30 June 2011 · Comments Off on Preparing for the Nightly News · Categories: First Looks

Presented by Comically Vintage.

30 June 2011 · Comments Off on Facebook Frolics, Crowdsourcing Dept. · Categories: Geek Stuff

Vancouver, B. C., hockey rioters being identified via Facebook. From MarketWatch:

Thousands of other riot pictures have shown the impressive power of social and digital media — good and bad — in tracking down the drunk knuckleheads (and probably a few G20-type anarchists) who trashed the lovely city’s downtown after the Vancouver Canucks lost their climactic hockey game. The riot aftermath is also proving what one caller on Vancouver radio talk station CKNW caller said last week: “The internet is forever.”

If you’ve been identified — rightly or wrongly — as one of the rioters in the hundreds of cellphone pictures posted online by outraged Vancouverites since the June 15 ugliness “you could apply for a job in 20 years and all the employer has to do is Google your name. If you’re in one of those photos, you’re out of luck,” correctly noted the Vancouver caller. Current employers of alleged and confessed rioters are also feeling the public’s wrath (more on this below).

The internet is still a public place.

30 June 2011 · Comments Off on Fracking Women · Categories: Political Theatre


30 June 2011 · Comments Off on Chartering the Wrong Course, Reprise · Categories: Political Theatre

As a follow-up to this post, here’s a pointer to Monday’s Radio Times, which spent an hour discussing the Stanford report on charter schools. From the website:

Since 1997 when Pennsylvania first authorized the establishment of charter schools, over 70,000 students in grades K-12 have enrolled in one of 135 “bricks and mortar” charter schools and a dozen cyber charter schools state-wide . In Philadelphia, one out of four students attends a charter school and the numbers are growing. Charter schools are created by parents, teachers, community leaders, and education management organizations. And while they have become a centerpiece in the school choice movement their very existence is the source of considerable debate. A new study by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes reports mixed results when it comes to student learning. Have Pennsylvania’s charter schools fulfilled their promise? Our guests include the report’s author DEV DAVIS , ROBERT FAYFICH of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools, and education researcher GARY MIRON of Western Michigan University.

Here’s a bit from the comments of Gary Miron at the 22 minute mark:

It’s time to revisit the original goals of the charter school reform. I’m one of those who argues that the charter school idea is a very good idea. Unfortunately what we are seeing implemented today and the growth of charter schools today being fueled by for-profit companies, is a very different reform and I’ve suggested that we use a different term for it. Let’s call this “corporate schools,” let’s call them “franchise schools.”

The charter school idea is a good idea but unfortunately we are not pursing that idea right now. We’re pursuing something different in the name of charter schools.

Follow the link to listen or listen here (mp3).

H/T to Cassandra M for tipping me about the episode.

30 June 2011 · Comments Off on Don’t Bank on the Cloud · Categories: Geek Stuff

My two or three regular readers know that I am skeptical about the “cloud,” the latest marketese for “file servers,” except that these servers belong to someone else, out there, out of your control.

Now there’s another reason not to put your data on their computers. Raw Story reports:

In the brave new world of cloud computing, where data is stored off-site in massive server farms instead of on a user’s local hard drive, privacy and security are paramount in the consumer’s mind.

Unfortunately for privacy advocates, their concerns are essentially moot thanks to the U.S.A. Patriot Act, which a key Microsoft official said recently permits the U.S. to spy on data stored within cloud servers across the European Union.

The revelation of transcontinental spying, which has long been suspected, came from Gordon Frazer, Microsoft U.K.’s managing director, speaking at an announcement event for the company’s new suite of office software.

30 June 2011 · Comments Off on Third Rail Ryan · Categories: Political Economy

Had Paul Ryan offered something constructive about Medicare, he might not have turned himself into a third rail for Republican candidates.

But the public quickly realized that, ultimately, his plan was classic Republicanism: Decreasing the quantity and quality of services while turning buckets of money over to Wall Street bonus babies.

