Sep 29 2009

9/11 Budweiser and Pepsi Story Hoax

Kal @ 21:38

Greg’s wingnuttia for today had some very dramatic colors and graphics. Who has time for these nutty things anyway?

The Budweiser Story (not a joke) This is TRUE!
How Budweiser handled those who laughed at those who died on the 11th of September, 2001...Thought you might like to know what happened in a little town north of Bakersfield, California.
After you finish reading this, please forward this story on to others so that our nation and people around the world will know about those who laughed when they found out about the tragic events in New York, Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon.
On September 11th, a Budweiser employee was making a delivery to a convenience store in a California town named McFarland. He knew of the tragedy that had occurred in New York when he entered the business to find the two Arabs, who owned the business, whooping and hollering to show their approval and support of this treacherous attack.

So as per usual I looked it up.

Trend Micro calls it a hoax supplies these references:


Category: wingnuttery

Sep 29 2009

Undocumented Workers Make Him Mad

Kal @ 20:42

Today’s wingnut email actually arrived on Monday courtesy of Greg with a conclusion as follows:

You should be!!!
Pass this along to all the Blue and White collar Americans that are struggling from paycheck to paycheck to provide for their families.
This is an outrage that HAS to be addressed.
THIS is the time to get things started.
We are poised on the brink of oblivion and it will take nothing short of an avalanche to get the bureaucrats to take action.

The body of the  e-mail is comprised of a supposed comparison of two workers, one documented and the other not. Both of these homeboys work at a job and are paid at a rate that their net pay is $31,231.00 per year, the difference being that the undocumented one is purported to get paid in cash “under the table”.

The first lie is attributing 30% of the documented person’s $52,000 gross pay to taxes. Payroll tax is around 7%, so that amounts to about $3,650, Federal withholding is about $4,500, and California withholding is about $700, for total taxes of $8,850. The email figure is $20,800 deducted for taxes. Not even close.



Category: wingnuttery | Immigration

Sep 27 2009

Obviously False Conventional Wisdom

Kal @ 14:37

From Three Types of Crazy

Read the whole article. It makes the point that false beliefs are not limited to “the nutty fringe”.

    (A) We can provide universal health care, like all other advanced industrial nations, and cut costs to 12% of GDP or less, like all other advanced industrial nations, while still allowing insurance companies to skim 30% off the top.

    (B) We can militarily subdue Afghanistan with enough troops and machismo, even though no one in history has ever done this before.

    (C) We can successfully deal with global warming without even trying to reduce atmospheric carbon to 350 ppm, which is what the world's scientists say is required.

    (D) We can fix the financial system without actually fixing the financial system, simply by trusting the folks who helped bring us the meltdown in the first place.

    (E) Money is speech.

    (F) Corporations are people, with all the Constitutional rights that entails.

    (G) Spending hundreds of billions of dollars on weapon systems that don't work, and/or aren't designed to fight enemies that actual exist means you are "strong on defense," even if you did everything human possible to avoid serving in a war zone when your country called. Questioning the wisdom of doing so makes you "weak on defense", even if you are a war hero.

There are literally dozens and dozen of such crazy beliefs that enjoy strong "centrist" support… But does anyone ever thing of them as evidence of some sort of dysfunction?  Yet, that surely is precisely what it is--evidence of a deeply dysfunctional political system.


Category: Politics | Morals | Conventional Economics

Sep 24 2009

Not Yet Not Ever

Kal @ 17:18

Yet another in the wingnut email series, this one with mixed credits. The Shrub came from Murray and Saint Ronnie came from Greg. Looking at these made me think fondly of Bill Cinton, Jimmy Carter and maybe even Lyndon Johnson.

This is ABSOLUTELY THE BEST Email I have ever received.  I'm going to print it on photo paper and frame it. 

miss me yet

But it is better than this one
from                 mission accomplished

The email from Murray today reminded me of one from Greg on August 17:

miss reagan 

Seems a shame that no one ever taught him the basics of human relationships in kindergarten.

Same answer though, courtesy of Ron, “Not Yet, Not Ever”.


Category: wingnuttery | hoax | Politics

Sep 23 2009

Family Values I Can Believe In

Kal @ 16:29

Those could be my words if I were more eloquent, but they came from Mike Lux at Open Left.

For my dad, it was his faith that gave him those values. To feed the hungry, to give water to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to visit the sick and those in prison. To welcome the stranger. To be our brother's and sister's keeper. To proclaim good news to the poor and let the oppressed go free. To show mercy and love kindness. Those are the values I was raised with, and when I hear Joe Wilson from the buckle of the Bible belt scream "You lie" at this President when he is talking about health care for all, I wonder how those values got so distorted.

