Friday, December 31, 2010

Johnny be bad

The band is Folding Sky, and the song is "Psycho Johnny". Just some fine R&B, y'all.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mighty big omlet

Remind me never to go to one of Scout Niblett's dinner parties ;).

This is 'Dinosaur Egg", off her album This Fool can Die Now. I can't really recommend the album, it's rather uneven, unlike her new album The Calcination of Scout Niblett which is just brilliant... but this song is amusing :).

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


The Kills, "Last Day of Magic" off their 2008 album Midnight Boom.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Luxury accomodations

When penguins migrate during mid-summer that happens to be mid-winter in the northern hemisphere, sometimes they happen upon accomodations that are a bit more... luxurious... than they were planning on... - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


The Breeders, "Safari", off their 1992 EP by that same name. Even mediocre music from the 90's makes the sh*t you hear on the radio today sound like sh*t. But that's okay. As you've seen from other videos I've posted this year, there's plenty of good music being made by youngsters today... you just won't hear it on the radio.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Monday, December 27, 2010


This is arguably my favorite Sonic Youth song. 1) Kim Gordon doesn't attempt to sing (she can't sing), but rather sort of recites the lyrics. That's the only way she sounds halfway decent. 2) A very cute Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill, Le Tigre) is dancing around with the band (she's the black-haired girl with pigtails). 3) The instrumentation is noisy, but not noise for the sake of noise, it actually makes sense musically. 4) The lyrics are suitably sexily inscrutable :). This is "Bull in the Heather", off of Sonic Youth's 1994 album Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A cycle of life

Thurston Moore, "Silver Blue", off his 2007 solo album Trees Outside The Academy. Thurston is of course best known as lead guitar for the band Sonic Youth... but this was a damn fine album and well worth owning (yes, I own it).

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Saturday, December 25, 2010


And just in time for Christmas, a great new album for you to run out and hear!

-- Badtux the Snarky Music Penguin

Just continuing my Lady Gaga Christmas music tradition ;).

Keeping tabs on dangerous terrorist

From: NSA HQ, Ft. Meade
To: All operatives
Re: New terrorist threat to monitor

It has come to our attention that there is a new terrorist leader at large. This terrorist leader calls for opposition to war, redistributing wealth, and tolerance of deviancy. His birthday is celebrated today, so expect terrorist babble on all channels. Please keep an eye out for any indication of terrorist attacks.

This terrorist: "Jesus H. Christ" -- is to be considered armed and dangerous. Please do not confuse him with his distant relative, "Jesus $ Christ", who is a patriotic American who supports our nation's military and believes that being rich is a sign of godliness.

There are rumors that Jesus H. Christ has been executed by a foreign government. Currently we consider those rumors spurious, given that terrorist organizations are still sharing missives authored by this terror leader.

Update: A new missive has been intercepted:

Why did he come?

In his own words:

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." (Luke 4:18-19, NRSV)

As we rejoice this Christmas at the coming of the Christ Child, may we also reflect on God's gentle reminder:
There are still poor.
There are still captives.
There are still blind.
There are still oppressed.
And for millions, no year of the Lord's favor has come to forgive the crushing burden of debt and poverty.

Exult with us as we celebrate the Child in the manger, who came that we might have abundant life.

And pray with us as we remember how much there is still to do.

Warmest blessings to you at Christmas.
National Council of Churches USA

We have passed this message up through channels and DHS is responding immediately to this terrorist threat to our shared American values of war, torture, oppression, and accumulation of wealth and material goods. More as the situation develops.

-- HQ

-- This was originally posted by me on December 25, 2005. Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

Or Festivus, or Winter Solstice, or just a day off from work. Whatever.

-- Badtux the Festive Penguin

Friday, December 24, 2010

What I spent today doin'

Over at Moto-Tux, I redneck-fix a broken motor mount on my Jeep.

-- Badtux the Wrenchin' Penguin

Furry nose warmer

Mencken doesn't like TMF -- heck, Mencken doesn't like *anybody*, his typical attitude is "eh, go away" -- but he's not loathe to use TMF as a furry nose warmer...

-- Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin

Before the Lady

A dark-haired Italian girl by the name of Stephanie Germanotta signed with Interscope and recorded an EP. The label declined to release it and dropped her instead, she pressed a few copies and sold them at her much-less-than-sold-out live shows. At some point she relabeled herself Lady Gaga...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Continuing my Christmas Eve tradition of a Stephanie Germanotta song.

An instructional video

Please pay attention, this instructional video has important information in it for the upcoming holiday season. Especially if you intend to deal with crowds in the mall tomorrow:

Hey, looks just like the crowd at the mall outside that window, right?

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Quote of the day

Me: "Grandma's biscuits were stout. Not quite dwarven battle bread, but definitely nothing light or fluffy about them, one of those biscuits with some gravy over it was pretty much a meal. But oh so good."

Bryan: "Sounds like those biscuits will stick to your ribs, if they don’t break them."

-- Badtux the Amused Penguin


One of the strangest covers of a Paul Simon song that I've ever encountered. The Bangles cover "A Hazy Shade of Winter". I recall vividly when this video first hit MTV, I was, like, "wha? They're girls, and they're rocking a PAUL SIMON song?!" I don't know if they do it well, but they certainly do it... enthusiastically :).

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Jury Nullification and the Drug War

In Montana, a jury could not be seated because every potential juror said they wouldn't convict on a charge of possession of a few buds of marijuana.

The general notion of juries refusing to convict on laws they don't agree with is called jury nullification, and sends judges into a dither and gets you a charge of contempt of court and some jail time if you dare mention it in a court of law. If you Google the term "jury nullification", you will find a number of Libertopian web sites arguing that jury nullification is the "last defense" against unjust laws.

The problem is, who decides what's an unjust law? In the American South prior to modern days (and sometimes even in modern days), a white man could literally murder a black man with impunity, because the all-white jury pools of the day viewed a conviction of murder for killing a black man to be unjust. The general view in the South was that killing a black man was more like killing a dog -- something that was unfortunate but which should be punished at most with a fine and a few weeks jail time, not by sending a white man to the electric chair. The whole notion of convicting a white man of murder when the white man killed a black man was considered absurd and a tyrannical imposition of an unjust law upon the Southern people.

So it's clear, from our own nation's history, that "jury nullification" creates miscarriages of justice when a member of the majority harms a minority with impunity because juries refuse to uphold the law. In short, the Libertopian notion that jury nullification would produce justice might apply in their Libertopia where unicorns are real and cotton candy grows on trees, but in our universe allowed the KKK to murder blacks with impunity. That is why "jury nullification" became verbotten -- it harmed minorities. Of course, the same might be said of the *current* system too...

-- Badtux the Legal Penguin


Mazzy Star, "Hair and Skin", off of Flowers in December. This particular version was a live version done in France. I like it better than the album version for some reason...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

I got nothin'

Go read a Christmas story. And remember: Kenny Loggins is watching.

-- Badtux the Busy Penguin

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Organ donor

This was a Canadian girl band named The Organ, with their song "Let The Bells Ring". Unfortunately they got screwed over by their Canadian label, which wouldn't let them sign a contract in the U.S., and in disgust they broke up. In retaliation their label has threatened to sue the individual members of the band if they ever record anything again. Just your typical music business mafia, pissing on the talent and then wondering why MySpace has more interesting music than they do...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Monday, December 20, 2010

Vaguely distressing

Cousin Tappy, what in the world are you doing hangin' around on a Christmas Tree? You been in the sauce again?!

-- Badtux the Irreverent Penguin

Obama to embrace the Catfood Commission

... supposedly will propose cuts in Social Security in his State of the Union address.

