|Linoleum print by Daniel Hodgkinson.|
Looks like Mr. LessThanPerfect deleted the tweet, but luckily I made a screen shot:
|Linoleum print by Daniel Hodgkinson.|
Shorter Maureen Dowd, "Is Barry Whiffing?" New York Times, April 30 2012:
So remember when we were in like eighth grade and you were cool and I like wrote "Mrs. Barry Obama" in my economics notebook with all those little hearts and I would have totally done you I mean all the way and I'm not even fucking kidding? And now you're in math club? I'm like don't even try to speak to me you herb.
|Image via Graphics18.|
|Image by FBarok via Ken's Birdhaus.|
“Inequality is the root of social evil,” Pope Francis wrote in a Twitter post yesterday, with words that thrilled the left worldwide more than anything he had said since denouncing “trickle-down theories” of economics. We could read the definite article in his latest statement as indicating that the pope believes all social evil has inequality at its root. The price of that reading, though, would be to render the statement absurd. (In an apostolic exhortation, Francis had called inequality the root of “social ills,” which also suggests that reading is mistaken.)I don't know about the thrill among the worldwide left there, since I haven't heard about it in my own circle and Ponnuru doesn't offer any links, but I did think it was curious how he seems to think you could appeal to the tweet's English grammar as a window onto the Pope's thinking in what presumably started off in some other language, like maybe Italian.*
Shorter David Brooks, "Saving the System", New York Times, April 29, 2012:
I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I do this grand strategy thing at Yale with a bunch of guys that you probably never heard of because it's, shall we say, kind of exclusive. Not Humility Studies, if you know what I mean. We were just emailing each other the other day about the state of the world, too, and how difficult it is for America to make all the other countries do what we want any more, and how stupid and petty-minded voters are, and I mentioned this article I saw in Foreign Affairs, and I can tell you we are very concerned.
|Image from OceanWisher.|
|My Heart is a Ticking Time Bomb by txgirlinaz at DeviantArt.|
since they manage to provoke devout Christians and authentic Muslim moderates as much as they do jihadistsbut finds it important to remind everybody that he doesn't believe the waterboarding performed by the CIA amounted to torture, because if you're being responsible you'll stick to legal definitions, as in the US Criminal Code, according to which torture only takes place in the event of "severe mental pain or suffering", that is,
|Not fooling anybody, but his piano teacher would be proud.|
|Images via Goodreads.|
The book is very good and interesting, but it has pretty obvious weaknesses. Though economists are really not good at predicting the future, Piketty makes a series of educated guesses about the next century.Well, that's a pretty obvious weakness, anyway. I mean, some of those predictions may well fail to come true, depending on what they are. So it turns out that there's no need to read it, which is a good thing, since it probably has a lot of math in it.
|Via Erik Loomis at LGM.|
|Photo by David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons.|
I apologize in advance, because I am going to talk about a book that I have not yet read. To be clear, I intend to read Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century.” It is sitting on my (virtual) bedside with a big stack of other (digital) books that I intend to read. But it’s far down in the queue, and I’m afraid that I can’t wait to weigh in — not on the book itself, but on its topic.But the topic might not be what you think it is, you know. You might want to at least read a couple of reviews all the way through, huh?
Shorter David Brooks, "The Leadership Emotions", April 22 2014:
Barack lacks all conviction, while Joe Biden
Is full of passionate intensity.
|O Captain! My Captain!.|
|Pillars of the Community, Madison County, 1939, via Shorpy. Always a false front.|
.@unitedliberty: One of the saddest #Obamacare horror stories yet http://t.co/zRgsWajaTUWow, it's been a while! Glad to see you're still on your game and all. And tell us all about Madison County, Alabama, and its tragically dispossessed widows?
