Saturday, September 17, 2011

No One Here Gets Out Alive

Like musical figures dying at 27, so too 51 for daughters of Democratic Senators? (Who at least didn't die of plain old rock&roll, but "naturally.")

Friday, September 16, 2011

Brooks Brothers Bolsheviks

How they screwed us, & you as well:

If you want to read a radical critique of twenty-first century American capitalism, skip the Daily Worker and go straight to Wall Street. A 2005 report by three Citigroup analysts coined the term “plutonomy” to describe an economy in which only the rich matter. In a follow-up report (cited in Don Peck’s excellent new book, Pinched), the analysts explained that the United States was “powered by the wealthy, who aggrandized larger chunks of the economy to themselves.”

Not to be outdone, Michael Cembalest, the chief investment officer of JPMorgan Chase, wrote in July of this year (in a clients-only newsletter obtained by Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson) that “profit margins have reached levels not seen in decades,” and “reductions in wages and benefits explain the majority of the net improvement.” (Cembalest printed the latter quote in boldfaced lettering.) “US labor compensation,” he explained, “is now at a 50-year low relative to both company sales and US GDP.”

Cembalest and the Citigroup analysts see the American postindustrial economy’s abandonment of fair play as an interesting fact to consider in formulating future investment strategies, not an occasion to march down Broad Street waving some Fortune 500 chairman’s bald head atop a bloody pike. By contrast, the Wall Street maverick traders profiled in Michael Lewis’s razor-sharp 2010 narrative The Big Short see it as both. “The upper classes of this country raped this country” is one of the more polite things that Morgan Stanley money manager Steve Eisman has to say on the eve of the 2008 sub-prime fiasco. A Spartacus Youth clubber might judge Eisman’s rhetoric a trifle overwrought. A few pages later, Eisman concedes that, by shorting the sub-prime market, he helped create the liquidity that kept it going: “We fed the monster until it blew up.”

Then there’s Dan Alpert. As managing partner of the New York investment bank Westwood Capital, Alpert hasn’t lost interest in making money. But, when he describes his view of how joblessness and stagnating middle-income wages relate to the debt bubble of the aughts—as he’s been doing more and more in the financial press and on the Washington policy-wonk circuit—he sounds like Robespierre. (He’s actually more of a Hubert Humphrey Democrat. Alpert and I were grade-school friends when Humphrey lost his presidential bid in 1968; we fell out of touch soon after. This past winter, our mutual interest in income inequality, about which I’m writing a book, brought us together.)

Once upon a time, Alpert explains, American capitalists paid American laborers with something called a “salary.” Henry Ford famously boosted his workers’ pay to $5 a day so they could buy the Model Ts they were assembling. The better part of a century passed, and, by the early aughts, globalization had created a world oversupply of free-market labor—a hiring hall now housing about 2.6 billion recruits from emerging nations, together with roughly 550 million in the developed world. It no longer made financial sense to pay American workers high wages when you could pay Chinese workers low wages to do the same work. On the other hand, if American workers lost their spending power, who would keep the U.S. economy afloat?

The rise of cheap credit provided the answer. American labor effectively got paid in a different currency: debt. Instead of Model Ts, the latter-day working class bought overpriced houses and all sorts of other stuff it couldn’t afford. The beauty for the capitalists was that, when laborers got paid with debt, they had to pay it back with interest. Alpert calls it “middle-class serfdom.”

Alpert doesn’t believe there was a capitalist conspiracy; his point is that had there been a conspiracy, the outcome wouldn’t look much different. During the past half-century, Alpert explains, there were two large debt bubbles. The first one, during the late ’80s, saw real median incomes increase along with debt. Not a lot (inflation-adjusted median income hasn’t seen much growth since the early ’70s), but enough to ease the pain when the bubble burst in 1987. When plotted in a graph, the ’80s debt bubble looks like a big hill (debt) on top of a little hill (income). The second bubble, during the aughts, was a different story altogether. It occurred while real incomes went down. The aughts’ debt bubble looks like a big hill on top of a big valley. This time, there’s nothing to ease the pain.