Now, granted, this is from The Politico, which is run by a GOP political consultant. The fact that even they say that the notion is entirely nuts, however, is telling. If Orange Boner and Jim McDumber aren't jumping up and down with glee at the very notion of Obama doing their work for them, it's only because they're dumber than a stump.

Meanwhile, as a public service for tomorrow's retirees, who will be so impoverished by Obama's Catfood Commission that they can't even afford catfood as a source of high quality protein, another recipe....

Rat Etoufee

You'll need about two rats per person.

Get a large stock pot. Clean and skin the rats and rub them down with a seasoning mix of salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, thyme, and a dash of cumin. Put them inside the pot. Cut up a couple of carrots and thow them in. Quarter an onion and slice a full bulb of garlic (7 or 8 cloves) in half, germ and all, and put them in the pot. Now pour enough Bock beer into the pot to go about half way up the sides of the rats. Bring to a boil and reduce to a slow simmer. Cover pot and cook, turning the rats and refilling the beer about every 20 minutes. You will know the rats are done when the meat comes off the bones without too much effort.

Take the rats out and pick the meat from the bones. Return the *bones* to the pot and cover with water. Simmer for 2 hours, then remove and strain the liquid into a container. Finely chop a small onion, a stalk of celery and a bell pepper. Now take a large cast iron skillet and heat a cup of peanut oil to medium high heat. With a wire wisk, slowly wisk in 1 cup of flour. Continue wisking, without stopping, until the roux turns a dark reddish brown color (if you burn it, start over). Add the chopped veggies and mix in until soft. Add the rat stock (about a cup per person) and stir well until somewhat thick (like a glaze). Chop up the rat meat and add it to the skillet. Cook for a few minues longer and serve on top of rice. Garnish with Louisiana Hot Sauce.

-- Badtux the Culinary Futurist Penguin

What fortune?

P.J. Harvey, "Good Fortune".

- Badtux the Music Penguin

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quick Hits

  • Michelle Bachmann on the Intelligence Committee is like Shakes the Clown on the Sobriety Committee.
  • Ladies -- skinny jeans might be the latest fashion, but a) if you're fat, don't. Just don't. You look like a sausage stuffed into a too-tight skin. b) If you're over the age of 30, don't. Just don't. You don't look cool, you just look desperate (and part (a) applies here too, most women have accumulated enough muscle and fat by age 30 that they look like a sausage if they try stuffing themselves into these things).
  • The same applies to tights.
  • The exception to the above is East Asian women. For some reason, East Asian women of all ages, even chunky ones, really rock the short skirt, tights and big boots look.
  • Girls -- you look really cute wearing ski caps or baseball caps. Rooowwwrr!
  • Dudes -- you look like either thugs or dorks wearing ski caps or baseball caps. Booooo!
  • There was space to park on the top three decks of the 5-story west parking garage at Valley Fair Mall yesterday, and traffic was heavy but not outrageously so for a Saturday. If the last weekend before Christmas at one of the premier shopping destinations in San Jose looks like just an ordinary Saturday, people expecting retailers to produce huge numbers this Christmas season are smokin' too much crack. Just sayin'.
  • For that matter, even Wal-mart wasn't all that crowded yesterday. Not to mention that their inventory is way down from past years, there's a lot of empty space where there used to be shelves. Folks who say that shoppers are simply going downscale and that's why Valley Fair (an upscale mall) wasn't crowded yesterday are smoking some *especially* nasty crack, yo.
  • Okay, we needed rain, but this past few days has been ridiculous. That "sun" thingy seems to have gone into hiding...
And that's it for now.

-- Badtux the Shopaholic Penguin

Santa Claus and money share a common trait...

They aren't real.

Yesterday I mentioned the fact that money is toilet paper with pictures of dead people on it. Santa Claus is fiction. So is the notion that money has actual value. No. Money has no intrinsic value other than as butt paper. What has real value is what you *buy* with money -- the food and housing and clothing and transportation and other nice things like this computer that make your life better. Which is why money which is stuffing your mattress essentially doesn’t exist as far as the economy is concerned — if it’s not being used to buy something, it’s not doing what money was designed to do, which was to allow an economy to operate in a more efficient way than barter (where the chain of barters needed to, say, build a PC, would be so outrageously long as to be basically impossible).

So anyhow, as I've pointed out, we're in monetary deflation right now -- fewer dollars circulating in the economy. And I’ll tell you a little secret: Without inflation, CAPITALISM DOES NOT WORK, because money turns into mattress stuffing and the economy is starved of the tokens (“money”) it needs to do the trades needed to build stuff.. And right now, capitalism is the most efficient way we know of to create wealth (that is, actual *stuff*, like cars and solar panels and power windmills and such, not toilet paper with pictures of dead people), and this wealth (*stuff*) makes our life a whole lot easier than it was 100 years ago.

So anyhow, inflation says, “if you keep this money under your mattress, it will lose value.” So people don’t. They invest it in stuff, or in businesses to make stuff, or otherwise use it for economic activity that in general makes life a lot more pleasant for us than it was for our great-great-great grandparents. So now you know why inflation is necessary for capitalism to work, and why, if the Federal Reserve was to purchase the entire next issue of U.S. Treasuries in order to print money, I wouldn't have the slightest qualm about it. The entire U.S. deficit is only 6% of GDP, so if *every* Treasury over the next year was purchased by the Federal Reserve, we'd have 6% inflation. We've had 6% inflation in the past. It didn't destroy the nation. And besides, nobody is suggesting that the Fed monetize the *entire* Federal debt, just that it's possible if necessary. "Deficit hawks" are dodo birds. Just sayin'.

- Badtux the Capitalist Penguin

Not the model...

This is a band called Nico Vega, which has absolutely nobody named Nico in it. This one is named "Iron Man". It's off their self-titled debut album, which came out last year. I'm going to have to listen to them some more to see what else they have that's good.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Saturday, December 18, 2010

That old "China debt" nonsense

So some apocalyptic Austrian types are still whining about how many U.S. Treasuries China holds and how this makes us somehow beholden to China. Err.... no.

Our debt to China is denominated in dollars. We can get out from under our debt from China by simply having the Federal Reserve print freshly minted $100 bills and flying pallets of them to Beijing. It’s called the PRINTING PRESS. I realize that, to the Austrian mind, the printing press is some newfangled invention that isn't ever gong to catch on, but the Federal Reserve has some mighty fine printing presses -- why, some of their printing presses don't even need *paper*, they create money by simply moving zeros and ones in computer data registers that represent bank account balances! Whoa! What a concept!

China knows this, which is why it’s been diversifying its investment portfolio away from Treasuries recently. But since our grifter class (oops, “upper class”) has been buying the Treasuries instead because their mattresses are already overstuffed, that hasn’t resulted in any problems finding buyers for Treasuries… much the contrary, Treasuries are so hot a commodity right now as a mattress substitute that in some cases they’re selling for *NEGATIVE* interest!

It always amuses me that people forget that money is just toilet paper with pictures of dead people on it. Real wealth is the stuff you *buy* with money (which is the whole point of money, remember? As a token to make trade -- buying and selling -- easier). We have the stuff China sold us. China has the toilet paper, whole piles of it, which they're holding onto as if it's actually worth something. Who, indeed, is the sucker here?

- Badtux the Monetary Penguin

Into the sun

Howling Bells, "Setting Sun", off of their self-titled debut album. Sort of a torchy dream pop. I understand they just recorded a new album in Las Vegas, will be interesting to see what that's like.

Howling Bells is, BTW, a bunch of Aussies. Just in case you were wondering what Juanita Stein's accent is.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fundamental change

Bryan over at Why Now reminds us that today is the 107th anniversary of the 1st manned flight at Kitty Hawk.

