Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. And, also, Jobs.

Joe Gagnon points out that the Obama Administration and the Federal Reserve have plenty of tools available to boost hiring and generate growth — tools that could not be held hostage by the Teaocrats in the House of Representatives:

Many actions that would be helpful — extension and enlargement of the payroll tax cut, extension of unemployment benefits, extension of aid to the states, and a substantial and accelerated infrastructure program — require Congressional approval. I have no insights as to how to get such actions approved in the face of determined opposition by many members of Congress.

Instead, I propose aggressive actions that can be taken by the Obama Administration and the Federal Reserve without a single vote in Congress. …

First and foremost, the Federal Reserve should announce an additional $2 trillion of asset purchases, including longer-term Treasury bonds, agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS), and foreign exchange. This is more than three times the size of the woefully underpowered quantitative easing of late last year (dubbed QE2) and it should be accompanied by a clear statement that more is forthcoming if the economy continues to underperform. The goals are to push down bond yields and mortgage rates, to push down the value of the dollar in terms of foreign currencies, and to boost stock prices. All of these help households deleverage their balance sheets and encourage consumption, investment, and exports … Businesses would need to hire more workers to meet the additional demand. …

Well, the Fed didn’t announce anything like that today. I guess they’re waiting until …

… until …

I have no idea what they’re waiting for. They should have done this stuff two years ago.

Gagnon also outlines some steps the White House could take without needing to go through the impenetrable, intractable Do-Nothing Congress:

First, the Administration should use its control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to force them to invite all homeowners whose mortgages are already guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie, and who are not delinquent in their mortgage payments, to refinance their current mortgage balance at the new low rates regardless of loan-to-value ratio. … Lowering mortgage interest payments on underwater loans would be the best way to prevent future defaults that would harm Fannie, Freddie, the holders of second liens, and US taxpayers. It is a win-win for all involved. …

Second, the Administration needs to acknowledge that the strong dollar policy, as enunciated for many years, is defunct and opt to embrace moderate further dollar depreciation consistent with monetary easing. Developing economies are spending more than $1 trillion each year manipulating the values of their currencies to subsidize their exports to the United States and Europe. Fiscal austerity in Europe and countervailing currency manipulation in Japan mean that the United States bears most of the cost of this modern mercantilism. As the world’s largest net debtor, it is time for the United States to just say no to trade deficits. We need the high-paying jobs that come from exports.

President Obama, unfortunately, also seems to be waiting for whatever it is the Fed is waiting for before he does anything that substantial about the jobs crisis either. That’s depressing (emotionally, but also economically).

Read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, there is another call for massive stimulus spending from — and here’s where it gets weird — Judson Phillips, the head of Tea Party Nation.

Who knew that the leader of the farthest-right tea party organization was a closet Keynesian? Probably not Judson Phillips himself, but Keynesian stimulus is exactly what Phillips is calling for in his cry for an expansion of America’s fleet of aircraft carriers.

Phillips says:

If we decided to build a couple of new carriers, thousands of workers would be hired for the shipyards. Thousands of employees would be hired for the steel mills that would provide the steel for the hull and various subcontractors would hire thousands. … They would receive paychecks and go out and spend that money. That would help a recovery. …

Yep. All true. I’m not sure what we need two more aircraft carriers for, but in the current jobs crisis, I’ll happily second Phillips motion. Let’s build two more. Heck, let’s build 20 more. Then we can hire even more people to dismantle them and start over, or we could turn them into artificial reefs, or convert them into floating schools for coastal cities.

Phillips, oddly, is apparently only a Keynesian when it comes to aircraft carriers. He seems to think that aircraft carriers are magical. Mills producing steel for aircraft carriers, he believes, are generating economic growth and a ripple effect that will lead to more hiring.

But if the steel from those mills were to go, instead, to rebuilding bridges or levees, then he believes it would have no ripple effect and would do nothing to stimulate economic growth and hiring. Same mill, same workers producing the same steel — but if that steel winds up anywhere other than in one of his magical aircraft carriers, then it would be a socialist boondoggle.

Judson Phillips is a very confused man. As M.S. writes:

The tea-party movement has spent the past year arguing that stimulus doesn’t work and cannot, by nature, create more jobs or economic activity. The idea that a major tea-party figure can turn around and make a bog-standard argument for defence spending on Keynesian grounds testifies to a startling capacity for cognitive dissonance.

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  • Anonymous

    I think it’s time we started calling the Tea Partiers on their belief in magic. Because they believe in magic. And not the magic of Paganism or any kind of long standing tradition. But the stunted, tribalistic magic of a poorly thought out D&D campaign. They don’t actually read the Bible or the Constitution they just hold them as fetish amulets they can wave at anything that scares them. Stimulus money that goes towards defense is good magic, stimulus money that goes toward infrastructure is bad magic. That’s the most they can articulate of their viewpoint. (Of course we’re also forgetting the big, huge chunk of racism that fuels this belief in magic too.)

  • P J Evans

    Stimulus money that goes towards defense is good magic, stimulus money that goes toward infrastructure is bad magic.

    Money spent on space and foreign aid is the same as money that’s shredded and burned, in their illogical thinking. Because no one who works on those programs gets paid or buys stuff or pays taxes.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GVT7C7S6IP2OC44PFUZGAJ4OBM JohnK

    Not only that, they also think that foreign aid constitutes something like 25 – 40% of the federal budget which is… well, let’s call it ‘inaccurate’.

  • Mackrimin

    Yep. All true. I’m not sure what we need two more aircraft carriers for, but in the current jobs crisis, I’ll happily second Phillips motion. Let’s build two more. Heck, let’s build 20
    more. Then we can hire even more people to dismantle them and start
    over, or we could turn them into artificial reefs, or convert them into
    floating schools for coastal cities.

    Maybe you could use them as movable nuclear power/crisis stations? Put nuclear reactors on board, offer all those soldiers I heard are having a hard time finding a job to act a well-paying job as guards, and you can move them to whatever area needs power due to natural disasters or developing economy with no fear of nuclear profiliation because of all those marines sitting between the reactor and any dastardly characters.

    And, of course, build those carriers big enough that regular aircraft can take-off and land, at which point their potential utility would be increased even further.

  • http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com/ mr_subjunctive

    The idea that a major tea-party figure can turn around and make a
    bog-standard argument for defence spending on Keynesian grounds
    testifies to a startling capacity for cognitive dissonance.

    If not for the dissonant kind, the teabaggers would surely have no cognition at all.

  • LL

    Duh. C’mon, Fred. You’re making this too hard. You’re overthinking it.  What have we learned from 25-30 years of Republicanism?

    Good spending: defense, bailouts for companies that are “too big to fail,” the mortgage interest deduction, farm price supports, Medicare, Social Security, the DEA, abstinence education

    Bad spending: welfare, anything for girly stuff like arts and public television, the Dept. of Education (which exists solely to tell people they can’t pray in school), salaries and benefits for federal employees (of whom there are far too many, and they don’t do anything, either), any spending on illegals, any foreign aid

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

    You’re close but you put Social Security and Medicare in the wrong category, given by the way the Republicans act about those programs.

