Oct 3 2009

don’t get sick and if you do die quickly

Kal @ 10:43

From Firedoglake: Alan Grayson Speaks the Language of Morality, Causes Mass Panic

Matt Yglesias wrote yesterday:

Representative Alan Grayson’s statement that the Republican plan for health care amounts to “don’t get sick” and if you do “die quickly” probably doesn’t meet a test of literal accuracy. . . . But so what? The idea of a hubbub about this is absurd.

I think the real issue—and the real import—of Grayson’s statement is that it involved breaking one of the unspoken rules of modern American politics. The rule is that conservatives talk about their causes in stark, moralistic terms and progressives don’t. Instead, progressives talk about our causes in bloodless technocratic terms.



Category: Morals | wingnuttery | Politics

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 https://jeremiasx.wordpress.com/.                 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 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 Snopes.com.

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 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 www.accuweather.com, 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

Sep 8 2009

More racist wingnut bullshit.

Kal @ 08:53

Another in my wingnut email series from Greg,. From a blog point of view, Greg is the gift who keeps on giving.

racist cartoon

Everyone is supposed to know that only white folks are entitled to the perks of high office. How very uppity! Martha’s Vinyard no less. Is no privilege safe any more? And for shame, asking the rich to pay their fair share of the booty from this country.


Category: Politics | wingnuttery

Sep 4 2009

Something is better than nothing – is that too difficult?

Kal @ 12:36

This email today (9/4/2009) came from Greg, who has no health insurance. It is a fine addition to the wingnut email series.

NICE van!!


Did no one hear the many times repeated, “if you like the plan you have now, keep it”? Of course, single payer would be better, but the insurance industry was too strong to  make that possible.

The slogan on the van is designed to direct your attention away from the fact that you, (that includes Greg) have no health insurance at all other than maybe medicare if you are a senior.

So by all means, listen to the folks getting rich off our current broken system and resist with all your might anything that might possibly improve your lot in life. Or maybe it is just your neighbor or your child or your cousin who is health coverage free. They should just suck it up and enjoy the fact that insurance executives make billions.


Category: Politics | wingnuttery

Sep 4 2009

Wishful thinking

Kal @ 12:17

This helpful item in my wingnut email series came from Murray. It arrived in my mail yesterday, 9/3/2009.

Too bad they didn't have the courage to print this in English.


Check out the clothing label from a small  US company.



In case the text is too small to read, “This is the clothing label from a small American company that sells their product in France. Here’s the translation of the French part of the label.
Wash with warm water.
Use mild soap.
Dry flat.
Do not use bleach.
Do not dry in the dryer.
Do not iron.
We are sorry that our president is an idiot. We did not vote for him.



Now Murray sends me right wing propaganda almost daily, sometimes more often, so it was fairly clear he thought this applied to Obama. However, nothing on it says so and it looked vaguely familiar, so I responded with: Must be left over from the last administration.

Not to be outdone, Murray came back with:


At which point I decided to find out so I Googled part of the caption and the top item was:


Anti-Bush Clothing/Laptop Bag Label

Netlore Archive:  Translated into English, the French portion of an American product label reads: 'We are sorry that our president is an idiot. We did not vote for him.'

Description:  Email flier w/photo
Circulating since:  May 2004
Status:  True

Email text contributed by Jules R., 3 June 2004:

Wash with warm water.  Use mild soap.  Dry flat.  Do not use bleach.  Do not dry in the dryer.  Do not iron.  We are sorry that Our President is an idiot.  We did not vote for him.

This is a clothing label from a small American company that sells their product in France. Here's the translation of the French part of the label.

Wash with warm water.
Use mild soap.
Dry flat.
Do not use bleach.
Do not dry in the dryer.
Do not iron.
We are sorry that Our President is an idiot.
We did not vote for him.


Comments:  True. The label appeared on several tote bags and laptop cases manufactured by Tom Bihn, an American company located in Port Angeles, Washington. According to the Tom Bihn Website, its labels are printed in French as well as English because the products are sold in both the U.S. and Canada.

In addition to the basic laundering instructions, the labels read, in French:

Nous sommes desoles que notre president soit un idiot. Nous n'avons pas vote pour lui.

Which, translated into English, means:

We are sorry that our president is an idiot. We didn't vote for him.

"The 'secret' message began as an inside joke among seamstresses and staff at the Tom Bihn factory," the company's Website explains, "and was apparently intended to poke fun at company's founder and president, Tom Bihn."

The key word is apparently.

"I'm going with the idea that it's a joke about me," Bihn told the Associated Press. But, he added, "clearly when you use the word 'idiot' and 'president' in the same sentence people jump to other conclusions."

Especially when it's written in French.


Category: Politics | wingnuttery

Aug 14 2009

It is not about health care

Kal @ 09:38

In the NY Times by Krugman

I warned that his vision of a “different kind of politics” was a vain hope, that any Democrat who made it to the White House would face “an unending procession of wild charges and fake scandals, dutifully given credence by major media organizations that somehow can’t bring themselves to declare the accusations unequivocally false.”

So, how’s it going?

Sure enough, President Obama is now facing the same kind of opposition that President Bill Clinton had to deal with: an enraged right that denies the legitimacy of his presidency, that eagerly seizes on every wild rumor manufactured by the right-wing media complex.

This opposition cannot be appeased. Some pundits claim that Mr. Obama has polarized the country by following too liberal an agenda. But the truth is that the attacks on the president have no relationship to anything he is actually doing or proposing.

Right now, the charge that’s gaining the most traction is the claim that health care reform will create “death panels” (in Sarah Palin’s words) that will shuffle the elderly and others off to an early grave. It’s a complete fabrication, of course. The provision requiring that Medicare pay for voluntary end-of-life counseling was introduced by Senator Johnny Isakson, Republican — yes, Republican — of Georgia, who says that it’s “nuts” to claim that it has anything to do with euthanasia.


Category: wingnuttery | Politics