My grandmother was born when the nearest city, 50 miles away, was an all-day trip on muddy roads via horse and wagon, lighting was kerosene lamps, heat and cooking was wood stoves, the bathroom was an outhouse, the running water was what you pulled out of the well with a bucket and a rope, the refrigerator was a large ceramic jug dropped into the well at the end of a rope, dinner was whatever you had harvested, and sausage was what you made in your own smokehouse from slaughtering one of your own pigs. Medical treatments for most diseases read as, “send home with palliative treatment to die” and graveyards were full of tiny little graves that read “Baby Smith” or “Baby Page” or “Baby Taylor”, where starvation was an ever-present threat only one bad harvest away. She went peacefully in her sleep with the Internet, space travel, big-screen TV’s, and modern medicine, where childhood mortality from disease was rare and starvation in America almost unheard of.

I think of what kind of progress children born in the 70′s will see in their time, and I feel sad. They were already born with man having reached the moon, and nothing done in outer space since then has matched that peak. Cars and aircraft are more fuel-efficient, quieter, faster, and more powerful, but those are marginal improvements on already-existing inventions. The Internet, which hit its stride in their mid-20′s, certainly was an innovation, but it’s pretty much the only real innovation of the past forty years (by real innovation, I mean one that changes how people live — by that standard, big-screen tv’s aren’t real innovation, since they’re merely an improvement upon an already-existing technology that doesn’t fundamentally change how people live). And given that things seem to be pretty much winding down, I doubt we’ll see any other real improvement… it’s all downhill from here, bay-bee.

We live in sad times. Our grandparents could exult in the march of progress, even if their own life was hard at times they could be confident that progress would help make their lives easier and more productive over time and that their own children would have an even easier and more productive life, assuming that nobody blew up the planet with nukes. But our own children… it looks like things are going the other way for them.

- Badtux the Reverse Progress Penguin

see more Lolcats and funny pictures


What happens to the former friends of the newly-wealthy or newly-famous? And what happens to the newly-wealthy or newly-famous, do they change too?

Emmy the Great, "On the Museum Island", from her excellent album First Love. Which *still* doesn't have an American label. Luckily iTunes exists...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Uneven posting for next two weeks

Nanute posted a comment below (or tried to, Blogger ate it, but I retrieved it) that I want to respond to, but I've been Christmas shopping and then I'll be doing some traveling for a while. So if you post a comment that seems insightful and I don't respond, or if I skip a few days here and there (music videos will still appear), it's not that I'm ignoring you, I'm just either busy or in some place (like a skinny aluminum tube) that has no Internet.

-- Badtux the Life Penguin

House approves tax hikes for poor

Tax hike for poor, tax cut for rich, passes House 277-144. It now goes to Obama's office for final signing. Which will happen. Of course.

The average worker in the bottom quintile will see his taxes raised by around $300 thanks to the elimination of the "Making Work Pay" tax credit. The average person in the top 1% will see his taxes cut by over $130,000.

So in essence Congress, crying crocodile tears all the way about how they "had" to pass this thing because that mean, mean Obama "gave them no choice", just voted to transfer yet *more* wealth from workers to grifters. Because that's what our elites are -- grifters. They don't create wealth, they simply profit from the wealth created by their workers, the people who actually create the "stuff" they sell or provide the services they sell. All they do is sit there at the top of the money pyramid rubbing their hands together and gloating about how much better they are than those folks who actually get their hands dirty assembling cars, flying planes (which is a minimum wage job for the regional airlines now), and so forth... the people without whom they'd have *nothing*, because they make nothing, create nothing, do nothing except take the wealth that other people create and accumulate it for themselves.

-- Badtux the Worker Penguin

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Saving? How?

So here's my puzzlement. The Republicans want us all to save for our retirement, rather than pay Social Security taxes. They claim that if we save for our retirement, we'll come out ahead.

Now, my question is: What kind of crack are these motherfuckers smoking?

See, here's the thing. I can put my money into a passbook savings account for at 0.8% interest -- at a time when producer prices are rising much faster, meaning that my money is actually losing value. Or I can put it into the gambling exchange oops stock market and earn an average of -1.8% over the past nine years since the stock market crash of 2001. Fuck, I'd be better off putting it under my mattress than doing that. Or... what?

The basic problem, savings-wise, is that us ordinary peons don't have access to the rigged markets that the wealthy use in order to transfer wealth from peons to, well, them. We can't buy foreclosed properties for cash to use as income properties the way the rich do because, well, we're not rich. We effectively have no real savings mechanism other than banks, and banks, well, they aren't exactly the most reliable or renumerative of mechanisms.

So why not use the government as our bank? Republicans are fond of saying that Social Security is a transfer program. I give up some of my current spending so that a retired person can spend. Yep, a transfer program. But: SAVINGS IS A TRANSFER PROGRAM TOO. If all retirement funding is via bank savings, I pay my funds into the bank, the bank then moves that money to retirees, and we're in exactly the same situation -- all that's happened is that a bank, rather than a government agency, moved the money. But yet it still moves.

So from an economic point of view, there is no (zero) difference between "saving" for retirment using a bank, and "saving" for a retirement via a government agency. Well, other than that using a bank or IRA or other such instruments gives the grifters who run our country more opportunities to steal our money, of course, as they did when they invested trillions of our dough in those bogus AAA-rated mortgage-backed securites that they *knew* were bogus because the price of housing had risen far beyond traditional rent-income ratios...

And that's the bottom line: Republican attacks upon Social Security are basically them trying to steal more of our money. Just what you'd expect from a political party that has become more corrupt than Democrats in their wildest dreams ever managed. (As an aside, how much do you bet that this asshole who put a No Negros Allowed sign in his business's window is a Republican?).

-- Badtux the "They're crooks" Penguin

What *not* to say to your girlfriend

In a store: Asian girl shrugs out of a brown jacket as her Anglo boyfriend stands in front of her.
Girl: I don't like it
Boy: Put it back on! You look cute in it. It makes you look thin!

Somebody's not getting lucky this evening :).

-- Badtux the Easily Amused Penguin


The Walkabouts (Chris and Carla), "A Life full of Holes" off of their 1995 album by the same name. Sadly, the only place to get the album is from the German publisher, or as an import via No iTunes, no American publication. Siiiigh.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

The fur-bearin' sharks

I no longer feed my kittehs. Instead, this... thing... does: It gives them carefully measured meals three times per day. And they hates, hates, HATES it because now all their pestering of me means... nothing. They may howl, purr-bomb, wind around my feet in figure 8's, pat my cheeks with their paws while I'm trying to sleep, the works, but they get fed when the *machine* wants, so their diet remains their diet! Bwahahaha!

TMF, BTW, is down to 15 pounds now. Downright svelte for that fat tubba lard... so I'm going to up the feed rate slightly now. Maybe he won't be looking at me so hungrily after that ;).

-- Badtux the Cat-torturing(*) Penguin

(*) Hey, a diet *is* torture. I know that first-hand, the hard way!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Six years ago today...

... the Chimperer had just been elected to his second term of office, after John Kerry ran the worst Presidential campaign since Michael Dukakis. And I started up this blog with a bang, writing a well-footnoted post about a journalist destroyed by the CIA in 1996 for exposing government wrong-doing.

And today, six years later, here I am again, writing about a publisher -- Julian Assange of Wikileaks -- that once again made the mistake of telling the truth, and once again the government is trying to destroy him -- this time with rape charges that don't hold water -- and once again pointing out that we have free speech only when we speak in government-approved ways here in America. I can write this blog because my speech is approved speech -- it is speech that allows me to vent, but which does not allow me to change anything about how America is run or inconvenience those in power in any way. Julian Assagne's crime is that of inconveniencing those in power by showing the world diplomatic cables proving that they are moral-less, venal, and vicious.