  • http://flickr.com/photos/sedary_raymaker/ Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Wait a sec. What happened to “WE’RE BROKE!!!”? They truly are magical aircraft carriers.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    President Obama, unfortunately, also seems to be waiting for whatever it is the Fed is waiting for before he does anything that substantial about the jobs crisis either. That’s depressing (emotionally, but also economically).

    Okay, in reference to this plan, I have to ask (because I know someone will say so eventually,) how will this plan not work?  There has to be some catch to it.  And cries of “socialism!” do not count as acceptable answers.  I want functional arguments.  

    Phillips, oddly, is apparently only a Keynesian when it comes to aircraft carriers. He seems to think that aircraft carriers are magical. Mills producing steel for aircraft carriers, he believes, are generating economic growth and a ripple effect that will lead to more hiring.

    Unfortunately, while I approve of a massive government investment in construction to spur the economy, aircraft carriers lack the lone term benefits of infrastructure.  Sure, both aircraft carriers and infrastructure help push the economy in the short term, but in the long term aircraft carriers are more of a drain.  The huge cost of construction is largely irrelevant (any kind of such stimulus will be expensive) but the cost of maintenance will drag on the budget once it is finished.  Those things cost a lot to keep fueled, provisioned, crewed, and in good repair.  Besides, if one counts amphibious assault carriers, the U.S. already has more aircraft carriers than every other nation in the world combined.  We have a hell of a lot of force projection already, more is just superfluous.  

    On the other hand, national infrastructure will, in addition to putting a lot of people to work, pay dividends in the future by facilitating the cost of doing business in this country.  It will give the private sector more options and cheaper operating costs, spurring further business.  And while infrastructure requires its own maintenance, the amount of expense in versus revenue out makes that a much more viable option than more aircraft carriers.  

    Of course, the real reason might be because the Teacoats, and the Republican politicians they back, just like the idea of war.  As Senator Dick Durbin explains.

  • https://profiles.google.com/ravanan101 Ravanan

    Well I was gonna write a bit on the bullets and butter of economics (that weapons spending generally provides less economic utility than virtually any domestic spending). But it seems Fearless more or less beat me to it.

    But really, we need to learn the lesson that the Great Depression and WWII taught us: that the key to economic recovery is the government guaranteeing demand.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-McDonald/610556997 Matthew McDonald

    You utterly right, except for one thing Fearless–anything not aircraft carriers simply isn’t politically feasible. Regardless of the logic or the rightness or the sheer blinding necessity, our infrastructure isn’t going to get fixed, much less improved. Even when the economy is good the right screams “We don’t have the money!”.

    Love. Peace. Metallica.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    You utterly right, except for one thing Fearless–anything not aircraft carriers simply isn’t politically feasible. Regardless of the logic or the rightness or the sheer blinding necessity, our infrastructure isn’t going to get fixed, much less improved. Even when the economy is good the right screams “We don’t have the money!”.

    This reminds me of the Giant Death Robot unit in Civilization V, which is exactly what it sounds like.  It is one of the latest units available in the game, usually so late that by the time anyone gets it, no one really has a need for it anymore, it takes a long time to produce, and for the same industrial capacity one could make a lot more economical units.  Its description in the Civilopedia even mentions that it is relatively impractical even from an engineering standpoint.  

    However, it is really, really cool, and the reason it gets approved in the first place is because a big impractical war machine is just the kind of thing to impress legislators with their fingers on the national purse strings.  

  • Anonymous

    This reminds me of the Giant Death Robot unit in Civilization V,
    which is exactly what it sounds like.  It is one of the latest units
    available in the game, usually so late that by the time anyone gets it,
    no one really has a need for it anymore, it takes a long time to
    produce, and for the same industrial capacity one could make a lot more
    economical units.

    “Fear will keep the other nations in line.  Fear of this Giant Death Robot.”

    Please tell me there’s a very cheap unit you can produce that will one-shot-kill the Giant Death Robot one time out of a million.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Please tell me there’s a very cheap unit you can produce that will one-shot-kill the Giant Death Robot one time out of a million.

    Sorry, not that I know of.  Maybe an ICBM, which competes with the GDR for part of a civilization’s national uranium stockpile (the GDR is nuclear powered,) but produces more devastation as well as some serious diplomatic repercussions (other civs tend to look poorly on powers who launch nukes recklessly.)  

    However, in the same time that it would take to produce a GDR, a nation with an equal industrial output could produce many cruise missiles.  When the GDR enters range, five or so of those cruise missiles hitting the GDR in series will take it out before it even has a chance to engage, with no risk to the firing nation.  Sure, the cruise missiles get expended in the process, but in the mathematics of wartime strategy the missile launchers still come out ahead of the GDR builders in terms of war material expended.  Plus the cruise missiles do not require the same degrees of special resources that most other late-term military units require.

  • Anonymous

    Please tell me there’s a very cheap unit you can produce that will one-shot-kill the Giant Death Robot one time out of a million.

    Banana peel?

  • Viliphied

    Falconer, the nature of combat in Civilization means that pretty much any unit has a chance (however small) to destroy another.

  • Hawker40

    “Falconer, the nature of combat in Civilization means that pretty much any unit has a chance (however small) to destroy another.”

    Yes.  Like the pitchfork armed peasants sinking the battleship that’s bombarding them from offshore.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Actually, as of Civilization V, that is no longer possible.  The only defense against such ranged bombardment is to have other ranged bombardment units of one’s own.  At that point, it is pretty much a slugfest to see which side can cripple the other side’s ranged weapons first.  

    That said, enough spearmen charging at a GDR will eventually kill it due to scratch damage, but it will take a lot of spearmen down with it before it goes.  Like, legions of them.  

  • Madhabmatics

    Has anyone made a Battletech mod for civ 5 yet? I wanna get my Cloud Cobra on.

  • Hawker40

    “Falconer, the nature of combat in Civilization means that pretty much any unit has a chance (however small) to destroy another.”

    Yes.  Like the pitchfork armed peasants sinking the battleship that’s bombarding them from offshore.

  • Mackrimin

    Not since one-in-a-million chances were deemed a bug and pruned from the game, they don’t :(. Or at least I remember reading so from some interview somewhere.

    Darn, now I want to play Civ 5 again.

  • Anonymous

    Me too, but if I start I won’t stop. “Just…one…more…turn…”

  • Mackrimin

    Not since one-in-a-million chances were deemed a bug and pruned from the game, they don’t :(. Or at least I remember reading so from some interview somewhere.

    Darn, now I want to play Civ 5 again.

  • http://nagamakironin.blogspot.com Michael Mock

    Phillips, oddly, is apparently only a Keynesian when it comes to
    aircraft carriers. He seems to think that aircraft carriers are magical.

    Didn’t you know? Blowing shi stuff up solves everything!

  • Anonymous

    And besides that, all those commie socialist Islamofascist terrorist dirty hippie types that happen to disagree with you?  In wartime, you can accuse them of treason, lock ’em up and throw away the key!

    *ugh* can’t believed I typed all that without losing my lunch.

