Weird video, good music:
Washed Out is the stage name of the American chillwave musician Ernest Greene (born in 1983, Perry, Georgia).
Toro y Moi remix:
In 2009, I visited former Soviet/Eastern Bloc countries. I did not realise it was possible to visit old KGB headquarters (now terror museums) and if I learnt nothing new (e.g. torture chambers, execution rooms), the experiences were upsetting and, of course, testimony to what happened under communism; as were the views of locals who told of how they queued for everything whilst the communist elite lived well. So, it was pleasant to relax and visit the churches of Tallin (Estonia) where I fell into conversation with an exiled Venezuelan. After I'd expressed concerns re: Chavez (he'd just tried to change the constitution to allow him indefinite re-election), she replied, and I quote from my diary, 'We, the young people, voted him in. Yes, change was vital, but, what have we done? He thinks he is Fidel and we live in a police state that tolerates no opposition'. A privileged elite + fear? As someone once said, 'Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it'.
Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes: Lower Cognitive Ability Predicts Greater Prejudice Through Right-Wing Ideology......lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the endorsement of right-wing ideologies ... we found that lower general intelligence (g) in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood, and this effect was largely mediated via conservative ideology. A secondary analysis of a U.S. data set confirmed a predictive effect of poor abstract-reasoning skills on antihomosexual prejudice.
So IQ tests are racist, except when they're used to "prove" that people with "socially conservative ideologies" are racist and intellectually inferior.
“Mitt Romney is masterful at defending Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich is masterful at defending conservatism... Mr. Romney is like the Apple app store for candidates: Got a problem? There’s an app for that. What’s your tax plan? There’s an answer for that. Flip-flops? There’s an answer for that. Romneycare? Bain Capital? There are answers for those. Job plan? There’s a 59-point answer for that… When given opportunities to defend conservatism with questions about his tax returns and hunting, Mr. Romney stammered through painful answers and defended only himself, not conservatism.”
"I love this land, I love its Constitution, I revere its founders, I will restore those principles, I will get America back to work, and I'll make sure that we remain the shining city on the hill."
...Mitt’s “inevitable” mojo spell is now decisively broken, and the questions now are multiple: Can Mitt get his mojo back? Will Newt be able to avoid further “drama”? Can Santorum get the financial resources to stay in the race, hoping to be the last man standing if Newt auto-destructs?
The base is revolting because they swept the GOP back into relevance in Washington just under two years ago and they have been thanked with contempt ever since...
Conservatives (accurately) perceive the media mainstream to be a de facto organ of the liberal left, and by extension, the Democratic Party - and they understand that conservative governance is absolutely impossible unless that organ is defeated or co-opted. On the latter count, ask President John McCain how his co-option efforts went. When Newt Gingrich crushes a hapless journalist, he isn't just tossing up a parlor trick: he's demonstrating an indispensable prerequisite to conservative governance today.Read the rest...
(Washington Post) President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico is an act of national insanity. It isn’t often that a president makes a decision that has no redeeming virtues and — beyond the symbolism — won’t even advance the goals of the groups that demanded it. All it tells us is that Obama is so obsessed with his reelection that, through some sort of political calculus, he believes that placating his environmental supporters will improve his chances.Read the rest.
Aside from the political and public relations victory, environmentalists won’t get much. Stopping the pipeline won’t halt the development of tar sands, to which the Canadian government is committed; therefore, there will be little effect on global-warming emissions. Indeed, Obama’s decision might add to them. If Canada builds a pipeline from Alberta to the Pacific for export to Asia, moving all that oil across the ocean by tanker will create extra emissions. There will also be the risk of added spills.
Now consider how Obama’s decision hurts the United States. For starters, it insults and antagonizes a strong ally; getting future Canadian cooperation on other issues will be harder. Next, it threatens a large source of relatively secure oil that, combined with new discoveries in the United States, could reduce (though not eliminate) our dependence on insecure foreign oil.
Finally, Obama’s decision forgoes all the project’s jobs. There’s some dispute over the magnitude. Project sponsor TransCanada claims 20,000, split between construction (13,000) and manufacturing (7,000) of everything from pumps to control equipment. Apparently, this refers to “job years,” meaning one job for one year. If so, the actual number of jobs would be about half that spread over two years. Whatever the figure, it’s in the thousands and thus important in a country hungering for work. And Keystone XL is precisely the sort of infrastructure project that Obama claims to favor.
