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Profile Information

Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 58,179

Journal Archives

From your friends at the Rachel Maddow show

Two questions for the "mainstream" news media, specifically the gnat-brains who write headlines...

1. When did "health care" become "healthcare"? Those are two separate words, not one big word. I know we live in a degraded age, but the space bar is right there by your thumb. Look down. See it? Good. Use it.

2. The "London Interbank Offered Rate" is the average interest rate estimated by the big banks in London to measure what they would be charged if they borrow from other banks. In describing the pan-galactic scandal surrounding the illegal gaming/fixing/​manipulation of this rate, can you please use the acronym LIBOR, rather than the lazy-ass I-can't-summon-the-will-to-hold-down-the-'Shi​ft'-key shortcut of "Libor"? Using "Libor" makes people think you're talking about a small island off the coast of Malaysia, and not about a credit rating that literally affects every human on the planet.

Sincerely Yours,

Not Stupid

Um...yeah...about the whole "You didn't build that" thing...


PERMA-CRUSH. There is no recovery from this. None. You have been warned.

Not photoshopped. Not posed. New nephew awesomeness and friends.

No words. Just no words.

WSJ Columnist Asks if Women Saved By Boyfriends in Aurora Theater Shooting Were Worth It
By Steve Huff
The New York Observer

Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto’s bad Tuesday night on Twitter is a tale of two tweets. First, Mr. Taranto’s offending post, which started a firestorm. Referring to the three women whose boyfriends saved them from the bullets of a mass murderer in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater on July 20, Mr. Taranto wrote:

I hope the girls whose boyfriends died to save them were worthy of the sacrifice.

— James Taranto (@jamestaranto) July 25, 2012


To be fair, Mr. Taranto did retweet many who who took him to task for his musing. This angry, outraged response from a tweeter named Matthew Almont is an excellent example of the sort of bile Mr. Taranto was comfortable with relaying to his followers:

@jamestaranto To their boyfriends, they were. I guess that’s what really matters.

— Matthew Almont (@matthewalmont) July 25, 2012

A blistering reply.


The rest, with links to follow if you have the stomach for it: http://observer.com/2012/07/wsj-columnist-asks-if-women-saved-by-boyfriends-in-aurora-theater-shooting-were-worth-it/

Un. Real.

Learn to swim.

Satellites see unprecedented Greenland ice sheet surface melt

Extent of surface melt over Greenland’s ice sheet on July 8 (left) and July 12 (right). Measurements from three satellites showed that on July 8, about 40 percent of the ice sheet had undergone thawing at or near the surface. In just a few days, the melting had dramatically accelerated and an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12. In the image, the areas classified as “probable melt” (light pink) correspond to those sites where at least one satellite detected surface melting. The areas classified as “melt” (dark pink) correspond to sites where two or three satellites detected surface melting. The satellites are measuring different physical properties at different scales and are passing over Greenland at different times. As a whole, they provide a picture of an extreme melt event about which scientists are very confident.

Read: http://phys.org/news/2012-07-satellites-unprecedented-greenland-ice-sheet.html

Some thoughts on the "If someone else had a gun" argument re: Aurora

The Aurora gunman was wearing body armor. This is an aspect of the "If someone else was armed, this would not have happened" argument you don't hear.

Remember those guys who shot up downtown LA back in the 90s? They were wearing similar armor, and the cops (all armed) had to rob a local gun store to get the necessary firepower to take them down.

The moral: someone else in that theater would have also needed to be packing an AR-15 (or something with similar firepower) to stop the guy...which is where that argument fails.

In addition, people who make that argument are expecting that someone just sitting in a theater with a pistol on their hip can suddenly transform themselves into a combat shooter amid a hail of bullets and in a fog of tear gas.

Video games are one thing, but like as not, anyone shooting back would 1. Hit someone else in the adrenaline frenzy of the moment, and 2. Get themselves killed that much quicker.

Call It "Terrorism"

Call It "Terrorism"
The shooting in Colorado was, undeniably, an act of terror. We in the media should not describe it by another name

By David Sirota

Friday July 20 2012


For all the legitimate questions that will be asked in the coming days (Why are there so many mass shootings in America? Why is it so easy to buy weapons-grade tear gas canisters? How much is this related to the availability of guns?); for all the insulting media coverage that will try to ramrod the dead Fargo-style into the woodchipper of the presidential campaign (New York Times headline: “In Wake of Colorado Shooting, a Concern Over the Proriety of Campaigning”); and for all the demagogues who will use this tragedy for their own gain (pro-gun GOP Rep. Loui Gohmert is today blaming the shooting victims for not being armed) – there is only one harrowing conclusion we can come to for certain immediately after such a heinous act: terrorism has no specific nationality, geography, race or creed.

