One construction photo plus some random stuff:
August 31st, 2010 at 11:25am Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Photoblogging,Pittsburgh
One construction photo plus some random stuff:
August 31st, 2010 at 11:25am Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Photoblogging,Pittsburgh
Stanley Fish had a nice column in yesterday’s NYT pointing out the cynical inconsistency of right-wing reaction to terrorist attacks, depending on the perpetrator:
In the brief period between the bombing and the emergence of McVeigh, speculation had centered on Arab terrorists and the culture of violence that was said to be woven into the fabric of the religion of Islam.
But when it turned out that a white guy (with the help of a few of his friends) had done it, talk of “culture” suddenly ceased and was replaced by the vocabulary and mantras of individualism: each of us is a single, free agent; blaming something called “culture” was just a way of off-loading responsibility for the deeds we commit; in America, individuals, not groups, act; and individuals, not groups, should be held accountable. McVeigh may have looked like a whole lot of other guys who dressed up in camouflage and carried guns and marched in the woods, but, we were told by the same people who had been mouthing off about Islam earlier, he was just a lone nut, a kook, and generalizations about some “militia” culture alive and flourishing in the heartland were entirely unwarranted.
It is wrong, we hear, to regard the proposed mosque or community center as an ordinary exercise of free enterprise and freedom of religion by the private owners of a piece of property. It is, rather, a thumb in the eye or a slap in the face of the 9/11 victims and their families, a potential clearinghouse for international terrorist activities, a “victory mosque” memorializing a great triumph of jihad and a monument to the religion in whose name and by whose adherents the dreadful deed was done.
But according to the same folks who oppose the mosque because of what it stands for, Michael Enright’s act doesn’t stand for anything and is certainly not the product of what Time magazine calls a growing “American strain of Islamophobia.” Instead, The New York Post declares, the stabbing is “the act of a disturbed individual who is now in custody,” and across the fold of the page columnist Jonah Goldberg says that “one assault doesn’t a national trend make” and insists that “we shouldn’t let anyone suggest that this criminal reflects anybody but himself.”
The formula is simple and foolproof (although those who deploy it so facilely seem to think we are all fools): If the bad act is committed by a member of a group you wish to demonize, attribute it to a community or a religion and not to the individual. But if the bad act is committed by someone whose profile, interests and agendas are uncomfortably close to your own, detach the malefactor from everything that is going on or is in the air (he came from nowhere) and characterize him as a one-off, non-generalizable, sui generis phenomenon.
How many violent homicidal right-wing crazies do we have to see before we see some conservatives start to admit that maybe, just maybe, that DHS report was right about the dangers of right-wing extremism, not to mention all the provocative teabagger rhetoric about 2nd Amendment remedies and watering the tree of liberty? Or are murder and incitement okay as long as you pretend that they’re motivated by patriotism?
August 31st, 2010 at 07:48am Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Racism,Religion,Republicans,Terrorism,Wankers
…Aaannnd we’re back to the arena. Hooray!
August 30th, 2010 at 11:30am Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Photoblogging,Pittsburgh
Criminal forensics sure have come a long way.
“Sometimes I think the whole advance into stone technology’s been a bit of a double-edged sword.”
August 30th, 2010 at 06:59am Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging
Various airport photos on the way to and from New Jersey.
August 29th, 2010 at 05:44pm Posted by EliEntry Filed under: NJ/NYC,Photoblogging
Mr. Deity may in fact be in need of a green card…
August 29th, 2010 at 01:38pm Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging,Mr. Deity,Religion
More New Jersey photos, with an emphasis on shadows:
August 27th, 2010 at 12:05pm Posted by EliEntry Filed under: NJ/NYC,Photoblogging
This week’s quote is from the hilariously over-the-top trainwreck Myra Breckinridge, in which Rex Reed gets a sex change and becomes Raquel Welch…
An actor can learn from everything, including a tree. You must learn to experience the truth of a tree, to make it work for you. To use it, to know its beauty. This tree, god-dammit!
