Zombie Apocalypse Open Thread

They are coming...



But, before they run us over, I have a question:

...the Los Angeles Times has reported that Mr. Snowden originally smuggled electronic files out of the National Security Agency in Hawaii using a USB thumb drive.

How can this be true?


How can the NSA purchase computers with USB ports in them? I mean, seriously? The first thing I would imagine is that they have no optical drive capable of recording, and no standard USB ports. If I were them I would have a custom interface for keyboard and mouse, perhaps an old-school PS/2 port, for desktops. Nothing for laptops.


Likewise, no radio. Not even bluetooth.


This can't be right. It's too obvious.



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To survive the Apocalypse

mmghosh's picture

I checked out this blog.  How thoughtful to make such lists available to everyone and stimulate useful discussion (my emphasis). 

When I first started prepping this post helped me the most. I needed clear-cut direction. I did everything on this list and then I did everything on the “10 More Things to Do” list.


I personally changed out the powdered drink mix for Emergen C.

The guy's a complete amateur


No duct tape on the top 10 list?  No anti-zombie equipment at all?

Yeah, the lack of duct tape....

Bernard Guerrero's picture

You're looking for anti-zombie equipment?

mmghosh's picture

Turn the page to the bug out bag.

All your ideas are fantastic and its all on your preference, I have my set up well planned and thought out for my situation. I live in a medium populated urban area. I have a nice brand new Chevy 2500 hd for bulldozing thru it all with a solid push bar. Go for speed that’s what Im aiming for. On my side I will have my very trusty Taurus raging bull 44 mag 8 1/2 inch barrel on the other side I have a heritage 22 mag/ and lr combo for those light duty situations. In my arm slings I have 2 matching springfeild xd 9mm both with 2 16+ 1 mags packed full of hornady hollow point critical impacts and gold dot hollows just the way the boys in blue roll. I have a completely customized saiga ak 47 style 12g that will take up one strap of my tactical pack and along side it is going to be seated a built from scratch ar 15 I designed from bottom up. A lot of you think it’s 2 much weight. Ain’t no way. But It is true. I have some pretty serious quad trails and knarly woods behind my house I’ve packed the. All up and each with 100-150 rounds per gun worth of ammo and made it thru about 7 miles of terrain and had no problem with it.

The only useful piece


of equipment there is the Chevy with the push bar.  Even little kids know shooting zombies doesn't work. 



See a lot of these guys jerking it to the upcoming apocalypse. I'd wager 3/5ths of them will lose their bowels and cry in a fetal position if it comes. Sorta like the reverse of the Wall St. exec who pays women to spank him while he's wearing diapers.

Bad senator of the week: Jon Tester


Feinstein has been displaced from the top of the s-list.   Tester is proposing a constitutional amendment to limit the Bill of Rights to "natural persons",  and specifically excluding corporations from any protections at all.


Even if you hate corporations,  the possibilities this opens up for direct harm to the public are remarkable:


- Congress could pass a law forbidding corporations from criticizing public officials,  but requiring them to praise them.

- Congress could pass a law requiring corporations to donate to Republicans,  and forbidding them to donate to Democrats.


Under the current BoR either regulation is prohibited only by the First Amendment,  which Tester wants to eliminate with respect to corporations.


I understand that some people's hatred of corporations exceeds their commitment to freedom of speech,  and they want to overturn Citizens United.   If so,  the proper (though still awful) way would be a narrowly drafted amendment that says Congress can limit corporate speech based on content, but cannot discriminate on viewpoint.  Giving Congress an unlimited exception to the BoR whenever a corporation is involved is just too broad.



Dubious Claims


- Congress could pass a law forbidding corporations from criticizing public officials,  but requiring them to praise them.


- Congress could pass a law requiring corporations to donate to Republicans,  and forbidding them to donate to Democrats.


I am having a hard time seeing how that could happen, even without the Bill of Rights. What constitutional clause would allow either one of these? What Supreme Court would uphold such laws?


I personally do not believe corporations should have free speech protection, not because they are big, but because "corporate speech" uses the assets that belong to all stakeholders to pursue the political goals of management. A parallel argument can be made with unions.


Of course, a manager, such as a CEO, has full free speech rights as an individual and can say whatever he wants. What should not be protected is the right of the corporation to spend unlimited money to propagate that speech.

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

They already passed


the first part, forbidding corporations from criticizing public officials,  until it was overturned in Citizens United on First Amendment grounds.   Presumably they would pass it again if the amendment allowed.


What clause would allow that?  Before starting, let me commend you on your commitment to the idea of enumerated powers.  Most people these days believe the govt can do anything not explicitly forbidden.


Tester's amendment itself, Clause 2, would allow the regulation, since it says that corporations can be subject to any regulation the Congress deems reasonable.  That's an explicit new grant of authority, and since it comes after the other amendments, it trumps them.


Even if that clause wasn't there, the Tenth Amendment is the one that guarantees a right to federal government of enumerated power only, but Tester's Clause 1 removes Tenth Amendment rights along with all others.


"Of course, a manager, such as a CEO, has full free speech rights as an individual and can say whatever he wants".  


OK,  I agree that he can stand on a street corner and say whatever he wants.  He just isn't protected if he tries to publish it in a newspaper that's corporate owned,  say it on a TV station that is corporate owned, post on the Internet where it might pass through a corporate owned server, etc.  There is nothing in Tester's amendment (I assume you read it) that distinguishes a corporation speaking on its own behalf as opposed to repeating something said by an individual.  


Well, to be fair, the manager couldn't be punished.  Just the media corporation that he (or you) uses to get his views out.


Keep in mind what started this - some people formed a non-profit corporation and made a movie criticizing Hillary Clinton. The government sought to punish them, the SC disagreed, and Tester wants to restore the ability to punish them for banding together and making an effective movie instead of individually talking on street corners.  Your argument about stakeholders doesn't wash,  the entire point of the organization was to make the movie.  It's about like a McDonald's stockholder complaining that the management is promoting hamburgers. 


It's Careless Ammendment


And as such I suspect it was introduced for political purposes.


I don't really care what most people think about enumerated powers. They are clearly in the Constitution and if a constitutional amendment matters, then I reasonably presume for the purposes of the discussion that the text of the rest of the Constitution matters as well. If not, you are cheating. You are saying this amendment is all powerful and the rest of the Constitution is poweless.


Your argument about stakeholders doesn't wash


It absolutely does wash. In fact it's a really basic issue. The stakeholders of most corporations are stakeholders for reasons entirely separate from the political objectives corporate management may come to hold. They may also, through the nature of their stake, be unable to change their relationship with the corporation when they perceive that it is acting against their own political will. They may face severe financial losses if they divest themselves from shares, bonds, or options, or in the case of employees resign from their jobs. They may be totally unable to divest if their investment is through a pension fund, yet perversely their money is being used to fund propaganda against their beliefs.


Corporations should also be denied speech because they are also exempt from military service, not to mention death or injury while performing it. Nor, as entities, are they subject to punishment through imprisonment or death. When faced with debt they can simply liquidate and vanish into thin air, an option not available to individuals.


Corporations are legal constructs, and as such cannot even exist without the law, and thus without government.


Corporations are multinational, and as such don't even necessarily have their interests aligned with that of the country and may in fact have interests in direct conflict with US national interests.


I agree that the amendment should be better in regard to protection of the press in particular and media and communications in general. Other than that, no, Monsanto is not a citizen and should not be treated like one.

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

Your argument proves too much


Why single out political speech?   Aren't the stakeholders equally injured if the management makes decisions they don't like about charitable donations,  how much to trade off social responsibility versus making money,  or even what lines of business to go into? If the supposed concern is the rights of the stakeholders, rather than suppressing undesirable speech,  these things are obviously of even greater practical and ethical concern to the stakeholders.  It seems one should prohibit corporations from contributing to charities at all,  or making any decision at all that anyone could disagree with, if we take your line of reasoning.


How do we apply your argument to a newspaper or television station, or political magazine like the The Nation, all of which are corporations?   If you want to argue they would be exempt for this ban,  I'd like to see you derive it from the text of Tester's amendment,  which contains no exemptions for any particular types of corporation. 


Again, Tester seeks specifically to enable punishment of Citizens United, an organization formed for the sole purpose of making a movie.  Tell me how you distinguish this from punishing The Nation, or CBS, or the New York Times.