Of course, there is one big difference between 1996 and 2010: the Internet has grown up. Today when newspapers of record attempt to destroy someone, the cyber-libertarian left, cool geek toys/geek culture bloggers, and people like Michael Moore can react in real-time rather than having to wait weeks or months for conventional publication. If this was still 1996, Assange would have been deported to Sweden by now, then would have been deported on an unmarked aircraft to a black prison run by the CIA somewhere in Eastern Europe, and that would be the end of it all. Instead, he's out on bail, and stands a good chance of at worst serving a few weeks in jail if he does end up deported to Sweden, rather than disappeared, because there's too many people watching.

Will that be enough? We'll see. I'll just point out that the oligarchy has a pretty good record when it comes to destroying journalists that they don't want publishing the truth. And lest you say "Watergate!" and "Pentagon papers!", those were factions within the oligarchy, i.e., a significant percentage of the oligarchy wanted those published. But Assange's reveal of the sheer droll venality of our ruling class is something that none of them want published -- thus why they're trying their best to play whack-a-mole with Wikileaks (which, BTW, is back up at its original site after Michael Moore paid for new DNS hosting, though it immediately redirects to a Russian Wikileaks mirror at the moment).

And as it was six years ago, so it is today. The only thing to remember about history is that it repeats itself... but only as long as we let it. I just find it... interesting... that I posted about a journalist driven to suicide six years ago, and now the U.S. is trying to do the exact same thing to another journalist. Freedom! U S A! U S A! Fuck yeah!

-- Badtux the Free Speech Penguin

Recoil, "Breath Control", off of the album Liquid. Recoil is Alan Wilder (formerly of Depeche Mode) and various guest artists. The singer here is Nicole Blackman, a New York performance artist who specializes in spoken word...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Producer price hikes during monetary deflation

Okay, as Jazzbumpa has repeatedly pointed out on his fine blog, as as I've pointed out from time to time here, we're actually in monetary *deflation* right now. That is, the supply of money has shrunk, first because the housing crisis made money go POOF into thin air (i.e., bank reserves suddenly ceased to exist because the assets backing them up ceased to exist), and then because people started stuffing money under mattresses (or, rather, banks started shoveling it into the Fed as reserves), essentially removing it from the economy.

As I've previously pointed out, wages and prices are sticky during deflation. They may decline over time, but they decline much slower than the money supply because a) businesses won't voluntarily sell product for less than it takes to make them, and b) businesses instead voluntarily decrease their volume to match the diminished amount of money available in the economy for buying things, and cut their costs to match their decreased volume by laying off their least productive workers -- making their fewer remaining more-productive workers individually more valuable to the company and thus certainly not getting a pay *cut* because if they leave, they're basically irreplaceable (since every other company only laid off their least productive workers too -- meaning that all you can find on the market is less productive workers than what you have). Thus wage stickiness.

The end result is less economic activity. We can measure this by looking at utilization of manpower. At the peak of the economy, real unemployment was around 8%. Today it is around 18%. What this indicates is that around 10% of the money in the economy has gone poof -- bye-bye, adios, amigos -- and that economic activity as a whole as accordingly declined as output was reduced to match the amount of money that actually exists in the economy.

So we're in monetary deflation -- less money in the economy -- and -- wait. Okay, so we have wage and price *stickiness*, but look, over there, there's actual price *hikes* in some things!

You track the source of these price hikes down, and it is almost entirely producer price hikes being passed along to consumers (because, remember, companies will *not* sell for less than it cost to make the item, and if a producer of a commodity they need to produce the item has increased, they have to pass it along or they become a *former* business). So how does this happen?

Well, we can look at an example. Let's look at the fictitious Anaconda Copper Mine. This mine has about $200 million in debt that was taken on in order to fund its construction. The interest on this debt constitutes the vast majority of its operating costs, because the mine is heavily automated and only 20 or so people are working at the mine at any point in time. These people earn maybe $20K a year because the Anaconda is in a depressed area (as are most mines). So figure $1M in salaries and benefits, and $20M in debt payments, per year.

So anyhow, at full production at current prices, the mine brings in $25M per year. That gives enough money to service the debt plus pay wages plus make a nice little profit. But now the economy has slipped into monetary deflation and the demand for copper has slipped badly that we would only bring in $15M per year.

Well, if we only bring in $15M this year because the demand for copper has fallen by 40% due to the slow economy, we're out of business. So: We cut costs -- we lay off 50% of our workforce -- but that only saves us $500K because we're capital-intensive, not labor-intensive. Out of desperation we raise our prices by 40%, which gets us to $21M per year -- or break-even for our mine.

Now, remember, the cost structure of basically *all* producers in a given industry was pretty much equal to begin with, because of the simple realities of business (if anybody was less leveraged they would have taken on more debt to expand and grab market share from other competitors, and the less efficient producers have already been weeded out via normal economic competition). So individually, *every* producer of copper is arriving at this same decision. And thus, voila, copper rises 40% in price -- despite there being less money in the economy!

In general: During monetary deflation that causes a decline in demand, prices of capital-intensive resources will increase in order to cover the cost of capital. If producers do not cover their cost of capital, they become *former* producers. Rather than have that happen, they raise their prices.

Now, the above is assuming a competitive environment where there is no speculative trading going on. There's a different mechanism going on right now in the oil business that's causing the current spike in oil prices (because world demand for oil has *not* gone down). But I'll talk about that later.

So anyhow: You go into your grocery store and look at the price of food. Has it gone up? Perhaps. If demand for food has gone down (because fewer people can afford to buy it), *farming* is, today, a capital-intensive business. Your average wheat farm employs a half-dozen people max but has millions in capital equipment and land that must be paid for. So expect to pay more for bread, and milk, and anything else that's produced via capital-intensive (vs. labor-intensive) methods. Because, paradoxically, that's the effect of deflation upon capital -- it makes capital more expensive, and, thus, those products which are produced by capital become more expensive too as a factor of leverage.

PS: Yes, I can model producer prices mathematically and show you exactly what, say, a 10% drop in demand would do for the price of bread given a particular leverage factor and labor factor. But it's late, I'm not interested enough right now, and frankly I just wish the folks we're *paying* to be economists would do it rather than continue their incessant nattering about ideological nonsense that has nothing to do with the realities of running a business in a capitalist society.

-- Badtux the Economics Penguin

How did he know?!

Leonard Cohen, The Future, off his album by the same name. Which was released almost 20 years ago, yet describes today so well...

How did he know!? Dude is a prophet, I tell ya...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

No people, no problem

Mitt Romney's plan for dealing with unemployment. Because if the unemployed don't get unemployment benefits and become homeless and starve to death, then they're no longer unemployed, so we don't have an unemployment problem anymore.

Somewhere, Stalin's ghost is smiling.

-- Badtux the Sovok Penguin

Monday, December 13, 2010

Why the snarklets?

I've been promising a long economics post like, well, for a couple of weeks now. Why the snarklets rather than the long post, then?

Frankly, I've just been busy. There was holiday stuff. There was Toys for Tots, a holiday party, decorating, and such. There was the grande rearrangement of my living quarters (which BTW is working out quite well). There was the refrigerator fiasco. There was getting my iPad set up for Jeeputer use. And now preparations for an upcoming camping trip, where I have at least two evenings more work to do there getting everything ready.

Never fear, though. The posts from the iPad were to prove that I could post blog postings from the road even when I had no computer with me, and I've queued up plenty of music videos (until well into the new year), of which many are interesting and unique...

-- Badtux the Busy Penguin

Welcome, comrades!

