The Inspiring Moral Leadership of the Hampshire Students (repost + thoughts)

February 17, 2009

Due to PapoWorld’s recently pensive state of mind, I’m going to directly repost something written by Philip Weiss.  I tend to really like boutique blogs who can devote themselves fully and deeply to a particular topic or issue (so long as they do so with integrity and from a position of moderate credibility).  When it comes to anything about Israel, these sorts of niche blogs are essential.  I should state upfront: Philip Weiss represents a more progressive viewpoint, whereas many others might, and do, take a position far more supportive of a State’s use of violence (and more-generally, the principle underlying much of American foreign policy, that might makes right). 

(One may accuse me of editorializing there, in my characterization of the spectrum of views on Israeli occupation, but you need to ask yourself what other defense is there, other than might makes right, to overcome the fact of Israel’s creation on Palestinian land.  The Israeli claims obfuscate things for the inattentive observer by pointing to recent tits or tats in the unending conflict, overlooking the cause of the rockets and suicide bombers.  Mind you, this all comes from a government that refuses to give back even the land taken in ’67, and was recently revealed to be 100% complicit in–and condoning of–the illegal settlements that many, yours truly included, consider nothing less than theft and naked imperialism.)

Philip Weiss on “The inspiring moral leadership of the Hampshire students” for encouraging their university’s divestment from companies supporting the Israeli occupation (the post ’67 one), after the jump  JUMP


The Popular Uprising Against the Fed

February 13, 2009

(that title makes it sound like I’m soon gonna be calling for “agrarian reform!” and nationalization of industry, doesn’t it?  lol)

Here’s a great article from The American Conservative magazine examining the fading of the taboo against criticizing the Fed.  Or perhaps not taboo but exclusion from discourse (kinda reminds me of Chomsky’s manufacturing Consent, where he accuses the MSM of defining the terms of debate within exclusive parameters and/or not giving voice to viewpoints that greatly upset conventional wisdom…or power).  It looks at Ron Paul as an icon of this resurgent unease or even hostility toward the Fed, and examines how he served to bring the debate into the mainstream and have it somewhat ratified via his virulent, empassioned supporters.

It also makes a pretty convincing case for the wisdom of the Austrian school of economics, a long-time critic of fiat money (money that is created within a system, as opposed to currency that is backed by commodities like silver or gold) and central banking.  I confess I am quite confused and uninformed when it comes to macroeconomics; an uncertainty that grates at me when I see convincing, albeit frivolous and surely suspect, internet movies decrying international banking and central banking (along with 9/11 and, in this particular movie: Zeitgeist, religion).  I just wish I knew more so I could put suspicions to rest.

Any Citizens out there wanna share knowledge on the subject?  I struggle with: A) Does the Fed “lend” money to the US government, and charge interest? (If so, what on earth is anyone doing charging our gov interest for the money our gov creates?)  B) Are there good reasons why not to be suspicious of the enormous amount of power concentrated with the Fed, especially now that we are handing them huge sums of money?  C) Why did we get off the gold standard?  Was this a good thing?  Ron Paul sure made sense when he ranted against this on the campaign trail (and yes, I still commend his courage in mentioning ‘blowback’ in the context of 9/11 at mainstream debates…more whispers of Chomsky).

Read the rest of this entry »

The Jumbo Hostel!

February 12, 2009

The Jumbo Hostel is the realization of a very cool idea: a hostel inside a jumbo jet!   A retired 747 in the Stockholm-Arlanda airport, it sports 25 rooms, each about 6 square meters, with three bunk beds each.  It has some very cool common areas, decent-looking bathrooms, and it looks like they kept the first-class seats around to keep you on that airplane/voyage theme.


 Two very lucky travelers can stay in the COCKPIT!

More bathroom and layout pics

NBA Throwback: Reggie Miller summits NYC

February 11, 2009

One of the more riveting displays of athleticism around.  The video takes 6 total minutes, giving the background and context to the Indiana/NewYork rivalry…It’s worth the time, if you got it.  If not, at least scroll to 3:17 for Reggie’s feat.

Caption Contest!!

February 10, 2009

Hit me up in the comments, Skywalker.

Afternoon Newsea

February 10, 2009
Like nausea, but from the news.

NYT Op-Ed in favor of repealing DODT; hard to argue with his larger point:

…six years of war have clarified priorities. The battlefield has its own values, starting with courage. Sexual orientation falls somewhere below musical taste. What a person chooses to do back stateside, off-duty, in his own apartment is irrelevant in a fight.

