Friday, August 08, 2003

ENRON: Genetics at Work OR Why California Fell

Why California Fell...

New logo found scrawled on napkin:

Dope-Smoking Son-of-a-Nazi Runs for California Governorship

Dope-Smoking Son-of-a-Nazi Runs for California Governorship
and other news...

It All Depends on What You Mean by 'Have'

The war in Iraq is just starting

Arnold's Nazi Problem
Why won't he repudiate Kurt Waldheim?
By Timothy Noah

The Movie Arnold Doesn't Want You To See
Where Arnold lights up a fatty...

The Clinton legacy and America

5 Foes of Bush Form PAC in Bid to Defeat Him

Thursday, August 07, 2003

This is the worst government the U.S. has ever had in its more than 200 years of history

The ghost of Al Gore comes back to haunt Chimpy

"This is the worst government the U.S. has ever had in its more than 200 years of history."
- 2001 winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics, George Akerlof

"What we have here is a form of looting" - George Akerlof

Thu Aug 07 2003 11:48:22 ET

The 2001 winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics,
George Akerlof, went even further last week in Germany
when he told Der Spiegel, "This is the worst
government the US has ever had in its more than 200
years of history...This is not normal government
policy." In describing the impact of the Bush policies
America's future, Akerloff added, "What we have here
is a form of looting."

(It is one for the history books. Think Tom Paine...)

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Flash-mobs and Flascism: What Would Kant Say?

Flash-mobs and Flascism: What Would Kant Say?

Flashmobs (flash-mobs, flash mobs [reverse-order]) are everywhere.
Here are just a few headlines today:

Flash mob fever
Seattle Post Intelligencer, WA - 17 hours ago

Hundreds Flock to Coop for Local 'Flash Mob'
The Harvard Crimson, MA - Aug 1, 2003

'Flash mobs' spread to Europe
CNN - 9 hours ago

Internet-organized 'flash mob' makes Twin Cities debut
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN - Jul 22, 2003

A flash-mob is when and where people, notified by email, gather at a chosen place and time for a variety of reasons. So far, there hasn't been (as far as I have seen) any real negative consequences from this social innovation. I hope it stays that way...but I'm too reminded of certain intimidatory thugs who flash-mobbed vote-counters in Florida...

People can start to think they are invisible or lacking in responsibility as the throng swells around you. Floors are built to hold limited weight. Perhaps the appeal is just that the unexpected can happen...and is certainly more likely to.

But even though bad things may come of this trend -- and come they certainly will -- good and even great things can also occur. And not just Art. Healing can also occur.

'Twill be interesting (in the Strunkian sense) to see what new forms of flash-mobs come to fruition. I will check back now and again.


Monday, August 04, 2003

Nicotine Beer: or Hath Hell No Basement?

An Addicted Customer is a Customer For Life

I've heard of stupid things before. In fact I have written about stupid things. Lots of 'em. In fact I am doing so right now.
But I also did several years ago -- 16 years ago in fact -- when I was writing a quasi-humorous pamphlet called Proper Gander, within which I had a "news item" the headline of which read:

Traces of Cocaine Found in Beer, Cigarettes

The point of the seemingly ludicrous item was to bring to attention the lure of addictive products, and the strange bedfellows who share business models.

Flash-forward seven odd years...

A crooked line of CEOs are all testifying to Congress that nicotine is not addictive. A joke then, and a joke now. A bad joke. A joke that kills and enslaves. Who knows which is worse? And yet here they are again. Double-whammy this time. Alcohol AND Nicotine. Why not cocaine too while they're at it?

Did you know that Blockbuster Video covers their video cases with angel dust?
And that when you touch the video, you become addicted?

Well, that is because they don't do that. It would be heinous, and the perpetrators of such a scheme would surely do time.

Adding addictive substances to products should be illegal...but it is clearly not. Soft drinks contain unnecessary caffiene, cigarettes are super-charged with additional nicotine and lord only knows what other kinds of designer additive/addictives.

Sure it is profitable. But only for a handful, and at the expense of the enslaved.

Slavery has been abolished.

We just need to keep reminding ourselves.