Audiovisual Commentary on Education in the US

Holy smokes; 230 comments? You guys are out of control.

I’ve been busy (he whined… again…), but the least I can do is give you a new wall to tag. Here’s a good one: the video from the Sigur Rós song Glósóli. It was directed by Arni & Kinski, the same pair of directors who did the Hoppípolla video I posted previously.

To me, the video symbolizes some of my worries about the world we’re handing to the next generation. My son attends an amazing school, where they do a great job of preparing children for the future. But are we doing enough? Could we ever possibly do enough?

I don’t know the answer.

132 Responses to “Audiovisual Commentary on Education in the US”

  1. shcb Says:


    You and I usually don’t seem to agree on music, if it doesn’t have twin fiddles or a steel guitar I probably won’t like it. But I liked this. I don’t exactly see what you are seeing in it, maybe you could explain. I think you have younger children than I do but let me put your mind at rest, the kids will be alright.

    When I was in high school my mother confided in my shop teacher that she was worried about me, I didn’t seem to want to do homework, all I wanted to do was work on that damn motorcycle. He smiled and told her that Rick will be alright, he was right. I kept on tearing things apart and now I’ve been two foreign countries on opposite sides of the globe basically working on a more complicated version of that damned motorcycle.

    We had three daughters, we almost lost one and moved to an area with better schools, the one we almost lost ended up marrying the black kid that started her down fall, they ended up having two good kids, they have good jobs and a nice little house, they are living the American dream. The second one was always the liberal of the family, she found a kid at band camp, she found religion, turned more conservative than me and are building their first house, living the American dream. She is the first person in our family to have a college degree, at least in the seven generations I have researched.

    The third kid will probably be the first with a PHD, she announce to my wife and I on a hike this summer that she is gay, gotta love that kid and her timing. You know what, we have always said the everybody loves her because she is just such a cool kid, always full of life. She’s my favorite, but don’t tell her, she’ll use it to her advantage. The kid will be alright. What was our secret? We were parents first, friends of our kids second, and we put the kids in good schools, not prestigious schools, just good schools. You’re kids will be alright.

  2. jbc Says:

    I’m concerned that we’ve passed a point of no return in terms of issues like climate change, environmental degradation, and peak oil, and that it’s increasingly likely that by mid-century a large portion of earth’s population will be severely impacted by the societal disruptions that result. On a less-immediate, but more-lasting level, I’m saddened by the knowledge that we’re living in the midst of the Holocene mass extinction event, and that each new generation for many generations to come will likely inhabit a world that is poorer in biological resources than that of the previous generation. More than great works of art, or great ideas, or monumental structures, or machines, or anything else we’ve done (with the possible exception of a few footprints on the moon), I fear that this will be the longest-lasting legacy of 20th/21st century humanity: A severe pruning back of the richness of life on earth. But more to the point of what I think this video symbolizes, I think life is going to be significantly nastier for our children than it was for us.

    I’ve gotten the impression that you think most or all of those worries are misguided and/or silly, but that doesn’t really comfort me. I do find some comfort in the recognition that the reality of the decades ahead will probably not be as bad as I’m imagining in some areas (though it could well be worse in others), and I appreciate your comments that “the kids will be alright.” Yes, children have some amazing abilities, and they will certainly rise to the challenges ahead in ways I can’t imagine. But I basically think you’re getting your information debunking my concerns from dishonest sources. You may or may not eventually come to agree with me about that, but either way, it won’t change the reality my (and your) children have to live in.

  3. shcb Says:

    Well, we’re talking about our kids here so I’m not going to spoil a good mood with a tit for tat. What I saw in this video is a bunch of children growing up, growing up in what seemed to them a wasteland they had dreams and ambitions but didn’t really know how to achieve them. Only later in life will they find out how good they had it in those years, but this dream isn’t about that. The drummer is maybe a teacher or elder but I prefer to think of him as one of the children. In their path through childhood they learn how to lead, they learn how to follow and they learn how to love. In the end the drummer is the entrepreneur, he takes the leap to his dreams without a thought, he has his goal, the ship in the distance is in his sight. The rest follow, some with more trepidation than others but they follow and together they realize their dreams.

    You may be right in your concerns of our legacy, I do think you are overestimating the damage we are doing but I have every confidence we will cure today’s problems with tomorrows technology. We hunted whales to near extinction to fuel lights, then some guy named Drake as I recall found oil, now you can, and do I’m sure, take a boat out of your bay and darn near pet the things, same with the buffalo here on the plains. Don’t you think there was someone gnashing their teeth over those species demise back then, sure there was, people like you, children like yours. And you know what, their dream, their ship on the horizon may not be to build a company but it may be to save whatever needs to be saved. We’ll be alright because the kids will be alright.

  4. knarlyknight Says:

    That was a good post, nay, twas very good. Nice effort to cheer up JBC.

    The only differences with what I saw in the video was that I have no doubt the boy with the drum was just a kid rather than a teacher or elder, but a kid who was is a natural leader, confident and determined. The rest were special each in their own way, a fair sampling of any group. Your entrepreneur interpretation didn’t ring true for me, it would fit for the drummer boy but not necessarily the rest, seemed like you were making too much of a stretch. I have no better alternative to suggest, so if I were grading your interpretation I’d have to give you full marks. After the leap, maybe they returned and continued with their childhood, a la Peter Pan?

    To me the video was more of a poem with a mood & feelings to experience, sort of like a reflection of the poet’s own childhood and his memory of long lost friends mixing with the poet’s the nocturnal dreams he had back then or is having now, yet it is grounded in the landscape of the poet’s origins (Iceland?) The combination evokes a sense of solidity over which the fluidity of lives shine, leaving the peaceful feeling of acceptance about what has been, much like tiny rapids in a gentle river.

    Re: your second paragraph, whales and bison etc. are fine examples of one thing but the problems JBC is speaking about are far more troublesome than those two examples suggest. A taste of that here:

    “Biodiversity” is not a buzz word, it is a critical measure of Gaia’s health.

    The fact is that the number of extinctions in this holocene era is increasing, notwithstanding some recovery in fluffy bison and snuggly whale populations.

    The “health” affected by decreasing biodiversity is multifaceted, from the ability of the world to withstand shocks (e.g oil slicks, toxins, temperature fluctuations via significant volcanic events or a small asteroid impact or anthropogenic acts, etc.) to the loss of the psychological benefits that living in a bountiful shangri-la imparts to humans, to the stark reality that the “lungs” of the earth are compromised (e.g. tropical jungle deforestation and ocenaic dead zones.)

    Put simply, if species are the threads making up the web of life on earth, then the more threads that are cut out of the web the more unstable (and boring) the web becomes.

    To wrap up, it is patronizing and naive in the extreme to suggest that we’ll be alright because technology will cure these problems or because some kids will try to save some of the species. We are way past the point where such complacency or ignorance should be tolerated.

    Personally, I’m pissed off at how far that the past and current generations of humans have gone in paving paradise and depleting natural resources, and, like JBC, I wish far better for my kids.

    The only way that the kids (& grandkids, & great grandkids…) will be alright is if they, as I suspect of you, do not fully comprehend the extent of the natural wonders that have been lost (i.e. if the kids do not become melancholy, like JBC, at “what could have been” had there been careful stewardship of our garden of eden); and, they’ll be allright if they are lucky enough not to experience a catastrophe from which the diminished web of life is unable to recover.

  5. knarlyknight Says:

    Another step closer to decent electrical storage:

    shcb – then again, the positive implications of even simple advances like this might, just might, be reason for hope:

  6. NorthernLite Says:

    I’m a little more hopefull on the climate change front than I used to be. Here’s part of the reason…

    “China and India have announced very ambitious national climate change plans. In the case of China, so ambitious that it could well become the front-runner in the fight to address climate change,” de Boer said. “The big question mark is the U.S.”

  7. NorthernLite Says:

    “But all I can tell you from our perspective in the U.K. — and if you look at the rest of Europe — we have not been losing jobs as a result of taking action on climate change. If anything, we’ve been gaining jobs.” (Former British PM Tony Blair)

  8. shcb Says:


    I guess I wasn’t clear enough, I agree that the drummer was the entrepreneur, or leader at any rate. If you wish he could be a political leader of the head of an environmental group, but a leader none the less, and there is nothing wrong with being a follower, if everyone was a leader nothing would ever get done. I can’t criticize the rest of your comments because they are really good and they are just an interpretation just as mine are. Hopefully China and India will help clean things up, if not for the future, for the immediate pollution problems. I feel they want to fix things, I’m just not sure if they can.

  9. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb – thanks, and although it sounded like my comments on your post(s) above were critical they were not meant that way either, one was an alternative interpretation as you suggest; and the other, about biodiversity, is a strong belief of mine yet I’ve become humble enough to acknowledge the possibility (as you suggest) that our kids will have the technology and Will to significantly repair the devastation we and past generations have inflicted on our natural world. The full potential of the natural world for the next hundred or so generations (at least) has been diminished by humanity’s past actions (i.e. extinction is forever and the evolution of a complex ecosystem takes thousands if not hundreds of thousands of years). But that does not necessarily equate to a barren landscape for future peoples and I’m hopeful very good results are still possible.