Guide to what’s hot on South Beach!  (you may now exhale)

The Catholic Church brings back plenary indulgences:

Its revival has been viewed as part of a conservative resurgence that has brought some quiet changes and some highly controversial ones, like Pope Benedict XVI’s recent decision to lift the excommunications of four schismatic bishops who reject the council’s reforms. (HatTip: Creedo)

Sullivan unpacks Neoconservatism a little:

…perhaps the case against this strain in neoconservatism is best expressed by the the worry that passionate support for Israel can become, if internalized too completely, a blinding and knee-jerk response, and a barrier to thinking more coolly about America’s regional options.

Philip Weiss waxes philosophic on Jews in neoconservatism and credits Sullivan for his clarity

A pipe-dream from Bibi the Secret Dove

A-Rod admits to the doping:

“I am guilty of being negligent, naïve, not asking all the right questions,” he said. (among other things)

It’s worth your click

Workplace Survival Kit!

February 10, 2009

Here’s a lil list of life-saving time-wasters for the endless workday.  If anyone has something they think should also be on the list, comment me  for a FistPound.

User-generated self-loathing:

Today, on the crowded train, a cute guy called me over and told me to stand next to him because there were less people there. We started talking, but he left before I could get his number. Just when I was about to tell my friends about it, I find out that he stole my phone. FML

This is what I’m watching now: Chomsky vs. William F. Buckley

Although it was funnier and less sold-out before he landed a book deal, it should still be mentioned, like: taking a year off, political prisoners, statistics, having gay friends, study abroad, and public radio! for a mindsplattering good time

Here’s a segment from a local gem that might still be appealing for non-NYawkers,

Friendly guy to two cute girls speaking French: Hi, where are you girls from?
Girl #1: We are from Switzerland.
Friendly guy: Oh, so you speak Swedish?
Girl #1: No, we speak French.
Friendly guy, slowly: So then, you come from France?
Girl #2: No, we come from the French-speaking part of Switzerland.
Friendly guy, confused: Oh, okay. So uh, how long did it take you to drive here?

–Burger King, W 42nd St will surprise you with its staying power  This is my favorite. 


Read the rest of this entry »

Awesomeness! (part V)

February 10, 2009

The Australian Coconut Crab

Coconut  Crab (Birgus  latro) is the largest terrestrial arthropod in the world. It is  known for its ability to crack coconuts with its strong pincers in  order to eat the contents.

It  is sometimes called the robber crab because some coconut  crabs are rumored to steal shiny items such as pots and silverware  from houses and tents.
The second  photo gives you a good idea of how large these crabs are – a coconut  crab is seeking food from a black trashcan.

and here he shows you muthafuckas…


(HatTip: Coutts!)

Monday Morning Roundup

February 9, 2009

Hello Citizens!  The Hiatus is over, the LSAT is taken, and Billy Pilgrim has spoken : So It Goes.  I am slowly regathering my wits and my sanity, after intensive sleep reacquisition therapy this weekend.  PapoWorld may take a little bit to really spread its legs and open its stride, as I do have many aspects of my life that have been deeply neglected for the last three months.  But I will be posting some stuff, probably little more than the ruminations of my now-gelatinous brain, so please bear with me a bit.  To all who offered feedback, thanks a lot for it.  All readers are free to continue critiquing the site or hyping certain aspects you like.

Would people on the subway not steal my lunch money if I had one of these bad muthafuckas?

Apparently the AP is now bustin’ Shepard Fairey’s balls alleging “copyright infringement” for his use of an AP photo to make his uber-mega-famous picture.  Life as a no-longer-underground-dissentmaster shouldn’t be so rough.  But it is.  Welcome to the sunlight, Shep.  (UPDATE) Ouch, the sun aint letting up soon.

A lil blast from the past, to shiver ye timbers: PNAC Statement of Principles (HatTip: Groove of Yore)

Normally I want more substance and less cutesy attitude from HuffPo’s Sunday TVSoundoff, but the sarcasm of this week’s just seemed aptly fitting, given the political circus our country seems to have become while I was cramming to learn logic games.

I saw Forrest Gump recently and couldn’t stop asking myself, what happened to “Jenny”??  The actress, who is kinda really totally beautiful at the end when she’s a waitress with the lil bouncy curls (not to mention, kinda hot in a dark and exploitative cum-dumspter kinda vibe earlier in the movie).  Looks like she married Sean Penn.  wack.  Maybe her career ended cus someone made that really creepy blog.  Or maybe Commie-Pinko Penn is so paid she can lay around at home looking edible.