And, of course, there’ll be other people’s pugs…
If “cutewrong” isn’t a word, it probably should be.
August 27th, 2010 at 09:05am Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Friday Quote & Cat Blogging
Some quasi-abstract photos from New Jersey:
August 26th, 2010 at 11:43am Posted by EliEntry Filed under: NJ/NYC,Photoblogging
Perhaps even more terrifying than Sharktopus!
“I was inspecting the derricks when two of my riggers, Cass and Hob, came ripping over the dunes in a jeep with a crazed look in their eyes,” veteran wildcatter Wiley Gordon told Weekly World News. “They breathlessly gasped that some ‘thing’ was after them and that I should hop in. The only thing I could see was a dust devil whirling haphazardly in the dry Arizona desert.
“‘That ain’t no devil,’ Cass howled, straining to be heard over the wind. ‘That’s some kind of giant monster!’
“I grabbed my binoculars but didn’t see a thing,” Gordon said. “Suddenly, a terrible roar bellowed from within the earth! The white sands erupted high into the clear sky as a vast tentacle launched itself upward followed by another and then another! Slowly, the rest of the creature emerged, a hideous abomination more than one hundred feet tall with eight spindly limbs attached to the head and the torso of a snarling prairie dog.”
It was the part cephalopod, part gopher that the world would fear as Octopheron!
“The thing started yanking on oil derricks with its tentacles, snapping the structures like they were made of ice cream sticks,” Hob added.
“Octopheron was a bit slow moving in the hot sun, but he sure was determined to cause trouble,” Gordon said. “He kept slithering and yanking down derricks as pools of oil spilled onto the desert floor.
“I told the boys to drive on, that I would find a way to deal with this menace,” Gordon said. “Evading those deadly tentacles was tough because they were so darn big! But I knew we were gonna go bust – and possibly be killed to boot – if I didn’t stop the thing. That was when I remembered the oxyacetylene torch in my tent. If I could ignite those oil slicks, we’d stop the threat and be eating fried calamari in no time.”
Gordon plodded through the sands as the lumbering behemoth closed in. The wildcatter ducked into his tent and grabbed the torch.
“I emerged in the dust storm kicked up by the colossus and charged,” Gordon said. “I lit the torch when I was near enough to hit it with the flame, but the land-going sea-thing had a surprise for me: a thick spray of black ink came shooting from somewhere deep in its belly. I couldn’t be sure if it was ink or oil, and it didn’t much matter. Once it hit, I couldn’t see anything but black.
“I dropped to the sand, scooping it against my face to try and absorb the gunk,” he went on. “When I could finally blink my eyes open, much to my amazement, Octopheron was nowhere to be seen! He hadn’t slithered off nor had he burrowed some place else. He had simply disappeared – as if he had never existed, except for all this mess he’d made.”
Technically speaking, calamari is squid, not octopus. Other than that, this story seems perfectly plausible.
1 comment August 25th, 2010 at 07:03pm Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Weekly World News
As promised, some photos from when I was in New Jersey for my sister’s wedding:
August 25th, 2010 at 09:25am Posted by EliEntry Filed under: NJ/NYC,Photoblogging
Just a last couple of shots before I get to the New Jersey photos I took before and after my sister’s wedding… last September. (I did process the wedding photos themselves right away – I don’t completely suck…)
August 24th, 2010 at 11:36am Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Photoblogging,Pittsburgh
And the beat goes on…
August 23rd, 2010 at 06:32pm Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Photoblogging,Pittsburgh
Just keep watching. Trust me on this.
1 comment August 23rd, 2010 at 12:31pm Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging
I threw in a construction vehicle for variety!
2 comments August 22nd, 2010 at 12:19pm Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Photoblogging,Pittsburgh
Yeah, there’s going to be a lot of this. Get used to it.