  10. shcb Says:

    No you were very magnanimous, sometimes I know what I mean to say, I just don’t say it well enough.

    You have to remember that species going extinct is a natural process as well, and we are part of nature, now of course we have a free will most other creatures don’t have, but other species have eaten or killed lesser species just as we have done in the past. Another thing to remember when looking at species loss is that many of the species that are being lost are really sub-species. In exaggerated terms, a mouse on one side of the road is called the Eastern Acme Rat and those on the other are the Western Acme Rat, when the farmer kills all the rats on the east side of the road the species is said to be extinct, but the rats on the other side weren’t any different. That is more parable than truth but you get my drift.

    We’ve already done a lot to repair damage of past generations, there is a famous photographer, Fielder I believe is his name? Made a study of spots in Colorado, he took old photos of another photographer (or maybe Fielder was the original picture taker) and but the photos of what was then, 100 years ago and what was now from as close to the same time, date, and location as the original pictures. The one that cough my eye was Central City, one hundred years ago the hills were barren from logging to build buildings and fuel the train and heat homes. Now hills have been reforested as if the town were built with minimum impact. Many years ago I was backpacking on Mount Evans at Chicago Lakes, one of the people that was working on the project was there taking pictures, we looked at the original shot, and not a thing had changed, maybe a few trees, but all the large rocks were still the same. He told me that when the original photographer got his shots it was an expedition with many pack animals because they had to set up a darkroom in the wilderness because the film wouldn’t last after it was exposed back then, do you think they cared where they poured the chemicals? He was there with nothing more than a 40 pound pack, so the impact he made to get his shots was much less.

  11. shcb Says:

    didn’t do a very good job of proofing that one did I :)

  12. knarlyknight Says:

    proof – smoof, it was understandable.

    Here’s the thing: one guy hauling dark room liquids deep into the wilderness and then dumping those toxic chemicals after use is not a big deal if he’s one of a very few people making an impact in the area during that part of the century and the area has a relatively dense biomass (& complex web of life.) With few exceptions, the toxins will be dispersed via all sorts of critters and broken down to harmless substances via all sorts of bacterial /chemical processes. So the environmental rebounds fully from that sort of “toxic shock”.

    In contrast, the trampling of a few flowers can have a greater consequence if it occurs in a “natural area” that is being loved to death by thousands of hikers each month. Those few flowers may have been the difference between whether a type of moth that only feeds (or lays eggs) on that type of flower survives, and if the moth goes extinct then there may be fewer birds able to live in the area.. . So yea, the loss of the flowers might be noticeable but what can go un-noticed is that there are fewer other critters around too, so that is a compromised ecosystem. (Plus certain plants impact the soil in ways beneficial to other plants. I’d go on but this is already a tangent…) You might say well, sure but other species might move in and take their place, which is true but misses the point that the webs connecting that particular flower to the other flora and fauna and microbes in that location were much more complex and thus robust than the replacement.

    The hills which you mentioned that were clear-cut but now are full of trees are a good example. The biomass per meter in such forests are less than in the original forest, including the richness of the soil (much of which was probably washed away). If you could step in a time machine and go back into the original forest you would quickly realize that the “new” forest is a virtual biological dead zone in comparison to the old forest, despite the occasional squirrel or deer or bears. (One might argue that forest fires are the same, but not so as surviving plant seeds and soil retention are part of the natural forest life-cycle, which is another digression from the topic…)

    Hey, what’s George W been up to lately?

  13. knarlyknight Says:

    and I had an italic problem…

  14. shcb Says:

    Yeah, your right, but the Central City area would be a good example of an area that has been cleaned up because of technology in the last hundred years. Natural gas is used to heat the houses, diesel is used to power the trains etc. Also, Central City is the main gambling town in Colorado so it probably sees more people in a day than it did in a year back in the gold rush days, and yet it is still much better off ecologically than it was back then. It can be done. My worry with China is we have evolved these practices along with increased populations and affluence (in terms of stuff that requires energy, not so much monetary affluence) at a fairly steady and slow pace for the last couple hundred years. China is going through all those changes quickly. I’m not sure they will be able to keep a balance.

  15. knarlyknight Says:

    Yes, I see now what you mean.

    As for China keeping its balance, I’d hazard to guess they’ve been off-balance ever since the end of the Qing Dynasty.

  16. knarlyknight Says:

    Brain needs input data. Pleaes provide stimuli to abort human form bio-system hibernation.

  17. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    I think it’s hard to find, historically, many periods where humans didn’t think things were at the worst and the end was near.

  18. shcb Says:

    … and pessimists have been predicting the end of the world since the beginning of the world.

    No doubt China started the downhill slide at the end of the Qing dynasty and has made many mistakes since then that left them behind the rest of the world for close to century. Now they are trying to play catch up without losing the communism/socialism roots most of the living grew up with. Couple that with the lingering feelings that the peasants are lower than livestock and you have a problem. You have a population that communism/socialism has held down for generations, now they have a glimpse of the good life and they want it. All the good intentions of the government may not be able to keep up with the wants of the haves and the needs of the have nots. That is provided the have nots don’t decide they want to be haves. And in the middle of this they’re supposed to save the planet?

  19. NorthernLite Says:

    I don’t think anyone thinks that climate change is going to end the world… but it will definitely alter it. It’s already begun in the South Pacific, where there are people fleeing islands that they’ve lived on for generations because the sea levels are rising.

    This isn’t some wild conspiracy. It’s scientific fact.

  20. shcb Says:

    the change is a fact, the conspiracy is the “science” of what is causing it.

  21. NorthernLite Says:

    Yes, people who’ve studied the climate their entire careers are conspiring in order for us to change to a more sustainable and less damaging lifestyle. And you have the nerve to give knarly a hard time about 9/11 conspiracies?

  22. knarlyknight Says:

    NL – that’s not a fair comparison: shcb has come a long way and now seems to accept much of the evidence about global climate change, he simply disputes the anthrogenic theory, but with 911 he disputes basic facts like the presence of molten metal and forensic results that confirm the presence of high explosives in WTC dust.

    Your previous point (sarcasm) was brilliant though:
    “Yes, people who’ve studied the climate their entire careers are conspiring in order for us to change to a more sustainable and less damaging lifestyle.”

  23. shcb Says:

    I was being facetious when I used the word conspiracy, there is no conspiracy, they are just like minded, as the scientists that are questioning their methods are like minded, they have worked all their lives studying the climate as well.

    I was reading an article yesterday that was discussing the impending collapse of a shelf of ice in Antarctica, it was full of head scratchers. They said the ice has melted 30 feet but there is still a mile left, they have been measuring the ice thickness with lasers mounted on satellites, this technology has only been available for a few years but they have seen an increase in that time that is troubling because it is happening faster than it has in history. What history? They just said they have only had the technology for a few years. This happens every 40,000 years they have determined from core samples but we have to change our ways now or it will happen again in another few hundred or a few thousand years.

    It’s just silly.

  24. knarlyknight Says:

    Perhaps the problem lies with the writers of that article rather than the scientists. Would you provide a link to the silliness please?

  25. knarlyknight Says:

    NL – I stand corrected: perhaps shcb does not seem to “accept much of the evidence about global climate change,”

  26. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb- Here’s what the scientists say about he antarctic ice:

    That doesn’t appear silly, so probabaly I was correct that the problem lies with the writer of the article you were reading. You weren’t reading pajamas again were you?

  27. shcb Says:

    It was an AP piece from March 19, 2009. Your more technically written link is pretty much what they were saying, they are refering to work reliesed by the journal Nature on Thursday of that week.

    There is some hope, or at least breathing room. The complete collapse of west Antarctica won’t happen too quickly — it will be hundreds if not a thousand years from now — slower than some of the most dire predictions, the studies’ authors said.

    and then

    The studies have a “take home message that unless something is done to curb emissions soon…this would commit us to an inevitable 5-meter (16.4 foot) sea level rise over the next several centuries,”

    so lets bankrupt the producers now so they can’t develop the technologies we need, good plan.

  28. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb, cut the crap already. Exxon Mobil profits were $45.2 Billion in 2008 and no-one is propsing to make the producers bankrupt.

  29. knarlyknight Says:


    Prop sing – Reminds me of a youtube detour I took last night: go to youtube and search for “literal videos”, some are better than others (e.g. Beck’s “Loser” – plus it’s got a steel guitar) but all are reasonably entertaining.

  30. shcb Says:

    Actually Obama did in the campaign, he said, and I’m probably paraphrasing a little, “we aren’t saying you can’t build a coal fired power plant, we’re just saying we will bankrupt you if you do” and then he smiled. Hmmm, who do you suppose the we is? Probably not the free market. Wasn’t 2008 the year of $130 dollar a barrel oil? As I recall that still wasn’t double digit profit margins.

  31. shcb Says:

    I don’t supose you are talking about Jeff Beck? :-) but if it has a steel guitar…

  32. knarlyknight Says:

    Yes, Jeff Beck.

