August 6

Aug 06 2013

On August 6, 1945, The United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, making the United States the first, and still the only, nation to use a nuclear weapon against another nation.

I live in the United States, and I did not see this acknowledged anywhere in any media at all today. So I thought I would acknowledge it.

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Obama Speak With Forked Tongue

Jul 31 2013

The Audacity of Doublespeak.

Not-My-President Obama’s speech at an Amazon warehouse in Tennessee on Tuesday is the most glaring example in recent memory of a sitting President flaunting a lie, flaunting a crime, and flaunting an agenda, all at the same time. At least Nixon thought enough to attempt to cover up his criminality while in office. Obama feels no such pressure.

Prior to the speech, The White House had said “Tuesday’s speech will focus on manufacturing and high wage jobs for durable economic growth” and that “the President will discuss proposals he has laid out to jump-start private sector job growth and make America more competitive, and will also talk about new ideas to create American jobs.” [Thank you, Shelf Awareness]

Reception to the speech has been negative. Some of the responses, and the White House’s lack of response to the negative responses, are captured here at Publisher’s Weekly. Shelf Awareness details several publishing industry letters to the President here, though negative responses have come from many non-publishing sources.

These are not manufacturing jobs. These are jobs packing boxes with goods manufactured in other countries. When Obama talks about jump-starting private sector growth, he is saying that the American people are going to need to rely on the charity of multinational corporate bullies. That would be a different approach from the public-works and citizen-centric approach President Roosevelt undertook attempting to mitigate the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Obama’s speech is just one glaring example of his disdain for the American middle class.

Once you get past the fact that these are jobs that require no higher education, offer no health benefits, entail long hours of physical labor and substandard salary, as a middle class American you can only say “what the fuck is he talking about?!?”

There is nothing about these retail warehouse jobs that could be construed as beneficial for middle class Americans. And why would Obama advocate for a corporation who has spent billions lobbying state governments for exemption from payment of sales tax? How does corporate tax avoidance help the middle class?

Then you look back at the antitrust case the Department of Justice pursued against the leading book publishers and Apple, led by Stooge General Eric Holder. The DOJ had one of the weakest cases in the history of antitrust cases. The DOJ only triumphed because the publishers folded and settled rather than sink money into exorbitant legal fees. Even though Apple put up a good fight, and witnesses from B&N and Google showed the DOJ had no case, the court found in favor of the DOJ anyway, treating the outcome as a foregone conclusion of the accusation. So what was the motivation behind the DOJ’s case?

The agency-model pricing of the publishing companies was to ensure competition in the retail sphere. Amazon is mounting an aggressive war to destroy all competition for retail book sales, and is striving toward a monopoly. We have not seen such a powerful monopoly as that since the days of Standard Oil, the ‘gold standard’ of monopolies. If Amazon succeeds in creating a monopoly, they will raise prices to any absurdly high level. That is what monopolies do – history, Wall Street, and common sense all tell us this. Amazon has already begun.

It is somewhat tawdry that the publishing industry had to get into bed with Apple in order to fight Amazon, but preventing Amazon from becoming the only book retailer in America would ensure multiple retail sales channels continue to exist for the book-buying public – not just Apple and B&N, but also the thousands of independent booksellers located throughout the country.

The DOJ case handed Amazon the keys to their monopoly. Why would they do that? Shouldn’t they oppose monopolies and all such attempts at stifling competition? And why would Wall Street continue to allow Amazon’s stock to trade at absurdly high prices, despite the fact they are not yet profitable? The answer to both is that these entities want to see Amazon become a monopoly. And not just for books. For all retail.

All this, combined with that infamous no-bid contract for Kindles for the Government that was strangely canceled even though the government somehow felt a DRM-only-walled-garden e-reader was somehow best for public use, seem to point to Obama getting payola from Amazon.

Still another peanut for this pile of hot steaming shit: Obama is giving Amazon an interview for its Kindle Singles line, handing them an interview with a sitting President.

The goal of an Amazon total-monopoly-of-everything would ultimately be to move us to neo-feudalism – Everyone working for one company, purchasing for one company, one company to rule them all – Feudalism with e-ink screens, tablets and always-trackable smartphones. There’s no middle class in feudalism, so ultimately Obama’s speech is one of the most bald-faced examples of publicly disseminated unadulterated bullshit in the history of the United States.

Let me know what you think of White House collusion with Amazon and Wall Street – Comment as you see fit.

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R.I.P. Ray Manzarek

May 20 2013

We lost one of rock’s true greats today. Ray Mazarek died today, at age 74.

The Doors are one of the greatest and most influential bands in rock history. Apart from Jim’s singing, Ray’s keyboard playing pretty much defined their sound.

The Doors may have been the first rock band with mainstream success that featured keyboards as the lead instrument – a departure from the guitar, which dominated in pretty much every rock band before them. They set the mold for a rock band featuring a keyboard.

Guitar still reigns king, but for any band starting out with keyboard-dominated sound, regardless of genre, the shadow of The Doors and Manzarek’s playing looms large.

Stronger than dirt.

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Crappy First Drafts of Great Books

Apr 28 2012

Crappy First Drafts of Great Books: http://t.co/wu7PqlTV

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What is the sound of a cloud crashing?

Apr 17 2012

What is the sound of a cloud crashing? #gmail

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Penguins 1, Neo-Fascists 0

Apr 17 2012

Penguins 1, Neo-Fascists 0

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Snoop Dogg Publishes A Smokable Book

Apr 09 2012

We have now found the one thing you cannot do with an e-book.

Snoop Dogg’s new book is smokable. Each page is a sheet of rolling paper. And there’s a matchbook on the spine. [via Creativity Online]

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Comrade Stalin Notebooks

Apr 09 2012

Stalin Notebooks are hot sellers in Moscow. [via Boing Boing]

Banning them would be Stalinist.

Perhaps it’s better if we just make them disappear . . .

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Welfare Wifi

Feb 17 2012

Sabrina pays for Wifi with my taxes. I know this because I found her welfare card in my front yard . . .

Sabrina Welfare

. . . And, I can see her HotSpot.

Sabrina Hot Spot

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking – Who hasn’t seen her HotSpot?

I know what else you’re thinking – that it was Mighty White-Out of me to erase her #.

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God Sounded Great Opening For Megadeth

Jan 29 2012

God Opening for Megadeth

There’s God and his band, Motorhead, opening for Megadeth, as Gigantour stopped in New York tonight. That would be the seventh time I’ve seen Motorhead, who have never disappointed.

Undercard acts – Lacuna Coil (Goth-Metal) and Volbeat (Rockabilly-Metal) – Both sounded great. I had only heard lacuna Coil a few times and had never heard Volbeat before, but I saw enough to make me want to hear more.

Megadeth, as always, was superlative. Dave Mustaine’s guitar playing is as good as it’s ever been. Hearing those gems of musicianship and Dave sing his genius lyrics live was nothing short of stunning.

So I don’t come off as too much of a fanboy here, I will express my disappointment that they did not play Rust In Peace or Skin O’ My Teeth. Near the end of the show, Dave quipped “if this was L’Amours [sic], we’d play all night.” Of course, back in the days when they would have played L’Amour, the tickets weren’t quite as expensive. The times are changing.

Other than that, there isn’t anything negative to say. I did a lot of headbanging to four great metal bands tonight. One thing I took away from this: It was great to see kids who were not even alive when Megadeth was in their heyday banging their heads and singing every word. The next generation of headbangers just might be ready to accept the torch. Even if they don’t know what L’Amour(s) is, or how cheap a ticket is supposed to be.

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