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  • Today's comic by Tom Tomorrow is The surveillance society: a look back:
    Cartoon by Tom Tomorrow -- The surveillance society: a look back
  • This is what you missed on Sunday:
    Don’t laugh, but Rand Paul could be our next president, by Egberto Willies

    By hiring a climate disinformer, Nate Silver undermines his entire premise of data-driven journalism, by Laurence Lewis

    The RNC's new campaign: Selling millennials on a corporate agenda, by Dante Atkins

    Did Rand Paul just accuse Barack Obama of being 'not black enough?', by Ian Reifowitz

    Women's History: Asian and Asian Pacific Islander Americans, by Denise Oliver Velez

    The unlikely redemption of Safety Spider, by Hunter

    Noah brings the rain, by DarkSyde

  • Glenn Champ has experience at making the crooked straight. He's running for the GOP gubernatorial slot:
    Champ, who spoke for ten minutes at the California Republican Party’s semiannual convention last week, admits he’s had a little trouble with the law, like the whole sex offender thing, but he explains that the 1993 conviction on two counts of assault with intent to commit rape, which landed him on the sex offender registry, looks a lot worse than it really was, because, see, it “was just for picking up some underage prostitutes.” Plus, after that he found Jesus and turned his life around, except for the 1998 plea deal on loitering to solicit a prostitute, and then also the voluntary manslaughter conviction that same year for hitting a man with his vehicle, which again sounds far less terrible in his telling:
    “There was a situation where the gentleman, he was a little bit drunk and was trying to get violent and I left the area as quick as I could and apparently he got in the way. I didn’t see him or even know I hit him until about four hours later, till it came on the news,” Champ said.
  • Lucky, Lucky, Lucky cyclist sideswiped starting at about :20.
  • Blast from the Past—Paul Wolfowitz told us the Iraq war would pay for itself:
    In one of the most infamous quotes of the entire Iraq debacle, deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz (who continues today to defend the war), told the House Appropriations Committee eleven years ago this week that oil revenue earned by Iraq alone would pay for Iraq's reconstruction after the Iraq war. "The oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years. Now, there are a lot of claims on that money, but ... We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon."  How did that turn out?

    Christian Science Monitor two years ago summarized the costs this way:  "The Iraq war cost about $800 billion, or about $7.6 billion a month. When long term benefits are paid out connected with the death and injury of US troops there, the number is expected to rise to about $1 trillion, or about $9.5 billion a month. About $60 billion was spent directly on Iraq reconstruction efforts."

  • An electric thinking cap boosts learning speed:
    Caffeine-fueled cram sessions are routine occurrences on any college campus. But what if there was a better, safer way to learn new or difficult material more quickly? What if "thinking caps" were real?

    In a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, Vanderbilt psychologists Robert Reinhart, a Ph.D. candidate, and Geoffrey Woodman, assistant professor of psychology, show that it is possible to selectively manipulate our ability to learn through the application of a mild electrical current to the brain, and that this effect can be enhanced or depressed depending on the direction of the current.

  • Dorothy with the dragon tattoo
    This Wizard Of Oz synopsis never gets old. http://t.co/...
    @MeredithFrost
  • Iraq now operating some fast Chinese trains:
    The 10 new trains will roll on the Baghdad-Basra line, between Iraq’s capital and one of its key cities. It’s a line that’s been of strategic importance since it was built as part of the Baghdad Railway in the years surrounding World War I, and now it’s getting trains capable of 100 mph. [...]

    The new trains, built by China’s CSR, were delivered in February and will cut the journey time in half. They’re each made up of two diesel locomotives and eight passenger cars capable of holding 343 passengers, and come standard with air conditioning and sleeper compartments.

  • One in 2,058 American-born baby boomers notable enough to get a Wikipedia entry.
  • On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin helps round up Hobby Lobby, Nate Silver, Chris Christie, etc., before turning to Radley Balko's latest on the "warrior cop" theme, and the persistent Republican fantasy of "voluntarism."


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Comment Preferences

  •  I well recall Wolfowitz saying: war pay for itself (8+ / 0-)

    It was at a hearing

    I was struck by the statement at the time

    1 trillion later, ........