    Back to previous topic. Like minds think alike:

  33. knarlyknight Says:

    “Birthers” take a new tac:

    The American people not only deserve to have answers to these questions, they must have answers. It makes the debate over Obama’s citizenship a rather short and simple one.

    Q: Did he travel to Pakistan in 1981, at age 20?
    A : Yes, by his own admission.

    Q: What passport did he travel under?
    A: There are only three possibilities:
    1) He traveled with a U.S. Passport,
    2) He traveled with a British passport, or
    3) He traveled with an Indonesia passport.

    Q: Is it possible that Obama traveled with a U.S. Passport in 1981?
    A: No. It is not possible. Pakistan was on the U.S. State Department’s “no travel” list in 1981.


    When Obama went to Pakistan in 1981 he was traveling either with a British passport or an Indonesian passport.

    If he were traveling with a British=2 0passport that would provide proof he was born in Kenya on August 4, 1961, not in Hawaii as he claims.
    And if he were traveling with an Indonesian passport that would…

  34. shcb Says:

    Yup, that is what I’ve been saying. Now to be honest he too was finessing a little as well, if the Antarcticmelts it would raise sea levels, Greenland too since they are ice on land masses. So everyone is fudging a little, some more than others.

    This is interesting science and should be studied, but we simply don’t know enough to turn the whole world into a third world nation, who will pay for the research if we’re all scrounging for food? Obama is announcing today he is turning the world government (shudder) over to the G-20 today, what an arrogant ass.

  35. knarlyknight Says:

    My word man, where’s your consistency! That article was posted on Rense for crying out loud, you are supposed to dismiss it out of hand and renounce any and all opinions that parallel (anything posted on Rense.) Or ignore it. Like you and everyone else here have done everytime! Did you forget? Or did you not get the memo explaining that: he provides a forum for free speech and we all know that’s code for hate speech and so must shun it and support it being prohibited from even more networks than it already is. What’s next, shcb, are you going to start to espouse support for articles posted on Rense about Obama moving the free world closer to the Illuminati’s New World Order of a Worldwide Government? Oh, wait a seconbd, you already did. Too late. :-)

    In any event, it’s nice to see you point out that half truth about polar ice melts as N. pole vs S. polar ice melts do have different (direct) implications on see levels.


  36. shcb Says:

    You’re getting me confused with Enky, JBC and to a lesser extent Smith, I don’t dismiss things out of hand because of where they are published, I take that into consideration, but I don’t dismiss it. I may dismiss it if I think I have read the same thing somewhere else and I disagreed with it at that time, it only takes a sip to understand the saltiness of the sea type thing. This is what upsets me so, if I post something from Fox News, it is just wrong even if it is a reprint of a NY Times article, but that same article deserves debate if it is on Huffington.

    Good times.

  37. knarlyknight Says:

    More good times: former “Debunking Director” of JREF takes on Richard Gage:

    My favourite part was when the director disavowed himself of any knowledge of 7th grade physics.

  38. enkidu Says:

    wwnj – I think the problem lies with the only sources you go to being entirely the most partisan available. You make no effort to educate yourself beyond what fox, rush, macho mike rosen or pantload media tells you. Which is why you are permanently misinformed and misanthropic.

    Try the BBC, kqed, any number of other sources (oh that’s right CNN is commie, msnbc is socialist and everyone else is fascist). I wouldn’t link to rense but that is knarly’s call to make. I mean please tell that pic isn’t actually Mr Rense (nice do). Anyone who can look in the mirror and say “yeah! that’s a good look” needs help.

  39. knarlyknight Says:


    Yes, I know. Here’s some more “good” looks:


  40. shcb Says:

    I’ll have to see if I can find the picture my wife showed me, she raises German Shepherds as you know, she had this picture of a guy in Germany I believe that was showing his dog in a Speedo, with package predominately displayed, now understand that he is trying to sell a dog here, so you want the handler to be as invisible as possible. This guy was the subject of the shot.

    Ya gotta love rednecks, I are one, but my God, Wal-Mart does attract the worst of the breed. The worst part is ugly rednecks like me could win Best In Show at most any Wal-Mart.

    Enky, do you think the only thing I read is what I post here? And if I did post something from a left wing site it would be to criticize it. I can just wait for you guys to post it and then criticize it. You don’t want to give the other side too much to work with when you’re outnumbered.

  41. shcb Says:

    BTW there are a lot more partisan sites than Fox News and Pajamas, will more over the top than pajamas at least

  42. knarlyknight Says:

    Nooo, surely you jest?

    Maybe that’s why faux is so worrisome. They sell themselves as fair and balanced and provide some such token examples in their content, making the subtle (yea right) spins less noticeable to pepole who are not viewing with a critical eye, or to people who have no idea that the other side of the issue exists or that other argument is far more compelling than it is presented by the fairly unbalanced reporters.

  43. enkidu Says:

    yeah I am sure you read way more right wing sites than pantload, fauxnews and macho mike. But if those three are your ‘go to’ unimpeachable sources for laying the smackdown on us stoopid libs, then you are ingesting nonsense and blatant lies at an alarming rate.

    This reminds me of my very first post on I asked this wwnj named teachervet to back up his claims that (in his words) “we found the WMDs!!!” His sources were all wild eyed no name blogs, right wings neocon fantasies and a fanciful grasp of physics and facts. I found it amazingly easy and quite hilarious to pick apart his ZOMG! WMDZ!!! list with info from sources like the IAEA, DoD, GAO, BBC and similar. No wild eyed lefty pinko commie sites, no pravda or rense nonsense. Just facts and figures from non-partisan sources.

    Funny how facts have such a liberal bias, eh?

  44. shcb Says:

    So I’m mildly curious, how often do you guys go to Fox News for your information without me leading you there, be honest now, once a day? Week, month, ever? Do you ever check there to see check your facts? Maybe see if the other side has a better idea than you? Has anything on Fox News ever made you change your mind on anything? Be truthful now.

  45. enkidu Says:

    I probably split my time equally amongst the major news channels on the tv. Sometimes I flip back and forth btwn fox and msnbc (hard wacko right vs center left). I rarely watch the financial shows (Jim Cramer. nufsaid). Checking facts at fox is like assuming Diogenes will find what he seeks at the bottom of the ocean (hint: his lamp would go out).

    A couple of the right wing sites I visit are slowly seeing the light: balloon turned away from the neocon lie machine a long while ago and it is fun to watch the bloviators at little green slowly realize they’ve been enormous jackasses for quite some time. I think the most ‘left’ site I visit is Huff Po (and their anti-science quackery is beyond tiresome). I figure since you spam with jovial anecdotes and fox links, I don’t need to actually waste my beautiful minds with seeking out extreme wwnj opinions as such. I probably spend most of my time on tech and culture web sites.

  46. knarlyknight Says:

    As you suggested about only having to taste the ocean once to know that it is salty, I only have to smell the barn once to know it’s full of bullshit.

    Although, I have been meaning to read this conservative article for a week now, but it’s tough to get enthusiastic because part of the story is old news to me from before Ashcroft slapped two gag orders on her – you may recall that I’d pointed you to the Sibel Edmunds saga years ago as reported in the free’er press:
    (From the American Conservative:

    The ACLU has called her “the most gagged person in the history of the United States of America.”

    But on Aug. 8, she was finally able to testify under oath in a court case filed in Ohio and agreed to an interview with The American Conservative based on that testimony. What follows is her own account of what some consider the most incredible tale of corruption and influence peddling in recent times.

  47. shcb Says:

    Well ok, I guess I have to stand a little corrected. I really don’t go out looking for news, meaning I don’t have a ritual of sitting down with 4 websites or the morning paper like I used to do. I split my time between talk radio and music, probably 70-30 on the music side. It’s funny, if I’m doing design work I need talk radio, if I’m doing word processing or Excel work, I need music. Right brain left brain I guess. That and my IGoogle page has news headlines from Fox and CNN. So I hear my news headlines that way, then if something catches my eye I search for it and really don’t care where that news comes from as long as it is from a reliable source, then I apply a filter to it. Other than here I guess most of my internet time lately has been studying Colorado laws concerning HOAs. It was very pleasant to get a straight answer from you Enky.

  48. NorthernLite Says:

    shcb, I recently got a new sat package and now I have Fox, MSNBC and CNN. I watch them all. With the exception of Shepard Smith, Fox News is a joke man, unless you’re a Republican and just want to hear what you want to hear. MSNBC tries to counter that and they do a pretty good job.

    The thing about MSNBC though, is they don’t try to pass themselves off as “fair and balanced”. They support the left and are up front about it and actually spend a lot of time attacking Fox and all the misinformation they spread. Then you have Fox where they claim to be neutral (bahahaha) and if you can’t see the idiocy in that then you need help. If they just came straight and admitted they’re a mouthpiece for the Right then it wouldn’t be so bad. But I think everybody knows this anyways. Just look at the types of advertisers Fox has and you start to get the picture of who their audience is. (See “Snuggie Blanket”)

    CNN is the most balanced of them all, I find. All their analysts are equal (i.e. their people from the right are just as smart as their people from the left and vice versa). I definitely trust them the most.