August 20th, 2010 at 05:54pm Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Photoblogging,Pittsburgh
This week’s quote is from American Hot Wax, yet another movie that I apparently saw and have no recollection of, although it should be noted that Jay Leno plays someone named “Mookie”…
You know, for your information, you do not put cold cream ‘all over yourself,’ you just put it on your face, which just goes to show how little you know about what girls do when they’re alone at night.
And, of course, there’ll be other people’s head-tilting pugs…
August 20th, 2010 at 10:50am Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Friday Quote & Cat Blogging
In case you’ve forgotten, I am objectively pro-black-and-white…
August 19th, 2010 at 10:34am Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Photoblogging,Pittsburgh
The sad thing is that the arena is actually finished now. These photos are from almost a full year ago, that’s how long my photo-processing hiatus has been.
August 18th, 2010 at 12:10pm Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Photoblogging,Pittsburgh
Best. UFO. Explanation. Ever.
Two nights ago, hundreds of cruise passengers were distracted from an evening of dancing and drinking when thirty-year-old financial advisor Dianne Rimsky started screaming and wildly pointing to the waters off the starboard side.
“The way that woman was carrying on, I thought she had spotted an iceberg,” said vacationer David Willis. “But when I looked where she was gesturing, I almost dropped my cocktail.”
Half a mile from the luxurious Marco Majestic, Rimsky had seen what turned out to be an ‘Unidentified Submerged Object.’
“It was large and gray,” said a still-shaken Rimsky, “and covered in multi-colored flashing lights. And it was moving very fast. I thought it was going to hit us – but then, suddenly, it turned and went in a different direction.”
Virtually everyone on the ship reported hearing a high-pitched burbling sound, like a porpoise on helium. The strange object was only visible for a few minutes, during which time everyone on the ship watched in fascination.
“We had a number of theories as to what it was,” said banker Jason Green. “Some thought it was a new type of submarine. Others imagined that it was an alien vessel of some kind. But based on careful study of some cellphone images I managed to grab, I believe it was simply a whale tangled in Christmas lights that had washed away in a hurricane the year before. That seemed the most logical explanation.”
There was more, but it was really all downhill from there…
August 18th, 2010 at 07:59am Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Weekly World News
Turns out I left off of the La Jolla photoblogging a little prematurely last year; I still had a handful of photos left. And since I’m flying back out there tomorrow, it seemed like this would be a good time to get them out of the way…
August 17th, 2010 at 06:18pm Posted by EliEntry Filed under: La Jolla/San Diego,Photoblogging
I’m on vacation for the next week or so, so posting will probably be light. But I’ve started processing photos again, so there will be some photoblogging. Whoo!
August 17th, 2010 at 01:15pm Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Uncategorized
Who among us does not love Taiwanese CGI news re-enactments?
That is exactly how it happened.
August 16th, 2010 at 11:55am Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging
Well, I don’t – or at least not this one, because I cancelled my OFA membership in disgust after Obama and the Democrats sold out on the public option. But I know progressives who did:
Eighteen years ago, shortly after graduating from law school, I helped lead a voter registration campaign in Chicago that generated record turnout on Election Day.
That experience taught me one of the most important lessons I ever learned as a community organizer: When people promise that they’ll do something — like voting — they are far more likely to do it.
That’s why one key part of our Vote 2010 plan this year is to get folks like you from across the country to commit to vote, to make sure we get as many people as we can to cast their ballots this fall.
But getting the commitments we need starts with your own promise to make it to the polls and cast your ballot.
Over the next 82 days, volunteers across the country will spend countless hours calling voters and knocking on their doors, asking them the same question.
And you can bet that I am counting on you to join them in talking to voters in your community.
This election offers a stark choice. We Democrats are hard at work trying to move America forward, repairing a decade of damage and growing an economy based on the Main Street values of hard work and responsibility.