  • http://twitter.com/shay_guy Shay Guy

    So what would happen if you actually asked Mr. Phillips why aircraft carriers would work, but bridges and water mains wouldn’t? I suspect that he actually doesn’t know what he’s suggesting is textbook Keynesian stimulus — that he “knows” the Left isn’t worth listening to, ignored them, and later came up with this on his own. So he’s capable of recognizing a good idea if it has more Right flags on it than Left flags.

  • Anonymous

    The aircraft carriers should be turned into public universities.  How cool would it be to go to class there?  I’d definitely make all my classes, even the ones at 8 a.m.

  • Lori

    The aircraft carriers should be turned into public universities.  How
    cool would it be to go to class there?  I’d definitely make all my
    classes, even the ones at 8 a.m.

    Have you ever been on an aircraft carrier? I did a tour doing a Fleet Week. I’m not claustrophobic and I was still seriously ready to get back up on deck by the time the tour was over. Most of the spaces didn’t have a lot of space and there was no natural light and that made me feel like there was no air. If I was going to Aircraft Carrier U I’m afraid I’d be tempted to cut unless they were on the flight deck.

  • Lori

    The aircraft carriers should be turned into public universities.  How
    cool would it be to go to class there?  I’d definitely make all my
    classes, even the ones at 8 a.m.

    Have you ever been on an aircraft carrier? I did a tour doing a Fleet Week. I’m not claustrophobic and I was still seriously ready to get back up on deck by the time the tour was over. Most of the spaces didn’t have a lot of space and there was no natural light and that made me feel like there was no air. If I was going to Aircraft Carrier U I’m afraid I’d be tempted to cut unless they were on the flight deck.

  • Lori

    The aircraft carriers should be turned into public universities.  How
    cool would it be to go to class there?  I’d definitely make all my
    classes, even the ones at 8 a.m.

    Have you ever been on an aircraft carrier? I did a tour doing a Fleet Week. I’m not claustrophobic and I was still seriously ready to get back up on deck by the time the tour was over. Most of the spaces didn’t have a lot of space and there was no natural light and that made me feel like there was no air. If I was going to Aircraft Carrier U I’m afraid I’d be tempted to cut unless they were on the flight deck.

  • Anonymous

    The aircraft carriers should be turned into public universities.  How cool would it be to go to class there?  I’d definitely make all my classes, even the ones at 8 a.m.

  • http://brandiweed.livejournal.com/ Brandi

    But if the steel from those mills were to go, instead, to rebuilding bridges or levees, then he believes it would have no ripple effect and would do nothing to stimulate economic growth and hiring.

    It’s simpler and more insulting than that. Infrastructure, especially in poor areas, might help those people (waves hand in front of face), and God knows we can’t have that.

  • http://brandiweed.livejournal.com/ Brandi

    But if the steel from those mills were to go, instead, to rebuilding bridges or levees, then he believes it would have no ripple effect and would do nothing to stimulate economic growth and hiring.

    It’s simpler and more insulting than that. Infrastructure, especially in poor areas, might help those people (waves hand in front of face), and God knows we can’t have that.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

    I am completely cool with new aircraft carriers.  I do think bridges and levees would be better, but I’ll take what I can get.  And, to be fair, while not really a good reason to spend money in and of itself… carriers are kind of awesome I’m just saying.

    Or we could just build some old-school Battleships for lols.  I’m not saying it’d be particularly useful but… I like those too.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Or we could just build some old-school Battleships for lols.  I’m not saying it’d be particularly useful but… I like those too.

    Actually, I have heard that some marine units actually prefer battleships to, say, missile destroyers, as battleship’s guns are better at shore bombardment and causing general havoc.  While missiles are certain better at taking out precise, high-value targets, old fashioned destructive mayhem is better at getting the enemy to crap themselves instead of holding the line.  

    Of course, if we are just going by cool factor over practicality, we ought to be building nuclear powered battleships equipped with electromagnetic cannons.  *Boom!*

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

    I’d heard that as well.  Of course, the problem with battleship guns though* is range… 24 miles is pretty solid for anything a long a coastline, but that’s all you’ve got, and you can only park so close depending on where along said coastline you need to be.

    So in the places you can park a battleship in range of a target, the utility is absolutely there… but there’s a limit to how many of those places exist.

    Of course now that you mention nuclear powered railgun battleships…

    I’m cool with this plan b Make it so!

    *Outside of the obvious imprecision problem since, while advantageous in creating panic… isn’t useful if your enemy is anywhere remotely close to civilians.  Actually quite the opposite of useful in that situation.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    The funny thing about military railguns is that a battleship with a substantial power plant is really the only context in which such weapons might be considered as practical as conventional chemical propelled projectiles.  The problem with all electromagnetic weaponry is that it needs to build up a substantial charge to fire at anything like a functional muzzle velocity, which rules out anything that does not have a powerful dedicated generator at hand.  The problem with railguns specifically is that it is a huge engineering challenge to minimize maintenance.  The plasma discharge between the rails and the projectile tend to cause those rails to melt themselves down, rendering the interior surface irregular and unreliable after a few firings.  Even assuming that we can mitigate that melting with proper materials and ablative coatings, that still means that the rails will need to be re-machined on a frequent basis.  This means that the only practical way to field them is nearby a machinists workshop which could preform the necessary work.  

    Hence, a nuclear battleship with a staff of mechanics and metalworkers makes such weapons somewhat practical, or at least approaches the practicality of conventional munitions.  On the upside, the ammo would need to be less bulky to achieve the same kind of range since it does not need any internal propellant charge, and since the ship’s magazine does not need to contain any volatile compounds to fire those munitions, it would not be as much of a vulnerability in combat.

  • P J Evans

    a nuclear battleship with a staff of mechanics and metalworkers makes
    such weapons somewhat practical, or at least approaches the practicality
    of conventional munitions

    Um, convert the nuclear-powered aircraft carriers to nuclear-powered railgun mounts?

  • Hawker40

    If you want a sailor’s advice, we need frigates more than aircraft carriers.  They’re smaller, they can be built in a lot of different shipyards at the same time.  There is only one shipyard that can build a nuclear carrier.
    Also, support ships are always useful.  Oilers, ammo ships, tenders… all needed.
    We also need a new class of missile cruiser.

    I’m sure the army and air farce can use some new equipment.

    Oh, and… the Interstate Highway System was designed to support large scale troop movements.  Link upgrades to the Interstate to the military, and you might get it through congress.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

    A wisdom, you has one.

  • Anonymous

    the Interstate Highway System was designed to support large scale troop
    movements.  Link upgrades to the Interstate to the military, and you
    might get it through congress.

    How dare you suggest someone might INVADE our COUNTRY? *flips sarcasm switch off* Because that’s the only thing I can think of for which we’d need large-scale troop movements inside the US.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

    Attempt at world record for the largest military marching band ever assembled on a coast-to-coast tour? >.>

  • P J Evans

    large-scale troop movements inside the US

    I think the idea was troop movements like getting them to a seaport from a training (or whatever) base somewhere else. Like, say, Fort Riley to Corpus Cristi. The WW1 and WW2 kind of troop movements, that we haven’t seen since 1945.

