Monday, May 30, 2011

maybe I'll post this every Memorial Day

My uncle and namesake was a pilot killed returning to his base in Italy by "friendly fire". Another uncle was a medic under Patton; he saw Germans shot down as they were trying to surrender, which may have created his alcoholism.

Soldiers are the tools of the rich, and like all tools, when they're useless, they're discarded.

There have never been good wars. There have only been bad peaces.

YouTube - Edwin Starr - WAR (live in TV Show): ""

Friday, May 27, 2011

Windows users, a question

What do you have on your 'puter that you love or consider essential?

Don't say "Ubuntu", 'cause I plan to install it, though it'll be a while before I get around to it, I suspect.

Signing in the Waldenbooks by Parnell Hall

YouTube - Signing in the Waldenbooks by Parnell Hall: ""

if I owe you email, sorry!

I'm learning too much too slowly about electronic publishing. A couple of things I've learned:

1. Ebook publishing, especially for the Kindle, favors the Windows world.

2. Smashwords, the cheapest way to get books into Apple and the Sony bookstore, did not expect to sell books with more than one author.


1. I'll be putting Windows on my Mac or I'll buy a cheap netbook with Windows.

2. Either Smashwords will agree to my proposed work-around, or, well, we'll find another solution.

Exit snarling.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Power, not gender, makes people more likely to cheat

“Gender did not moderate the effects we found. Among women who had an independent source of income (as all our female respondents did, since they were working professionals), power had a comparably positive relationship with infidelity as among men.”

from Power, not gender, makes people more likely to cheat - Health - Behavior -

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

quote of the day

"Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage—torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians—which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by 'our' side... The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them." —George Orwell, Notes on Nationalism, May 1945

commie news at NYTimes

Top Colleges Overlook Low-Income Students -
“We claim to be part of the American dream and of a system based on merit and opportunity and talent,” Mr. Marx says. “Yet if at the top places, two-thirds of the students come from the top quartile and only 5 percent come from the bottom quartile, then we are actually part of the problem of the growing economic divide rather than part of the solution.”

...The United States no longer leads the world in educational attainment, partly because so few low-income students — and surprisingly few middle-income students — graduate from four-year colleges.

great article about black US soldiers in WW2

Marc Blitzstein, Roland Hayes and the ‘Negro Chorus’ at the Royal Albert Hall in 1943. It makes me like King George a little more and Winston Churchill a little less.

(Thanks, RAB!)

Monday, May 23, 2011

how capitalism works

via The Town Scryer: Your Boss's Office...And Your Office

YouTube - [HUMOR] Diferença sala chefe e a sua: ""

today's evil capitalism report

Some Dentists Reluctant to Treat Kids on Medicaid: Study - US News and World Report: "Even when calling Medicaid-enrolled dentists, just 68 percent of children with the Medicaid/Children's Health Insurance Plan were able to get an appointment, compared to all of the privately insured children. Non-enrolled dentists offered an appointment to only 7 percent of kids with public insurance despite the fact that Medicaid reimburses all emergency dental care."

five attractive black women

There're at least two problems with posting pictures of attractive black women to refute the idea that black women aren't attractive:

1. What race-obsessed people see and what the rest of us see are not the same.

2. No matter how long a list is, race-obsessed people can say these are exceptions that test the rule.

To which I say, screw it. Here are five attractive black women, posted purely 'cause it gives me an excuse to post pics of five attractive black women.

My first fanboy crushes on black women were almost certainly Diana Ross of the Supremes (though I didn't like their music), Nichelle Nicholls from Star Trek, and this woman, who I might've liked best, Gail Fisher of Mannix:

I dunno if there's any fanfic for Mannix, but if there is, it's all about Mannix and Peggy hooking up.

A couple of years later, I was so in love with Tina Turner:


And Angela Davis:

In the '80s, I adored Grace Jones:

Grace Jones

And soon after that, the woman who should've played Storm in the X-Men, Angela Bassett:

Angela Bassett

the Angry Black Woman's misinformation about Rosie the Riveter

I followed a link to the Angry Black Woman's series of pictures of attractive black women which she posted to refute some idiot's claim that black women are unattractive. The pics are swell, but there's a glaring error. In The Real Riveter (Her Name Might Be Rosie…), she suggests the original Rosie the Riveter was black, and a commenter agrees by saying, "Yes, Rosie *was* a sister."

It's true that Rosie was a sister, but it's only in the way that all working folks are kin. Here's a pic of two black Rosies that I love from The Pop History Dig » “Rosie The Riveter”1941-1945:

Women welders in New Britain, Connecticut, 1943.