A fond welcome to a new Communist magazine, comrades! This Communist magazine did a survey and found that 70% of those polled supported higher taxes on Wall Street, especially higher taxes on bonuses for executives of bailed-out firms. Clearly this magazine only surveyed fellow Communists, not good upstanding capitalist Americans, who surely would never support higher taxes on the rich because, well, that's Communist, right, comrade?

Oh, the name of this new Communist publication? Urm... Bloomberg News. And the people surveyed were a statistically random sample of Americans.

Hmm... by the definition of the Weeper of the House (Boehner) and the Weeper of the Tube (Glenn Beck), that makes 70% of Americans... COMMUNISTS? Welcome, comrades! Let us build a worker's paradise here in Soviet America, da?

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

That new dance craze...


Yessiree, this is a song by The Weasels about our latest political dance craze, the Teabag. Take one step right, and another step right, and another step right, and circle right around! Fun for all the morons in your life, yesirree!

Hey, we're all doing it anyhow, whether we want to or not, so might as well put it to music, yo.

- Badtux the Snarky Music Penguin

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Festive Jeep

Ok, so the neighbor has a festively decorated house. But does he have a festively decorated Jeep? NO! Only the Tuxjeep is decorated on my block!

YouTube Video

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Spy vs. Spy

Kaki King's latest album, Junior, is more of a conventional rock effort than her previous albums. This one is "The Betrayer", the first song off the album. And I don't care what Kaki says about how she's "just learning", she can fucking play that guitar, yo. And if I was a woman, and I was a lesbian, I'd be in serious lust for Kaki. I am not, alas, either, so some woman's going to be a lucky woman. (Yes, Kaki's lesbian. It ain't exactly a secret).

- Badtux the Music Penguin

Hey, I *said* I was going to put something up that rocked a bit more than yesterdays' effort, didn't I?

Worn-out welcome

Westboro Baptist Church has made a lot of friends in Oklahoma. So many friends that the police force in McAlester, OK turned out en masse to make sure that the tires on Westboro's van weren't slashed again.

Don't think it's because they like Westboro, though. Rather, to quote assistant Police Chief Darrell Miller, "We want these people out of here as soon as possible.” Which is hard to do with slashed tires.

Bwhahah! Even religious nutcases like Oklahoma can't stand the Westboro nutters. Talk about folks who unite America the way no other folks ever have!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

The Obamapublican Plan

Preznit Hopey Changey is shocked, shocked I say, that his base hates his giveaway to the rich. Looking at the graph above (courtesy of DKos), I have NO idea why he would be so shocked....

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Brotherly Love

Awe, Mencken and TMF look so adorable and cuddly and in love. In reality the only thing they love about each other is their heat, and they arrived at an uneasy truce to share it. Usually their encounters involve much howling and hissing...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

The porno scanners don't work

Turns out that just molding the plastic explosives to look like part of your body will fool the scanner. And apparently this has been known since the beginning.

So why are we using this anyhow? Well.... a) The folks making the scanner bribed the TSA (via the offer of high-paying jobs after the folks who made the decision leave the TSA), b) it gets people used to getting strip-searched at airports, and to the authoritarians who run the TSA watching the sheeple submit to indignity without protest always makes them hard, and c) now that it's proven they don't work, now something *else* can be bought that will make some oligarch richer.

So it goes, in the Soviet States of America...

-- Badtux the Sovok Penguin

Saturday, December 11, 2010

In the dark

Kathleen Edwards, "Scared At Night".

I seem to be on a folk/Americana jag at the moment. Guess that means I need go do something that rawks more next...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Yes, it's a refrigerator

The Mighty Fang appears to find it tasty...

Now that I Google that brand name, I find out that I just bought a Chinese-made refrigerator :(. Oh well, at least the various hard parts (thermostat, defrost timer, etc.) are generic parts -- the defrost timer, for example, is identical to the one that was in the Whirlpool that was hauled away.

-- Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin

Friday, December 10, 2010

The definition of "unsustainable"

Top 1% of U.S. taxpayers earn more income than entire bottom 50% of U.S. taxpayers.

Where is the possibility of a thriving middle class in that simple fact? Simple: There isn't any. That sort of concentration of wealth in the hands of a few has no place for a middle class. And a nation without a middle class is not sustainable -- without a broad and prosperous middle class, a nation is unable to build the supply of human capital needed to foster innovation and economic growth, because poor people lack access to the resources -- both educational and capital -- needed to innovate.

And of course let's not forget the plight of the working poor either -- the only constituency whose taxes go up under the Obama plan. I suppose the next step is to give the bottom 40% of the American people only 3/5ths of a vote apiece. It's not as if there isn't precedent after all. Slaves shouldn't have the same right to vote as the rest of us, right? Right?!

Sadly, the American people keep voting back into office the same corrupt assholes who defend this kind of bullshit, time after time. If futility is defined as doing the same thing multiple times and expecting a different outcome, the American voter's behavior is the ultimate in futility. Continually casting your vote for the most corrupt asshole, rather than carefully researching the candidates' views and background and voting for the best candidate, gets you this -- a nation that is spinning out of control, and which isn't going to come out of this tailspin until it utterly crashes into utter national disaster. 30 years. Max. That's all the U.S. has left, and given the utter stupidity of the average American, who keeps voting for the same corrupt cretins over and over again, I see no hope that this could be reversed. There simply is no "there" there in the average American's cretinous inbred incurious anti-intellectual holy roller Bible-babbling "mind" (in quotes, because repeating talking points handed down to you by religious figures as if they meant anything isn't a "mind", fuck, parrots can do that!).

As JazzBumpa is so fond of saying, WASF. I am glad I have no children or grandchildren who will be affected by the collapse. If you do... leave. There is no stopping this downbound train.

-- Badtux the Gloomy Penguin

The prize

Sharon Van Etten, "Consolation Prize". If she's playing an electric guitar, can she be folk? Or something else? In any event, the young lady can sing, and she can write interesting songs, and she ain't bad to look at either. Which is why this video has a whole 1124 views as of me posting this...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Thursday, December 09, 2010

A joke

Q: What do you call someone who speaks three languages?
A: Trilingual.
Q: What do you call someone who speaks two languages?
A: Bilingual.
Q: What do you call someone who speaks one language?
A: American.

Americans are probably the most parochial people on the planet, other than subsistence farmers in 3rd world countries or isolated primitive tribesmen in the depths of the jungle. The majority of Europeans have passports and have travelled to a foreign country, for example -- 77% of Brits have a passport. The number of Americans who have a passport? 22%. The number of those who've actually used it? Well, I don't have any numbers on that, but I suspect maybe half of those.

What that means is less than 1/4th of Americans have even experienced *Canada*, much less truly foreign cultures. Don't give me that "but there's no foreign nations nearby!" bullshit, Mexico and Canada are *right there*. The deal is, Americans don't feel they need to travel. Because, after all, America is number one, yada yada yada, wave the red white and blue fuck yeah, and if you feel you're God's chosen people, why would you want to visit all those lesser peoples?

Of course, thing is, America is swiftly moving into 3rd world status, to the point where most California hospitals would have to close their doors if it weren't for all the Filipino nurses that they're hiring. That is a fact which apparently rankles a lot of the American-born nurses and administrators at one hospital, Delano Regional Medical Center near Bakersfield Oklahoma oops California (my bad, same people in both places, Okies) ... to the point where, upset that the Filipinos were talking amongst themselves in Filipino rather than English, they passed a rule prohibiting speaking Filipino while on the clock.

