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    • Inequality is Unnatural
      I’ve been reading UltraSociety, by Peter Turchin. Turchin’s a biologist turned to mathematical models of human society, and he’s done interesting work, not all of which I agree with (or agree is quite as radical as he claims.) But one of the points he makes in UltraSociety, which has been made by many archeologists and […]
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Kanye West may Save Obama’s Presidency

(With apologies to Taylor Swift)

Kanye West may save Obama’s presidency. When President Obama said “He’s a jackass.”, the President confirmed a simple truth about civic virtue that transcended most political boundaries.

Importantly, he did so authentically. His statement was not the product of intense focus group distillation.

The comment leaked (hmm) and it met with significant approval. Unsurprisingly, given President Obama’s historic fall from favorability grace, the video was “released” by CNN.

In the video, the President is charming just being himself. His charm is but a bonus, however, because the People’s approval was based on his bare words.

Mr. West’s act could save Obama’s presidency, if “President Obama” recognizes the simple truth of why his comment worked. The people who voted for him did so because he promised to speak the truth and he promised to act on the truth. His statement both spoke and performatively acted on the truth of Mr. West’s behavior.  The People approved.

It’s remarkable that Obama has not realized the power of being honest, given that the promise of honesty carried him to power. Heck, he even disarmed the faux race angle of the incident, which delivers on the post-racial promise (that others made for him).

So, if President Obama realizes that being honest and keeping his promises (general as they were) will give him the best chance of having a second term, then perhaps he’ll adopt doing so as an election strategy. If he does, then his presidency will be historically important because he will be an example of how people benefit by doing the right thing.

UPDATE: Many of you think my modest proposal is not too swift. That is not a bad outcome.

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What’s wrong with Obama

This is a graph from pollster.com of Obama’s favorable vs unfavorable rating going back to Jan 2008. Anyone who’s read what I’ve written about him (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) knows I think he’s an empty suit. An empty, bigoted suit, pressed by the corporations who own him.

I’ve been wondering what’ll happen when people wake up to the depth of the con. Now I know. Nothing will happen. Waking up isn’t part of the plan. If they have to stop dreaming, they’ll just start hallucinating.

Look at those two converging lines.

That loss of rosy faith is not based on the fact that he’s broken every campaign promise he’s made, starting with not ending the war, the torture, the surveillance, the imperial Presidency, going on with not even trying to deliver on health care for all, and continuing through an endless list.

The pollsters say the loss comes from him being a Muslim Kenyan Socialist Nazi gun-hating terrorist-loving radical leftie.

Christ on a bike in a pancake hat.

A man who spent decades going to the most politically connected church in Chicago is not a Muslim. (Original article taken down from Chicago Tribune, May 2008)

A man who’s never since childhood spoken with an aunt, dearly beloved as per his book, an aunt who turns out to be barely scraping by in a Boston housing project, such a man knows less about the Kenyan concept of family than I do, to say nothing of actually having anything Kenyan about him.

A man who throws about a trillion taxpayer dollars (a trillion for God’s sake) at Wall Street without even trying to stop it from being used to pay obscene bonuses is not a socialist. (There was a feeble attempt after it hit the news, but the attempt was so weak, it died in the Senate without a word from him.)

A man whose idea of withdrawing from Iraq is to escalate in Afghanistan doesn’t hate guns.

A man whose concept of breakthrough thinking is begging Republicans to approve of his every word is so far from being a radical I’d call him a milquetoast.

But none of this is why people are losing that warm fuzzy feeling about him. It’s not even that they’re put off, at last, by the way he’s conveniently oblivious to vile misogyny, his own and his followers’. Or his arrogant disregard of gays. Or the cynical use of racism to squelch a few more voices.

It’s that he’s a socialist radical dictator freak.

And judging by the skid marks, these people brake for hallucinations.

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Wōden’s Day Wake-up

Wōden the Wanderer

Wōden the Wanderer

Those of us who practice that “old-time religion” know that today was named for the Anglo-Saxon god Wōden.  He is the pagan god of death, battle, wisdom, discoverer of the runes and leader the Wild Hunt.


Obama supports extending Patriot Act provisions
The Obama administration supports extending three key provisions of the Patriot Act that are due to expire at the end of the year, the Justice Department told Congress in a letter made public Tuesday.

Don’t be surprised to see more bank failures
Closures have been relatively slow, but FDIC is accelerating shutdowns


Police serve warrants in Yale grad student slaying
Police led away a man in handcuffs to the cheers of neighbors Tuesday and plan to extract DNA samples in an attempt to link him to the killing of a Yale graduate student who died the week she was to be married.

Ohio execution on hold after vein troubles
Inmate gets one-week reprieve after problems with lethal injection process


Pressure Builds for ‘Thorough’ Review of ACORN Activities, Grants
House Minority Leader John Boehner introduced legislation Tuesday that would break all federal government ties with ACORN, and Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., wrote Attorney General Eric Holder requesting an investigation by the Justice Department

Carter:  Wilson comments ‘based on racism’
He says says the outburst was part of a disturbing trend in national debate

(as if blaming everything on racism wasn’t a disturbing trend too)


West calls Taylor Swift after ‘View’ appearance
It looks like Kanye West has finally given a personal apology to Taylor Swift. Representatives from “The View” say West called the country sensation after her appearance on Tuesday’s show.
[…]
“After the show he spoke personally to the country music superstar via telephone and has apologized to the 19-year-old singer. She has accepted Mr. West’s apology.”

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was injured while rehearsing for ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”
(unfortunately, he will still be able to compete.)


Frustrated UN chief Ban Ki-moon says world leaders must act on climate


Oldest Medal of Honor recipient, 100, downplays ‘hero’ talk

John Finn, who received the nation’s highest medal for valor for his actions during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, turned 100 this summer, the oldest living Medal of Honor recipient.

Fewer than 100 men who have received the Medal of Honor are alive today. More than half of them are expected in Chicago this week for the annual Congressional Medal of Honor Society Convention. But because they are all veterans of World War II, Korea or Vietnam, their ranks are shrinking every year.
The men from more recent conflicts, like Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq, were all awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.


SF Giants rage against the dying of the light
Beat Colorado Rockies 10-2 to close within 2 1/2 games of Wild Card lead.

Bench-clearing brawl mars Blue Jays’ win vs. NY Yanks
Fight escalates after Posada glares at reliever Carlson, later bumps him


Video:

Cheerleader catches big gator
A 16-year-old girl goes alligator hunting and comes home with a 353 pound catch.


Da Vinci Code follow-up The Lost Symbol sweeps the stores


Remember:

Today is “hump” day. If you make it through today it’s downhill to the weekend.


addamsfamily02pm5-785776

"When pushing someone down stairs, don't push too hard, or you might pull a muscle."


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