And here're two more Rosies who were partners on the assembly line:

WWII-era photo showing Dora Miles and Dorothy Johnson at Douglas Aircraft Co. plant in Long Beach, CA.

Here's a bit from the article:
Sybil Lewis, an African-American riveter who worked for Lockheed Aircraft in Los Angeles, would later provide this description of women riveters: 
“The women worked in pairs. I was the riveter and this big, strong, white girl from a cotton farm in Arkansas worked as the bucker. The riveter used a gun to shoot rivets through the metal and fasten it together. The bucker used a bucking bar on the other side of the metal to smooth out the rivets. Bucking was harder than shooting rivets; it required more muscle. Riveting required more skill.”
Note that the black woman who is quoted there is not the black woman in the photo above, which suggests that interracial teams weren't all that unusual then.

And if you do even the least bit of googling, you can find lots of pictures of Rosies who were white. Poor working women have always come in all hues. True fact: Marilyn Monroe was a Rosie.

If you want some black pride to connect to Rosie the Riveter, the group that made the song famous, the Four Vagabonds, was black:

(There's at least one mistake in the subtitles. Here are the actual lyrics:
“Rosie the Riveter”

While other girls attend their fav’rite
cocktail bar
Sipping Martinis, munching caviar
There’s a girl who’s really putting
them to shame
Rosie is her name

All the day long whether rain or shine
She’s a part of the assembly line
She’s making history,
working for victory
Rosie the Riveter
Keeps a sharp lookout for sabotage
Sitting up there on the fuselage
That little frail can do more than a
male will do
Rosie the Riveter

Rosie’s got a boyfriend, Charlie
Charlie, he’s a Marine
Rosie is protecting Charlie
Working overtime on the
riveting machine
When they gave her a production “E”
She was as proud as a girl could be
There’s something true about
Red, white, and blue about
Rosie the Riveter

Everyone stops to admire the scene
Rosie at work on the B-Nineteen
She’s never twittery, nervous or jittery
Rosie the Riveter
What if she’s smeared full of
oil and grease
Doing her bit for the old Lendlease
She keeps the gang around
They love to hang around
Rosie the Riveter

Rosie buys a lot of war bonds
That girl really has sense
Wishes she could purchase
more bonds
Putting all her cash into national
Senator Jones who is “in the know”
Shouted these words on the radio
Berlin will hear about
Moscow will cheer about
Rosie the Riveter!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Five myths about America’s schools - The Washington Post

Five myths about America’s schools - The Washington Post

beware the witchfinder generals of the world!

In my ongoing attempt to understand cults in general and capitalist antiracists in particular, I was struck by this sentence from an article that I recommend, How to spot a psychopath | Jon Ronson | Books | The Guardian: "'What if you've created armies of people who spot psychopaths where there are none, witchfinder generals of the psychopath-spotting world?'"

Cults are armies of people who see their opponents where they do not exist.

a few facts for Christian American patriots

Michele Bachmann Manages to Misquote Both Scripture and John Adams. If the first 3/4 covers things you already know, skip to the end. I'd never encountered the last quote. (Which is of particular interest to liberal Unitarians.)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

to understand one culture, look at another

Besides being awesomely cool, the comments about why this fashion is cool apply to every kind of cool. Beau Brummel would've understood.

YouTube - Behind The Seams - Mexican Pointy Boots: ""

via In the Labyrinth: B-Town Elves, Eat Your Hearts Out. Post- Modern Mexico Rocks the Boot

a friend's article about Deep-Vein Thrombosis

You Must Be Trippin' - Avoid Deep-Vein Thrombosis: "Avoid sitting still for too long without stretching or standing. This is particularly an issue for frequent fliers, who can get confined in an airplane seat for many hours at a time. Even if you must inconvenience your seatmates by standing, make an effort to get up and move around every hour or two. The same advice applies to desk jockeys -- don't sit in that office chair all day without a break. You're asking for trouble."

Yep, it's another reason for a standing desk.

Jason, glad they caught it!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

jumping zebra

from A Horse Of A Different Color, Indeed | The Chronicle of the Horse:

socialist Bible verse of the day: Matthew 23:8-10, Mark 3:35, Luke 14:26

"But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, [even] Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ." —Matthew 23:8-10

Brother Will sez:

These verses are pure equalitarianism. In a world without masters, there's no room for feudalism, capitalism, or any form of favoritism.

Churches will claim their head guy is Jesus's Number One on Earth, but the Biblical support for that can most kindly be called ambiguous. In the four canonical gospels and Acts, Jesus's followers are supposed to share the good news about what's become the French motto: liberty, fraternity, equality. It's true that the early church had leaders who were chosen by their communities to share knowledge, but that was simple intellectual communism: their teachings were free for everyone, and they were subject to the approval of the community.