The big winners are the Chinese. They must be celebrating their good fortune and wondering how the crazy Americans could repudiate such a huge supply of nearby energy. There’s no guarantee that tar-sands oil will go to China; pipelines to the Pacific would have to be built. But it creates the possibility when the oil’s natural market is the United States...
But it is not only crude. Wonder why no jobs are being created? Wonder why despite record low mortgage rates there is no bottom in sight for housing? Simple - nobody can plan one month, let alone one year ahead for any US-based venture or business. The political risk is simply too great - whether it is contract law (see GM and Chrysler) or simple solvency (see record high levels of cash hoarded by companies), it is there, and as long as it is there, there will be no hiring, no capex spending, no growth, and no real improvement in the economy, the real economy, not that defined by where the Russell 2000 closes on any given day.On a related note, as our nation languishes, guess who's taking advantage of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico? If you guessed communist Cuba, you guessed right. It gets worse, though. Not only are the red-communist Cubans now drilling just miles (60-70) off of Key West, Florida, they are doing so from a Chinese-manufactured oil rig under the guidance of Repson, a Spanish oil firm. Plus, we are barred from buying the oil from the Cubans which are estimated to be sitting on several billion barrels of reserves (they say 20 billion, the U.S. government says it's closer to 5 billion).
...figures are correct, but they are also not tethered to anything Obama has done....the Energy Department cited a host of reasons why foreign oil imports have declined, noting the main reason was “a significant contraction in consumption” because of the poor economy and changes in efficiency that began “two years before the 2008 crisis”—ie, before Obama took office.Then, in bold type, the ad proclaims: President Obama “kept a campaign promise to toughen ethics rules” and it cites: “PolitiFact, 1/21/09.”Politifact did write that on Jan. 21, 2009, but then it almost immediately changed its ruling as Obama began granting waivers to his ethics policy...The suggestion that Obama was responsible for the 2.7 million clean-energy jobs or the decline in foreign oil imports is bad enough... We have more trouble with the citation of PolitiFact.
Obama's First Ad Riddled with Falsehoods...Politifact: “We Rate Obama's ‘Revolving Door’ Policy For Former Lobbyists His Biggest Broken Promise...”Solyndra, Obama’s Poster-Child For “American Ingenuity And Dynamism,” Declared Bankruptcy...Obama did not create 2.7 million green jobs...
Ron Paul keeps repeating his same old false information and his Hot Pocket Basement Brigade keep lapping it up with their 40 year-old virgin tongues..."The relationship between the Taliban and al-Qaeda was one of the hot topics of Monday night’s presidential debate. Candidate Ron Paul downplayed the dangers of the Taliban, declaring the 'Taliban used to be our allies when we were fighting the Russians… The al-Qaeda wants to come here to kill us. The Taliban just says we don’t want foreigners.'"The Taliban came on the scene in Afghanistan in 1994, several years after the Soviets departed. Taliban (which translates to “students”) were made up mainly of Afghan refugees who had grown up in Pakistan during Soviet rule in Afghanistan and attended Deobandi religious schools, where they learned a strict, puritanical form of Islam. While some of the current Taliban may have previously fought on the same side of the U.S. during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, it is inaccurate to say the Taliban as a movement was ever an ally of the United States."
Revealed: Bain & Company advised Obama on auto bailout, recommended cutting dealerships...Does it matter that Romney hasn’t worked for Bain & Company in nearly 20 years or are the optics of this one bad enough to make it newsworthy regardless?...The NYT reported recently that to this day, as part of the deal he negotiated when he left, Romney still gets a share of Bain Capital’s profits.
...this is what really ticks me off. We're told what a great capitalist Romney is and if we attack him, we're attacking capitalism. So, then why did his firm engage in so much socialism and still manage to screw up businesses, after pocketing tons of cash for themselves? This doesn't sound like the kind of capitalism I believe in. The taxpayers often took part of Romney's risk, or bailed out his mistakes, as with a pension fund, but he always managed to feather his own nest pretty damned well. This is what's wrong with America, not what's worth defending...Stay tuned...
