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  • gmoke commented on the blog post Over Easy: Alas Babylon

    2015-01-13 21:59:51View | Delete

    “Alas, Babylon” was made into a TV show on Playhouse 90 back in 1960. I read the book when I was a kid and saw the TV show too.

    There are a number of nuclear holocaust novels out there from On the Beach to Fail-Safe and far beyond. We still haven’t come to grips with what it really means to have such weapons.

  • gmoke commented on the blog post Film Review: The Present-Day Consciousness of ‘Selma’

    2015-01-11 20:51:38View | Delete

    Pity MLKJr never studied Gandhian economics, the idea of a non-violent economic system, as well as Gandhian political non-violence, satyagraha. I’ve asked Rep John Lewis if they’d ever studied it during the civil rights movement days and he said no. Today, I had the chance to ask Bob Moses, the SNCC leader, the same question and got the same answer.

    You can’t have a non-violent politics without a non-violent economic system.

  • gmoke commented on the diary post Gary Webb and the 2014 Sandinistas by danps.

    2014-10-25 21:15:28View | Delete

    Gee, didn’t the CIA participate in the heroin trade during the Vietnam War too? Why should we think they haven’t consistently been involved in drug trafficking throughout their history? I mean, this year was the reportedly the largest harvest of opium in Afghanistan and wasn’t the brother of ex-president Hamid Karzai rumored to be one [...]

  • gmoke commented on the diary post Saturday Water Cooler: RIP Jack Bruce by dakine01.

    2014-10-25 21:01:24View | Delete

    Bruce was also an accomplished jazz/fusion player and part of Tony Williams Lifetime for the record “Turn It Over.” Great musician.

  • gmoke commented on the diary post Laura Poitras and Tom Engelhardt: The Snowden Reboot by Tom Engelhardt.

    2014-10-20 19:32:37View | Delete

    We are the 98.4%.

  • gmoke commented on the diary post Over Easy: Monday Science by BoxTurtle.

    2014-09-01 18:56:42View | Delete

    Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown WHEN Tue., Sep. 9, 2014, 12:30 – 2 p.m. WHERE Harvard, Bowie-Vernon Room (K262), 2nd Floor, CGIS Knafel, 1737 Cambridge Street, Cambridge MA GAZETTE CLASSIFICATION Lecture, Social Sciences ORGANIZATION/SPONSOR Program on U.S.-Japan Relations SPEAKER(S) Gregory Jaczko, former chairman, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2009-12); Kenji Tateiwa, manager of nuclear power programs, Washington [...]

  • gmoke commented on the diary post Solar Roadways: The Amtrak Commission and Other News by Phoenix Woman.

    2014-09-01 18:53:10View | Delete

    A DOT engineer evaluates the Solar Roadway concept: “I believe the application can be used for smaller scale purposes — potentially, pedestrian walkways and sidewalks that get lower load and have fewer safety considerations,” Eric Weaver said. “For roads, there are so many unknowns…. “In terms of the long-term vision, I don’t consider it [...]

  • gmoke commented on the diary post Saturday Art: Influential Authors: Sinclair Lewis by dakine01.

    2014-08-23 20:07:27View | Delete

    Turns out Sinclair Lewis spent a (very) little time at Upton Sinclair’s commune in NJ and sold some plots for short stories to Jack London. Read _It Can’t Happen Here_ after the Bush/Cheney coup but read most of the others when I was in high school. Lewis created a linked world where Elmer Gantry appears [...]

  • According to a former Comcast retention person in an article on, the way to cut through the BS is to tell the person on the end of the Comcast phone the reason why you’re ending your service is because you’re moving out of the country.

  • gmoke commented on the diary post Pull Up a Chair: Fantasy Dinner Guests by Elliott.

    2014-07-19 17:56:15View | Delete

    If you’re going to invite Mark Twain, you should also invite Joan of Arc, one of his favorite people in history. Don’t invite Benjamin Franklin or James Fenimore Cooper as he did not like them at all.

  • I’ve heard that prescription drug addiction is much worse than illegal drug addiction. I’ve also heard that pharmaceutical companies make more prescription drugs than necessary to feed addicts and their habits. It’s all figured into the bottom line.

    I could be wrong but my super-cynicism sense tells me that something’s fishy in the prescription drug supply.

