fat and sassy

You cannot call this a Democracy!

Call us a Plutocracy‘Republican policy is based on the premise that the top income segment does not have enough income.’

The Congressional Budget Office shows a stunning shift in income in this country over the last three decades. This is not repaired with political tweaking.

‘America needs more inequality? Seems to me we have enough.’

If all these rich emigrated, would we miss the money we’ve already lost?

boomer rejuvenator

OK. Let’s tell a story about two groups of men in their seventies and eighties, in vans.

They are driven two hours north to a sprawling old monastery in New Hampshire, and dropped off 22 years earlier, in 1959. Yes, 22 years earlier, in 1959.

The group who went first stayed for one week and were asked to pretend they were young men, living in the 1950s.

The second group, who arrived the week afterward, were told to stay in the present and simply reminisce about that era.

Both groups were surrounded by mid-century mementos—1950s issues of Life magazine and the Saturday Evening Post, a black-and-white television, a vintage radio—and they discussed the events of the time: the launch of the first U.S. satellite, Castro’s victory ride into Havana, Nikita Khrushchev and the need for bomb shelters.

…Before and after the experiment, both groups of men took a battery of cognitive and physical tests, and after just one week, there were dramatic positive changes across the board. …Both groups were stronger and more flexible. Height, weight, gait, posture, hearing, vision—even their performance on intelligence tests had improved. Their joints were more flexible, their shoulders wider, their fingers not only more agile, but longer and less gnarled by arthritis.

But the men who had acted as if they were actually back in 1959 showed significantly more improvement. Those who had impersonated younger men seemed to have bodies that actually were younger.

Boy oh boy. There oughta be a boomer rejuvenator resort in every county!

tip to Deric Bownds

induced bias

Power Trip: People in a position of power display behavior patterns commonly associated with damage to the portions of the cerebral cortex that govern empathy and the ability to imagine the world from others’ perspective.

Power kills the ability even to understand that there are other perspectives than those of the hierarchy.

drive by scanners

Backscatter x-ray scanners found in airports have also been sold to US and other governments.

Drive-by scanners

So what’s in your car?

Mike Masnick points out, “A decade ago, the Supreme Court ruled that using thermal imaging to scan someone’s house (say, for potential marijuana growing) was a search, and thus subject to the 4th Amendment requirement for a warrant.”

Surveillance is booming. It’s a tricky issue we’ll take years to manage, first by discovering if we’re thinking about the society we want and if we have the power to get there.

millions losing years

30 years downBonker theories gone bust.

←housing losses (,000) [stats]

No one has a good excuse for this except distraction and outright dereliction.

Our record lows are not merely economic.

do the math

As world’s population moves toward 9 billion, be ready to spend…

New cities everywhere$350 trillion.
Seven times the global GDP !

Cities will spend $350 trillion on the construction, operation, and maintenance of infrastructure,  power and distribution, residential and commercial buildings, water and waste, roads and transport, and information technology.

nostalgia byte me

Windows 95 is 15 years old. I can hardly believe the distance, the changes….

Windows 95: n.  —32 bit extensions and a graphical shell for a 16 bit patch to an 8 bit operating system originally coded for a 4 bit microprocessor written by a 2 bit company that can’t stand 1 bit of competition.

that’s the next stage

“You know, when I talk about a war and a battle and soldiers we have to take up our…our cry for freedom. And we can do it right now at the battle box… I mean at the ballot box.”

GOP nominee Sharon Angle is running against Harry Reid in Nevada:

“And these programs that you mentioned — that Obama has going with Reid and Pelosi pushing them forward — are all entitlement programs built to make government our God.

“And that’s really what’s happening in this country is a violation of the First Commandment. We have become a country entrenched in idolatry, and that idolatry is the dependency upon our government. We’re supposed to depend upon God for our protection and our provision and for our daily bread, not for our government.

“And I knew that all along when I started praying over a year ago over it. And this just seemed to be the battle that I needed to go to war with. And I need warriors to stand beside me. You know, this is a war of ideology, a war of thoughts and of faith. And we need people to really stand for faith and trust, not hope and change.”

dark underbelly

Obama. The full quote is on page 261:

“Of course, not all my conversations in immigrant communities follow this easy pattern. In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from their neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific reassurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political wings shift in an ugly direction.”

prison of snooping

The editors at The Economist:

The internet, obviously, began with a promise of anonymity, not surveillance.

It was a place where nobody knew you were a dog, a technological incarnation of the Central Park Rambles. It took many years, and many embarrassing posts and emails, for people to realise that beneath the digital Rambles lurked a panopticon.

When people obsess over the privacy architecture embedded in Facebook, this is what they’re worried about. They worry that they are in a space that deliberately creates the illusion of privacy in order to tempt participants to engage in revealing behaviour, which can then be leveraged for fun and profit by the observers secretly taping the proceedings through one-way mirrors.

jailhouse heat zapper

Raytheon says its millimeter wave ‘heat ray’ is safe and “offers the best non-lethal solution available”. Inmates in the Los Angeles jail system will soon find out.

Raytheon jailhouse heat rayAn ‘intolerable heating sensation’.

In a dorm assault, where you might have 150 inmates screaming, we can’t stop that assault until we gather a response force, and we’re hoping to utilize the technology to target the inmate that is precipitating the attack and stop it until we can bring in the cavalry.

“And if I was someone intent on murdering another human being, we need to know if [the pain] will be intense enough to cause me to stop, and there is no way to know other than to use it.”

