June 2009 Archives

Michael Jackson's Mirror. - Ta-Nehisi Coates:

"I think, despite the jokes and the sarcasm, we all knew what the plastic surgery was about. There was the stuff that MJ did that we joked about because it was weird, and there was the stuff he did that we joked about because it made us uncomfortable, because it told us something really ugly about the way things are and about ourselves too--I'm not talking just about white people, it's 2009 and 'good hair' hasn't gone out of style quite yet. I think things are different from the way they were in Jackson's heyday. But not so different that it's funny."

(Via Ta-Nehisi Coates.)

Wall Street and the Third World | vanityfair.com:

"The former Communist countries generally turned, after the dismal failure of their postwar system, to market capitalism, replacing Karl Marx with Milton Friedman as their god. The new religion has not served them well. Many countries may conclude not simply that unfettered capitalism, American-style, has failed but that the very concept of a market economy has failed, and is indeed unworkable under any circumstances. Old-style Communism won’t be back, but a variety of forms of excessive market intervention will return. And these will fail. The poor suffered under market fundamentalism—we had trickle-up economics, not trickle-down economics. But the poor will suffer again under these new regimes, which will not deliver growth. Without growth there cannot be sustainable poverty reduction. There has been no successful economy that has not relied heavily on markets. Poverty feeds disaffection. The inevitable downturns, hard to manage in any case, but especially so by governments brought to power on the basis of rage against American-style capitalism, will lead to more poverty. The con?sequences for global stability and American security are obvious."

(Via Vanity Fair.)

Great and succinct critique on market fundamentalism ("free markets can solve any problem").

Obama puts critics of financial overhaul on notice - Yahoo! News:

"'It will have the power to set tough new rules so that companies compete by offering innovative products that consumers actually want and actually understand,' Obama said. 'Those ridiculous contracts — pages of fine print that no one can figure out — will be a thing of the past. You'll be able to compare products, with descriptions in plain language, to see what is best for you.'"

(Via Yahoo! News.)

This is exactly what these companies don't want.

What Single Women Can’t Learn From Michelle:

"Black women hoping for a monopoly on black men have to realize that they’re like General Motors in a Toyota world—either develop your own hybrid technology or prepare to go out of business. "

(Via The Root.)

AT&T iPhone customers: tethering is coming, for a price:

"It won't be coming cheaply, however; appmodo's source says a tethering option will cost AT&T customers a whopping $55 a month."

(Via The Unofficial Apple Weblog.)

This is what happens when you hand monopoly power to a company. Sooner or later this bad will spill over to Apple. Can't wait until 2010 when their exclusive deal expires.

Health insurers refuse to limit rescission of coverage - Los Angeles Times:

"Executives of three of the nation's largest health insurers told federal lawmakers in Washington on Tuesday that they would continue canceling medical coverage for some sick policyholders, despite withering criticism from Republican and Democratic members of Congress who decried the practice as unfair and abusive.

The hearing on the controversial action known as rescission, which has left thousands of Americans burdened with costly medical bills despite paying insurance premiums, began a day after President Obama outlined his proposals for revamping the nation's healthcare system."

(Via LA Times.)

These are the people the GOP wants to trust with our system.

Go Further, Young Man - Ta-Nehisi Coates:

"What you want is the Iranian opposition with their feet rooted in native soil. What you don't want is any credible intimations of American puppet-mastery. Again, I know Obama's popular--but I'm not sure he's popularity immunizes us against demagoguery."

(Via Ta-Nehisi Coates.)

Exactly.

Newscoma » Racist And Ridiculous

| No Comments

Newscoma » Blog Archive » Racist And Ridiculous:

"Christian Grantham talks to Ms. Goforth, who admits she sent the email.
When I asked her if she understood the controversial nature of the photo, Goforth would only say she felt very bad about accidentally sending it to the wrong list. When I gave her a second chance to address the controversial nature of the email, she again repeated that she only felt bad about sending it to the wrong list of people.
I sent it to the wrong list of people? Huh."

(Via Newscoma.)

My problem isn't with the racists so much as it is with the GOP environment that would give them aid and comfort.

Krugman vs. Ferguson: Letting the Data Speak - Freakonomics Blog - NYTimes.com:

"In fact, the recent increase in Treasury yields is almost entirely due to a reduction in the probability of the deflationary (low nominal interest rates) scenario. Score this round for Krugman.