Read the rest of this entry »

LSAT Hiatus & Countdown

February 2, 2009

It Is What It Is


Please give feedback.  PapoWorld will be back on Monday.  (HatTip: Creedo, for his disaster-recovery efforts this weekend)

Read the rest of this entry »

The inside story of why not a single House Republican supported the president’s stimulus package; and other related news.

February 1, 2009

This may be the only post for the day (I have GOT to focus on LSAT stuff till the test next Sat.; and, there’s a big bowl people are passing around tonight or something), save for a possible later post about incredibly silly (and perhaps cruel) pet gadgets.  The articles in TheDailyBeast and Nate Silver’s are really worth your attention, partic. Silver’s.

The Daily Beast explores some inside baseball on why the stimulus bill drew not a single GOP vote in the House:

It turned out that this estimate was 1,000 percent too high, because Emanuel’s go-for-the-big-win style, even when mixed with the president’s earnest charm, did not gain even one vote from the House GOP. The caucus held together like a stone wall when it came time to vote on the Democratic-authored $825 billion stimulus package—all 177 members joined 11 “Blue Dog” Democrats for the 244-188 final tally. How this was done explains the sudden and surprising new discipline of the Republican Party.

Joe Klein defends the spirit of bipartisanship:

Obama’s almost fetishistic pursuit of Republicans — two hours spent with the crabby minority at the Capitol! — is another attempt to deprive his enemies of a Great Satan. The President will make some Republican-oriented concessions, dropping some of the cheesier spending from the stimulus plan. He will get some GOP votes for his stimulus package, but more important, he is establishing himself as a relentlessly reasonable and polite presence in town — and his comity is making it all the more difficult for buffoons like Rush Limbaugh to influence the tone of the Republican opposition.

Time explains the spending from a Keynesian perspective:

— we all really do seem to be Keynesians now. Just about every expert agrees that pumping $1 trillion into a moribund economy will rev up the ethereal goods-and-services engine that Keynes called “aggregate demand” and stimulate at least some short-term activity, even if it is all wasted on money pits.

Political pollster and presidential campaign guru whizkid wunderkind Nate Silver offers some bleak prognostications for the future of the GOP.  Here he explains The Republican Death Spiral:

Most fundamentally of all, the McCain campaign radically overestimated the importance of appealing to the base. House Republicans may be replicating their mistake. Self-described conservative Republicans represent only about 20 percent of the population. This base is not necessarily becoming smaller; it’s still alive and kicking. What is true, however, is that the (1) base has never been sufficient to form a winning electoral coalition, and (2) that there are fewer and fewer non-base (e.g. moderates, libertarian Republicans, Republican leaning-independents). As these moderates have fled the GOP, the party’s electoral fortunes have tanked. But simultaneously, they have had less and less influence on the Republican message.
Thus the Republicans, arguably, are in something of a death spiral. The more conservative, partisan, and strident their message becomes, the more they alienate non-base Republicans. But the more they alienate non-base Republicans, the fewer of them are left to worry about appeasing. Thus, their message becomes continually more appealing to the base — but more conservative, partisan, and strident to the rest of us. And the process loops back upon itself.

not much more

No Major Violence for Iraqi Elections

January 31, 2009

Despite reduced turnout, Iraqi elections were “almost violence-free” and had solid turnout from Iraq’s Sunni population, whose participation “now is considered critical to restoring balance to regional politics and perhaps undercutting a reason for violence” (note: they bocotted the 2005 election, which led to problems regarding their under-representation in the government…surprise surprise!).  The Iraqi elections still managed to leave us plenty of reason to appreciate our own elections:

There was some violence in the period leading up to election day, with at least five candidates and three campaign workers killed during the campaign.

(much more after the Jump; Woodward’s The War Within and the secret new weapon he discusses)

More on Sunnis and an Iraqi political cartoon

The Audacity of Greed

January 31, 2009

I saw this headline on my way in to work this morning (to do more LSAT practice) and couldn’t believe it: Wall St. is shameful? Traders blast Obama.  I found the story online and realized how easy it would be to get two anonymous “traders” to whine to a small paper about Obama’s pushback against bonuses…that this story means little.  But it still enraged me, and I think this sentiment is indeed real and pervasive among some of the “traders” in the industry.