I single out political speech because only with political speech can a corporation act, and act strongly, directly against the interests of stakeholders who have different views or political interests.


If a corporation gives to a charity (assuming the "charity" is not a political operation), it acts in favor of something but not against anything.


Something similar happens with the other items, such as social responsibility. It's hard to show that a company with less or more social responsibility is directly opposing the interests of its stakeholders, save in extreme cases.


Tester's amendment needs simply to be modified in such a way that protection of speech be prioritized. For example, that the Congress shall enact no law that shall infringe, directly or indirectly, the ability of people to express themselves through relevant media and devices, or something along those lines.


In other words, to set up a simple test for regulation which fails when the regulation interferes with expression.


And now how about you tell me how, or why, a corporate entity should have the same rights as a citizen, but not the same risks and responsibilities?

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.



a new free speech opinion came out from the SC yesterday:  Agency for Int'l Development vs. Alliance for Open Society Int'l,  Inc..   The government was trying to force NGO's to explicitly adopt opinions as a condition of receiving funds,  in this case, opposing prostitution, and to refrain from expressing opinions in favor of legalizing prostitution.


The ruling was in favor of the NGOs.  The justices in the majority were Roberts, Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito, Sotomayor.  


Against free speech were Scalia and Thomas.  I suppose, since the NGO in this case is a corporation, you are with Scalia and Thomas.


M Scott Eiland's picture

I wonder how Alito's presence in that majority will be reconciled with the "Alito is a remorseless, principle-free right wing hack" premise that was expressed so recently here in this forvm by another one of our brethren. Might be tricky.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Those are your words


My point is he's more hackish than the other conservatives on the bench and doesn't branch out across the political divide nearly as often. Here he voted with Roberts and Kennedy, so it's a mild point in his favor if at all.


Perhaps you can point me to some cases where Alito has shown himself to have a unique and interesting approach to interpreting the Constitution, vs. run-of-the-mill conservative jurisprudence I keep seeing.

He disrespected the POTUS


at the State of the Union address by silently disagreeing, and that can never be forgiven.

I thought it showed lack of judicial temperament


and it was also a stupid position he was espousing about the capacity of detecting foreign $s in US elections.


He's been proving wrong on that point and made a jacka$$ of himself in front of 10s of millions.


But speaking personally I was restricting my earlier negative comments to his rulings, not the SOTU thing, which I'd forgotten.


My frustration is that with a Thomas you can get a Raich, with a Scalia you can get a Hamdi, with Roberts you can get an favorable Obamacare ruling, but with Alito he just seems like a fairly predictable and boring conservative.


Where I've seen him distinguish himself is in hostility to the 1st amend. when animal snuff and soldier funerals push his conservative buttons.


Would you expect a book on Constitutional Law by Alito to be interesting and deep? I wouldn't.  

Not True

M Scott Eiland's picture

If he disgorges his spine and "evolves," all will be forgiven. Look at how they embraced professional liar-for-hire David Brock once he agreed to change sides. All those nasty things he wrote about poor Anita Hill were consigned to the "things liberals just don't talk about any more" category.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I like how conservatives love to rail on media matters


but never have any evidence of its inaccuracy. 


The organization's sole sin apparently is that it catalogs, quite tediously but also heroically, conservative distortions in the media.


Whenever I get linked to the site I always feel bad for the obviously smart and sensible people who write these patient posts debunking, day in and day out, moronic conservative hacks on radio and TV. How boring and frustrating to spend all day refuting repetitive conservative lies on taxes, social spending, abortion, etc. You owe them your thanks whether you realize it or not.

Can't prove something


I don't believe.   I haven't claimed a corporate entity should have the same rights as a citizen, and for that matter, neither has the Supreme Court,  despite the howling from people who either didn't read the Citizens United decision or chose to misrepresent it.   As far as I'm concerned the govt can execute a corporation without trial or torture the corporation at Gitmo.  They just cannot use that power to selectively suppress political speech


Just in case I haven't made myself clear, another example:  the government can tax people or corporations.  They cannot selectively tax people or corporations based on whether or not they engaged in criticism of Hillary Clinton.


The clear and openly stated intent of the now-unconstitutional BCRA was to reduce the amount and effectiveness of criticism of politicians.  The unstated but obvious intent was to benefit sitting congressmen, since they can get free media access and name recognition that their challengers cannot.  Suppressing such speech is never a legitimate aim,  for any government anywhere.


Now you explain how anyone can favor this:

During the original oral argument, Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm L. Stewart (representing the FEC) argued that under Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the government would have the power to ban books if those books contained even one sentence expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate and were published or distributed by a corporation or union

Congress or the FEC could ban Barnes and Nobles or Amazon from distributing any book that has even one political sentence in it.   Of course, they wouldn't be that blatant about it, at least not a first, but the FEC expressly claimed the authority to do it in the future.


And while you're at it, could you also explain whether you support the government's argument that Fahrenheit 451 was legal while Hillary:  The Movie was illegal,  because Fahrenheit 451 was intended to make a profit,  while Hillary was made by people who just wanted to criticize her and didn't care if they made a profit.  Repeat: for-profit political speech was privileged over non-profit speech under BCRA. That was the reasoning the govt presented to the courts, and it is what Jon Tester seeks to restore.



If you start with absurdities...


...how can you expect me to reply seriously?


As far as I'm concerned the govt can execute a corporation without trial or torture the corporation at Gitmo.


But of course neither is possible.


Repeat: for-profit political speech was privileged over non-profit speech under BCRA.


Obviously nearly all political campaign propaganda is non-profit. If campaigning was profitable, fund-raising would not be required. Of course campaign propaganda may turn out to be highly profitable when the candidate wins and favors, through contracts or regulation, the interests of their corporate backers, but that's indirect.


By deeming "non-profit" speech somehow sacrosanct, you are basically giving a free pass to corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money in a campaign. I'm not falling for that one.


The clear and openly stated intent of the now-unconstitutional BCRA was to reduce the amount and effectiveness of criticism of politicians.


You need to prove this rather than state it. I'd say the intent, and certainly the effect, was to prevent political discourse from being totally overwhelmed by well-funded interest groups, thus enhancing their already considerable advantages in political influence. And to me a key point, rarely mentioned, is that it also prevented appropriation of assets by management to further their political preferences or ambitions. When Zuckerberg funds Keystone XL propaganda, how is this favorable to Facebook shareholders? If anything, the opposite is true.


This part of my argument rests on the extremely well documented, pervasive corporate governance problem. It is a problem that also applies to unions, by the way.


The unstated but obvious intent was to benefit sitting congressmen, since they can get free media access and name recognition that their challengers cannot.


The opposite is actually true. Big money congregates around sitting congressmen because they are already in a position to deliver the goods and to prove their reliability. New faces are not as predictable, and can deliver nothing till actually elected. Their ROI is thus quite obviously lower.


Eve worse, if unlimited funds can enter campaigns, this drowns out challengers who have no corporate backing. Your way is basically to hand over the political system to corporate treasuries. There is no scenario where that is a good thing.




I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

So you support the book ban?


If a single sentence in a single book in a Barnes and Noble advocates for or against a candidate, the government can arrest or fine the store manager?  That was the explicit contention of the Deputy Solicitor General.   I think this is a question where it is fair to ask you for a straight yes or no answer.


Also, which, if any, of the following corporations do you think should be allowed to publish political opinions:




- Fox News



And you would be OK with Citizens United distributing their anti-Hillary movie with unlimited spending if only they had made a profit?   That's my reading of your argument.

Of Course Not


That was the explicit contention of the Deputy Solicitor General.


Prove it. On its face it would be a clear violation of the Constitution. It would pass no judicial test whatsoever.


You are after theoretical problems, I am after real ones, which you still have not addressed.


And you would be OK with Citizens United distributing their anti-Hillary movie with unlimited spending if only they had made a profit?


Yup, pretty much. Because in that case it's not political advertising.


Also, which, if any, of the following corporations do you think should be allowed to publish political opinions:


Define publish. Should any of these be allowed to spend unlimited funds to pay for advertising for their candidates? No. Should they be allowed to publish their opinion on their own media, Web sites, etc? Yes.

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

Prove it?