  • Albanaeon

    Yes please.  The Air Force could use a number of shiny new satellites to tell the squids which direction they are supposed to go in their big boats. :p

    And the Army can have a new pop-gun.  They’ve had Christmas for the last decade.  Time for the rest of us to have some love.

  • Albanaeon

    Yes please.  The Air Force could use a number of shiny new satellites to tell the squids which direction they are supposed to go in their big boats. :p

    And the Army can have a new pop-gun.  They’ve had Christmas for the last decade.  Time for the rest of us to have some love.

  • Albanaeon

    Yes please.  The Air Force could use a number of shiny new satellites to tell the squids which direction they are supposed to go in their big boats. :p

    And the Army can have a new pop-gun.  They’ve had Christmas for the last decade.  Time for the rest of us to have some love.

  • Lori

    Well, the Fed didn’t announce anything like that today. I guess they’re waiting until … 

    The Fed is waiting for leadership that isn’t in the pocket of the finance industry, Goldman Sachs in particular, and is instead interested in how the economy works for all Americans.

    IOW, it’s waiting until never.

  • http://redwoodr.tumblr.com Redwood Rhiadra

    The Fed is controlled by people who were trained in the Greenspan culture and still think he’s a genius. So of course nothing’s going to happen.

  • Anonymous

    At least two of the carriers with which the US Navy went to war in ’41 were finished under the aegis of the PWA…. so it’s traditional.

  • Anonymous

    At least two of the carriers with which the US Navy went to war in ’41 were finished under the aegis of the PWA…. so it’s traditional.

  • Anonymous

    At least two of the carriers with which the US Navy went to war in ’41 were finished under the aegis of the PWA…. so it’s traditional.

  • Matri

    I’m willing to bet that he loves those aircraft carriers because he knows the contracts would likely go to Republican-controlled companies, while the infrastructure contracts would not.

    Also, the Democrats probably suggested the infrastructure thing, so that makes it automatically Evil(c) and must be opposed by every fiber of their being.

  • Albanaeon

    Forget aircraft carriers.  I say we build bases.  Army bases.  Air Force Bases.  Naval Bases.  Lots of them.  For there’s safety in redundancy after all.  Also for safety from terrorists, they will need to be built in the middle of the middle of nowhere.  SW Utah.  Just about anywhere in the upper West and Midwest.  As far from civilization as possible.  Then, to protect them from those terrorists, they will need to be on renewable energy sources exclusively.  Multiple ones again for extra security, spread out to make sure they are safe of course.  And because those evil Chinese are trying to buy our country, all the material HAS to be made here in the States. 

    If the side effect of these bases is that we get a modernized infrastructure, a huge boost in green energy production, and full employment, well, I guess that’s the price we have to pay…

  • Madhabmatics

    Better yet, let’s take that money and put everyone on military health care.

    (Tri-care owns)

  • Anonymous

    Speaking as the daughter of an Air Force retiree: no, it really doesn’t.

    Better than private health care, I’ll give you that. But good? Nope.

  • Madhabmatics

    With Tri-Care I could buy any medicines I needed for either 3 dollars or 9 dollars. It’s better than what most Americans end up with, let’s not make the perfect the enemy of the good here.

    (I’m an air force brat too)

  • http://twitter.com/mattmcirvin Matt McIrvin

    Meanwhile, the Tea Party In Space‘s program for future space development sounds… strangely similar to Obama’s.

  • Anonymous

    Obama has a plan for space development? News to me.

  • http://twitter.com/mattmcirvin Matt McIrvin

    All those army bases need 300 mph supertrains connecting them, so we can move troops around in a hurry!  Better safe than sorry.

  • Albanaeon

    Oh yes, most definitely.

  • http://twitter.com/mattmcirvin Matt McIrvin

    Also, if the country is invaded those army guys might need refuge in someone’s house, and they need communication bandwidth.  So we better give everyone super-fast broadband.  It’s the patriotic thing to do.

  • Anonymous

    those army guys might need refuge in someone’s house

    Third Amendment. I like your thought process, but, Third Amendment. “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without
    the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be
    prescribed by law.”

  • Lori

    Third Amendment. I like your thought process, but, Third Amendment.
    “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without
    the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be
    prescribed by law.” 

    If it gets us some damn infarstructure spending I’ll happily let a soldier live with us. The ones I’ve known have been nice enough.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

    If it’s my patriotic duty to have badass internet, well, I’ll just have to put a tiny American flag on the side of the PC. *nod nod*

  • http://guy-who-reads.blogspot.com/ Mike Timonin

    Albanaeon – your redundant bases in the middle of nowhere with solid infrastructure and etc? It’s a classic. One of the things the Public Works Administration did under FDR was build militia bases in the midwest, as big and strong as could be done using current technology. In case of invasion, naturally.

  • Albanaeon

    Better to keep that to yourself, Mike.  The TPer’s are pretty anti-FDR.  Say it was Reagan.  They won’t know any better…

  • http://guy-who-reads.blogspot.com/ Mike Timonin

    Better to keep that to yourself, Mike.  The TPer’s are pretty anti-FDR.  Say it was Reagan.  They won’t know any better…

    Reagan was further to the left than any of the Teas are – hell, he was a member of a union…

  • Lori

    Reagan was further to the left than any of the Teas are

    True.

    – hell, he was a member of a union…

    Two words: PATCO strike.

    Which is to say, his union membership is true but completely irrelevant. Reagan liked unions when he was in a job where the union benefited him. Then he caught Red fever and, more importantly, moved on to a job where unions were a pain in his ass. Voila he became anti-union to the bone. As President Reagan signed the death warrant for organized labor in this country in one strike-busting move fueled by his utter loathing of unions.

    Why yes, I am still bitter and no, I have never referred to the airport served by the DC Metro as Reagan National. And I never will. (May the bastards who pushed through that name change each get a rash that just won’t clear up.) 

  • Hawker40

    President Reagan was very in favor of shipyard unions…
    In Poland.

  • http://guy-who-reads.blogspot.com/ Mike Timonin

    entirely true and ugly stuff about Reagan and unions

    No debate from me (although I date the beginning of the end of US unions in 1948, with the Taft-Hartley Bill. Fuck you, Robert Taft, Jr. Why couldn’t you be cool, like your dad?). Reagan was an actor, and everything he did was an act. Could unions help him? He acted like a union member. Could red baiters help him? He acted like a red baiter.

    All that being true, Reagan understood the value of coming to the table and being willing to talk and listen. Having done that, you can utter ultimatums, but you need to at least understand where your opponents stand, if only so you know where to punch them for the greatest effect. I think we’ve lost that idea somewhere.

