laurence turner

the random musings of a fool

Requiem for a Bantam Weight (a dirge)

Read them and weep – Obama, Year One. After Massachusetts: His Hopes Did Him In.

Guess we saw this coming, eh? The man shoulda listened to his “base” and to all the progressive fools like you and me who gave him our precious time and energy. There were fights to be fought, noble deeds to be done. Instead, he wanted to heal things, to be a bridge. If that was what he wanted he should have gone to medical school or become an architectural engineer instead of a lawyer, because this a lawyer’s country now, and we needed (and still need) a lawyer to stand up for what’s right and fight the good fight.

What’s Obama’s fighting? 30 years of entrenched conservative-whacko groupthink: greed is good; government is bad; and the only way the dems can win is if they stuff their pockets with cash from the same people that the GOP does. It’s all screwed up. People wanted him to change that and instead he slipped into the Beltway pattern like a chameleon.

He now looks so weak some asshole has planned to open an all-white basketball league. If that isn’t a broadside against what could have been, I don’t know what is. For every step forward, we’ve taken two steps back.

Maybe having to claw his way back from desperation will define the man and his legacy, and our hopes and our best qualities will once again emerge and save this stinkhole. Or maybe, 3 short years from now, Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney and Michelle Bachman will be high-fiving on a podium in Washington D.C. while I paddle a small boat to some God-foresaken island in the Caribbean, unsure of the future, but happy to be free of the place I thought was my home.

The Age of Myths has passed us by as we watched American Idol in our living rooms. What comes next is anybody’s guess.

Filed under: politics, stupidity

regarding Haiti…

The tragedy that has befallen Haiti in the wake of the earthquake there requires us to focus our minds as well as dig into our wallets to offer help. We can leave Pat Robertson and his ilk behind, and get closer to the truth about Haiti’s desperate poverty by looking at a few more cogent renditions of the story…

We’ll start with a post from boingboing.net by Maggie Koerth-Baker, Haiti’s real deal with the devil, wherein we learn that Haiti’s troubles are not all of its own making, countering the assertions of the 700 Club. Today, we can turn to Harper’s and Ken Silverstein for a brisk dashing of cold water with Haiti: Media provides sanitized history for American audiences, which further expands upon the notion of colonialist buggery, which Silverstein began yesterday with Haiti: A trip down memory lane. Also today, BoingBoing continues its coverage of the tragedy by collecting links to press our understanding even further.

Of course, if you would like to witness the horror of it all, boston.com’s collection of photograph’s are as good a place to start as any.

If you would like to help the victims in Haiti, the SUPPORT HAITI page at tumblr.com is a good way to do so.

If you would like to prevent things of this nature happening in the future, then please vote for people who will not foster colonialism around the globe, nor buy products from companies which exploit people and the environment. It would also be helpful if you could press for changes in building codes so as to prevent the construction of inadequate and unsafe buildings in zones subject to seismic activity.

We cannot undo what has been done to the people of Haiti in the past. However, we can use this tragedy to help the people of Haiti now and in the future, and to learn of the reasons for the horrible conditions which bedevil so much of the world.

Now would be a good time to look in the mirror.

UPDATE: Here’s a depressing post from The Economist, The End of Haiti?, and a thoughtful plea for help from Caroline Saunders in The Guardian, Haiti needs our help.

Filed under: environment, politics, stupidity

thinking in dark times

Thinking in Dark Times – Six Questions for Roger Berkowitz, harpers.org

Filed under: philosophy, politics

The New Feudalism

Elizabeth Warren: America Without a Middle Class, huffingtonpost.com.

Serf ‘s up…

Filed under: economics + finance, politics

I can’t keep up.

Watch this for a few minutes and you’ll want to unplug from everything: worldometers.

Into the breach… so, we’re sending more troops to Afghanistan in order to leave earlier? That sounds like Department of Defense logic. Afghanistan: The quagmire deepens, harpers.org.

How Robber Barons hijacked the “Victorian Internet”, arstechnica.com. Tim Geithner’s threat: We can’t survive without the Super-Rich!, theawl.com. Are the Super-Rich worried about what the proles think? Apparently so – Arming Goldman With Pistols Against Public, bloomberg.com (Matt Taibbi had fun with this one).

