Josh Barro Clobbers Niall Ferguson


 

Josh Barro Clobbers Niall Ferguson

 

In spite of our dramatically different political views, Josh Barro is beginning to grow on me. Certainly, this is just delightful, some good rhetorical punches are being thrown here!

 

James Pilant

 

Panelist Economic Historian Niall Ferguson at ...
Panelist Economic Historian Niall Ferguson at “Special World Debate” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Niall Ferguson uses Twitter science to prove he’s better than everyone.

 

http://www.slate.com/blogs/business_insider/2013/10/15/niall_ferguson_uses_twitter_science_to_prove_he_s_better_than_everyone.html

 

The reason Ferguson wants to talk about civility is that he can\’t talk about not being full of crap. Ferguson trades on his academic credentials to write popular articles that contain misleading and false claims. His writing causes readers to come away with a worse understanding of the economy than they entered with. He is changing the world for the worse.

 

My contention is not that we haven\’t been uncivil to Ferguson. We definitely have. My contention is that he deserves it.

 

via Niall Ferguson uses Twitter science to prove he’s better than everyone..

From around the web.

From the web site, The Inverse Square (This is a fun web site – please go visit. jp).

https://inversesquare.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/very-serious-person-niall-ferguson-haz-a-sad/

Too much to do today to go all John Foster Dulles on Harvard’s Folly, but I can’t leave this without noting that if Niall’s honestly not scared of Krugman (he is), he should be.

 

Cases in point here and here and here and here.  This isn’t a fair fight.  Ferguson has the debate chops and the accent, but nothing else. Krugman has both technical skill and the willingness to engage actual data to gut the Harvard Bully Boy on the actual merits of the argument.  That Ferguson plays better on TV is his reason for being, but not a recommendation.  (BTW — for a devastating synoptic view of Ferguson’s style and (lack of) substance — and his pure nastiness in the service of the 1%, check out this overview.)

 

 

Crooks and Liars Tells a Fable


Crooks and Liars Tells a Fable

Bob The Businessman: An American Success Story | Crooks and Liars

This is the story of Bob the businessman.

Suppose a local businessman, let’s call him Bob, went around town raising money from the townspeople to open a car dealership. Dozens and dozens of people in town invested, putting in $1,000, $5,000, and a few putting in as much as $50,000 and $100,000. Bob raised a lot of money for his business.

After a while the investors found out Bob the Businessman was using some of their money to help his brother run for Mayor and several cousins to run for city council, and …

Bob The Businessman: An American Success Story | Crooks and Liars#sthash.S2qUc6Sm.dpbs

 

An American Fable
An American Fable

This is a fairy tale from the web site, Crooks and Liars. It is, of course, a parable about American business. It’s pretty funny although if you think about it, it’s very sad. Please go to the web site, and read the whole thing.

James Pilant

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Lance Armstrong, American Villain


Lance Armstrong, American Villain

prologue1Lance Armstrong’s Oprah interview: His threats and bullying are the real story. – Slate Magazine

Armstrong couldn’t deny all the lawsuits he had filed and all the times he’d accused people of lying. So he attributed these intimidation tactics to fear, a rough childhood, and his cancer. He had vilified witnesses who told the truth because he saw them “as a friend turning on you.” He had attacked any threat because when he was a kid, his family “felt like we had our backs against the wall.” And, tragically, “my diagnosis … turned me into a person” who was resolved to “win at all costs,” since cancer compels you to “do anything I have to do to survive. … And I took that attitude, that ruthless and relentless and win-at-all costs attitude, and I took it right into cycling.”

That seems to be the game plan Armstrong brought to this interview. Downplay your power over others. Deny issuing explicit orders to dope. Convert any such story into a matter of setting a poor example.  Take responsibility for yourself, but suggest that others—those who claim you pressured them—must do the same. Recast your threats, retributions, and demands for silence as products of a hard life. Reduce your sins of coercion to a sin of deceit. When Winfrey asked Armstrong “what made you a bully,” he answered: “Just trying to perpetuate the story and hide the truth.”

That’s Armstrong’s message: Everything he did, no matter how domineering, menacing, or manipulative, was a desperate effort to protect a single lie. “I tried to control the narrative,” he says. And he’s still trying to control the narrative. Which is a good reason not to believe it.

Lance Armstrong’s Oprah interview: His threats and bullying are the real story. – Slate Magazine

Armstrong seemed to be exposing himself the most when he confessed to bullying Emma O’Reilly, the former massage therapist who tried to expose Armstrong’s doping in 2003. “We ran over her, we bullied her,” he said. But then when Oprah asked if he’d sued O’Reilly, he couldn’t remember even the basic details—who he’d sued, for example. His admissions stopped exactly at the point when it turned from a character trait to real adult, legal action, which caused actual measurable harm in another person’s life. Yes, sure, we agree with Lance Armstrong he was a bully. As team leader and megastar cyclist, he had far more power than the people around him, and he used it to make their lives miserable when they did things he didn’t like, especially exposing the cheating and lying that allowed him to build his own myth and stay on top. But bullying hardly covers it. More like, “he assaulted people with intent to absolutely destroy,” as a Twitter user named Brian G. Fay wrote to me last night.