  49. shcb Says:

    ”actually spend a lot of time attacking Fox and all the misinformation they spread.” Can you give an example?

  50. NorthernLite Says:

    Have you ever listened to Glen Beck???????????????????????????

    Without overloading this site, here’s one of the latest:

    There’s a reason why Fox viewers are the most uninformed.

    Or did you want examples of MSNBC going after Fox?

  51. shcb Says:

    Glen Beck is opinion, your example is an advertisement, anything more substantial? If MSNBC says “we have the best reporters in the business” does Media Matters ask them to quantify that? How would they? So when one of the networks says we had a reporter there and he reported on our evening news, what did he report? How long was the report? All those things could have made the Fox News add correct.

    Here is an example, I believe it was the New York Times didn’t have any coverage on the ACORN scandal for days and days, even when congress was defunding it. When it did finally write an article it was lamenting that the vast right wing conspiracy was being mean to the poor little ACORN angels.

    but no, I don’t care what MSNBC says about Fox much more than I care what Fox says about MSNBC.

  52. NorthernLite Says:

    Fox is a mouthpiece for the Right. MSNBC is a mouthpiece for the Left (but stick to actual facts most of the time and don’t try to pass themselves off as “balanced”. Like I said earlier, CNN seems to be the most balanced of them all.

    Look, if you can’t see that already there’s nothing I can show you that will change your mind. You want to believe everything Fox tells you because that’s what you want to hear. Fine, that’s your choice.

    I guess you don’t have a problem with a network spewing misinformation as long as it’s on an opinion show? You don’t think that hurts the credibility of the network?

    When a network puts out a full page ad crying that nobody was covering their sponsored and orchestrated event when in fact they were, you don’t think that’s misinformation?

    Do you expect CNN to provide wall-to-wall coverage of a bunch of tea-baggers who don’t even really know what they’re protesting, when most people think they’re just a bunch of crazy retards anyways? America is involved in wars, is in the midst of a deep recession, a raging health care debate and so on, so I can see why all the credible networks just gave it minimal coverage. Nobody else cares

    Nobody gives a fuck about it other than Fox because they sponsored it. Glen claimed there were over 1.2 million people there, citing a study from the “University of I-Don’t-Remember”. The Fire Dept. put it at 60,000 tops. Fox even used pictures from another protest that took place years ago to try and portray it as some meaningful gathering.

    That shit is too funny man.

  53. shcb Says:

    Fox is center right, MSNBC is farther to the left than Fox is to the right. And that is balance. I think Fox is fairly balanced in their news reporting, not so much on the opinion side but even then they have Shep as you mentioned, Gretta, Rivera, used to have Colmes, Juan Williams is a regular, but you are coming from the far left so it seems Fox is more to the right than it really in. “so I can see why all the credible networks just gave it minimal coverage” hmmm, so maybe the Fox ad was right? “Nobody else cares” well, I care, thousands and thousands of folks all over America who have attended smaller demonstrations all over the country probably care. If nobody cared I think they would probably go out of business. Seems like a lot of people cared about ACORN, enough for congress to pull funding in a pretty short period of time, but the “paper of record” didn’t cover it, and Charlie Gibson, who does he work for? Ole Charlie hadn’t heard of it. No bias there.

  54. enkidu Says:

    The ad is a bald faced lie: other networks covered the teabaggers far more than their numbers were due. 50,000 nutjobs? Wasn’t this supposed to be the Million Moran March? You missed by a factor of 20.

    Have you heard that the ‘sting’ those two ‘journalists’ performed might have been illegal under some state laws? That the woman who was fired was playing with them? and eventually ended the sham interview (or whatever) and called a police officer she knew to ask about what to do about the scammers.

    In at least one state these ‘journalists’ were shown the door and a police report was filed. But because one person, somewhere, felt pity for a sex worker (is that the right term these days?) and tried to help them get out of their totally fictitious situation, the good work ACORN does in inner cities and for poor people is all liberal Evil n stuff.

    I think “ACORN” is just a way to scream ‘the n-word’

  55. shcb Says:

    In how many states are they under indictment for voter fraud? Just good folk helping the poor. I believe in the story it was plainly stated that not all offices told these people how to break the law, just what, 6? And the voter fraud, who did they sign up as a voter? Was it Lincoln or Washington? The point is it was news and it was ignored, isn’t that the job of the press, the fair press, the non biased press, to investigate the news? To investigate fraud? Do the non biased press only investigate non Democratic fraud, non Democratic law breaking? In every election there is a cry from liberals of voter fraud by Republicans, and yet if ACORN does it “leave those poor babies alone they are just helping the poor people”. And then your first reaction is to cry racism, sickening. How well did CNN and CNBC cover the justice department ending the prosecution of the New Black Panthers intimidating voters caught on tape ? I don’t know, I don’t monitor all the news all the time like you guys do.

  56. NorthernLite Says:

    LOL, “Fox is centre right”. That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all week!

    Dude, if it wasn’t for Shep Smith they would probably have to stop calling themselves a news organization and be classified as a political organization.

    Do you know that Fox, or as MSNBC refers to it as, “Cluster Fox” is being run by many former staffers of the Bush administration? Do you think Karl Rove and his gang are a “centre-right” bunch of people?

    Face it bud, Fox is in the same category as MSNBC, just at the other end of the spectrum. So whatever you think of MSNBC remember that it applies to Fox as well. Do yourself a favour and watch Anderson Cooper weeknights at 10pm on CNN. It’s a good unbiased show. That’ll take you to 11pm then you can catch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart which usually has more factual content than anything on Fox and is as funny as hell.

    And only in your eyes am I coming from the “far left”. I told you before I’m a Progressive Conservative. Just because I don’t go to church and I’m not scared of words that end in “ism” doesn’t make me far left.

  57. enkidu Says:

    ummm don’t look now, but those scary Barak Panther dudes were actually a musical group. Those ‘paramilitary n… errrr ACORNs were a sing and dance spoken word entertainment act. I already linked to the debunk, but obviously you didn’t watch/believe.

    Voter fraud?
    Anyone can sign a registration form with anything or any name they like, but that doesn’t mean mickey mouse got to vote. Please show me *one* instance of actual fraudulent voting, not just some poor shmuck filling out a bunch of forms to collect the fee per form. Whatabout wwnjs standing outside a polling place with guns intimidating hispanic folk from voting? If that fraud or just good ol boys havin theysef some fun.

    But just keep drinking the fauxnewts koolaid and bathing in bullshit.

    hey has fauxnewts reported on that census worker in KY who was lynched? Bound, gagged, hung by the neck, naked except for the duck taped census ID card and the word FED scrawled on his chest? I imagine not since that doesn’t go with their patridiot agenda. Seems like Glen (nuts) Beck’s and Michelle (wackjob) Bachman’s (R crazybaseland) schtick is having some results. Fox is center right? wow, show much extremist bias? you betcha

  58. leftbehind Says:

    Did the Census worker have all his fingers when he died?

  59. leftbehind Says:

    And I think you’ve got your story a little sideways as to who’s intimidating whom at polling places: . You should really at least try to get these things straight, as at least half the people on this blog aren’t even from this country, and might actually think you’re providing an accurate assessment of it.

  60. NorthernLite Says:

    I know nothing of the Black Panther story, but the killing of the Census worker has been on the news up here quite a bit. I feared this kind of shit was going to start happening. When you have extreme people like Rush on the radio and Hannity on T.V. preaching violence and hate to a lot of people – some of them mentally unstable – shit like this is bound to happen. Unfortunately, I think it’s going to get worse.

  61. enkidu Says:

    zomg lefty! black people in Philadelphia! stop the presses!

    So you have one instance where two militant black people might have made some folks soil their Depends™? Wow, so that sure fairly balances out the widespread intimidation of Hispanic voters by armed rednecks across the entire southwest? Two black guys in berets carrying a stick… wow! That sure sounds as serious as the dozens or hundreds of instances of rednecks with guns intimidating voters across the country.

    Well at least you have figured out how to google (that is one up on wwnj – he doesn’t read anything that doesn’t come from a far right source).

    Seriously lefty, if these panther nutjobs intimidated anyone, that person should have called the cops immediately. Unless of course one of the scary brack men called someone else a “idiot” (at which point it is OK to assault and batter them, guns optional?)

  62. leftbehind Says:

    I hope a lot of pundits on the left make political hay out of the incident, just so they’ll look stupid and predatory if it turns out that the guy either wasn’t murdered (and it’s not clear that he was) or that his killing was not politically motivated.

  63. enkidu Says:

    Newsmax had an article up today about how the military should overthrow Obama with a coup. They were probably visited by the secret service and told to cut out the n…. jokes and pull the insurrectionist seditious nutjobbery.

    Some wwnj had a facebook poll up about assassinating Obama.

    It is going to get much worse as the reasonable folk are leaving the wwnj party in droves and the pot is boiling down to the poisonous dregs. As the fringe elements of the GOOPrs get stirred up by listening to nonsense, they will lash out. Violence is in their nature. They cultivate a violent angry rhetoric that is sickening.

    Attention wwnjs! You are confusing losing an election with tyranny. The only tyranny these folks are suffering under is the awful tyranny of stupidity. If you don’t like the change, vote it out. If you start killing my people (the reasonable folks in the middle) we will fight back. You hit me, I’ll defend myself. Poke me in the eye and you may draw back a bloody stump. Lesson: don’t start a fight if you don’t want to get hurt.

  64. leftbehind Says:

    Yes, Inky, I do know how to google, which is why the incidents and facts I bring up are researched and come with citations people can actually look into on their own, unlike yours, which lack research, citation or even rudimentary clarity. Such as this “hispanic intimidation” crap you’re on about at the moment. Let’s see some sources for that one, if you have any that don’t include somebody’s blog.

    …and I’d also never “batter” anyone, white or “brack” for calling me an “idiot.” I’d simply shrug, consider the source then bite his pinky finger off like a good “progressive” – provided he’s too old to chase me while I made my getaway.

  65. leftbehind Says:

    “You hit me, I’ll defend myself…” Whoa, stand back everybody – TOUGH GUY!

  66. enkidu Says:

    so a nice milktoasty teacher who was helping out the census is beaten, stripped of his clothing, has his hands duct-taped behind his back, his feet bound, his census ID duct-taped around his neck, the word FED scrawled on him and then he is lynched (hung by the neck until dead).

    Nope, nothing to see here folks move along.

    I bet ACORN did it!

    so lefty, that article you linked to said the Barak Panther intimidation was captured on video: so go find it. Then we can see for ourselves. (note: make sure it isn’t a musical group in costume… snicker)

  67. leftbehind Says:

    Reports that the census worker was nude, bound, had been written on, etc. relied on an early account by an “unnamed source,” and have yet to be verified by investigators, who are still deciding whether or not the death was foul play. If you could google, you’d know this already.

  68. leftbehind Says:

    As for the video, I guess I’ll have to take the Washington Post’s word, and the word of the Federal Court who viewed the video of its legitimacy over your’s, tough guy.

  69. leftbehind Says:

    (for the record, there’s very little doubt the guy was murdered – I’m only in this for the fidgity seconds in which King Tough Guy rattles away at google gathering all the facts he didn’t know yet when he first brought this up.)

  70. leftbehind Says:

    (It’s the uncertainty I feed on, the sudden panic that comes when you pop off about something on the internet, then someone calls you on it and you have to scurry around for facts you don’t know whether you can find or not because you didn’t bother to look them up in the first place. Even if he’s right in the end, these moments are the tastiest. Inky’s almost as afraid of being wrong as he is of being beaten by an octagenarian.)

  71. leftbehind Says:

    Although it is taking him a lot longer than I thought it would…

  72. NorthernLite Says:

    I hear what you’re saying and maybe i shouldn’t have brought it up in the context like I did. I know that they are some things about it that are preventing the investigators from calling it an outright murder, such as his hands weren’t taped close together (they were somewhat loose). But I think I’ll call a spade a spade. He was murdered by some crazy tree dwelling anti-government, er, anti-democrat psycho or psychos.

    But you never know, could end being like that weirdo during the election who carved her own face all up while blaming it on someone else.

  73. leftbehind Says:

    You don’t know who murdered him, so you can’t very well call a spade a spade by saying you do, can you?

  74. leftbehind Says:

    To clarify – your opinion is valid, but your certainty is premature.

  75. enkidu Says:

    What I love is you poke lefty with a fact and he goes off on a series of rants that very rarely make any sense whatsoever.

    yeah NL we don’t have all the facts, but the initial reports came from the guy who discovered the body, so i would suppose his eyewitness account to be credible (try google). I have a feeling frootloop will work this one over like he did the pinky incident. u go girl!

  76. leftbehind Says:

    Speaking of facts, how’s it coming with your sources for the guns at the polling places, tough guy?

  77. leftbehind Says:

    …as for the pinky incident, have you guys seen the newest video? They got a pretty good shot of the guy’s face in this one, which was taken on the same side of the street as the bite occured…

  78. leftbehind Says:

    God, that poor guy was 65 years old. Tell me, Inky, what is it you, um… “Progressives” have against old people, anyway:

    “Man, 75, Attacked In Election Spat”

    ” 75-year-old man was hospitalized after another man shoved him into a fire hydrant during an argument about the upcoming election, DeLand police said.
    Timothy L. Rundle, 53, faces charges of felony battery after allegedly pushing William Hunter on Thursday near the intersection of Woodland Boulevard and New York Avenue in DeLand.
    Hunter was displaying a sign for Republican presidential contender Sen. John McCain, and he was asked to leave by a group of people who were displaying signs supporting Democratic presidential candiate Sen. Barack Obama because Hunter was causing a disturbance, according to a dispatcher’s log.”

  79. NorthernLite Says:

    What do you think happened to the census worker, lefty?

  80. NorthernLite Says:

    I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch to assume he was killed because he was a government worker by someone who has been riled up by anti-government propaganda, based on the facts that havebeen released so far.

  81. shcb Says:

    Twenty five posts or so ago I made mention of the Black Panthers as an example of news that wasn’t reported, I was referring to the fact that the Obama administration’s justice department has stopped further litigation and investigation, who cares what the crime was, and off Enky goes with the rest of the crew yippin and nippin, no wonder nothing gets discussed in a civil manner.

  82. Smith Says:

    My favorite thing about Lefty is that he desperately wants everyone to believe he is unbiased and above it all, while still clearly taking the right-wing side in nearly every debate.

    “no wonder nothing gets discussed in a civil manner.”

    Calling people fascists couldn’t have anything to do with the lack of civility, nope, not at all. Enky is clearly to blame for all the negative discourse on this site, you betcha.

  83. enkidu Says:

    spoken like a true socialmalistical fascist pinko kommie Merka hater! ;-)

    Personally I find it endlessly amusing that the Very Serious Folk want a discussion that conforms to the Marquis de Crunchberry rules of engagement.

    If ONLY I had been more civil in saying the Iraq War was a very bad idea, why then I am sure Patriot, TV, and Sgt Slaughter would have been convinced it would end in disaster.

    If ONLY I had not mocked the disinformation, partisan spin and outright partisan douchebagery of fauxnewts, why then the Very Serious folk would have read a more Very Serious web site and realized they’ve been consuming partisan bullshit for decades.

    If ONLY I were linking to the most left wing sites (or is it right wing? I forget), why then the discussion around here would have been so much more… civil.

    If ONLY

    You know, I nearly chose Agathon (read John Gardner’s book! or try his Grendel) as my handle on when I mocked TV’s “we found teh WMDZ!!!1!!1” claims (which, just to reiterate, were total bullshit). Maybe you should google that name or google my current handle. I think Enkidu is a perfect description of humanity: part God, part Man and part Beast. I liked Enkidu because it harkened back to that time in my life when I was very far from home and in love with a beautiful Muslim girl.

    But most of the cracker rednecks here haven’t been to the next county, much less the next country (Oh Canada!). Have never volunteered for anything except another piece of pie. Whose Very Serious Idea of ‘debate’ is to spew extremist right wing link after rightwing falsehood after plain old lies.


  84. NorthernLite Says:

    shcb, are you advisng Bob Corker?

  85. Smith Says:

    I want to clarify my previous comment a bit, just to make sure my point is clear. I am not saying that Enky doesn’t behave in a less than civil manner; however, shcb is not blameless in the matter of the lack of civil discourse. Nor am I, or Lefty, or Knarly.

  86. Smith Says:

    Wrestling Trivia (I’m originally from the South, it comes with the territory)

    Enky’s use of “Sgt Slaughter” when talking about Iraq reminded me of this:

    “In the summer of 1990 Slaughter returned to the WWF, but shortly after making his televised return, Slaughter’s gimmick as that of a patriotic American soldier was turned upside down, when his character temporarily turned against America to become an Iraqi sympathizer.”

  87. shcb Says:

    I guess that is the disinformation we are talking about here isn’t it? Neither went into detail of what they are commenting on, the fact that Corker is right. And here is a quote from Corker’s news conference

    “Meaning that you set prices and unfortunately all the innovation, all the technological breakthroughs, just about, take place in our country … you benefit from us and we pay for that and I resent that.”

    Notice the italics, now go back and see what she says, she’s fudging just a little as well. Yes the pharmaceutical companies are multinational, and yes Canada is parasitic, those are acts, now the public policy issue is what do we do about that. What would you do if you went to dinner with some friends, your friends told the waiter when they arrived that they were only going to pay $5.00, at the end of the meal the waiter gave you each a bill, he gives the first two bills for $5.00, but the total bill was $50.00, does he give you a $5.00 bill as well? No you get a check for $40, so the next time you all go out for dinner you either resign yourself to the fact that if you want to eat at that restaurant you will pay for the bulk of the bill or you go to a cheaper place and pay the same as your friends (cut back on research, multinational, remember)? These are the choices we have to make.

    If all the countries were to pay a bit more to the multinational companies then the multinational companies can spread those cost around a little and the US folks don’t have to pay as much. And since she bought up the multinational aspects I guess it doesn’t matter where the research comes from does it? You can’t have it both ways, if you make the point that profits are multinational then expenses are as well. The share of the bill is not multinational however. Corker is absolutely right.