We’ve fought for and won historic reforms to our health care system, a victory 100 years in the making, and to Wall Street, the most sweeping overhaul of the financial system since the Great Depression.
But after years of policies that landed us in the worst recession since the 1930’s, the Republicans who got us there have not come up with anything different from the policies of George W. Bush.
We simply cannot afford to go backwards or let them repeal our reforms. And making sure we can continue moving forward starts with your own promise to cast your ballot in these elections.
Please commit to vote this fall:
President Barack Obama
Aw. Isn’t that nice. I guess the “P.S. I hate your liberal guts, you pot-smoking dirty hippie retard” at the end must have gotten cut off by an e-mail glitch or something. That’s okay though, we all got the message anyway.
3 comments August 13th, 2010 at 11:20am Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Obama,Politics,Wankers
In his reaction to the White House’s latest progressive-bashing fiasco, Professor Lessig nails what makes Obama so deeply frustrating:
It’s certainly not fair to criticize Obama for not being a Lefty. He wasn’t ever a Lefty. He didn’t promise to be a Lefty. And there’s no reason to expect that he would ever become a Lefty.
But Lefties (like me) who criticize Obama are not criticizing him for failing our Lefty test. Our criticism is that Obama is failing the Obama test: that he is not delivering the presidency that he promised.
When Candidate Obama took on Hilary Clinton, he was quite clear about what he thought about the way Washington works. And he was quite clear about why he was running for President. As he said:
[U]nless we’re willing to challenge the broken system in Washington, and stop letting lobbyists use their clout to get their way, nothing else is going to change. And the reason I’m running for president is to challenge that system.
Read it again: “The reason I am running for president is to challenge that system.”
(multiple similar Obama quotes follow)
Since coming to power, Obama has pushed just one piece of legislation that would have any effect at all on the power of lobbyists over Congress. That bill has not passed, and even if it had, it would have changed nothing in the lobbyists’ power. He has not even indicated that he would support the only substantial reform of lobbyists power with support in Congress today — the Fair Elections Now Act. Indeed, “congressional reform” doesn’t even merit a mention on the “Additional Issues” page of whitehouse.gov (though “sportsmen” does).
Obama’s strategy as president has not been to “change the way Washington works.” Rather, he has pushed reforms in the same old way, with the same old games….
[Obama] promised to “take up the fight.” His failure to deliver on that critical promise — the promise that distinguished him from his main primary rival — or even to try, is a failure that everyone, Lefties included, should be free to complain about without suffering the rage of Gibbs.
Of course, Obama has always been careful to couch his capitulation to the will of corporate lobbyists as some kind of principled pragmatism, as necessary compromise in order to achieve his noble objectives, but the reality is that President Obama has demonstrated little or no desire to oppose or reduce the power of corporate lobbyists and corporate money in our political system, which is rapidly approaching absolute. And I think that’s a pretty damn fair and reasonable complaint to make after he made such a show of being Mr. Clean during the campaign.
August 13th, 2010 at 07:19am Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Obama,Politics,Wankers
The current focus of the Social Security denialists’ ire is President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which they view as a stalking horse for gutting Social Security. A new group, the Strengthen Social Security Coalition, which includes the AFL-CIO, the NAACP and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, asserts that the president’s two choices to chair the panel, Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson, “sent a clear message. Social Security is on the chopping block.” The groups’ list of what changes are unacceptable is longer than what it would consider: no increase in retirement age; no reduction in benefits; no “means testing.” Rather, they say, the adjustments should come from the revenue side. Though the possibilities are not specified, they include raising the payroll tax rate, raising the ceiling for income on which benefits are paid or finding a new revenue source, such as the estate tax or a new financial transactions tax.
