Westminster Road

The world is a fine place and worth fighting for. (Hemingway)

 

Photography






Grand Canyon


Fast Landscapes


River Nudes


Illustrated Songs


Canandaigua Print Exhibit


Courtney Carroll



Tennis ’15


Disappearing Memory


Valley of the Gods


On The Road


Pacific Highway


NorCal


Cartoline da Italia


Paris


Spain


Trails Taken


Early Autumn


Chicago


Lost  in the Woods


Joshua Tree


Painted Ladies


Watersong



All Galleries




Music







Vital  Links




GAO Study: Most US corporations avoid income tax




Most U.S. and foreign corporations doing business in the United States avoid paying any federal income taxes, despite trillions of dollars worth of sales, a government study released on Tuesday said.

The Government Accountability Office said 72 percent of all foreign corporations and about 57 percent of U.S. companies doing business in the United States paid no federal income taxes for at least one year between 1998 and 2005.

[…] During that time corporate sales in the United States totaled $2.5 trillion, according to Democratic Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, who requested the GAO study.


How Our Media Thinks



Money for anything other than awesome wars or lower taxes and bailouts for rich people would be treated as crazy by our awesome media.

--Atrios


The Tao Of Apple




Great products, according to Mr. Jobs, are triumphs of “taste.” And taste, he explains, is a byproduct of study, observation and being steeped in the culture of the past and present, of “trying to expose yourself to the best things humans have done and then bring those things into what you are doing.”




SCIENCE AND HEALTH NEWS




Good News For Potheads




The same compounds in marijuana that make you get high may protect you from Alzheimer's.


The San Diego–based Salk Institute released a new study revealing that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other compounds removed toxins associated with the disease known as amyloid beta from lab-grown human neurons.


"Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer's, we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells," Salk Professor David Schubert, the senior author of the paper, said in statement.



Why Save The Planet?




“Why save the planet?,” asks Exxon CEO at a shareholder’s annual meeting, “if humanity suffers?”


Environmental Good News






The U.S. as a nation uses less water in 2011 than it did in 1980. We use less water to produce an economy of $13 trillion than we did to produce an (inflation-adjusted) economy of $6 trillion. That’s incredible. The country over all has doubled its water productivity — which means that it’s possible to continue to grow and modernize, while actually reducing the amount of water we use.


Eat Fiber, Live Longer







A government study found a link between high-fiber diets and lower risks of death not only from heart disease, but from infectious and respiratory illnesses as well.


Fiber's benefits to improve cholesterol levels, blood pressure, inflammation and blood sugar levels may come from its theorized ability to bind to toxins and move them out of the body quicker. 


Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables and beans. But fiber from grains was most strongly tied to the lowered risk in the study.  Whole grains contain vitamins and minerals, which may play a role in reducing risk.  For that reason, supplements may not be as effective. Bottom line: nothing beats original food.



Now What?






High fructose corn syrup is commonly used in place of sugar in processed foods in the USA.  It is being added to an increasing variety of foods (breads, cereals, soft drinks, and condiments). In fact, the average American eats an astounding 41.5 lbs of high fructose corn syrup per year. American subsidies and tariffs have resulted in corn being a much more economical sweetener than sugar--a trend that is not seen in other parts of the world. Many researchers have linked high fructose syrup to obesity and now there’s a study linking it to pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancers around.  We are literally killing ourselves and the planet with our lifestyle.  But will anything be done? 



Total spending on health care, per person, 2007:


United States: $7290

Switzerland: $4417

France: $3601

United Kingdom: $2992

Average of OECD developed nations: $2964

Italy: $2686

Japan: $2581


The Catholic Church Will Not Be Amused


Masturbation removes toxins built up over a lifetime and reduces the risk of prostate cancer.  




Prostate cancer is known to be driven by the male hormone testosterone, and men with high levels of testosterone tend to have a higher sex drive and a higher risk of the cancer.  In their 50s men who were most sexually active (more than 10 times a month for sexual intercourse and masturbation combined) enjoyed a small protective effect. The effect was greater when masturbation was assessed on its own.


Polyxeni Dimitripolou, who led the study published in the British Journal of Urology International, said: "It seems as if keeping up a certain level of sexual activity through the decades is better than having a high level early [in the 20s and 30s] and then nothing."