  88. leftbehind Says:

    Smith – I have never claimed to be “unbiased.” I merely claimed, on a previous thread, to have no great interest in either side over the other in the Health Care debate as defined on this blog because:

    a) anything even approaching single-payer healthcare, which a lot of people around here seem to support is even going to happen. It would be foolish of me to invest too much in a debate over a fantasy, particularly when it is someone else’s fantasy.

    b) I don’t see where I have all that much to gain or lose from either model of health care being discussed here. Either way, I’m covered. Either way it’s costing me a lot of money. Who cares?

    Sorry if that’s so difficult to understand.

    During our previous encounter, you seemed particularly frustrated that I was giving NL such a hard time and not questioning SHCB’s argument vociferously enough. As I clearly stated at the time, this was due to several factors unrelated to whether or not I agreed with him. To reiterate:

    a) I wasn’t talking to SCHB at the time. I don’t recall that I was talking to you, either.

    b) Why should I waste my time attacking SHCB when everyone else already had? He’d already had his run of the thread, and everyone else had already run down an extensive list of their problems with his reasoning. What more could I add? Besides, is the sort of debate we’re engaged in her a simple pig-pile on SHCB, or should everyone have to defend themselves under fire. What about NL’s argument at the time, or his style of advancing it, makes it immune to questioning or criticism, even if he is ultimately correct?

    c) I take it as a philosophical point that, if everyone in the room agrees with something, someone should, as a moral obligation, argue against it, if only to make the majority explain themselves more clearly, or at least feel uncomfortable.

    d) Presented with the situation that I am, in which the most easily excited people on this blog – I’m not sure if you’re one one of them yourself, but time will tell – are all liberals, how can I not take the side of the right wing most of the time? How could either Inky, or myself rise to our full, flaming potential if we merely provided an echo chamber for each other’s narrow-minded, contrary view of the world? Isn’t blogging supposed to be fun?

    “no wonder nothing gets discussed in a civil manner.” – cute quote, but it hardly conveys my feelings at all. If Inky was actually to blame for all the negative discourse on this site I would feel that I wasn’t doing my part. Besides, what’s ultimately wrong with a little negative discourse? Are we really all here just to enjoy the echo of our own ironclad views? I’m beginning to think you are, but I’d rather have my beliefs shaken from time to time, and am happy to return the favor whenever the opportunity arises.

    Sorry if any of this ruffles your feathers, fella, but that’s just the way I roll, and you’ll have to either get used to it or leave me alone.

  89. shcb Says:

    BTW, I’ve been getting firsthand knowledge of the American system this week, been in Hays Ks all week with my dad, mild heart attack. The hospital does all they can but to make it as pleasant as possible but it never is. I Have been intrigued with the innovations they use, just small things like placement of parking lots and entrances so a large hospital seems smaller than it really is. Everyone here from the doctors to the janitor wears a necklace that has a voice activated “telephone”, the computer voice asks I they can take a call and they just say yes and someone on the other end is talking to them, they don’t even have to push a button. The ICU is a little circular with a wall across the hall from the room so even if the door is open you can’t hear people in the next room. All their charts are kept electronically, entered in laptops on little roll around carts that could be used in a battlefield. Neat stuff.

  90. leftbehind Says:

    Enkidu – Informative explanation of your handle – too bad it’s crap. I don’t think you’re being honest with either us, or yourself, as to why you’ve adopted the name of one of the most notorious homosexual icons of the ancient world.

  91. leftbehind Says:

    “Another kind of same-sex relationship in the ancient Near East was the love found between heroes or warriors; and the most famous example of this is the Epic of Gilgamesh, a long poem that combines “man and nature, love and adventure, [and] friendship and combat…”

    “Gilgamesh, king of Uruk (called Ereck in Gen 10:10), is described as “most handsome.” But because he is two-thirds god and one-third human, he distresses the citizens of Uruk with his insatiable sexual appetite and boundless energy. So the gods create a companion for him, named Enkidu, a wild, hairy man with “long tresses like those of a woman.” After a prostitute is sent to tame and train Eniku, who also is “handsome … just like a god,” he is brought into Uruk, where he meets Gilgamesh. Meanwhile Gilgamesh has had two dreams, one of a falling star and the second of a mighty axe, toward which he feels strangely attracted. His mother explains, “A mighty comrade will come to you … [and] like a wife you’ll love him, caress and embrace him” (Tablet I). When Gilgamesh and Enkidu finally meet, at first they fight furiously, but then they “kissed each other and formed a friendship.” Gilgamesh persuades Enkidu to go with him to subdue the monster Humbaba, who lives in the Cedar Forest; so the king and his companion “took each other by the hand,”

    “After they slay the forest’s guardian, with the help of great winds (Tablet V), Gilgamesh washes his hair, letting it fall down over his back, and puts on fresh clothes and his crown. When the goddess Ishtar, looking down, saw “the beauty of Gilgamesh,” she was filled with longing and asked him to become her bridegroom. When he refuses, enraged, she persuades the gods to release the Bull of Heaven to kill Gilgamesh. However, Enkidu grabs hold of the animal’s tail, while Gilgamesh thrusts in his knife and slays the great beast (Tablet VI). But the gods are now angry that their great bull has been killed, and so they decide that one of the heroes must die, namely Enkidu. And so Enkidu grows weak and dies (Tablet VII). Gilgamesh, beside himself with grief, covers the face of his friend “like a bride,” tears out his curly hair in clumps, rips off his fine clothes, and mourns inconsolably over the loss of his friend (Tablet VIII). Thereafter, he sets out to find a way to immortal life, so he can be reunited with Enkidu (Tablets IX-XI). Although numerous scholars have denied that there is a homoerotic content here, the intensity and exclusivity of their friendship, along with the emphasis on their beauty, makes this view difficult to maintain. ”

    From “Homosexuality in the Ancient Near East, beyond Egypt”
    By Bruce L. Gerig

  92. leftbehind Says:

    “Enkidu grabs hold of the animal’s tail, while Gilgamesh thrusts in his knife…”

  93. leftbehind Says:

    “Enkidu grabs hold… Gilgamesh thrusts in his knife.”

  94. NorthernLite Says:

    What’s this? A Democrat with some balls?

    Embedded video from CNN Video

  95. NorthernLite Says:

    Well that didn’t work very well. Sorry, I was trying to link to the Grayson video. He walked right into the Situation Room to stand by his position. Balls all around on this cat. You’ll have to browse through the videos to find it.

    Sorry to hear about your dad shcb, all the best.

    Bob Corker is just another angry Republican that can’t believe “socialist” countries like Canada and France have superior hc systems that cost less, cover everyone and keep their citizens healthier. It drives him nuts and makes me smile from ear to ear.

  96. Smith Says:

    “cute quote, but it hardly conveys my feelings at all.”

    That was a quote from shcb and my response was directed at him. Sorry if that’s so difficult to understand.

    Nice essay of a response. I think it is telling that you get your panties in a twist whenever you are called out on your “above it all” BS. In fact, I’d posit that it shows you to be one of the most easily excited people on this blog. I think it is important to call out people/groups that hide their agenda behind false claims of “looking for balance”. That’s just the way I roll, and you’ll have to either get used to it or leave me alone.

    Cheers, fella.

  97. leftbehind Says:

    Respectfully, I think it’s hardly me who’s got my “panties in a twist.” Our initial conversation was at least a week ago, and you’re the one still crying about it. After all, you came looking for me, not vice versa.

  98. leftbehind Says:

    And who, exactly, needs you to save them from anyone’s “secret agenda,” least of all mine? I’ve been blogging here for years before you even showed up. Don’t you think everyone else here is already more than aware of any agenda I might or might not have, or is your perception of the obvious just that much more sensitive than everyone else’s? Sorry, Sherlock Holmes, but I’ll venture that my insidious scheme was exposed a long time before you were even around here to cast your fine mind toward the subject.

  99. knarlyknight Says:


    Twice already I’ve corrected your red herring that USA pharmaceutical co’s making the bulk of discoveries.

    The heavily regulated European firms (e.g. Roche) make both (a) more new drug discoveries (i.e. 190 to 160 over a two year period or something like that) and (b) more groundbreaking discoveries than the US firms who more often present small improvements or variations on a previous drug. As I’ve provided that information to you on two separate occasions (three now) and you continue to make this bogus claim I can only assume that you are deliberately lying here on

    Also, with respect to Canadian pharma R&D it is not surprising that Cda does not present as many new products to market as American or European pharmaceutical companies. However if you would use a more realistic comparison , that is a proportional measure, then I’d bet Canada does well (Canada having a GDP about 10% of the US’s.) Anecdotally, I often hear of Cdn medical breakthroughs in the understanding of human physical and mental biochemistry, health and fitness from our public universities. While that is often a critical contribution used by pharma corporations in experimenting with new types of drugs it does not get counted in the statistics of new drugs presented to the market. A strong case could be made that Canadian public universities are subsidizing pharmaceutical corporations by doing much of the initial pure science that pharmaceutical corporations feed off of in developing new drugs (or to adopt your conservative hate radio vernacular: American pharmaceutical corporations are parasites feeding on scientific discoveries made at Canadian universities.)