Alpert isn’t the first person to suggest that our current economic troubles resulted from people buying with debt what they could no longer buy with wages; Raghuram G. Rajan has made a similar case in this magazine (see “Let Them Eat Credit,” August 27, 2010) and in his 2010 book Fault Lines. But Rajan is an economist. Alpert is a banker. Bankers buy, sell, and securitize debt. Banks are essentially debt stores, right?

No, Alpert says. You might call a commercial bank a debt store, he explained in an e-mail, or a foreign bank, or “the post-Glass-Steagall mega-monstrosities.” But an investment bank is (or at least is supposed to be) more of a capitalinvestment store. Alpert has, he concedes, created his share of “products” over his career, including the first pooled commercial-mortgage-backed securities to be graded by any of the big three ratings agencies. His firm got out of mortgage-backed securities “when the business became both irresponsible and commoditized. There was no value for us to add, because we don’t have a checkbook of other people’s money to fritter away.” They don’t have such a checkbook because Alpert’s firm is an old-fashioned partnership, not a publicly held company.

Why is Alpert so vocal? He says his clients benefit when “we channel our firm’s expertise, and America’s ingenuity in general, toward obtaining solutions to the current economic predicament.” A similar motive likely drove Warren Buffett to point out recently that, far from simplification, what the income tax really needs is the complication of two new tax brackets above $1 million and $10 million to keep up with growing income concentration at the top. “We now have a Gini index similar to the Philippines and Mexico,” a Proctor & Gamble vice president told The Wall Street Journal earlier this month, referring to a measure of income distribution. Since when do marketing executives keep track of the Gini index? It seems that no one making an honest effort to diagnose the economy can avoid the topic of growing economic inequality. The rhetoric sounds alarmist because the situation is a genuine cause for alarm. Maybe that’s why even Democratic politicians have almost nothing to say about it.

Timothy Noah is a senior editor at The New Republic. This article appeared in the October 6, 2011 issue of the magazine.

Editor's Note: Subscription required to read the entire horror story; we copied & pasted it from Google Reader, as a public service, & linked just for the hell of it. — M.B.

Another Note: Also from TNR, but w/o charge, why reaction is more likely than revolution. — M.B.

Bottle-Blond Bulletin

Fuck The Prez

Good Riddance

One-time Laura Bush press flunky Andrew Malcolm is taking his column from the L.A. Times to Investors Business Daily, where he will join fellow Times cast-off cartoonist Michael Ramirez in the spewing of crap.
Originally the paper's sole politics news blog with a mix of staff writers posting, it gradually became a personal vehicle for Malcolm, a former editorial writer at the paper and New York Times foreign correspondent. His staunchly pro-Republican posts on the blog carved out a new life for Malcolm as a web and radio commentator and made him a frequent guest in conservative media. But critics have wondered why the Times devoted a senior (in salary) staff position to a blog that was essentially a gathering place for anti-Obama talking points, while laying off journalists and cutting news and opinion coverage.
There's still no hope for the Times, mind you.

The Song, Not The Singer

Were anyone to ask us, we'd say there are only two kinds of music: Country, & western.Bonus Hick Pick:Are you crying in your beer yet?

"Weasel Words" Defined

In the real, non Gawd-bothered world, more of Gov. Perry's obfuscations, let's say.
And late last week, his team quietly finalized the settlement of an ethics complaint that accused his campaign of hiding how hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions were spent at his taxpayer-funded mansion on flowers, food, drinks and party supplies.

“When you bring it all together and you look at each of those, then you wonder about transparency, and I can understand why people would raise their eyebrows, but any of those individually, I have never found to be an issue,” said Florence Shapiro, a Republican Texas state senator and supporter of Perry’s presidential bid. “I haven’t found transparency either to be something the governor is an advocate for, nor have I ever found him to be opposed to it.”
Really, Flo? He ain't zackly fer it, er a'gin it? Do you even listen to yourself when you blather like that?

