Category Archives: Politics

WTF America: The Squeaky Red Cog (Chapter 31)

Johnson! My Wax!

Working in the US provides some strange fringe benefits.

The squeaky red cog

 

It’s labor day in America. The day of discount mattresses. There are huge sales happening today, and I have become a man that now works these sales. Each day I’m toiling in the retail mines, loading dust covered merchandise into the carts bound for the surface. Once those carts reach the surface they are taken by myself, and others, and hammered and worked into deals. We’re not making the merchandise, I’m not working a sewing machine, I’m not spinning or harvesting cotton. I’m just a man putting clearance stickers on boxes of shoes.

Yes dear readers, after 5 years of unemployment back home, and around 18 months of self-employment as a wordsmith I have joined the regular working world. That world where you’re expected to be at a place, at a time, to do a thing, for 40 years until you die, and you get paid every few weeks a set amount. So that’s nice.

Because of something akin to an NDA I am unable to talk about the specifics of where I work and the practices therein. Also, because I’m not a dullard that wishes to lose his job, I’m not telling you where I work, or when I work, or who I work with. Any names referenced have been changed to protect the employed.

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What kind of pie? Occupy

Fight the Powah

So I haven’t been to my local occupy event in a while now. It’s a small event, only running for a few hours on a Saturday. There’s no permanent encampment, not a lot of chanting goes on, not much in the way of flash mobbing. But it’s our group and it’s got some very honest and genuine people that are just trying to make the world a better place.

So why haven’t I gone down there in weeks?

I’ve had a different reason almost every week that I’ve gone there: first off I was protesting because the Irish government was bringing in water charges, which is a nice way of saying that they’ll be installing water meters on every home and business in the land and then taxing the water that’s used.

I was against this move because this creates a completely new tax on people who are already struggling. This won’t affect the rich that have second and third homes, this is just another charge that it’ll be hard to pay for those that are struggling. That and this whole thing is going to be handed to a semi-state company and I’m against privatization of public services. So I went and protested.

I protested that for a while and then one night I was sitting up watching a livestream and I saw Scott Olsen go down. I saw the Oakland Police throw a flashbang at a group of people that were attempting to pick Olsen up after he had apparently been hit in the head with a tear gas canister. He suffered a fractured skull and one month after being in a coma for several days he was still having trouble talking. So I went and stood when Scott Olsen could not and protested.

I protested because there were austerity measures, I went to stand up for the Greeks, I protested because Silvio Berlusconi [A man who I disagree with politically] was ousted from office and was replaced by an unelected banker, Mario Monti.

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Apparently the B-52 bomber is still in service

Much in the style of the Rick Perry article last week, I found myself musing on something.

This week, I was wondering if the B-52, the flying fortress not the band, was still in service. With a little research I found out that it is. I dug deeper, and ended up writing this. Enjoy.

I thought the B-52 was out of service, but apparently it’s still going.

I think it’s a beautiful machine, but as a technical feat not as a weapon of war.
As a weapon of war it’s been devastating to human life, and I guess in that way it’s been very effective in living up to it’s design function.

However, I was thinking about money, and spending, and all that.

The reason I thought the B-52 was out of service is because I didn’t think that something that large and unwieldy would still be effective.

The B-52 [and I’m not military historian] was used to bomb large tracts of land with stupid bombs, or toe popper mines or what have you. Or it was used to carry around a couple of nukes a few miles from Soviet airspace just in case.

It’s a long range, high altitude, bomb platform. We don’t conduct that kind of warfare anymore, so you’d assume that the B-52 would be mothballed, and it largely has.

The rest of this piece [and my point] after the jump, feel free to click through. (more…)

Rick Perry: The Anti-Science Candidate

I don’t usually post political stuff to this blog, so I may need for you all to indulge me. I’m pretty vocal on my Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook accounts when it comes to politics, especially American politics. The main reason behind my fascination is not just the circus act aspect of the whole thing, but because it’s at least partially true that if America sneezes the rest of the world can catch a cold. American internal policy is not divorced from foreign policy.

So I thought I’d talk about Rick Perry. Rick Perry is the current governor of Texas and is currently running in the republican primaries for the presidential nomination. If Perry wins the nomination from the republican party then he will, most likely, face Barack Obama in the presidential election in November of 2012. What stuck in my craw regarding Rick Perry is his blatant discrediting, and often complete ignoring of scientific evidence, so I felt compelled to write the following.

Now that you’re all caught up on the context, on to my observations on Rick Perry.

The crucial problem with Rick Perry is not his abhorrent policies, his hypocrisy, or his rich donors, although those are problems.

The problem with Rick Perry is that he claims there is great debate over evolution, climate change, abstinence and the death penalty. Now while there may be merits to each of these arguments, no matter how slim, Perry does not argue those merits, and he doesn’t particularly debate his own positions.

The problem with Rick Perry is that he disagrees with evidence that is plainly presented to him.

On abstinence: Rick Perry Has a George Bush Moment

Now he could be arguing that abstinence is 100% effective when applied correctly [Unless you’re the virgin mary] but he’s arguing that it’s the best method of contraception to be taught in schools. He doesn’t argue the evidence, he argues his faith, or his belief or whatever.

Rick Perry – 0, Evidence – 1

For the other points on the death penalty, evolution and global climate change see after the jump.

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