Tuesday, Oct 13th

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Alex Baer: One Planet, Two Worlds

Alex Baer: One Planet, Two WorldsThe problem with being a curmudgeon is that you still have things to say long after you know you really should shut up.

And so, as Curmudgeon General of The Benighted, Yoo-nited States -- one of many lifelong self-appointees, I see, based on a quick glance and a hasty listen snatched from around the media fountain -- here I am again.

My Curmudgeon General website is on hold.  I am tired, listless.  (Oh, a sizeable lottery win could still perk me up, but we'd have to be speaking about "Sharing-Size" quantities at this point.)


Is the GOP Clown Car a Volkswagen? It should be.

GOP clown carChina marked its President's visit to the US by announcing a cap and trade program on the burning of carbon starting in 2017. Now the Right Wing Nut Jobs really can call Obama's Cap and Trade proposal a Commie Plot with some small measure of truth.

China's economic problems are likely to get somewhat worse, but it's hardly the global disaster the short sellers would like you to bet on. Literally bet on, Wall Street has instruments to sell you that will cover you against China's collapse for a small fee. Check out their Brooklyn Bridge penny stocks while you're at it.


Alex Baer: Stupes on the Loose: Add-a-Nope

Stupid judgeWelcome to the Bonus Round on today's episode of "How to Cope with Stupes on the Loose, and the Holy Hypnosis of Nope-a-Dopes!"

Please welcome today's special Scope-a-Dope guest, Judge Vance D. Day!

JUDGE: [waving energetically]  Howdy!

ANNOUNCER: We'll be right back, after this word for Dammitol ointment, for personality schisms and hard-of-thinking disorders -- just massage into the scalp, and, presto!  You're a Tea-Bagger, and all your logic has been magically whisked away!

* * *


Bob Alexander: The Ghosts in the Clock

Ghosts in the clockA bell tolls each life event.

Bong … New Year's … Bong … Birthdays … Bong … Spring … Bong … Summer … Bong … Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas and … Bong … Happy New Year.

Before we can catch our breath the bell tolls again for the very next thing as we continue to race around the sun at the speed of time. To remember what we have seen, rushing from one thing to the next, we watch television, the medium designed to make us forget. To facilitate the forgetting process the most trusted television news network tells us lies 60% of the time.

The second hand sweeps around the face of the clock, every second a new story is told, and with every revolution memories are wiped clean. Memory is a palimpsest; the new erases the old and is itself overwritten by the next. But … stop the clock … and we can see the ghosts who live between the tick and the tock. Before the present is erased by the future, we can still see the faint traces of the past. As Faulkner said, “The past is never dead. It's not even past.”


David Bromwich: The Neoconservative Empire Returns

NeoconsEveryone knows the basics of the dispute over the nuclear deal with Iran. In no time at all, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaped directly into the American political arena to take potshots at that agreement in a way that, had any other world leader acted similarly, would have been denounced across the political spectrum.

And he did so backed not only by his own party and government but by established opinion makers in Israel, all of whom are deeply convinced that the deal is neither reasonable nor in Israel’s best interests. Similarly, when the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and other similar organizations got involved in a giant, multimillion-dollar lobbying effort to ensure that the agreement is given a congressional thumbs down, they represented not just the interests of Netanyahu and the Israeli ruling elite but of American Jewish opinion, which naturally believes that a deal bad enough to be nixed by Israel is not in the best interests of the United States either.

All of that seems obvious enough -- the only problem being that it isn’t so.


Alex Baer: Helplessly Hopeless

Helplessly Hopeless GOPI admit it, I am helpless when it comes to commenting on Republicans when they so thoroughly bushwhack (see footnote, later) themselves.  They are hopeless buffoons, or to echo the mystic guru of the ages, Bugs Bunny, "What a bunch of maroons."

One of the latest, of course, is Baron von Hairpile, trying to insert both feet, and most of his lower torso, into his mouth -- ahhh-gain -- by tangling himself up with a Faux News spokesdroid, in a gushing geyser of unfiltered brain goo direct from Mr. Lip-Spanky's so-called thought-and-speech centers.

Dear me.  Go look up what he said.  Uck.  Definitely not very presidential, there, Bubba.

* * * * *



Alex Baer: Life, Death, and Spark-Tending

light sparkMy new coffee mug's art on the side is a thing of retro-futuristic beauty -- part steampunk, part Bradbury, maybe.  There is an art deco scene of a mad scientist's lab, including a robot and assorted glowing objects and tools and scattered projects -- shelves filled with curious and intriguing things.

Above that widescreen-band of art, above:  "Certifiable Mad Genius."  Below the art, in a smaller font:  "I have a death ray, and I know how to use it."

(There is nothing to define just what "MAD" may be - it could mean angry.  It might mean mentally disturbed.  It could be the acronym for Mutual Assured Destruction.  It could mean all three.)


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