June 15th, 2012

Shouting Down that Uppity...

President Obama to Daily Caller reporter who heckled him during Rose Garden speech on immigration:

The next time I prefer you let me finish my statements before you ask a question.

Here is a link to the Youtube video (because when I attempt to embed it, I get a completely different video. WHY does this forum keep doing that? It's very frustrating.)

What Salon's Joan Walsh has aptly called “Frat Boy Conservatism” is on the rise, with conservatives getting bolder and bolder about revealing their contempt not just for President Obama, but for anyone who supports him. As Walsh points out, the Romney campaign has sent supporters to heckle David Axelrod at a press conference, and driven one of its buses around an Obama event, repeatedly honking its horn in an attempt to disrupt it. Now we have Daily Caller reporter Neal Munro interrupting the President during a speech.

The Caller has pronounced themselves “very proud” of Munro for “doing his job,” and Munro himself is now claiming it’s all a matter of bad timing, saying “I always go to the White House prepared with questions for our president. I timed the question believing the president was closing his remarks, because naturally I have no intention of interrupting the President of the United States.” It’s not an especially credible explanation if you watch the video.

I recently heard someone defend Joe Wilson yelling “you lie” at Obama during a speech as a daring, anti-authority gesture. It wasn’t, and neither is this most recent example. It’s an act, rather of entitlement, a gesture of white, authoritarian contempt for a man perceived as "not really the president" by virtue of his politics, his background, and his skin color.

Crossposted from Thoughtcrimes

Canada Vs Cabbage! Fight!


Would you pay C$28 (US$27; £18) for a cabbage? $65 for a bag of chicken? $100 for 12 litres of water? That's not the cost of a meal at a world-class restaurant, but the price of basic foodstuffs at supermarkets in the territory of Nunavut, in northern Canada.

Michael McMullen, vice president for the northern Canada division of the North West Company, which runs 132 stores in remote Canadian communities, says getting food into stores in the north can cost 11 times more than it does in the south of the country.

"Transport generally makes up 13% of our costs," he says. "It costs typically one cent a pound to send stock to Winnipeg, and 30 cents a pound to send something to Iqaluit by sea, but it costs $1.27/lb to air freight stock to Arviat in southern Nunavut, and $3.65/lb to fly something to Clyde River in northern Nunavut."

A federally funded programme, Nutrition North Canada Program (NNCP), gives subsidies to retailers who are supposed to lower the prices of essential healthy foods in communities without regular road or water access.

Mr McMullen says the scheme, which pays $53.9m a year, has brought the cost of four litres of milk down from $15.19 to $7.79, but he concedes that more needs to be done to make food affordable.

Reading this got me thinking about the practicalities of moving food in remote and developing nations. And while there might be some people in Nunavut who aren't getting enough to eat no one is going to strave either. But I can't help but think that this is what scientists like to call "a natural experiment" and that there's something that could be learned here that could help very poor nations.

First, this does seem to be a case where government subsities actually work and do what they're supposed to. On the other hand, if I'm doing my math right, that's around $1,800 per person per year. So clearly that's something Canada can pull off but a poor nation couldn't without international aid.

 But in looking at this all I think the real key is infrastructure. Get goods to where they need to be fast and cheaply. Of course, this being important is hardly a new idea. But I think that if we were to make that a harder focus when it comes to aiding developing countries we'd see a better return.



Friday WTF-LOL: Brat king is killing presidents now?

So, HBO found itself in the middle of a small shitstorm, when it turned out one of the beheaded victims of King Joffrey's killing spree in Kings Landing was... George W Bush. :-O
"We just had to use whatever head we had around, soorrryyyy!", the Game of Thrones crew whined. (story, courtesy of telemann)

...Heads on a pike, yay!

Nah, I'd say it was just one of the many faces of the faceless Jaqen H'ghar.


Hell, people see Jesus on cookies when they want to see Jesus!

What say you?


Adderall in the water

A question to those who belive in the greater good.

One of the things that always buged me about arguments for universal health care is the ambiguity of the term "basic care". to me this means vaccinations and an ambulance ride if you need it. To others "basic" includes any number of treatments for any number of conditions.

However in the spirit of this month's topic I want to raise the following questions.

Let us suppose for a moment that drug companies move beyond treating existing conditions and actually start developing drugs that improve baseline human performance. Would a universal healthcare system be obligated to provide such treatments? Is there a moral/ethical argument AGAINST spiking the meals of under-performing students with Adderall 2.0?

Alternatly if a social group is doing "too well" is there a moral/ethical argument for denying them such treatments?

I'm trying to be rationally consistant here but the answers I'm comming up with are really starting to scare me.

And yes I did watch GATTACA last night why do you ask?

RaceBase Part deux: the Deconstruct of the Black Family Unit

What happens when you take 15 helicopter moms of African American Heritage, one preschool graduation, one 'man' and one cap and gown for every graduate to use for photos, add a disturbing trend of entitlement to said community, and we get a lesson in Great Parenting:

From npr

Essentially the video shows an all-out brawl at Weemes Elementary School in Los Angeles, except the ones shouting and fighting are not the kids, but a group of mothers. What's most striking is the screams from the children watching the fight.

As EAGnews says it's "ridiculous" and "a pathetic display of parenting and a miserable example for young kids.."

EAGnews reports that the fight started over the one cap and gown that all the graduating preschoolers had to share.

I could find 50 other examples of such bad behavior by parents and adults in front of children of all colors, but this seems more the common situation. It has been well documented that the Century old white power conspiracy to provide nothing but a poor education system for minorities, coupled with the decimation of the black male (and female) populus from the so called Prison Industrial Complex has put a tremendous burden upon the females of the community to try and break the cycle.

If anyone has had to deal with such self-proclaimed entitled citizens like I have, it is basically impossible to call someone out on bad behavior without the R-card thrown out. This is shit that our grandfathers and their fathers allowed. Now we have to deal with it.

Question: is it even possible in today's volatile political environment to rationally discuss what exactly is wrong, and how to remedy this destruction of a vital part of our citizen collective.