"One theory is that during the early years the prostate gland is more susceptible to hormonal changes and is still developing. As men age and accumulate toxins from the diet or through their lungs , sexual activity may help release them. Studies have found toxins in the semen and the fluid produced in the prostate. As you age it is more important to flush them out."




TODAY’S QUOTES




“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” --Frederic Bastiat


The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

-John K. Galbraith


Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich. --Napoleon


Our elites are populated with significant numbers of people who truly believe that the biggest problem this country faces is that poor people have it a bit too good.

-Atrios


“We all have the faults of our virtues,”

-Anonymous


“Liberals feel unworthy of their possessions. Conservatives feel they deserve everything they’ve stolen.”

-Mort Sahl


Republicans care about tax cuts for rich people and taxing poor people to give the money to their rich friends. They don't care about the deficit. They never have.

--Atrios


The neo-con school of foreign policy: all problems should be solved through force, and all problems with the use of force should be solved through the application of more force.

-Matt Yglesias


“(Michelle Obama’s got to prove her patriotism)! She’s a Democrat. She must prove she loves America, as opposed to Republicans who everyone knooows love America. They just hate half the people living in it.”

-Jon Stewart


True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.

-Kurt Vonnegut


“Bipartisanship doesn’t mean occupying the middle ground between wisdom and folly.”

-Gene Lyons


Tea partiers are still the same racist authoritarian pro-big-business social conservatives who love their government dole but are desperately afraid that the "wrong" people might be getting theirs, i.e.the same lunatics that have always been with us.

-Anon


Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.

-Muhammad Ali




BOOK REVIEW




Becoming Steve Jobs

Brent Schendler






Insanely good in telling not only Steve’s and Apple’s story, but also of the Valley and the digital revolution. The author lives in Palo Alto, knew Jobs and  covered the industry. His biography has great insight, knowledge and feel. Five Stars!


Our Kind of Traitor

John Le Carre







Just a quick note.  I always enjoy reading Le Carre.  He tells a good story with rich complicated characters.  Only flaw is that he employs the same general arc to his story.  You just know the ending will be tragic.  Sometimes it’s worthwhile and cathartic, and other times, not so much.  What Our Kind of Traitor has going for it is a number of characters trying to do the right thing so there’s ample opportunity to feel the sting of the ending.



Djibouti

Elmore Leonard






I’m lying in bed sick.  Desperate to pass the time.  So I pick up a Xmas gift, figuring Leonard would be a good read.  After all the other two or three books weren’t bad, nor were the movies based on his books.


Djibouti, however, is one of the laziest efforts I have ever read by a “major” novelist.  Leonard’s writing is careless and sloppy in every regard. The book starts as a story about Somali pirates and morphs into an al Qadea terrorist plot gone astray.  Acclaimed writer fashioning adept twists and turns?  My suspicion is that Leonard is trying to salvage a couple of months writing that didn’t go anywhere.  In a muddled scramble he attempts to use worthless material and cover up the story’s flaws with hackneyed stylistic devices and tongue in cheek asides by the two filmmaker protagonists as they acknowledge that their “documentary” lacks a theme, dramatic flow and an ending.  Hah!  Hah!  Nothing like making your characters pay for your own failures.


With all the drinking that goes on in story by the two filmmakers, my guess is that Leonard was really on the sauce for this one and when he finally figured out how hopeless it was as a book, he started writing it as a pitch for a movie.  “Hell,” he probably slurred while taking another glass of champagne, or wine, or martini, or cosmo,  “I’ll even help out by suggesting a cast.”


Curious to see how other reviewers responded to this mess of a book, I was surprised to read a number of respectful reviews, including one by Alan Cheuse that praised his “deliciously made” dialogue as comparable to Hemingway.  “Hah, hah” I say, “delicious as shit.”



High Lonesome

Joyce Carol Oates






Didn’t know she was that good.  Was aware of her from the Sixtes, but never took her up.  Couldn’t believe that someone so prolific could have that much to say, so I dismissed her as a neurotic hack.


Her novel them (1969) won the National Book Award, and her novels Black Water (1992), What I Lived For (1994), and Blonde (2000) were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.


High Lonesome is a collection of her short stories from 1966-2006.  The first eleven are new work and throughout she exhibits a very versatile voice, although each narrator displays a disjointed groping for understanding and solace.  These stories are about broken lives that some people can find depressing and possibly horrid, but there resides a resolute heroic quality in the struggles of these very ordinary people as they try to come to grips with the calamities that have befallen them.  Life isn’t always a romantic comedy and heroes aren’t always larger than life.


