Occupy Denver And Excessive Displays Of Force

October 30th, 2011

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Last night at Occupy Denver the weather was chilly, grey, and damp. Two lines of riot police, dressed in their black Vader outfits and saying nothing, stood facing the camp, motionless. In reserve was another group of riot clad police wearing olive drab instead of black. Broadway and Fourteenth were blocked off by more police cars and vehicles than I have seen anywhere -- literally. Even the bike police were there. The bike police?!

It was scary. It was scary because when your government confronts you, not the bad guys, with thugs whose dress, posture, weapons, and demeanor convey violence, that's scary.

It was also scary because violence indeed begets violence. The absurd, overreaction of the police seemed designed to provoke violence. And if you collect sixty protesters, all that remained after the police moved in, there are certain to be some people who will react to police violence with violence of their own.

Another sad, scary day in a country I once had great hopes for.

Infrastructure

October 30th, 2011

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/us/northeast-snow-storm.html?hp&gwh=1CACCEE130E6278AFDBCCBAC61B9F330#

Is it okay that our power system fails every time it snows? I don't know the answer for certain but I don't think so.

Why the Oakland police weren't welcomed with roses

October 27th, 2011

When you attack people, those people want to fight back. This is true when the attackers are very powerful and when they are weak.

Weak people understand this. But when it's the powerful people attacking, they will be shocked, shocked, shocked that the weak folks want to fight back.

From Elsewhere

October 2nd, 2011

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From the Denver Public Library. Hand-lettered on back of print: "H.B. Ley, T.S. Waud, Cedar Falls Iowa, Weight 5650#, elec. light, running wat, toilet, refrigerator."

  • The RV crazies will always be with us - Heaters/generators/pumps that run all night long bother other people who are not encased in a mobile house.

    If you are going to run noisy stuff all night, go to a friggin RV park or a Walmart parking lot not a public campground. Sheesh.

  • Trip view bowl in Google Earth - The coolest way to show off a souvenir knickknack that I have ever seen.
  • Republicans hate chocolate - Climate change will decimate cocoa production. (Of course, Dems may be believers but they don't care.)
  • What it costs China to screw American workers -

    It is currently costing the Chinese central bank about $240 billion per year to hold down the value of the Chinese currency relative to other currencies. This cost is growing rapidly.
    . . .
    To put this cost in perspective, $240 billion is considerably larger than China’s trade surplus of $183 billion last year. It is about 4 percent of China’s GDP in 2010. Moreover, this cost does not include the implicit tax on the banking system associated with China’s reserve holdings, which is passed on to Chinese households in the form of depressed rates of interest on savings deposits.

Time Machine Time

September 8th, 2011

Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/08/obama-jobs-speech-text-video_n_954705.html

Wouldn't that wonderful jobs speech have been a great speech two years ago? Or even a year and a half ago? Instead of the crapola "freeze federal salaries" and "deficit commission" state of the union?

Maybe there would actually have been a chance for some effective action. (Which would not involve most of the actual b.s. policy ideas -- hamstrung by the deficit monster that Obama helped conjure -- proposed tonight.)

How Dumb I Am

September 3rd, 2011

I remember when I thought that Rahm was the problem.

Wrongo!

Typical: Wrong Policy and Ineptly Implemented

September 3rd, 2011

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/world/middleeast/04mideast.html?hp

From the NYTimes:

The Obama administration has initiated a last-ditch diplomatic campaign to avert a confrontation this month over a plan by Palestinians to seek recognition as a state at the United Nations, but it may already be too late, according to senior American officials and foreign diplomats.

Review of Sons & Daughters' Mirror Mirror: Ten Tracks Of Tedium

September 3rd, 2011

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What a crappy album. It completely wastes the band's best asset: Adele Bethel's vocals. And, I can't figure out why because nothing on this record comes close to replacing them.

I'm not sure what is supposed to be attractive, new, or interesting here. Most of the album sounds like it is being played by a machine. The vocals are sunken behind leagues of dull, techno-sounding muck. If someone is actually playing instruments here, they suck and could replaced by a teenager with a computer.

Only because I liked their second album and loved the third did I listen to every excruciatingly dull moment of every tedious cut. I kept hoping that the monotonous, uninspired beginnings on the cuts were a setup for some raging breakout, but by track 6 even I started to catch on. Not going to happen. The cuts start boring and stupid and continue boring and stupid. And then the next track is boring and stupid.

I was stunned when the album ended. I was hoping at least one cut would display something of value.

Rarely have I encountered an album that is as bad as this one.