*You* are the “job creator”

Everyone’s heard of the old Reagan-era trickle-down economics chestnut called “job creator”. According to David Stockman, and with the enthusiastic support of the newly-elected Right in power in Washington in 1981, the key to creating new jobs was to ensure greater economic inequality in America by lowering taxes on the rich, and spendspendspend.

In recent years Stockman has repudiated his advocacy for trickle-down (or “supply-side economics”, as he used to describe it).

Other capitalists have done the same, including such entrepreneurs as Nick Hanauer. Here’s what he had to say in a recent TED talk:

“Here’s an idea worth spreading: In a capitalist economy the true job creators are middle-class consumers, and taxing the rich to make investments, to make the middle class grow and thrive is the single shrewdest thing we can do for the middle class, for the poor, and for the rich.”

The real clue that Hanauer knew whereof he spoke was that TED management did not put the talk online until there was an uproar about the exclusion. (It’s no longer posted, BTW.)

(I’ve talked about this talk before, but it’s well worth a repeat.)

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Life imitates art. People die. Media assigns blame. (With follow-up)


I’ve read the damned thing two dozen times, easily, and the parallel got right past me.

Note particularly the observation:

“The passage concludes with the media blaming Batman for inspiring the shooting, though he is not involved in the incident at all.”

However, we all need to remember one thing: the Batman would not take a life. Ever. No matter the cost.

Now watch the “million mommies”, gun nuts, general wackaloons, and the mainstream media have a field day.


FOLLOW-UP 7/21/2012: Told ya.

Jim Hoft, Andrew Breitbart’s bitch:


Fred Jackson, news director for the AFA:

[L]ike the Batman murders, our nation’s 55-plus million abortion murders post Roe v. Wade are not the cause of our culture of death; they are merely a symptom. Ultimately, the cause stems from something much less complicated. We as a nation – as a people – have turned our backs on God.”


Matt Barber:

The AFA Journal has been dealing with denominations that no longer believe in the God of the Bible, they no longer believe that Jesus is the only way of salvation, they teach that God is OK with homosexuality, this is just increasing more and more. It is mankind shaking its fist at the authority of God. We are seeing his judgment. You know, some people talk about ‘God’s judgment must be just around the corner,’ we are seeing it.”


Bryan Fisher:

[Judges] said we cannot permit potential mass murderers like James Holmes to read or meditate on God’s prohibition ‘Thou shall not murder’ as a part of their education, because someone like him just might be inclined to ‘venerate and obey’ it and not go on a midnight shooting rampage leaving a trail of dead bodies in his wake.”

There are levels of evil

Ran across this cartoon yesterday:

I despise the culture that forces women to wear birqa, and I have come to despise the culture that objectifies women as sex objects. Patriarchy can be found in many flavors, all of them evil.

However, the cartoonist (and the blogger whose post I found) both miss one important point:

  • The woman on the left could wear birqa and not be stoned to death for it.
  • The woman on the right would be stoned to death if she wore the bikini.

Therein lies a crucial difference between the cultures.

“The times, they are a’changin’!”

You might have heard something about this:

Why was this such an unpleasant surprise to wackaloon neocons?

Oh, wait! The same bunch were also taken aback in 1964…

…and 1948…

…and 1919…

…and 1868.

Why are there always people out there who use religion/culture/tradition as a smokescreen to hide the abject terror invoked by the thought of extending full civil rights to those who don’t have it?

Is blood *really* thicker than water?

The family is watching Sons of Anarchy tonight. One of the characters accused another of not taking care of his family:

Is that the way you protect blood?”

That got me to thinking. Why does it make a difference whether my children (or other family members) share my DNA? What possible difference does it make whether my offspring and I have common genetic material? (As it turns out, none of the six of them do.)

Fixating on genes strikes me as a particularly primitive fascination. Spouses don’t share your genetic material (at least I hope they don’t). Doesn’t it make far more sense to most highly value those whom you love and love you back? Why wouldn’t one want to protect those with whom one has a close relationship, regardless of the genes involved?