    An empire that has a trillion to throw down the drain but has wooden water supply pipes in some places has the wrong priorities.

  •  Don't do as I do, do as God told me (6+ / 0-)

    to tell you to do!

    Ladies and gentlemen, YOUR Republican Party!

    "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro"

    by gravlax on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:16:07 PM PDT

  •  Well, Toto, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gravlax, annieli, PSzymeczek, HeyMikey

    I don't think we're in Supermax anymore...

    "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

    by Mogolori on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:17:05 PM PDT

  •  Jim Carper, 1948-2014 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, viral, Eddie C, PSzymeczek

    Jim Carper was producer of 'After Hours' on Pacifica station KPFT in Houston, 90.1 FM. In his byline he characterized this program as "Queer Radio with Attitude." The program ran 3 to 4 hours starting at midnight on the weekend. Jim had a great sense of humor. He was not afraid to cover avant-garde subjects, like S&M culture.
    He died Jan. 27, 2014, at the age of 66 years and exactly 2 weeks.
    There were 2 memorial events. First there was the funeral on Feb. 23, at a funeral home in the Montrose area. It was attended by several important figures in the local Democratic Party. One of the speakers was Mayor Annise Parker.
    On March 16 there was a gathering at a bar, Tony's Corner Pocket at 817 West Dallas, near the edge of downtown. This event was for people who wanted to relate their memories of Jim. I was the first to speak. KPFT has quarterly fundraisers because it subsists on listeners' donations. Listeners can show their support for a program by calling in and pledging. There was a time when I called in to 'After Hours.' After I pledged the guy at the other end of the phone asked whether I had any comment to make. I said, "I am gayer than Jim Carper." The other guy said, "That's hard to do." When Jim thanked me on the air he chose a more serious subject. A municipal election was coming up. He said that I always say "VOTE." I thought "Hmmm .. he knows me better than I thought." I have talked voting in every election, no matter what, to many people, but I do not think I did to Jim. He must have gotten it second-hand.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:17:50 PM PDT

  •  why GOP voodoo economics never works (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eddie C, viral, Gooserock, JML9999, JeffW

    see also Iran-Contra as zero-sum game

    In one of the most infamous quotes of the entire Iraq debacle, deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz (who continues today to defend the war), told the House Appropriations Committee eleven years ago this week that oil revenue earned by Iraq alone would pay for Iraq's reconstruction after the Iraq war. "The oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years. Now, there are a lot of claims on that money, but ... We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon."  How did that turn out?
    Christian Science Monitor two years ago summarized the costs this way:  "The Iraq war cost about $800 billion, or about $7.6 billion a month. When long term benefits are paid out connected with the death and injury of US troops there, the number is expected to rise to about $1 trillion, or about $9.5 billion a month. About $60 billion was spent directly on Iraq reconstruction efforts."
    One of Porter's surprising implications is that former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates may have been the prime mover in the 20-year-old attack on Iran based on unsubstantiated claims that Iran is manufacturing nuclear weapons. Before plunging into the details of Porter's book or his information about Mr. Gates, let me state the book's conclusions unequivocally: Iran has never been proven to have a nuclear weapons program. Any claim to the contrary is absolutely false. The attempt to claim that such a weapons program exists was the result of a decades long effort on the part of American neoconservatives allied with right-wing forces in Israel to legitimize hostile actions against Iran designed to effect regime change there. Porter's overall account of the evolution of consensus about the threat of Iran's nuclear program is fascinating and appalling reading. It is fascinating because he has created a compelling narrative showing how the framework for attacking Iran compounded lies and misinformation over many years. It appears in this account that Robert Gates had a continuing central role.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:18:49 PM PDT

  •  I think any jury would let her off on the first (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crashing Vor, viral, Senor Unoball, JeffW

    death, that was clearly not her fault. And the second? Come on, a bucket of water? And she was trying to save the scarecrow from the fire. So I'm calling bunk on that movie review. ;D

    Food processed to be nothing more than simple starches with two dozen flavorings and stabilizers added to make it appear to be food isn't "food". It's "feed" -- what you give to livestock to fatten them up for slaughter.

    by ontheleftcoast on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:21:21 PM PDT

  •  would it be bad form to put up my own Wikipedia (6+ / 0-)

    page about myself . . . ?