So, Dad, wherever you are, thank you for raising me with those values and not the bitter angry ugliness of the Glenn Becks, Rush Limbaughs, and Joe Wilsons of this world. A lot has changed since you left this good earth, but we're still fighting the ugliness. But I honor you and all those famous and unsung pioneers for human justice who have gone before us. I am thankful that there were people like you and my mom who welcomed the stranger, people who welcomed Barack Obama, Sr and so many other immigrants who have contributed to the quality of this country, and still are. The next time I write, I hope I'll be telling you that we finally have decent health care for all, and that we live in a country where immigrants are finally welcome.


Category: Politics | Population | Immigration

Sep 19 2009

Fox News In Brief

Kal @ 22:16

From Thers at FireDogLake Why Are Conservatives Angry? Because Keeping Conservatives Angry Makes Fox News Rich

What nobody is saying, even though it's really frickin' obvious, is that FOX News has a powerful financial interest in fostering, promoting, and screeching about bizarre paranoid conspiracy theories. They make all their dough off of misinformation, faux-outrage mongering, and horseshit flinging.

A civil debate about ideas would kill FOX News. Acknowledging that a Democratic president who won an election gets a chance to govern would kill FOX News.

"Follow the money" doesn't explain everything. Nope. It only explains 90% of everything. In terms of Fox and the Tea-Baggers, 2% of the rest is racism, and the other 8% is "stupid."


Category: wingnuttery

Sep 18 2009

Flabby White People Party

Kal @ 09:31

By Dmitry Orlov in a piece titled: Caution White People.

There is usually some good food for thought in his posts. You might want to read the whole thing.

But here is the meat of it:

What political interests bind over-the-hill flabby white people to the exclusion of all other ethnic groups?

I happened to be in Washington, DC last weekend, and on the way to and from the National Gallery I had the opportunity to observe the March on Washington, which was in full swing. Once upon a time I had joined demonstrations, not out of some misplaced idealism, but to pick up women (I was still single at the time). The demonstrations were always full of pretty, high-spirited young women, and the context of marching and chanting slogans together rendered them approachable. And so my first question concerning the crowd marching around the Mall last weekend was, "Where are all the pretty young women?" There weren't any! Surprised, I observed some more. What I saw only deepened my consternation. Not only were there no pretty women to be seen, but the crowd included exactly zero blacks, Latinos or Asians. I don't believe I have ever before seen so many middle-aged, obese, shabbily dressed, melanin-challenged individuals gathered in one place!

What political interests bind over-the-hill flabby white people to the exclusion of all other ethnic groups? What is the shabby white agenda? Perhaps the signs the marchers carried might offer a clue? Most of them carried white corrugated cardboard signs stapled to a sharpened pine stake, of the sort designed for displaying on suburban front lawns. The slogans they scribbled on them were of their own devising, but the form factor of the signs was identical throughout. The slogans related to disparate interests: health care, monetary policy, constitutional law. I eventually stumbled on a pile of the stock they used to make their signs. These were printed signs: the printed side said either "Office Space for Lease!" or "Condos for Sale!". The demonstrators would pry the cardboard off one sign, staple it to another sign face down, and scribble on the blank side of the one in the front. These people are refugees from foreclosure-land that somebody organized and shipped in, together with their props!

But what of those in positions of influence who are willing to exploit public frustration and stir up ethnic hatred, all in order to defeat health care reform? Isn't that exactly what we should expect of those who want to continue to extort money from sick people in order to make profits even while the country teeters toward bankruptcy? Are they too stupid to realize how dangerous a game that is? Or do they think that it might not be too bad for them, and that a bloodletting might be good for their business, making it even more profitable?

In the US, politics is a stupid, pointless, but mostly harmless game. Let's all do our best to make sure that it stays that way.



Sep 18 2009


Kal @ 09:08

This wingnut email comes from Gwen. Which goes to show that you do not have to be male to pass on nutty stuff (but I think it helps).

This one starts of to say: “Bill Cosby has a great way of  "distilling" things.  Looks like he's done it again!”

It is followed by a broken link to a picture and 12 extremely inflammatory and reactionary points, including encouraging use of the military to shoot immigrants from the south. It is a bit muddled about religion; I wonder if Gwen was really proposing we adopt Sharia Law with the proposal to cut off hands for stealing? Actually, there is very little difference between a theocracy of the Christian or the Muslim kind, so that is not so surprising.

Unfortunately for Gwen, in addition to being particularly nasty, her proposal is based on pure bullshit. I thought it worth looking up in

Claim: Article reproduces comedian Bill Cosby’s platform as a write-in candidate in the 2008 Presidential Election.


Discussion: Origins: We don’t know who originally authored this reactionary “platform” for a write-in presidential candidate, but we do know it was not entertainer Bill Cosby.