In other words, more rich richer, poor poorer.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Via Jack and Jill Politics.

30 June 2011 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

The patient’s condition is unchanged.

Jobless claims fell by 1,000 to 428,000 in the week ended June 25, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg News survey called for a drop to 420,000. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls and those getting extended payments declined.

No doubt laying off more teachers will fix this.

30 June 2011 · Comments Off on Bachmann to the Future · Categories: Political Theatre

Via TPM.

30 June 2011 · Comments Off on QOTD · Categories: First Looks

Edward Everett:

Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army.

29 June 2011 · Comments Off on It Walks Again by Night, Journanimalism Dept. · Categories: Political Theatre

Steve M. explains why right wing zombie lies never die:

Mainstream journalists are never going to put heat on right-wing politicians for spouting policy nonsense because (a) they think it’s their job not to take sides, even in a contest between truth and lies; (b) they, as refs, are effectively worked by the liberal-baiting right, which increases their timidity; and (c) the right regularly floods the zone with untruths, sophistry, and superstition produced by seemingly “respectable” people, so the only way for non-right-wing journalists to seem objective is to run every story as they-said/they-said.

29 June 2011 · Comments Off on The Wrong Choices · Categories: Political Economy

29 June 2011 · Comments Off on Hard To Swallow · Categories: First Looks

Radio Times looks at part of the collection of Philadelphia’s Mutter Museum. From the website:

Philadelphia is home to the Mutter Museum, a medical museum famous for its anatomical specimens and medical oddities. One of the most interesting collections is in a set of drawers that contain nearly 2,000 objects that were swallowed and then extracted without surgery by renowned laryngologist Chevalier Jackson in the early 20th century. Jackson’s Foreign Body Collection at the Mutter Museum includes wristwatches, nails, umbrella tips, toy opera glasses, pins, and Christmas ornaments.

Follow the link to listen.

29 June 2011 · Comments Off on Collateral Damage · Categories: Political Theatre


29 June 2011 · Comments Off on Plus Ca Change · Categories: Masters of the Universe

Cornelius Vanderbilt, famous 19th Century Wall Street bonus baby:

What do I care about law? Ain’t I got the power?

29 June 2011 · Comments Off on Mech Warriors · Categories: Political Theatre

Rightwing Armor

Via Bob Cesca.

29 June 2011 · Comments Off on Ryan’s Express Line · Categories: Political Theatre

29 June 2011 · Comments Off on Design Flaws · Categories: Political Theatre

Andy Borowitz reports:

“Michele Bachmann is a staunch believer in the theory of Intelligent Design,” he said. “However, Intelligent Design cannot explain Michele Bachmann.”

But Dr. Logsdon added that Rep. Bachmann remains an attractive candidate, especially for those Republican voters who find former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin “too cerebral.”

29 June 2011 · Comments Off on Bachmann History Overdrive · Categories: Too Stupid for Words

Those who do not know history are condemned to make fools of themselves in public.

See the Backmann roundup here.

Meanwhile, in Cloud Cuckoo Land (more at the link) of “the cloud” . . .

Bachmann, who officially launched her campaign yesterday in Waterloo, Iowa, told a Fox News reporter that she was proud to be in the town where John Wayne was from, because she embodies his ideals. Unfortunately for her, it turns out that the actor John Wayne was not from Waterloo, but serial killer John Wayne Gacy was.

Shortly after the gaffe, the Wikipedia page for actor John Wayne was altered to change his birthplace from Winterset, Iowa to Waterloo, apparently as an effort to cover for the misguided politician.

I don’t know where believing that changing a Wikipedia entry somehow changes history falls on the


scale. I think it manages to hit both ends at the same time.

29 June 2011 · Comments Off on QOTD · Categories: First Looks

Bill Vaughan:

A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won’t cross the street to vote in a national election.

28 June 2011 · Comments Off on TSA Security Theatre · Categories: First Looks

Now showing at Comically Vintage.