  100. Smith Says:

    Look pretty twisted from here. Hurry, defend your e-honor.

  101. knarlyknight Says:

    Lefty – wow you are good at mischaracterizing other commenters’ motives and actions! That is the trait of a good troll. Now go back under your bridge until you have something useful to say.

  102. leftbehind Says:

    Knarly, if you stayed under your bridge until you had something useful -hell, let’s settle for interesting – the Three Billy Goats Gruff wouldn’t have so much to worry about.

  103. leftbehind Says:

    e-honor…that’s a good one. If I had any “e-honor,” I doubt I’d be having this conversation…

  104. NorthernLite Says:

    Exactly knarly.

    I think many people tend to forget that we’re only a country of 33 million people living on the second largest land mass on the planet. I think we hold our own pretty well medically, technologically and militarily speaking.

    ‘e-honour’ – I like that term too. Too bad I have none though lol.

  105. NorthernLite Says:

    But there’s no doubt that we benefit immensly from being America’s neighbour. No doubt there. But I also think they benefit quite a bit from us as well, in that we’re friendly, have lots of oil, water and other natural resources.

  106. knarlyknight Says:

    NL – you forgot the beer. How could you forget beer? Oh, yea maybe you had other fires to fight…

  107. shcb Says:

    My problem and Corker’s problem for that manner is the way these governments are doing business. They are using their powers to circumvent patents. The reason for a patent is to allow the business or individual that invests money and time to develop a new product to reap what they sew for a limited amount of time disproportionately to what the free market would allow. Now that doesn’t mean they can sell it for whatever they want, there is still some market pressure, people can do without the product for instance, or they can use the unimproved version that isn’t under patent protection.

    This is topical because it is about health care but we could be talking about a new tidily wink game for all I care. If the Canadian government wants to use the company’s drugs at market price or refuse to pay for them and make Canadians pay out of pocket the market price that would be ok, but they aren’t.

    So the companies have to make a decision, at this point Americans are willing to pay more for life saving drugs, some understand we are subsidizing Canadians, some don’t. The problem is that if the US government does the same and limits their profits these companies will have to make another decision, and that decision will be based on what profits are left which won’t be much so development will diminish, not just the development of drugs in America, but in other companies as well since these companies are multinational according to the lady in the video.

    I should rephrase that, profits will remain fairly stable, they will just reduce expenses to maintain a profit level that investors will find enticing, the largest expense they can trim is development.

  108. NorthernLite Says:

    But many of the drugs are not developed in the United States . You’re not the only country that develops drugs, as knarly has pointed out to you many times with ample evidence. Most of the innovations are happening in Europe. Canada invented insulin along with other ground-breaking drugs and many cancer research breakthroughs happen up here as well. So once again the facts don’t match your version of reality.

  109. NorthernLite Says:

    In short, your getting screwed over by your own companies and your government is allowing it to happen. Perhaps if Pfizer didn’t spend billions of dollars over the years on ads they might be able to cut you break on your price of drugs.

  110. shcb Says:

    No, you’re not listening surely you understand economics so lisin up buster and lisin up good (John Prine) from a multinational corporation’s point of view it doesn’t matter where the rug is produced, as long as their company makes the discovery and obtains the patent so they can sell the drug for much more than it costs to produce so they can develop the next new drug (and make a profit). Where the discovery is made is a matter of national pride just as it is matter of pride to have your division produce a new drug but the corporation doesn’t care.

    On the other side of the equation is who pays the bill, this is where the parasitic aspects come in and where my analogy comes in. So yes I have answered Knarly’s point a couple times, you just don’t understand enough about economics to realize it. In my analogy the restaurant doesn’t get screwed, they received full payment, the guys who only paid 5 bucks each didn’t get screwed they got a great deal and will be back next week for another meal, why not, they have no pride or they would pay their fair share in the first place, and in a way the guy that was stuck with the bill didn’t get screwed if he knew he was going to pay the bulk of the bill before he went in to eat, from another perspective he did get screwed because he did pay more than the others, but that was his choice, he would rather have a better meal and subsidize his friends, but they are still parasites, and they are still his friends, so he will bitch about it to his wife but next week he’ll be sitting there having lunch with his friends.

  111. NorthernLite Says:

    I’m listening. It just seems like you and Bob Corker are trying to blame other countries because businesses operating in your country are gouging your citizens.

    It all comes down to a basic economics: If company A can sell a product in country B for X amount of dollars and still turn a profit, invsest in r&d and grow, why can’t it do it in America?

    How much does company A spend on lobbying, campaign conributions and advertising in America compared to country B?

    Speaking of economics I’m not the one who supported a president who cut revenue and increased spending for 8 years. I’ll admit I don’t have a degree in economics but I do have pretty good logic and do a good job of balancing my own budget.

  112. enkidu Says:

    smith – thx for reminding the folks that I wasn’t talking about the WWF. I was referring to the poster on who wanted to kill jbc and his family for opposing the Iraq war. He also wanted to make ‘fukin lampshades from their skin’ (I left out most of the ‘fukins’) cheers!

    wwnj – so now it is a matter of pride to pay too much for healthcare, get worse outcomes and cover fewer citizens? Pride comes before a fall (and you Rs are cascading over the cliff like lemmings – hopefully you will land on rush’s bloated sack of protoplasm). Sorry to hear about your Dad, our best wishes for his speedy recovery.

    hey did you see this?
    i love that this footage shows how Glen (nutcase) Beck preps for his weepy “ah loves mah country!” shtick (seekrit – vicks vaporub) You morans are being played for fools (and profit – duh)


  113. NorthernLite Says:

    Laugh my effing ass off!!!

    There you have it. The Teabagger in Chief using fake tears, fake protests, fake anger. I wonder if he got the vapour rub form the ‘University of I Don’t Remember’?

    I can’t wait to see how Jon Stewart and Keith Olberman address this.

  114. NorthernLite Says:

    shcb, do you still think Fox is a legitimate news org?

  115. shcb Says:


    I’m getting frustrated here, the companies aren’t gouging us, you are. We are paying for your medicine. They aren’t selling a product in one country or another country, they are selling their product in one country and another country. They would sell it at a lower cost here if they could sell it at a higher cost there, and they would if your country were acting as a government and not as a customer. If a Canadian insurance company were to say they were not going to pay $5 a unit, they were going to start producing it themselves for $1 a unit (since the patent shows them how without any research) and your country were acting as a government they would say that that Canadian company cannot do that because there is an international patent on that product. But they are not doing that because they are the customer, and the only customer. Whatever you don’t pay we do, it doesn’t matter where the product is actually made or developed.

    why would I not think they are a legitimate news org?

  116. enkidu Says:

    wwnj, are you aware that many pharmaceutical companies are actually either:
    A) foreign owned
    B) multinationals


    Dumberka is not the center of the universe (fyi)
    Or maybe it is in the Wingnutoverse! ;-)

    Plus your grasp of patents is sub-high school level (unsurprisingly). Composition of Matter patents are not a complete cookbook (duh).

    Seriously is there anything you ‘know’ that isn’t total right wing bullshit?
    Anything – I mean anything at all – that is fact based?

  117. shcb Says:

    so what did I say that was inaccurate?

  118. Smith Says:

    At least on the face of it, shcb might have a point. Companies could be funding research in Europe with the profits they make by selling drugs at inflated prices in the US. Revenue from sales worldwide is almost certainly put into a common pool to be distributed as the company chooses. If we accept the premise that drugs are sold in the US at such disproportionately high prices as compared to Europe/Canada, then it seems possible that money brought in from the US may account for a substantial majority of the company’s revenue. Some portion of this revenue will be used to fund research. Lets say for the sake of argument that US sales account for 75% of some multinational drug company’s sales. Now lets suppose that this company only funds research done in France. Imagine that this company accounted for all of the funding that was put into discovering some new medicine. While the discovery would have been made in France, 75% of its funding would have indirectly come from the US. If we accept all of the premises and suppositions as true, it would seem that US drug sales fund the majority of privately funded pharmaceutical research, regardless of where it occurs.

    Did I get that right, shcb?

    Of course, the argument as it exists in my post is little more than a thought experiment. Without hard evidence to support the premises, we need not accept the argument as being sound. A close analysis might even show it not to be valid. I’ll leave it to shcb to produce the necessary evidence to support his argument. I am just weary of watching you guys talk past each other and felt like taking a stab at restating what I believe shcb’s argument to be.

    Having said that, there are some things I take issue with in shcb’s broader claims. It appears that shcb’s solution to this supposed gouging is to do nothing and just bend over and take it. I don’t know what the best course of action would be, but inaction doesn’t seem to be the best course for the US to take with respect to drug prices.