The problem we have is from the federal level, it’s very hard to do things well. I mean, you don’t find too many federal programs that are working…When we politically manage the programs, the money is not distributed well and there’s no evidence — I mean we spent trillions trying to help poverty in America. But we don’t cure poverty, we subsidize it when we make people dependent on the government and make it harder for them to get up the ladder.The clincher here -- and the truth -- is that the War on Poverty actually makes it harder for poor and lower-income Americans to move up the economic ladder. It takes away their drive, their spirit and eventually their life-meaning and humanity. How is that liberal? And, how is that compassionate,
According to the Head Start Impact Study, which was quite comprehensive, the positive effects of the program were minimal and vanished by the end of first grade. Head Start graduates performed about the same as students of similar income and social status who were not part of the program. These results were so shocking that the HHS team sat on them for several years, according to Russ Whitehurst of the Brookings Institution, who said, "I guess they were trying to rerun the data to see if they could come up with anything positive. They couldn't."
In U.S. politics, a Kinsley gaffe is an occurrence of someone telling the truth by accident... The term comes from journalist Michael Kinsley, who said, "A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth."
“In the general election I’ll be pointing out that the president took the reins at General Motors and Chrysler – closed factories, closed dealerships laid off thousands and thousands of workers – he did it to try to save the business,” Romney said Wednesday on CBS.President Obama has publicly touted his plan to “retool and restructure” the auto companies as “an investment in American workers.” Romney was strongly opposed to the auto bailouts, but on Wednesday likened the president’s strategy to his own.“We also had the occasion to do things that are tough to try and save a business,” he said.
Revealed: Bain & Company advised Obama on auto bailout, recommended cutting dealerships...
Does it matter that Romney hasn’t worked for Bain & Company in nearly 20 years or are the optics of this one bad enough to make it newsworthy regardless?
...The NYT reported recently that to this day, as part of the deal he negotiated when he left, Romney still gets a share of Bain Capital’s profits.
Rick Santorum -- who trailed by a mere 8 votes in the initial tally -- actually beat Romney by 34 votes, according to the certified vote totals.
Truthfully, I didn’t plan to write about this. We’re not a fashion blog — and, by and large, I don’t think what folks wear does matter. But, this morning, I read a brief blog post headlined “The Death of Pretty” — and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. This is a rather long excerpt, but it’s too good to not be shared (the whole piece is worth your time, too!):
"...pretty is dying.
"People will define pretty differently. For the purposes of this piece, I define pretty as a mutually enriching balanced combination of beauty and projected innocence.
"Once upon a time, women wanted to project an innocence. I am not idealizing another age and I have no illusions about the virtues of our grandparents, concupiscence being what it is. But some things were different in the back then. First and foremost, many beautiful women, whatever the state of their souls, still wished to project a public innocence and virtue...
"By nature, generally when men see this combination in women it brings out their better qualities, their best in fact. That special combination of beauty and innocence, the pretty inspires men to protect and defend it.
"Young women today do not seem to aspire to pretty, they prefer to be regarded as hot. Hotness is something altogether different. When women want to be hot instead of pretty, they must view themselves in a certain way and consequently men view them differently as well.
"As I said, pretty inspires men’s nobler instincts to protect and defend. Pretty is cherished. Hotness, on the other hand, is a commodity. Its value is temporary and must be used. It is a consumable.
"Nowhere is this pretty deficit more obvious than in our 'stars,' the people we elevate as the 'ideal.' The stars of the fifties surely suffered from the same sin as do stars of today. Stars of the fifties weren’t ideal but they pursued a public ideal different from today."
It’s so true — and it’s so sad...
...somewhere between childhood and adulthood — or, sadly, sometimes in the midst of childhood — girls begin to think it’s an embarrassment to be innocent, to be naive.
It’s not an insult to be called naive, though — not really. The first definition of the word is “having or showing unaffected simplicity of nature or absence of artificiality.” What’s wrong with that? To encounter the natural and artless — to escape cynicism and ugliness — is to be refreshed. Yes, it’s foolish to ignore ugliness — for it’s real and revealing. But we have such a limited amount of time in a day: Why not look to the beautiful, the good, the true at least as often as we look to anything else?Here's the rest.