Tuesday, April 15, 2014

West Coast

A new single by Lana Del Rey. The voice and music are as usual dreamy but the video is boring.

James & Peta

Received the first perfect score last night on DWTS.

Petition for a fair tax system

See Robert Reich's video below on how the tax code is rigged to make the working class bear the brunt, while the rich get off easy. We'd have plenty of government money for social welfare programs, infrastructure rebuilding, teachers, police etc. if but the rich would pay their fair share, not an extra share. But no, the Ryan budget wants to give the rich even more breaks while raising our taxes and gutting education, social welfare, teachers etc. If you're fed up watch the video and sign the petition, thanks.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Study finds that the US is an ologarchy

Funny how sometimes it takes science to catch up with common wisdom. In this case, they finally figured out the obvious, but with 'science' behind it now some people might take this as more than rhetoric. Some with half a brain, that is. An excerpt:

"Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. [...] America's claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened by [...] the nearly total failure of 'median voter' and other Majoritarian Electoral Democracy theories [of America]. When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy."

DC's cherry blossoms

Tis the season and by the pictures it was spectacular. See the link for more pics.


Senator Sanders on income inequality

He is his usual self in this Senate speech. I truly hope he decides to run for President, for this is the People's candidate. One can also see the transcript here.

The not so mysterious disappearance of democracy


Posthumanism

With the advent of the new movie Transcendence it seems many visions of the transhuman are disembodied, like robotics or transferring our consciousness into a virtual reality. Or at the very least enhancing the human with machinery, like those mechanical suits worn in Avatar. Here's a review of a book that goes in the other direction, back to embodiment and away from the 'subject' of modernism, in which the usual transhuman visions like the above are still embedded to create a super human subject. A few excerpts:

"The problem with much of what passes for posthumanism (or sometimes transhumanism) is that it is not sufficiently posthuman....[it] explicitly grounds the post/transhumanist project in notions of human perfectibility, rationality, and agency....[or] promotion of the new science as a tool of human mastery over the natural world.....[it] is not abandoning the autonomous liberal subject but is expanding its prerogatives into the realm of the posthuman."

Instead it might be more like the following:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sonson

Balder introduced me to this group. You can listen to and buy their record here, A Shine Below the Mound. Several songs remind me a lot of The Doors music.


Study finds that government listens to the rich

Big surprise, eh? See this report. While it's true that despite popular opinion polls, the rich get what they want and the government could give a shit less about the people. However the study did find that the government listens to 'interest groups,' especially when the rich are involved. So one progressive strategy is to form giant interest groups where the progressive rich are involved. Yes, there are progressive rich people like George Soros and Bill Maher, so the key is to organize with money behind you. Recall this article about the noblesse oblige, so let's enlist them to organize with us. Moveon.org is one such example.