December 21, 2009 archive

How do you think it feels down in steerage?

Ian Welsh is in an agitated state of irritation!

An Evening Rant To All the Fools Who Think Bernanke Saved the World And Obama has done the right things

So very glad to hear your opinions. Unlike most of the morons who think Obama/Bernanke/Paulson/Geithner did the right thing, I predicted almost everything that happened to the economy, in many cases years in advance, and I sure as hell don’t think so.

But what do I know. Unlike the people who call the shots, I have a consistent record of being right far far more than chance would allow.  Therefore, as with everyone else who called their shots right far in advance I have no say, but have to listen to morons who didn’t call it right tell us how they had no choice but do stupid things like not nationalize banks, not force banks to actually increase lending, not force bondholders to take a haircut, not institute massive progressive taxation and not pass a health care bill which is a massive giveaway to the medical industry of the US.


I hope all you morons who think there was no other choice but to do what has been done enjoy the right wing populist backlash that Obama and the Dems, by doing the wrong things over and over again, have made virtually inevitable.

God I wish Canada wasn’t right next to America.  Being in a dingy attached by a chain to the Titanic, while the Titanic is run by morons cheered on by fools is immensely depressing.

Funny.  Among econ-bloggers I like to read, he’s the relative optimist!  To me, a decade of economic malaise and a mere right wing populist backlash sounds relatively survivable in comparison.  Any room in that dinghy for steerage class?

Becoming a Power Player

Becoming a Power Player

Initially, Evony is a game about producing resources to build your city with. Whether by “growing” them in your resource fields, (your most important asset early on, tend and upgrade them well!) or plundering them from other players…resources are the key to the game.

But at some point, when your city is getting strong and you are looking to really get in the game…plunder bigger prey, join in attacks, or just prove what a badass you are…the game becomes about producing troops.

And producing them fast.

Faster than you kill them, for instance.

To do this, you need two things and a little knowledge and a few tips…so here we go! The first thing you need are the aforementioned resources. You can’t do anything in Evony without resources. So hopefully by the time you need lots of troops, your resource fields are producing merrily along and you have learned how to successfully plunder. If you are smart, you even have a couple of “Farm Cities” that you plunder every day or two for the resources they continue to produce. After you have killed or driven off their former owner.

Troops take three ingredients, food, lumber and iron. And you need them in vast quantities. Especially food. We will get to the Food Problem a little later.

The other thing you need to produce troops are barracks. lots and laots of barracks. The more Barracks you have the faster you produce troops. Cottages don’t produce troops, and neither do warehouses. If you want to be a power player, you want to tear down ALL of your warehouses and replace them with barracks. Warehouses are for players that expect to get plundered, Barracks are for people who expect to plunder other…in other words, Power Players. You should have no more than eight cottages. If you have more than eight, tear them down and replace them with barracks.

If you do not have a second city…get one. If you want, ask on chat and we will help get you a GOOD one! Initially your second city should be not much more than a way to produce the two essential elements of Power Players…resources and barracks. It should be as close to your main City as possible for easy transporting of goods and troops. Here is what a Power Players second city looks like:

A Rally Spot

Beacon Tower

An Academy (so you can study to things at once)

A Feasting Hall for your Mayors (see the section on mayors)

Seven cottages

And Barracks, Barracks, Barracks.

If you want, you can remodel it into something more homey once you have your first 90k archers.

And that is the first goal of a Power Player, 90k Arch. Why 90k? Because that is the maximum number that can be launched to attack your enemies from a level 9 Rally Spot. As you are making your 90k throw about 10-20k Warriors in to the mix, you will want them for a Meat Shield. (See the section on attacking) Make at least a couple of thousand scouts as well. Pike, swords and workers are nice and shiny, but you don need many of them at all, and that mostly just for a rainbow. (See attacking)

Your next goal is to make about 10-20 cavalry, for fast raids, supporting others in the alliance by reinforcing them quickly…and as transport to clean out resources from your farm Cities. Once you have 90k Arch and a nice Cav…you can make some more auxiliary and support troops. More scouts, more warriors, and now if you want some shiny swordsmen, go for it.

Thene get to work on your NEXT 90k Archers. if there is one thing sure in this game it is this…you an NEVER have enough Archers!

Let’s talk Football

With two games left to play, the playoff picture is heating up.

So, I’m taking a break from politics to talk football.

My team, the Indianapolis Colt’s, have already clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoff’s.

