"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Links of the Week - Rant Edition

This linkfest is a bit rant heavy, call it a two week build up. If the political stuff bores you, just skip towards the end where have videos of a Lego creation, Tesla Orchestra doing Zelda theme, and various trailers.

North Carolina GOP Attempting to Ban Municipal Broadband
An interesting thing has been occurring in North Carolina. When local telecom and cable companies such as Time Warner refused to provide affordable internet and cable service or even run the needed lines, the local government stepped up to fill the void. Now the GOP likes to sell the argument that only public companies can provide services cheaply and profitably but it turns out that in this area so can the government as multiple municipals created not only some of the fastest networks in the state, they did it for a profit and at half the cost to the customer. So what does Time Warner and other companies do about this? Do they try to compete? Do they try to make their networks better? Of course not. Instead they buy off the Republicans in the state government to pass a law that outlaws these types of companies. For now Governor Bev Perdue has refused to sign the bill but that is unlikely to last. Yet another example of the GOP policy of "Make the rich richer, to hell with the rest."

2011 Fall TV Schedule Announced
The big four networks announced the official cancellations, renewals, and new shows that will be hitting the airwaves starting next Fall 2011. A lot of shows I liked were cancelled but for whatever reason I am mostly indifferent. On the schedule isn't really anything "buzz" worthy to me but really just a collection of mildly interesting programs. Any case hit the link to see how the schedule breaks down for CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC and CW. Note that things usually get tweaked further the closer to airdate.

Fox's Roger Ailes Hunting for Next GOP President
In an interesting article from the New York Times, a lot is revealed about the reset struggles Fox News President Roger Ailes has been dealing with in the post Obama era and "Tea Party" era as he continues to position his network as the real GOP powerhouse. It seems that while his network literally made the Tea Party and gave many potential GOP presidential candidates the national exposure he needs, he just can't seem to get the one he wants to run - Chris Christie. While the article brushes over it, it is interesting that Ailes is for all intent and purposes the true leader of the GOP as no single candidate is really allowed to make a run at the presidency without talking it over with him first as Fox News is the key means of getting the word out. Without Ailes' network, their candidacy dies immediately, something Newt Grigrich is experiencing. Not that Newt cares as his run is really a ruse to help him sell more books and up his speaking appearance prices. Pretty sure the press knows it too. So far the only person preventing Ailes from anointing the potential next President of the United States is Chris Christie himself which is actually wise as any serious GOP candidate really shouldn't bother to run until 2016. For all the hate and racism that Fox News has made huge headway in building up, there is a good chance that Obama will win since he is seen as better for the economy than any GOP leader. Still it is truly amazing how one person has so much control over the course of politics and governance in this country.

What's Really Driving the National Debt?
As the handy chart shows, the national debt is being caused by the usual suspects - Bush's wars and Bush's tax cuts. Not made up nonsense from the GOP about TARP and bailouts, not made up nonsense about "Obamacare" that does not go into full effect until 2014, and any of the other lies the foolish eat up. Tax cuts cost money. Taxes are essentially the Governments' paycheck. If I cut your paycheck, does that mean you suddenly make more money elsewhere? Of course not. Yet for some reason around 40% of the nation seem to think tax cuts drive revenue up. The GOP has cut taxes for 30 years for the top 2%. How much has that benefited you and those you know? Not much I bet. I get most have stagnant wages, constant fear of losing their jobs or constant difficulty in finding a job. That is because if the rich the GOP love so much doesn't spend those tax cuts it benefits no one.

To put it in simpler terms, how much does your money just sitting in your checking account benefit you right at this moment? Not one bit. Sure it’s good to have it there, it may benefit you in the future, but as of right now it isn't making you money, and it isn't creating a better anything for you. It is literally a value on the computer screen. Now once you spend that money on something what happens then? Yep you benefit with something you needed or wanted. That thinking goes for the rich. Giving them money without any reason to spend it may make the number go up but unspent money benefits no one. Trickle down economics only works when things trickle down. The GOP giving tax cuts to the rich without any conditions has resulted in around 6 trillion in debt and a stagnant economy because for the rich there is zero reason to spend that additional wealth.

The simply reality is while the economy has been 100% restored for big business thanks to the GOP's "make the rich richer, to hell with the rest" policies, main street and the average American doesn't realize it nor will they anytime soon as this is the new status quo. Corporations and the top 2% are making more profits than ever before in history, why would the change things now by making such "poor" decisions as hiring new US workers or investing in themselves? The GOP has sold the argument successfully to the sheep that this new status quo is good. To them, we are not sacrificing enough for the rich. Really this is just the beginning of the pain as their end game is to eliminate all taxes for the top 2%.

As far as the GOP is concerned, there should be only two classes - the rich and the poor. Rich exist to have the poor do things for them. If the poor need something like medical care, well their fault for being poor, there are more to replace them. Something amazingly enough the many in the middle class seem to be supporting as part of the nonsense argument that it is "good for the economy" despite common sense and proof to the contrary. If you are the GOP, there really isn't any motivation to put a GOPer in the White House because then they might actually have to disrupt this very profitable for the rich status quo and why do that when things are currently going so well. Right now at both the state and national level the GOP has made wonderful strides in attempting to end abortion, end unions, end voting rights, end taxes for rich, end Medicare, and more. Sure none of this is actually good for America but if the last 30 years have shown anything, it is the GOP doesn't really care about the "average" American, they only care about the top 2% of Americans.

If the "Tea Party" was truly an independent group instead of a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican party, they would start demanding an increase in taxes on the rich, at least a 10% cut on Defense spending, and close corporate tax loop holes that lead to things like record breaking profits leading to no taxes. That is a start but all those things would make rich people unhappy and the GOP would never do that and so thus so will to so-called "Tea Party".

Lego Super-8 Projector
Pretty cool creation that is a working Super-8 projector built with Legos.

Tesla Orchestra Performing Zelda Theme
Hit the link to view a video of two Tesla coils as their arcs result in a distorted but clear version of the original Legend of Zelda theme.

"Green With Envy" Trailer
It starts slow but becomes amusing about half way through.

Official Cars 2 Trailer...in Lego
Sweet re-creation of the Cars 2 trailer but entirely in Lego. The work involved must have been headache inducing.

Torchwood: Miracle Day Trailer
Finally after over a year wait, the darker Doctor Who spin-off returns. This time set in America, the mystery involves a day(s) where no one dies and the consequences of that. Even if not a fan of Doctor Who, this is a series worth checking out.

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