    Also, the claim that “they would sell it at a lower cost here if they could sell it at a higher cost there” does really seem to be supported by market principles. The US has shown that it is willing to purchase drugs at the current inflated prices. If the drug companies could raise prices in Canada, I see no reason to believe the companies would lower prices in the states. I am pretty sure the companies will pursue the largest attainable revenue stream. Reducing American prices in response to increased Canadian prices only makes sense if the company intends to maintain a revenue cap. A more logical action for the company would be to maintain US prices at their current level while increasing Canadian prices; thereby leading to growth in the company’s income.

  119. shcb Says:

    You have if pretty close Smith, but my issue isn’t so much the market vagaries you are describing later in your post but the fact that these countries are using their emergency clause to manipulate companies in foreign countries by threatening to circumvent the patents those companies hold. If all the market will bear in one country or another is less than in another that is ok as long as it is done in the free market. Then the company can decide if they wants to sell at the reduced prices in that area. The problem here is that say a company won’t sell a new drug to Canada, and remember the drug company is selling that drug to Canada not to Canadians, the government of Canada is the sole client there, if they don’t sell to Canada, Canada will allow a Canadian company to produce that drug at generic prices. At this point the Canadian company could presumably export that drug at that lower price, taking away that high profit item from the company because the Canadian product would flood the market. Of course there are import laws that could mitigate this but to what degree.

    You are right that there is no guarantee that the company would lower prices in America if it could get more for that drug in Canada, but this is where the competitive market comes in. Typically long term investors are looking for a certain return on their investment, not an exceptionally high flash in the pan stock so on the other end the managers of the company will try and maintain that level. If they can lower prices to get a higher market share they will. Also there are usually several different drugs for a certain ailment, Claritan isn’t the only allergy medicine for instance, there is some competition. And even if they didn’t lower their prices here they would have more revenue, if they tried to maintain their profit margin and used that extra cash to develop a new cancer or AIDS drug quicker, wouldn’t that be a good thing? Part of my fear is research will be reduced if the American cash cow is limited, so conversely if they also had a Canadian cash calf they would be able to increase research. Or, if throwing more money at the problem won’t speed the process up what is wrong with banking some of that cash for the time when it will.

  120. shcb Says:

    Let me add something to that first paragraph. Say Canada had a medical network or insurance company that was so large it held a virtual monopoly, similar to Bell Telephone when I was growing up, as opposed to the Canadian government being the monopoly now. That Mega company could negotiate lower prices due to its bargaining power but it couldn’t circumvent patents. Government should govern, they shouldn’t do, because when government starts doing there is no one to left to govern.

  121. Smith Says:

    “If they can lower prices to get a higher market share they will.”

    If they could have done this, they already would have. Capitalistic principles suggest that the market will naturally find the appropriate level of cost to maximize overall utility. If a company could lower its prices in order to expand its market share in such a manner as to increase its net revenue flow, it would have already done so. If capitalism works as advertised, the current price levels in the US should represent the optimal prices within the market. I would imagine long term investors would choose a company with a solid 10% market share and high profitability over a company with a 80% market share that is bleeding money. Short term speculators may get on board with the large, sinking company in hopes that it is bought out by a larger entity, but long term investors should be more attracted to the company that is generating substantial profits and appears more stable. Market shares don’t mean much if you can’t bring in some dough.

    Drugs aren’t absolutely competitive either. Claritan is not the only allergy medicine, while it is/was under a protected patent, it is/was the only one with that formula. Not everyone can freely change between different compounds that treat the same condition. Suppose compounds A, B, and C all treat some life threatening condition. If compound A is contraindicated because of your heart condition, and compound C has dangerous interactions with some other important medication you are taking, then you are going to have to buy compound B no matter what the cost, at least until generics are available.

  122. shcb Says:

    All good points in your second paragraph, which is why I said “somewhat competitive” or words to that effect.

    First paragraph is correct as well to a point. One of the problems here is that even in America we aren’t working with a normal free market model. Our insurance is more or less transparent to us since it is paid by our employer. Now we pay for it , it is part of our compensation, but we don’t see it. Just like we see the bill for a road paving project, we just pay taxes into a pool. When we buy a dozen eggs we can directly compare. On this aspect LB is correct when he says it doesn’t matter to him one way or the other.

    “If a company could lower its prices in order to expand its market share in such a manner as to increase its net revenue flow, it would have already done so” I agree with that of course, but if a company can lower their prices and gain even more market share than they had with higher prices they will because overall revenues will increase. That said, that probably doesn’t apply here in most cases since the market for drugs is primarily need based and not want based, cosmetic drugs like hair growth or drugs like Viagra being an exception. So in this case I think you are probably right that the increase in revenue if Canada were paying market prices will probably go to research or profits, at least in the short term, long term I think the overall cost of drugs would probably go down somewhat. I think my concern isn’t what would happen if Canada were to pay their fair share as much as what will happen if we stop paying what we are now without Canada paying their fair share. I’m just using Canada as shorthand here, not saying Canada is the only country doing this.

  123. NorthernLite Says:

    I watched ‘SiCKO’ over the weekend and all I can say is wow. I can’t believe that a country like America treats it’s citizens like that. Unreal.

  124. NorthernLite Says:

    I watched ‘SiCKO’ over the weekend and all I can say is wow. I can’t believe that a country like America treats its citizens like that. Unreal.

  125. NorthernLite Says:

    shcb, you know what your problem is in terms of this drug issue? Your elected officials aren’t accountable to you as much as you’d like to think they are. They’re accountable to health and drug industry lobbyists. Up here – because of our campaign financing laws – officials are more accountable to the people. I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately on this issue and I can assure you, that’s the problem. Do you have any idea how much money is being thrown around on lobbying by drug companies? What if the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on that was used to lower drug prices for your citizens? I can understand your frustration, it’s a really bum deal.

    Why would a US legislator risk forfeiting hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions in order to bring down the costs of drugs?

  126. shcb Says:

    You are probably right NL, but it is problem without a solution, we value free speech. If we limit the amount companies give to campaigns then we also have to limit the amount given by activist groups. Would you like it if environmental groups could only give a small amount? Then you have indirect funding, if the Republican candidate gets up and says he is for less gun control and the NRA runs an add promoting voting for candidates that are for less gun control and they only run those adds in states where it is an issue are they campaigning for an individual candidate or just getting out their generic message? Same goes for an environmental groups. Then we have our system, in a republic the lawmakers are passing laws regulating lawmakers, we don’t have direct democracy. McCain has been a big supporter of campaign finance control and yet when his bill passed Indians were exempt, guess which state has a large Indian population? Yup, Arizona. The best we can hope for is full disclosure.

  127. NorthernLite Says:

    I would totally support that shcb (activist groups limited as well). I don’t see it as an attack on free speech, I see the current system as an attack on democracy.

    What I’m getting at is elected officials down there are looking after the people who provide them with the most money so damn what’s good for the people or the country. That would make me very uncomfortable.

    I don’t know if our campaign finance laws are the best out there, but it’s something like this: It’s around $2 per vote received in the last election and strict limits on companies/unions/groups ($1000). Individuals can contribute no more than $5000. I kind of like the idea of people being able to contribute more than companies/activist groups but this may also allow richer people to drown out people who can’t afford to give that much. But I’ll probably always trust a single rich person more than some profit-consumed corporation.

  128. Smith Says:

    “But I’ll probably always trust a single rich person more than some profit-consumed corporation.”

    I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that the single rich people often have very strong connections to the profit-consumed corporations. Is there really going to be a significant difference between the wishes of the corporation and those of its major shareholders, at least in terms of regulations that impact said company? Also, isn’t equally likely that the single rich person is also profit-consumed?

  129. NorthernLite Says:

    Very true. That’s why I said what I did. It does make me nervous but I think its still better than letting companies donate hundreds of thousands or millions.

  130. shcb Says:

    Don’t forget, all the rich can do is try and get the poor to vote the way they want them to vote by buying advertising during the election, then they have to get the rich to give them money between the elections so they can buy the advertising… there are some checks and balances here, it doesn’t only go one direction.

    Unions donate the same if not more, and unions give more in kind donations than companies.

  131. NorthernLite Says:

    That’s why I think it’s best to have them all limited to small donations (corps/unions/activist groups).

  132. Bellabie Says:

    I am not familiar with the amazing school, specifically, that your son attends, but I happen to attend a rather amazing high school, myself, albeit in Texas. While I’ve enjoyed many video clips and commentaries as part of your website, I couldn’t help but notice this video, in reference to education. The school that I attend (the Liberal Arts and Science Academy in Austin, Texas) uses this very video (muted, for the assignment) as a prompt for short story writing.
    Personally, especially coming from Texas, I feel at a disadvantage because, even though I may be in a challenging school by Texas’s standards, it seems my peers and I will be lacking nationally, and certainly are behind internationally. Education is difficult. To an extent, we may have to reevaluate what we value and how we focus our efforts. Looking on, with college fast approaching, many people around me, my father in particular, are concerned with the inflating degree requirements and (in my mind) slackening primary and secondary school standards, in many places.
    With all hope, the new emphasis of the President upon improving education will have an effect. We shall see.

    Post script: Perhaps this is shameless, but, as you are a middle-schooler’s parent, I thought perhaps you might want to see what some high school students are working on. ( )

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