02/26 Open Thread: Today is Most Holy Immobile Earth Day

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Image from page 335 of "Dialogo di Galileo Galilei Linceo matematico sopraordinario dello studio di Pisa. E filosofo, e matematico primario del serenissimo gr. duca di Toscana. Doue ne i congressi di quattro giornate si discorre sopra i due massimi sistem

On this day in 1616 in a desperate attempt to prop up sacred superstitions, the church banned Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaulti de Galilei from teaching or defending the nefarious heretical idea that the earth orbited the sun. They did this, mind you, for his own good, for his and for ours, and it was a blessed and holy event.

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Meanwhile, back to reality, more or less

Let us briefly discuss Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico's President, commonly known as AMLO. He has much to teach the world, starting with this little quotation:

“In Mexico the governing class constitutes a gang of plunderers…. Mexico will not grow strong if our public institutions remain at the service of the wealthy elites.”

which is from his book A New Hope for Mexico, or at least it is so reported in Mexico’s AMLO Shows How It’s Done, a February 11 article in Counterpunch by Ellen Brown. ( https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/02/11/mexicos-amlo-shows-how-its-done/ ) Of course, instead of "Mexico" it should say "so called western liberal democracies", but that is a mere quibble. The article is short, but difficult to excerpt within the confines of fair use, so you really should read it. It is concerned with Obrador's goal of creating an economy that that improves human welfare and doesn't simply boost GDP. In particular, it focuses on his plan, already being implemented, to build and open 2,700 branches of a government owned bank by sometime in 2021.Yep, a nationwide public banking system. Definitely worth a read..

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FAKERY!

This could be quite a wide ranging topic; most politicians, most of what they say, propose and promise, most salespersons, ditto, advertising, PR, press releases, government promouncements, and on and on and on. Here I'm simply going to talk about a couple of articles I ran across. Welcome to the Era of Fake Products published in Wirecutter on 02-11-2020 deals pretty specifically with e-commerce, and, as a result, a lot of it is about Amazon, not-the-river,(tm). ( https://thewirecutter.com/blog/amazon-counterfeit-fake-products/) The intro highlights a major culprit:

Imagine walking into your local grocery store and seeing two virtually identical cartons of milk right next to each other. The only discernible difference—and it’s barely discernible—is that there’s a tiny tag on one carton saying the milk is sold by a third-party seller. Oh, and it might have rat poop in it.

This scenario isn’t all that far from what’s happening in e-commerce retailers’ massive, hard-to-police markets of third-party sellers.

Its a fairly short article chock full of data, information, studies, scary tales and real dangers. The final section, How to be smarter about fakes has some advice, good advice, but I wish it had more. All the same, its a good read.

Meanwhile, Garbage Language Why do corporations speak the way they do? by Molly Young, published in New York Magazine on February 17, 2020, and republished at Vulture.com on February 20, 2020 takes a look at corporatespeak, that fascinating pompous gibberish that made bullshit bingo a nationwide overnight sensation. It is an entertaining and humorous look at how said bullspeak arose in various milieus, how and why it continues to arise and evolve, and what it is really all about, replete with examples and sporadic pearls of insight such as

You can always track the assimilation of garbage language by its shedding of scare quotes; in 1911, “initiative” and “incentive” were still cloaked in speculative punctuation.

and analysis

At my own workplaces, the New Age–speak mingled recklessly with aviation metaphors (holding pattern, the concept of discussing something at the 30,000-foot level), verbs and adjectives shoved into nounhood (ask, win, fail, refresh, regroup, creative, sync, touchbase), nouns shoved into verbhood (whiteboard, bucket), and a heap of nonwords that, through force of repetition, became wordlike (complexify, co-execute, replatform, shareability, directionality).

It was a fun read and a good diversion from all that is going on these days.

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Key Economic Indicators

Mars Bars?? How Fast Food Reveals Secrets of the Economy ( BBC via Pocket: https://getpocket.com/explore/item/how-fast-food-reveals-secrets-of-the-...) Takes one from the Pizza Principle to the Waffle House Index as alternative metrics for divining the state of the economy or condition of some element thereof. After reading it, I had a heightened sense and appreciation of how one could invent and use many alternative metrics to get a handle on many different aspects of economic health and reality. In a sense, this has already been out there insofar as one can use various data points to recognize the size, scope and prevalence of things like food deserts which will, in turn, throw light on both economic and nutritional/biological health. (There is an interesting tie back to AMLO here, with his beliefs that where the market based business model fails to provide certain goods and services to identifiable sectors, segments and locations, then the government should step in to provide said goods and services there.) I don't know if the pizza principle could be useful to anybody unless expanded upon, but the Waffle House index could obviiously be put to use by both aid providers and economic vultures. Of course, the conclusions to be drawn from the use of some of these indicators will depend upon the assumptions one brings to the table. For example, the article states that:

How much will a Big Mac cost you in Lima? Or Abu Dhabi? The answers can tell you a lot about “purchasing power parity (PPP)” – whether exchange rates mean that a product costs the same in different countries. A tool to make this theory more “digestible” was launched by The Economist in 1986. It allows comparison of several base currencies to others around the world. As they wrote this month: “A Big Mac currently costs $5.06 in America but just 10.75 lira ($2.75) in Turkey, implying that the lira is undervalued.”

Perhaps the Turks simply know the difference between food and farce, or have been improperly propagandized or don't cater to their children to the degree USians do, or maybe those kids don't find Ronald McDoofus to be at all cool. There are a great many things that would lead a rational analyst lacking cultural blinders to think that the price disparity noted is solid evidence that both the dollar and the Big Mac are horribly overvalued. I, for one, certainly find that to be an equally probable view.