Rick Wrap-Up

Christ on a crutch, the kicks just keep getting easier to find!

Rick gets it wrong comparing Israel & Texas, per Max Blumenthal.

Rick's apostolic friends continue to hate Injuns, 'though:
This concept of curses left by Native Americans has a large foothold in the New Apostolic Reformation, and today Bruce Wilson reported that NAR figures Chuck Pierce, John BenefielTom Schlueter and Jay Swallow recently participated in an event in Teas that involved “smashing of Native American art objects” in order to “divorce and tear down the principalities of Baal, Asherah and Leviathan.” Like Benefiel and Swallow, Jacobs was an official endorser of The Response.
Note also that them Injuns eatin' each other was just like people "cannibalizing" other people's ministries: "And so you can see a manifestation of that in the churches where people turned against people and kind of cannibalized other people’s ministries."

Rick & rain. Apparently rain is a message from Gawd.
Perry described how “all through life there have been these supernatural events” of God sending him signals, providing one example where God sent a “real clear message” to him by using rain to stop him from leaving Texas. “You go through my life and there have been so many of those events that occurred and I don’t get confused, it wasn’t coincidence,” Perry explained, “it was God’s hands on my life, guiding me in the ways He wanted me to be, and I truly believe He has me here at a time such as this.”
Since nobody likes poor old rational President Obama anymore, we should all just vote Perry in & get it over w/. The world will be a better place w/o Jesusland, & a Perry presidency ought to be the nail in the coffin.

Cookies & Nuts

So, Rick Perry is pro-Boy Scout. But some of Gov. Perry's ilk are getting very worried about the Girl Scouts of America who, according to such luminaries as Kathryn Jean Lopez, are "encouraging a permissive sexuality" & "pushing promiscuous sex on the girls." "[R]ight wing website WorldNetDaily has accused the Girl Scouts of promoting "lesbianism" and "paganism." No, really.
Boy and Girl Scouts have much in common, but from the beginning they diverged in fundamental ways, and these differences linger in the organizations to this day. The founding of Boy Scouts in 1910 stemmed from a larger turn-of-the-century crisis in Anglo-American masculinity, according to historian Susan Miller, author of Growing Girls: The Natural Origins of Girls' Organizations in America. Increasing urbanization caused Americans to worry that young men were becoming soft and emasculated; organizations like the Boy Scouts promised to restore virile masculinity. "American men were supposed to get their manhood by struggling against nature," says Miller, pointing to how Boy Scouts learned skills useful to westbound adventurers and colonialist explorers.
Honestly, we are so tired of these pin-dicks & their yada about virile masculinity &c. Considering how tense they are about people changing their sex (A nationwide epidemic of millions, right boys?) & their insistence that if you have a dick you are a dick, period, we don't get why they're so worried about becoming sissified. But who can plumb the depths of minds that disturbed? Back to the narrative we're stealing.
Two years later, Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts, which faithfully replicated Boy Scout protocols, but for girls instead of boys. Changing the gender of the scouts, however, shifted the cultural meaning of scouting. While scouting for boys was about preserving the tradition of rugged, outdoorsy masculinity, scouting girls looked to the future, shucking off Victorian models of women as delicate flowers and replacing them with physically capable and adventurous women. (The Boy Scouts had previously backed another girls' organization, the Campfire Girls, which incorporated some elements of scouting, but with more of an eye towards domestication. Not so surprisingly, the national leadership of the Boy Scouts reacted poorly to the Girl Scouts, which had girls acting more as the Boy Scouts imagined boys should act.)
An attempt is being made to create a less secular equivalent of the Girl Scouts to keep bad think from the unsullied minds of home-schooled future servant-wives.
Girls Rock LOL!
Are they LTAO that girls do rock?

If you'd like to help the little lesbian witches destroy America & all that is good, true & beautiful, you'll have to wait until January to buy their devil-cookies. Put us down for a box or five of Dulche de Leche.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Marriage Is A Joke

And you are the punchline.
What my grandmother did faithfully do, however, was add to her list of “Million Things I Hate About Your Grandfather.” Even after sixty-nine years, the list continues to grow. Recent additions include his slowness in getting out of the car, his poor hearing, and his oddball compulsion of counting the number of times he chews his food. I can see her blood rising to a boil when her husband starts to speak. Not surprisingly, my grandfather has become a man of few words.

