daily news

ID - The Movie

Image: Flying Jackalope © Dakotaland Postcards (1984)

LAT: California Science Center is sued for canceling a film promoting intelligent design:

"The suit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by the American Freedom Alliance, an L.A.-based group described ... as a nonprofit, nonpartisan "think tank and activist network promoting Western values and ideals.""

In this case those "Western values..." include promoting ID as science. As if we could forget Kitzmiller v. Dover. And yet they continue to attempt to sell snake oil as science, and act positively wounded when anyone asks what's in the bottle.

The Delusion of Security

Image © Jim Gansle @ Mighty Optical Illusions

Abdulmutallab's near success, Lieberman said, argues that any concerns about passenger privacy should be set aside in favor of expanded full-body screening.

There ya go: one certifiable lunatic from Nigeria totally botches his 'mission from god', and this reprobate starts screaming about giving up more of our rights. Nothing changes. The deluded leading the delusional. And who TF protects us from *them*?

Taxing Shelter

Image: Cayman Islands © Destination 360.com

See the boat. The boat is old. The boat was built to take gold to a 'safe haven' in the Caymans. The 'new' boats are digital transfers. The were built to take gold to a 'safe haven' in the Caymans. Change you can 'count' on? No. Business as usual.

Go read Kevin Hall's story @ McClatchy (12/25) on what to do about the Bush tax cuts; and an earlier piece by Runnigan & Donmoyer back in March @ Bloomberg:

"As part of the economic recovery efforts, Obama created a panel to look into ways that tax restructuring could boost the economy. However, the panel failed to issue a planned report in December, Lim Rogers said, and was given very little room to work."

Sit, Volcker, sit. Good dog.

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Also see: Perfectly Legal, Lichtenstein, and Halliburton Moves to Dubai.

Greeley Redux: Advise Going West to China. Stop.

Image: User Luddites © Magnitude Digital/UK

Katherine Bourzac/TechReview:

Applied Materials Moves Solar Expertise to China

Going forward, he says, "energy will become the biggest business for the company," and China, not the U.S., "will be the biggest solar market in the world."

With deep appreciation for their massive contributions to perpetual ignorance, we wish to thank Senator Mitch (Coal) McConnell, Cong. John (DrillBaby) Boehner, and the entire Republican Party, for convincing companies like Applied Materials - among thousands of others - to grow their markets elsewhere.


Straightening Curves in Afghanistan

Image: D/11 © Caterpillar Corp.

Tony Perry/LAT:
California Guard troops attacked in Afghanistan (12/20/09)

The troops had gone to the village of Karay in Kunar Province to hold an inoculation program for 400-plus cattle, goats, donkeys and sheep. To get to the site, their convoy had to venture along a winding, boulder-strewn 60-mile road, which follows the wide, fast-moving river.

Better roads = better protection + (eventually) ease of transport to market. Send more ag experts, more CATs and Buffaloes, and fire the mercs.

Beat Reporters #3; Whiny Bloggers

Kim Minugh/SacBee: Little girl thanks officer, touches hearts:
A doctor had just told the little girl that her mother wouldn't be coming back home after she'd collapsed on the kitchen floor last month. .. And yet the 9-year-old managed to thank a police officer who had been called to the scene – apologize, even – that the officer had had to watch her mom die.

Every now and again these short-story news items remind me of the value of professional local reporters. Read, enjoy, and realize that the entire little movie that will run in your head - with the attendant large cast of characters - is less than 500 words.  Nicely done.

Critics on the Left, Idiots on the Right, Ready on the Firing Line

Image: The Critic, © Gabriel Von Max @ AllPosters.com

Did you ever walk onto a jobsite that was so poorly-run, with a level of workmanship so low, into an atmosphere so poisonous the only sane course of action was to lay off the crew on Friday, take the owner to dinner as an apology, and start cleaning up and repairing the damage first thing Saturday morning? No?