We’ll also want an entirely new spin on the Jailhouse Blues, ladies & gentleman; the Directed Energy Assault Intervention Blues.

Other tech on the horizon:

—an LED Incapacitator pulsing high-intensity light and color,
—front-line audio video feed from riot officers to command center,
—peek-around cameras and through-the-wall radar,
—urban-scale unmanned aerial vehicles,
—drug, chemical and contraband sniffers…

Operated by a joystick, the AID system ’emits a focused beam of wave energy that travels at the speed of light, penetrating the skin to a depth of 1/64 of an inch and producing a heating sensation that causes targeted individuals to flee. The sensation will immediately cease when the targeted individual moves away from the beam.’

More than 14,000 human effect tests completed !

push the boat out


Push the boat out, compañeros,
push the boat out, whatever the sea.
Who says we cannot guide ourselves
through the boiling reefs, black as they are,
the enemy of us all makes sure of it!
Mariners, keep good watch always
for that last passage of blue water
we have heard of and long to reach
(no matter if we cannot, no matter!)
in our eighty-year-old timbers
leaky and patched as they are but sweet
well seasoned with the scent of woods
long perished, serviceable still
in unarrested pungency
of salt and blistering sunlight. Out,
push it all out into the unknown!
Unknown is best, it beckons best,
like distant ships in mist, or bells
clanging ruthless from stormy buoys.

via wood s lot

motivational research

The Conquest of Cool:

So if you want a car that sticks out a little, you know just what to do.

  1. Buy this. You will benefit.

Reality in Advertising, Rosser Reeves

“I’ve read some unkind reviews about this book. I challenge anyone to find a greater book for the advertising professional. I have some four decades of advertising experience under my belt and I learn each time I read this book. I value the words as if they were freshly found gold coins.

“If I had a choice of being a copywriter like Rosser Reeves and one of these ‘gurus’ of today who is so in love with his own words and style to showcase his own talents, I’ll choose Reeves. —Susanna K. Hutcheson

quality of strife

real housing pricesHousing prices due to sloppy Republican game and extraction theories. OK. So now we know the real story. Or do we?

“Many real estate experts now believe that home ownership will never again yield rewards like those enjoyed in the second half of the 20th century, when houses not only provided shelter but also a plump nest egg.

“The wealth generated by housing in those decades, particularly on the coasts, did more than assure the owners a comfortable retirement. It powered the economy, paying for the education of children and grandchildren, keeping the cruise ships and golf courses full and the restaurants humming.

“More than likely, that era is gone for good.”

Janes Kwak, economist:

The chart above shows simply that that era never existed; housing was flat for a long time, and then there was a bubble. Instead, we had the illusion of an era of housing appreciation, produced mainly by leverage and price illusion. That whole phenomenon was just a transfer of wealth within society.

House prices must go up?

“People think it’s a law of nature.”

We know it’s not. We know now that real demand, (caused by business expansion, household growth, and immigration), plus fake demand (caused by failed home finance regulation, and over-zealous homeownership bias) add up to a triple boom and a quadruple bust.

modern absconding

Pilfering our pockets, banks will maintain that they are merely recouping lost income….

Here’s a tidbit to clarify the tilt in our thinking: “The thirteen-digit ($1,250,000,000,000) number that’s being tossed around – the chin-scratching classes like to speak of ‘systemic risk’ – is designed to convince us little people that there is a crisis at hand and therefore, if we somehow end up paying for it, it’s for our own good. In other words, to save the king’s castle, it is necessary to destroy the people’s village.

Credit cards have long been a critical tool for small business. This particular squeeze is market repression.

friendly glass

Safe glass for birdsMore than 100 million birds die each year in a collision with our windows. An award winning glass coating is coming to market that’s transparent to humans but appears to birds as a snarl of spider webs.

Birds see what’s outside reflected on the window. Do what you can to break up reflections with decals or decor, screens or coverings. Install windows at a tilt.

Move feeders and perches about 3 feet from windows —they won’t be flying fast enough to get hurt.

covert billionaires

We know nothing about the rich. Few if any on the hot seat. We are content with smaller fry I suppose.

New Yorker:

Billionaires David and Charles Koch operate oil refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, and control some four thousand miles of pipeline. Koch Industries owns Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, among other products. Forbes ranks it as the second-largest private company in the country. Their combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars is exceeded only by those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation.

Grassroots democracy brought to you by billionaires.

treating mental illness stalls

The full text of this snippet is behind a Science paywall. Greg Miller’s headline is a question, Is Pharma Running Out of Brainy Ideas? His entire abstract questions.

On 4 February, GlaxoSmithKline announced that it planned to pull the plug on drug discovery in some areas of neuroscience, including pain and depression. A few weeks later, news came that AstraZeneca was closing research facilities in the United States and Europe and ceasing drug-discovery work in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety.

These cutbacks by two of the top players in drug development for disorders of the central nervous system have raised concerns that the pharmaceutical industry is pulling out, or at least pulling back, in this area. In direct response to the cuts at GSK and AstraZeneca, the Institute of Medicine Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders organized a meeting in late June that brought together leaders from government, academia, and private foundations to take stock.

But the biggest problem, researchers say, is that there is almost nothingin the pipeline that gives any hope for a transformation in the treatment of mental illness. That’s worrying, they say, because the need for better treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders is vast.

Hundreds of millions of people are afflicted worldwide. Yet for some common disorders, like Alzheimer’s disease, no truly effective treatments exist; for others, like depression, the existing drugs have limited efficacy and substantial side effects.