Archive for December 1st, 2009

Simple Answers To Simple Questions, Volume 9083

Could Ben Bernanke Lose His Job?

No.

This has been another edition of…

1 comment December 1st, 2009 at 10:45pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Economy

So Much For The Charm Offensive

…Or maybe they realize just how woefully inadequate it is:

“I just wrote my first reference for a gun permit,” said a friend, who told me of swearing to the good character of a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker who applied to the local police for a permit to buy a pistol. The banker had told this friend of mine that senior Goldman people have loaded up on firearms and are now equipped to defend themselves if there is a populist uprising against the bank.

I called Goldman Sachs spokesman Lucas van Praag to ask whether it’s true that Goldman partners feel they need handguns to protect themselves from the angry proletariat. He didn’t call me back. The New York Police Department has told me that “as a preliminary matter” it believes some of the bankers I inquired about do have pistol permits. The NYPD also said it will be a while before it can name names.

While we wait, Goldman has wrapped itself in the flag of Warren Buffett, with whom it will jointly donate $500 million, part of an effort to burnish its image — and gain new Goldman clients. Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein also reversed himself after having previously called Goldman’s greed “God’s work” and apologized earlier this month for having participated in things that were “clearly wrong.”

(…)

Plenty of Wall Streeters worry about the big discrepancies in wealth, and think the rise of a financial industry-led plutocracy is unjust. That doesn’t mean any of them plan to move into a double-wide mobile home as a show of solidarity with the little people, though.

No, talk of Goldman and guns plays right into the way Wall- Streeters like to think of themselves. Even those who were bailed out believe they are tough, macho Clint Eastwoods of the financial frontier, protecting the fistful of dollars in one hand with the Glock in the other. The last thing they want is to be so reasonably paid that the peasants have no interest in lynching them.

Ya know, if you feel the need to carry a gun because you’re afraid an angry mob will tear you to pieces, that’s probably a hint that you may not be in the most honorable line of work.  Also worth considering: Plaxico Burress.

December 1st, 2009 at 09:11pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Wankers

Art History Corner

OMG MY EYES

So I had this horrible right-wing e-mail forwarded to me, promoting the latest work of this horrible woman who appears to be the Ann Coulter of children’s books.  At first I thought the illustration that accompanied it was merely godawful, but then I noticed that the Sarah Palin figure actually had a halo around her head (can’t be the sun; check out where her shadow is), which got me to thinking that there may be hidden depths here that only a trained art historian can plumb.

Thus I enlisted the aid of Noted Art History Scholar, The Shadowy & Mysterious Codename V, to perform a more in-depth analysis of the iconography of this… striking illustration, and hopefully explain why Governor Palin is carrying a bag full of penises:

My first impression on viewing this work is “OMG MY EYES, MY POOR EYES.” But I realize this is not helpful from an art historical perspective.

The predominant figure is a woman who appears to suffer from some sort of gigantism of the head and neck. Whether or not this is a human figure is debatable. She carries a bag which appears to be full of severed male genitalia (it is not academically appropriate to say weenises, so I won’t), although closer inspection suggests they are likely tubes of lipstick. She apparently has small laser beams coming from one of her eyes. A halo surrounds her abnormally large head.

A disheveled rat stands nearby, pointing at her in an accusatory manner. Two small derelict children stare one, one in horror, the other joyfully.

What does this all mean? I shall now apply the vast knowledge of iconography that I learned over the weekend whilst writing a paper about the Northern Renaissance. I am pretty sure this work here isn’t Dutch. That’s unfortunate, as I mostly know Dutch symbolism. Also you can rest assured that I am COMPLETELY PROFESSIONAL and would NEVER MAKE THINGS UP. Let’s proceed.

The woman’s stance suggests that she is probably kind of bitchy. I would be bitchy too, if 90% of my body mass was in my head and neck. Her bag of lipstick-manparts symbolizes her sadness at not having one herself. The halo represents the fact that someone is a little too fond of the airbrush tool in Microsoft Paint. The small laser beams are in fact a 15th century Flemish symbol for Tron, which makes complete sense in the context of this work as a whole.

The angry rat symbolizes the bubonic plague. He’s pointing at her, so we can safely assume that she is a carrier. Or possibly she has his rat-manparts in her bag of doom.

The two children are a bit of a mystery. They are stylish enough to wear high top Converse All-Stars, but bizarrely choose trousers that seem to be held up magically by one giant button. They look slow. And that’s being generous. One is happy, one is… not. Therefore I conclude that they symbolize the classic Greek concepts of comedy and tragedy, as this entire work of “art” is both comic and tragic.

Despite obvious stylistic similarities to works from the Italian Renaissance (see below) I can only conclude that this is an example of Early 21st Century Crap.

Raphael - Cherubini
Fig. 1

Michelangelo  - Adam
Fig. 2

December 1st, 2009 at 07:27pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Art/Architecture,Palin,Politics,Republicans

Ensign Will Resign After The 2010 Election

Well, how else to interpret his explanation of why he’s not stepping down now:

Embattled Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., on Monday rejected calls for his resignation based on an extramarital affair with a former aide, saying to do so would take the focus off Republican efforts to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

In his first live interview since news of the affair broke this summer, Ensign warned Las Vegas Newsradio KXNT talk show host Alan Stock: “If I resign, we have a second Senate race. For the people who want to beat Harry Reid, if you have a second Senate race in this state you take the focus off of Harry Reid. … I think that would hurt the conservative cause.” Stock has called on Ensign, up for re-election in 2012, to step down.

“If I were to listen to some folks out there, we’d have a second Senate race. People need to think about that,” Ensign said.

I mean, if Ensign is only hanging onto his seat to make it easier to oust Reid in 2010, then he has no excuse to stay in office one minute after that election, right?  Or at the very least he should pledge not to seek re-election.  Otherwise one might think that this is simply a flimsy and transparent excuse for him to cling to power despite his blatant wrongdoing.

1 comment December 1st, 2009 at 11:19am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Republicans,Wankers

Rick Warren, Defining Christianity Down

What a truly repellent excuse for a human being, much less a Christian:

Now Warren’s on the defensive again, this time for his affiliation with Martin Ssempa, a Ugandan pastor who has endorsed proposed legislation in Uganda that makes certain homosexual acts punishable by life in prison or even, in some cases, death. Ssempa has made appearances at Saddleback and has been embraced warmly by Warren and his wife, Kay.

In October, Warren distanced himself from Ssempa and the Ugandan legislation, saying, “Martin Ssempa does not represent me; my wife, Kay; Saddleback Church; nor the Global PEACE Plan strategy,” a reference to Warren’s work in the developing world and Africa in particular. “In 2007 we completely severed contact with Mr. Ssempa when we learned that his views and actions were in serious conflict with our own.

(…)

But Warren won’t go so far as to condemn the legislation itself. A request for a broader reaction to the proposed Ugandan antihomosexual laws generated this response: “The fundamental dignity of every person, our right to be free, and the freedom to make moral choices are gifts endowed by God, our creator. However, it is not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations.” On Meet the Press this morning, he reiterated this neutral stance in a different context: “As a pastor, my job is to encourage, to support. I never take sides.” Warren did say he believed that abortion was “a holocaust.” He knows as well as anyone that in a case of great wrong, taking sides is an important thing to do.

So Warren thinks abortion is  “a holocaust,” but when it comes to some madman advocating imprisonment and execution for gays, or actively facilitating the spread of AIDS, he suddenly decides that it’s not his affair and he shouldn’t take sides?

I guess Warren considers fetuses to be more precious than actual gay people – I wonder if he’d be okay with aborting gay fetuses.

December 1st, 2009 at 07:19am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Religion,Teh Gay,Wankers


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