I used to tell my mom that I wanted to be swept away someday by a tall, dark Italian driving a Vespa. All she’d reply was that love is but a moment’s passion. Why wouldn’t I prefer the loyalty of a husband who was obligated to me by law? “White people say ‘I love you’ like it’s ‘Hello, how do you do?’” my mother complained. “They love everyone! How do you know he will love you the most and want to stay with you forever?”

And my parents wonder why I don’t want to get married.

America Round-Up

From Zandar Versus The Stupid, we are confronted w/:
Not as huge a decline as it appears, once one checks the numbers (523 to 497*) but more proof of how awful you peoplethings are becoming.

We've always believed that those who can't read (Or, our favorite excuse, "I don't like to read," i.e., "I am a cretin who is exhausted by the necessity of wrapping my lips around each & every syllable, which also interferes w/ my mouth-breathing, & I probably still won't get whatever point is involved.") are not fully human, mere tool-use no longer separating us from the other apes (or even crows) but as a hyper-literate if not literary type, what else could be expected from us? Fortunately the dyslexic & cretinous are not reading this, so we can mock them mercilessly. Hey, stupid! Eat shit!!

As the SATs are not administered to the common moronic clay, but mostly to high-schoolers w/ some expectation/pretension of attending an institution of higher learning, this is even more discouraging than at first glance. We won't post Nation of Sheep performing their eponymous tune again, but you get the picture. Baaaa!

*Forty yrs. ago in the Dark Ages when we took the SAT (W/o one second of Kaplan Test Prep, we proudly add.) we don't remember specific reading scores, & we have a vague impression that the scoring was different then. (Maybe not, it was literally 40 yrs. ago, two yrs. before this starts. Could be we so skewed the results in '71 that it was decided to adjust the scoring by '73.) Something like two parts (math & English) each worth 800, so 1600 was perfect. And yes, we did get in the 500s on the math part. You're still a moron, 'though!

Smart-Ass Round-Up

Much too lazy to put this in context for non-sports fans, who are hurting America by not paying attention. Haters.

(At least Ellen Kershaw seems to be an OK sort.)

Probably Better To Have Nuked Mecca

Oh, this is fun. The U.S. Gov't. didn't have the nerve to point fingers & play the blame game, but Lloyd's of London does.
JOHNSTOWN, Pa.—A Lloyd’s of London syndicate is seeking more than $215 million from the government, banks and charities in Saudi Arabia, an amount the insurer says it paid on behalf of aviation and other policyholders to families of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. terror attacks.

[...]

According to an excerpt of the complaint published by Courthouse News Service, the plaintiffs seek amounts paid to settle 9/11 cases on behalf of policyholders and defense costs from “parties who knowingly provided material support and resources to al-Qaida in the years leading up to the” Sept. 11, 2001, attacks “and who by virtue of their intentional conduct bear primary responsibility for the injuries resulting” from the attacks.

Among the allegations, the suit says al-Qaida's development into a sophisticated global terrorist network was due to the support it received from purported charities acting as agents of the Saudi government.

The suit alleges that, under direction of the Saudi government, the charities pressed the view that Western society, led by the U.S., was coordinating an attack designed to weaken Muslim society as a prelude to a conquest of Muslim territories.
If the Saudi gov't./charity view expressed in the last paragraph wasn't completely true, they certainly got their wish post-11 September 2001, didn't they?

Perhaps they could get the money from Aramco. Or any of the American corporate entities that founded Aramco, whose "am" is short for, you guessed it, AMERICA!

The Portrait Of Malignant Bouffant

We've been cultivating this externalization of our inner disabled/retired degenerate loser weirdo creep recently,
but were informed earlier today that the event for which were cultivating such an appealing appearance won't be happening (good news, we don't have to go through it) & everything to do therewith is well (or will be soon enough) so we could shave if we wanted to. We're just not sure we want to.