You don't believe the transcripts of Supreme Court oral arguments posted on the courts own website?  The fun starts on Page 27.  Obama's Deputy Solicitor General* also said Kindle books with a single political advocacy sentence could be banned. 


Don't be distracted by his waffling - the first sentence or two of each answer is affirmative,  and his "but" statements are irrelevant. 


"On its face it would be a clear violation of the Constitution. It would pass no judicial test whatsoever."


Finally we agree! And fortunately the Supreme Court also agreed, which is why Citizens United won,  and also why that section of McCain-Feingold is no longer the law of the land. However, Obama's Deputy Solicitor General disagreed with you an me.  He argued it is constitutional.


"I am after real ones, which you still have not addressed."


Apparently you believe public criticism of politicians by a group of citizens, however organized, is a "real" problem that has to be "addressed".   Unless they managed to turn $0.01 profit,  or claim to have been trying to make a profit but failed, in which case suddenly all your concerns disappear.   Well, OK.  You're entitled to your opinion.


"Define publish. Should any of these be allowed to spend unlimited funds to pay for advertising for their candidates? No. Should they be allowed to publish their opinion on their own media, Web sites, etc? Yes."


You contradict yourself.  If their opinion happens to be in favor of a candidate, can they spend money to publish it?  And why do you care whether they own the server or rent it,  or whether they own a printing press or pay a printer?


ACLU's and NARAL's websites are linked to many places on the web,  and they undoubtedly pay for some of those links. They also advertise in many other venues.  That is the precise crime with which the Citizens United organization was charged - advertising their movie.




*PS - I don't blame Malcolm Stewart personally.  His job as Solicitor General is to defend the laws of Congress, no matter how plainly unconstitutional,  and in the transcript I get the sense that he's embarrassed by his own argument.

You Are Missing the Point


As, unfortunately, did the Solicitor General.


You contradict yourself.  If their opinion happens to be in favor of a candidate, can they spend money to publish it?  And why do you care whether they own the server or rent it,  or whether they own a printing press or pay a printer?


Maybe you don't understand the difference between advertising and publishing. At least, you seem to ignore it. I don't care about whether money is spent. Money is always spent when you publish something.


The test is, who's money is being spent? In advertising, a publication receives payment from a third party. The third party is not a member of the press (newspapers or TV networks never carry advertising for their competition).


Hence, the third party is engaging in political speech by purchasing time or space in a media outlet. This is equivalent to donating to a campaign, because campaigns spend money on exactly the same services. Donations are limited, and so far as I know these limits have not been constitutionally challenged. Allowing third parties to spend on campaign advertising without limit is inconsistent with having any kind of control over campaign funding. I as an individual am limited to a $2000 donation, but BigCorp can spend millions? How is that fair? How does that help new candidates?


So that's one problem. The other, as I mentioned, is the appropriation of stakeholder assets by management for personal benefit. In other words, campaign spending by corporations is a form of fraud.


An editorial on your own media outlet is not campaign spending. It's content. It will be read, seen, or heard by your readers, viewers, or listeners, who are people who chose to read, see, or view your content. You can write an editorial in your own media favoring your candidate every single day if that's what you want. That's freedom of the press. A corporation can also do likewise on their own Web site, and media could report on that.


What should not be allowed is for a corporation or wealthy individual to spend large sums of money, often anonymously, to an effect identical to a campaign donation, when such donations are limited, and for very good reasons.


Apparently you believe public criticism of politicians by a group of citizens, however organized, is a "real" problem that has to be "addressed".


That's a straw man if I ever saw one. The political advertising you are defending can also constitute advocacy and defense of politicians. You keep insisting on "public criticism of politicians" to make it look like I am defending politicians. I am not.


Your position essentially hands over the political system to corporate management, which has the ability to use overwhelming resources, regardless of even what their own stakeholders believe. The irony is that corporations are quite happy to suppress free speech. For example Monsanto is funding efforts to forbid food producers to indicate in their labeling that they use non-GMO ingredients (it would "confuse" consumers). The oil lobby is fighting to gag any mention of the chemicals they use in fracking fluids that they pump into the ground (and leave there), even on Federal lands.


The bottom line is that the world resulting from the Citizen's United decision is not a good one, and it's not even a good one from the narrow scope of speech protection.

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

My Jaw Dropped At That One

M Scott Eiland's picture

"On its face it would be a clear violation of the Constitution. It would pass no judicial test whatsoever."

Ahem. To borrow a meme from Catchy that I recall Brother M.A. borrowing and snickering at:



The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Personally. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .I'd say that "making it less likely that we will ever be faced with the reality of a Mrs. Bubba Presidency" as one heck of a "profit."

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Perhaps We'll Have. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . ."Jon Tester Annual Icky Corporate Book Burnings" once this amendment passes--they can make it a charitable event and raise money for kids by selling burning rights to rich liberals who *aren't* corporations.*

*--just as long as they don't refer to a Miami book burning as "taking their talents to South Beach." That might really make people lose their s**t.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

And Yet. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .I note that the folks throwing the biggest hissy fits about corporations not being people seem profoundly uninterested in applying their rants to unions--who are likewise not people by that definition. Let me know when they decide otherwise, and I might sign onto bilateral disarmament in this area.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

"I might sign onto bilateral disarmament in this area"


You'd probably be alone among your conservative brethren since corporate spending on elections is some multiple of union spending. 

It Won't Go Anywhere

M Scott Eiland's picture

It'll serve its function of failing and giving Democrats something else to complain about during the 2014 election cycle, because those mean Republicans won't cooperate in gutting the First Amendment in the name of putting those icky corporations in their place.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

This Would Be It

M Scott Eiland's picture

Once easily swappable battery packs for autos become price competitive and available generally (i.e., with few or no areas where they are not available over the course of a long trip), the gas powered automobile will be officially living on borrowed time. Note that the tipping point will be what the economically available technology is capable of, not a bureaucrat arbitrarily wiping the older tech out of existence.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

From Ultimate To Penultimate

M Scott Eiland's picture

Heat overcomes ten point deficit in the fourth quarter, wins in OT to force Game Seven.

LBJ played 50 of the 53 minutes in the game--he will definitely be needing a rest tonight in preparation for Thursday's game.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Great game


The Ray Allen 3 to put it into overtime was electric.

Bah Humbug! Duncan Disappeared & Ginobili Should have Been....



...benched for bone headed terrible plays.


Pop got out coached tonight.


Traveller says, spits on the ground, and walks off into the night shadows.





Serious Research: Nuclear war between Israel and Iran:


...Lethality beyond the Pale.


This research paper is full of full color maps with blast radii and death statistics.


Seeing Haifa on page 27, remembering that I stayed in the Arab port section...I'd probably live for a day or two post blast...(grim grin)


Table 4 Total casualties for all scenarios
Scenario/City Weapon
yield (kt)
Israeli Cities
- Beer Sheva 15 208,770 105,510 35,090
- Haifa 15 323,890 69,420 50,400
- Tel Aviv
(double strike)
Dual 15 1,372,440 229,330 147,340


Well this is better seen for all cities, Iranian and Israeli on page 12


Here's the link at conflict and health:




Scroll down to the last article, DL the PDF...it is only 30 pages long, but takes a while to DL.


Best Wishes, Traveller


To entice you further...cloud cover is a major determinant in deaths...who would have thought this?


There will be occasions when the results for thermal
fluence will differ substantially from the average such as
snow on the ground with thick cloud above the fireball
(gross underestimation) or with the fireball above low
cloud and fog (overestimation) but we assume a detonation
would not take place during such adverse conditions


and, snip


Distinctive evidence of
the destructive capacity of relatively smaller nuclear
weapons is demonstrated by the three 100 Kt weapon
strikes on Bandar Abbas, the seaport on the Persian
Gulf at the geopolitically strategic Strait of Hormuz
(Figure 13). A staggering 94% of the population would
be fatalities in this scenario, with a mere 1% escaping
some form of injury. An interesting aspect of this
coastal community is the appearance of over 21,000
third degree burn casualties, and only a few hundred
second degree burn victims, probably due to the
narrow distribution of population along the coastline.


Well...Good Night and Pleasant dreams.




Wow! That sort of grim calculous takes me back a bit.


Dr Strangelove how are you? And these 100kT things are pikers compared - i think the Russians had a 100MT capable warhead at one point.  5000 Hiroshimas packing into one bomb. I understand the terrible logic of an arms race, but 100MT just feels like insanity. 