At any rate, a quick read that is also worth reading.

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have a good one

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Title Image is from page 335 of "Dialogo di Galileo Galilei Linceo matematico sopraordinario dello studio di Pisa."

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It's an open thread, so have at it. The floor is yours
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Wally's picture

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enhydra lutris's picture

@Wally
though. Hope the primaries hit that mark too.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

ggersh's picture

@Wally

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4 users have voted.

tRump amerika's last president

Prez tRumpet blows hard, nothing comes out

#J6PBailoutreadyyet?

Wally's picture

@ggersh

But if we try sometimes, we get what we need:

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Lookout's picture

Sounds like the debate was bought and paid for...hopefully to no avail. Perhaps people can see the rigging?

Rain on the way and possible snow tonight. Been a wet winter here in the SE. Maybe we've charged our aquifers.

Despite some cool weather, spring is awakening. Daffodils up ...some blooming. Forsythia beginning to bloom. Saw a wild pear blooming yesterday. Time to think about the garden. We'll start planting many spring crops in the next couple of weeks. I really need to finish pruning this week.

Well, y'all have a good one!

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7 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

enhydra lutris's picture

@Lookout
We've had a dry Feb, not good, though daffs we blooming by mid-month. Dunno what we're gonna plant, have a ton of greens already, maybe beans.

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4 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

ggersh's picture

@Lookout when this shit happens

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/02/links-2-26-2020.html

Honestly this debate is bad and we can thank Obama for that. Obama's DNC head @TomPerez sold tickets to lobbyists and the wealthy so the audience is cheering *for* billionaires.

— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) February 26, 2020

Incredible. In the #DemDebate, billionaire Bloomberg boasted that he "bought" right-wing neoliberal Democrats like Nancy Pelosi

Then after saying "bought," he quickly corrected himself and said "I bought, uh got them" pic.twitter.com/2mcDgPPhIJ

— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) February 26, 2020

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tRump amerika's last president

Prez tRumpet blows hard, nothing comes out

#J6PBailoutreadyyet?

@ggersh

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4 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

starting to bloom here and bluebonnets are coming up. We've had some nice rains this month and the wildflowers have benefited. I'm still harvesting my winter lettuce, it has been producing through the last 2 months very nicely. It's time to put some seeds in here as well. I've already got long beans sprouting and my various garlic varieties are in various stages of growth. Have to prune blackberries and clear the patch in the next day or so. Pomegranates are starting to leaf out. Fig trees budding.
Tonight the temp is expected to get to 32, then the rest of the week should get warm. Happy planting everyone.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@randtntx
here we first must indulge in some happy planning and belated bed prep. Unfortunately, we both have lingering colds, slowing everything down.

have a good one.

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3 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris about your colds, I had one earlier in the season... puts a monkey wrench in plans. Hope you feel better soon.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@randtntx

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2 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Today is typically wicked hangover day
in the carnival world. It's what comes
from the two week binge leading up to
lint and ash wednesday
Wink

interest you in a hat?

cap_1.png
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8 users have voted.

May we be united and strong -- laurel

@QMS to binge drink last night in preparation for weeks of lint, I forget every year. I also forgot to go to a carnival. It's a wonder people are still having them what with viruses and all. Probably best to stay home and watch the tv anyway. Keeps us sedate and out of trouble.

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5 users have voted.

@randtntx

(or lack thereof) is a healthy condition.
Too many Mardi Gras burnt into the hard drive here.

Mambo

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4 users have voted.

May we be united and strong -- laurel

enhydra lutris's picture

@QMS
mystery to me, never was hipped to it and hence am still oblivious. Carnival produces some fine music though.

Think I'll pass on the hat, got way too many already.

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3 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

@QMS

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4 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

@Anja Geitz

try bleach and then maybe tie dye it?
Perhaps the stressed look will work.
You can go to the site and custom order.

rushordertees.com

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4 users have voted.

May we be united and strong -- laurel

Anja Geitz's picture

@QMS

Thanks.

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2 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Anja Geitz's picture

By reading what other people were saying. Sounds like Pete was acting like the arrogant buttwipe he is and that Bloomie filled the audience with booers for Bernie, along with buying ad time during the commercials. And the establishment wonders why we're are so derisive of the status quo?

Have the day off today and will be doing some work in the garden while the landscapers do an overhaul on the sprinklers system. Yesterday they tore down a fence that was falling apart, so it'll be time to make the little area under the persimmon tree a little more inviting. Long time coming but when the work is done it will be a perfect spot for relaxing and entertaining.

Still see Pierre everywhere I look. Especially in the garden Sad

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7 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

enhydra lutris's picture

@Anja Geitz
a good one.

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2 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

magiamma's picture

Et al

Rushing to campus. 6 more days. Early voting starts Saturday and goes for four days.

Debate last night was a shitshow orchestrated by the dnc. Buttg talked over Bernie at every chance and they let him. Bloob folks in seats purchased booed at Bernie . Fuck this shiitshow.

We will work harder. Meh !!

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

enhydra lutris's picture

@magiamma
recovering from a PG&E attack here. Keep up the good work and have a great one.

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1 user has voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

smiley7's picture

and for the comments:

As to bootleg:

We owe so much to the history of ideas, especially the evolving ones and to those who have bleed for them over the centuries, how could Pete have missed this, given his educational background; on paper, anyways.

Rock on and keep on keeping on Bernie people, good ...

My favorite retort of Sander's last evening:

"It's about time somebody tells the truth about the United States!"

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enhydra lutris's picture

@smiley7
horizontal when you posted that. Last week has been totally shot, for me, but I'm hoping to get it togehe today - we'll see.

have a good one.

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1 user has voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --