Latest Threads
Greatest Threads
Home » Discuss » Journals » Fumesucker Donate to DU
Advertise Liberally! The Liberal Blog Advertising Network
Advertise on more than 70 progressive blogs!
Fumesucker's Journal
Posted by Fumesucker in General Discussion
Thu Feb 10th 2011, 12:02 PM
A bankster gets his bonus.

The poor should just burn their damn bootstraps if they want to stay warm.

Read entry | Discuss (27 comments) | Recommend (+68 votes)
Posted by Fumesucker in General Discussion
Sat Jan 29th 2011, 11:46 AM
I was riding my motorcycle in forty degree weather and was stopped at a gas station, the woman was walking by and when I nodded and said hello she asked me if I got cold and I told her that my riding suit is water and windproof as well as insulated and the only parts that get cold are my face and fingers as long as the ride is not too long.

She told me that the day before that was even colder and rainy she spent all day in her sleeping bag under the bridge where she lives, she then mentioned that she can't leave her stuff for more than a few minutes because someone worse off than her is likely to steal what few meager possessions she has.

It's hard to get much more poor than living under a damn bridge like a fucking troll in cold, wet weather.

Yes, poor people in Egypt are truly suffering, my point is that we have people that are arguably as badly off right here in the land of the free, the wealthiest nation on the planet.

Read entry | Discuss (135 comments) | Recommend (+175 votes)
Posted by Fumesucker in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Fri Feb 12th 2010, 11:54 PM
I found this interesting point of view on David Brin's blog.. Brin is a physicist and successful Science Fiction author and an all around very smart guy.

I want to make an additional point, polemically useful toward deniers. Since they have chosen to spurn ALL qualified expert advice, their efforts to slow down energy research and efforts to achieve energy efficiency can be legally looked upon as knowing and open-eyed obstruction of efforts, by the majority, to avert a well-seen disaster. In other words, they can, according to common law and tort law, be held accountable for financial and civil damages, should that disaster come about

This point has (to my knowledge) never been openly stated. But it can really rock back your conservative neighbor. He tends to assume that, in the world to come, he will be one of the winners, regardless of what happens. Conservatives are used to suffering no consequences for being wrong -- about civil rights, womens' rights, Supply Side Economics...

...but here is a case where, if they prove wrong, those who suffer the worst effects of preventable GCC will have legal recourse to attach the assets of those who vigorously and knowingly thwarted measures to palliate the harm. Indeed, in the bitter angry world that ensues, the resources of such people will be politically and emotionally vulnerable, as well. No one will pity them.

I am not saying this in some hysterical threat-mode. It is parsed as a simple legal matter of cause and effect. And they have now been warned.
Read entry | Discuss (25 comments) | Recommend (+3 votes)
Posted by Fumesucker in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon Feb 08th 2010, 01:26 PM
A very interesting article about an actual liberal economist, Samuel Bowles, and his ideas. /

Inequality leads to an excess of what Bowles calls “guard labor.” In a 2007 paper on the subject, he and co-author Arjun Jayadev, an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts, make an astonishing claim: Roughly 1 in 4 Americans is employed to keep fellow citizens in line and protect private wealth from would-be Robin Hoods.

The job descriptions of guard labor range from “imposing work discipline”—think of the corporate IT spies who keep desk jockeys from slacking off online—to enforcing laws, like the officers in the Santa Fe Police Department paddy wagon parked outside of Walmart.

The greater the inequalities in a society, the more guard labor it requires, Bowles finds. This holds true among US states, with relatively unequal states like New Mexico employing a greater share of guard labor than relatively egalitarian states like Wisconsin.

The problem, Bowles argues, is that too much guard labor sustains “illegitimate inequalities,” creating a drag on the economy. All of the people in guard labor jobs could be doing something more productive with their time—perhaps starting their own businesses or helping to reduce the US trade deficit with China.

Read entry | Discuss (11 comments) | Recommend (+22 votes)
Posted by Fumesucker in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon Jan 18th 2010, 11:17 AM
I took the Pew political quiz this morning and made perfect score, which puts me in the 98th percentile of Americans.

There is one other political blog I read but I get almost all my information on politics from DU, either from GD or LBN, other than a couple or three specialized subject forums those are the only two places I read and post on DU.

Thank you to you DUers who make sure that this is a place where you can learn more than 98% of your fellow Americans about the subject Heinlein called "only slightly less important than your own heartbeat", politics..