The stories from the Sixties are more conventional stylistically, but their themes remain the same: families in crisis, individuals teetering along the edge of spiritual, emotional abysses, the high lonesomeness of existence.


She has a keen eye for character, their behaviors and assumptions, their tactics for understanding and coping with the world, their emotional, psychological thought processes.  Not once did I say to myself, “no, that’s just not believable, nobody acts or thinks that way.”


Although her stories deal with everyday people coping with commonplace issues, she has a great gift of being able to craft seductive mysteries that the narrative subtly exposes.  At times you wonder where the story is leading you to; and you hope that the ending isn’t trite, banal, obvious, or the insipid open ending.  For the most part she succeeds and prompts you to reflect back upon the story and its meaning.  That’s good stuff, I say.


Again, these stories are not for those readers who wish to escape, to be entertained and have a good laugh or two.  These aren’t stories fit for pop culture, but rather for those readers who are interested in stories that probe into the deeper essences of what it means to be alive, what it means to be conflicted, to be lost and torn, to have doubts, fears, anxieties, troubles and sufferings.  Real troubles and real sufferings, not the manufactured kind of almost all movies and novels.  

 

Name: Rustam Tahir

Gender: Male

Age: Timeless

Status: Married

Hometown: Citizen of the World

My Family:


Duke Grad


2001 New Years


Contact:

rustamtahir@mac.com


PayPal Email:

rustam@rochester.rr.com

 

Profile


movies





The Big Short

Rating 9.1


Besides being a must see for the subject matter alone, the movie is funny, entertaining, suspenseful, well-acted, and especially well written and directed. It cleverly and creatively tells the very arcane story of how a number of disparate, emotionally and socially challenged individuals came to believe that fraud underpinned the entire financial system. The 2008 Wall Street collapse that led to trillions of dollars lost, that ravaged nations, and destroyed families was a direct consequence of that fraud.  Financial panics happened in the past and will inevitably happen in the future; but there was a reason we didn’t experience one between the Depression and now. Bank regulation works.


Best movie I’ve seen this year. Oscar worthy.


Blue Jasmine

Rating 8.3



Marie Antoinette meets Blanche Dubois, with a great social and economic critique of the last five years thrown in for good measure. Great job by Cate Blanchett, shifting in and out of moods and behaviors, navigating through a seemingly shallow, selfish, deceptive, immoral character and making her just sympathetic enough that we hope she can escape from her descent into madness. It’s not your conventional mystery story, but it is suspenseful as you try to figure out how she will pay for her sins or how she will be saved from an imminent hell of muttering to herself on a park bench. This is Woody as the hellfire and brimstone moralist, not the stand up comedian, the eternal kvetcher; but he nevertheless laces Blue Jasmine with enough hope, comedy and wit to keep theoncoming darkness away until the very end.


Again, great job by Cate and although my last hope, Hailee Steinfield in True Grit didn’t get an Oscar, maybe Cate will.


Zero Dark Thirty

Rating 3.0



Gruesome, tendentious, a stale script, and tiresome histrionics that you’ve seen in hundreds of movies before. The only portion of the movie that was appealing was the re-enactment of the raid that killed bin Laden. Otherwise, don’t bother watching. There was one redeeming quality. It really made me question our use of drones to kill suspected terrorists not just on a moral and constitutional level, but on a practical level. These CIA officers didn’t have a clue if someone was telling them the truth or not.


The Good Shepherd

Rating 9.0


I’m going against the grain here.  Rotten tomatoes has it at basically a fifty-fifty proposition with some really eviscerating reviews. One critic said, “It’s like watching a fish stare at you from inside the magnifying wall of an aquarium and just about as exciting.” Another said, “ It’s tough to slog through a movie with no pulse.” Even the CIA gets into the act slamming the movie because “By using composite or archetypal characters modeled on real CIA officers, by placing them in scenarios based on actual historical events, and by careful attention to sets, costumes, and other details, The Good Shepherd has a degree of authenticity, a documentary feel,” that will lead viewers to conclude that this movie is the “untold truth of the CIA”.


From my perspective it is a complex, intricate, subtle, intelligent story on how sordid and corrupting the spy business is. In the name of loyalty and patriotism, the characters engage in deceit, treachery, and continual betrayal of friends, mentors, lovers, and family. Lives are shattered, careers are destroyed, souls and consciences reduced to emptiness.