Jody, who wouldn’t give her last name, said she had just landed a job at a major Wall Street firm after nine months of job searching.   “[Obama] has to sit down and understand the compensation structure of low- to middle-management Wall Street. … A bonus is 20 to 50 percent of a person’s annual salary,” she said. “If you want to stimulate the economy, you can’t take the legs out of the working man.”

“the working man”!!!  Read the rest of this entry »

Shot in the Foot

January 31, 2009

Fucking Democrats.

Now Tom Daschle is running into trouble with his confirmation over unpaid taxes!  Another appointee with tax trouble.  All we need right now is to give the ornery House GOP an effective catch-phrase to demagogue the stimulus bill:

“It’s easier for the other side to advocate for higher taxes because you know what?” the minority whip asked.
“They don’t pay ’em!” the roomful of Republicans shouted back. (Politico)

ABC’s Jake Tapper has the scoop:

The nomination of former Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., to be President Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services has hit a traffic snarl on its way through the Senate Finance Committee.  The controversy deals with a car and driver lent to Daschle by a wealthy Democratic friend, a chauffeur service the former senator used for years without declaring it on his taxes…The Cadillac and driver were never part of Daschle’s official compensation package at InterMedia but Mr. Daschle — who as Senate majority leader enjoyed the use of a car and driver at taxpayer expense — didn’t declare their services on his income taxes, as tax laws require.

Apparently, this isn’t news to Team O:

During the vetting process to become HHS secretary, Daschle corrected the tax violation, voluntarily paying $101,943 in back taxes plus interest, working with his accountant to amend his tax returns for 2005 through 2007.

Hopefully that means we floated this to key players and got their assurances, along with making all the necessary amends, to minimize the damage of this thing.

It continues: Health care groups paid Daschle $220K

Awesomeness! (part IV)

January 30, 2009

I kinda really wanna buy this awesome Solar Tree when it becomes available (if it won’t cost me my firstborn).  It’s a very cool idea that allows you to fully customize the shape and design: for aesthetics, optimal sun-catch, or both.  It doesn’t seem so big as to be garish or tacky, and it has a certain futuristic, Matrixian elegance.  OK, that’s enough.

Why I’m Selling My Virginity

January 30, 2009

No doubt you’ve heard of her by now…But she’s explained herself in The Daily Beast.  I kinda dig her explanation.  I took some of these sorts of classes in school (*see below) and I think Ms. I-Really-Haven’t-Taken-Shaft-Yet might have some brains in her.

For me, valuing virginity as sacred is simply not a concept I could embrace. But valuing virginity monetarily—now that’s a concept I could definitely get behind. I no longer view the selling of sex as wrong or immoral—my time at college showed me that I had too blindly accepted such arbitrary norms. And for what it’s worth, the winning bid won’t necessarily be the highest—I get to choose.

Normally this quote would lead me to run and say this girl whored-about in college and learned it aint no sacred wafer, but…

Are they gonna verify she’s a V?  Whoever’s dropping paper to pierce that privacy purst better damn well make surrre she’s a V.  (Can any of my middle eastern Citizens weigh in?  What means are available for achieving virginity certitude?)

Read the rest of this entry »

Is 60 within reach??

January 30, 2009

The Obama administration has been floating the idea of naming Republican Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.) to be Commerce Secretary. 

Politico does the math:

Democrats “are delighted because it could mean they gain a pivotal seat.” Asked “whether he’d ever been offered the Commerce job, Gregg told Politico: ‘I am not at liberty to discuss that.'” Politico adds that “a White House official would say only that Obama “has not made a decision” about the Commerce job.” New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch “is a Democrat. If Gregg were to leave and Lynch were to appoint a Democrat in his place — and if Al Franken wins in Minnesota — the Democratic Party would suddenly control 60 seats in the Senate.”

 I wonder how this will all pan out.  I imagine the GOP will try their hardest to get him to stay, preventing the 60-seat, filibuster-breakin’, magic number.  But like, this may be Gregg’s dream job.  I hope hope hope…

Of course, the identity-politics-pander-parade is doing their best to derail this fucking GIFT.

Awesomeness! (part III)

January 30, 2009

hammerhead-radioWe just bought our second shower radio for Ye Olde Brooklyn Manor, after our $10 BB&Beyond unit busted on us (for shame: we went back to BB&B to cop an upgrade, saw none available, and bought another $10 piece in a diff. color.  Hey it’s working so far…).  This shark shower radio is pretttty cool.  I kinda really wish it would swim around though.

I only have one question for you…

January 30, 2009


This woodchopper…does not fuck around.

January 29, 2009

 Shamelessly pwning the whimpier trees of PapoWorld.