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    Sean Daily is an English major from New Jersey now living in Las Vegas, the Other City of Lights. "I consider 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' to be comfort reading, I like the al pastor tacos at Tacos Mexico and I count among my literary influences the Chainsaw from 'Doom'. 'RRRRRR! You don't like that, do you, Mr. Undead Marine! RRRRRR!'"

    Shanoah Alkire is our Discordian at large. "Born in Santa Cruz, I grew up in Grass Valley and the Bay Area, and now lurk in Las Vegas. My literary influences include Ray Bradbury, Lewis Carroll, and Douglas Adams. I also program as a hobby, and currently maintain the Gtk port of Angband. You can find a rather old bio of me here."

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Posts Tagged ‘talking heads’

Blind

Posted by shanoah on October 3, 2008

Well, Sean, I wouldn’t count on the new, uglier bailout going through till it happens. Yes, the Senate passed another version of the bailout with uber-tax rebates for rich people on to the House.

And yes, it has bribes for various house members that voted no on the first version. The thing is, it’s got enough extra stuff tacked on it that people who voted yes the first time may vote no on it.

Especially the $120 billion in tax cuts. Of course, IIRC, they’re voting on it today. Hopefully these words won’t be accompanied by that smiling George Bush[1], smiling as the plan to rip off the nation goes through.

In any case, I’m going to continue on my Talking Heads jag. They just seem to represent what I’m thinking really well right now. (And when you’re thinking like David Byrne, you know you’re in trouble.)

Blind – Talking Heads

As usual for the talking heads, the lyrics are important. And seem very relevant these days.

Torn all apart
All in the name of democracy
He’s hurt
He’s dying
Claimed he was a terrorist
Claimed to avert a catastrophe
Someone should’a told him
That the buck stops here
No one ever said
That he was involved with thieves

Money – The Beatles

And what did Bush-appointed Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson want again?

I personally liked reading a quote from a Treasury spokeswoman on how they got the figure “$700 billion”:

“It’s not based on any particular data point. We just wanted to choose a really large number.”[2]

Yes, they would, wouldn’t they?

And, you know, Paulson used to be CEO for Goldman Sachs. You know, a competitor of Merrill Lynch and Lehman Bros. Should he even be touching this?

I don’t know; too many things niggling at me on this, and I’m feeling a bit scattered. And some part of me feels a small, twisted satisfaction in watching it all burn, though I probably shouldn’t.

It is a good thing I’d moved almost all my financial investments[3] over to rock solid things that don’t provide much return over the last couple of months, though.

And UPS stock, but they haven’t been hit that bad…

[1] I’ve read too much Bloom Country, all right?

[2] Emphasis mine.

[3] Such as they are. It isn’t much, but it’s been building up for a few years.

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Posted in Blogs, bulldada, fnord, From Shanoah, I Tunes Not U Tunes, I'm probably going to hell for this, Mailing List, Politics and Other Things In Which I'm Not Qualified | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Don’t Worry about the Government

Posted by shanoah on October 2, 2008

Yeah, Sean, the fnords have been so heavy lately that people are starting to take notice. Glen Greenwalds in sync with you, too, with a post today titled “Wash Post’s Pearlstein: Anyone opposing the bailout is ignorant“.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to play two of my favorite Talking Heads songs, which are quite relevant under the circumstances. I’m rather surprised I haven’t played them yet, actually:

Don’t Worry about the Government – Talking Heads

This song always reminded me of Bush, for some reason. It’s beautifully sarcastic, if you want to interpret it that way, anyways. And, yes, you may be interested in the lyrics.

(And, yes, Sean, the line “I’m from the government. Trust me.” is what triggered this post.)

The Big Country – Talking Heads

And this song, recorded in 1979, two years later, is sort of the opposite, but on the same lines.

I wouldn’t live there if you paid me.
I wouldn’t live like that, no siree!
I wouldn’t do the things the way those people do.
I wouldn’t live there if you paid me to.

I’ve felt like that occassionally. The whole lyrics are here.

Posted in Blogs, fnord, From Shanoah, Gettin' Yer Freak On, Gooey Gummi Goodness, I Tunes Not U Tunes, Mailing List, Politics and Other Things In Which I'm Not Qualified | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

9-9-08 Sarah Palin – Bridge to Nowhere

Posted by Sean on September 9, 2008

Yeah, you know that “Bridge to Nowhere” that Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s been gettin’ so much political traction out of lately. You know, the bridge to the near-deserted Ketchikan Gravina Island about which Palin reportedly said, “Thanks but no thanks” to the federal government?

Yeah, that. The Associated Press called BS on that story yesterday. Via Yahoo! News (emphasis mine):

Palin did abandon plans to build the nearly $400 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport. But she made her decision after the project had become an embarrassment to the state, after federal dollars for the project were pulled back and diverted to other uses in Alaska, and after she had appeared to support the bridge during her campaign for governor.

McCain and Palin together have told a broader story about the bridge that is misleading. She is portrayed as a crusader for the thrifty use of tax dollars who turned down an offer from Washington to build an expensive bridge of little value to the state.

I told the Congress ‘thanks but no thanks’ for that Bridge to Nowhere,” she said in her convention speech last week.

That’s not what she told Alaskans when she announced a year ago that she was ordering state transportation officials to ditch the project. Her explanation then was that it would be fruitless to try to persuade Congress to come up with the money.

“It’s clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island,” Palin said then.

Palin indicated during her 2006 campaign for governor that she supported the bridge, but was wishy-washy about it. She told local officials that money appropriated for the bridge “should remain available for a link, an access process as we continue to evaluate the scope and just how best to just get this done.”

Jonathan Allen of CQ Politics told a more nuanced story today here, also via Yahoo! News. It does go some way toward reforming Palin’s role in this but, in my opinion, it also blasts apart the “narrative” that the GOP is trying to weave around her.

According to Allen, the money for the Gravina Island bridge and one other bridge – the now famous Bridges to Nowhere – was to come (if I’m reading this right) from federal mass-transit subsidies for Alaska Railroad. The calculation for the subsidies was rewritten in 2005 so that Alaska Railroad gets money based on its track mileage; the more track they build, the more subsidies they get. You can see how this could be abused.

Anyway, the money was supposed to be earmarked for the “Bridges to Nowhere” (a sobriquet that that residents of Gravina Island may or may not agree with). This requirement was later stripped out, so the pork could go elsewhere in Alaska.

Again, emphasis mine.

Contrary to most recent reports on the subject, Palin did not switch from proponent to opponent when Congress removed the money specifically for the bridge. In fact, she continued to say she would build the bridge in 2006 as she campaigned for governor, long after it was no longer necessary for Alaska to spend the money on the project.

It appears that she wanted to appeal to voters in that part of the state by promising to give them the money their federal legislators already had secured for them.

“Part of my agenda is making sure that Southeast is heard. That your projects are important. That we go to bat for Southeast when we’re up against federal influences that aren’t in the best interest of Southeast,” Palin said in October 2006 — nearly a year after Congress removed the requirement that the money be spent on the bridges — according to the Ketchikan Daily News.

“We need to come to the defense of Southeast Alaska when proposals are on the table like the bridge and not allow the spin-meisters to turn this project or any other into something that’s so negative,” she added.

While Congress voted to strip the requirement that the money be spent on the bridges, it did not preclude the state from building them. However, as governor, Palin wanted the money to go elsewhere. The project met its official end in Sept. 2007.

“After taking office and examining the project closely, she consistently opposed funding the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ and ultimately canceled the wasteful project,” Palin campaign spokeswoman Maria Comella told Politifact, a fact-checking venture jointly operated by the St. Petersburg Times and CQ.

Opposition to the project certainly created an atmosphere in which it would have been an uphill battle for Palin to press forward after she took office. But ultimately it was her call to leave the bridge unbuilt.

[snip]

Palin has said “I told Congress ‘Thanks. But no thanks'” with regard to the bridge. But Congress already had given the Alaska government the money to spend as it wanted. She said ‘no’ to a bridge that she wasn’t required to support. She said ‘yes’ to the money.

In other words:

  1. Palin supported the Gravina Island bridge until it was no longer politically expedient to do so.
  2. When it became a liability instead of an asset, then, and only then, did the pitbull with lipstick drop it like a hot potato.
  3. Then she was “economical with the truth” about her opposition to the bridge.
  4. Oh, and Alaska – a state with no state income or sales tax – kept $400 million in federal taxpayer money. The current population of the United States is just over 300 million. That means every man, woman, boy, girl, infant and blastocyst in the United States paid Alaska over a dollar in their taxes.

