this n that

Go and read Now What?:

It is hard to escape the fact that, in far too many ways, bin Laden won even in death. He hoped to provoke a drastic over-reach from that resident idiot in the White House, and he got what he was after. The damage done to us by Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney and the rest of that crowd of cretins will echo painfully down the corridor of our history for a long time to come. Osama bin Laden hurt us, and in response, we hurt ourselves ten times worse. We are still hurting ourselves; 24 hours before the news of his death hit the wires, all the “mainstream” media could talk about was birth certificates. This is not the characteristic of a flourishing society. This is the characteristic of a failing state that lacks the courage or the will to address what truly ails it.

I readily admit I am sick of the OBL news and have been trying not to post too many articles about it. But some of them are very good, addressing the more meta issues we should be focusing on, not just the juvenile “fuck yeah” crap.

Gotta love Krugman: An Appropriate Reaction to a Nonsensical Budget Proposal.

The truth is that the two parties have both utterly different goals and utterly different views about how the world works. It’s not nice to say this (but the truth is rarely nice): whatever they may say, Republicans are not concerned, above all, about the deficit. In fact, it’s not clear that they care about the deficit at all. They’re trying to use deficit concerns to push through their goal of dismantling the Great Society and, if possible, the New Deal; they have stated explicitly that they want to reduce taxes on high incomes to pre-New-Deal levels. And it’s an article of faith on their part that low taxes have magical effects on the economy.

And there really, really doesn’t seem to be any room for dialogue, nor bipartisanship — whereby in both cases no compromise at all is actually effected.

Those GOPers can’t seem to stop shooting themselves in the foot, can they? Alabama’s Entire GOP Delegation Voted to Cut Tornado Forecasting Warning Systems. Srsly? SRSLY? Over 300 deaths these last few weeks, and the mofos want to dismantle the warning system? They really are out to kill us…

Wait, what? Are they pulling on their big boy pants, finally? Feds Suing Deutsche Bank for Mortgage Fraud. Money quote:

And if you weren’t infuriated enough, here’s another little gem: complaints sent to MortgageIT from an outside auditor were “literally stuffed in a closet and left unread and unopened.”

Hey, can I do that with MY unwanted mail??

Short and to the point: VIDEO: GOP Hypocrisy — Oil Subsidies Edition. (Video is uncaptioned, but the point of it is clear enough with the subtitles it does have & the surrounding TP article makes the case.)

NYT rips the H8 crowd a new one, over trying to DQ Judge Walker: Fit to Rule on Same-Sex Marriage

The claim is bogus. It is well established that personal characteristics, like race, sex, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation, do not by themselves invoke the rule that judges must step aside if their “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

Our justice system relies on trusting members of the nation’s diverse bench to put aside their personal characteristics and abide by their duty of even-handedness. Any other approach would invite foolish and unacceptable results — female judges being kept from hearing rape or sexual discrimination cases, or black judges from hearing cases involving racial bias or civil rights.

Indeed, following the open-ended logic of Proposition 8’s lawyers, it is hard to think who, if anyone, is qualified to rule on this case. Certainly not wedded heterosexual judges whose marriages stand to be somehow diminished, according to the antimarriage crowd, if Judge Walker’s ruling survives appeal in federal circuit court.

That last paragraph is just pure gold. Also on other Prop news: Calif attorney general argues against allowing Prop 8 sponsors to defend gay marriage ban. I swear, DOMA and ENDA will be resolved before this mess gets anywhere in California >.< Can we possibly move any slower on this? This sounds all kinds of cool! I would love to watch one of their productions, though I'd probably have to go to SF if they don't travel around... sign language interpreting for the stage:

TerpTheatre’s team of sign language interpreters specialize in Shadowing – instead of interpreting off to the side of the stage, they’re included on-stage and move throughout the actors. The interpreters are costumed, and blend into the cast. The result? They become part of the stage picture. Deaf patrons are able to truly enjoy the performance, and many hearing people report finding shadowing less distracting than when interpreters appear off to the side, or in the audience.

I really don’t follow reality TV shows, but this was an interesting article: People with disabilities are blending in on reality shows. Some of it sounds a bit IGBP-ish, interestingly enough.

Interesting commentary on the process & decision making in captioning here: Captioning the faintest sounds when they’re part of a repetitive series. For the record, I thought the clip as done was just fine, although it did not convey how the refresh melds into the background music. TBH, I’m not sure how you could do that without a long winded expository caption, which really wouldn’t work. For me, the way the camera moves in as he’s refreshing is a pretty good equivalent.

And finally… stumbled across this documentary which looks like all kinds of interesting. The video is about an hour long, in Russian with English subtitles. Just fascinating so far: Russian criminal tattoo documentary on YouTube.

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