The hospital's response? "The rule is essential for providing quality patient care." Errm, if we're talking about medical communications, perhaps. But apparently the rule went far beyond that and prohibited them from speaking Filipino for things not medical communications. Because gosh darn it, how dare those wogs speak a language that we don't understand! Why, they might be making fun of us! Those wogs just need to grow up and speak the only language that everybody should know, God's own language, the language that the Bible was written in, English. Yessiree, gotta keep the darkies in their place, y'know... we might depend upon them to change our nappies and keep us from goin' commando (since Americans can't even make their own undies anymore -- helpful darkies in El Salvador and Vietnam do that duty), but that's only proper, because everybody knows that darkies are only fit to be servants, right? Right?!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Elephant memory

Elephant Revival with their song "Ring around the moon". They're broadly lumped into the genre "Americana" because of their instrumentation -- if you have a banjo but you're not playing 90 million miles per hour you're not bluegrass, right? So be it. I just call it "music".

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

OMG Caribou Barbie killed Rudolph!

Reindeer and caribou are the same species. Which is why it's hilarious that Sarah "Caribou Barbie" Palin thinks that killing a caribou (very messily and in a way that shows she's not familiar with guns or hunting) will somehow endear herself with the American people. OMG, she killed Donner or Dasher or Blitzen! What next, she goes Santa-hunting?

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Well, CRAP!

My refrigerator just died. It's sitting there with the fans running, there's a click and it makes a humming noise for a few seconds, then it clicks and the only sound is the fans.

Anybody know a good refrigerator repair type in the San Jose / Santa Clara CA area?

-- Badtux the Foodless Penguin

* (well, not quite, I have plenty of non-refrigerated food, but everything in the fridge is likely to be a total loss.)

Odd things happening

Blogger appears to be on the blink. Several comments have appeared in my email but not on the comments pages. If they remain gone in the morning I'll manually re-post them, they're too interesting to remain gone...

- Badtux the Bloggered Penguin

Is this the best that we can do?

We're "can't-do America" today. Can't provide healthcare to all Americans. Can't build a spaceship that'll make it into orbit, much less to the moon. Can't make our own fucking *underwear*, for cryin' out loud, we'd all be going commando if those helpful El Salvadorians and Vietnamese weren't sending us undies in exchange for toilet paper with pictures of dead people on it.

Steve Earle is bitterly sarcastic in his song "Amerika 6.0", which is on his album Jerusalem. Brilliant album, BTW, buy it if you don't have it, Steve's living in New York City now and could use the dough...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

The Mastah of Disastah

Barack Obama's "deal" gives the Republicans two years of the tax cuts for millionaires that they wanted... but only one year of extended unemployment benefits that he wanted. And what are the odds that a Republican House is going to vote to extend those benefits again in one year?

I don't get it. It's as if Obama said, "here, I'll give you $2 if you give me $1." In what universe is that a fair deal or a reasonable compromise? Crap, if Obama was a poker player, he'd immediately show everybody his hand as soon as the dealer dealt it to him, then be baffled as to why he didn't win anything.

As Jazzbumpa is so fond of pointing out, WASF. I'm feeling rather down. Maybe it's just the holidays. I think I want to go camping in the desert for a week or two away from this lunacy, it's either that or ingest enough alcohol to make my liver scream, which is hardly the solution (alcohol is a depressant after all). Siiiiiigh!

-- Badtux the Baffled Penguin

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Tap tap tap

Is this thing on?

Have a cat:

Yep, Menken hogging all the heat!

Here is The Mighty Fang on the move...

YouTube Video

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

(testing 123...)

-Badtux the Geeky Penguin

Low power

Most "Christian" music sucks the big one. As one musician reader of this blog put it, "it ain't Christian, and it ain't music". There are, however exceptions.

This one is 16 Horsepower, an alternative band most active around 2000 or so and gone by 2005. This might well be some very good alternative music if you aren't listening closely to the lyrics and realize that it's supposed to be "Christian" music. Sort of like the best gospel music is good music regardless of your religion.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Monday, December 06, 2010

Wikileaks and Saddam's WMD

I remember investigating Saddam's WMD program in November of 2002. The media and Bush Administration were whipping up hysteria about Saddam's WMD, so I investigated whether it was plausible that Saddam could create weapons of mass destruction, or even chemical weapons. What I found was that Saddam's infrastructure had been bombed to rubble by Israeli, then U.S. air strikes. Iraq was operating in basically early 20th century (pre-1920) mode, with most things being done by hand, and precision manufacturing being a joke. Iraq had the technological capability to produce mustard gas, but that was about it. In the end, technology trumps all... Saddam could have wanted all the WMD in the world, but he could no more have actually had them than I can flap my wings and fly.

Yet we all know what happened in March 2003. The manufactured mass hysteria over these fictional weapons of mass destruction led to the Busheviks doing what they'd wanted to do since January 20, 2001, but hadn't figured out an excuse to do earlier -- i.e., take out Saddam and install their own puppet in charge. Said exercise which didn't quite work out the way the Busheviks expected, but, rather, turned out more like George H.W. Bush predicted in his book back in 1995... i.e., Iraq is now basically Iran West, with a President who is an Iranian agent. But that's not the point. The point is that the Busheviks wanted to invade Iraq, and so they created a manufactured mass hysteria to allow them to do so.

So now Wikileaks has released 900 heavily redacted cables out of their trove of hundreds of thousands -- the mainstream media has actually released more than Wikileaks has released -- yet we're hearing all this mass hysteria once again. Except this time it's being used to do things like ordering Amazon to cut off Wikileaks, seize domain names of web sites that threaten oligarchical profits, and otherwise do what the Department of Homeland Security has wanted to do since day one of the Obama Administration: Assert government control over the Internet.

There are two key facets to this operation. The first is centered around Verisign, owner of "the" root server, the master copy of the domain name "root" servers that are scattered around the world as its mirror. These root servers are what translate the names you type into your web browser -- such as "" -- into the binary ones and zeros that denote an actual address on the Internet. If it weren't for the root servers, you'd have to memorize numbers like "" to get to web sites. Verisign is heavily penetrated by the NSA -- for example, their CTO Ken Silva spent 10 years in the NSA and likely is still a NSA asset -- and can be considered to be an extension of the NSA and, by extension, of the U.S. Department of Defense. Through their influence over Verisign, the U.S. government recently seized close to 100 domains without any legal proceedings, simply by asking Verisign politely.

The second key facet is control over the financial system via the anti-money-laundering and anti-terrorism statutes. This allows the U.S. government to cut off funding for any web site that they dislike either explicitly via declaring them a terrorist organization, or implicitly by pressuring banks and other financial institutions with dire consequences under the money laundering treaties and statutes. Thus far Wikileaks has had over $150,000 seized this way. But more important is threats to established business like Amazon and Paypal. "Nice server farm you have here," declares the Department of Homeland Security goon. "Be a shame if we had to declare you a terrorist organization and seize all of this as well as your bank accounts."

The end result is to make it difficult to a) find on the Internet, and b) fund, a site such as Wikileaks. But control is not complete, as the hundreds of Wikileaks mirrors makes clear. For that to happen, the U.S. government will need some additional legal authorization to use to threaten those who would dare prove the oligarchs as liars... which they're working on. Thus the need for more manufactured hysteria over Wikileaks. For only if the populace is truly frightened over imaginary bad things that will happen if government control over the Internet is not fully asserted, shall the populace consent to this happening. And thus far, the oligarchy seems to have a 100% success rate when it comes to manufacturing mass hysteria over imaginary threats...

-- Badtux the Paranoid(*) Penguin
But is it paranoia if they're *really* out to get you?!

Yo ho ho

Kate Rowe is an Australian singer-songwriter who writes little songs that, well, aren't serious. Such as one about what dogs would say if they could talk ("I'm hungry! What's that noise? Rub my belly!" all in a loop), or this one, about a dysfunctional pirate family that is called, fittingly, "Family Outing".