Here’s how the playoff’s are shaping up…

Sing Along With ek

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Iran clashes after Montazeri funeral

by Hiedeh Farmani, AFP

Mon Dec 21, 10:30 am ET

TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran police clashed with stone-throwing protesters after the funeral attended by vast crowds of mourners in the holy city of Qom on Monday of dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, websites said.

Montazeri, an inspiration to reformists and human rights activists and a fierce critic of the clerical regime he helped create, died aged 87 on Saturday.

Opposition websites said hundreds of thousands of mourners poured onto the streets of Qom, many chanting slogans and displaying the green of Iran’s opposition — effectively turning the funeral procession into a massive anti-government rally.

BREAKING: Pearl Clutching Purity Trolls Raise Hypocrisy To New Heights!

Irony and Hypocricy:

“If you’re in a coalition and you’re comfortable, you know it’s not a broad enough coalition” Bernice Johnson Reagon

Daily Kos is Pure and True, other blogs are icky. Other blogs say bad things. I must mount my high horse and say bad things about them! Otherwise, there will be a Bad Things Gap! And we must ignore all the people dying in Afghanistan and for lack of Health Care, we must pretend that foreclosures and homelessness don’t exist, we must forget that there are starving children and that our planet is dying….none of THOSE things are important!

What is important is smearing other blogs….and if there is not enough real evidence to smear them, let’s throw in some nasty pictures of Barack, just to get the outrage pumped and the blood up…..even though those images have NO relation to the Evile Other blogs at all.

What is important is that we get to feel pure and holy, we get to clutch our pearls and righteously condemn Others, for THEIR sins. While assiduously ignoring the beam in our own eye.

THAT will broaden our coalition!

What is important is that Others are not Pure enough, not good enough, not loyal enough, not obsequious enough, what is important is that Others think and act differently than ME, and my ego cannot rest until I have righteously condemned them for the sin of not being me sufficiently.

That’s how you get people to join together for victory!

“If you’re in a coalition and you’re comfortable, you know it’s not a broad enough coalition” Bernice Johnson Reagon

Issues? Coalition? EFFECTIVENESS???

Who cares!


You can’t worry about the ISSUES when there are people out there who need condemnation for thinking differently than us!!!!

The Dems are selling out and alienating the base again? Heck lets join in! We don’t do ANYTHING else, we don’t use the community for activism or to make a difference or to pressure politicians anymore, so HEY! Let’s use it to condemn other blogs!

Because that is how you persuade people, and the diary section at Dkos is all about persuasion now, not activism. So let’s persuade people by posting offensive images of Obama and pretend the people we don’t like did that! (Instead of it being us that is posting offensive images)

All while pretending to talk about a broad coalition.

While clutching our pearls and looking down our noses and condemning everyone ELSE in that coalition.

For not being pure enough to join US.

Because THAT is what coalition means right?

Coalition means that WE are pure and righteous and everyone else sucks. So if they want to join OUR coalition, they have to do what we say, say what we say, and think what we think. Any deviation from that and we will give you ANOTHER strong talking to!

So just stop it, just STFU like we keep telling you. Everything is FINE, he’s got this! IGNORE all of that pesky reality stuff and issues and suffering and sing along! The Choir sounds great don’t it?

Maybe then, if you sing loud enough…and PURE enough…maybe then we will let you into OUR coalition.

Maybe. If we happen to like you that day. And if our pearls are not riding up.

“If you’re in a coalition and you’re comfortable, you know it’s not a broad enough coalition” Bernice Johnson Reagon

I think someone needs to change their sig line.

Feeding the Poor: A Tangible Kind of Stimulus

A few weeks back, I wrote about my trials, travails, and tribulations achieving food stamps.  I am pleased to report that due to my own persistence and the fantastic support of an advocacy agency, I was granted an EBT card.  Earlier today I trudged through areas of town which have not seen much in the way of a plow or a shovel.  I literally did have to walk a half a mile uphill in the snow both ways to arrive at the proper place, though I’ll save that lecture for another time.  Since I have joined the ranks of the unemployed, I’ve had to swallow quite a bit of pride, which isn’t always a bad thing, all told.  The complications that went into obtaining food stamps were easily explained, once I met with the proper person, and with resolution I have no further griping to share on that matter.  

A well-designed website imploring those wishing to apply for food stamps to submit their claim by mail, after, of course, entering pertinent information and printing out several pages of a lengthy form sounds attractive enough.  However, I learned that while the mechanism may exist, budget shortfalls prevented the DC government from being able to hire the workers needed to process internet-based claims.  It would not be much of a stretch to deem this situation an glaring example of an unfunded mandate.  Reform cannot proceed without the allocation of funds and while we often are curtly dismissive of throwing money at a problem, granting low income citizens the ability to feed themselves somehow doesn’t seem to be on par with all of these anti-underclass talking points that find their way into the mouths of Republicans and Republican politicians.