  • Albanaeon

    Nonono.  Not real Reagan.  You’ll need St. Reagan, Patron Saint of the Endlessly Bountiful Free Market.  The one who single-handedly punched out Gorbachev, wiped out the rampant socialism of the world with a wave of his hand and dropped taxes to zero and nothing bad ever happened again, until we elected Clinton who restored all those evils while getting a BJ where St. Ronnie wouldn’t even take off his coat.  Why do you insist on letting little things like “what actually happened” ruin the truth(iness) of what you are saying.  Geez. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeff-Lipton/100001171828568 Jeff Lipton

    he was a member of a union

    Until he stopped acting, at which point he became virulently anti-union.  Yes, I remember how he threatened the safety of all flights because of PATCO.  And then they named an airport after him.

    Scum then, scum now.

  • Mr. Heartland

    Reminds me of the arguments that the New Deal did nothing to alieve the Depression,  that it was only World War II that got the economy out of the mud, of course the problem here is that at the economic level war is government spending to a biblical degree. 

    The real problem is that social spending is infected with compassion cooties and therefore weak.  Infrastructure spending suggests that the nation is capible of growing old and brittle and is therefore no less human than any other country, also weak.  Stimulus spending in a manner that projects strength?  A-ok. 

  • Tonio

    The real problem is that social spending is infected with compassion cooties and therefore weak…

    That’s close. I suspect that most of that is the just world fallacy. These are people who believe that poverty is either one’s own fault or divine punishment for immorality. In their view, compassion is weak because it amounts to coddling wrongdoers. They think the teen mother simply needed to keep her legs shut, and that the unemployed man just needs to get off his ass and look for work.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GVT7C7S6IP2OC44PFUZGAJ4OBM JohnK

    Yeah, the funny thing is, they’re right — the New Deal didn’t really end the Great Depression. Why? Because it was too small. FDR did a lot to alleviate the emotional and physical suffering caused by the Depression and restructure the economy so that it was much less likely to happen again (Glass-Steagall, FDIC, etc.) but the New Deal didn’t quite get the economy out of the recession… in large part because of the same small thinking that still afflicts our current leaders. It took the World War II — “Cash and Carry”, “Lend-Lease”, and America’s own massive mobilization — to open the floodgates and finally turn things around.

    Maybe war really is magic. Not because war spending is somehow more noble than welfare / domestic spending, but because — for some reason — Congress tends to be a lot less preoccupied with penny-pinching when it comes to war. Maybe it’s because of the whole ‘compassion’ thing.

  • http://twitter.com/shay_guy Shay Guy

    OK, so question. New Deal was too small? Well, if something along the lines of the New Deal had been implemented, but big enough to end the Depression on its own, without a world war, what would it have looked like?

  • Anonymous

    Maybe you could use them as movable nuclear power/crisis stations? Put nuclear reactors on board, offer all those soldiers I heard are having a hard time finding a job to act a well-paying job as guards, and you can move them to whatever area needs power due to natural disasters or developing economy with no fear of nuclear profiliation because of all those marines sitting between the reactor and any dastardly characters.
    And, of course, build those carriers big enough that regular aircraft can take-off and land, at which point their potential utility would be increased even further.”I’ve clearly been hanging out at Spacebattles too much. That last sentence made me think ‘total nuke bait’… before I realized it the idea was for a civilian purpose, and therefore, not a likely target.
    Of course, related to that, the probability of a US fleet getting nuked is small anyways, so such a vehicle could still have military uses.  A megacarrier big enough to land passenger liners could definently land, say, B-2s.

     

    Forget aircraft carriers.  I say we build bases.  Army bases.  Air Force Bases.  Naval Bases.  Lots of them.  For there’s safety in redundancy after all.  Also for safety from terrorists, they will need to be built in the middle of the middle of nowhere.  SW Utah looks like a suburb sort of places. Then, to protect them from those terrorists, they will need to be on renewable energy sources exclusively.  Multiple ones again for extra security, spread out to make sure they are safe of course.  And because those evil Chinese are trying to buy our country, all the material HAS to be made here in the States.

    There aren’t many places that’s terribly practical in SW Utah – and nowhere to put (proper) Navy bases, obviously.  Perhaps in SE Utah you could use hydroelectric, or maybe go more north and tap into Yellowstone Volcano.  But (redudant!) gigantic solar panel arrays aren’t known for their security…
    Not that you *couldn’t* run most bases perfectly well on solar power.  It’s just that it’s not a very *Secure* option.

    Actually, I have heard that some marine units actually prefer battleships to, say, missile destroyers, as battleship’s guns are better at shore bombardment and causing general havoc.  While missiles are certain better at taking out precise, high-value targets, old fashioned destructive mayhem is better at getting the enemy to crap themselves instead of holding the line. 
    Of course, if we are just going by cool factor over practicality, we ought to be building nuclear powered battleships equipped with electromagnetic cannons.  *Boom!*

    Bah.  We’re already building giant nuclear powered battleships with railgun batteries.  Combine!  Five or so batteries of 3-5 650mm railguns with HE/HEAT/Thermobaric/Nuclear warheads on the shells (just in case we get invaded by aliens/the Imperium of Man/Godzilla/insert something such ludicrous overkill would actually be useful against), supplemented by missile racks/tubes – like a thousand of them.  Naval ICBMs are a must.  And, of course, given the obvious advantages of naval air power, it’s going to need vertical launch fighters, as well as laser turrets to intercept incoming missiles.  And to prevent it from being too much of a target, it must also be submersible – which means it needs torpedoes.  Naturally, these torpedoes must be supercavitating.  Anything less than mach 1 is insufficient.

    Put it all together and you’ve got the most massive abomination to ever sail the seas (amphibious/aerial capabilities reserved for future generations, of course…), guaranteed to cost more than the net worth of several small nations.  All it needs is a name… not just something ‘badass’ but something that truly signals that we’ve gone utterly bonkers as a nation.  For instance, ‘Horribifuckus’.  Yes… yes…

    (My god, I had way too much fun writing that.)

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

    I’m laughing so hard my face hurts lol

    Suggestions for names:

    USS More Dakka

    USS Earth Shattering Kaboom

    USS Where’s the?

    USS  Overcompensating

  • http://twitter.com/shay_guy Shay Guy

    To steal a Culture ship name I saw proposed, USS WITH CATLIKE TREAD UPON OUR PREY WE STEAL!

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    If we are going to steal the names of Culture ships, I prefer “No More Mr Nice Guy“, “So Much For Subtlety“, “What Are The Civilian Applications?“, “Resistance Is Character-Forming“, “Now Look What You’ve Made Me Do“, and my favorite, “Frank Exchange Of Views“. 

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

    Awesome. Just awesome.

    I love the Pirates of Penzance

    >_>

  • Albanaeon

    I’m actually going for complete and total impracticality here, simply because it would require the greatest amount of expenditures to make hap…  err most secure option available…

    And we’ll overcome the whole solar facility security issue in true military style by having lots and lots of them.  One or two, bah!  We’re going for HUNDREDS here.  Let’s see some terrorist take all of these.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

    Why do I get the feeling you’ll be hiding near the assembly line tagging the panels with “Take One”, and little instruction booklets on how to install them… >_> (This image amuses me)

  • Albanaeon

    Moi?  (whistles innocently). 

    Hey, the military loses things by the ton all the time.  Might as well be prepared for the reality.  And they’ll probably be far more useful than the other things they’ve lost.