We here at DU are an elite, an elite of political knowledge and that fact is largely due to the efforts of DUers who both provide good information and make sure that incorrect information is quickly and thoroughly debunked.

Read entry | Discuss (23 comments) | Recommend (+7 votes)
Posted by Fumesucker in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Fri Dec 18th 2009, 01:37 AM
No shit..

Wage and price controls..

Environmental Protection Agency..

And even introduced an arguably better universal health care bill than the current clusterfuck.

The DLC would have hated him, from the right, not the left.

President Richard Nixon's Special Message to the Congress Proposing a Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan

February 6, 1974

From The American Presidency Project, University of California at Santa Barbara

To the Congress of the United States:

One of the most cherished goals of our democracy is to assure every American an equal opportunity to lead a full and productive life.

In the last quarter century, we have made remarkable progress toward that goal, opening the doors to millions of our fellow countrymen who were seeking equal opportunities in education, jobs and voting.

Now it is time that we move forward again in still another critical area: health care.

Without adequate health care, no one can make full use of his or her talents and opportunities. It is thus just as important that economic, racial and social barriers not stand in the way of good health care as it is to eliminate those barriers to a good education and a good job.

Three years ago, I proposed a major health insurance program to the Congress, seeking to guarantee adequate financing of health care on a nationwide basis. That proposal generated widespread discussion and useful debate. But no legislation reached my desk.

Today the need is even more pressing because of the higher costs of medical care. Efforts to control medical costs under the New Economic Policy have been Inept with encouraging success, sharply reducing the rate of inflation for health care. Nevertheless, the overall cost of health care has still risen by more than 20 percent in the last two and one-half years, so that more and more Americans face staggering bills when they receive medical help today:

--Across the Nation, the average cost of a day of hospital care now exceeds $110.
--The average cost of delivering a baby and providing postnatal care approaches $1,000.
--The average cost of health care for terminal cancer now exceeds $20,000.

For the average family, it is clear that without adequate insurance, even normal care can 'be a financial burden while a catastrophic illness can mean catastrophic debt.

Beyond the question of the prices of health care, our present system of health care insurance suffers from two major flaws :

First, even though more Americans carry health insurance than ever before, the 25 million Americans who remain uninsured often need it the most and are most unlikely to obtain it. They include many who work in seasonal or transient occupations, high-risk cases, and those who are ineligible for Medicaid despite low incomes.

Second, those Americans who do carry health insurance often lack coverage which is balanced, comprehensive and fully protective:

--Forty percent of those who are insured are not covered for visits to physicians on an out-patient basis, a gap that creates powerful incentives toward high cost care in hospitals;
--Few people have the option of selecting care through prepaid arrangements offered by Health Maintenance Organizations so the system at large does not benefit from the free choice and creative competition this would offer;
--Very few private policies cover preventive services;
--Most health plans do not contain built-in incentives to reduce waste and inefficiency. The extra costs of wasteful practices are passed on, of course, to consumers; and
--Fewer than half of our citizens under 65--and almost none over 65--have major medical coverage which pays for the cost of catastrophic illness.


More at the link..
Read entry | Discuss (39 comments) | Recommend (+23 votes)
Posted by Fumesucker in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Fri Oct 30th 2009, 05:42 AM
SIL is by no means a freeper but he almost always votes Republican here in our bright red state, he asked me yesterday if I knew what Obama had done and I said something about honoring the war dead and he said yep..

Then he told me Obama had done something bushie had never done and he even said bushie was not a real veteran..

He even remarked how crisp and precise Obama's salute was, as a Marine also I agreed with him.

I know I'm probably perceived by some here as an Obama basher so I just wanted to pass on something positive, my SIL is very proud of being a Marine and for him to speak well of Obama in a military capacity is an accomplishment.

Read entry | Discuss (16 comments) | Recommend (+13 votes)
Posted by Fumesucker in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Oct 29th 2009, 02:11 PM

I bought a $1.79 bag of Jolly Rancher candy at fucking Walmart which I will dole out to my grandkids over the next week or two, and I did it with your hard earned tax dollars through the food stamp program.

Never mind that I have 12 grain bread with no HFCS, three kinds of dried beans, frozen fruit juice, bran cereal, natural peanut butter, bananas, apples, bagels, cream cheese, walnuts.. It's that one bag of candy that I should be scorned for..