Lance Armstrong was a bully, but that hardly covers it. – Slate Magazine

Yes, cycling is corrupt. If there is any one individual who made it impossible to compete without cheating, it’s Lance Armstrong.

I don’t think, people are getting the picture here of a long term criminal conspiracy to subvert a sport. Yet, that is exactly what was going here. Armstrong is the Bernie Madoff of cycling. He didn’t just cheat, he used such a wide variety of banned substances, the only way he could’ve broken the rules further was by riding a motorcycle, or putting in a double.

He didn’t just steal money. He stole our ideal of what a sports figure should be. He cheapened heroism, and made a world of high athleticism, cheap and tawdry.

His victims include those who deserved those medals, those endorsements, the keys to the city and the honorary degree. We’ll never know their names or respect their accomplishments because he stole their glory.

He’s a villain, and he deserves to be treated like one.

James Pilant

From around the web –

From the web site, Poems and Sundry Writings by Rebekka Roderick:

Just go away and shut up already. You have done more than enough damage. Just fuck off. Everybody is tired of your BS. Just go. We know you don’t mean what you say. We know you’re just a liar who kept lying right up until the entire house of cards was pulled down, torn up and set on fire. I know this because I was a similar person the last few years, lying to and cheating on and not appreciating the man that loved me unconditionally. I was not a tad bit remorseful, contrite or altruistic about it at all until the ultimate realization of all the pain I had caused him and the awareness that I had let go of somebody that I was important to, a once in a lifetime thing, hit me in the face.

From the web site, Live STRONG Blog:

We expect Lance to be completely truthful and forthcoming in his interview and with all of us in the cancer community. We expect we will have more to say at that time. Regardless, we are charting a strong, independent course forward that is focused on helping people overcome financial, emotional and physical challenges related to cancer. Inspired by the people with cancer whom we serve, we feel confident and optimistic about the Foundation’s future and welcome an end to speculation.”

From the web site, Growing Dogwood:

I never bought the fact that he was not using. Call me a skeptic if you must, but it never made sense that that these athletes could do what they did and then turn around and do more the next day – for three weeks. Sorry, I think they’re all using. With that said, what’s the problem? How different is the use of PED’s from say the actress that has plastic surgery to enhance her performance? I would never endorse or do either, but I guess I just don’t want success that badly. At the same time I am not in any position to judge anyone’s decision on what they do.

As far as I care what he did is still a great accomplishment. Like I said, everyone was cheating and he was clearly the best cheater. So hats off to Mr Armstrong on those seven yellow jerseys.

From the web site, [un]-conscious stream- [ing]:

Meaning that to look at the whole picture of a person is to see the truth about their material reality. Peter used the idea that behind closed doors, Hitler may well have been a ‘really nice guy’, when he was playing the piano and people were drinking tea and having dinner with the polite house painter. But the material reality of Hitler – the totality of his existence, the big, whole picture was that he sanctioned and ordered the ethnic and elitist ‘cleansing’ of Germany and the killing of over six million Jews.

Which led me to the thought that, if Lance does admit to the doping allegations, then no matter who interviews him, we have already seen the ‘real Armstrong’. The ‘real Armstrong’ is in the totality of his material reality, not in the soft, contrite and repentant man that we might see on a tv screen attempting to win back the favour of the public.

If the allegations are true, the ‘real Armstrong’ has already revealed his hand and shown his true colours: someone who is ruthless, prepared to systematically cheat his way to the top of a sport, push others out, lie repeatedly about it, bully his way through to rule the peloton and bully a number of journalists on the way as he churned out untruth after obfuscated distraction over and over again (I’ve heard many of the interviews over the years). Someone who has to be in control and on top and will stop at nothing to get there.

And finally, from the web site, Getting Back in Shape:

That pretty much sums up my feelings towards this whole confession. He sued dozens and dozens of people that said he was doping. Test after test proved without a doubt he was doping all those years. Eventually once the USADA took all his Tour De France wins away, banned him from the sport for life, and all his sponsors dropped him, did he finally admit his guilt. Really, what choice did he have? That is as rock bottom as one can get. Some might commit suicide, others might just live in a cave the rest of their life. He obviously is the type that wants to move on, and this was the only thing that could be done. If not, he would be treated horribly anytime he was seen in public, I’m sure of that. Disgraced is a good word I would use. But on the flip side, he did play a part in raising millions and millions for cancer research. And if so many other people are doping just like he was, it still shows his performance was superior to theirs. Coming back from being diagnosed and treated for cancer, that is very impressive.

Enhanced by Zemanta

A Song For Occupy Wall Street


Nathan Shaffer – Come Back America – YouTube

(Something I found on You Tube – You can buy the music and other works by the artist online.)

Sometimes the music has a message.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Cry Me A Freaking River! Says Karen Handel


Daily Kos: Komen Foundation official deletes evidence of anti-choice bias from Twitter

The Susan G. Komen Foundation, and its senior vice president of public policy, Karen Handel, who is “staunchly and unequivocally pro-life,” have been getting beat up pretty bad for the blatantly political decision to stop funding cancer screen and prevention at Planned Parenthood.

It appears that yesterday, Handel signed on to the “cry me a freaking river” sentiment on Twitter that anti-choicers are gleefully expressing because nothing makes them happier than women dying of cancer if it means sticking it to the nation’s biggest provider of health care to women.

Daily Kos: Komen Foundation official deletes evidence of anti-choice bias from Twitter

Here’s the tweet –

tweet

Apparently cutting women off from health care shouldn’t evoke emotions. I disagree. The tragedy of underserved populations unable to get breast exams and other care is a tragedy.

Since the organization has serious qualms about actually pursuing it goals of preventing breast cancer, it is only logical that giving to the organization is a poor move if that is your concern.

I further suggest that wearing a pink ribbon is a sign of support for an organization that has lost its way, and lacks the courage to act in support of women’s rights.

Perhaps, a different color ribbon signifying actual committment?

James Pilant

Enhanced by Zemanta

Facebook, Twitter Push Hazare’s Lokpal Bill Fight Facebook, Twitter Push Hazare’s Lokpal Bill Fight (via Pratyush K. Pattnaik)


By all means, let’s join the struggle. Hazare’s battle is our battle, wherever we live, whatever we do, our lives are diminished by corruption – but also enriched by the efforts of the wise and heroic.

Go to Facebook – Join up.

James Pilant

Facebook, Twitter Push Hazares Lokpal Bill Fight Facebook, Twitter Push Hazares Lokpal Bill Fight Over 1,00,000 followers on Facebook; over 7 lakh people express their solidarity through phone lines Satyagraha finds its way onto new media, after Facebook, Twitter and SMS added teeth to social activist Anna Hazares crusade against corruption. Hazares protest involves him fasting until death till the government agrees to table the Lokpal Bill, which puts corrupt politicians to accountability and scrutiny by an independent body. In practically … Read More

via Pratyush K. Pattnaik

Twitter and Facebook Dangerous for Your Pocketbook


$430k Love settlement shows tweets can be costly (via Yahoo News)

From Yahoo News

Courtney Love’s settlement of a case sparked by online attacks on a fashion designer show that while Twitter posts may be short, they can also be costly.

The singer has agreed to pay Dawn Simorangkir $430,000, plus interest, to settle a lawsuit the designer filed in March 2009 over comments Love made on Twitter and her MySpace blog.

Many users assume that because the comments or brief or similar to casual conversation, that a lawsuit for libel is unlikely. No, it’s just as likely as for any other media. It’s hard to think of defamation in terms of a newspaper with a 20,000 circulation being similar to a twitter post, but that twitter post could go viral and be seen by 20,000,000 people.

Here’s more from the article.

“People are getting in trouble for Twitter postings on an almost daily basis,” said First Amendment Attorney Doug Mirell, a partner at Loeb and Loeb who did not handle the case.

“The laws controlling what is and isn’t libelous are the same regardless of the medium in which the statements appear,” he said.

From further down in the article –

The fact is that this case shows that the forum upon which you communicate makes no difference in terms of potential legal exposure,” Freedman said. “Disparaging someone on Twitter does not excuse one from liability.”

When you communicate with Twitter or Facebook, pretend you are editorializing in a newspaper because legally, it’s very similar.

James Pilant

Is Access to Social Networking a Measure of a Society’s Freedom? (via The Philosopher’s Eye)


Access to social networking is becoming a measure of freedom, certainly not the main or the only one, but a measure of freedom. And it will become more critical as time goes by.

Everywhere and particularly in the United States, the Internet and social networking are the only remaining avenues of citizen democracy as the rest of the media and the government settle into a single pointless monolith.

My heart goes out to people everywhere on this earth – who suffer the terrible pain to live in countries with the kind of leadership we have now.

James Pilant

Is Access to Social Networking a Measure of a Society's Freedom? In responding to the political demonstrations, the Egyptian government has disrupted internet service and mobile phone services, in the obvious hopes of (a) reducing the volume of testimonies and videos being communicated outside of the country and (b) to disrupt the capacity of the protesters to remain organised and to communicate their progress to the greater population. The BBC reports that both Facebook and Twitter— relied upon by protest org … Read More

via The Philosopher’s Eye