Friday, February 12, 2010

TNR, The DC Bully

Leon Wieseltier is accusing blogger and former TNR writer Andrew Sullivan of being an anti-Semite. It's TNR's trademark brand of thuggery, coming this time from what used to be one of the more-respectable writers there.

Years after they chased off most of their readership, I think TNR STILL doesn't realize how discredited they are. They're reputation is so bad that I automatically think better of any of their targets. I don't like Sarah Palin, for example, but their attacks on Palin make me think better of her.

It's time for TNR to roll over and die:
Even by that magazine's lowly standards, The New Republic yesterday published an amazingly ugly, reckless, and at-times-deranged screed from its Literary Editor, Leon Wieseltier, devoting 4,300 words to accusing Andrew Sullivan of being an anti-semite, largely due to his critical (i.e., forbidden) comments about Israeli actions and American neoconservatives. Particularly since the horrific Israeli assault on Gaza, Sullivan has become more critical of Israeli actions and more dubious of uncritical U.S. support. The whole TNR column oozes dark and obvious innuendo but never has the courage to state the anti-semitism accusation explicitly (the last paragraph comes closest). TNR's Jonathan Chait piped up yesterday to embrace most of Wieseltier's premises ["Leon has written what I consider to be a trenchant and persuasive dissection of Andrew's (current) worldview on Israel and the Jewish lobby"], but then -- as though he's the Papal arbiter of anti-semitism generously granting absolution -- cleared Sullivan of the charge of anti-semitism, instead decreeing him guilty of the lesser crime of "carelessness" for failing to renounce the supposedly bigoted, Jew-hating "provenance" of Sullivan's ideas about Israel and Jews.

So shabby and incoherent are Wieseltier's accusations that they merit little real refutation, and I hope Andrew will resist the (understandable) temptation to elevate and dignify them by lavishing them with lengthy self-defenses. Certain attacks are so self-evidently frivolous that they negate themselves, damaging the reputation of the author and his editors far more than the target of the attack [such was the case with Jeffrey Rosen's trashy, widely scorned and ultimately impotent anonymous hit piece on the intellect and character of Sonia Sotomayor, also published (naturally) by TNR]. Moreover, numerous commentators -- including Daniel Larison, Gawker's Alex Pareene, long-time-Sullivan-critic Brad DeLong, and especially Matt Yglesias -- have already torn Wieseltier's "rationale" to shreds, and Sullivan himself offered up two short but fatal pieces of evidence which, standing alone, expose the idiocy at the heart of Wieseltier's attack. The specifics of Wieseltier's rant have already received more attention than they deserve.

All of that renders it unnecessary to dissect Wieseltier's specific claims. Instead, I want to note several broad points about this episode:

(1) What's most striking about this attack is how inconsequential it is. It was once the case, not all that long ago, that an accusation of "anti-semitism" was the nuclear weapon of political debates, rendering most politicians and pundits (especially non-Jewish ones) petrified of being so accused. A 4,300-word prosecution brief published by The New Republic, accusing a major political writer of being a Jew-hater, would have been taken quite seriously, generated all sorts of drama, introspection and debate, and seriously tarnished the reputation of the accused.

No longer. Neoconservatives have so abused and cynically exploited the "anti-semitism" charge for rank political gain -- to bully those who would dare criticize Israeli actions or question U.S. policy towards Israel -- that it has lost its impact. Ironically, nobody has done more to trivialize and cheapen anti-semitism accusations than those who anointed themselves its guardians and arbiters. As Charles Freeman can attest, frivolous anti-semitism accusations can still damage those seeking high-level political positions, but those accusations no longer pack any real punch in virtually any other realm. As neoconservatives became discredited, so, too, did their central political weapon: casually and promiscuously accusing political adversaries of anti-semitism.

Beaker's Ballad

Doe In The Headlights

Just make it stop:
Former Vice President Dan Quayle announced Friday that his son, Ben, is running for Congress from Arizona. The younger Quayle, a lawyer, will file papers today to run for the 3rd District seat being vacated by retiring Republican John Shadegg.

"It's the next generation of leadership," Quayle told Megyn Kelly during an interview on the Fox News Channel. "We are convinced that he will be successful."

RIP, W.F. Morrison

Father of the Frisbee:
Morrison died Tuesday of age-related causes at his home in Monroe, Utah, said his son, Walt.

Wham-O Inc. has sold more than 200 million Frisbees since Morrison sold the company the rights to what he called the "Pluto Platter" in 1957.