We will put the dental appliance back in, & soon enough will have our new improved set of choppers installed (What remains of the uppers is no thing of beauty either, but we aren't going to contort ourself further before the mirror just so others can get some schadenfreude out of it.) & get on w/ other aspects of our degenerate existence.

Sad that an aging wretch still identifies w/ this sort of thing, innit?

Nobody Hates Us Enough

Cripes, when founder adifferentbrad & others (us included) were abusing Megan McArdle on a somewhat regular basis, we never got this much attention from her. (And of course that's what it was all about!)
Does this mean Ms. McArdle, Althouse-style, has a Google alert set up for herself?
Nor, we believe, has the indefatigable Susan of Texas, who soldiers on against McMegan at The Hunting of the Snark.

Here's the offending item.

Another Book Rick Perry Would Prefer
You Didn't Read

No, not Fed Up, Perry’s 2010 manifesto, which Romney has been busily (and successfully) mining for discrediting material. It’s his previous book, the heartfelt tribute to the Boy Scouts that he took time away from his gubernatorial duties to publish in 2008, that provides the real key to understanding Perry’s Manichean temperament.

Where Fed Up was a feat of opportunism, an attempt to pander to the newly-founded Tea Party, his earlier book was both a true labor of love (he received no advance and donated all proceeds to the Scouts’ legal defense fund) and a stirring call to protect the integrity of the nation’s traditions. For the Perry of On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For “culture war” is no mere euphemism: He not only thinks of military siege as an apt metaphor for the state of American culture—he’d like to enlist Boy Scouts as his preferred ground troops.

In that way, On My Honor’s odd mix of autobiography and polemic underscores what truly animates Perry—and, needless to say, it isn’t tax policy. His real political passion is the protection of traditional American institutions against elitist attacks. It’s no accident that even though Perry’s campaign is supposed to be founded on his economic record as governor of Texas, he’s been having trouble staying on message.

In making his book-length indictment, Perry paints with a startlingly wide brush. “Student campus unrest, rejection of authority, the ‘self-esteem’ movement, moral relativism, and the demands of secularists all gradually fused into a series of attacks on American institutions,” he writes in the book. We learn that he disdains “secular humanism,” the “self-esteem movement,” and youth sports leagues that don't keep score. For good measure, he compares homosexuality to alcoholism, and supports corporal punishment of children.
More.

"Student campus unrest." It is to laugh, then it is to vomit.

Even more from TNR on the absolute horror that is moral relativism, in case you miss it on the TNR sidebar.

Added Filler

Imagine you see the above during the invisibledarker parts of the video. video

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Damn Foodies

NYT chief restaurant critic Frank Bruni replaced Frank Rich as an op-ed columnist, now this:
Sam Sifton's diversion from editor on the rise to restaurant critic lasted just over two years. He was named today as the next national editor of the New York Times, as new executive editor Jill Abramson continues to build her team. This makes Sifton the editor more or less over most California reporting.
WTF, NYT, W.T.F.?

Portable Marimba

Kinda like a Fender Rhodes 73: You don't need all those notes.
Marketing decided that "Mini-Marimba" wouldn't work.

What The Peeper Saw

Monday, September 12, 2011

Epistemic Closure

More 9/11 Proof

See? It was Bush, Cheney & their formal wear-sporting oil-agarch buddies, & by remote control!
Note that the All-American resister has only an honest business suit.

Why Your Species Sucks: Groupthink

From the manners, etiquette or whatever-the-fuck-it-is column in Slate, a reader types:
Q. Husband Doesn't Feel Sad About 9/11: I have been married for 2-plus years to a man who is wonderful in many ways. However, with all the 9/11 hoopla lately, it's been on my mind a lot and I asked him yesterday if he was thinking about it.* He told me that he doesn't allow himself to feel bad about what happened because that doesn't help anything and it would be disrespectful to those who lost their lives that day and in the war since. I don't get his logic and am left wondering if this is normal, or should I be concerned? It bothers me that he doesn't feel what most everyone else feels when they think/talk about 9/11. [The second bold is ours.]
You mindless, droning sheep. We can only suppose that it would have bothered you if, in Nazi Germany, hubby didn't "feel what most everyone else" felt about Jews, gypsies, or commies. Or didn't "feel what most everyone else" did about the coloreds in the Confederacy, or about women in just about every society ever. And so on.