Just crucify me now, OK?
Read entry | Discuss (105 comments) | Recommend (+45 votes)
Posted by Fumesucker in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Oct 28th 2009, 04:23 PM
You don't talk about class war.

"There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning." -Warren Buffett, New York Times, November 26, 2006.
Read entry | Discuss (12 comments) | Recommend (+13 votes)
Posted by Fumesucker in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Oct 24th 2009, 07:55 AM
Pretty soon your OS is going to be trying to sell you shit, just like a lot of websites do now.

Yet another reason not to upgrade, or to go with something like a flavor of Linux. /

Written by Gene Quinn
Patent Attorney & IPWatchdog Founder
Posted: October 22, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

Earlier today a pending non-provisional utility patent application assigned to Apple Computer published. This application, US Patent Application 20090265214, is titled Advertisement in Operating System, and covers exactly what the title implies; namely an operating system that is capable of displaying a variety of advertisements to users. You are likely to have heard of the first listed inventor, Steven Jobs, the CEO and co-founder of Apple Computer, Inc. While it is difficult to know the purpose and strategy behind a patent application, the attorneys at Fish & Richardson in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who drafted and filed the patent application certainly did a very good job describing just about every conceivable feature and alternative that could coincide with the displaying of advertisements to users of an operating system. It almost sounds funny to call the displaying of advertisements within an operating system ďa feature,Ē particularly given the annoying, ubiquitous and ever more intrusive nature of advertising these days. In any event, the patent application is well written, albeit it written in pre-Bilski style at least with respect to the claims. If Apple does want to pursue this all the way to a patent I suspect there will be plenty of opportunity to do so, and there will certainly be allowable claims that fall within this disclosure.

The patent application explains the basics of the invention as follows (with reference numerals removed throughout when the patent application is quoted to facilitate reading):

The operating system is configured to present one or more of the advertisements to users of the computer device. In some implementations, the operating system can disable one or more functions during the presentation of the advertisements and then enable the function(s) in response to the advertisements ending. That is, the operating system can disable some aspect of its operation to prompt the operator to pay attention to the advertisement.

Egads! Using an operating system is going to become like attending an online CLE, requiring you to pay attention enough to click to continue at the appropriate time? Even worse, in the version where the operating system disables functionality not only will you need to click to continue, but you are going to have to stop doing whatever it is that you are doing and pay attention to the advertisement! In all reality, I have a hard time believing that makers of computer devices would be able to get away with totally disabling the device and forcing active attention to the advertisement, at least not without the natives picking up pitch-forks and marching on Silicon Valley. But disabling some features, perhaps like the ability to turn the advertisement off, seem just plausible enough to make me take a deep hard breath followed by a gulping swallow.

With respect to the version of the invention where you will not be able to turn off and otherwise escape the advertisement, and will need to actively do something to verify that you are listening and watching, the patent application explains:

In an attempt to ensure that the user is actually watching and/or listening to the advertisement content, the method can include a step for verifying user presence and giving proper credit (e.g., time for using the operating system, time for using the application program, time extension credit). In some implementations, the advertisement presentation module can prompt the user to confirm that he or she is reviewing the content (e.g., paying attention to the advertisement) being presented (e.g., the user is prompted to click a certain button, click a certain object or area on the screen, press a particular key or keys). In some implementations where the computer device is a cell phone or music player, the user may be prompted to press a certain button or keypad key in order to confirm that they are paying attention. In one implementation, the approaches for verifying user presence can be made progressively more aggressive if the user has failed a previous test. For example, after the user fails the test the first time, the subsequent tests can be made to appear more frequently or at varying times. As another example, the test(s) can be made more subtle so as to render them more difficult to perceive, such as by reducing the size of a message box on the screen, or by making an audio prompt more similar to the advertisement in which it is inserted. If the user fails the test in step the method can perform step over again; that is, the entire advertisement can be played again while the operating system maintains the function(s) in a disabled state. As another example, the userís failure can first result in any available extension(s) being consumed (compare step), and only thereafter is an advertisement played in its entirety.


More at the link..

Edited for emphasis..
Read entry | Discuss (4 comments) | Recommend (+3 votes)
Posted by Fumesucker in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Oct 20th 2009, 03:37 PM
"And I never forgot that".

"I've seen with my own eyes the consequences of a caste system and making some people second class".