… Just before the 2008 U.S. presidential election, Bill Cosby himself disclaimed involvement with this “write-in candidate” e-mail on his web site:


I am not a write-in candidate for President. The statement purportedly from me stating that I am a candidate is a hoax. The platform attributed to me (and at various times to Robin Williams, Andy Rooney, and George Carlin) does not represent my views and in many respects is abhorrent to me. Apparently those who continue to spread this hoax do not care to do even minimal fact checking.

So there you have it, just another attempt to cloak nasty with the cover of respectability. Or is it a wolf in sheep’s clothing?


Category: Morals | Politics | wingnuttery | hoax

Sep 11 2009

Solar Can Power The World

Kal @ 09:50


Surface Area Required To Solar Power The World

September 3, 2009

Surface Area Required To Power The World Using Solar Panels Alone - Click for larger image



According to the United Nations 170,000 square kilometers of forest is destroyed each year. If we constructed solar farms at the same rate, we would be finished in 3 years.



From the NY Times, 9/9/2009

$4.1 Billion in Orders for Thin-Film Solar

Since its founding in 2002, Nanosolar has raised a lot of money – half a billion dollars to date – and made a lot of noise about upending the solar industry, but the Silicon Valley start-up has been a bit vague on specifics about why it’s the next big green thing.
On Wednesday, Nanosolar pulled back the curtain on its thin-film photovoltaic cell technology — which it claims is more efficient and less expensive than that of industry leader First Solar — and announced that it has secured $4.1 billion in orders for its solar panels.
Martin Roscheisen, Nanosolar’s chief executive, said customers included solar power plant developers like NextLight, AES Solar and Beck Energy of Germany.
The typical Nanosolar farm will be between 2 and 20 megawatts in size, Mr. Roscheisen said in an e-mail message from Germany, where he was attending the opening of Nanosolar’s new factory near Berlin. “This is a sweet spot in terms of ease of permitting and distributed deployment without having to tax the transmission infrastructure.”
Nanosolar, based in San Jose, Calif., has developed a solar cell made from copper indium gallium (di)selenide. The semiconducting materials and nanoparticles are contained within a proprietary ink that makes it possible to print flexible solar cells on rolls of cheap aluminum foil.

Nanosolar details  (pdf)


Category: Climate Change | Economics | Resource Depletion | Sustainability | Solar

Sep 10 2009

Global warming is a hoax – it is actually getting cooler

Kal @ 09:44

Things I get in my email:

Hey troops;

As long as we're at it, let's go to, and get back into this issue of Global Climate Change.  These guys have the statistics backed by ACTUAL records, showing that we are actually cooling.  Let's see where they are wrong.


There is a story, possibly true, that if you put a frog in a pan of water on the stove and gradually heat up the water till it is boiling, the frog will just sit there and let himself be cooked. This seems a little unlikely to me, but it is a well known story. Either way, if you put a lid on the pan the temperature in the pan will go higher than if there is no lid. (In the water it will only go to 212F, but above the water the trapped steam will be a lot hotter than no trapped steam.)

For our purposes, you are a frog in a large, very complex, pan heated by the sun. And the pan is moving so nothing is constant at any one point. When it is heating up in the north it is cooling in the south, to name the most obvious of the variability factors. Happens every year. Up, down, lots of clouds over Montana, cooler there. Drought and no clouds over western Australia, warmer there. Lots of local variability.

On your particular pan there is a partially one way, mostly transparent, lid called The Atmosphere. Some heat does escape back out thru this special lid; the chemical composition of the gasses in The Atmosphere determines the percentage that escapes. This is pretty basic science and does not seem controversial to me. CO2 is one of the main gasses that determines how fast the heat escapes, there are others as well, but CO2 appears to be the main one.

Weather is interesting and looking backward from, say 10,000 years in the future, weather statistics will have painted a meaningful picture. But local weather statistics, for the less than 100 years of their existence, are almost meaningless. Interesting, but not much good for extrapolating the future. Feel free to learn what you need to know about statistics and science to become your own weather and climate expert. As for me, I have other things to do, but I can understand what the vast majority of weather experts have said, and that is that temperatures are rising and are destined to rise even faster.

Global warming is about the lid on the pan, not local weather variability. CO2 has been building up at an ever increasing rate all during the industrial age as we burned carbon at an ever increasing rate.

Weather variability does make it very difficult to prove that the atmosphere is heating up. What is not difficult is to see that glaciers are disappearing around the world and the polar ice caps are getting smaller. Is it the cooler weather that is doing it? Must be if we are actually cooling.

And it has also been shown conclusively that CO2 in the atmosphere has been building at an ever increasing rate. I do not find it difficult to understand that changing the atmosphere will result in changed weather. What is so hard about that?

Inconvenient as global warming is, I think we should do whatever is necessary to minimize the carbon buildup that is the source of the problem.


Category: Climate Change | Politics | Sustainability | wingnuttery