Saturday, August 27, 2011

Jonah Goldberg Still Dumb and Wrong

Jonah Goldberg writes that
[i]t’s already a cliché among liberals to describe [Perry] as the sort of cartoonish, ignorant cowboy they thought George W. Bush was (though to date, nobody feels the need to apologize to Bush for misinterpreting him).
We watched:

Or this

Or this

And so forth

Friday, August 26, 2011

Musette, the Tango, and the Accordionation of World Culture

The accordion was the beat box of its day after the development of an industrial process that prices down dramatically. Shortly thereafter Mussette was born in  Paris and then spread to the rest of the world. I can't find it right now, but somewhere in my musical archive is a double disc of late 19th and early 20th century accordion music from around the world. Well worth finding. Fist up, Paris, second Gardel, one of the first international film/singing stars to die tragically, and last a Fin proving that passion and the tango have little to do with one another. Enjoy your weekend.

Conservative Fear Mongering Explained

You know how Rick Perry argued, in bad faith one hopes, that scientists harp on global warming to keep the money flowing in? Well, according to this synopsis of a much longer report, Neoconservative and Conservative Islamophobes and fear mongers received over 45 million dollars to, you now, be professional Islamaphobes and fear mongers. Let's hope Rick Perry denounces these mercenaries and their paymasters.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Seat Height

I've read two posts about how to measure seat height. Both claiming to "simplify" the process. The two are more of less the same: stand up against the wall, stick a dowel between your legs, cram it up against your sit bones, measure the distance between the dowel and the floor, multiply by something, subtract something else, and then measure that sum from the ground to the seat. Simply as, I don't know, something hopelessly complicated. 

Here's the simple version and it works: Put on your cycling clothes and shoes, sit on the seat, put your heel on the pedal, lock your leg straight with pedal at its lowest point, adjust the seat so your butt rests solidly on it. Now ride with the ball of your foot on the pedal, and you should have power during the whole circle. If not lower or raise the seat just a bit until you do.

Works like a charm.

No, It Really Isn't

Michael Lind suggests that:
The equivalent of the Nicene Creed for secular humanists is the "Humanist Manifesto," published in 1933. Signed by the philosopher John Dewey and a number of now-forgotten professors and clerics, it called for a "religious humanism."
This is similar to making the argument that because H.G. Wells used the phrase "liberal fascism" for a week or two, boring his friends in the process, before rejecting and calling for the execution of Mosby's Blue Shirts modern liberalism must be fascistic.  I understand, of course, that Dewey is more important than Well, but the fact of the matter is that most humanists don't, in fact, belong to an organized church of the supreme being sort of an affair.

Paul Ryan Hates Democracy

The nerve of these thugs trying to get into a constituent service office. I mean after all it's not as if the Constitution guarantees the right to petition the government for the redress of grievance.[1]

Oddly enough everyone seems very mid-westernly pleasant.


[1]I know there's a tension here between the property holder's right to organize access to her property as she might please; but there does seem to have been a kind of hierarchy of liberties current in the 18th century, which varied depending on whether you were an automaticist or a humanists,[2] in this instance, I would argue the public and political clearly trump the private and commercial.

[2] I'll try to explain what this means at some point in the near future; for right this second, its the difference between thinking that people creating their own present and the proper order of things creating the proper present.


It seems that Libya has fallen and, except for the continued fighting, we who opposed the intervention/war ought hide our heads in shame. Leaving aside the whole post-war creation of state, society, and nation hurdle staring us in the face, a bad idea that achieves 1/2 its desired end remains a bad idea. Foreign intervention isn't a good idea, ask the Mamertines.

Oh For Dumb

So Obama goes for bike ride with his family and spends much of it riding with one or another of his daughters. But some maroon for the Mail Online decided that the real story here is:
Michelle Obama showed off her enviably toned thighs as she powered past the President in tiny purple cycling shorts on the first family's bike ride on Martha's Vineyard today.
Wearing a fashionable printed T-shirt and Converse trainers, the First Lady showed that she still has style, even when on vacation.

But her husband looked goofy and tired as he lagged behind wearing a baggy black polo shirt, and perhaps more surprisingly jeans.
He also made the point that Michelle is hawt. What's next? Obama's open dress shirt looks like Amedimejahn, or however it's spelt.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Beer Me

Matthew Yglesias really doesn't understand how the world let alone education works. In two posts of remarkable incoherence, Yglesias seeks to show that if you favor choice in one thing you must favor choice in all things and, whatismore, if you favor unions you have to favor crap beer because some major league makers of crap beer are unionized therefore unionization causes crap beer. Consequently, if you like non-unionized micro beer, you must support charter schools.  Others have pointed out the silliness of the argument.

Leaving aside the issue of how Carter's deregulation of beer making for private consumption led to increases in craft brewing for sale, I think it's worth pointing out that the only way this works is if charter school improve educational outcomes, they don't. Here, of course, his mindless commitment to failed ideological project blinds him to the fact that effective reform is driven by what works and what doesn't in the world as it is actually constituted rather than what ought to work if the world as it actually is conformed to a discredited ideological cosngtruct.