Politics, open government, and safe streets. And the constant incursion of cycling.

Month: February 2010 Page 2 of 3

Midweek Makeover: Belinda!

As as been noted before, we do not take requests.  However, we occasionally indulge.  Someone has been going on about the lack of coverage here, of late.  So be careful what you ask for:

Belinda!  Nice poppy sugary goodness.


(Makes me think of exactly this spot on earth, btw)

So what do you do with an easy pop hit like that?

If you’re some cheaply assembled trio like Ultra Flirt, you mangle it:


Or if you’re some outfit named “Virus, Inc.”, you borrow a vocoder, try to copy Eric Prydz, and nearly kill it:


But thankfully, somehow, there are always a cappella groups like the Euphonics to keep it on life support:


The Things You Learn From Considering Zombie Attacks

Was joking earlier today, in the context of protecting ourselves from imaginary threats, about planning for zombie attacks.  And then came across this review of a zombie-centric comic series that raised a rather real question:

What makes The Walking Dead so compelling to me is the way it asks you to decide, over and over again, do you bug-out (get away with your loved ones) or bug-in (help your neighbors and let them help you), or both? I’ve always hoped that I’d be a bug-in person, that in a disaster I’d work for the mutual aid of everyone. But bugging in works best if the rest of the world does it with you — a few selfish buggers-out shatter the social bonds that make it possible for the most people to survive a terminal prisoner’s dilemma. But even for us bug-in types, Kirkman wants us to ask ourselves, how far will you go? Who gets to come inside the shelter with you, and who gets left outside to die?

This isn’t a Choose Your Own Adventure exercise.  It’s much more:

This is the kind of ethical question that underpins our responses to everything from humanitarian crises like the one in Haiti to the health-care debate to immigration and refugee policy. It’s at the core of racism and sexism, at the core of xenophobia and discrimination. In its most extreme form, it can give rise to horrors like the American eugenics movement or Naziism, but who among us doesn’t have a secret kernel of it lurking in our breast?

John Cole (Re)Writes a Play

John Cole does a fantastic job of speculating on exactly what would happen if Congress were to attempt to fix something that most of the population would agree should be fixed – that AmeriCorps stipends should be sufficient enough that members don’t need to rely on food stamps.

I’d describe his post as amusing, except 1) I think it’s *exactly* how such an effort would play out and 2) it tracks pretty much how the GOP machine reacted to AmeriCorps in 1994-1995.  It’s the same clowning, over and over.  It’s always going to be politics, and not policy.

Groundhog Day

As the email passing this one on put it, you half laugh when you start reading, and then this really uneasy feeling starts settling in . . .

Del. Mark Cole: “I just think you should have the right to control your own body.”

Del. Mark Cole’s apparent newfound respect for the right to privacy is just the tip of the amusement, here:

The House of Delegates is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a bill that would protect Virginians from attempts by employers or insurance companies to implant microchips in their bodies against their will.

It might also save humanity from the antichrist, some supporters think.

Del. Mark L. Cole (R-Fredericksburg), the bill’s sponsor, said that privacy issues are the chief concern behind his attempt to criminalize the involuntary implantation of microchips. But he also said he shared concerns that the devices could someday be used as the “mark of the beast” described in the Book of Revelation.

Gosh, more lunacy from a Virginia Republican.  Who ever would have guessed it?  But the story raises concerns about a Democrat, too:

Del. Robert H. Brink (D-Arlington) said on the House floor that he did not find many voters demanding microchip legislation when he was campaigning last fall: “I didn’t hear anything about the danger of asteroids striking the Earth, about the threat posed by giant alligators in our cities’ sewer systems or about the menace of forced implantation of microchips in human beings.”

Reading that, it kinda makes me wonder if Bob’s not adequately prepared for a zombie attack.  Folks are supposed to take imaginary dangers seriously in Virginia, you know.

Updated to add link I originally left out.

At Least We Saw Blue Sky . . .

Lincoln Memorial in the snow

Public Wisdom

Jacob Weisberg, as part of the recent multi-party conversation on “liberal condescension”, identifies a point of central importance:

In trying to explain why our political paralysis seems to have gotten so much worse over the past year, analysts have rounded up a plausible collection of reasons including: President Obama’s tactical missteps, the obstinacy of congressional Republicans, rising partisanship in Washington, the blustering idiocracy of the cable-news stations, and the Senate filibuster, which has devolved into a super-majority threshold for any important legislation. These are all large factors, to be sure, but that list neglects what may be the biggest culprit in our current predicament: the childishness, ignorance, and growing incoherence of the public at large.

Whose fault? Our fault.

“Sarah Palin is a F–king Retard”

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Sarah Palin Uses a Hand-O-Prompter
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Economy

Taking Responsibility for Your Own

Fred Kaplan asks a question that really does need more attention: “Are there any Republican grown-ups out there, and, if there are, will they ever start coming to the aid of their party?”

This Is How We Lose

Inspired by a couple of commenters in a previous post:


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