  • gmoke commented on the diary post A Stamp for Pearl by KateCA.

    2014-07-03 14:34:57View | Delete

    Little Girl Blue

    Saw Janis perform live twice. She’s the only performer I’ve ever seen who grew on stage. She got to be ten feet tall in the spotlight. Amazing. Heart-breaking.

  • US is 25% of the world in most things. Last time I looked, we still produced about 26% of the goods and services too but that was a few years ago.

    Still, we’re #1!!!!! in people in prison and #1!!!! in cost of healthcare. USA USA USA USA!!!!

  • gmoke commented on the diary post Laura Gottesdiener: Security vs. Securities by Tom Engelhardt.

    2014-06-23 20:31:32View | Delete

    Laura Gottesdiener is great. Seen her on CSPAN2 and she takes no prisoners. May she continue to do such fine work for a long, long time.

  • gmoke commented on the diary post Laura Gottesdiener: Security vs. Securities by Tom Engelhardt.

    2014-06-23 20:26:23View | Delete

    There’s a global change in real estate which I haven’t seen much commentary on. I noticed it first when I saw an article about people in expensive neighborhoods of London complaining about the Russian and Arab plutocrats buying up property to live in for a month a year, hollowing out what once were viable communities. [...]

  • gmoke commented on the diary post Saturday Art: Influential Authors: Alexandre Dumas (Pére) by dakine01.

    2014-05-25 15:39:25View | Delete

    1988 French miniseries of The Count of Monte Cristo with Gerard Depardieu is available on youtube:

    You can use the “CC” or closed caption button to get subtitles for the French. Dumas pere and fils are both worth reading. Dumas grandpere was a general under Napoleon and an interesting figure in his own right.

  • gmoke commented on the blog post Can Climate Change Be Stopped Politically?

    2014-04-23 20:00:44View | Delete

    If you look at the national or international level, the politics is currently impossible. If you look at the state and municipal levels, the politics is eminently practical. Couch the debate in terms of emergency preparedness, resilience, and job creation and you have a winning strategy, maybe even in those Southern states where the legislature is trying to make sea level rise illegal, the King Canute statute.

    There is also the possibility that the price reductions in solar electricity and other renewables may make a lot of those fossil fuels irrelevant and uneconomical. Something like 90% of all the new generating capacity installed in the US this year has been renewables.

    It would be nice to have a price on carbon but that’s not gonna happen any time soon and the current IPCC “social cost of carbon” is a very, very sketchy $42 per ton, especially when the range of that price goes from around $2 to over $200 per ton depending upon what study is being used.

  • gmoke commented on the diary post Saturday Art: Influential Authors: Robert B. Parker by dakine01.

    2014-04-13 16:34:27View | Delete

    Story I heard was that Parker wrote Sunny Randall as a character for Helen Hunt to play. Parker is a good craftsman. All his books are readable and worthwhile, although I feel the last few Spensers were more than a little formulaic.

  • gmoke commented on the blog post Pride and Prejudice and the Market in Marriages

    2014-04-06 13:41:43View | Delete

    Recently read some of the early and unfinished works of Ms Austen. She certainly had an unsentimental view of human nature and a true eye for the underlying reality of human society. Lady Susan is a thoroughly mercenary manipulator and the quote from Sanditon would probably make Gary Becker and the whaaambulance billionaires go apoplectic:

    _Lady Susan/The Watsons/Sanditon_ by Jane Austen
    NY: Penguin Books, 1974

    Lady Susan
    (90) My dear Alicia, of what a mistake were you guilty in marrying a man of his age! – just old enough to be formal, ungovernable and to have the gout – too old to be agreeable, and too young to die.

    (189) But she [Lady Denham] is very, very mean. – I can see no good in her. – Poor Miss Brereton! – And she makes everybody mean about her. – This poor Sir Edward and his sister, – how far nature meant them to be respectable I cannot tell, – but they are _obliged_ to be mean in their servility to her. – And I am mean too, in giving her my attention, with the appearance of coinciding with her. – Thus it is, when rich people are sordid.

  • gmoke commented on the diary post Have the Climate Deniers Won? by Elliott.

    2014-03-22 19:04:18View | Delete

    A few months ago, I heard Naomi Oreskes say that Keeling thought by the mid-1960s his data had conclusively proven that CO2 was producing climate change.

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