We would prefer a more balanced solution, one that relies on a combination of revenue increases and benefit adjustments. On the revenue side, it’s essential that the funding source come from within the Social Security system itself. The coalition is correct that Social Security should not be used to deal with deficit problems outside the program, but the converse is also true: Getting Social Security on a sustainable footing should not add to the deficit. Raising the payroll tax ceiling to cover the same share of wages that it did in 1983 would make sense, but that would only solve about one-third of the long-term problem. Some adjustments on the benefits side, particularly making benefits less generous for the highest-income recipients, would also make sense.
…Or the payroll tax ceiling could simply be removed, which as I understand it would fix 100% of the problem. Funny how “benefit adjustments” seems like a perfectly acceptable idea but removing the cap doesn’t.
But if the WaPo wants to call us denialists, we’re in good company:
Social Security turns 75 this week and remains an intensely popular program with voters of all ages, who strongly oppose cutting it to reduce the deficit, according to a new survey paid for by AARP and conducted by GfK Roper.
The poll, which was provided exclusively to HuffPost, finds that 85 percent of adults oppose cutting Social Security to reduce the deficit; 72 percent “strongly oppose” doing so.
Too bad there just doesn’t seem to be any political will for doing what a mere 85% of the country wants.
2 comments August 12th, 2010 at 11:39am Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Media,Politics,Polls,Wankers
Come on, did anyone really think that Congress would pass a financial reform bill that hurt Goldman Sachs?
As Wall Street scrambles to find the best and most profitable way to operate under the new financial reform law, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. — the firm that was expected to suffer the most under the legislation — could emerge practically unscathed.
[T]op Goldman executives privately advised analysts that the bank did not expect the reform measure to cost it any revenue.
“The statement was perhaps surprising in its level of conviction,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Guy Moszkowski wrote in a note to clients, “but we’ve learned to take such judgments from GS very seriously.”
The law, signed by President Obama in July, could force the trading of derivatives, a big business line for Goldman, onto exchanges. Regulators might allow the trading of some contracts over the counter but require that the resulting payments be handled by a clearinghouse.
Either way, “we think we are well positioned to be a market leader under the new rules,” said Jack McCabe, co-head of Goldman’s derivatives clearing service business.
Richard Bove, a bank analyst at Rochdale Securities, said he had changed his view of the law’s effect on Goldman.
“I thought this company was going to be really harmed by this bill; now I’ve figured out that it’s not going to happen,” he said. “They should win big here.”
It’s not Matt Drudge who rules our world. It’s Goldman Sachs.
August 12th, 2010 at 07:07am Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Economy,Politics,Wankers
This is why I never pick up my phone unless it’s someone I know:
Flip Mallard thought he’d finally be free of annoying telemarketers.
“I got a new number and promptly registered with the National Do Not Call List so I could say goodbye to unsolicited sales pitches,” he told Weekly World News. “The only folks who would have my number would be friends and family.”
Silence was golden for a few weeks until Mallard started receiving phone calls in the middle of the night.
“It was way past two in the morning when the phone rang,” he said. “I scowled at the Caller ID, which read ‘Caller Unknown – Out of Area.’ Furious at being awakened, I picked up the phone, determined to give whoever it was a severe tongue-lashing.”
“At first there was silence, then a low pulsing hum as if I were being connected over vast distances,” he said. “Suddenly I heard what sounded like a cat caught in a blender. In the midst of all that shrieking, I could’ve sworn I heard my name. I figured it was my creepy coworker, Robert Bendis, trying to ‘punk’ me, so I screamed right back. He screamed. I screamed. We both screamed – for a full five minutes.
“I finally hung up,” he said. “But moments later, a bright beam of light shot from the night sky into my bedroom. A hologram of slithering, tentacled, vaguely humanoid creatures with multiple breasts danced by my bed. It was like an extraterrestrial version of Girls Gone Nova – and somehow I’d ordered it!
“That was when I realized I’d been alien telemarketed!”
In the weeks that followed, Mallard received more off-world sales calls.