WikiLeaks to be investigated by Congress? Sure, that will help things. How about Congress looking into this instead: Sprint fed customer GPS data to cops over 8 million times, arstechnica.com.

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin’s gonna bring some heat to the International Bowl Expo 2010, where you can look forward to her unique verbal stylings (tip-o’-the-hat to D’Alessandrius the Wise).

Not what I expected: Peter Mandelson spars with Rupert Murdoch.

Amazingly, despite Congressional suggestions to the contrary, most Americans want a public health option. Who knew?

Lastly, “my team”, the New Jersey Nets have set a new record. Hooray.

Filed under: news, politics, stupidity, tech

… le deluge

A quiet weekend leads to a major outpouring of news and… stuff.

It’s International Blue Beanie Day, 2009. Today, don a blue beanie and show your support for Web Standards.

A marvelous idea: For Forest Kindergartners, Class Is Back to Nature, Rain or Shine, nytimes.com / Disturbingly bad architecture: Romanian Pavilion for Shanghai World Expo 2010, archdaily.com / Venice hit by high water (video), guardian.co.uk / coming to a browser near you – 2010: The Year Information Pollution Takes Off, seobook.com / New York destroyed in movies, kottke.org / a picture is worth a thousand words and a few trillion dollars: 27 Visualizations and Infographics to Understand the Financial Crisis, flowingdata.com / The Illustrated Man: How LED Tattoos Could Make Your Skin a Screen, wired.com / The Fall and Rise of Media, nytimes.com / Over 60, and Proud to Join the Digerati, nytimes.com / Twitter with a brain, shotton.com / One in six Americans go hungry, breakingtweets.com / 15 Unfortunately Placed Ads, oddee.com / Thanksgiving Dinner: Your Best Preview of the 2012 Elections, theawl.com / As Sewers Fill, Waste Poisons Waterways, nytimes.com / What did ‘Life of Brian’ ever do for us?, telegraph.co.uk

in the beginning… there was this web page.

Amazingly, there is nothing new to report about Silvio Berlusconi and his proclivities.

Filed under: architecture, film, news, tech

Going Rogue

“And Sarah Palin sells copies. She is the country’s first WWE politician — a cartoon combatant who inspires stadiums full of frustrated middle American followers who will cheer for her against whichever villain they trot out, be itNewsweek, Barack Obama, Katie Couric, Steve Schmidt, the Mad Russian, Randy Orton or whoever. Her followers will not know that she is the perfect patsy for our system, designed as it is to channel popular anger in any direction but a useful one, and to keep the public tied up endlessly in pointless media melees over meaningless nonsense (melees of the sort that develop organically around Palin everywhere she goes). Like George W. Bush, even Palin herself doesn’t know this, another reason she’s such a perfect political tool.” – Sarah Palin, WWE Star, Matt Taibbi, trueslant.com

Filed under: politics, stupidity

11.27.2009 links

This is getting messy… Iraq invasion legitimacy was in doubt, Chilcot inquiry told, guardian.co.uk / He’ll be sorely missed: Mark Pittman, Reporter Who Foresaw Crisis, Dies at 52, bloomberg.com / ‘Geek Love’ author fights off purse snatcher in Northwest Portland, oregonlive.com / Complexity and Humanity, freesouls.cc / A Jazz Pianist, Happy To Work For ‘Peanuts’, npr.org / Waging War On Distracted Driving, npr.org / Yawn: it’s one of the best things you can do for your brain, upenn.edu

Filed under: news, obituary, politics, tech

3 things…

1. The dark side of the internet, guardian.co.uk

2. Romanian president Traian Basescu punches a kid in the face, youtube.com

3. Lastly, something nice – Bill Frisell Trio: Spontaneous at Kennedy, npr.org

Filed under: music, politics, stupidity, tech

between fantasy and reality

Fallen Princesses, fallenprincesses.com / Obama’s Home Teleprompter Malfunctions During Family Dinner, theonion.com /

Filed under: art + design, politics, stupidity

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