Monday, September 10, 2012

Conservative George Will, critique of football as industrial liberal plot

George Will on football sounds a lot like people we know:

College football became a national phenomenon because it supposedly served the values of progressivism, in two ways. It exemplified specialization, expertise and scientific management. And it would reconcile the public to the transformation of universities, especially public universities, into something progressivism desired but the public found alien. Replicating industrialism’s division of labor, universities introduced the fragmentation of the old curriculum of moral instruction into increasingly specialized and arcane disciplines. These included the recently founded social sciences — economics, sociology, political science — that were supposed to supply progressive governments with the expertise to manage the complexities of the modern economy and the simplicities of the uninstructed masses. 

Football taught the progressive virtue of subordinating the individual to the collectivity. Inevitably, this led to the cult of one individual, the coach. Today, in almost every state, at least one public university football coach is paid more than the governor.

In the Washington Post, Sept 7 2012,

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Capital Language: Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as "anticipate," "believe," "forecast," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "likely," "may," "plan," "potential," predict," "opportunity" and "should," among others.  There are a number of factors that could cause actual events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements.

From a press release about recommendations on a weight loss/ diabetes drug, qnexa.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Post-Rational Politics

We can point out the contradictions all we want but it seams the idea of political persuasion based on reason or democratic principles simply does not work with the present Republican core.
  • Tea partyers welcome their individual state benefits and the disproportionate benefits to their red states.
  • Promilitary flag wavers don't seem perturbed that record-setting business profits don't trasnlate into jobs for vets.
  • Pro US patriots who erode civic life.
  • Pro religion advocates who mean one religion only.
  • Support for rights of unborn embryos and legal corporations but not of living women or others. 
  • Believe in Christian redemption but not in redemption of some crimes, or redemption of sinners who are not white or not republican.
But facts, consistency of principle, logic, or reality do not matter.

Whatever our analytical critiques of Enlightement, reason, the truth, I just don't feel prepared to deal with conservative politics now. I lack the tools to fathom a political struggle so devoid of a relationship to what we could consider truth, reality, or reason. I don't understand the Republican core's relationship to language.

We can say they are deluded. Yet even their relationship to fantasy baffles me, since their fantasies  are so harsh and mean. But to them this harshness is feel-good.

What is the logic of this political form? There is consistency: what does it add up to?

Certainly, it is anti-black: against having a black president, against social support for black populations, against redemption of black people who have committed crimes, against a commons that includes black people as equals who are not successful pizza moguls.

It's not all about race, though. The off the rails focus on abortion and reproduction, which  means men staking out the authority to adjudicate between the rights of living female people and those of embryos.
The anti-gay stance.

It is about the assertion of one vision of shared America, the manifest destiny and divine national favoratism, and the authority vested in those who maybe resemble the elite settlers of this part of the new world. Commons, redistribution are fine if they flow to this group.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lucy & Ethel Barbie Doll Gift Set
from the 1952 chocolate factory episode

  • Delightful collectible dolls based on the I Love Lucy chocolate factory episode, Job Switching, originally broadcast on Sept. 15, 1952
  • Both dolls are wearing all-pink coats, baker’s hats and heels
  • Dolls have finely detailed faces that appear to be stuffed with chocolates

Friday, November 11, 2011


two words for the entrenched belief that the rich earned their wealth through hard work: Paris Hilton.

Monday, October 18, 2010

State universities now charge fellows fees for unpaid fellowships. 

There is a $400 affiliation fee which
scholars accepted to the BBRG Scholars In Residence Program must pay to
the Visiting Scholar and Postdoctoral Affairs Office at University of
California at Berkeley. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sales tax revenues currently amount to about $150 billion annually
and make up approximately one-third of all state revenues....  States that don't have a personal income tax, like Texas, are even
more dependent on sales tax revenue. (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon do not have sales tax.)1

States with no income tax are Alaska, Florida,
South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. New Hampshire and Tennessee
limit their state income taxes to only
 Illinois has a flat 3% tax.