November 2009 archive

Newspeak News

My daughter works in retail.  Now that Halloween is over the you gotta buy stuff season is upon us corpo-rat has rolled out new policy renaming Black Friday Green Friday.  It has been stated the the term Black in reference to that traditional Friday after European Genocide Celebration Day marking the unofficial start of the you gotta buy stuff season shall now be called Greento denote money taken home by only the owner of the company which sells the stuff you gotta buy.

The utterance of Black Friday while on company property is cause for immediate dismissal.

Late Night Karaoke

What is Work?

An old friend of my family had a favorite saying: “Work is something unpleasant done for money.”

I lost touch with the fellow long ago, but the phrase has stuck in my mind and popped up occasionally over the years. Some of my recent conversations about economic systems, here and elsewhere, have brought it again to the fore.  

Halloween — A trick and a treat

Here’s a multi-purpose video, appropriate for Halloween, but also for many other occasions and purposes.  It’s a suspenseful, but entertaining love story, complete with the requisite dark and stormy night, fashion and home decorating ideas, song and dance, a rags to riches tribute to Horatio Alger, and a reminder to atone for the excesses of this weekend, beginning on Monday (serving as a valuable trial run for your upcoming New Year’s resolutions).  

If you enjoyed Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein, you will surely want to check out K. T. Oslin’s performance in the following…

Nuclear Electricity, the Must Have for the Meantime 20091101

I know that this essay is likely not to be popular with progressive folks, but I am not only a progressive, I am a scientist as well.  In my opinion, the only relatively clean option for power that we have, other than natural gas (which is less plentiful and not as clean as the TeeVee adverts say) is the fission of uranium and plutonium.

I realize that this sounds pretty bold, but please bear with me whilst I build my case.  We need power in the meantime for the transition between fossil fuels and truly sustainable ones, and nuclear power is the only one that can provide that power.  First the physics, then the economics, and then the future.

Greenwald Goes There!

Oh, how I do like Glenn Greenwald.  He’s the type of guy who seeks out the truth no matter where it leads.  Reminds me of somebody, he does; ME.  Anyway, here is what he said that has me clapping:

GLENN GREENWALD: Well, I think one of the most significant issues of the Obama administration has been what role progressives-the progressive infrastructure has played in applying pressure on the Obama administration. One of the very first things that the Obama administration did-and Rahm Emanuel has specialized in trying to control and silence the left; I mean, that’s how he built his power base-in the House of Representatives was, they created these weekly meetings called Unity ’09 and Common Purpose, where members of all of the allegedly progressive groups devoted to progressive causes meet every week on Tuesday, often with members of the White House communications team, including oftentimes Rahm Emanuel, and they coordinate their messaging. So, instead of being devoted to, for example, pressuring the administration on issues relating to labor or to choice or to gay issues or to war, instead they’re coordinating their messaging to insure that their real allegiance is to serve the interest and the agenda of the Obama administration. And it’s really enabled the Obama administration to annex large aspects of the progressive infrastructure and to remove what ought to be an important pressure point.

I think they’ve done the same with lots of progressive pundits, who aren’t necessarily attending these meetings, but who have voluntarily ceded their role in the progressive world and in progressive opinion making and activism. And you see this conflict more and more, I think. For example, the Huffington Post had an article critical of the Obama administration, reporting, for example, that they were working behind the scenes, in contrast to what Obama was saying, to sabotage the public option. And you saw in various places, on Daily Kos and others, suddenly declarations that the Huffington Post was suspect, and they were right wing, and they were the enemy, because anyone who reflects negatively on Obama has to be discredited. And I think you see that conflict, and I hope it will continue to grow, because it’s healthier than having progressives devote themselves to cheerleading for the President.

Ok… let me highlight it…

Boo! Happy Halloween!

It’s a night for vampires!

WHAtzaMattah You?! updated

Not only is it Saturday night, but it’s Halloween!!!! and oh that time change thing*, don’t forget.

I’m disappointed in you people.

Where are the pranks, the tricks? and the Dharma TREATS????

You gonna make me do ALL the heavy lifting around here? huh?!! sheesh.

Well, this is good, no?

The Congressional Budget Office has completed their “public option” number crunching…

AP this afternoon via MSNBC, updated 12:15 p.m. PT, Sat., Oct . 31, 2009

WASHINGTON – What’s all the fuss about? After all the noise over Democrats’ push for a government insurance plan to compete with private carriers, coverage numbers are finally in: Two percent.

That’s the estimated share of Americans younger than 65 who’d sign up for the public option plan under the health care bill that Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is steering toward House approval.

The underwhelming statistic is raising questions about whether the government plan will be the iron-fisted competitor that private insurers warn will shut them down or a niche operator that becomes a haven for patients with health insurance horror stories.


Congressional Budget Office weighs in

The latest look at the public option comes from the Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan economic analysts for lawmakers.

It found that the scaled back government plan in the House bill wouldn’t overtake private health insurance. To the contrary, it might help the insurers a little.

The budget office estimated that about 6 million people would sign up for the public option in 2019, when the House bill is fully phased in. That represents about 2 percent of a total of 282 million Americans under age 65. (Older people are covered through Medicare.)

The overwhelming majority of the population would remain in private health insurance plans sponsored by employers. Others, mainly low-income people, would be covered through an expanded Medicaid program.


The concern was that the public option would destabilize the bulk of private insurance, but in fact what Congress has fashioned is very targeted,” said economist Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund. “It’s not going to be taking away the insurance industry’s core business.”


The version that Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has offered would let states opt out, probably leaving a smaller plan than the House would want.

Insurers aren’t buying the budget office analysis. Asked if it might soften that opposition, industry spokesman Robert Zirkelbach of America’s Health Insurance Plans responded with a curt “No.”

World Series Liveblog

Are you having fun yet?

They are taking off the tarp.  First pitch expected at 9:15 ET.

What’s for Dinner? 20091031: Jelly!

The fall apple crop is in and so jelly has been on my mind.  We shall cover jams and other preserves as well, but jellymaking takes more technique, so more detail will be given to jelly.  If you can make jelly well, the others are easy.  Jellymaking is not really hard, but there are a couple of rules that have to be followed.

Jelly and other preserves thicken upon cooking because of the interaction between pectin (found in many fruits), sugar, acid, and water.  Pectin is one of the soluble fibers that get so much attention as part of a balanced diet, even though it contributes few nutrients.  Its main purpose in the diet is to help regulate the metabolism in the gut, and soluble fiber has been shown to be beneficial for blood pressure and blood lipid regulation.

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