Designed, But Never Actually Tested At 100 MT

M Scott Eiland's picture

For two major reasons:

--the full 100 MT design would have required the use of a great deal of U-238 which would have undergone fast nuclear fission for the extra yield, but also generating a massive amount of fallout;

--the fireball and shockwave generated by a 100 MT blast would have made it impossible for the bomber crew dropping the weapon to have time to safely get clear.

Because of the omission of the U-238, the blast was very clean by the standards of such weapons. As the grim description of the effects of the 50-60 MT version noted in the wiki showed, increasing the yield to 100 MT really wouldn't have done much more.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Impossible? Or some world records would need edged out?

brutusettu's picture

Working out a method of dropping the bomb as a glider or cruise missile taking it to the air-burst location seems plausible. 


Substantial modifications would need to be made to any aircraft to drop that heavy of a glider, but the US modified B-52s to drop smaller planes and there were TV-guided glider bombs during Vietnam.  It's just a matter of combining the 2 on a much bigger scale.

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."


Frank Zappa

At The Time (1961), Anyway

M Scott Eiland's picture

And once improved targeting technology was developed, pointless. MIRVing smaller warheads with accurate targeting, or even single warhead missiles with intermediate sized warheads, was a far cheaper and more viable approach, to the extent that nuclear war strategies could ever be considered that.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

The W76 is the Standard US 100Kt Weapon, Weighs Only 362Lbs




You can put 12 of these puppies as independent entry vehicles on a Trident II, but limited by treat to 8.




Well...I don't want to be around when these come raining down!


Best Wishes, Traveller

I Was Surprised How Very Destructive 100 Kt Weapons Are!


...yes there are much more massive possible atomic weapons out there...but it seems that if you really want to kill people 100 kiloton seems more than adequate. And you can spread them around because you have more of them.


I knew nuclear weapons were bad, but I had forgotten in some deep way, just how murderous they are.


Best Wishes, Traveller

Calling All Professors...(Why aren't Older Prof's Retiring?!?)


...a problem I think.




Unless you are an older professor!



Hey Trav


I plan to teach until I drop dead at the whiteboard in front of a class.  At least they'll remember one thing about that lecture.  But I do feel bad about those guys waiting for my position to open up,  so I make sure to eat some bacon every day.






Andrew, I just checked


out our History program's faculty roster.   They have 8 Assistants,  8 Associates, and 1 Full,  which doesn't look to me like a bunch of fogies are hanging on to all the TT slots.  In fact they look like a fairly youthful bunch on the department website. It doesn't appear that they have a medievalist at all.   History starts with the Spanish colonial empire.




LOL...Big...But this is, I Think, a Serious Concern...



...in simple terms of fairness and the retention of good professors. This moral hazard falls those newly to the ranks...and I feel youz...


On the other hand, I always sensed that the only real happiness I might have found in my life would have been as a teacher (seriously), so I understand eeyn's position very well.


One real regret in my life was never teaching.



Well, I'm off to Korea


I got offered only temporary positions (1-3 yr. appointments) for bad pay (nothing more than 42k per year) in America and Europe, so ... I'm leaving where I can work in a tenure track position for twice the pay and 1/2 the teaching load.


I got offered several good jobs in Asia (China, Hong Kong, S. Korea) -- the austerity markets in the US and Europe were a joke by comparison.


Hopefully people like me relocating will put some pressure on the US to step it up. A friend of mine who worked 3 yrs. in HK just took a position starting in the US this fall, and was able to credibly negotiate the salary up nearly 15% from the initial offer (he still took a 1/3rd pay cut).


It'll be an adventure to move to Seoul, but my job search has been a giant "F you" from my home country.


Bernard Guerrero's picture

Thanks, BG


Why aren't there easily accessible international comparisons of median incomes on the internet? Are you rich finance types conspiring to surpress this info.?

My reply would be....

Bernard Guerrero's picture

....that PPP can be whatever you want it to be, in the sense that there is no "typical" global basket of goods.  People in different places buy different stuff, sometimes radically different stuff (i.e. in a developed world context, Germans usually don't buy houses, not nearly at the rate other folks do, particularly in the Anglosphere.)  So something like the Economist's Big Mac Index deals with it via the conceit that there's one product, that the burger is identical and that demand for them is identical everywhere.  Also, median income itself is trickier to calculate than a national aggregate.


That said, you can find some estimates:











Edit: Reading the discussions surrounding this, I'll note some factors you guys don't seem to have taken into account:


A) I'm in DFW, in a right-to-work Southern state which isn't particularly rich and has low taxes.  And yet I command a national-level salary given my education and experience, and I'm hardly alone, which at first glance shouldn't be the case.  This is purely a matter of supply, demand and the geographic separation thereof.  I suspect you're seeing it on an international scale.


B) The "industry" may not be at the same point in its life-cycle here as in SK, etc.  Andrew recently FB'd a meme page about "Stanley Academe", a tenured old dinosaur in a humanities department who is well over-paid and under-productive, and isn't going anywhere, and lords it over an excessive number of post-grads who would love to be in his shoes.  It is noted that when Stanley got tenure, the situation was such that he had a Masters in another field, no published work and three tenure-track offers.  But there are way more candidates being produced than there are slots, and the dinosaurs live long and aren't, per Stanley, going anywhere.  The situation in SK might be impacted by the tenure situation, the growth rate of higher ed, the relative number of post-grads competing for slots, etc.

Thanks for the info


I'm still finding it hard to believe that median income or median wage isn't more precisely calculated. 


It seems like a fundamental measure of an economy what the average employed person is earning (per hour).


Your 1st and 3rd links are about households, which is interesting, but since the US has more two-person working households than other countries, a higher household income in the US doesn't translate into better employment conditions.


The 2nd blogpost link is on point, but there's no cite to where any of the numbers on median incomes are coming from. Is it pre-tax or post-tax? If the #s are accurate, I was wrong in saying that S. Korea has higher average pay than the US -- the US is significantly higher.


As pted out in the comments to that post, however, even median income might not be the best measure, since e.g. European countries have mandated vacation, sick leave etc. and work fewer hours. So instead of pure income you'd want some estimate of componesation/per hours worked.


In searching around for more data, I came across a link to Matthew Yglesias complaining about the same lack of info, so at least I'm not alone in my whine.

Sorry that you have to cross the pond to get a...

Bird Dog's picture

...better job. But with the Internet, it's a small pond. I think we should have a pool to see if he comes back with a hot Korean wife.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Or Stays There With Her

M Scott Eiland's picture

I have an uncle who married a very nice Korean lady twenty five years ago while living in Hong Kong, and lives there to this day. He went there thinking it would be a short term job at first, too.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Yeah, who knows


I moved to San Francisco once with a 6 month plan to save up enough money to move back to Prague and ended up staying 5 yrs.


An academic I met recently who's been teaching in Korea talked about "the golden chains" keeping him there. 

For real?


Congratulations,  if what my Korean engineering colleagues tell me holds true in the humanities,  being a tenure-track professor there is a big deal and they don't have this idea that they're going weed out half the assistant professors before tenure time.


People have been predicting a turnaround on professional-level immigration (net loss from US rather than net gain) for a while but you're one of the first cases I've heard of first hand.  



For realz


I applied to jobs in Asia initially b/c I thought I could use them as tools for negotiating more favorable terms in a North American position.


But then the offers were so much better in Asia, and the US offers in particular so exploitive, I decided to jump ship.


Re: social status, a friend who also took a job in Seoul told me about getting an apartment where the landlord went with him over a banker b/c he was a ... professor.


It might be interesting to live in a place for awhile where being a college teacher doesn't mean you're sh&t.

This part is really sad, catchy....

Jay C's picture

I applied to jobs in Asia initially b/c I thought I could use them as tools for negotiating more favorable terms in a North American position.


But then the offers were so much better in Asia, and the US offers in particular so exploitive, I decided to jump ship.


And even sadder, the probability is that these sort of situations will most likely only become more common as time goes on.

You really have to wonder how it is that a country like the US could come to a state like this.....


Bertrand Russell taught philosophy at Peking University

mmghosh's picture

rather than Cambridge - I'm not quite sure why teaching philosophy in Asia should be regarded as a huge comedown.

"have to wonder how it is that a country like the US ..."


Again, to foreshadow my posting from abroad: As soon as I've spent a little time in Korea and can somewhat credibly claim to understand its society (say, 3 weeks), I will diagnose America's comparative ills as the result of its excessive economic conservatism.


In these future posts I will throw a bone to Darth and eeyn about how I miss some of America's individualism in this new and heavily community-oriented society, but I will be adamant that the benefits far outweigh the costs, especially when you consider that America is in decline while East Asia is ascendant. All because of American conservatism.



...talk about confirmation bias!

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

That's the joke!



Congratulations!.... Pissst....---->


.....I think you will like Seoul...yet a very different and insular culture, but you will be a Rock Star and that is always fun.


However, I remember you as maybe married?


I am curious how this works.


Best Wishes, Traveller

IIRC, he was stationed there.


But I'll state straight away that I may not be recalling correctly.  In fact, as far as I know, I might be making sh*t up.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Well, my bad I guess


For whatever reason I did this, I thought that was Andrew posting, not Catchy.  Time to change the bong water I guess.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

There's about 11 people who post on this site


and you old farts can't keep from mixing me up with the hoi polloi.

I Fear I Over Stepped my Polite Bounds Maybe...


...if so,  please feel entirely free to ignore any posed questions.


Just stay with us when you are abroad!


That's all that really matters.


Best Wishes, Traveller

No worries


I'm not married but am having a hard time convincing my girlfriend to move to Seoul. That's by far the biggest downside of this job, which is otherwise a lucrative position at a respected University and a good stepping stone for a career in academia.


... rest assured, I will take the opportunity of living in/learning about Korea to broadcast on theforvm why conservatism is even more wronger.

I've already got my forvm points all planned out


S. Korea has built up from almost nothing after the Korean war circa 60 yrs ago, but they now: 


* have universal healthcare

* the average Korean is richer than the average American (real median Purchasing Power Parity is higher)

* public transportation is better

* the internet is faster

* they're generally investing in their future and infrastructure.


I haven't yet been to S. Korea, but I'm sure it's superior in these ways and that it's b/c Korea isn't burdened with as many US-brand conservatives.

Catchy, a bit of that is due to...


...them being slow on the uptake.  Fristance, I live there for most of 2000 and the percentage of cell phone owners was observably higher than in the US at the time, but ask a Korean what his home phone was and you got a blank look. They skipped a generation of technology, perhaps a few, while we were still paying for the investment in ours.  Always, always, always, the first guy with thing 'X' has a shiddy thing 'X' within 10 years.  Talk to me about the innovator of thing 'Y' rather than the guy who came late to thing 'X'.

I'm not sure what real purchasing power parity is but I know if a Korean were to spend my mortgage payment he'd get an apartment that would fit on one floor of my house leaving me room to fool with, and I am living well within my means.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

PPP is how economists measure income across countries


The wiki here. Your mortgage payment wouldn't get you a big place in any high-population density area, whether that's NYC or Seoul. Not every place in S. Korea is high density, so I'm not sure what your point is.


Your point about the latest tech gadget is missing mine, I think re: faster internet connections. In the US we've got late capitalism that is insuring second rate infrastructure that is slow and expensive. It's not a landline to cell phone issue, it's a monopoly issue, like in our healthcare, banking, etc. sectors. 


Overall, re: median income, I'm not sure how I came to the conclusion that S. Korea has a higher median income than in the US. I couldn't find any resource to back it up or disprove it. I think perhaps I did an estimate a little while ago based on respective gini coefficients and GDP-per-capita #s. But if anyone can find data I would be curious.

A bigger problem than the professors retiring


is administrators' doing away with a tenure line once its occupant retires.


Even worse is that a couple of decades ago, we had a report that said when the Boomers retired there was going to be a massive demand for new professors and that, furthermore, the projected supply of PhDs was inadequate to meet that demand. So research universities throughout North America drastically increased the number of doctoral candidates in their programs. And the enormous vacancies opened up by the retiring boomers... never happened. The Boomers either hung on to their positions like grim death, or when they did retire, their colleges and universities saw that as an excellent opportunity to do away with the expense of a full-time professor. And there were more PhDs than people were expecting because there'd been a boomlet in PhD programs!


The result from this side of things is that most of my cohort is in some form of contingent employment.


What's worse is that my teachers' retirement account is for a southern state, so I'm as likely to see the money that I pay into it as I am to see my cat stand upright and start talking...

How the American University was Killed


He oversteps the mark.

mmghosh's picture

Instead, they are learning to obey, to withstand “tests” and “exams”, to follow rules

These are bad things?  And talk such as

students who travel through on a kind of conveyor belt, only to be spit out, indebted and desperate into a jobless economy

This extreme rhetoric cannot be good as an organisational tool.  I get with the general idea of the productivity-wealth transfer divergence from the 1970s onwards, but it should not be beyond the capacity of the working-middle classes to organise a political movement to shift the spoils of economic growth back towards the left.  The broad masses need conversion to the idea of long-term stable political change, not calls to arms. 

I saw that this morning


I think that there's too much attribution of malice and planning to a lot of factors that made short-term sense but were long-term toxic. Sure, there's been a right-wing hate-on for the academy since the sixties at least and some of that went into policy making, but a lot of what's hit American universities has also happened in the bluest of blue states (and also Canada and the UK).

What's stopping conservativee business guys


from sitting on university trustee boards in blue states? 


I was horrified to meet a couple of right wing business guys who sat on the UC Board of Regents a few years back. My sense is that lots of these people have no interest in the idea of public education.

Good Medicine


Wounded Syrian arrives in Israel with note from

  06.12.13, 17:30 / Israel News


One of the two injured Syrians who were admitted to Safed's Ziv Medical Center on Saturday entered Israel with a note from the doctor who gave him first aid on the other side of the border.


The note, which was written in Arabic and addressed to Israeli doctors, includes details about the injured young Syrian's condition: "To the respectable surgeon hello. The patient, 28, was injured from a bullet that penetrated his chest and caused a fracture in the lungs, as well as from shrapnel that caused damage to the diaphragm and liver.


"The chest has been opened up and the bleeding has been stopped. The abdomen has also been opened up and the bleeding in the liver has been stopped," the note read. "It is the doctors' opinion that the abdomen should be opened up to assess the condition of the liver and remove the pressure bandage. Please do what is needed. Thank you in advance."


המכתב ששלח הרופא הסורי

The note


The note also detailed the medication that was given to the patient.



Dr. Oscar Embon, director of the Ziv Medical Center, said "the surgery the patient underwent in Syria was basic. I don't know what instruments the doctors who treated him had at their disposal, but the operation apparently saved his life. Here he underwent a second liver operation. We stitched up his diaphragm and drained the chest."


Some 20 injured Syrians have been treated in Israeli hospitals over the past few months.


I'm in favor of locking up Peter King




Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.) wants Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald locked up for publishing the classified information leaked to him by Edward Snowden


“No right is absolute. And even the press has certain restrictions,” King told Fox News’s Megyn Kelly on Wednesday, “I think it should be very targeted, very selective, and certainly a very rare exception, but in this case, when you have someone who has disclosed secrets like this and threatens to release more, then to me, yes, there has to be, there should be legal action taken against [Greenwald].”


These dangerous remarks by an elected representative on the fundamental American freedom of the press constitute a very rare, very targeted exception to King's right to a fair trial, which is after all is not absolute.

Futile Exercise In Any Event

M Scott Eiland's picture

They'd probably just end up incarcerating a sockpuppet for five years.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Great jazz album on a weekend night - Blue Train


The first two tracks off this John Coltrane album make for some damn good listening:


What is this? And why is it shutting off my brain

brutusettu's picture

...Viper Mark VII's floating in space.  This can't be a good sign.

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."


Frank Zappa

GHBs playing an Irish tune: flashmob



Wearing of the Green / Rising of the Moon.  Like, love or hate whatever music suits your taste but well played pipes always command respect. 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

That'll learn 'em not to spend too much time at the mall


: )

The zombies are coming?

brutusettu's picture

The jombi invasion has already started.

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."


Frank Zappa

Now I'm just Pissed.

Zelig's picture

T-ara were stunning septet a couple of years ago when Jiae, Jiwon and Hway were running the show. But now, really, Boram, (boring), and Qri, WTF! They've lost their soul. They sound flat and kind of monotonous. They're giving K-Pop a bad name. 


Screw this. (hat tip: brutus, thx, and wikipedia)

Me: We! -- Ali

Giving K-Pop a bad name?


Is this sophisticated sarcasm here or are you being serious?


I can't tell. Every K-Pop tune I've heard makes me want to shoot myself in the face.


I did come across a chill Seoul DJ the other day tho:



Neon Bunny

brutusettu's picture

Neon Bunny:

니가 내게 주는 것들 

왕자님       Oh my prince

북극곰        a Polar Bear





"Jazz, the music of unemployment."


Frank Zappa

Zelig left behind several clues to clear sarcasm

brutusettu's picture

2 of the 3 former members he tried to list were barely ever in the group and they weren't a 7 member group when they were in T-ara.  The 3rd former member is not Hway, but Hwayoung, and it would be stretch to claim she was in the group several years ago.  

Then there was talking about a K-Pop group like some sort of Patrick Bateman.


what about part of a k-pop group covering a k-pop group?

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."


Frank Zappa

Bone dry, unsophisticated sarcasm.

Zelig's picture

Sorry you didn't chuckle. My writing needs work. I could write a 3 page "paper" proving that that K-Pop crap ain't even "music". Something like girl candy money sounds, but not music. 


Cheers! Listening to your Coltrane link right now. 

Me: We! -- Ali

"girl candy money sounds"

brutusettu's picture

Albeit that is a fairly apt description.  the "not music" part, c'mon man.    it's pop music and inordinately better than stuff that infinitely better than Florida Georgia Line or whatever, listening to FGL is a fate worse than a slow painful death.

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."


Frank Zappa

Well, dammit.


I've made an ass of myself on the internet.

Ha! He got me too.


I read his comment and thought 'I get that we don't get each other's politics, but g*d D*MN!'  Thanks for swallowing the hook on that one.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

That made me happy!

Zelig's picture

Sort of. Somehow, hooking two guys who are political opposites, on an absurd

fake K-Pop "analysis"  is sort of like some after the fact success. Not. My. Intent. I was hoping for a little "that's funny" from Brutus, or a "haha" from Nils. But nooooo, it didn't work out that way.


Back from the drinkery. Ran into a nice, age appropriate hottie just as I was leaving. We're on each other's radar, which is great. The music was lazy, nondescript rock and roll, played by a local band. I had a better time out on the patio. (the scene of my 'thuggery".)


We're a stiff bunch here. We've gotta learn how to lighten up. Think about it. A old-fart vet digging teen age Korean girl music? Please. We need to shake around and get limber. Here.  Think about it. 



Me: We! -- Ali

Nah. There really is no accouting for taste.


I've asked too many people if they were putting me on when they fired up some tunes I thought stank, just to get the semi-offended 'what?!?' in reply.  Thumbing through somebody's CD collection 'Yeah, ok, hmmm, good choice, uh-huh........WTF! Celine Dion?  Are you kidding me?'

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Collolary to there's no accounting for taste

brutusettu's picture

Lot's of music stinks the 1st go around.  Usually time needs to pass or even more listens are needed or it's often forever sullied if it's hyped up beforehand.




Celine Dion or Kenny G?  Who knows such things, but the bass player is channeling Angus Young's stage presence. 





"Jazz, the music of unemployment."


Frank Zappa

No, no, no Brutus. Bottom line....


....an inability to determine if music stinks at the first note indicates indecisiveness.  Ultimately, that just means you're lining up to be something else's food.  So, if you haven't figured out that John Tesh really sucks then you might as well just cut to the chase and swim around like a wounded seal near an orca pod.  Fortunately, you're part of humanity and against our collective better judgment we hate seeing bad ends for good people. If you find yourself hemming and hawing on whether or not you need to add David Hasselhoff to you CD collection, there's no need to run out and act like a fat javelina near a hungry anaconda, just ask me my opinion.  It's free, though I should charge.  I'm here to help.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

(Zelig rolls eyes...)

Zelig's picture

Indecisiveness may be a bad thing most of the time. However with music it's often relative. If I hadn't heard any music in 3 months, A John Tesh tune might not be such a bad thing. It also has to do with taste, culture and one's musical upbringing. 


For example, if I were forced to choose a CD to write a 150 word review of, and the choices were John Tesh, Celine Dion, Charlie Daniels, or Ted Nugent, I'd choose Tesh in a heartbeat. Number two would have to be, unfortunately, Celine Dion, followed by Charlie Daniels at number 6 zillion, and way below that, the chickenhawk Ted Nugent. Your choices may vary.

Me: We! -- Ali

Well, see you've added another factor


The 150 word review.  And if I had to write such a review I'd choose exactly the opposite.  How hard could it be to write 'Nutty Mofo' 75 times for Nugent?  Charlie Daniels can be fun to listen to so I'd have to work at that one.  I wouldn't survive listening to Dion or Tesh but you might count the GBCW screed written in my own blood as a review.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I don't think I've added another factor.

Zelig's picture

Writing a short, honest, readable review would require me to listen to the complete CD, often repeating a song or two, and perhaps studying aspects of a song or two. You need to listen to the whole thing to make an assessment. I don't see this as adding another factor to our discussion.


With me, politics often weighs in when evaluating how much I appreciate an individual musician's artistry. The first time this happened when I was a lad, listening to west coast rock and roll and folk music in the '60s. I used to like Donovan (Leitch). I still am fond of a song or two that he recorded way back when. Then I found out that he likely enjoyed diddling around with underage boys. I wasn't even sure what that meant back then but I knew it was bad. I've never bought a Donovan product, due to this likely true accusation.


The Allman Bros. made a huge impression on me when their first album, Eat a Peach, came out. I snapped it up and would listen on headphones late at night so as not to disturb the rest of the household. They were innovative, very listenable, and opened my eyes up. Around their 3rd album, they were 'busted' for possession of pot while on tour. Greg Allman basically ratted out one of their roadies in order to receive a reduced sentence, or no sentence at all. The roadie went to jail for selling. The Bay Area music critics and publications erupted in rage. (Rolling Stone, BAM, and all alternative newspapers) I've boycotted the Allman Bros. ever since.


As to Nugent and Daniels, well, both are chickenhawks, with Nugent being the more outrageous and nutty of the two. But the fact remains, both had a chance to serve in our armed forces during the Viet Nam war, both wiggled out of their commitments thru dishonest and devious means, yet both support the war. I loath both musicians and will not voluntarily listen to their crap for this reason alone.

Me: We! -- Ali

Foreign language music


That's why I like listening to foreign language music.   It reduces the chance that my enjoyment will be messed up by some political lyrics.  For some reason politics I agree with irritate me even more;  I can tolerate a lot of communist-inspired music but stuff that's explicitly "libertarian" almost always sucks.


I also make a point to not read about the personal life or listening to interviews with the musicians,  it can't lead to anything good.

I hope for your sake


you don't understand Spanish too well if you like Latin pop. The insipidness, it burns!


They make Britney Spears sound like Leonard Cohen.

Why is it


that women sound so much better singing in Spanish or Italian?


Is it because of the phonetic structure of the language?  Or some fixation that I have?  Or is it just because I can't understand whatever complaint they're making?


My Spanish is just good enough to get it if I concentrate hard, and yes you're right, it's pretty much content free.  If you know four words:  querer, amar, corazon, mentir - then you've got it all.  But fortunately I don't concentrate.



I think phonetic structure


has a lot to do with it.  You don't accent syllables the same way in Spanish and Italian as you do in English.  Syllables are not stressed at all in French.  I'm not sure why, but this has the effect of making quieter, more lilting voices (such as feminine ones) sound way better than harsh guttural syllables.  My empirical evidence is that French hard rock and rap sound terrible, French folk songs sound OK and wistful love songs sound better than in English.  I don't think it's content-dependent.


In contrast, industrial thrash metal sounds awesome in German.  Germanic languages just seem to fit loud, harsh-sounding an low-pitched sounds better.

No way, rapping in French sounds awesome


MC Solar, Baloji and Marco Polo sound really good to me. 


I think it's the partly the soft flow above harsher beats that can make French rap sound smooth, filled out and awesome.


Mostly agreed about the rest of your comment tho.

Here's one that suits your current situation


Korea-bound as you are



Yeah, everything I listen too is sung in Canadian


Sung, sang, sanged, which is right?  Anyway, I'm going about this backwards maybe.  But, when I think of songs I like, then consider those with some sort of political lean I think I'm all over the map.  Then I imagine a song that I don't associate with politics and give it a political twist.  Take 'Whiskey in the Jar' for example.  If it was left leaning it'd be 'Whiskey in the Jar Tax', I wouldn't like that.  If it was religious right leaning it'd be 'Grape Juice in the Jar', not my thing either.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

the 1st 2 are the options

brutusettu's picture

I sang.

I have sung.


sung needs a helping verb the internet tells me


is is a verb



"Jazz, the music of unemployment."


Frank Zappa


Zelig's picture

I would  agree that "libertarian lyrics" would sound forced, contrived  and manipulative to me, however decidedly left-wing lyrics often sound hopeful and happy, with the naiveté‎ barely registering. I can't figure out why that is, and why we would agree. 


I used to enjoy liner notes on some albums. If I enjoyed the music, I would always read every word. The problem with the CD and with iTunes is there is little if any space for the musicians to communicate in writing directly with their customers. No, I don't do musicians' blogs. I'm too old. 

Me: We! -- Ali

One can loathe a musician, and still listen to his/her music.

mmghosh's picture

Do we even want to know the life history of every musician?  Its a little strange to be so political.

I understand your perspective.

Zelig's picture

No, I don't want or need to know the complete life's history of every musician in order to appreciate their music. The press, liner notes and word of mouth usually expose the outrageous stuff in the examples I've given. The good stuff also, such as performing charity work. I've got nothing against the criminal record and documented drug addictions of Johnny Cash, and I forgive Jimi Hendrix for his minor screw-ups while in the US Army. But these are minor sins compared to the enormous hypocrisies of Daniels and Nugent.



Me: We! -- Ali

Which Bono?

Zelig's picture

Sonny Bono, when he appeared on TV with his wife Cher, sang some entertaining music. Of course he went on to become a Republican congressman with a viscous, nasty voting record until he ran into a tree while skiing and while addicted to Rush Limbaugh style synthetic opiates. Dead. I  give him a pass on his life outside of the entertainment business, even though the Sonny/Cher break up was due to his numerous infedilities.


Bono, the Irish rocker is sort of the same deal. He's a bona fide humanitarian, which is good. He wears stupid glasses and struts around like a banty rooster, which is bad. He has sung on a couple of songs that I really, really like. 

Me: We! -- Ali

Irish rocker.

mmghosh's picture

This stuff (my emphases).



ONE is a grassroots campaign of more than two million people from around the world, but we are very fortunate to have the support of a number of leading artists and athletes who have the capacity to mobilise activists and bring attention to the issue of global poverty in an unprecedented manner. Cofounded by Bono, ONE also works very closely with Bob Geldof, and we have hosted a number of low-profile listening and learning trips to Africa with Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Brad Pitt and Tom Brady. We've worked with these individuals and many others, including George Clooney, Don Cheadle, Angelique Kidjo, Chris Daughtry, Penelope Cruz and Julia Roberts, on creative campaigns.

Hmm.  That is a lot of grassroots.  And at the same time


Bono showed little sign that he was taking an attack by Social Protection Minister Joan Burton to heart this weekend as he headed out with friends to celebrate his birthday.In recent days Ms Burton put the spotlight on U2's decision to move its publishing arm to the Netherlands – as part of an attack on what she called the "scandal" of tax avoidance.


Bono and his fellow band members have frequently come under fire from tax justice campaigners since they made the move to go Dutch in 2006 in order to to pay less tax.

But Ms Burton is the first cabinet minister to highlight U2's actions. She also criticised global companies that reduced their tax liabilities through legal loopholes.

A little socially challenged, no?  As opposed to, say, JK Rowling.

Rowling has eloquently described why she feels compelled to pay her full taxes as a UK resident. "I chose to remain a domiciled taxpayer for a couple of reasons," she said.


"The main one was that I wanted my children to grow up where I grew up, to have proper roots in a culture as old and magnificent as Britain's; to be citizens, with everything that implies, of a real country, not free-floating expats, living in the limbo of some tax haven and associating only with the children of similarly greedy tax exiles.


"A second reason was that I am indebted to the welfare state... When my life hit rock bottom, that safety net, threadbare though it had become under John Major, was there to break the fall."

I Particularly Like the Emotional Resonance of the JK Rowling...


...quote that you provided.


It read well and with meaning.


Of course, from Ms. Rowling one might expect to see this....but it was a nice confirmation.


However, re taxes...I have again seen outrageous, to me, property taxes in Texas and New Jersey. I know I am generally pro tax...but not on home owners, not on the broad base of the lower middle class, but on high income earners, corporate profits and estate tax, (especially estate tax on estates over 5M/10M).


In any case, I am very fortunate to live in California where property taxes are largely fixed at time of purchase...this was designed to allow older or unemployed people to stay in their homes...and it has worked very, very well.


A good, progressive policy  choice.


Now that my income is pretty radically reduced, I really appreciate that CA has a personal income tax on high wage earners etc to cover this slack. I could not pay the kind of property tax I see in Texas or New Jersey on a yearly basis.


(of course I live in a pretty expensive house that would have very high property taxes elsewhere)


Just sayin`




Edit: I can understand the anti-tax people a little better...the problem is that they have become anti-all-government people, as opposed to the more complex and difficult task of having better government, better tax policy, better collection against tax cheats...(cf the real problem in Greece)



At most property taxes should be based on the share of municipal services one receives from taking up the road space.  Which should not be directly dependent on the valuation.  Taxing wealth itself rather than its derivative (income) is punishing those who choose to save their money and invest in something durable.


A consumption tax or higher marginal rates could easily make up the difference without causing much pain.

Do it to Julia, do it to Julia?


I tease of course. I agree about property tax on the retired beign a scourge. I saw my grandmother harried into her grave with a property tax on a large family house where she had raised her children. Moving to some little coop, sterilised of memories and love, would have been cruel and pointless. She could pay, but it as an unneccessary stress and not everyone can. CA sounds sensible with a fixed rate like that.

Which Bono? lol, addicted to Rush Limbaugh style synthetic...






Best Wishes, Traveller

In which way?

brutusettu's picture

A old-fart vet digging teen age Korean girl music?


 it's a genre beloved by the Korean military.



And if you're talking about the age of T-ara, wiki informs me 4 of the 7 will be 25 or older by the end of the year.


If you're looking for something that's too much on the bubblegum side, here it is.  (bonus Hara is in Kara, which is pronounced just barely close enough to ponder the great question of whether I'd eat the moon if it was made of  BBQ spare ribs).

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."


Frank Zappa

Then the culture of the ROK army sucks.

Zelig's picture

These girls are not musicians. They're infantilized robots. They wish to act like they're 15 years old. They can pull this off at their ages, but in a decade? Do they sit around together working on lyrical  arrangements? Do they woodshed to improve their vocal and instrumental skills? Do they even have a say about the writing of the background music? How many non-members of the group attend rehearsals? 20? 50? Do they have a say as to the title of the tracks, the name of their next CD or even the name of the group? I even hesitate to call them women, even if they are in their  mid to late twenties due to their dress, make up, and actions. 


I'm sure that Korea has some good musicians. They have to.  I enjoyed your DJ YouTube cut. That DJ was a musician. I would feel more comfortable if the ROK soldiers were fans of something a little closer to music than the stuff on the clip. I only wish the clip had gone on longer. i was frustrated that it was cut so short and abruptly.


Google "new monkees". Or go to wiki. To me this is pretty much the threshold of where music begins. 

Me: We! -- Ali

"I enjoyed your DJ YouTube cut"


That was me, Z, not brut. 


brut may be taking you for a ride here, defending K-Pop. After your shenanigans I'm erring on the side of caution. 

I'm pulling legs?

brutusettu's picture

If I was doing that, I'd be linking to:




헬로비너스 Hello Venus - Do you want some tea?  (Hello Bineoseu in romanized hangull, luckily it wasn't 헬로ㅃㅣ너스)

Girls' Generation (소녀시대)  - Kissing You (키싱유) 

Strong Bad - TROGDOR!!


"Jazz, the music of unemployment."


Frank Zappa

Forgot about the Burninator


Always nice to be reminded of Strong Bad

The Burninator


I bought a huge Fresnel lens, about the size of a blackboard, which would melt a penny in about three seconds. We named it the Burninator, after Strong Bad. While making a frame for it, it set fire to the wooden sawhorses I used. But aside from demonstrating the awesome burninating power of the sun, it also demonstrated the difference between men and women. The fifth-grade boys who saw it thought it was way cool. The fifth-grade girls were completely puzzled why anyone would want a large Fresnel lens. As was my wife. 


They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist...
-- General John B. Sedgwick, 1864

1st of all

brutusettu's picture

there's a reason why the Trogdor comes in the niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.



2nd, and yet that differences was demonstrated, and differences such as that one are generally there.  but more interesting to me is the why.  Or how it's easy to see that polite Spanish kids are all like, si senor. polite English kids are all like, yes sir.  But why?



"Jazz, the music of unemployment."


Frank Zappa

Burninating the countryside....

Bernard Guerrero's picture

...burninating the peasants!


"The fifth-grade boys who saw it thought it was way cool. The fifth-grade girls were completely puzzled why anyone would want a large Fresnel lens. As was my wife. "


Bet my older girl would think it was cool, but half of her thought processes revolve around ray-guns, so....

I'm jealous


half of her thought processes revolve around ray-guns

Quick Google research tells me that

brutusettu's picture


Most of the bigger female groups have members that are in movies, plays, tv shows, tv show host, radio djs, voice dubbing, or as a matter of fact, interviewing Brad Pitt about his upcoming zombie movie.


even the fan clubs seem to know full well the groups have limited input, most most normal bands have members with limited input, perhaps SM Entertainment & Sonyeo Shidae would be much better than than simply Sonyeo Shidae?



as for "hesitate to call them women" the aegyo is often turned up to 11 for show while they're in their early 20s or younger, and gets dialed down later. Alice Cooper wears makeup and has a heavy theatrical element to his stage shows, the dude is still a man, not some crazed killer.

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."


Frank Zappa

I kind of know what Zelig means though.


One of the vids up above hasa group dressed in various sophisticated and attrative outfits running through some pretty erotic dance moves. lots of grinding and all that stuff, but.... well, it's like listening to a child prodigy soloist play. The notes are all there exactly when they should be. Everything's right, but somehow it's not. You hear it but you don't feel it. 

The one I described as "too bubblegum"?

brutusettu's picture

this one?  If so; bubblegum pop


 The songs typically have singalong choruses, seemingly childlike themes and a contrived innocence, occasionally combined with an undercurrent of sexual double entendre.

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."


Frank Zappa




The songs typically have singalong choruses, seemingly childlike themes and a contrived innocence, occasionally combined with an undercurrent of sexual double entendre.


What could possibly go wrong.



But for you I went back and looked. This was the one:



I should add though


that I am a big fan of Hyuna. No idea why, but she has something. Charisma. Strength. Presence. I'm not sure which. Strength maybe. I have always had a thing for strong women.

LOL...Geeze, Nyoos, She is Just Hot...lol


...I'm waiting for a phone call so I looked her up on Youtube and played one of her videos...You can say she's strong, but I think she is just smokin` hot if you know what I mean.


Fun to look at to be sure.




Best Wishes, Traveller

I don't even know if session musicans are even real people

brutusettu's picture

let alone musicians and is there anything that closely resembles music in musicals?



Pop vocal groups of major labels are the topic (even ones that write some of their own lyrics), not bands befitting the claims from some Moody Blues liner notes.  and afaik the Supremes did not write, compose, or produce their own songs.


And as if a fake boy band for an MTV show aren't real musicians.

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."


Frank Zappa

Your slip is showing.

Zelig's picture

Session musicians must be at the minimum very skilled craftsmen. They are a select few who can come into a session, sight read their part and determine how it fits into the master chart of the piece they are doing. They must also be able to nail it on the first or second take. That is hard. It may well be that you've never heard a top drawer session musician play as part of a band playing before you live. As to session vocalists, there is a body of evidence that states that singing on things like TV ads and the like may well damage the creativity and/or the voice of the vocalist. Many vocalists avoid session gigs for this reason. 


i won't argue about  your "Supremes" observation, however you can't tell me that Diana Ross and her fellow singers didn't have big influence on their sound and choice of music. Much more than that K-Pop group or your latest example, the boy band 2gether or whatver that you linked to. There are many great musicians who don't write their material, just as there are many great musicians who never perform in public at all. 


I'm not a fan of musicials per se, but there are a few I like, and excerpts and songs from a whole lot more that I find very entertaining. It's just plain silly to dismiss the whole of American musical theater as not resembling music. You are going overboard to support your opinions. 

Me: We! -- Ali

An Entry In A Continuing Series: Annoying Things In Sports

M Scott Eiland's picture

So, the US Open (of Golf) is going on right now--the Powers That Be in the PGA have decided that the function of this event is "to torture the best golfers in the world." To do this, they usually take an already challenging course, tweak it within an inch of its life to make each hole a horrific challenge, and--and this is the part that annoys me--arbitrarily shaves one or two strokes off the 18 hole par to make it a "Par 70" course. So, you take a difficult course and make it far more difficult, then decide "well, you should make this in one or two less strokes than usual?" Ridiculous. Apparently, the rationale is for ordinary golfers to see few or no red (under par) scores among the best golfers in the world and say "maybe these guys aren't so tough after all," when in fact the "real" relationship to par is four to eight strokes lower over 72 holes, and trying to get through merely *three* of these death marches disguised as golf holes would have the vast majority of them veering away from the upcoming fourth hole and making a beeline for the 19th hole (the course bar, for the uninitiated) in order to blot out the memory of the hour or so of horror that they had just completed. The competition is still compelling, but the whole lowered par thing is an insult to the intelligence of the watcher.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Having played a U.S. Open course (Pinehurst #2),

Bird Dog's picture

the track is pretty non-threatening under regular conditions, and that was from the back tees (I think I shot a 92, with no course knowledge). A PGA pro would just flat-out kill it. Merion is just under 7,000 yards, which is short for a major. On 18, for example, it's a 521-yard par 4 but a player only needs a mid- to long-iron for his second shot.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Thin clients?

mmghosh's picture

Data security was one of the main reasons why we moved over a few years ago.  It does mean total dependence on the server, but that should not be an issue for the NSA.

He was a sysadmin...


You would expect, even if thin clients were common in the environment, that he would have access to real hardware.

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

Yeah, I suspect this is the


Yeah, I suspect this is the real answer.  To lock out USB you can either do


thin clients

disable the ports

have the OS install a little dohickey on each USB key that encrypts the data or otherwise monitors how it is used, sort of like a virus


An admin can overcome all of these things easily in most environments.  Most places I've worked as an admin, only the lowest of the low (salesmen) have to follow the rules.  Admins/IT people invariably need "special access" that coincidentally lets them surf porn and download torrents.  The managers just tell the bosses they need that access too, though they rarely do.  At one of my jobs, the biggest porn hound in the whole place was the top-dawg manager.  Sad bastard.

But NSA Can Customize


So they can just not install the USB ports at all, physically, on the motherboard.


Facebook does this on their servers. If FB can do it, NSA sure can.


Methods that disable or encrypt are nothing to a good sysadmin.

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

Well, the admin can connect


Well, the admin can connect to the network with a machine with a USB port.  Or squirrel the data to the unsecure guest/contractor network and use a USB key there.  It doesn't really matter how he does it but the admin can traditionally do any of these things and more.  The question is -- what are the details of the NSA secure network?

This Was a Private Company, Profit Motive, The Things Being


...suggested cost money. Yes there could have been specially built computers w/o USB ports and, considering the level of criminality involved....lol, they should have been.


All along the chain there could have been better security at many levels in many different ways, but this was outsourced, this was part and parcel of the Republican attack on Government in general.


This should have been kept in house...this is a direct fault of Republican ideological success...clap your hands, yipee!


Some things government really just does better....and no doubt cheaper.


(of course, then there is Bradley Manning...so a half a dozen of one, with a million and a half people having top secret clearances...everythings going to get out...I would also posit, the Russians and Chinese have long ago bought their own thumb drives from bribed insiders long ago...everybody knew but us)