"Call no man father" may be a greater refutation of hierarchy than "don't be called masters". It's certainly the most personal. It denies privilege in families and invalidates all forms of patriarchy.

Matthew 23:9 is awkward for churches that use paternal language. Their followers will doubletalk the point, but they can't point to Jesus making exceptions about who can be called father.

Quibbling about 23:9 often begins with the claim that of course it's okay to call your actual father "father." But Jesus rejects the idea that "actual" family matters:

"For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother." —Mark 3:35

"If any [man] come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." —Luke 14:26

I agree with the scholars who say "hate" is a misleading translation. The meaning is that you should love God/Justice/Truth more than your family, and when you have to choose between them, God/Justice/Truth wins.

Friday, May 13, 2011

socialist Bible verse of the day: Deuteronomy 23:20

(reposted because Blogger had a bad day)

"You may charge a foreigner interest, but not a brother Israelite, so that the LORD your God may bless you in everything you put your hand to in the land you are entering to possess." —Deuteronomy 23:20

Brother Will sez: At first glance, this isn't in the spirit of socialism—it looks like the sort of restriction on capitalism that worshippers of the free market despise. But consider other verses about foreigners. Remember the Messiah Darius, who was a Zoroastrian, and Jesus's story of the Good Samaritan, who would have been hated by devout Jews as a heretic, then ask who is your fellow Israelite? Aren't we all the children of Eve?

For centuries, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam were united in condemning usury. A Catholic writes in The Sin of Usury:

At one time the church called usury 'the queen of sins' and refused the sacrament to its practitioners. Though it has never officially abandoned this moral position, very few Christians outside of the Catholic Worker movement have any idea that such a teaching even exists. Catholic Worker groups have always called upon the church to reaffirm its prohibition of loaning money at interest. We recognize that this puts us on the fringe of a society whose very dynamic is fueled by usury, and opens us up to ridicule. But we realize that until relatively recently, the teachings on usury were at the core. In fact, much of the strident language now reserved for feminists and homosexuals was once directed toward those who lent money at interest. A usurer was barred from the church, and usury was denounced not only because it was, in the words of St. Thomas Aquinas, 'unnatural,' but also because it was prohibited by both the Old and the New Testaments.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

socialist Bible verse of the day: Deuteronomy 15:1-2, Leviticus 25:10

"At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel the loan he has made to his fellow Israelite. He shall not require payment from his fellow Israelite or brother, because the LORD's time for canceling debts has been proclaimed." —Deuteronomy 15:1-2

"Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own clan." —Leviticus 25:10

Brother Will says: According to the early books of the Bible, every seven years, there's supposed be a shmita, the sabbatical year or the "year of release". Every fifty years, there's supposed to be a jubilee, which in Hebrew is a yobhel. Think of them as small freeings from debt and large ones. If anyone tells you this is a Christian nation, ask them when we last had a jubilee. Kings and priests and presidents have made only the most token concessions to these verses since they were composed. It took a civil war to give a jubilee to the USA's slaves. We're still waiting for one for everyone who has been in debt for seven years or more.

Three basic facts about the war in Afghanistan

From Sojourners:
  • Financial: The U.S. is spending more than $100 billion per year in Afghanistan
  • Human: 1,570 Americans killed, more than 10,000 wounded  
  • More than 10,000 civilian Afghan deaths, 3,000 in 2010 alone 
Tell President Obama and Vice President Biden to keep their commitment to start troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in July 2011.

Malcolm X rejected identity politics

"We must approach the problem as humans first, and whatever else we are second." —Malcolm X / El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz

Quoted in Malcolm X, A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable. Like most of my favorite quotes from the man, that's from the last year of his life, when he was looking more clearly at the nature of identity and privilege.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

socialist Bible verse of the day: Psalm 133:1

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" —Psalm 133:1

P.S. See Hine ma tov. (Thanks to Andrea in the comments!)

commie post at New York Times

Why Greece Should Reject the Euro:
Argentina defaulted on its foreign debt and cut loose from the dollar. Most economists and the business press predicted that years of disaster would ensue. But the economy shrank for just one more quarter after the devaluation and default; it then grew 63 percent over the next six years. More than 11 million people, in a nation of 39 million, were pulled out of poverty.

socialist Bible verse of the day: Leviticus 25:23

"The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land [is] mine; for ye [are] strangers and sojourners with me." —Leviticus 25:23

Saturday, May 7, 2011

socialist Bible verse of the day: Acts 20:35

"I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive." —Acts 20:35

Thursday, May 5, 2011

two questions about the assassination of Osama Bin Laden

My question: If Cuba had sent an elite team of soldiers into the US to kill Luis Posada Carriles, how would Americans react?