Didn't think so. But I have - been a part of the 'replacements' that is. Can't remember being that pissed - except for a coupla times cleaning up the medic's puke wars in the barracks - 'cause the original crew screwed the pooch so badly, with so little regard for the needs of the owner. Bad blood only cured with patience, time, and dedication. Make it right, whatever the cost, no matter how long it takes.

In Labor: Fools Happen

Image © BlackCommentator.com

"I get houses ready to be sold. I clean them up, repair them, and make them presentable. I'm looking for someone with the ability to take over a house and get it done. You will need to plan the job to my specifications, as well as direct laborers. You will work with sub-contractors. You should have skills in carpentry, plumbing repairs, light electrical work, painting, drywall, and tile. You need to have basic carpentry tools, saws, cordless drill, nail guns, and hand tools. Compensation: The starting pay is $15/hr. on payroll (no cash)

A Craigslist job listing today, Central Valley CA, in it's entirety.  By any definition the job requires journey-level skills in at least three crafts, your own tools and truck, and enough experience to run work on your own for an *effective* wage of around eight bucks an hour.  Let's hear it again for 'American Labor'.

I Zing the Detroit Electric

Image: 1912 Detroit Electric at B.C. Hydro's Stave Falls

Martin Lamonica/CNET: Detroit Electric resurrected as $25,000 electric car:
"Detroit Electric, an auto brand once favored by Thomas Edison, is mounting a 21st century comeback with electric cars aimed at U.S. soccer moms and Chinese city dwellers."

Wowsers, what a concept! And it's only one hundred years old! And with Zap! motors onboard, you may even get a 90-day warranty on those batteries-surrounded-by-a-car!! And look at the crew: the engineers are Dutch, the money is British, the manufacturing is Malay, and early distribution is in China.

Whither the Americans? Withered, and incapable of 'imagineering' the '21st Century'.

State of the Economy

Appropriate. :) Promoted. Originally posted 2009-03-27 20:06:27 -0500. -- GH

Now What? © Gary Patterson, @ AllPosters.com

Kevin Hall/McClatchy: Is The Worst Over?: ". . . Wyss, the Standard & Poor's analyst . . [said] "If you squint your eyes and look at the charts, we may have found a bottom there."

Fair call, and a clear signal that it's ok for Goldman to bring out 'Spike' again.

Happy Home(lessness) Maker

Image © Jim Wilson/NYT @ Cities Deal With a Surge in Shanty Towns

"In his first year of office Reagan halved the budget for public housing and Section 8 (the government's housing voucher subsidization program). Between the years of 1980 and 1989 HUD's budget authority was reduced from $74 billion to $19 billion. Such changes resulted in an inadequate supply of affordable housing to meet the growing demand of low-income populations. In 1970 there were 300,000 more low-cost rental units (6.5 million) than low-income renter households (6.2 million). By 1985 the number of low-cost units had fallen to 5.6 million, and the number of low-income renter households had grown to 8.9 million, a disparity of 3.3 million units." [Homelessness in the United States - 1980's - Wiki].

Let's hear it for the one political party responsible for more damage to more people in less time than any other group since the founding of this Country. Some folks call them 'conservatives'. Me, I call them 'Ronnie's Kids'.

Proudly pissing on your head and calling it rain for the past 30 years.

Somewhere In Time: All the Gears Moving

Since we don't have an Open Thread Today, I think this is a provocative way to start the discussion. How about you? carol

Image © Clockinfo.com

The concept of winding up and starting the pendulum that starts the gears in motion just seemed to fit this morning.  Except of course in our world there are entirely too many cranks.

Cloning on Empty

Image @ tech/guardian.co.uk

McClatchy: Obama's econ failure: Still no plan to fix the banks

". . .a Wall Street Journal survey of 49 mainstream economic forecasters this week found that this elite group [pictured above*] - which influences public confidence - is losing faith in Obama and in Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

*Of course the image did not appear in the original WSJ article; nor did it appear in any of the 'outlets' who subsequently cut-and-pasted the Journal's self-righteous chest-pounding breathless 'cries' for help. But hey, if the best they've got is a roomful of economists with poopy drawers . . .