    ;)

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:21:25 PM PDT

    •  Never be afraid of self-promotion. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eddie C, gravlax, JML9999, viral, JeffW

      It's often the only kind we get.

      Oh, yeah. And watch the new video.

      I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

      by Crashing Vor on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:24:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  in a word? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      viral, Eddie C, liberte, JML9999

      no

      "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro"

      by gravlax on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:28:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Reminds me of the Rodney Dangerfield Movie (8+ / 0-)

      As self made millionaire Thorton Mellon hires  Kurt Vonnegut to write a term paper on Kurt Vonnegut  and gets a F  because  according to the professor who ever wrote that paper didn't know a thing about Kurt  Vonnegut  

      I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

      by JML9999 on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:31:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You could redirect "Flanking Maneuver" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999, Calamity Jean

      I really don't appreciate your incivility and rudeness. Armando 7/23/11

      by liberte on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:45:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I got the credit for the term "quotemining", too (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, liberte, Calamity Jean

        Though in fairness I probably did not come up with it myself--I'm sure I must have heard it somewhere else beforehand.

        Those who were not involved with the creation-evolution fight back then will have no idea what either of us are talking about.  ;)

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:59:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I guess I should explain . . . (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JeffW, pvasileff, liberte

          Way back in the late 80's/early 90's, I was pretty involved with the anti-creationist fight online, at the old FIDONet Evolution forum and then the Usegroup "Talk.Origins", as well as my own "Creation 'Science' Debunked"website and email list. I was well-known enough that ICR and AiG several times singled me out in their website or newsletter (a badge of honor).

          One of my tactics was, whenever some fundie fruiter would babble about God this and Jesus that, to simply ask him why his religious opinion was any more authoritative or infallible than mine or my next door neighbor's or my car mechanic's or the kid who delivers my pizzas. The beauty of that question is that the fundie loses no matter what he answers: if he says something like "god loves me best" or "I know God better than everyone else", he just looks like a self-righteous holier-than-thou (literally) kook, and if he says something like "my opinion isn't better than anyone else's" then there's no reason to listen to his opinions (shrug). It always had them floundering in no time. The others on the forum soon dubbed it "The Flanking Maneuver", and my "Infallible Pizza Boy" became famous on every Internet creation/evolution forum.

          One of the favorite creationist tactics is "quotemining", in which they go through all of a scientist's writings to pull out-of-context snippets and dishonestly present them as if the scientist were supporting them when in fact said scientist thought they were full of shit. (It is still a standard tactic for most pseudoscientists.) Talk.Origins, Wikipedia, and Conservapedia all list me as the originator of the term and the first person to use it.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 01:19:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Actually they have a policy about this (0+ / 0-)

      called "conflict of interest." You can take a look at it on their site. (My sister and I want to upgrade the entry on our dad, and we have to follow the same rules.)

      Basically everything has to be cited to published sources. The "I know it happened because I was there" evidence doesn't count. And no, you're not supposed to just put up your own page. That's for Facebook.

  •  This is what you missed on Sunday (6+ / 0-)

    Three photos from my diary. I don’t expect anyone to read it. Dawn Chorus: Birding the Great Indoors (Part 2) is very long. One section is on the World of Birds in the Bronx Zoo, another is about JungleWorld and there is a third section about the present state of Bronx Zoo management but here are three wide views from JungleWorld.

    Masked Lapwing

    Painted Stork

    Java Whistling Duck

    In the three photos above, first a Masked Lapwing is hardly suffering from that caged in feeling. Then a Painted Stork has flown down from the colony of enormous nest to find a few goodies. In the third photo Java Whistling Ducks get their feet wet by the waterfall.

    Perhaps I’m wrong. Maybe there is someone here that will be interested in the close up of these birds or would like to read a fascinating story about an odd bird called the Maleo. If you are one of those people, click on Dawn Chorus: Birding the Great Indoors (Part 2)

  •  forget the thinking cap . . . (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, viral, PSzymeczek, JeffW

    What I want is The Matrix, where I can just download a couple files and learn kung fu.  And how to speak all the world's languages. And how to build my own helicopter.