I dare you to watch this without shedding a tear.
Read entry | Discuss (30 comments) | Recommend (+55 votes)
Posted by Fumesucker in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun Oct 18th 2009, 12:23 PM
This piece should get a freakin' Pulitzer..

By Kevin G. Hall | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON -- As the housing market collapsed in late 2007, Moody's Investors Service, whose investment ratings were widely trusted, responded by purging analysts and executives who warned of trouble and promoting those who helped Wall Street plunge the country into its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

A McClatchy investigation has found that Moody's punished executives who questioned why the company was risking its reputation by putting its profits ahead of providing trustworthy ratings for investment offerings.

Instead, Moody's promoted executives who headed its "structured finance" division, which assisted Wall Street in packaging loans into securities for sale to investors. It also stacked its compliance department with the people who awarded the highest ratings to pools of mortgages that soon were downgraded to junk. Such products have another name now: "toxic assets."

As Congress tackles the broadest proposed overhaul of financial regulation since the 1930s, however, lawmakers still aren't fully aware of what went wrong at the bond rating agencies, and so they may fail to address misaligned incentives such as granting stock options to mid-level employees, which can be an incentive to issue positive ratings rather than honest ones.


More at the link..
Read entry | Discuss (15 comments) | Recommend (+13 votes)
Posted by Fumesucker in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Fri Oct 16th 2009, 01:35 PM
You really want to know what it's like to be a liberal and live in a very red area of a red state?

Probably not, but I'm going to show you anyway. I drove past this same sign worded differently but with the same offensive term on it a few months back, it is kind of off the beaten path in my county so I hadn't seen it before.

Restaurant Sign Attacking Obama Sparks Race Debate
Restaurant Owner Opposes Obama Healthcare Plan

Written By: Michelle Marsh - CBS Atlanta Reporter

TEMPLE, Ga. -- When you walk into the Georgia Peach Oyster Bar in Paulding County, you feel like you've walked into a different era.

Behind the pool tables stands a mannequin in a Klu Klux Klan costume, but it's what's outside of the Patrick Lanzo's restaurant that has some people angry.

Lanzo put up a sign that reads "Obama's plan for health-care: N*&%*r rig it."

CBS Atlanta's Michelle Marsh asked Lanzo why he put up the sign.


More at the link.
Read entry | Discuss (51 comments) | Recommend (+17 votes)
Posted by Fumesucker in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Oct 14th 2009, 07:27 PM
Anybody remember the PATRIOT act?

Signed into law October 26, 2001

How about TARP?

Proposed on Sept 19, 2008, enacted Oct 3, 2008

Was there interminable months of utter bullshit involved with either of those clusterfucks?

These fuckers can move so fast they emit Cherenkov radiation if it's something the movers and shakers want.

Read entry | Discuss (8 comments) | Recommend (+23 votes)
Posted by Fumesucker in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Oct 14th 2009, 11:53 AM

NASAís Swift satellite is a modern success story: designed to peer at the Universe in ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays, it is on constant lookout for gamma-ray bursts, explosions so vast they are second only to the Big Bang itself.

Swift scans the skies, constantly observing, always on its toes for that fleeting blast of high-energy light. But it also does other science as well; an orbiting camera like that has many uses. For three months in 2008, astronomers used Swift to target the nearest major spiral galaxy like our own: M31, the Andromeda Galaxy. And what they got was this gorgeous picture:

This image is incredible, both scientifically and logistically. It is the combination of 330 images, totaling 24 hours of solid observations, and amounted to a hefty 85 gigabytes of data. It covers three UV wavelengths: 192.8, 224.6, and 260 nanometers, which are just outside the range the human eye can see.

The image is huge; the full Moon would just fit over the apparent size of the central bulge of the galaxy. Over 20,000 individual sources of ultraviolet light can be found. Some science can be seen just with just a glance: for example, the light coming from the spiral arms is clumpy, and from the bulge itís smooth. The arms are where you find patches of giant gas clouds forming newly born stars; the most massive of these blast out UV light and fierce winds which make the clouds themselves glow in UV.
Read entry | Discuss (71 comments) | Recommend (+26 votes)
Greatest Threads
The ten most recommended threads posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums in the last 24 hours.
Visitor Tools
Use the tools below to keep track of updates to this Journal.
Random Journal
Random Journal
Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals  |  Campaigns  |  Links  |  Store  |  Donate
About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.