Archive for June 23rd, 2010

Wednesday Why-I-Love-The-Weekly-World-News Blogging

Great Moments In Culture edition:

SYDNEY, Australia – The Light Speed Opera House has a revolutionary new show in previews – a real space opera!

“For years we’ve struggled to maintain our identity in the shadow of the much larger Sydney Opera House,” impresario Jonathan Drake told Weekly World News.  “When I was approached by aliens from the Cygnus System to mount a production of their classic space opera, The Tentacle Groomer of Sigma-Seven, I leapt at the chance.”

The libretto details how Lar, the wealthy tentacle groomer, feigns poverty to find true love.  Disguised as a neutron disposal chef aboard The Sigma-Seven star cruiser, he meets and woos a luckless thrall worm.  Tragically, during a battle with space pirates, his beloved is killed.  Luckily, thrall worms can regenerate – just in time for the finale.

“More important than the hoary plot are the transcendent music and and splendid voices of the Cygnian performers,” Drake enthused.

“The thrall worm is sung by Adra, an Omega-Soprano from Nebula M-78.  She hits notes far beyond the range of human hearing.  Her voice doesn’t just shatter glass but actually melts it within a ten-meter radius.  We’ve had to replace our chandelier with one made of plastic.

“The pivotal role of the tentacle groomer is sung by Bar Parse-Five, a renowned Pulsar Tenor.  His voice is beyond mellifluous.  Parse-Five’s complex phrasing can actually cause earthquakes.  During his solo, ‘Sepulchral Activity of a Multiple Heart,’ tremors were detected as far away as Perth.”

Since the opera is performed in its native Cygnian, crawling subtitles are available for those who wish to read them.

“They really do crawl,” added Drake.  “They appear on the skin of lizard-like Cygnian Chameleonaries that creep back and forth on the top of the proscenium.”

The space opera is currently in previews and will premiere next month with a gala benefit for Cygnian Children of the Gravity Challenged.

Mmm… thrall worms…

June 23rd, 2010 at 09:48pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Weekly World News

Austerity For Thee, But Not For Me

There’s a great – and telling – juxtaposition in today’s PostPolitics.  A story about corporations complaining that regulation and tax increases are hurting economic growth shares the page with a photo gallery of long-term “discouraged” unemployed people.

So on the one hand you’ve got the conservative talking point that you can’t raise taxes to reduce the deficit because it slows down the economy, and on the other hand you’ve got the unemployed people who conservatives don’t want to help because it would… increase the deficit.

Well, which is it?  If the deficit is such an existential threat that it trumps any thought of stimulating our way out of a deep recession, then why can’t we raise taxes on the have-mores instead of cutting Social Security and other benefits for the “lesser people”?  And if economic growth is more important than balancing the budget, then why can’t we extend unemployment benefits and spend more stimulus money where it will actually create jobs?

Don’t tell us that we have to sacrifice economic growth and Social Security to the balanced budget god, and that we can’t raise taxes because it would kill economic growth.  Please just choose one ridiculous position and stick to it.

(Cross-posted at The Seminal)

2 comments June 23rd, 2010 at 07:03pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Economy,Republicans,Social Security,Taxes,Wankers

Good News, Everyone!

Hooray, the recession is over!

Great Recession? What recession? The world’s millionaires and billionaires — now totaling 10 million — saw their overall wealth jump 18.9 percent last year, to $39 trillion.

The surge in the stock market in 2009 restored many people back to the ranks of the rich as the financial crisis abated. The number of people with at least $1 million in assets beyond their homes and household goods climbed 17 percent, according to a report on the world’s wealth by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini, a Paris-based business consulting firm. Their total wealth approached the 2007 peak of $40.7 trillion, after a 20 percent plunge to $32.8 trillion in 2008.

“We are already seeing distinct signs of recovery, and in some areas a complete return to 2007 levels of wealth and growth,” Sallie Krawcheck, president of global wealth and investment management at Bank of America, said in a statement.

The very rich — those with disposable assets exceeding $30 million — did even better, increasing their wealth by 21.5 percent, the report said. The very rich, however, took a bigger hit in 2008, losing 24 percent of their fortunes.

I guess we don’t need another stimulus after all!  I’m so relieved.

June 23rd, 2010 at 11:26am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Economy

Won’t-Do America

Bob Herbert has a great column in yesterday’s NYT about how the U.S. has let greatness slip away, mishandling crisis after crisis and allowing their opportunities go to waste.  But I think his perspective is a little skewed:

As a nation, we are becoming more and more accustomed to a sense of helplessness. We no longer rise to the great challenges before us. It’s not just that we can’t plug the oil leak, which is the perfect metaphor for what we’ve become. We can’t seem to do much of anything.


We are submitting to this debacle with the same pathetic lack of creativity and helpless mind-set that now seems to be the default position of Americans in the 21st century. We have become a nation that is good at destroying things — with wars overseas and mind-bogglingly self-destructive policies here at home — but that has lost sight of how to build and maintain a flourishing society. We’re dismantling our public school system and, incredibly, attacking our spectacularly successful system of higher education, which is the finest in the world.

How is it possible that we would let this happen?

We’ve got all kinds of sorry explanations for why we can’t do any of the things we need to do. The Democrats can’t get 60 votes in the Senate. Our budget deficits are too high. Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck might object.

Meanwhile, the greatness of the United States, which so many have taken for granted for so long, is steadily slipping away.

It’s not that we can’t fix anything, that we’ve become too collectively stupid to figure out solutions to problems, it’s that we won’t fix anything.  Our political system has become so corrupt that concern for protecting the well-being of corporations and the wealthy now trumps all other considerations.  Remove that constraint, and a whole realm of possibilities and solutions opens up.  But as long as we’re stuck with it, we will continue to muddle through with half-assed band-aids that don’t work because they were designed by the very industries whose recklessness and criminality made them necessary.

June 23rd, 2010 at 07:25am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Economy,Media,Politics,Republicans

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