“Evidently I was now fair game to every Tom, Dick and Q’uetztol out there,” he complained. “Since I had ‘bought’ once, my name and number had been made accessible to other ETelemarketers. Whenever the phone rang I was too scared to say anything, lest I accidentally order a molecular condensing weight loss program!”
The beleaguered – and tired – Mallard had no choice but to finally change his phone number again.
“Thankfully, the intergalactic calls stopped,” Mallard said. “I haven’t figured out how to cancel the holograms, though, so I guess I’ll have to change my debit card number as well.
“Fortunately, pennies go a long way on their world.”
Hmm, a vacation in outer space is even more attractive now that I know the exchange rate is so favorable. Also, I really, really love the word “ETelemarketers”.
August 11th, 2010 at 07:25pm Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Weekly World News
Google’s Eric Schmidt thinks online anonymity is too “dangerous” to be allowed:
Speaking on a panel at the event, Schmidt argued that anonymity on the Internet is dangerous. “In a world of asynchronous threats, it is too dangerous for there not to be some way to identify you,” he said.
Schmidt took the stance that governments may eventually put an end to anonymity. “We need a [verified] name service for people,” he said. “Governments will demand it.”
He expanded on his thoughts in a separate interview.
“[I]f you are trying to commit a terrible, evil crime, it’s not obvious that you should be able to do so with complete anonymity. There are no systems in our society which allow you to do that. Judges insist on unmasking who the perpetrator was. So absolute anonymity could lead to some very difficult decisions for our governments and our society as a whole and I don’t think we want that either.”
This sounds an awful lot like arguing that the police should have everyone’s DNA and fingerprints on file because we’re all potential criminals.
August 11th, 2010 at 07:20am Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Constitution,Technology,War
Obama and the Democrats can’t figure out why they just can’t seem to muster any enthusiasm from their base. I mean, it’s not like they’ve ever done or said anything to demoralize us, right?
During an interview with The Hill in his West Wing office, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs blasted liberal naysayers, whom he said would never regard anything the president did as good enough.
“I hear these people saying he’s like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested,” Gibbs said. “I mean, it’s crazy.”
The press secretary dismissed the “professional left” in terms very similar to those used by their opponents on the ideological right, saying, “They will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon. That’s not reality.”
Of those who complain that Obama caved to centrists on issues such as healthcare reform, Gibbs said: “They wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president.”
Gibbs’s tough comments reflect frustration and some bafflement from the White House, which believes it has done a lot for the left.
In just over 18 months in office, Obama has passed healthcare reform, financial regulatory reform and fair-pay legislation for women, among other bills near and dear to liberals.
Obama is also overseeing the end of the Iraq war, with the U.S. on schedule to end its combat operations by the end of this month.
He’s also added diversity to the Supreme Court by nominating two female justices, including the court’s first Hispanic. Yet some liberal groups have criticized his nominees for not being liberal enough.
“There’s 101 things we’ve done,” said Gibbs, who then mentioned both Iraq and healthcare.
Well gee, maybe Mr. Gibbs can explain Obama’s Unstoppable Freight Train Of Success to drug-addled hippie wavpeac, who is living with the consequences of Obama’s stirring progressive victories on at least four different fronts. Or to Bob Borosage or Glenn Greenwald, who both have excellent critiques of how the Obama administration has compromised and betrayed progressive ideals at every turn.
The most telling quote comes from conservative David Frum, of all people:
More proof of my longtime thesis, Repub pols fear the GOP base; Dem pols hate the Dem base.
Which is accurate, but incomplete. Both parties’ pols fear the GOP base, and both parties’ pols hate the Dem base. And as a result, the Republican base feels energized, triumphant and powerful, while the Democratic base feels dispirited and powerless. And Gibbs’ lame walkback notwithstanding, abuse and unconvincing happy talk are a poor substitute for conviction and results.
1 comment August 10th, 2010 at 03:01pm Posted by EliEntry Filed under: Democrats,Obama,Politics,Wankers
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