— Heritage Foundation (@Heritage) April 21, 2014
Madison County Commissioner Roger Jones said no one realized just how much the new federal health care law would change things, especially for the spouses of some of his former employees.“What I’m trying to do is get this coverage back to them,” said Jones. “A lot of these people are on fixed incomes. Some of them are living on Social Security and very little else, and health insurance is very important to them.”
we're rapidly moving towards a state where inherited wealth dominates. I didn't know that. I really was-- I should've known it. I should've thought about it, but I didn't. And so then here comes this book with-- I mean, it's beautiful-- absolutely analytically beautiful, if that makes any sense at all.... You suddenly say, "Oh, this is not-- the world is not the way I saw it."(h/t Marie2 at Booman Tribune)
Flush with revenue and stirred by the promise of technocratic mastery, our government took on immense entitlement commitments and major social reforms in that era, and these have certainly had some of their intended consequences. But they have also struck at the roots (economic and especially moral) of our ability to sustain our strength. The collapse of the family among the poor — powerfully propelled by the ethic of social democracy and by a horrendously designed welfare system that was not improved until the mid-1990s — has vastly worsened social and economic inequality in America, and the capacity of generations to rise out of poverty.I'd say that's yet another chance for Levin to show that conservatives can be just as open-minded and ready to bend their opinions to fit the facts as liberals are. How about it, Dr. L? Anything about the Piketty-Saez data make you want to rethink your premises there?
|Drawing by Martin Rowson.|
I'd like to say I scooped Douthat on this one, but truth is it's not really news except the bodily resurrection part, and I totally missed the lede anyway, which is about the French economist Thomas Piketty, whose newly translated Capital in the Twenty-First Century is causing [jump]IN the season of resurrection, it’s fitting that he’s with us once again — bearded, prophetic, moralistic, promising to exalt the humble and cast down the mighty from their thrones.Yes, that’s right: Karl Marx is back from the dead.
|From the monumental OMFG Raptor Jesus by Benpadiah.|
|Via Chris Allen. Good post, too.|
|Drawing by A.F. Branco for The Liberty Alliance. This one apparently not meant ironically.|
Yikes! This is how #Obamacare is treating young people: pic.twitter.com/4ZiWBRd3E7
— Heritage Foundation (@Heritage) April 11, 2014
I was surprised that people who witnessed me risk my life to expose the surveillance practices of my own country could not believe that I might also criticise the surveillance policies of Russia, a country to which I have sworn no allegiance, without ulterior motive. I regret that my question could be misinterpreted, and that it enabled many to ignore the substance of the question – and Putin's evasive response – in order to speculate, wildly and incorrectly, about my motives for asking it.Let the record show that I, for one, would easily believe that he might have criticized the neo-Tsarist police state without ulterior motive, and I'm also starting to believe that story that Greenwald promised him he could go to China and enjoy their freedom of speech and have his own pet phoenix. But not everybody involved is so innocent, starting with Vladimir Vladimirovich and working back to 2009 or so, when the CIA sent young Snowden to NSA by means of a very curious mistake.
|Philip Kovacs at Education Week. 2011.|
“I don’t believe this is a conservative, or moderate, or liberal issue,” Christie concluded. “I don’t believe this is a Republican or Democrat issue. Because, let me tell you, I know as many drug-addicted Republicans as I know drug-addicted Democrats.”OK, I'll let you tell me. But I want numbers.
|From artsy tumblr ChrisChristieEats.|
|Image by John S. Dykes for Wall Street Journal, July 2012.|
One front many people didn’t take too seriously, however, was renewable energy. Sure, cap-and-trade might make more room for wind and the sun, but how important could such sources really end up being? And I have to admit that I shared that skepticism. If truth be told, I thought of the idea that wind and sun could be major players as hippie-dippy wishful thinking. But I was wrong.Still no data on Levin. In 2008, incidentally, he wrote on the subject of climate change denialism,
the genuine abuses of science have been (and frankly continue to be — just listen to “rolling back the waters” Obama lately) more serious on the left in this debate than on the right.Maybe now we have some hard evidence on the relative abusiveness of left and right in this connection, this could be a good opportunity for him to demonstrate his ability to revise his views in the light of reality. I can't find that he's said anything on the subject at all lately.