  • Anonymous

    (just in case we get invaded by aliens/the Imperium of Man/Godzilla/insert something such ludicrous overkill would actually be useful against)

    You’re not some sort of xeno-loving heretic, are you?  Because that would be bad.  And wrong.

    The Emperor Protects.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeff-Lipton/100001171828568 Jeff Lipton

    “All it needs is a name”

    “Death Star”?

  • Rikalous

    “All it needs is a name”

    “Death Star”?

    Naming it after something best known for being blown up by rebels is bad juju. I advocate “Star Destroyer.”

  • Lori

    OT: I apologize for the off topic, but at least is starts sort of on topic.

    I was trying to catch up on the coverage of the riots in London (hence the tie to the topic of economic disaster). In the process of that reading I found that London Calling by The Clash is being used in commercials for the 2012 London Olympics. How did I miss this information? Did other people know this?

    For the love of FSM what were the PR people smoking? I know that Joe can be a little difficult to understand, especially if you’re not a big Clash listener. Still, the lyrics of the song are readily available on the internet. More importantly, it’s The Clash. It doesn’t matter if you can’t understand a dang word, you should know that whatever they’re saying about London isn’t good. 

    I’m now contemplating the fact that this probably happened because everyone involved with the decision is too young to know that The Clash could not possibly be a good choice. I feel very old.

  • Anonymous

    In the process of that reading I found that London Calling by The Clash is being used in commercials for the 2012 London Olympics. How did I miss this information? Did other people know this? 

    For the love of FSM what were the PR people smoking?

    It’s made worse when you remember this story. It’s fine for them to use it now to promote the Olympics, but if you’re brown and ask a cabbie to play it on the way to the airport, you’re clearly a terrorist.

  • Lori

    It’s made worse when you remember this story.
    It’s fine for them to use it now to promote the Olympics, but if you’re
    brown and ask a cabbie to play it on the way to the airport, you’re
    clearly a terrorist.

    Oh for the love of…

    I’ve got nothing, save the usual—what is wrong with people?

    I do have to ask though, if cabbie’s know/understand the lyrics to London Calling why don’t any of the people in charge of PR for the Olympics. Is it an accent thing or something?

  • http://willbikeforchange.wordpress.com/ storiteller

    Yeesh.  That’s horrible.  Think I’ll play that album now in personal protest, in fact.

  • FangsFirst

    I’m now contemplating the fact that this probably happened because
    everyone involved with the decision is too young to know that The Clash
    could not possibly be a good choice. I feel very old.

    No, it’s the same reason Reagan tried to use “Born in the USA” and similar to Gang of Four’s  “Natural’s Not in It” in a Kinect commercial: “Hey that chorus/beat/melody is catchy and catches the message we want! No one pays attention to the verses anyway.”
    (Similar, really, to the way a lot of us associate songs with personal lives–verses or bits need to be omitted for it to fit completely, except in rare cases).

    The Gang of Four one was the most hysterical though. A song with a disgusted feeling about consumerism and bland/demeaning/unintelligent items as solutions to boredom and free time…used to promote a purely fluff piece of game equipment. From a band that tended to disagree pretty strongly with capitalism.

    (Though Andy Gill has commented on their active participation in the song hitting that commercial and done so in a perfectly reasonable way)

  • Tonio

    it’s the same reason Reagan tried to use “Born in the USA”

    Yes. I remembered that as soon as I read about the use of “London Calling.” It might have been George Will who did a column praising the Springsteen song as a breath of fresh air after the alleged anti-Americanism of 1960s rock.

  • Lori

    It might have been George Will who did a column praising the Springsteen
    song as a breath of fresh air after the alleged anti-Americanism of
    1960s rock.

    I believe you’re correct. George might as well have worn a giant sign that said, “I am old”.

  • Lori

    No, it’s the same reason Reagan tried to use “Born in the USA” and
    similar to Gang of Four’s  “Natural’s Not in It” in a Kinect commercial:
    “Hey that chorus/beat/melody is catchy and catches the message we want!
    No one pays attention to the verses anyway.” 

    Yeah, the Reagan thing bugged me too. I still make fun of that, low these many years later. (I haven’t heard the Kinect commercial). I know that most people don’t listen to the words, but some folks out there no them and are going to point out the problem. I know it falls under the heading of “any publicity is good publicity”, but that truism has never really made sense to me.

    The
    Gang of Four one was the most hysterical though. A song with a
    disgusted feeling about consumerism and bland/demeaning/unintelligent
    items as solutions to boredom and free time…used to promote a purely
    fluff piece of game equipment. From a band that tended to disagree
    pretty strongly with capitalism.

    I felt the same way about the Mercedes commercial that used Janice Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz”. I laughed and laughed. I’m sure that wasn’t the intended reaction. I’m also sure that I wasn’t the target audience for the ad.

    (Though Andy Gill has commented
    on their active participation in the song hitting that commercial and
    done so in a perfectly reasonable way) 

    I heard Joe Strummer’s last band play not all that long before he died. During the chatty bits he explained why he had sold the commercial rights to The Clash’s songs. The gist was that he was doing fine financially but some of the other band members could use the money and Joe had simply come to the point in his life where taking care of people he cared about was more important to him than sticking it to The Man (not his exact phrasing). Also, he thought the idea of people paying to use music that was all about hating their stupid crap was pretty funny. I thought that was totally fair. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeff-Lipton/100001171828568 Jeff Lipton

    No, it’s the same reason Reagan tried to use “Born in the USA” and similar to Gang of Four’s  “Natural’s Not in It” in a Kinect commercial

    And some jeans company (“Union Bay”?) used “Fortunate Son” (while waving a giant American flag, of course!). Palm, meet forehead!

  • http://willbikeforchange.wordpress.com/ storiteller

    Oh, I’m not that old, and as soon as you said that, I said out loud, “That’s so wrong.”  But then again, Royal Caribbean cruise line used Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life.”  Which is about drugs…

  • Emcee, cubed

    With all this discussion of aircraft carriers, battleships, frigates, etc., I’m getting a picture in my head. Let’s build two of each, one on each coast, then deploy them to secret locations in their respective oceans. Then, each side can take turns trying to figure out where each ship is, so they can blow them up. The winner is whoever is the last one to have a ship still floating.* Then, we can start all over again.

    *With all due respect to Hasbro.

    air farce

    I’m going to assume this is a typo, but coming from a Navy man, I have my doubts…

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

    This reminds me of a joke I’ve always thought was hilarious:

    How to Tell the Difference Between the Branches of the US Armed Forces!
    If you give the command “SECURE THE BUILDING”, here is what the different
    services would do:

    The NAVY would turn out the lights and lock the doors.

    The ARMY would surround the building with defensive fortifications, tanks
    and concertina wire.

    The MARINE CORPS would assault the building, using overlapping fields of
    fire from all appropriate points on the perimeter.

    The AIR FORCE would take out
    a three-year lease with an option to buy the building.

