rising, and the mothers cooking up breakfast in iron pots, and dig them shutters they have for windows and the old men, the old men are so cool and grand and not bothered by anything.

"D'you think I can ride to Fortieth Street with you?" he whispered. "Want to be with you as much as possible, m'boy, and besides it's so durned cold in this here New Yawk.."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Links: Racial framing

More on Oil, Or, How OCS and ANWR Together Offer Less than SIX Years of Energy Independence

Here are the numbers (ANWR, OCS), and a touch of analysis:

(click the image for larger view)

Drilling for more oil does NOT offer a path to "energy independence".

US Annual demand for oil is about 7,300 million barrels of oil. Subtract domestic production (1,825), and you've got about 5,100 of unmet demand (mostly, imports). ANWR and the OCS offer about 28,400 millions of barrels, TOTAL, so 28,400/5,100 gives 5.2 YEARS of energy independence, not accounting for increasing demand.

Another way of looking at it: independence from OPEC. That's easy - ANWR + OCS is about 28,400 millions of barrels of oil, and we import about 2,153 yearly from OPEC. 28,400/2,153 gives 13.2 years of independence from OPEC - again, not accounting for increasing demand.

Friday, August 8, 2008

On Selling Pension Plans to Wall Street

Just a note for now - heads up on plans to sell defined-benefit pension plans to be managed by Wall Street.  I'm sure they'll have the vewy vewy best intewests of those workers at heart...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I want one

I really liked this piece from the LA Times on the whole stupid flap.
It's worth considering why this was a story at all. No one would argue that proper tire inflation is not a good thing, though some people nonetheless managed (McCain's camp eventually backtracked a bit on the tire gauge critique). Further, no serious person believes offshore drilling will significantly affect either supply or price: Offshore drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf "would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030," according to the government's Energy Information Administration.

The tire gauge vs. offshore drilling debate frames a competition of world views. On one side are those who believe
in conservation as a practical matter and, perhaps, a matter of "personal virtue," per Vice President Dick Cheney. On the other are those who find the tire inflation message an insufficiently grand and inspiring idea, weak-wristed, retreatist. Offshore drilling has the romance of heavy industry, with hard-hatted men named "Deke" going after what America needs. What, after all, is more macho: an oil derrick or a tire gauge?

The offshore drilling position also enjoys the stupendous advantage of asking nothing from consumers.

And here's the DOE info. Essentially, don't expect a significant impact until 2030, and even that assumes that more exists than has been found and that it is economically recoverable - assumptions the report is careful to point out are very optimistic.

As for the stupid tire gauges? I want one. (personally - it sounds like free advertising for the obama campaign, if you ask me)

:-) this is so sweet. i am sitting here by the water, on the edge of this park, and noticed a flower in a tree where none should be. it's a flower and a love note in the crook of a tree! just the sweetest thing to see

Monday, August 4, 2008

Protester Arrested

I watched this happen. Freaked my shit out

It was the old guy who has been protesting at the white house for 20 odd years. He seemed like he might have been intoxicated? Not sure. Later on his friend said something about him being diabetic. Anyhow, another guy had brought a PA system, and the old guy was on it, yelling at the cops to arrest him. "Arrest me, you dammed monkey!"

They did. Hard.

His friend got on his cell phone, claimed he was calling 911 to save his friend. Who knows. Cops took him too - hard. They grabbed him, told him to get off the phone (I think?) and he said hell no don't touch me. They tackled him and he fought back.

I talked to a couple of fellow loiterers. Everybody thought it was fucked up.

The old guy had had another friend occupying his tent. I went towards him, to ask him about the whole thing, and a cop stopped me. "Where you going" I told him I was going to read the sign and talk to the man. He said no you're not, get out of here. I turned away, and then asked if I could ask why. He said NO, you want to join them?

I left.

I wonder what will become of the pair? I did not know it was a crime to yell, or even to insult the police. The second guy - all he did was make a phone call, as far as I could tell. But they both gave each other what they wanted. The protesters wanted attention, the cops wanted resistance, they resisted, the cops got an arrest and a scrape elbow to prove they fought back, and the protesters got a bunch of people standing around taking pictures on their cell phone.