-- Badtux the Easily Amused Music Penguin

Sunday, December 05, 2010

My last Jeep expedition

Over at Moto-Tux I take the Tuxjeep for a spin in the desert. I already have way too many videos embedded here to embed four more...

-- Badtux the Jeepin' Penguin

Another busy day

On this day I:

  1. Got a hair cut
  2. Ate a large bowl of chicken pho
  3. Bought a toy for next week's Toys for Tots fill-the-bus event (a tub of Legos, of course -- I'm an engineer, what'd you expect?!).
  4. Bought a fancy electronic cat feeder that's supposed to be able to dole out 5 pounds of kitteh kibble a half-cup at a time, morning and night,
  5. Bought batteries for said electronic cat feeder
  6. Bought two 20 pound bags of kitty litter to handle the output results of use of the cat feeder :)
  7. Wired a Christmas wreath and lights to the grille of my Jeep
  8. Renewed the Tuxjeep's registration (via the online DMV application)
  9. Retrieved tire chains and empty storage tubs from storage
  10. Wrote checks for: Property taxes, and to the Salvation Army.
  11. Donated to Martha's Kitchen, a local soup kitchen.
Half of this was done in the rain. Luckily I have good rain gear.

Right now TMF is under the covers, and Mencken is trying to attack him, but Mencken is getting mouths full of blanket instead. Always excitement happening here in Chez Penguin :).

Oh, why the Salvation Army: They're an odd religious cult, and have some of the odd beliefs of many religious cults, such as their attitudes towards homosexuality. On the other hand, over 80% of my donations go straight to services for those in need. I was looking for organizations that haven't had even a hint of scandal associated with them. Unfortunately, such organizations are few and far between, there are a lot of executives of non-profits who seem to think they should get outrageous salaries with donor money...

- Badtux the Busy Penguin


Elizabeth Cook has one of those classic country music female voices. Which, I suppose, is why her videos have hit counts in the tens of thousands, not in the millions...

This is her song "Momma's Prayers". Her momma died about a year after this video was shot.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

A suggestion that I advise against

In comments below, EBM asks why am I putting up rat recipes? The Republicans are the cause of these economic problems (not that Obama is doing anything about them either, but, y'know), so why shouldn't I be putting up recipes for adding Republican to your diet?

Now, the recipes actually work with most wild game (just adjust the amounts according to how many critters you need to get meat from in order to make the recipes work), so theoretically they'd work. The problem is that Republican leaves a bad taste in your mouth due to the amount of bile and venom contained in the species. I assume that, as with pufferfish, it would be possible to somehow isolate and remove the poisonous parts, leaving just the meat. But it may be that, as with toads, the bile and venom is simply too widely dispersed within the body of the creature to make it worthwhile to attempt to eat it.

So, to anybody proposing that the unemployed who've been told by Republicans, "eat rat or die", eat Republican instead... highly, HIGHLY advised against. Aside from the bile and venom issue, there's the possibility of catching Mad Republican Disease from the festering pool of ignorance that fills the cranium. This variation of Mad Cow Disease makes you appear in public waving tea bags in your Medicare-provided scooter while shouting "keep your government hands off my Medicare!" and other such nonsense. So, given the disease, bile, and venom problems, eating Republican is highly disrecommended. Republican: Just say no :).

- Badtux the Snarky Culinary Penguin

Saturday, December 04, 2010


Kaki King does her song "Montreal". A rather experimental instrumental...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Busy penguin

Sorry about the lack of posting, but within the past 18 hours I have:

  1. Finished cleaning out the new music room (former bedroom) and moved all the furniture back into it
  2. Installed a Seagate Momentus XT 512GB 7200 RPM SSD hybrid into my Macbook Pro Core I7, it now boots up lickity split rather than making me wait on it (it has a small SSD inside it which it uses to cache often-used blocks, such as the blocks for the OS, web browser, and email program that I always boot into upon entry),
  3. Repaired my leaky bathtub faucet, which involved a complete rebuild of the Price-Pfister faucet (as in, take out stem core and seat, and replace with new from rebuild kit), for much cheaper than if the landlord had called a plumber (lest you say, "but that's the landlord's responsibility!", yes, but he would have raised my rent to pay for it -- what, you think there's a free lunch?! He gave me a good deal on the rent with the implied corollary that I'd take care of little things like this for him).
Now I need to unpack all the music stuff (which got put into drawers during the move) and set it all up... and then I need to work on my economics post, which is going to be an interesting discussion of how real life business works (as vs. theory) and why reduced demand due to monetary deflation can lead producers to increase prices -- and get it.

-- Badtux the Busy Penguin

Friday, December 03, 2010

Jazzy spy

This is Anne Watts and her band Boister, with the song "Spy". Sort of a jazzy new-wavish experimental sound. A really lousy recording, but you'll be more likely to find Boister playing a wedding in Baltimore than playing Madison Square Garden, so ...

It's hard to hear the horns, for the horny amongst us, but they're there in the muddled background...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Thursday, December 02, 2010

For the unemployed

Congress has thus far refused to extend unemployment benefits despite the fact that there are over 10 people unemployed for every open job in America, so here's a good recipe for you to get your daily protein intake. Most of these ingredients should be available at your local food bank, other than the meat, which is the important source of protein that you need to maintain health:

Rat Croquettes


Dress rats ready to cook; cook until meat falls off the bones, then let cool. Work out the bones with your hands and chop meat fine; season with a little salt, pepper and sage. Make into cakes. Roll in cornmeal and finally, fry in butter.

That is Congress's message to the unemployed: Let them eat rats.

-- Badtux the Culinary Penguin

Half the move complete...

Slept in my "new" bedroom (former music room) last night, with the exception of the bookcase, which will simply have to stay in the "new" music room because there just isn't room for it in the bedroom. My sleep was *much* more comfortable than in the old refrigerator room. Now I need to finish cleaning out the refrigerator room (funny how much cat hair accumulates behind and under furniture in just four months!) and move all the music and camping stuff that's sitting in the living room into there...

-- Badtux the Moving Penguin (but thankfully just from one bedroom to another!).

Feeling horny

So I decided on some Madness. Dunno what this is, exactly, but their horn section was wailin'.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

My First Molestation

TSA recommends using child predator tactics to calm children at TSA checkpoints.

This penguin is speechless...

-- Badtux the Speechless Penguin

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


Been watching the Wikileaks freakout by the tighty righties and the U.S. government with amusement. Especially amusing is the fact that this latest document dump has even led a few journalists to, well, commit acts of actual journalism (gasp!). For example, this evening on NPR News, NPR's correspondent in Baghdad asked around quietly about the Iranian influence upon the current Iraqi government and... err... found that this part of the document dump was, well, true (duh!). Which even Poppy Bush coulda told you, that's why he didn't depose Saddam in the first place back in '93, 'cause it'd turn the place into Iran West, but WTF, you gotta lead today's "journalists" to stories by the nose and stick it into the story nostril-deep before they can see what's been in front of their face all along...

Meanwhile, watching the tighty righties and Obama administration fulminate about how they want to have Wikileaks declared a terrorist group (yeah, their document dumps are a terror alright, but only a terror to liars who don't want the truth to come out), about how Julian Assange should be charged with the crime of espionage (he's not in the United States, he's not a U.S. citizen, he's not subject to U.S. jurisdiction, about the only way you could do that would be to invade Sweden and kidnap him like we did Noriega, and that's unlikely), etc., just goes to show that the term "freedom of the press" is a foreign term to both the tighty righties and to the Obama administration, which continues its authoritarian ways. The person who gave Wikileaks the documents could be charged with espionage, but committing an act of journalism by, well, actually publishing them, that's called "journalism" a.k.a. "the press" and in case you haven't figured it out, you can't legally go after folks for publishing government documents here in the United States because said documents are public domain.