While Ferguson wrongly diagnosed the cause of the rise in interest rates, he is right that the markets are spooked about the risk of an inflationary breakout. There’s about a 7 percent chance that 25-year interest rates will exceed 10 percent, although surprisingly, this risk was slightly higher back in February. This is a fairly extreme scenario: long-term interest rates have not been above 10 percent since inflation was tamed in the mid-1980’s."

(Via NY Times.)

Ed Krugman - Stay the Course

| No Comments

Op-Ed Columnist - Stay the Course - NYTimes.com:

"The debate over economic policy has taken a predictable yet ominous turn: the crisis seems to be easing, and a chorus of critics is already demanding that the Federal Reserve and the Obama administration abandon their rescue efforts. For those who know their history, it’s déjà vu all over again — literally."

(Via NY Times.)

Does anyone pay attention to history?

Daring Fireball: Palm Saturday

| 1 Comment

Daring Fireball: Palm Saturday:

"So while the comparisons between the Pre and iPhone are obvious and inevitable, I think the Pre stands a much stronger chance of stealing customers away from RIM than from Apple. For as good as the Pre is, and I’m convinced it is excellent, it just doesn’t have much to offer that would sway someone considering an iPhone. But for someone considering a BlackBerry, the Pre might look very sweet: a big bright screen, a beautiful modern user interface design, a kick-ass mobile web browser, and, yes, a hardware keyboard. The Pre is the BlackBerry Bold done right."

(Via Daring Fireball.)

True.

Something To Consider

| No Comments

Something To Consider - Ta-Nehisi Coates:

"It isn't, for instance, the fact that Sotomayor was raised in an era where government-backed redlining was still legal, it's the fact that some students at Yale demanded a Chicano history course that's the issue. Likewise, it isn't the oppressive identity politics practiced by conservatives for the past 30 years that's disturbing, but Sotomayor's response to it. To be a true conservative is to be more disturbed by victimology, than actual victimizing. It is to claim to abhor evil--but to abhor the response to evil even more. It's like in the NFL--it's the second [guy sic] who throws the punch who draws the flag. "

(Via Ta-Nehisi Coates.)

Great explanation of why conservatism is morally impoverished. Always standing against change necessarily means you collaborate with evil at some point. "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." --Edmund Burke

For The Slavery\Civil War\Reconstruction Buff In You - Ta-Nehisi Coates:

"I don't say this to be provocative, but there is no way to get around this--Slavery was big business. The antebellum Southern economy didn't have slavery as an unfortunate appendage--it was it's trunk, not a branch. We're not even talking about the damage done to the slaves themselves. "

(Via Ta-Nehisi Coates.)

Great, great post. Why I read this blog religiously.

A Real Whopper: Black Hole Is Most Massive Known - Yahoo! News:

"PASADENA, CALIF. — The most massive black hole yet weighed lurks at the heart of the relatively nearby giant galaxy M87. The supermassive black hole is two to three times heftier than previously thought, a new model showed, weighing in at a whopping 6.4 billion times the mass of the sun. The new measure suggests that other black holes in nearby large galaxies could also be much heftier than current measurements suggest, and it could help astronomers solve a longstanding puzzle about galaxy development."

(Via Yahoo! News.)

Neato.

Now That's Drinking the Kool-Aid

| No Comments

Q&A: Microsoft's Windows marketing chief says Apple's 'scared' | Business Center | Macworld:

"I think [the way] they’re responding to our advertising is a reflection of what's happening out in the market (both IDC and the NPD Group show Mac sales dropping in the U.S. in recent months).

They're scared. The Ad Age survey shows how our brand is coming alive through three things: the ads, hitting our commitment to build a fantastic product with Windows 7, and around delivering the truth about the ‘Apple tax’ and the value you get when you go with Windows."

(Via Macworld.)

It's hard not to laugh at such delusions. Apple isn't sleeping on Microsoft, but scared? Jokes. I love the misdirection on the sales figures. Every manufacturer saw their sales slump, except Apple saw it's sales slump the least. Notice no mention in the interview of the Zune or Windows Mobile versus the iPod and iPhone respectively. Methinks somebody is projecting some fear.

Obama Holds it Down

| No Comments

The 'Rack shows how it's done.