|Probably from a Tellyvision show called "Lost Girl", via TheMonkeyTwin.|
Shorter David Brooks, "When the Circus Descends", New York Times, April 18 2014:
It's centrist street cred time, so I'd like to pause here to mention how fond I am of a pragmatic little idea out there minding its own business when an ideological circus drops on its head, which is a new metaphor for Both Sides Doing It. Thus the crazy right believes that the Common Core State Standards for education are a Communist conspiracy. Also the left doesn't like them either for some [jump]
Things go better w @CocaCola v @Obewise RT @MarquardtA Another from the "Militants with Kids" series from Sloviansk pic.twitter.com/aFOvL3UWlZI have a Croatian friend—for well over 20 years, in fact, meaning I first really got to know him during the collapse of Yugoslavia, when he was pretty militant, as you might be too if you knew Slobodan Milošević was trying to murder your mother along with all her neighbors, and even though one of his best friends was a Serb. But he mellowed to some extent thereafter.
— Ani Wandaryan (@GoldenTent) April 16, 2014
It was actually quite a long time before 2012, as the following paragraph makes clear: a good 26 years. Whereas her sentence makes it sound as if he offed himself while the movie was in post-production. Or I'm misreading that comma, and the idea is that he proposed the sequel just before doing himself in, as if it were the idea itself that drove him to despair.It was a sequel idea proposed by Tony Scott, who directed the blockbuster “Top Gun,” before he committed suicide in 2012.
Jerry Bruckheimer, who co-produced the 1986 movie, which he once described as “‘Star Wars’ on earth,” recently revealed to The Huffington Post that he and Cruise are getting “closer and closer” to a deal to make “Top Gun 2.”
|From "The Incredibly Fantastic Adventures of Maureen Dowd", via Comics Alliance, 2010.|
The New York Police Department has abandoned a secretive program that dispatched plainclothes detectives into Muslim neighborhoods to eavesdrop on conversations and built detailed files on where people ate, prayed and shopped, the department said. The decision by the nation’s largest police force to shutter the surveillance program represents the first sign that William J. Bratton, the department’s new commissioner, is backing away from some of the post-9/11 intelligence-gathering practices of his predecessor. The move comes as the federal government reconsiders and re-evaluates some of its post-9/11 policies, including the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection.
|Homemade matzoh, via BetterBatter.|
Shorter David Brooks, "A Long Obedience", New York Times, April 15 2014:
Passover is such a liberal holiday, with all this emphasis on slaves escaping to freedom and getting to do whatever they want, so I prefer to ignore it, and get an early start on Shavuot instead.A remarkably rich and insane column, seriously suggesting that the feast of the Passover is mistaken in celebrating the Hebrews' escape from their Egyptian bondage when it ought to be celebrating God's giving to Moses of the Law (613 count 'em 613 commandments) 40 years later (and seven weeks later in the Jewish calendar, when it has its own holiday, as Brooks surely knows, the Feast of Weeks, June 3-5 this year), which Brooks says was a "re-binding", as clarified in the commentaries of Rabbis Adams, Jefferson, and Franklin:
|MICEX index April 2013 to April 2014: Wheee! Via Bloomberg from Econbrowser.|
|Apropos of nothing in particular... Via SpydersDen.|
Shorter Ross Douthat, "Diversity and Dishonesty", New York Times, 13 April 2014:
University faculty should be encouraged to engage in research promoting or justifying oppression or tainted by racism, sexism, or heterosexism, because freedom.Hahaha, just kidding. The Apostolic Nuncio to 42nd Street merely argued that tenured faculty should be permitted to engage in such research, against the threat represented by Sandra Korn, a Harvard senior and twice-a-month columnist at the influential Crimson newspaper, who wrote a piece in February expressing a certain nostalgia for the Harvard of [jump]
Prominent young right winger says conservatives are the new blacks, Colbert skit amounts to 'political blackface' http://t.co/BMBbgRMdclSo true. Everywhere they go, conservatives face heartrending discrimination simply because of who they are.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) April 12, 2014
|Herded into segregated schools.|
|"Conservatives only" drinking fountains.|
|Wasn't Rosa Parks ordered to the back of the taxi?|
|Flag dance choreographed by the Ming dynasty imperial prince, mathematician, astronomer, and music theorist Zhu Zaiyu (1536-1611), famous for his discovery of a precise method of calculating equal temperament in 1585, ahead of Europeans. Image from Wikimedia Commons.|
|Nine seconds of trades as seen by HFT algorithms, visualized by Nanex, via TheFutureReset.|
Most of us have been seized at one time or another by what I call the explanatory drive, by which I mean a biological urge to explain things at some length, if not to others then at least to oneself; when you are confronted by a puzzle, riddle, or enigma and cannot rest through your long, haunted nights until you have wrestled that sucker to the ground, figured it out, and shouted, "Eureka!" or words to that effect.