If one considers Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs, then food falls right down there at the bottom of the pyramid.  Without the literal requirements for human survival, it’s tough to be a Welfare Queen or milker of the system.  According to Maslow, it’s only after our base needs for survival are met that anyone could ever even entertain the notion to willfully freeload.

With their physical needs relatively satisfied, the individual’s safety needs take precedence and dominate behavior. These needs have to do with people’s yearning for a predictable, orderly world in which injustice and inconsistency are under control, the familiar frequent and the unfamiliar rare. In the world of work, these safety needs manifest themselves in such things as a preference for job security, grievance procedures for protecting the individual from unilateral authority, savings accounts, insurance policies, and the like.

But until one has the security of knowing he or she will be fed on a daily basis without having to worry about potential financial famine, safety is not a concern.

As for my own situation, my packet of information sat on a desk for over a month, unprocessed.  Because a meeting with a claims associate regarding whether or not food stamps will be granted or denied must, by rule, be granted and scheduled within 30 days, once I was approved I was given a month and one week’s worth of groceries I should have received earlier had everything proceeded in a timely fashion.  Though I received only $200 a month in food stamps, which is approximately half of what my grocery bill is for the same period, I am not about to look a gift horse in the mouth.  In all fairness to the DC Food Stamp program, it has won awards for how promptly and effectively it processes claims and while my situation is uncommon, it is hardly unusual when one considers the food stamp programs in other states.  In a fairer society, I would have had my entire food budget subsidized, saving me from having to rob Peter to pay Paul as so many of us have to do these days, but perhaps someday we will learn that though we have a tremendous amount of financial resources in this country to go round, even in times of recession, we spread them around unequally and in so doing shortchange the least among us.          

Part of the problem is the stigma and the misinformation that still persists regarding accepting government aid of any kind, food stamps being merely one example.  One would think that welfare cheats salivate at the very idea of eating from the public trough, if you’d believe the stereotype.  DC Hunger Solutions, the advocacy agency who so kindly went to bat for me and got my situation resolved, corrects many of the myths and stigmas surrounding food stamps.  

Only 83% of eligible District residents, and 36% of eligible low-income working families, receive food stamps. Every $1 of food stamps spent in the community generates $1.85 in local economic activity. D.C. would gain millions in federal funds by signing up eligible households – funds that would stimulate the local economy. People who work sometimes assume they are not eligible for food stamps, or that time-off from work is required to apply. This is not true. A family of 3 with a minimum wage earner could be eligible for over $3,000 annually in benefits, and working families can complete phone interviews rather than go to the food stamp office in-person.

The true impact of the Economic Stimulus Package has become a political football of sorts, in part because what it promised could not be easily measured or highlighted in concrete detail.  If, however, we shifted at least some of the focus towards fully funding both the programs that provide food to the poor and the monies necessary to provide more assistance, then these would be highly visible symbols of what good government is capable of if it puts its mind to it and does not get distracted with superficial squabbling or red tape disasters.  When close to two dollars worth of gain comes as a result of every one dollar spent, one cannot overlook the overall benefit.  We often believe that reform of any sort ought to be an awe inspiring and highly complicated matter, when sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  

A Pagan Christmas to All!

(thanks for the kind words over at the GOS, TheMomCat!)

Among the mouth-breathingest of mouth-breathing Republicans, it’s a well-known fact that every November or so, we libruls gather in our covens and plot the paganization of Christmas.  In their Left Behind-style fantasies, we are the legions of Satan, come upon the Earth to foist secular ideas and Godless traditions upon the flock of the Lamb.  Only the Bible stands in defense of the faithful against the pernicious attacks of the heathen First Amendment, as we the befouled seek to eradicate every trace of monotheism from our once-God-fearing civilization.  Each year, the scarred veterans of the (self-)Right(eous) stir their zealots to action, and in public squares and mangers throughout the land, battles over the soul of American culture are waged.  

As in all wars, sometimes an enemy’s gallantry on the field of battle impresses even a bitter foe – Napoleon, remarking on the Russian cavalry then crashing into his lines, said “Now these are Kossacks!”.  Rather like the Confederates at Pickett’s Charge, they may be trying to storm a solid position in the name of a dubious set of causes, but we have to respect the temerity it takes to throw oneself into the breach for an issue one really doesn’t understand.