    :)

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:23:54 PM PDT

  •  Sounds like the Klingon version of Wizard of Oz (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eddie C, viral, JeffW

    or as seen on Facebook

    "You kill my sister by  dropping a house on her, steal the poor dead  woman's shoes  And I'm the MONSTER!!!!"

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:27:14 PM PDT

  •  The Vatican's Response: Condoms!?! (0+ / 0-)

    Aw, come on, it's right there.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:28:55 PM PDT

  •  So... (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gravlax, JML9999, dog in va, liberte, JeffW, Jay C

    We spent $1 trillion in Iraq to open markets for... China?  Sounds about right.

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

    by RichM on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:29:53 PM PDT

    •  Sleeper cars for a 350 mile trip? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jay C, koNko

      I'm all for traveling in comfort, but that trip should only take from 3.5 to 7 hours.

      •  same time frame as NY-London (0+ / 0-)

        and people pay big bucks for a lie-flat seat in the premium cabin so they can get some shut-eye. The sleeper cars are also private so you don't have to mix with the hoi polloi.

      •  May not be the case (0+ / 0-)

        The Wired article seems to rely on this English language page on CSR's website (Chinese language page has same text but fewer photos), and although it lists numerous available features, it reads to me as a boiler-clad press release that was recycled.

        And yet, the photos of the rolling stock, which I think are the actual trains supplied, are set up for inter-city commuter use.  I'm familiar with CSR rolling stock and when there are sleeper cars the configuration is fundamentally different.

        Quite clearly, these are walk-though commuter rail cars that maximize standing room the meet the passenger numbers quoted, with sleepers, the passengers per car would be about a quarter of what is quoted.

        By the way, those cars are what we call "hard seat" in China and designed for minimal wasted space, and a very good choice for a start-up system with limited rolling stock. Later they could be upgraded.

        No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

        by koNko on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 06:27:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm sure there would be an Iraq market (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko

      I'm sure there would a market in Iraq for a competitively-priced American manufacturer of high-speed rail systems: only problem is, I don't think we have any!

      400 miles? Great: so now you can get from Baghdad to Basra on a train about twice as fast as you can get from L.A. to San Francisco!

      •  Siemens in Sacramento CA (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jay C

        Potentially could build similar trains since these are moderately fast inter-city commuter trains. Siemens builds similar trains in Europe and China and competes with CSR in the Chinese market.

        This train is not actually the type of HSR people will assume, but rather, the type capable of 100-150MPH depending on engine units.

        The US is more competitive in heavy diesel locomotives, GE actually sells a lot in the Chinese market for freight.

        For a line like the one in Iraq, you want a builder of rolling stock with integrated engine units. The CH6 shown in the photo is normally and electric platform, but in this case Iraq obviously specified diesel because they have more oil than reliable electricity.

        For this kind of train, Siemens, Bombadier, Kawasaki, CSR and their various joint ventures are the global suppliers.

        In fact, CSR and Bombardier have a JV for self-driven Metro rolling stock (Beijing, Guangzhou, Singapore Metros use some of these).

        No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

        by koNko on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 06:11:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  baby boomers on Wikipedia...why? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gravlax
    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz received a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard in 2013. His work focuses on using big-data sources to uncover previously hidden behaviors and attitudes. He is at work on a book based on his research. He is a quantitative analyst at Google.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:31:08 PM PDT

  •  It's a sad sad commentary when Iraq has (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, JML9999, liberte, JeffW, Jay C

    faster trains than the US.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:41:23 PM PDT

  •  Where's the "coke to the Vatican" link? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MTmofo, tarheelblue, JeffW

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 12:42:15 PM PDT

  •  OZ synopsis has the wrong attribution (0+ / 0-)

    meteor_blades: The OZ synopsis was written by Rick Polito.

    http://jimromenesko.com/...

  •  "I know kung fu" (0+ / 0-)

    I've been looking for scholarly work on augmented learning technology for some time, but didn't really know how to refine my search.  I've often dreamt of being able to pop a pill and a few minutes later master a language or skill.  Don't know if that's even remotely possible, but it's great to see people actually looking into it.

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