Not surprisingly, police and reporters have been quick to tell us the opposite — that the suspected shooter was likely just a “lone wolf” and that “this act does not appear to be linked to radical terrorism or anything related to Islamic terrorism,” as ABC News put it. This newspeak is supposed to reassure us that this is anything but terrorism — that terrorism is something that happens only in far away places or huge cosmopolitan cities, not in an Anytown, USA in the American heartland; that terrorism never comes at the hands of a “24-year-old white American male” named “James Holmes,” it only comes at the hands of dark-skinned “evildoers” with hard-to-pronounce names; that terrorism only comes from calculating operatives who represent organized political interests, not from “crazy” individuals who calculatedly act on their own ideology or psychopathy. In this, we are expected to be sedated by such reassurances, to ignore the ever-growing list of such “lone wolves”, and to reject a much wider definition of terrorism, no matter how much the reality of shooting after shooting after shooting screams at us to accept it.

But with bodies strewn across an Aurora movie theater and a nation clearly terrorized, we must ask: what is terrorism, if it is not a man in a riot mask and bullet-proof vest, armed with tear gas canisters and weapons, meticulously executing a military-style assault on a crowded movie theater?

Confronting that question, of course, is mind-bending and painful — in the age of “War on Terror” agitprop that purposely defines terrorism in one specific, narrow and politically convenient way, it’s akin to the cognitive difficulty of pondering the size of the universe … or, perhaps, death itself. It takes us out of our comfort zone and forces us to consider the causes of all kinds of extremism and violence — not just the foreign Islamic kind that we so flippantly write off as alien. Indeed, at a time when so many bloodlusting Americans cheer on our government proudly assassinating the imams who allegedly inspire Muslim terrorism, a shooting like this (if, indeed, it had nothing to do with Islamic extremism) begs us to wonder why we don’t feel similarly bellicose or enraged at the inspirations fueling so many other forms of terrorism — whatever those inspirations may be.

The rest: http://www.salon.com/2012/07/20/call_it_terrorism/

Mitt's Kampaign Klown Kar

(the pic at the article is pretty great...)

Mitt's Kampaign Klown Kar
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Thursday 19 July 2012

I do not like clowns. Never have. To be blunt, they frighten me.

It all goes back to my childhood, when I would visit my grandfather in Alabama. The guest room I stayed in when visiting Grandad's home was perfectly comfortable, nicely air conditioned, with a soft bed and plenty of pillows...but above the bed hung a portrait of a young boy whose face was lathered in clown paint. The boy's mouth was half-open, as if he was preparing to scream, and his eyes were focused off in the distance...towards the foot of the bed, where, I assumed at the time, more clowns lurked, waiting to pounce.

Sounds crazy? You didn't see this painting. Sleep and Alabama were not boon companions in my youth.

The circus was another un-fun scene for me as a kid. The lions, tigers and bears (oh my!) were entertaining enough, but when the clown car rolled in and vomited out a mob of gibbering, multicolored horrors, it was time to make for the door. The intervening years have leavened the atavistic dread I feel for all things clown-related thanks to that gruesome little painting above the Alabama bed of my youth, to the point that I am now able to watch the Romney campaign without covering my eyes.

Man o man o man o man...did anyone see this coming? I certainly did not. Months and months ago, when arguing the finer points of the GOP primary field with my conservative friends, I would constantly make the point that Romney was the GOP's best possible option. He's a non-doctrinaire Republican with the kind of business experience that independent voters can cleave to, I said back then, and he's got all the money in the world. Given the batpoop-craziness infesting the rest of the Republican field at the time, I felt pretty confident in my pronouncements.


"Non-doctrinaire" has translated into abject flip-floppery on a scale that beggars comparison. He was for his own health care plan before he was against it, and believed the mandate he created was a tax before he didn't; he was for stem cell research before he was against it; he was for a woman's right to choose before he was against it; he believed humans bear responsibility for climate change before he didn't; he was for giving undocumented workers a path to citizenship before he wasn't; he wasn't the biggest NRA fan before he was, and said he owned a gun before saying he didn't; he was for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" until he was asked again, at which point he decided he was against it; and he was against Grover Norquist's no-taxes pledge until - you guessed it - he signed the pledge after declaring his intention to seek the presidency.

"Business experience"...where to begin? This has been the lynchpin of Romney's 293-month presidential campaign, until the Obama re-election crew went ju-jitsu on him, and in a matter of minutes turned his seemingly greatest strength into a water-kneed weakness that has sent his entire operation into a tailspin of nonsense that makes the McCain '08 campaign look like a collection of steely-eyed ninjas by comparison.

The rest: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/10383-mitts-kampaign-klown-kar

Bain/Bane...here you go.

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