A question from The Agendas Behind the bin Laden News Event by Paul Craig Roberts: "No explanation has been provided for why an unarmed bin Laden, in the absence of a firefight, was murdered by the SEALs with a shot to the head. For those who believe the government’s story that 'we got bin Laden,' the operation can only appear as the most botched operation in history. What kind of incompetence does it require to senselessly and needlessly kill the most valuable intelligence asset on the planet?"

Possibly of interest:

Pakistani Army Chief Warns U.S. on Another Raid -

The killing of bin Laden: Was it legal? -

Chris Hedges: Chris Hedges Speaks on Osama bin Laden’s Death - Truthdig

socialist Bible verse of the day: Leviticus 19:18

"Love your neighbor as yourself." —Leviticus 19:18

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

First strike news

Why the truth will out but doesn’t sink in « Mind Hacks

socialist Bible verse of the day: Luke 22:26

"The greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves." —Luke 22:26 (New International Version)

Brother Will sez: The King James Version isn't bad: "He that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve." There's no evidence King James ever paid any attention to that saying, of course.

pacifist Bible verse of the day: Matthew 5:44

"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." —Matthew 5:44

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

another argument against pseudonyms

How the Illusion of Being Observed Can Make You a Better Person: Scientific American

pacifist Bible verse of the day: Proverbs 24:17

"Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth." —Proverbs 24:17

(Thanks, Amysue Chase!)

socialist Bible verse of the day: James 5:1-6

1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.

James 5:1-6 (King James Version)

Brother Will says: Modern versions are easier for modern readers, but I have to admit I especially love the old translations when they're condemning the rich.

Luke 5:4 is beautifully socialist. Any red would agree that the profit in capitalism is the hire of the laborers which is kept by fraud.

updating the Bin Laden assassination

Administration Backs Off Tale Of Osama Bin Laden Using Wife As Human Shield | TPMMuckraker:
Turns out the woman that was killed on the compound wasn't bin Laden's wife. Bin Laden may have not even been using a human shield. And he might not have even been holding a gun.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Comedian's View on Postmodernism

YouTube - A Comedian's View on Postmodernism: ""

via Douglas Lain

"the socially progressive, post-racial superhero event movie you didn't know you wanted"

Fast Five is the superheroes-assemble movie you’ve been waiting for (Sorry, Avengers): "Fast Five is the socially progressive, post-racial superhero event movie you didn't know you wanted."

(Thanks, Jeff G!)

Also: Seven pieces of conventional wisdom disproved by 'Fast Five'

P.S. I haven't seen it, though I plan to. If it's sexist as hell, well, catch Peking Opera Blues or The Heroic Trio for some female superhero fun. (Why, yes, I am disappointed that the upcoming Avengers movie has a mostly male line-up, but let's save that rant for my movie review.)

The American President - Least Presidential Thing

YouTube - The American President - Least Presidential Thing: ""

via DairyStateDad

On the death of Osama Bin Laden

My question: When you celebrate killing, who has won?

Recommended: Dennis Perrin: Grave Dance Party

socialist Bible verse of the day: Amos 6:1

"Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!" —Amos 6:1 (King James Version)

Zion is Mount Zion, near Jerusalem, the capital of the southern kingdom of Judah. The mountain of Samaria is the site of capital of the northern kingdom of Israel. They're both strongholds of the rich. Saying someone is "at ease" in Zion or "trusting in" Samaria is like saying a millionaire is "comfortable" or "secure". Amos, writing 750 years before Jesus, is another voice in the wilderness crying, "Woe to the rich!"

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Happy May Day!

YouTube - Union Maid w/ Billy Bragg, Mike & Ruthy Merenda, Dar Williams, New York City Labor Chorus.

via Anne Schmitt

two secret gay pop songs from the mid '60s (with female drummer!)

YouTube - Honeycombs - Have I The Right (High Quality): ""

YouTube - The Honeycombs - Eyes (1965)_HQ: ""

Googling the first song brought me to the tragic story of Joe Meek, producer for the Honeycombs.

first video via Undulant Fever: The Ethics of Earworming

socialist Bible verse of the day: Luke 3:11

"He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise." —Luke 3:11 (King James Version)

Brother Will says: That's John the Baptist speaking. "Meat" in King James' day just meant food. I like the simplicity of the New Living Translation:
John replied, "If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry."
How any rich person can claim to be a Baptist, I'll never understand.