Sound too depressing to watch? Maybe for fifty percent of the audience, but for me the hook of Matt Damon trying to figure out who the traitor was that divulged the landing site of the Bay of Pigs operation kept me entertained and engrossed as the grim theme played itself out to its Godfather part two type conclusion. This is not melodrama with over the top histrionics, with the conventional ingredients of car chases and rooftop scrambles. This is not Bourne, this is tragedy and it is a great movie with a great performance by Matt Damon, a great script by Eric Roth, first class cinematography and an excellent directorial job by Robert DeNiro. Too bad the movie barely made its budget at the box office.


Skyfall

Rating 9.0




Possibly the best Bond ever made.  Definitely the most visually stunning. A darkly nuanced story with moral complications. Good script with entertaining banter. A little heavy on the chase scenes (which are excellently done), but that’s the modern movie. Love the new Miss Moneypenney. But Bardem’s portrayal of an agent sacrificed and now seeking his revenge on M, is a bit over the top on the gay angle. Did not enjoy his performance as the gay menace.

Wouldn’t mind seeing it again a few years down the road.


The Social Network

Rating 8.4




Very entertaining movie, but from what I hear, a not completely accurate portrayal of Zuckerberg.  The movie ends with him sitting alone in a darkened conference room, obviously lamenting the loss of love while the soundtrack plays “Baby You’re A Rich Man”.  Not true, according my sources, as he still has the same girlfriend.  So if we accept that Hollywood never tells the truth when recounting real stories, what are we left with?  A great script by Aaron Sorkin, a riveting performance by Jesse Eisenberg as Zuckerberg, and a superb directorial effort by David Fincher.  Watching on a plane’s woefully inadequate screen is a catalyst for restlessness and frustration, but this movie manages to overcome those liabilities and not let up for an instant.


True Grit

Rating 7.9



Too many quibbles undermine a great first half and an unbelievable performance by Hailee Steinfeld.  If she doesn’t get the Oscar, it will be robbery. If they give it for supporting actress, it will be demeaning.  As long as the film centered around Mattie, as it did for the first half, it was mesmerizing.  As soon as the film embarked on tracking down Chaney, the killer of Mattie’s father, it began to devolve into a typical western, cops and bad guys, action/adventure.  Having Rooster Cogburn take center stage, and despite the fact that Bridges played the role admirably, made everything seem predictable and unsurprising.  I’ve seen too many movies based on variations of his character: eccentric, drunken, lawman/private eye chasing bad guys. 


The quibbles included continuity problems, scenes that could have been cut, scenes that overwhelmed credulity, and the weakness of the Matt Damon character, who was played basically for laughs.  But that first half, with Mattie controlling the action with her acid tongue, her precocious intelligence and bravado, is simply wonderful. “Steinfeld is the movie's everything,” as Salon’s movie critic O’Hehir writes,  “narrator, conscience, moral and visual center, driving force.” 


Finally, and unlike No Country For Old Men, it is that the thematic lens, “You must pay for everything in this life, one way and another. There is nothing free, except the grace of God,” works and doesn’t seem like an appendage designed to make the movie appear profound.



La Dolce Vita

Rating: 8.9



Marcello is looking for love in all the wrong places in one of Fellini’s masterpieces, La Dolce Vita.  A long film, clocking in at 173 minutes (that’s nearly three hours folks), La Dolce Vita resembles a modern day Dante’s Inferno in which the hero journeys through Hell on his way to Salvation.  Except in this pessimistic version of the story, Marcello, Fellini’s dashing, conflicted, and lost Hero, remains bound and tormented in Hell, unable to understand or even hear Salvation’s offer. 


It’s an entertaining and satirical journey through Italy’s upper crust, a society in which very few come through looking good.  In fact, Marcello’s Beatrice is a young, innocent servant girl, not yet corrupted by society’s vices. This is a moral tale told with an ironic eye, sympathetic heart, and an entertainer’s touch.  The stories are well crafted, the images are great to look at, the only issue I have is that some of the performances are sub par distracting.  Lex Barker’s drunk Hollywood star was particularly annoying. 


The film is narratively episodic, so its length can easily be broken up into  a couple of segments.  I watched mine on inbound and return flights. 


Another modern film that reminds me of Dante’s journey through Hell is Woody Allen’s best film, Manhattan.  The main difference between the two is that Manhattan has an American Ending: Salvation remains attainable.


The Ghostwriter

Rating 8.4




Roman Polanski answers the question why Blair was Washington’s lap dog.  Don’t know if he really believes it or simply uses it to create an excellent suspense, thriller, mystery. I was lead to believe by some reviews that this was an uneven film teetering between a B-  and C+.  I, however, thought differently. The performances, the pacing, the cinematography and the narrative drive are all well-crafted.  Only quibble was my inability to hear and understand the Brit dialogue.


The Visitor

Rating 8.0




Sixty-two-year-old college professor Walter Vale is sleepwalking through his life. When his college sends him to Manhattan to attend a conference, Walter is surprised to find a young couple has taken up residence in his NYC apartment. Victims of a real estate scam, a Syrian man and his Senegalese girlfriend have nowhere else to go. In the first of a series of tests of compassion, Walter reluctantly allows the couple to stay with him. Whereas in a Hollywood movie the tagline would then be “hijinks ensue,” this independent film shoots for something more lasting and emotionally and thematically deeper.  Well acted, well directed, this short story of movie subtly sneaks up on you.  Many critics are calling Richard Jenkins’ performance as the shy widower an oscar worthy performance.  I must admit that it is nice to see a very understated and deftly nuanced performance being thought of as oscar material.  It’s quite a change from the often bombastic, over the top, histrionics (see Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood) that Hollywood seems to favor.


Death at a Funeral

Rating 8.0


Enjoyable comedy with a number of burst out laughing scenes.  A chaotic plot, more than a few zany characters and situations.  Fun and easy to watch.


Be Cool

Rating 7.9


Another fun and easy to watch movie.  Nothing special or glorious, just pleasantly amusing entertainment.  Travolta reprises his Chili Palmer role from Get Shorty, this time applying his “shylock” skills in the LA music scene. Assorted stars playing their roles in over the top fashion is one of the treats of the movie.  Vince Vaughn plays a particularly stupid wannabe thug.  The surprise of the movie was the performance of Christina Milian as Linda Moon “The Star is Born” musical lead of the movie.  Great movie for a plane ride.


The Bourne Ultimatum

Rating 7.0




Decent thriller with an undercurrent of social commentary that gives it a little more heft than the usual fare.  In many ways the movie is not only about Bourne’s identity but America’s after 9/11.


The movie is filled with intrusive surveillance, enforced censorship, water-boarding and other techniques of coercion, extra-judicial killings, covert operations abroad, collateral damage, and a 'patriotic' conspiracy that will stop at nothing to achieve an undefined victory.  Bourne’s quest through this paranoid nightmare to understand how he came to be murdering so many strangers abroad, and his driving desire to return home, might mirror the thoughts of many US soldiers and citizens who have come to doubt the wisdom of the Bush administration's so-called War on Terror. But the cinematic conclusion is a fantasy, as our predicament is even more dire than the movie suggests.  Justice is served in the movie when the confidential memos that reveal the deadly sins of the American war on terror are faxed by a sympathetic CIA ally to an institution that will see justice done.  But in reality what institution exists in our world?  Congress, as in the movie?  Please, the democrats are feckless collaborators and appeasers.  The Justice department?  It has just said that anything the President does is legal.  The Corporate, lapdog press?  Don’t make me laugh.  Really, who in our time can stop the madness?


Children of Men

Rating: 5.5  


Decent enough movie that had a more compelling premise than the movie actually delivered.  It is a dystopian vision of the world where for some inexplicable reason women are unable to conceive and carry to term. As a consequence total nihilism has gripped the world and chaos is the norm.  From this maelstrom of despair a single woman emerges miraculously pregnant.  I have not read the P D James book on which this movie is based and so I can’t comment if the movie is faithful to the book’s themes; but the filmmakers made the commercial decision to create a simple thriller: can Clive Owen transport the pregnant woman to safety?  