  • Hawker Hurricane

    If you want a “differences between the services” joke, here’s how they go to battle…

    The Marine is woken in a mud puddle that used to be his foxhole.  The Sargent who kicks him awake informs him that if he’s hungry, he can chew on his shoelaces.  The Captain in charge tells the men they’re going to take hill 263.  “Fix bayonets!  We’re going to give them hell!”

    The Soldier is woken by a screaming Sargent.  He scrambles out of his tent toward his tank.  He eats a MRE for breakfast, heated over the tank’s engine.  The Captain in charge tells them they’re taking Hill 263.  “Let’s dig them out, and give them hell!”

    The Sailor is woken by the shipboard announcing system.  He scrambles out of his bunk, running past the mess deck to his battle station, grabbing fresh bread, some jelly packets, and coffee.  Locked in a metal box, he cannot see or hear what is going on.  His only communication to the outside world is the man on the sound powered telephone, who informs him “The Captain says we’re giving them hell!”

    The Airman is woken by the telephone by his bed, informing him of the alert.  He kisses his wife, and walks to his car.  On the way to the base, he stops by McDonalds for McBreakfast and coffee.  When he gets to his duty station, he does the preflight on the aircraft, helps the pilot strap in, then gives a snappy salute to the pilot and says “Give them hell, Captain!”

    (This one is also used to answer the question, which service has the smartest enlisted men.)
    (Acknowledging: Joke is old and makes sexist assumptions.  The modern military properly co-ed.)

  • KevinC

    I like the “bases” idea.  In the name of fiscal conservatism, we can actually locate them within currently-existing cities and towns, and build the new nukuler-powered maglev supersonic MegaPhallus Rapid-Rail Transport System along existing rail corridors to start, then extend it from there so that we can be ready to deploy troops anywhere a Terr’rist Horde might appear.  Oh, and I want zeppelins too.  We can power them with microwave death-rays beamed from solar power satellites if necessary.

    *sigh*

    I try to laugh, but really, this crap just makes me angry.  Why does Everything.  Have. to be Military?  Just go to Physorg or Technology Review, or any of those outlets that talk about cool new research and technology, and try to find anything interesting (robotics, energy, nanotechnology, whatever) that doesn’t have a military thumb in the pie.  It’s like we pretty much have to pass every potential new technology through a “Can we kill people with this?” filter before we decide to bother working on it.  Just like, I guess, any proposal for the government to spend money.

    I understand that Republicans are simple, reptile-minded creatures for which something has to be a giant phallic compensator and/or make big explosions to be worth doing.  And, since Real Men ™ drive Hummers (or the “civilian” M1-A1 Abramsmobile that’ll come out once the roads and bridges are gone), we don’t need no steenkin’ transport infrastructure.

    But can’t we find other ways to ease their phallic anxieties (since we apparently have to appease these people in the first place) that can be useful for something other than getting into even more wars?  How about a Mars colony.  Re-open the ‘Murikan Frontier!  Great big nukuler-powered VASIMR-drive space cruisers!  Once the colony’s big enough, we’ll carve that hill in Cydonia into the holy visage of St. Reagan.  Promise.

    Oh, and please don’t worry that things like the closed-cycle life-support systems, cradle-to-cradle design for refurbishment and reuse, solar panels, hab structures and the like might generate “spinoff” technologies that could be used to help confront environmental and resource issues here on Earth.  *Jedi hand-wave* Reagan’s face on Mars.  Reeeeeagan’s faaaaaace.  On Maaaaaaarrrrrrssssss.

    *eyeroll*

    Or here’s another, perhaps more practical idea: seriously consider partition.  “Red” states/counties get to go their way, become the Theocratic Republic of Teahadistan and be as Third World as they wanna be; the rest of us, the Democratic States of America, get to have a government where deliberation and problem-solving are possible and move on into the 21st Century, without having to drag them kicking and screaming.  Or getting dragged by them back into the Dark Age they want. 

    There was a post on Slacktivist awhile back about trying to “re-happy” the conservatives.  I’ve thought about that post a lot, but the only way I can think of to “re-happy” them even a little is to let them have what they want.  It may well prove to be a disaster by our standards (economically, environmentally, socially), but by their standards, they’ll get to have their God, Guns, and Limited Government (“limited” to regulating their genitals and providing welfare only to people making $10 million a year or more). 

    For them, that’s actually worth whatever downsides their policies might produce.  If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t vote for politicians who promise to drown their own nation’s government in the bathtub, and seriously work to make it happen.  The only thing we can do, as far as I can tell (I welcome better ideas) is to do the best we can to quarantine those parts of America that want to have a civilization from the effects of their policies.  That’s not entirely possible of course–we’re sharing Spaceship Earth with them whether we (or they) like it or not.  But, some form of partition is the only way I can think of to give those not trapped in a Fox “News”/Left Behinder cognitive death spiral the freedom to enact beneficial policies and initiatives for life on Earth.

    I don’t think we have decades in which we can wait for them to die of old age while they block any useful response to peak oil, climate change, and crumbling infrastructure while moving the Overton Window ever further to the Right.  

    /rant

  • https://profiles.google.com/ravanan101 Ravanan

    Everything is military because we specifically designed our system to be that way.

    The year: 1948 (I think. Give or take one or two, I’m feeling too lazy to google it). The US government is discussing the creation of a central military authority. The plan: Create the Pentagon to help funnel money into war industries. We’re fighting those damn commie bastards, so give them as much money as they want to get the job done. Industrialists see a nigh-unlimited trough to feed from; military-industrial complex formed. We made the Pentagon as a super-organization to take down the USSR; by the time that was actually ACCOMPLISHED, so many people were getting so wealthy off of the Pentagon’s funneling that to get rid of it was politically unthinkable. Authoritarians love war and military for a multitude of reasons, so the modern Republican base is easy to convince to keep it.

    Furthermore, the military CULTURE they seek to enforce promotes authoritarianism, which also helps perpetuate the cycle.

  • Rikalous

    It’s like we pretty much have to pass every potential new technology
    through a “Can we kill people with this?” filter before we decide to
    bother working on it.

    The Rule of First Adopters: all technology will first be used for sex or violence. Clearly, we need to encourage robot porn and so forth. It is our patriotic duty.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    The Rule of First Adopters: all technology will first be used for sex or violence. Clearly, we need to encourage robot porn and so forth. It is our patriotic duty.

    I imagine that it will not be long before we see soldiers on the battlefield with auto-targeting smartguns equipped in sophisticated crotch-mount fire bracings.  

    “Suck on this!”

  • Anonymous

    From Yahtzee’s review of Shadows of the Damned:

    So for a while I didn’t really feel like I was playing a Suda51 game, but then something happened that I think deserves to be recounted in full. Garcia has an amusing buddy movie partnership with Johnson, a sort of well-spoken lost soul from Doom who can turn into a motorbike which thrums mightily between Garcia’s thighs or a handgun called “The Boner”. At one point in the game, you require some heavier artillery, so Johnson calls a phone sex line, which causes his barrel to extend by about five feet and turns him into “The Big Boner”, which Garcia holds right in front his crotch and fires by thrusting his hips forward and yelling “Taste my Big Boner!”