Next up, Assange is going to publish some documents from one of the big banks (rumor says BofA) showing that they knew they were issuing fraudulent mortgages, and engaged in many other sketchy activities, but didn't care. Unfortunately, this *will* open up Wikileaks to legal challenges that the current document dumps didn't address. Those documents are copyrighted by BofA, and publishing them outright is a violation of numerous copyright laws. Assange is probably going to argue that there is a public interest exception for documents of this nature, but that exception allows you to publish only the minimum amount needed in order to illustrate your commentary, it doesn't allow you to just verbatim publish copyright documents without any surrounding commentary for each excerpt published. Maybe Assange *should* be accepting that refuge in Ecuador (whose leftist President, an acolyte of Hugo Chavez, has offered said refuge)... on the other hand, Ecuador's tiny military would be hopeless if the U.S. decided to do a Noriega on him. Decisions, decisions...

-- Badtux the Easily Amused Penguin

In honor of Willie

Willie just got busted *again* for marijuana, this time by the Border Patrol at one of those illegal unconstitutional searches way, way, way away from the border. Talk about an asshole. I mean, geeze, it's Willie fuckin' Nelson, of *course* there's marijuana on his bus, but only a total asshole would actually bust a 79 year old man for having a joint, sheesh! Best snark I've heard so far is: "Instead of stopping the million of illegals crossing our borders and the drug cartels smuggling in tons of dope they busted Willie for 6 ounces of marijuana. Good job Border Patrol.. you are really protecting our country." Yeppers, those 79 year old pot smokers are WMD's that might go off any time, thank you, Border Patrol!

So anyhow, this is "Moment of Forever" off his 2008 album by the same name. The man is 79 years old and still touring, and has smoked a joint of marijuana every day for, well, pretty much forever. Yeah, that marijuana is eeeeevil stuff, it'll kill you young and you'll never amount to anything (sarcasm intended, of course :).

-- Badtux the Snarky Msic Penguin

And the move commences...

I now have most of the music room taking up the living room (good thing I'm single!). Tonight I should be able to give it a good vacuuming, then move the bedroom into it.

The weather's been unusually cool here in the Silly Cone Valley. The fur-bearin' varmints are hanging around on the furnace grates. They don't seem to realize that they're wearing fur coats. That works out okay usually, except Mencken is being his usual sour self and puked into the furnace grate (*again*). Roast cat puke. Yum.

Will try to get my economics post about producer price increases during monetary deflation out of the way, just been busy these past few days...

-- Badtux the Busy Penguin

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Lisa Germano, "Of Love and Colors" off her album Geek the Girl. A disturbing song.

An Atlanta superchurch pastor comes out as gay in hopes of stemming suicides of gay youth.

A song I wrote last year:

Another song.

That is all.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bad ideas, part XLVVI

Okay, so I moved into this duplex back in June. It's a two-bedroom duplex, so I chose one bedroom for my music room, and one bedroom for my, well, bedroom. So which bedroom did I choose for which? Well... I chose the larger corner bedroom with the sliding patio door that opens out onto the back patio, of course. Because the sliding patio door would allow more ventilation in the summer, as would the side windows. And it would be quieter because it's not adjacent to the kid's room in the duplex next door. And it was the larger of the two bedrooms, a.k.a. the master bedroom, and I'm the master of this house, right?

Boy, what a mistake. All summer long that bedroom was baking in the sun while the smaller bedroom, the "music room", was comfortable because its outside wall was shaded by a lemon tree and it didn't have the heat from the patio bricks radiating up through a giant patio door's glass. The wall with the small windows turned out to be the west wall and was totally unshaded, so it radiated heat during the day, making the large bedroom even hotter than the baked patio bricks made it. The sliding windows were too small to put a room air conditioner into so that I could sleep decently at night, vs. the large sliding window in the "music room". The kid next door turns out to go to bed at an early hour and be a fairly quiet little girl, so I don't have to worry about noise from next door. And now that it's cold outside, the corner bedroom is *freezing* -- that big patio door and the side windows and just being the furthest bedroom from the furnace keeps it chilly while the "music room" is comfortable. And finally, with the music room being next to the little girl's room, I can only make music in it during hours that she's awake for fear of waking her up, which would be a bad thing to do because, well, it's a bad thing to do to disturb the sleep of little girls, duh.

So now you know what I'll be doing tomorrow night... I'll be moving everything out of the music room, and moving my bedroom over there, and then moving the music room stuff out of my living room into my former bedroom. SIIIiiiiiigh!

In other news, most of my plants seem to have survived the frost. The nasturtiums that peek beyond the front fence ended up getting killed, but the ones behind the fence, in the protected area, are fine, as is everything else in the small courtyard area between the garages and the house. Next weekend I guess I'll need to cut off the dead nasturtiums and toss them in the green bin for composting...

-- Badtux the Shivering Penguin

Selling your soul

Robert Johnson was one of the inventors of the modern blues. His songs have been covered by pretty much a who's who of bluesmen and rockers. Despite the fact that Robert Johnson died young and impoverished, the rumor that he sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for his talent still rumbles around the background of the blues scene.

In reality, those musicians who truly have sold their souls to the Devil sound like... uhm... Taylor Swift. Okay, probably unfair to poor little Taylor, but that's the reality -- those who've sold their souls for fame and fortune sound like, well, Milwaukee beer compared to a small brewery craft beer of genuine musicians who haven't sold their souls to the music industry demons.

Now, Gurf Morlix, he's the real deal -- the dude who has not sold his soul to anybody. He's at an age where he makes the music he wants to make and doesn't give a shit anymore. He has a day job for making his living -- he's a producer -- and then makes music like this as his entertainment and is pleased to sell a few thousand copies.

This is "Crossroads", off his brilliant album Last Exit to Happyland. Gurf ain't young and pretty no more, and in what remains of his life he ain't gonna sell as many albums as the pop tarts like Taylor Swift sell in an hour. And he's past the point where that makes any difference to him.

Badtux the Music Penguin

Natural causes

In case, as time goes along, you're wanting to know how many Americans are starving, freezing, or otherwise dying because of the failure of Austerian economics at the zero bounds, look for two words: "Natural causes". Those are words that coroners always put on the death certificate when someone starves to death or dies of exposure here in America. Because, y'know, telling the truth might offend someone, yo.

BTW, this is not new. This has been the code for at least 100 years. When people at the end of the 19th century couldn't find work and starved to death (no food stamps or anything like that back then, y'know), that's what was on their death certificate: "natural causes". Reminds me of those folks hawking "all-natural supplements"... arsenic and cyanide are natural too, y'know?

-- Badtux the Helpfully Snarky Penguin

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Today's economics post

... is called off due to holiday traffic. Grrr!

In other news, I left the kittehs with 7 days worth of kibble, and was gone for four days. Their food bowls were not only empty when I got back, but they'd dumped over all the trash cans looking for anything else edible. Siiiiigh... what a pair of chow hounds!

-- Badtux the Tired Penguin

The reality

For every Jack White who makes it big, for every tiny blond girl with a tiny little voice and a big fat acoustic guitar turned into a Nashville sensation through slick marketing, there's ten thousand Dex Romwebers playing block parties like some demented cross between Buddy Holly and Elvis with more talent in their little finger than any of those "superstars" but their audience is dozens, not millions. To be fair to Jack White, Dex Romweber is his hero, the man who inspired him to pick up a guitar. Too bad the same is not true for the music-buying public, who hasn't the foggiest idea who Dex Romweber is.

This is Dex and his sister Sarah, the Dex Romweber Duo, playing a block party and doing his song "Still Around". And he still is. For now.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin