A stunning beautiful tropical image along the Hana Highway beside the Pacific Ocean on Maui in the Hawaiian Islands.
This is my midweek update, although in point of fact, I have not finished all three of the Long Beach compliance reports I need to do, and instead I have only completed the big one with two smaller ones to go. Thus, I should not be blogging tonight. However, I likely will not update this blog until Friday or Saturday, and I just wanted to post a few items.
Tonight is a cold, overcast one with some snow flurries / snow showers around the region, although everybody's favorite climate station -- DCA, Reagan Washington National Airport -- is still at "TRACE" for the season and almost certainly will remain so.
BEHOLD! The actual Reagan Washington National Airport weather "ASOS" (automated surface observing system) where the city's "official" climate is measured. This is an image I found online. I'm not sure if the actual snowboard is at this spot -- that may be removed in that small, crappy little shack by the river.
Unfortunately, I just don't have the time or energy to write a big political-themed entry about the Iowa GOP Caucus / carnival sideshow and the virtual tie between the plutocratic multi-millionaire who says anything, and the object of Dan Savage's puritanical satire (Willard Mitt Romney "won" by 8 votes over Rick Santorum, 30,015 to 30,007 out of 122,255 cast).
Santorum's creepy sexual puritanical obsessions aside, Santorum just might not be the standard corporate oligarch on economic issues. That would be an interesting change of pace for a GOP'er, although I am probably reading too much into his positions. But if true, it would certainly confuse the corporate Robert Rubin Democrats / WaHoPo Editorial Board / Wall-P money-and-power obsessed types.
I liked the comment I heard on the Ed Show tonight by Joy-Ann Reid. Paraphrasing what she said: "It was a bar fight, and Romney won, but Santorum is the one getting free drinks at the bar and Gingrich is waiting outside with a broken bottle."
Last night, Chris Matthews -- who has a real hatred of Gingrich -- said that Santorum looks like a politician who could connect with voters, and unlike Gingrich, "he doesn't LOOK like an assassin."
I'm actually a bit sad that Bachmann dropped out -- she was like no other in terms of utter P.T. Barnum-like, American-fundamentalist Looney Tunes.
But she does head the Teabagger contingent, so we should be fine for a while at least for entertainment purposes.
Matt Taibbi had a very good blog posting about how the Empire will re-exert itself and ensure that the two candidates are the Establishment-approved ones. (No, he doesn't use that term "Empire" but it's the same idea.) I suggest reading the entry.
Kinda says it all ...
Clay Bennett,the editorial cartoonist for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, is amazing with his political drawings. And in that part of the country, he must get a ton of crazed hate mail.
A screen shot from the Talking Points Memo blog tonight with a story about an Army Reservist, Cpl. Jesse Thorsen -- who looks curiously familiar -- who probably got himself into trouble by showing up in uniform to praise Ron Paul. Not very bright thing for Cpl. Thorsen to so.
As for Ron Paul, who came in a very close 3rd place in Iowa (thank God I don't have to hear about Iowa for another four years), I highly recommend Michael Lind's Jan. 3, 2011 Salon piece entitled "Race, Liberty and Ron Paul", although originally it was called, more appropriately, "The Moral Idiocy of Ron Paul" because he addresses the real issue -- the thinly-veiled racism underlying the nonsensical and outright silly bullshit that is American libertarian ideology.
"By equating the Civil Rights Act, which expanded American civil liberty, with the Patriot Act, which reduced it, on the grounds that both are federal laws with sanctions, Ron Paul displays the moral idiocy of someone who declares that a person who pushes a little old lady out of the path of a bus is just as bad as a person who pushes a little old lady into the path of a bus, because both are equally guilty of pushing little old ladies around.
"Like other libertarians, Ron Paul does not understand American values. The American experiment is an experiment in creating and maintaining a democratic republic, not a minimal state. American political culture is founded not on the theories of Ayn Rand or Ludwig von Mises but on the reasoning of natural rights theorists like John Locke, for whom coercion in the service of communal self-defense is perfectly legitimate.
"In Lockean social contract theory, in order to protect themselves from human predators, people form a community and then transfer the pooled power of self-defense to the community’s trustee, the state, the better to resist invasion and crime. While abuses of military and police power are to be guarded against, the idea that the military and police and government as such are inherently tyrannical, a familiar theme in libertarian and anarchist thought, is utterly alien to America’s Lockean republican tradition.
"Libertarians typically argue that only government, backed by military and police power, can be tyrannical. Lockean republicans in contrast believe that private power located in the for-profit or non-profit sectors can be tyrannical, as well. By means of their agent, the state, the sovereign people legitimately can protect themselves from predation by private sector tyrants as well as public sector tyrants.
"Libertarians are not the brightest lights in the candelabra, a fact that is evident from the alternatives they tend to offer to public prevention of private abuses ...
"From his statement that the Civil Rights act 'destroyed the principle of private property and private choices,' I think his meaning is quite clear: civil rights legislation at any level -- federal, state or local -- should never have been passed. To this day, store owners should be free to call on the public police at public expense to drag blacks, Jews, or members of other groups that the owners do not like from their business establishments, in the name of property rights."
A random picture of mighty Mount Rainier as seen from Tacoma, Wash., along the south edge of Puget Sound. Mount Rainier's native Yakima name is "Takhoma."
And, of course, I highly recommend Paul Krugman's daily blog along with his Monday and Friday columns.
His entry earlier today cited his economist comrade-in-arms Brad DeLong in a response to the criticisms that both of them are too aggressive and rude -- or in WaHoPo/Beltway-speak, "shrill" -- without responding to their opponents' views.
DeLong's detailed response to John H. Cochrane, the High Priest of the irrationally and nonsensically anti-Keynesian Chicago
Oh, yes, I would like to note here the clarification that I already posted in my previous entry about the TV show 227's geography of Washington, D.C., more specifically, the opening sequence with the picture of the Washington Monument.
Please see the previous entry and (re)read the paragraph beginning "However, the Washington Monument's 'grid location' ..."
I would like to talk a little bit more about that opening screenshot in 227 of the Washington Monument in supposed relationship to the "227" walk-up row house apartments, which I am reposting below:
Assuming that this image was taken in spring or fall (see the trees in the lower right of the image) and around mid-to-late morning -- judging by the sky hue and Sun angle -- there is no way that the sunlight illuminated portion could be the north or west side. (Indeed, it could almost never be illuminating the north side like that except around the summer solstice, and even though only around sunrise or sunset from an oblique / shallower.)
This means the sunlit side is EITHER the south or east side. If it is the south side, then the shaded side is the west side, so the row houses would have to be on the southwest of the Monument -- except there is nothing on that side except the Potomac River and then the area toward the Pentagon on the Virginia side. If it is the east side, then the shaded side is the north side, so the row houses would have to be on the northeast side. This IS possible, except the nearest row houses would be in Capitol Hill just to the northeast of the U.S. Capitol Building and at least 1.5 miles and more like 2 miles away.
In point of fact, those row houses look a bit like they are along North Capitol Street, and this is not a vista you would have, or if so, the Monument would be in the distance behind the low-to-medium rise of buildings in downtown D.C.
OK, that's enough of that. My next planned update will be on Friday or over the weekend.