Did she lie? Not technically. She did oppose it. Her opposition came after everyone else in the Lower 48, and probably a lot of Alaskans, opposed it and she wouldn’t suffer politically from her opposition. But she did oppose it.

But she did do two things that the Republicans have accused the wishy-washy lib’rul Democrats of doing since Ronald Reagan, if not before:

  1. She flip-flopped on her position.
  2. And she kept both trotters in the federal subsidy trough, and with her snout buried up to her eyeballs in all that lovely taxpayer-funded pork. (I’ll let that rather disturbing cannibalistic image sink in for a minute…)

In other words, she’s not the warm fuzzy hockey mom (with a warm smoking hunting rifle) that the Republicans are trying to paint her as.

She’s a politician.

She’s a cold, calculating politician, just like Barack Obama or John McCain or her Democratic counterpart Joe Biden. She’ll say one thing and do another. She’ll manipulate the truth – and already has manipulated the truth.

Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue with a vice presidential candidate. But – and this has been said before and it bears repeating again and again – her superior John McCain is old and unhealthy. There’s a good chance that he’ll die in office if he’s elected president, and there’s a very good chance that he’ll be left at least temporarily incapacitated because of age or poor health.

And the next in line for the office of president is the vice president.

In other words, this vice president won’t be the sinecure post that it’s been in previous administrations. The vice president that you elect in 2008 may very well become the president running the country in 2009. Her one qualification for that office, according to the Republicans, is that “she’s one of us”, that she understands us and won’t steer us wrong.

But, as the Bridges to Nowhere affair shows, she’s not “one of us”. She’s just another politician trying to screw us over – just like Obama, McCain and Biden. The only difference between her and them is that she’s also an unbelievably unqualified vice-presidential, and soon to be presidential, candidate.

So here’s to you, Miss Runner-Up Beauty Queen Lipstick Pitbull Who Speaks With Forked Tongue. (“Miss Runner-Up Beauty Queen Lipstick Pitbull Who Speaks With Forked Tooooooooongue!”) Budweiser Salutes You with the Talking Heads’ Road to Nowhere. Courtesy of Tabljet.

(Thanks to Down with Tyranny for inspiring this post)

Posted in Blogs, bulldada, Facts for Freaks and Other Criminals, From Sean, I Tunes Not U Tunes, Mailing List, Politics and Other Things In Which I'm Not Qualified, Wenches For Your Toolbox | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Future

Posted by shanoah on May 31, 2008

And we continue on in the time machine, to various alternate futures:

The Future’s So Bright (I Gotta Wear Shades) – Timbuk3

You might recall this song from an old sitcom, Head of the Class. Contrary to what you might think on first glance, this is not a happy, optimistic song about the future. Remember, he’s studying nuclear science, and he’s in the middle of the desert. Why do you think he has to wear shades?

Nothing But Flowers – Talking Heads

And here we are after the apocalypse, with most technology gone. A song about nature encroaching on our endangered civic areas. Always enjoyed how cynical the Talking Heads were. I was torn between this song and “Life After Wartime” for this post, actually.

"And as things fell apart;
Nobody paid much attention..."

The Future Soon – Jonathan Coulton

And here we have one man’s personal version of the future… 🙂

The song at the end is “Furry Old Lobster”, btw. And this particular musician has most of his music available as streaming mp3’s on his website. And spots to buy them if you feel so inclined. I’m certainly planning on browsing through his mp3 library…

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Another Slippery Mess

Posted by shanoah on April 28, 2008

Yeah, it’s late for me, and I’m tired, too, but that’s typical for Sun to Mon, with my schedule, which is why I try to always have a post stashed away for it. This is a pretty cool video I found yesterday:

Slippery People – Talking Heads

(video clips from various Laurel & Hardy Films)

As you can see, it is exactly what it says. You already know my feelings on the Talking Heads, and here you get to see Laurel and Hardy dance to them, which I think is brilliant.

Posted in Blogs, From Shanoah, Funny, I Tunes Not U Tunes, Mailing List | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Your Cognitive Dissonance for 12-31-07

Posted by Sean on December 31, 2007

Lest we forget, before ‘007 becomes ‘008 (who I believe was stabbed to death by a knife-wielding clown in the opening scenes of Octopussy), your last cognitive dissonance of the year comes from that always-rockin’ cartoonist Tom Tommorow.

Read the rest of this entry »

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