Archive for September, 2009

BFN is BFN is BFN

Posted in Uncategorized on September 29, 2009 by a4synapse

Back in April/May/June, DHS issued a report regarding the increased possibility of right-wing extremist violence.  Various persons decried the report, saying it painted an erroneous, deeply-damaging portrait of americans of a particular political stripe, who had real grievances.

The theme is “take back America”; speakers are publicly urging their audience to keep their guns, buy more guns and ammunition.  Noted at “think progress”  here.  I forget where the line is drawn regarding sedition, or incitement to riot.  There is, indeed, no point in curbing this speech; it would backfire.  Given current trends, however, this is likely to end in widespread violence.  In the meantime, there are some leaders in the US who should be speaking out against these notions.  They’re not, or at least not loudly and explicitly enough to bring anyone back to a semblance of reality.

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Hummingbirds

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 23, 2009 by a4synapse

Tiny female at the feeder last night, putting on the ounces for the flight south.  Every time I see one now, I think it’s the last one I’ll see for six months.  I have a hard time with that.

The Night

Posted in Uncategorized on September 22, 2009 by a4synapse

It’s amazing how walking outside at night in the country can change your sense of being.  Ah, what a stupid sentence.  But the night is warm and damp after intermittent rain.  “Dead Cheerleader Orgy?”  The Colbert Report remarks on Bodyworlds new idea for zombie sex.

So, there are peepers, and some other things mouthing off, but it’s quiet and sound is its own friend.  Goodnight.

Net Neutrality

Posted in Uncategorized on September 22, 2009 by a4synapse

Julius Genachowsky, Chair of the FCC, has called for net neutrality.  The folks who think they own the pipes think this is a bad idea.  What amazes me is that they haven’t figured out how much everyone (including the folks who own the pipes) will benefit (in the short run and the long run).   They’re having a problem with doing net neutrality for wireless as well.

Yes, People are freaking out

Posted in Uncategorized on September 20, 2009 by a4synapse

Everybody likes to be in control, except they’re not.  Frank Rich writes today (here) that there is a populist rage rising in the United States.  I agree that there’s a vein of racism in it, and also that the administration is right to steer the conversation away from that discussion; it’s no-win.  Once it gets started, you grant it life.  Rich then talks about the ‘rodeo clown’ (I think he’s more Pagliacci) and the rumor-mongering, mormonism, and the general fashion for whatever ‘ism’ you fancy today.

Too many Americans are impatiently waiting for results. It’s hard to argue that the stimulus package reviled by big government-loathers is a success when unemployment continues to rise and most Americans feel none of the incipient “recovery” spotted by Ben Bernanke. The potential dividends to be gained at the end of the protracted health care debate also remain, for now, an abstraction to many who have lost and are continuing to lose their jobs, their savings and their homes.

The best jobs and prospects are going to those with better educations.  I’m willing to say that the angriest are not that well-educated and feel that the 21st century is leaving them behind, and they will keep falling behind.  But they don’t seem to be interested in becoming educated.  And I’m being stupid here.

So you’re heavy and I’m not

Posted in Uncategorized on September 13, 2009 by a4synapse

John Ridley thinks that people who are overweight should pay more in taxes.

And for those who say that taxing the fat isn’t fair, I say: how fair is it that healthy people are subsidizing the lifestyles of the fat? The CDC estimates the medical costs of obesity had risen to $147 billion per year by 2008. Writing in the New York Times, David Leonhardt breaks that down to $1,250 per American household, mostly in taxes and insurance premiums.

And that says nothing about how much more energy it costs to transport a 400 pound person up three floors in the elevator as opposed to a 150 pound person.

This won’t happen.