This is precisely why Americans can't have nice things, anything resembling democracy or any discourse beyond knee-jerk reaction.

*Note to the ladies: Unless your insignificant other is a university-certified philosopher, do not ask what said other is "thinking." If you had to ask, it's something you probably can't handle. (The first thought is usually "I wish to hell I were anywhere but w/ a ninny who is constantly demanding a response to inane questions.")

Good News From Glendale

A glimpse into the future, when nature will have excised the cancer of humanity & its creations from the face of the earth.
Officials are evaluating whether to set traps for a pack of coyotes that has taken over a burned-out home[House, damnit!] in Glendale.

The home[HOUSE!] in the 300 block of Brockmont Drive has been abandoned since being gutted by a fire in November, the Glendale News-Press reported.

Although the owners of the home[Three strikes & you're out!] got a demolition permit last month, a pack of at least seven coyotes has been seen on the property, possibly using it as a den.

Dorothy's Friends

You are warned: Opening advert is LOUD!Raises the question: Why didn't Alan Keyes make a quixotic run for president this yr.?

It happened on a conserva-cruise:
And, by all accounts, the duo of Keyes and Jackson were pretty great, too.

Both performers were enthusiastically received aboard the Celebrity Millennium by a crowd of mostly non-tea partiers – including many non-Americans.

"I was struck by the very warm reception both Victoria and Alan got from the audience, which was dominated by folks who were not part of our group," said Joseph Farah. "They got to see a side of a 'Saturday Night Live' cast member, comedienne and actress they probably have not seen before. And they got to see a side of the man I call 'the ambassador of pure conservatism' they have never seen before. It was quite an interesting and entertaining evening."
Herman Cain probably isn't nervous about the vocal competition.V.J. bonus: W/ up-to-the-moment Red Scare™.Palate/brain cleanser from the late IZ:Stolen from.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

An Orb Speaks ... & Speaks ... & ...

Turn it down, it's loud.
video

Park Side

Reminded of this in conversation at a social event last night.

Shunned By Polite Society?

Yes, but not by these obsequious ass-wipers, all of whom deserve a few buckshot pellets in their upper bodies & heads. Now who could we find to do that to them?

Titties & Beer 4 America!

Where we stole it.

The Stupids Just Won't Stop

Could this recent rash of two or three people locking themselves in airline toilets be a test run for something?
Frontier spokesman Peter Kowalchuck said Flight 623 landed without incident in Detroit today. Police took three passengers into custody after the crew reported that two people were spending a long time inside a bathroom on the plane during the flight.

Detroit Metropolitan Airport spokesman Scott Wintner says the Frontier flight crew radioed to request police help when the plane landed, prompting responders to greet the flight and question passengers after the aircraft taxied to a remote location at the airport.
Not that people stupid enough to eff around on planes (Esp. today!) shouldn't be removed from the flight, & possibly from the gene pool.

Moments later: Seriously, if there were enough people locked in aerial bathrooms all the F-16s would be too busy escorting other planes to deal w/ actually high-jacked & dangerous aircraft. How long until a domestic (or furrin) flight is shot down by an ANG wknd. warrior w/ an itchy trigger finger?

#GawdDamnAmerica!

These people live among you, & they're trending too.

More "Terror" News

Wouldn't have noticed (or really cared about) the Red Line Trouble we mentioned down there ("Today In Security Theatre") if we hadn't been going to a loud party (Pix/video later, maybe.) & it hadn't interfered w/ our freedom & liberty to go where we will, when we want.

