Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Internet Junk Day

This was interesting considering the Obama shenanigans.

This was fairly interesting as well.

This says it all:


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bush Gets Smart On Fiscal Policy

Just kidding. But if this was funny almost six years ago...just, wow.

On a more serious note, this is wild. Check out the lower fifth's consumption vs. earnings.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Jesus is an NRA member, among other crazy things.

Note: This site is almost certainly definitely tongue-in-cheek, although it is not nearly as good natured as Jesus' General


Iraq: Who Knew?

“There is still—and I say this with a heart full of sorrow—no Iraqi people, but an unimaginable mass of human beings devoid of any patriotic ideas, imbued with religious traditions and absurdities, connected by no common tie, giving ear to evil, prone to anarchy, and perpetually ready to rise against any government whatsoever. Out of these masses we want to fashion a people which we would train, educate and refine…The circumstances being what they are, the immenseness of the efforts needed for this [cannot be imagined].” -King Faisal I of Iraq, circa 1930

“Evidently we are in for a long, costly campaign in Mesopotamia which will strain to the uttermost our military resources.”

"There is something very sinister to my mind in this Mesopotamian entanglement...It seems to me so gratuitous that after all the struggles of war, just when we want to get together our slender military resources and re-establish our finances and have a little in hand in case of danger here or there, we should be compelled to go on pouring armies and treasure into these thankless deserts.”

"We have not got a single friend in the press on the subject, and there is no point of which they make more effective use to injure the Government. Week after week and month after month for a long time we shall have a continuance of this miserable, wasteful, sporadic, warfare marked from time to time certainly by minor disasters and cuttings off of troops and agents, and very possibly attended by some very grave occurrence.
-Winston Churchill, various private communications during the 1920's

“You are flying in the face of four millenniums of history if you try to draw a line around Iraq and call it a ‘political entity!’ They have never been an independent unity.”
-American missionary warning the British, circa 1920

“The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia [Iraq] into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honour. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information…..We are today not far from disaster.”
-Colonel T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) in the London Sunday Times, August 1920

Apparently, George Bush is not lying when he says that all he reads is the Bible.


Monday, February 4, 2008

Drug Abuse?

This is an interesting piece calling into question the efficacy of statins, whose use is essentially de rigeur for anyone threatening a heart problem (which incidentally, high cholesterol does not necessarily portend, so there are a few pieces of conventional wisdom being challenged here). Good stuff, and once again an example of the incredible amount of influence that the pharma industry wields; they have, via clever marketing, quite literally told doctors how to practice medicine, and wouldn't you know it, the "suggestions" happen to benefit their promulgators to the tune of billions of dollars.

Here is a piece in a similar vein.

This is tangentially related, but obviously much more pertinent to the ongoing circus of political "debates." It reminds me of memes like "John McCain is a straight-talking maverick" and "George Bush is a real down-home everyman." I've never understood how those sorts of assertions could scan with the public, but perhaps it really has to do with our fundamental tendency to favor gossipy descriptions over objective information.


What It's All About

The intro page to a blog I have recently discovered is actually one of the most cogent and concise critiques that I've read about the current media situation. The NonSequitir really nails down what political punditry needs more than anything:

While run-on sentences, comma splices, split infinitives, and other such grammatical minutiae may rarely make appearances in the best of our nation’s dailies and weeklies, and a small but growing class of press watchdogs help to correct errors of fact (pointing out bias, factual omissions, and distortions), a more perilous corruption lurks under the clean surface of the printed page: specious reasoning.

The political media is in the business of persuasion. It generally falls to the columnists, the editorialists, and the pundits to draw inferences from the facts, to argue for opinions, and to persuade the readers by the strength of their reasoning. But, for their arguments to be of any value, for their reasonings to command our assent, they must not only have a clear basis in fact, but more importantly, they must have a cogent logical structure.

It is, thus, one thing to have one’s facts straight and one’s sentences grammatical, but how one alleges that the facts are connected is often simply ignored as outside the realm of the editor’s responsibility: A matter of debatable opinion, they say, let the reader sort it out. Let the reader judge the author’s arguments.

Errors in grammar may produce laughable incoherence, errors in fact produce fiction, errors in logic, however, produce simple nonsense. Unlike grammar and facts, logic is not a matter of debate: Reasonable people cannot, in fact, disagree.


Friday, February 1, 2008

Moby Dick

For God's sake, be economical with your lamps and candles! not a gallon you burn, but at least one drop of man's blood was spilled for it.


PS: There Will Be Blood was badass. The final scene is one of my favorite ever in film.