Thursday, May 31, 2012

Nihilist Apes

More mainstream liberal columnists are usually a bit too demure to write what they really think. At the very least they seem to write it, sober up, and then soften the edges a bit.

Today, Michael Tomasky is not having any of that:
It’s just a shockingly unserious approach to a very serious problem of roughly 4 million uninsured Americans who have cancer, diabetes, emphysema, and the like. Republicans don’t give a happy crap about any of these people. They have no interest whatsoever in trying to solve a public problem. See, this is the Democrats’ burden, and when you come down it, the true difference between the parties these days. Democrats are actually concerned with trying to address a public-policy problem in a responsible way. You can disagree with their way, but they’re at least trying to do something positive in the country—help those 4 million as best they can. This involves difficulty and choices because nothing meaningful in life doesn’t. It also requires the people to stop being selfish apes for five minutes and look at the larger picture. 
The Republicans, on the other hand, are complete nihilists. They don’t care about solving any policy problems. They care about two things. They care about politics—advantage, winning, humiliating Obama. And they care about ideology, their drunken and medieval belief that the market can fix everything. But wait; it’s not even really a belief. They’re dumb, but they are not that dumb. They don’t fully believe it. Like Romney accidentally acknowledging to Mark Halperin that huge budget cuts cause recessions. It’s just the garbage they say because it sounds good. No pain! Nothing is complicated! Be selfish!
Get 'em Mike! This is from a piece on the Daily Beast in which Tomasky talks about Republicans wavering on the repeal of the popular pieces of ACA.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Do yourself and favor and listen to this.
On Heaven, The Walkmen's seventh full-length album in 10 years (out May 29), the band continues to refine and mature its increasingly stately, deliberately paced sound. The wiry intensity of "The Rat" long consigned to the archives, The Walkmen's members again assert their place as kings of the dramatic slow burn — in "Line by Line," "No One Ever Sleeps," "Southern Heart" and beyond — though they also make the most of upbeat outliers like "The Love You Love" and the title track, a rousingly devotional pep talk in which Leithauser urges a loved one to "remember all we fight for."

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Just so you know. Via ESPN.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Time Travel

From Buzzfeed:


Every now and again I have a touch of sympathy for critiques of liberal behavior. This paragraph struck me as generally accurate:
In the course of this culinary blending, a multibillion-dollar industry arose. And that’s where leftist critics of Mexican food come in. For them, there’s something inherently suspicious about a cuisine responsive to both the market and the mercado. Oh, academics and foodies may love the grub, but they harbor an atavistic view that the only “true” Mexican food is the just-off-the-grill carne asada found in the side lot of your local abuelita (never mind that it was the invading Spaniards who introduced beef to the New World). “Mexico’s European-and-Indian soul,” writes Rick Bayless, the high priest of the “authentic” Mexican food movement, in his creatively titled book, Authentic Mexican, “feels the intuitions of neither bare-bones Victorianism nor Anglo-Saxon productivity”—a line reminiscent of dispatches from the Raj. If it were up to these authentistas, we’d never have kimchi tacos or pastrami burritos. Salsa would not outsell ketchup in the United States. This food of the gods would be locked in Mexican households and barrios of cities, far away from Anglo hands.
On the one hand, I really love Rick Bayless's food. And I can appreciate the desire to create ethnically authentic experiences and cuisine as much as the next white guy. On the other hand, I really love kimchi tacos. The world would be a worse place without them.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Missouri Again

Would it be too much for someone in our state to do something that receives some positive national attention instead of doing stuff like this:
In March, officials accused a Missouri guardsman of participating in neo-Nazi activities while also serving in the military’s honor guard, which routinely helped pay last respects at funerals for veterans who fought in WWII. The sergeant was fired from the honor guard after former coworkers said he kept a picture of Adolf Hitler in his living room and tried to recruit them to the white supremacist movement.
We are really having a tough go these days. Hopefully it's just a phase...

Friday, May 11, 2012

Science Friday - Safety Warning

Don't put your hand in the large hadron collider.

Via TPM.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Time is Still At It

A couple of months ago, I posted on my complaint that Time Magazine thinks the American  public doesn't care about world issues (and may well be right). This week Time garnered a lot of attention when it released a cover of a mother breast feeding her 4 year old child. The cover is certainly startling, but I was more interested in how it compared to the covers of the European, Asian, and South Pacific versions of the magazine.

Sure enough, Time has once again gone with some strange American pop sociology project, while the rest of the world learns about things the rest of the world cares about.

Avid reader Jackknife Rodriguez believes I am making too much out of this whole thing. His argument is that many of editions have specific covers, and I am just cherry-picking the most egregious examples. You can go click through the covers here, and decide for yourself.

Monday, May 7, 2012

We Ain't Got Much, But We Got More Than Some

I have made a fairly regular habit of complaining about sports in KC on the blog. And my largest gripe is that we haven't won a playoff game in the major sports since 1993. (For the record, this does not include Sporting KC who I think should be included if hockey is included, but whatever. Go Sporting!)

But recentness is only one way to look at the numbers. If you look at them from an overall perspective, things are a little better. A chart on Slate shows championships in the major four sports by city. KC is there with our 2 (that happened eons ago). But also on the chart is Houston, who has 3 teams and only 2 championships as well. Indianapolis has 2 teams and 1 championship. Phoenix has 4 teams and 1 championship. Seattle has 2 championships. Charlotte has 0 championships. Milwaukee has 2, and one of the teams isn't even there anymore (the Braves).

Speaking of the Braves, the winner for least decorated city per team has to be Atlanta. Atlanta has 1 championship despite having all 4 major sports for a fairly lengthy period of time.

There is no real point to this, by the way. Just making myself feel a little better after watching Luke Hochever pitch this weekend.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

How to Teach By Bertrand Russell

If you have never been, you should check out the blog Brain Pickings. There is almost always something very interesting there. Yesterday, they posted Bertrand Russell's 10 commandments of teaching. It sounds like the opposite of what most people actually do.

  1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
  2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
  3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
  4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
  5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
  6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
  7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
  8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
  9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
  10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.


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