 

The Departed

Rating: 9.0  

Scorsese’s best movie from start to finish. Although a few of his other movies have had stretches of brilliance that eclipse The Departed, (Raging Bull, New York, New York) I have always felt that all of his movies lacked sustaining power and that by the time a climax needed to be reached, Scorsese was spent.  Too much aesthetic foreplay in my opinion as his movies reveled in how the story was told, how the scenes were created, how the actors performed.  His mindset seemed to be “I can’t cut this beautiful image out. I have to use this great performance.  I just love this edit.”  Scorsese is a director who uses stories and makes movies so that he can create images, scenes, and performances, instead of the other way around.  As a consequence the narrative drive was lost and like a self absorbed seducer he found himself fumbling with a corpse.  The intricacy of the plot in The Departed forces Scorsese to focus on making sure that all the dots are connected.  Maybe some critics who have commented that the movie doesn’t stand up to previous efforts feel that this is a pedestrian quality and thus diminishes its value; but I’m a big believer in dramatic punches and you don’t deliver a good punch to a dead audience. Anyway, all the good Scorsese stuff is there, scene construction, acting, imagery, editing juxtaposition, emotional resonance and they all work for the greater good.





THE POLICE STATE




Fascism Primer

Giving up on the use of the word liberal as a way to smear Democrats and Obama, Republicans first turned to “socialism.”  Unable to gain traction, they are now resorting to calling Obama and his policies “fascism.”  So here’s a short list of the things Republicans label as fascism: Universal health care coverage; a 39% top tax rate; boosting funding for voluntary national service programs, the stimulus package.  Here are a few things they don’t consider fascism: Indefinite detention without trial; torture; “Disappearing ‘enemy combatants’”; warrantless surveillance of American citizens.



The Arts



Robert Rauschenberg died on May 14, 2008.  He was one of America’s greats.



He was born in Port Arthur, Texas, in 1925. Like many artists of his generation he served in the military during the 1940s and used the G.I. Bill to attend college. He studied art at Black Mountain College near Asheville, North Carolina, where he worked under Josef Albers and met other progressive artists who greatly shaped his artistic identity, including John Cage and Merce Cunningham.




Rauschenberg’s fascination with popular imagery and his anything goes aesthetic indisputably influenced Pop Art, which would mimic the look of popular culture as opposed to Rauschenberg’s more subjective renderings.

Rauschenberg used images of current events gathered from magazines and newspapers for his 1964 collage Retroactive 1 (1964). A large press photograph of John F. Kennedy speaking at a televised news conference was the source for this screen print on canvas. He juxtaposed the image of Kennedy with another photo silkscreen of a parachuting astronaut. The overlapping, and seemingly disparate, composition creates a colorful visual commentary on a media-saturated culture struggling to come to grips with the television era.




BITS AND PIECES



People Simply Don’t Believe





When I tell them that 400 Americans own as much wealth as approximately 50% of the country.  Here’s the link.


Show Me The Money





Go take a look at the fifteen charts. And then tell me why we place so much trust in the free market system when it's clear it only works for a small percentage of Americans.


“Of  Course  It’s About The Oil!”




General Abizaid, former CENTCOM commander, speaking at a Stanford forum, injects a kernel of reality in the Iraq War debate,  “Of course it’s about oil, we can’t really deny that,”


Coming on the heels of Greenspan’s pronouncement that “the Iraq War is largely about oil,”, it seems as if official Washington is starting to play its last and most obvious card as it struggles to justify a lie.  I suppose they figure that now it’s ok to say that the US military is but an operational arm of the oil companies.



The Propaganda Machine





An important message from Charles Pierce:

It is important to remember that neither the Heritage Foundation nor the American Enterprise Institute exist to do actual empirical research. You know, the kind of research where you really don't know what the answer's going to be until you've done all the research and assembled all the data. You know, the honest kind.


Oh, no. None of that for these folks. Both of these outfits exist solely to put a pseudo-academic gloss on what conservative politicians choose to believe anyway. They are not "think-tanks," if that buzzy phrase ever had a real meaning. They are talking-point factories. They exist so that people like Michele Bachmann can appear to be smart...


Heritage and AEI produce "research" the way the Fox News Channel produces "journalism." It's propaganda with data points.





FOOD FOR THOUGHT




The Nietzsche Family Circus



“When marrying, ask yourself this question: Do you believe that you will be able to converse well with this person into your old age? Everything else in marriage is transitory.”



“Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.”




“Sensuality often makes love grow too quickly, so that the root remains weak and is easy to pull out.”



“To predict the behavior of ordinary people in advance, you only have to assume that they will always try to escape a disagreeable situation with the smallest possible expenditure of intelligence.”




It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.




I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.




Success has always been a great liar.




“Faith means not wanting to know what is true.”



“Is man one of God's blunders? Or is God one of man's blunders?”



good links




 
 
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