And we're just lucky this didn't happen at the bash where we were being loud, once we finally arrived.
A man suspected of fatally shooting a North Hollywood neighbor who was throwing a party was behind bars today, police said.

Mile-High Security Theatre

Here. From. Dig The Militant's "Native Wk.," too.

Etcetera (1513PDT, 11 September 2011):
The passengers on American Airlines Flight 34 went into a bathroom and were "not compliant," a security official told NBC New York.

Several sources tell NBC News that two, possibly three, passengers were drunk and refused to follow flight attendant instructions, making long and frequent visits to the lavatories.

American Airlines spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said the flight proceeded with normal landing after the flight captain and crew assessed the situation "and did not see any cause for alarm." The airline stressed that it did not request escorts or extra security at JFK upon arrival.

Passengers told NBC New York after landing that they didn't even know there was an incident on board until they saw police meeting the flight on the ground.

Fuck You , & Vin Scully Too

We'd like to thank the Nationalistic Football League for beating us over the head w/ 11 September 2001 reminders. When exactly did a few thousand corpses become equivalent to the Holocaust? "Never forget," our ass! Has this nation of sheep ever been in danger of forgetting, even for a New York minute?

Then Vin Scully opens the Dodger game w/ some horseshit from the perspective of an 80ish-yr. old ninny who was raised Catholic & still invokes gawd. (At least the "soul-touching" pre-game ceremony was not displayed for mawkish enjoyment. We expected better from America-hating San Francisco.)

Dick ("Spectacularly Gentile!") Cavett in The NYT:
Have you, perchance, decided — as I have — not to spend the weekend re-wallowing in 9/11 with the media? Aside from allowing Saint Rudolph, former tenant of Gracie Mansion, to trumpet once again his self-inflated heroism on that nightmare day, the worst feature of this relentlessly repeated carnival of bitter sights and memories is that it glamorizes the terrorists.

How they must enjoy tuning into our festival of their spectacular accomplishments, cheering when the second plane hits and high-fiving when the falling towers are given full-color international showcasing for the 10th time.

Who wants this? Surveys show people want to forget it, or at least not have it thrust down their throats from all over the dial annually. It can’t have to do with that nauseating buzz-word “closure.” There is no closure to great tragedies. Ask the woman on a call-in show who said how she resents all this ballyhooing every year of the worst day of her life: “My mother died there that day. I’m forced to go through her funeral again every year.”

Is all this stuff a ratings bonanza? Who in the media could be that heartless?
Then he shifts gears & starts pimping some thing he & Mel ("M.B.!") Brooks did for HBO.

Religiosity Round-Up

As noted recently, churches are on the way out.
Henninger's, a Cleveland store specialising in religious goods, is currently selling the contents of six early 20th-century churches for Roman Catholic dioceses. Mark Cousineau, the manager of Henninger's, says these closures are “a sensitive subject”.

“There is an enormous glut of vintage pieces on the market and prices are falling,” said Annie Dixon, owner of the Dixon Studio in Staunton, Virginia, which specialises in liturgical design and restoration.

“In the past eight years, the amount of material we are getting has risen 40% with prices going down,” said Don Riggott of D.C. Riggott Architectural & Liturgical Artifacts in Afton, Minnesota. “Eight years ago, a church wanted 12 Munich stained-glass windows dating from 1860 to 1920 and there was only a set or two around in the country,” said Riggott. They sold for $200,000. “Now there are 20 sets but prices have dropped to $60,000,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Europe, church materials are being repurposed for domestic use. “Clients are turning pulpits into kitchen islands,” said Kate Jerrold, the managing director of Bristol-based Robert Mills Ltd. Pulpits sell for £800 to £4,000. Two years ago, they had double that inventory. “Styles change and the recession has had an impact,” said Paul Nash, the company’s manager.
Bye-bye JESUS SAVES (1935-2011).
We'd be remiss if we didn't mention that while Jesus saves, Moses invests.

Town House

Today In Security Theatre

Was a "credible threat" made against Malibu?Closer to home, as late as 2030 you still couldn't get any closer to the train than Sixth St.