When history calls . . .

Cloudtransit will sometimes answer.  There may or may not be a debate within Cloudtransit on the utility of reposting New York Times reporting.  In this case it is worth it, because we have a teachable moment (go ahead and barf at the cliché).  I’m referring, of course, to the show that the Texas Legislature put on last night.  There was the heroic Wendy Davis, the state senator, wearing pink tennis shoes and launching into a filibuster at 11:18 a.m.  The filibuster was to stop legislation that shut down 37 of the states 42 abortion clinics.  The rules for filibuster in Texas are that you have to stay on point and you can’t sit down.  She had to make it until midnight.  With some help from the gallery, she made it.  What happened afterwards is the sort of soul-destroying comedy that must be published far and wide.  The following quote relates to the actions of the presiding officer, a Republican supporting the anti-abortion legislation.  (from the New York Times, linked here).

But at 3 a.m., Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the presiding officer of the Senate and a Republican supporter of the bill, told lawmakers and reporters that although the bill passed on a 19-to-10 vote, the bill could not be signed in the presence of the Senate and was therefore dead, blaming “an unruly mob using Occupy Wall Street tactics” as the primary cause.

“With all the ruckus and noise going on,” Mr. Dewhurst said, he could not complete administrative duties to make the vote official and sign the bill. Senate Democrats and women’s right’s advocates said the real reason the vote could not be made official was a time stamp on official documents that showed the bill passed after midnight. The Legislature’s official Web site first posted that the Senate’s vote occurred on Wednesday, after the midnight deadline, but the date was later changed to Tuesday for unknown reasons.

[emphasis added]

Goddam time stamps and the whole world watching!  Why, how is an honest republican supposed to get God’s work done?

If you care to burn through your ten free monthly trips to the New York Times you can read how closely watched Wendy Davis was for any violation of the strict filibuster rules.  If she strayed off topic or sat down, then the filibuster would be over.

But at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, 11 hours after she first stood up, Mr. Dewhurst sustained a violation against her for straying off the topic. It was her third violation. As the senators debated the next steps, Ms. Davis remained standing, because it was uncertain whether the filibuster had officially ended.

This is how authoritarianism works.  When it comes to your agenda a timestamp is just a meaningless detail.  When it comes to anyone who opposes your agenda, every nitpicking rule is critical.  Fortunately, the world was watching, so for once the authoritarians had to submit to the rules.


Frozen Yogurt?

What is going on when Baskin & Robbins can’t sell ice cream at its location beside the most popular park in the city?

2013-04-08 Halloween to Bogota 223Could it be all of the image conscious hipsters overrunning the neighborhood?  Maybe the chubby hipsters are opting for frozen yogurt or organic doughnuts?  Maybe the owners finally lost their shirt at Snoqualmie Casino?  We may never know.  Who knew that B&R would fall to the same fate as the newspaper and the pay-phone?

gran torino

musk opened up a can of clint eastwood…

…on a reporter from barron’s named bill alpert.
said reporter describes the frightening memory:

We had hoped Musk would advise us on these points, but our scheduled interview with him ended abruptly on Friday, when he hung up on us.

“I have no interest in an article that debates what we consider to be an obvious point — which is that there is a dramatic reduction in battery costs,” Musk said, after a few questions. “You clearly do not understand the business. My apologies. I am terminating the interview.”

of course the article becomes yet another in a long, long line of greyish hit pieces that simply play over and over all the same tired cheap shots. tesla is too expensive. the range is too short. the company got a big loan. etc. even the sub-heading is wishy-washy, using the word ‘unless’ in an extremely cowardly way.

the only bright spot is that, amazingly, alpert didn’t reference the broder piece in the ny times. that was a stunner. in fact, that one detail leads me to believe that the entire piece is just acting out a childish revenge fantasy. sad.

and alpert comes out looking very…


june fourth

the tiananmen square anniversary has passed again…

but even tommy friedman knows that soft power is on the rise.
consider the case of ai wei wei.
when schools collapsed in the sichuan earthquake on may 12, 2008, china was outraged.
people demanded to find out answers and document what had happened.

ai wei wei helped in this effort and was ‘disappeared’ for a while.
one of the most famous artists in the world taken silently into custody.

but ai wei wei has not silenced himself.
soft power is the only way…

Picture 2

so familiar

Picture 2

hard-hitting piece from darksyde about poverty

So, when you become poor in America, it comes complete with shame, isolation and detachment. Young people who are just starting out, with whom you now have much in common economically, don’t want to hang out with an old fart. People your own age see you as a loser. When you go from affluent to poor, even some of your oldest and best friends fall away like leaves in winter, retired family members who worked during times when labor had some clout simply don’t understand the dynamic at play now.

wealth inequality of the staggering variety we practice in 21st century america is a dead-end course to failure:

Time and time again we’ve seen this sad drama play out, in this nation and throughout history. Great wealth becomes concentrated in a tiny number of hands, some of those fortunate people then use their influence to insure they get even more money and power, at the expense of everyone and everything. A small sliver of the population gets much richer, the rest of us suffer immensely. Eventually, the wealthy rig the system so much in their favor that the entire edifice crashes and burns, the cycle of boom and bust continues that has enslaved humans since the development of agriculture and civilization.