And with the advent of same-sex marriage, the phrase “blood is thicker than water” makes even less sense.

(Warning: Wikipedia entries about movies and television shows are rife with spoilers. Enter at your own risk.)

Thank you so much, Mr. Rickman

Alan Rickman, the superlative actor who played Severus Snape in the Harry Potter stories, wrote a lovely (public) thank-you letter to Ms. Rowling and published it in Empire Magazine:

I’m not an overly enthusiastic Potter fan, particularly because of the last two books; they read as products rushed into print without that crucial final edit.

However, the final point in Rickman’s letter is spot-on.


…and you think *you’ve* had a bad week

Last year Tsutomu Yamagachi died. He was 93.

He was a 28-year-old ship designer for Mitsubishi Heavy Industry at the end of World War II. During a business trip, air raid sirens blew in the city he was visiting. As he had been instructed, he jumped into a ditch to try to avoid the bomb blasts.

Several minutes later the first atomic bomb used in warfare was detonated directly over Hiroshima and 3 kilometers (just short of two miles) from Yamaguchi’s ditch. The blast ruptured his eardrums, and burned him badly.

The next day he managed to return home. He had his burns bandaged and insisted upon immediately returning to work…

…in Nagasaki.

He was also 3 kilometers from the Nagasaki blast but escaped further injury.

“Off we go in our Spaceship of the Imagination.”

“The cannabis experience has greatly improved my appreciation for art, a subject which I had never much appreciated before. The understanding of the intent of the artist which I can achieve when high sometimes carries over to when I’m down. This is one of many human frontiers which cannabis has helped me traverse. There also have been some art-related insights – I don’t know whether they are true or false, but they were fun to formulate. For example, I have spent some time high looking at the work of the Belgian surrealist Yves Tanguey. Some years later, I emerged from a long swim in the Caribbean and sank exhausted onto a beach formed from the erosion of a nearby coral reef. In idly examining the arcuate pastel-colored coral fragments which made up the beach, I saw before me a vast Tanguey painting. Perhaps Tanguey visited such a beach in his childhood.

“A very similar improvement in my appreciation of music has occurred with cannabis. For the first time I have been able to hear the separate parts of a three-part harmony and the richness of the counterpoint. I have since discovered that professional musicians can quite easily keep many separate parts going simultaneously in their heads, but this was the first time for me. Again, the learning experience when high has at least to some extent carried over when I’m down. The enjoyment of food is amplified; tastes and aromas emerge that for some reason we ordinarily seem to be too busy to notice. I am able to give my full attention to the sensation. A potato will have a texture, a body, and taste like that of other potatoes, but much more so. Cannabis also enhances the enjoyment of sex – on the one hand it gives an exquisite sensitivity, but on the other hand it postpones orgasm: in part by distracting me with the profusion of image passing before my eyes. The actual duration of orgasm seems to lengthen greatly, but this may be the usual experience of time expansion which comes with cannabis smoking.”

–from Carl Sagan in Marihuana Reconsidered by Lester Grinspoon

The irony-o-meter just pegged and melted

Rick “Frothy Mix” Santorum is now using a campaign motto that goes, “Fighting to make America America again“.

Any of you 20th-century American literature nerds recognize the turn of phrase? (I didn’t until I was reminded of it.) The piece in question starts (emphasis mine):

O, let America be America again
The land that never has been yet–

For those that responded, “Hey! That’s Langston HughesLet America be America again‘!”, you’d be right.

The irony is that Hughes was a staunch supporter of labor unions and gay rights; Santorum is neither.

I wonder how the former senator is going to reconcile inspiration derived from an ardent supporter of gay rights (read Hughes’ “Cafe: 3am”, “Waterfront Streets”, and “Joy”) when Santorum has previously compared homosexual acts with bestiality.

(Thanks to Think Progress for the tip.)