Open Seas


Bernie Sanders Sells Us Out Too

All the Senate Dimocrats have voted for the health care reform bill, and with little fanfare Bernie Sanders joined them becoming the 60ith asshole.…

Did it have anything to do with this? Eh, Bernie?

WASHINGTON, December 17 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture today detailed plans to distribute $290 million to struggling dairy farmers. The assistance is part of a $350 million dairy assistance measure Congress approved at the request of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

The measure that provides $290 million for direct support to dairy farmers will result in a payment of about $8,000 to the typical Vermont farmer.  Another $60 million was set aside nationwide to purchase cheese for food banks and nutrition progr….…

Fuck each and every senator.

Fuck You Too, Bernie ! May you all go to hell.

Bouncing the rubble: the pointless destruction of Brand Obama

The progressive blogosphere has been reduced to what Churchill called “bouncing the rubble,” indulging in irrational overkill of the shattered remnants of Brand Obama. What the ProgBlogs don’t seem to grasp is that the truth they are obsessively reiterating is an impossible one: Americans will not abandon a symbol vital to their belief system, no matter how completely shattered its effigy becomes.

Brand Obama is not like Brand Tiger Woods. The unfortunate Tiger was expendable, since there are many other smooth athletic champions ready to carry the logos of the corporations. But Brand Obama is inseparable from delusional America, and no amount of brand trashing can break this delusional psychosis.

Brand Obama is the living embodiment of the invincible folly of American Exceptionalism. We make the rules because we are special. We break the rules because we are special. We are special because we are special. To repudiate Brand Obama means acknowledging that the entire American adventure has been a blood-soaked lie, a terrible, brutal story of greed, oppression, and deceit. This can never be acknowledged, and thus Brand Obama can never be destroyed, no matter how thoroughly discredited Obama becomes as a person, a politician, or a symbol.

The majority of Americans cannot accept that their sons and daughters serve willingly as paycheck killers in an endless war. They cannot accept that they are ruled by sociopathic corporations pushing our society toward a new feudalism. They cannot accept that their lifestyle is physically unsustainable. How can such people be persuaded that their champion is a weakling and that his policies are folly?

The demonstrated failings of Obama are numerous, obvious, and thoroughly documented. But the truth of his failings is the truth of America’s failure, and thus it is an impossible truth. My advice to Progressives is to save your energies for surviving the collapse of the Babel Tower of folly that America has become. Brand Obama is logically dead, but the pernicious, unkillable spirit of Brand Obama lives, and it continues to beckon America towards destruction.

Dear You…….Happy Solstice.

A long time ago, far away, in another galaxy, I read an essay of the almost same name and was egotistical enough to think it about me. Or perhaps, the author was just one of those people who wrote so well every reader thought it about them. That one moment of reading hooked me to blogging more than anything else I had ever read. Whether written abstract, or written about another poster mattered not to me. It became the start of a lasting connection, a friendship as real as those created with a neighbor you see daily. It was just an essay. An essay about truth and connection, about images and mystery.

Still, it lingers for me.


It is about connecting after all, even should our visions of each other be mythical concepts. Our connections become true if we trust them. You see, that is the only thing they truly fear: Our Unity. I see more and more evidence that despite the Kleptocracy functioning entirely outside our reality, outside our input and will, that people are becoming more and more aware to what we have long been saying. Minds are changing. “We” are doing that. Let those in Washington fuck everything up worse… it will only bring more whispers. Whispers of discontent become grumbles, grumbles become oratory, oratory becomes yells, and yells beget revolution.

The fear the you-and-me. They fear the “we”.  

“Block This Bill”: No Public Option, No Bill

Crossposted from Antemedius

David Swanson, Washington Director of, talks with Paul Jay of The Real News, dissecting the politics of health care reform and the roadblocks in the way of getting to a real reform that serves peoples needs rather than politicians needs and the fact that politicians, even democrats and so-called “progressive” politicians and not just republicans, are the major roadblocks.

Real News Network – December 21, 2009

No public option, no bill?

David Swanson: Will progressives shoot down a healthcare bill that lacks a public option

David Swanson is the creator of, co-founder of and Washington Director of A writer and organizer, Swanson has worked for ACORN, the International Labor Communications Association, Dennis Kucinich’s 2004 presidential campaign and many others. Swanson is the author of the new book “Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union” by Seven Stories Press. You can order it and find out when his tour will be in your town:

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