We're all familiar with the explanatory drive, but I never realized I could incorporate it into my narrative of how traditional Tory morality makes [jump]
Without (it seems) a hint of irony, Paul Krugman argued on Monday that everyone is subject to confirmation bias except for people who agree with him. He was responding to this essay Ezra Klein wrote for his newly launched site, Vox.com, which took up the question of confirmation bias and the challenges it poses to democratic politics. Krugman acknowledged the research that Klein cites but then insisted that his own experience suggests it is actually mostly people he disagrees with who tend to ignore evidence and research that contradicts what they want to believe, while people who share his own views are more open-minded, skeptical, and evidence driven. I don’t know when I’ve seen a neater real-world example of an argument that disproves itself.With the implication that I'm rubber, you're glue, and neener neener neener. Or as Jennifer Rubin calls it,
|Image via Examiner.com.|
|Photo from It's a Vertical Life.|
Over the past few weeks, I’ve found myself in a bunch of conversations in which the unspoken assumption was that the main goal of life is to maximize happiness. That’s normal.Because I do not think it is normal to have a large number of conversations devoted to this unless you are seeing a therapist.
the big thing that suffering does is it takes you outside of precisely that logic that the happiness mentality encourages. Happiness wants you to think about maximizing your benefits.Thus it makes you more empathetic, like Franklin Roosevelt (had polio), or more likely to write something like the Second Inaugural Address of Abraham Lincoln (conducted the Civil War). Or more, um, spiritual?
even when tranquillity begins to come back, or in those moments when grief eases, it is not clear where the relief comes from. The healing process, too, feels as though it’s part of some natural or divine process beyond individual control.... The right response to this sort of pain is not pleasure. It’s holiness. I don’t even mean that in a purely religious sense.The right response to this kind of babbling is to draw the curtain, put your finger over your lips, and whisper, "I think he's feeling a little better."
|Who says Easter eggs have no religious significance? At Citarella's Gourmet Market on the Upper Left Side a Jewish egg celebrating the Creation? An aesthete egg celebrating Michelangelo? It's two or three feet high not counting its lotus pedestal and appears to be covered in real chocolate. The buildings are Broadway reflected in window glass. It's years since I've felt myself able to afford anything there other than squid ink, which I can't find anywhere else, but an astonishing place.|
|Hamid Abutalebi looking a little like a Truffaut character, not too terrorizing. Via Al-Monitor.|
|Once again, a Jennifer Rubin of a different choler. Via IMDB.|
If you believe that President Obama’s Iran policy is correct, then you must assume Iran is a normal state like other states, that its leaders want their country to prosper and that it wants to function as a nation-state in the “international community.” For it is only such a state that would willingly give up its illegal nuclear program in order to reintegrate back into the “international community.” Only a run-of-the-mill regime would put the welfare of its own people over the retention of an unusual weapon system, the sole purpose of which is to terrorize and blackmail neighbors.You know, I really don't want to talk about the character of a regime that would retain an unusual weapon system, the sole purpose of which is to terrorize and blackmail neighbors, but I swear I will if you make me.
|Salavat, Afghanistan, September 2010 © Anja Niedringhaus/AP|
|Kabul, Afghanistan, September 2009 © Anja Niedringhaus/AP|
|Dave Whitlam, The Kindness of Strangers (DeviantArt, 2014).|