  • KevinC

    D’oh.  Sorry about the runaway url tags.  It’s supposed to link to a Slactivist post about “re-happying” conservatives, but the rest of the sentence explaining that got eaten somehow.

  • ako

    Phillips, oddly, is apparently only a Keynesian when it comes
    to aircraft carriers. He seems to think that aircraft carriers are magical.
    Mills producing steel for aircraft carriers, he believes, are
    generating economic growth and a ripple effect that will lead to more
    hiring.But if the steel from those mills were to go, instead, to
    rebuilding bridges or levees, then he believes it would have no ripple
    effect and would do nothing to stimulate economic growth and hiring.
    Same mill, same workers producing the same steel — but if that steel
    winds up anywhere other than in one of his magical aircraft carriers,
    then it would be a socialist boondoggle.

    Well, there are two kinds of government workers – humans, who do jobs that support the military in some way, and Bureaucrats.  It’s like vampires – once you get any government job not supporting the military, they take you to the back room, perform the Ritual of Transformation (which I can’t describe in detail, but staple removers are involved), and you change from human to Bureaucrat.

    Once transformed, a Bureaucrat changes from being someone who eats food (thereby generating business for the neighborhood grocery store), buys clothing (thereby generating business for retailers), lives in a house or apartment (thereby giving money to the landlord), goes to movies, takes vacations, supports a family, etc., to someone who lives entirely off money, sleeps in a spare filing cabinet in their office, and grows a suit-like protective outer layer which renews itself every spring.  They also magically alter the nature of the task they’re doing, so that no productivity or positive economic benefits can emerge.  If a Bureaucrat touches a school, none of the students will become successful or productive taxpayers, and all students will be doomed to a lifetime of welfare (which totally does provide lifetime coverage – facts and evidence are for socialists).  If the Bureaucrat is involved in health care, no one will become healthy enough to go back to work and make a living, but will only become well enough to spend long lives on disability (which is ultra-easy to get and gets handed out by the government to everyone who claims to feel vaguely unwell – again, facts and evidence are for socialists).  If a Bureaucrat touches a road, no one will ever use it for shipping or driving to work or anything else economically useful. 

    Therefore, it’s a bad idea to for the government to pay Bureaucrats for anything, since the tax revenue generated by each Bureaucrat is less than the cost of the salary, and nothing they do can possibly generate any other money.  Plus do you really want to infect a bunch of innocent construction workers with Bureaucrat cooties?

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    Well, there are two kinds of government workers – humans, who do jobs that support the military in some way, and Bureaucrats.  It’s like vampires – once you get any government job not supporting the military, they take you to the back room, perform the Ritual of Transformation (which I can’t describe in detail, but staple removers are involved), and you change from human to Bureaucrat. 

    Hilarious, but tragically accurate.

    Don’t forget police/prisons – as a general rule any government job that involves killing Those People or putting them in prison is OK, anything else has Bureaucratic Cooties.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Well, there are two kinds of government workers – humans, who do jobs that support the military in some way, and Bureaucrats. It’s like vampires – once you get any government job not supporting the military, they take you to the back room, perform the Ritual of Transformation (which I can’t describe in detail, but staple removers are involved), and you change from human to Bureaucrat.

    You know, Ako, I wonder what Beatrix’s reaction to this description would be.  I know you  use sarcasm, but it strikes me as being remarkably similar to the things she has said.  Would she think you serious and express agreement?

  • Lori

     Would she think you serious and express agreement?  

    No, because agreement does not generate controversy and acrimony. The troll’s goal is controversy and acrimony, not conversation. 

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    That makes for an interesting challenge.  Is there anything we could say, anything at all, that would be meet with agreement from Beatrix or Monoblade?  What would happen if they did agree with something?  Would it cause a massive release of energy like in a matter/anti-matter contact?  

    For science!  

  • Rikalous

    That makes for an interesting challenge.  Is there anything we could say, anything at all,
    that would be meet with agreement from Beatrix or Monoblade?  What
    would happen if they did agree with something?  Would it cause a massive
    release of energy like in a matter/anti-matter contact?  

    For science!

    In one thread Monoblade pointed out that Beatrix’s appeals to tradition were bullshit, which I’m pretty sure the rest of us agreed on. Results were underwhelming, but it might have been an outlier.

  • Lori

     Would she think you serious and express agreement?  

    No, because agreement does not generate controversy and acrimony. The troll’s goal is controversy and acrimony, not conversation. 

  • http://willbikeforchange.wordpress.com/ storiteller

    My life as a Bureaucrat would be a lot easier if I didn’t have to pay rent or for food.  Of course, my job is triply eeeeevil because I work to get us off of petroleum.  Cause petroleum, even when imported, is awesome, apparently.

  • Anonymous

    I try to laugh, but really, this crap just makes me angry.  Why does Everything.  Have. to be Military?  Just go to Physorg or Technology Review, or any of those outlets that talk about cool new research and technology, and try to find anything interesting (robotics, energy, nanotechnology, whatever) that doesn’t have a military thumb in the pie.  It’s like we pretty much have to pass every potential new technology through a “Can we kill people with this?” filter before we decide to bother working on it.  Just like, I guess, any proposal for the government to spend money.

    Pretty much any ‘interesting’ technology is going to have military applications, whether intentional or not.

    (or the “civilian” M1-A1 Abramsmobile that’ll come out once the roads and bridges are gone), we don’t need no steenkin’ transport infrastructure…

    I want one.
    (Okay, not really, but…)

    Or here’s another, perhaps more practical idea: seriously consider partition.  “Red” states/counties get to go their way, become the Theocratic Republic of Teahadistan and be as Third World as they wanna be; the rest of us, the Democratic States of America, get to have a government where deliberation and problem-solving are possible and move on into the 21st Century, without having to drag them kicking and screaming.  Or getting dragged by them back into the Dark Age they want.

    Could we perhaps ‘partition’ them into the colony on Mars?  I figure they’d be dead within a year, so we could just pick up the pieces they screwed up and get on with it.

  • Anonymous

    Speaking of jobs…the Diocese of Orange is offering to buy the Crystal Cathedral for $54 million. Why not spend that money on building a new cathedral (with gargoyls and flying butresses and all that cool shit) and employ a whole much of laborers, skilled tradespersons, and artisans (not to mention stick it to the Protestants with a cathedral that’s bigger, better, and badder-ass than their broke-ass glass abomination)? While they’re at it, they could put an apprenticeship requirement in the contracts and help train-up the next generation of skilled tradespersons.

    C’mon, Catholic Church! Where’s that sense of one-upmanship that made the Renaissance so great?

  • http://twitter.com/jclor jclor

    or convert them into floating schools for coastal cities.

    Or Fallout-themed amusement parks!

  • Lonespark

    MegaPhallus Rapid-Rail 
    Frak that coffee was too hot for the nasal passages.

  • Matri

    I’d like to throw in my suggestion for names: “Bible Thump”. Or “Light At The End Of The Tunnel.”

    Or we could build a pair of those ships and name them “Logic” and “Reason”. (There’s a groan-worthy joke in there somewhere that I’ll spare you guys.)


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