...For Morrison, who was born Jan. 23, 1920, in Richfield, Utah, and moved to California at age 11, his contribution to popular culture had its origins in 1937.

That's when the 17-year-old Morrison and his girlfriend and future wife, Lucile, began tossing a large popcorn can lid back and forth for fun during a Thanksgiving party.

When the lid got banged up, they switched to cake pans, which they discovered flew much better than the lid.

A year later, they were tossing a cake pan to each other on the beach in Santa Monica when someone saw them and offered a quarter for the pan.

"That got the wheels turning, because you could buy a cake pan for five cents, and if people on the beach were willing to pay a quarter for it, well, there was a business," Morrison told the Virginia-Pilot newspaper in 2007.

Soon, they were regularly selling cake pans on the beach for a quarter.

They continued their modest enterprise after marrying in 1939 and on up to World War II, when Morrison served in the Army Air Forces as a P-47 pilot in Europe, where he spent time as a prisoner of war.

Back home in 1946, Morrison sketched a design for an aerodynamically improved flying disc he dubbed the Whirlo-Way.

In 1948, after modifying his drawings and experimenting with a number of prototypes, Morrison and an early partner, Warren Franscioni, began producing the first plastic discs that -- in the wake of reported UFO sightings -- were now called Flyin-Saucers.

"We worked fairs, demonstrating it," Morrison told the Virginian-Pilot. "That's where we learned we could sell these things, because people ate them up."

In 1955, after further improvement of his design, Morrison began producing new discs, which he now called the Pluto Platter.

After Morrison sold the rights to his disc to Wham-O in 1957, the company named the disc the Frisbee.

"I thought the name was a horror. Terrible," Morrison told the Riverside Press Enterprise in 2007.

But Morrison, who told Forbes magazine in 1982 that he by then had received about $2 million in royalty payments, later changed his mind. "I wouldn't change the name of it for the world," he said.

A 1964 redesign by Wham-O employee Ed Headrick added grooves to the top of the Frisbee's surface that improved the discs' flight. The company then began marketing the Frisbee as a sports product, spurring the creation of Frisbee Golf and the team sport known as Ultimate Frisbee.

Bad Movie Alert

"The Wolfman" looks like a dud:
Johnston desperately over-relies on fog machines, startling noises and cheesy gore to summon up a semblance of atmosphere and tension in the 1890s tale about an estranged son's lycanthropic transformation. Benicio Del Toro, who won an Oscar for his searing work in "Traffic," glowers, scowls and unleashes a howl — generated by an opera singer — that wouldn't give "Scooby-Doo" the willies. It's a performance with more ham than a New York deli.

...We're indifferent whether any of these bozos lives or perishes. In fact, the only guy we root for is Scotland Yard investigator Aberline (Hugo Weaving of "The Matrix"), the person we're supposed to hiss at. Weaving brings a welcome dollop of wit and style in his all-too-brief scenes.

His brand of sly intelligence is sorely lacking in a cliched script from Andrew Kevin Walker ("Se7en") and David Self ("The Haunting"). The duo ineptly add an unbelievable romance, bursts of pandemonium, a torture scene in an asylum and a hilarious werewolf smackdown match. The film notes reverently credit the original "Wolfman" script by Curt Siodmak as the source of inspiration. If Siodmak were alive today, he might want to seek legal counsel.

NASA Scientists Plan To Approach Girl By 2018

NASA Scientists Plan To Approach Girl By 2018

No Couth; No Service

SALINAS, Calif. -- A man suspected of firebombing a Monterey tattoo parlor after it refused to ink an offensive tattoo targeting President Barack Obama on his chest has pleaded no contest to arson charges.

...Deputy District Attorney Douglas Matheson said Augustine had confessed to throwing a Molotov cocktail at Creative Visions, a tattoo parlor in Monterey, on July 13. He was also charged with and confessed to torching the Lattitudes restaurant in Pacific Grove on July 15th after he was turned down on a job application.

...Matheson said Augustine had visited Creative Visions and asked for a tattoo of a swastika and an image of President Obama overlaid with crosshairs.

"They refused to give it to him and he caused a little disturbance and left," he said.

Matheson said the arson cases began to crack open after Augustine was arrested in connection with a vandalism spree in Monterey. Between January and April 2009, a number of swastikas were painted around the city, along with the phrases "kill Obama" and "death to Obama."

...Augustine faces seven years in prison when he is sentenced March 12.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Upcoming - CORE's "Chambers"

CORE has a show coming up!

I just love this photo! There's Blair Kendall in the center, looking fierce, with Jake Montoya in the back (left), and Tina DeVine emerging from the darkness (right), with the rest of the CORE dancers in the foreground.

Make a note on your calendar!

Marie Thinks Arnold Stang Should Be My Facebook Celebrity Look-Alike

Well, They Do Have A Point....

Image from pete l'oaf, at B3ta.

OSCAR G ft. Tamara Wallace "Your Love" (Cajjmere Wray Remix)

Reasonable dance tune, featuring Disney 'Alice in Wonderland' video for no apparent reason.

Bill Clinton Hospitalized

I wonder what's up?:
(CNN) -- Former President Bill Clinton was hospitalized in New York on Thursday, ABC News reported.

Two sources have told CNN that Clinton went to the hospital after experiencing chest pains.

Clinton, 63, underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 2004 at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Stormy Weather

The only thing going for the Haitiians was the pleasant winter weather, but all good things must end:
Haitians were awakened Thursday by the first heavy rain since a massive earthquake four weeks ago, adding to the misery of hundreds of thousands of people living in flimsy homemade shelters.

The downpour a day ahead of the one-month anniversary of the quake served as a warning of the coming rainy season and the need to provide adequate shelter beforehand for an estimated 1.2 million sleeping in the streets.

Homeless Haitians have criticized tent distribution as having moved excruciatingly slow and protests have broken out to demand shelter.

The rain started before dawn in a city jammed with encampments of homeless people, many left with only the barest covering against the elements since the January 12 quake that killed 217,000.

At the huge camp in the Champ de Mars square in the city centre, where shelters have been built with any materials Haitians can get their hands on and conditions are fast becoming a health concern, people spoke of scrambling for cover.

"I tried to take cover in a corner, under a tarpaulin," said Demosthene Wisler, 23. "Everything's wet. The clothes are wet. There's no roof."

Snowpocalypse Now!

Craig sends this. Craig adds:
The scary part is that Baltimore actually received 30 inches, not the 14 inches he was going crazy over. I am almost afraid to think of what he would have done if he knew it would be 30 inches.

It Takes Two To Make Euphemisms Work

Must we be so blunt?:
An experienced surgeon who told a severely obese patient she was "going on a f***ing diet" has been reprimanded over his foul mouth and for removing the patient from a waiting list after she complained.

...The 44-year-old Maori patient saw the surgeon last April after she had repeatedly failed at dieting.

When she said she preferred the word "lifestyle" to "diet", the doctor told her she was "bullshitting" herself and was "going on a f***ing diet".

...The DHB's medical director said although the doctor had a foul mouth under stress and could be "direct and coarse" with patients, he was highly qualified and severe penalties would be a "terrible shame".

...Mr Paterson recommended the doctor undertake a course in communication skills course and meet with the woman to address her concerns.

These Folks Need Angels Too

I signed this petition on Saturday. What more do they need? Oh - a total of more than a million valid signatures for both measures:
Proponents of holding a constitutional convention to overhaul California's system of governance said today that they have "significantly" scaled back their campaign to get a pair of proposed initiatives to approve and call the convention on the November ballot.

The campaign, which reported raising $352,000 in all of 2009, needs to secure commitments for about $3 million in donations in the next 30 days to continue the effort, campaign spokesman John Grubb said today.

"We're not dead yet, but we do need to get some commitments in soon, or else the constitutional convention movement will meet its end," Grubb said. "What we're looking for are some angels."

...They must submit more than 1 million valid voter signatures -- 694,354 for the first measure and 433,971 for the second -- by May 21 to qualify the initiatives for the ballot. To make it on the November ballot, proponents should submit the signatures by mid-April.

All The Missing Whales

Indications that there used to be a lot more of them:
Human pressure on whale stocks "was much earlier, much larger and much more significant than previously thought", environmental historian Poul Holm of the University of Dublin, Ireland, told a meeting of the Census on Marine Life (CML) project in 2009.

...So far, genetic evidence has received the most attention, in particular the publication of a controversial study in 2003 by Stephen Palumbi and Joe Roman of Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station. This study's high numbers appeared to blow IWC historical estimates out of the water, particularly for humpback whales (Science, vol 301, p 508).

The pair had investigated whales for signs of genetic variation. Geneticists claim to be able to use this to estimate the size of the population in the past since large populations tend to accumulate diversity through random DNA mutations and breeding, while small populations lose it through inbreeding. The results were dramatic.

The IWC believed that before large-scale whaling began, the North Atlantic was home to about 20,000 humpback whales. With a current population of about 10,000 and rising, this meant that under the 54-per-cent rule hunting could soon resume. But Roman and Palumbi estimated the pre-exploitation population was more than 20 times as great, at 240,000. Globally, they suggested, there may have once been 1.5 million humpbacks, rather than the 100,000 estimated by the IWC.

...Palumbi and Roman are not alone, however. Charles Scott Baker, a conservation geneticist at Oregon State University in Newport, has used DNA analysis to investigate minke whales. IWC estimates put their number today near their historical levels of around 600,000 globally. But Scott Baker reckons that as recently as 300 years ago there were probably close to 1.5 million of them. That suggests its recovery is still at an early stage.

Can these conflicting numbers be reconciled? Historical abundance is estimated using a combination of the current population and the total historical catch. The problem is that nobody can be sure how many whales were taken in the past. Some estimate that the total catch for the 20th century was about 4 million. But official whaling records are incomplete, especially post-war logs.

The most dramatic revelations have come from the archives of the former Soviet Union, which carried out massive illegal harvesting of whales - especially in the 1950s and 1960s - while sending false logbook records to the IWC. Memoirs of Russian whaling inspectors published in the past two years reveal that from 1959 to 1961, Soviet whaling fleets killed 25,000 humpback whales in the Southern Ocean, while reporting a catch of just 2710. This continued well into the 1970s according to new revelations at an IWC conference in 2009 by one of the original whistle-blowers, Yuri Mikhalev of the South Ukrainian Pedagogical University in Odessa, Ukraine.

...There is also growing evidence of massive damage to whale populations inflicted by humans long before the industrial era of explosive harpoons and factory ships. Some 70,000 records of whale catches and sightings assembled by the History of Marine Animal Populations project, part of the CML, suggest the impact of pre-industrialised hunting on whale stocks was much greater than previously assumed.

Basque and Japanese fishermen were catching right whales 1000 years ago. And for centuries, many other island and coastal communities have harvested the creatures. Whaling was the first global industry, says marine biologist Callum Roberts of York University in the UK. Whalers were hunting deep in Arctic waters long before explorers showed up. When Darwin reached the Galapagos Islands in 1835, they were already overrun with American vessels pursuing sperm whales.

According to Robert Allen of the University of Oxford, it now appears that many whale populations in the northern hemisphere were ravaged in the 17th and 18th centuries by whalers employing hand-held harpoons and sheer manpower. Back then, whales were essentially "floating oil wells", providing oil for candles, street lamps and machinery, as well as ingredients for perfumes, plus bones for everything from corsets to fishing rods.

The downfall of the Arctic bowhead whale is the best documented. Thousands of Dutch whaling ships headed into the Arctic in the 17th and 18th centuries to catch bowheads off Spitsbergen, until the population collapsed. Whaling then moved to the waters off Greenland where a frenzied hunt soon wiped out what had been the biggest whaling ground in the world. Today there are only about 1000 bowheads swimming west of Greenland - and none at all between Greenland and Spitsbergen, says Allen.

The emerging history of pre-industrial whaling, and what it suggests about past whale numbers, raises some important questions. Not just about the wisdom of a return to commercial whaling, but also about ocean life in general. Jeremy Jackson of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego says the hunting of whales has fundamentally reorganised ocean ecosystems. Today, ocean biomass is dominated by small creatures. But he says this "trophic pyramid", with only a tiny tip of large creatures, may not be natural. Before we intervened, he says, the pyramid was probably the other way up, with large beasts dominating the biomass.

Keeping these big beasts fed would be possible if the turnover of their smaller prey species was fast enough to ensure that fresh food was constantly being produced. And rather than devouring an ecosystem, a greater number of whales might help feed it: when a whale dies, its carcass sinks to the seabed where it could feed a local population of scavenging species for up to 80 years. Peter Karieva, chief scientist at conservation charity The Nature Conservancy in Seattle, Washington, says there is evidence that the decline of sperm whales in the tropical Pacific has moved the entire ecosystem towards domination by species like squid. We don't know what was lost with the whales - or what else might reappear if their numbers soared.

...Until now, says Jeremy Jackson, the widespread anecdotal evidence of huge numbers of whales and other large animals on the planet has been systematically downgraded by scientists simply because it cannot be proved. He calls the process "scary, unbridled anti-historical determinism". The result, he says, is that "we deny the once-great existence of anything we killed more than a century ago".

Pretty Dinosaur

(Via the Wicked Thoughts blog - which is still pretty good, but more and more racist as time goes by)

Pretty animals! I wonder if they're good at laying eggs?:
Scientists have mapped out the full colour pattern for a feathered dinosaur for the first time. They found that the species in question looked something like a Spangled Hamburg chicken.

By analysing fossilised pigments, called melanosomes, the team were able to assign colours to individual feathers of Anchiornis huxleyi, a four-winged carnivore dinosaur that lived during the late Jurassic period in China.

The dinosaur, which was alive about 47 million years ago, had a largely grey body, a reddish-brown, Mohawk-like crest and facial speckles, and white feathers on its wings and legs, with bold black-spangled tips.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Ideas In The War Of Terror

Decitizenship. A slippery slope. If they can decitizen you for participating in a foreign brigade, they can decitizen you for parking your car outside the lines:
At the highest levels of the US military, a quiet discussion is going on about putting in place a legal framework that would permit the US government to strip American citizenship from terrorists.

The case of Las Cruces, New Mexico born al Qaeda commander Anwar al-Aulaqi, who has been a key organizer and recruiter for the terrorist organization in Yemen is the primary driver of this exploration of possibly modifying US law to allow "de-citizening."

As the Washington Post's Dana Priest recently revealed, al-Alaqi was added recently to a short list of other Americans for whom there are kill orders in place.

A senior Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has told me that to his knowledge, there has been no serious discussion in the Committee of stripping US citizenship from terrorists, but a senior Pentagon official has confirmed that some in the military are exploring the upsides and downsides of such a more routenized mechanism for stripping citizenship.

A national security attorney who serves in an advisory capacity to President Obama has reported to me that there is no legal way for the US military or the government to strip citizenship from Americans.

But Eugene Volokh, exploring in a Salon article the case of American gone al Qaeda adventurer John Walker, writes in 2001 that "8 U.S.C. § 1481 : US Code - Section 1481" may provide such a mechanism.

As Volokh then wrote pondering whether a terrorist could be stripped of his US citizenship:
Maybe. A federal statute says that a citizen loses his citizenship by "serving in the armed forces of a foreign state if such armed forces are engaged in hostilities against the United States" but only if he does so "with the intention of relinquishing United States [citizenship]."

New Things To Worry About

I was too happy - not anxious enough - so I went digging for new things to worry about:
Instruments scanning outer space for cataclysmic explosions called gamma-ray bursts are detecting intense flashes of gamma-ray energy right here in the friendly skies of Earth. These terrestrial gamma-ray flashes, or TGFs, blast through thunderstorms close to the altitude where commercial airliners fly.

In fact, they could be too close for comfort.

In a recent study,* scientists estimated that airline passengers could be exposed to 400 chest X-rays worth of radiation by being near the origin of a single millisecond blast. Joe Dwyer of the Florida Institute of Technology took part in that research, which used observations from NASA's Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager, or RHESSI, to estimate the danger TGFs pose.

The Booming Outback

Not what you think:
Australian farmers are being urged by authorities to use poison gas and even ammonium nitrate explosive to blow up rabbits, as biological controls fail, The Adelaide Advertiser reported in its Thursday edition.

A warning issued to farmers by the South Australian Environment Department urges them to "overcome the rabbit's tremendous breeding potential" by traditional means such as bulldozers, poison baits, fumigation, dogs and even explosives.

"Explosives are an alternative for follow up control . . . accreditation and training is mandatory," the information bulletin issued by the Arid Lands Natural Resources Management Board (ALNRMB) states.

Invasive animals expert Professor Tony Peacock said the advice reflected the fact that authorities and farmers were resorting to more unusual techniques while scientists searched for the next biological control for the pest.

"Calicivirus is not as effective as it was and the people that have the least problem are those who also destroyed warrens so the rabbits didn't come back," he said.


More iPhone art from Deborah.

Those pibals are a nice touch!

Polling In The Middle - For Now

Polls right now reveal little. It's February, after all. Things can change, and by a lot, by election time. Polls won't really mean much until August, and maybe not even then. It's also important to remember that Congressional elections are district-specific, and do not necessarily reflect national trends:
According to a Gallup poll this week, Republicans and Democrats each get 45% in the so-called generic ballot, designed to measure registered voters' support for the major parties.

A tie is bad news for Democrats, who control Congress and the White House. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans across the country, in part because of how the parties see themselves. Historically, Democrats have been the mass party and the GOP has generally been the minority party, based in different parts of the nation.

Despite the enrollment edge, Republicans remain very competitive in this midterm election year because of their appeal to independents who say they support the GOP candidates by 47% to 31%.

Still, 22% of independents say they are unsure or plan to vote for neither party -- a symptom of the unrest and volatility among voters this year. Groups such as the "tea party" movement are hoping to capitalize on that anti-incumbent discontent, especially in states like Florida.

Also disconcerting for Democrats is that the Gallup results are a mirror image of the voters’ mood from 1994 through 2005, the period when the GOP won control of the House of Representatives.

“As of now, Republicans are positioned to do well in the November congressional elections,” the report says. “Not only are registered voters evenly split in their preferences for Republican and Democratic candidates -- an indication that Republicans would lead Democrats among likely voters if the elections were held today -- but Republican voters are far more enthusiastic about voting this year than are Democrats.”

Paranoia In The Piedmont

Pesky thing that, the rule of law. Interesting comments at the Daily Rotten.

Well, this law seems like a reasonable thing. No one is confiscating firearms, after all: it's just that they don't want you to go parading around with them in public, or using them to cause trouble, and possibly sucking up law-enforcement time in what may be a critical time for public safety.

But still, a lot of people think like Mr. Bumble in the musical 'Oliver', that "the law is an ass":
KING, N.C. -- Residents in King were fumed over the weekend after a state of emergency declaration restricted the sale of alcohol and the carrying of firearms in vehicles.

King Police Chief Paula May said she’s received hundreds of threats related to the restrictions, which banned driving from 12 a.m. Sunday to 5 a.m.

The state of emergency for King was declared by members of the City Council after Stokes County authorities also declared a state of emergency.

Under North Carolina law, May said, when a state of emergency is put into place that includes a ban on driving, the carrying of firearms in vehicles is also banned. The King city curfew banned the sale of alcohol.

“I think there’s been some misinterpretation that I personally have declared martial law and taken away people’s right to bear arms and that’s erroneous,” May told WXII reporter Jermont Terry. “By law, statute 14-288.7 automatically went into effect. And that law which goes into effect when there’s a state of emergency prohibits the transportation, purchase sale and possession of firearms other than on one's own premises.”

The news of the ban created a firestorm of criticism.

“This is absolutely the craziest thing I have ever heard. So far fetched that I am speechless!” one post on read.

“This has to be the most ridiculous event of the century!!!!! This is the ultimate denial of liberties for the most asinine reason...bad weather!!!” another poster wrote.

May said officers did pull people over who were in violation of the curfew driving ban, but no tickets were issued.

“We did find some people on the streets,” May said. “We didn’t take any enforcement actions. We spoke to the people driving and helped them to get to where they needed to be.”

Another Thumb-Sucking Fox Forum Poll

In lieu of significant votes in Congress, non-scientific polls will have to do. John points out the Fox Forum poll.

Today's question: What is the Tea Party Movement All About?

I like the ‘fruitless mix of fruits and nuts’ choice. And I'm not alone!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Sacramento Utility Rates - A Recent History

Left: The XKCD cartoon from (roughly) early 2008, first brought to my attention by MikeMac, named "Someone Is Wrong On The Internet"

Once again, it's time for that never-ending task, keeping errors off the Internet.

Today's error concerns the rate at which Sacramento residential utility rates are increasing.

Especially over the last four or five years, I've been increasingly-worried about the rate at which Sacramento utility rates have been jumping. It was easy-to-tell that the increase was greater than the cost-of-living: you could feel it in your bones. It was only a matter-of-time before a Rebellion would take root.

And now the Rebellion is at hand:

Reining in Rates - Rolling back the city’s exploding utilities rates
By Craig Powell

If it seems like your city utilities bills have been escalating out of control in recent years, it’s because they have. In the past nine years, Sacramento’s city council has approved rate hikes that have exceeded the inflation rate by a whopping 321 percent.

And it’s getting worse. In the past four years, rates hikes have outpaced inflation by an eye-popping 1,321 percent - this while Sacramento has sunk into the worst recession of modern times, local unemployment has hit 12.4 percent (and is staying
there), and home foreclosure and business bankruptcy rates have hit record highs.

But relief is finally on the way in the form of the Utilities Rate Hike Rollback Initiative of 2010, which is expected to appear on the November ballot. The initiative is courtesy of the efforts of the Sacramento County Taxpayers Association and a team of dedicated campaign volunteers who will be working hard in the coming
months to qualify the measure for the ballot. They will be doing it the old-fashioned way, by forgoing paid signature gatherers and relying entirely on volunteers to gather the 5,420 signatures necessary to qualify the measure for the ballot.

If voters approve the measure, rate relief will begin almost immediately. A 9.2 percent rate hike that is set to go into effect this July will be canceled within two months of the election (January 1, 2011); utilities rates will be frozen in place for a year after that; and, perhaps most important of all, future rate hikes approved by the council will be limited to increases in the cost of living unless the city is able to persuade city voters in the future to approve rate hikes greater
than the rate of inflation. Under the rollback initiative, the city’s practice of using ratepayers’ money as a secret slush fund for other city expenses should finally come to an end.
Now, as far as I can tell, this secret slush fund stuff regards the city's use of ratepayer money to pay for the disposal of garbage dumped randomly in the city:
As for the violations, the city used the utility funds primarily to pay for such services as cleaning up illegally dumped debris, subsidizing water in the parks and other services to benefit residents.
Some people object to having ratepayers pay for this work, but I find nothing wrong with this practice. Indeed, everything about the operation of city utilities might be scandalous, except for this one thing that everyone else seems to consider scandalous, but which I think is just fine. I mean, where else are they supposed to get the money for disposing of random garbage?

But what really bothered me is Mr. Powell's absurd numbers: 321%, 1,321%. THAT's the real rubbish! Clearly, Mr. Powell is more interested than fanning the flames of rebellion than in arithmetic.

But what are the real numbers?

Since I've been at one location since 1995, and my utility services haven't altered a whit over that period, I have the records to do a more-reasonable calculation, and compare it to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Left: Marc's monthly Sacramento residential utility bill, with fitted curves (lower two lines; amounts in dollars), vs. the Consumer Price Index (July 1983 = 100), with fitted curves (upper two lines).
Annual rate of increase of Marc's monthly Sacramento residential utility bill, and the Consumer Price Index (July 1983 = 100).

Results fall naturally into four periods:

  • December 1997 through December 2004: The monthly utility bill is increasing faster than the CPI by about 1.3%;
  • December 2004 through September 2008: The monthly utility bill increase accelerates, so that it is increasing faster than the CPI by about 2.3%;
  • September 2008 through December 2008: That brief period when it all hit the fan - the monthly utility bill didn't change, but the CPI collapsed, so that the difference in rates is about 12%;
  • December 2008 through December 2009: The monthly bill is increasing faster than the CPI by about 4.4%.

These numbers are unsustainable and provocative and suggest a utility customer rebellion is imminent in Sacramento. Nevertheless, they are nowhere nearly as extreme as Mr. Powell suggests in his article.

I'm sympathetic to a rebellion - I'll go get my pitchfork - but I'd be happier with better numbers to start the battle.

The GOP IS Coming To Kill Grandma

Michelle Bachmann calls for the end of Social Security and Medicare:
Bachmann spoke this past weekend at the right-wing Constitutional Coalition in St. Louis, Missouri, and put forth her plan. "So, what you have to do, is keep faith with the people that are already in the system, that don't have any other options, we have to keep faith with them. But basically what we have to do is wean everybody else off," said Bachmann. "And wean everybody off because we have to take those unfunded net liabilities off our bank sheet, we can't do it. So we just have to be straight with people. So basically, whoever our nominee is, is going to have to have a Glenn Beck chalkboard and explain to everybody this is the way it is."
So, why should I continue to pay into a system to take care of today's elderly if I'm not going to be taken care of, in turn? Wean indeed! Wean all the elderly tomorrow, if that's how you feel!

No, when today's GOP talks about Social Security being "on the brink", and all this alarmist language, what they mean is that Part II of Alan Greenspan's 1983 deal to shore up Social Security is about to come to pass.

Remember, the 1983 deal was for higher Social Security withholding from working people in order to help pay for tax cuts to recover from the recession of the early 80's. In exchange for deferring income, Congress would help cover Social Security's shortfall when the Baby Boom generation started retiring, starting in 2011. That was the bargain.

Well, the time has come for Congress to start taking those tax cuts back and make good on the deal. THAT'S why we keep hearing all the disaster talk. The rich folks want to keep the money, and run.

Well, it ain't going to happen. And no one is going to be 'weaned' from Social Security or Medicare either.

But at least the GOP is being honest, for once. A rapid death for all elderly folks - that should work as a platform for the next few election cycles!

On The Various Merits Of Fast Food Restaurants

Overheard at Subway:
You know that McDonald's near my school? They'll let you sit in there for five hours. Sometimes six!


When "Borat" came out in 2007, I avoided seeing it, since it was rumored to be crude.

This last summer, driving through Las Vegas and listening to a NPR radio interview with Sacha Baron Cohen on the occasion of the release of his new movie, "Bruno", I realized that I may have missed some significant humorous times in my elevated efforts to avoid crudeness. So, on Sunday, I watched "Borat" on DVD.

For all the changes in the former Soviet Union, English-speakers remain lamentably-ignorant of Central Asian places like Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Ignorance is opportunity, of course, and it allows comedians like Cohen to impute all sorts of hyperbolic tendencies to that blank place on the map. Like the absurd national anthem:
Kazakhstan greatest country in the world.
All other countries are run by little girls.
Kazakhstan number one exporter of potassium.
Other countries have inferior potassium.

Kazakhstan home of Tinshein swimming pool.
It’s length thirty meter and width six meter.
Filtration system a marvel to behold.
It remove 80 percent of human solid waste.

Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan you very nice place.
From Plains of Tarashek to Norther fence of Jewtown.
Kazakhstan friend of all except Uzbekistan.
They very nosey people with bone in their brain.

Kazakhstan industry best in the world.
We incented toffee and trouser belt.
Kazakhstan’s prostitutes cleanest in the region.
Except of course Turkmenistan’s

Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan you very nice place.
From Plains of Tarashek to Norther fence of Jewtown.
Come grasp the might phenis of our leader.
From junction with the testes to tip of its face!
Yes, "Borat" is crude, but it is also funny. The journey between Borat and his producer Azmat across the USA is absurd. The fight between Azmat & Borat, featuring both running naked through hotel hallways, got me laughing uncontrollably: I had to leave the room to regain my composure.

I have to be careful when I laugh uncontrollably these days, because I come uncomfortably close to death (like when I started laughing uncontrollably while watching the Shadow Play in 'Austin Powers III' in a movie theater, and I actually fainted in my seat from lack of oxygen). Fortunately, I did not die on Sunday. But I keep catching myself humming:
Kazakhstan greatest country in the world.
All other countries are run by little girls.
Kazakhstan number one exporter of potassium.
Other countries have inferior potassium.
And when I hum, I sense death is near.

Oddly enough, the copy of "Borat" I saw didn't feature one of its most famous sequences (probably because it's so offensive) but featuring my former home, Tucson, AZ:

And speaking of that dangerous Austin Powers III Shadow Play, here it is:

Paulson's Memoir Out

Henry Paulson's "On The Brink" might make for fascinating reading. Even now, people don't realize that the world financial system was within a few hours of complete destruction in September, 2008. Complete Destruction, as in in Total Destruction. Secretary of the Treasury Paulson was in that unfortunate position of being Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom, evading snakes and rolling blocks of stone, but without enough movie-making technology to help him completely save the day:
Paulson reveals that he's prone to dry heaves when he's under pressure. And be forewarned: Reliving the epic, wholesale failure of the financial system and the nauseating bailouts can trigger a gag reflex. Paulson was in an unenviable position. The Bush administration was on its last legs, the economy was in recession, and the global financial system melted down smack in the middle of a torrid campaign season. Working with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke— "an incredible stand up guy" —and the cool, calm and collected president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, Tim Geithner, Paulson stitched together the guarantees, bailouts and backstops that helped cushion the fall.

...As a condition of accepting the job, Paulson demanded to be President George W. Bush's chief economic spokesman. But Paulson, a halting public speaker, wasn't particularly good at constructing narratives about what was happening in the economy—leaving the public and his boss continually shocked at the succession of failures. In late April 2007, he said subprime mortgage problems were "largely contained." In March 2008, as Bear Stearns was about to implode, Bush asked: "We're not going to do a bailout, are we?" The response: "I told him I wasn't predicting one and it was the last thing in the world I wanted."

When the bailouts began, Paulson took charge, acting as investment banker in chief. He personally replaced the management of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and put the government's credit behind the faltering mortgage agencies. "We had, I thought, just saved the country—and the world from financial catastrophe," he writes.

But just as one crazy caper ended, a new one was about to begin. The reason: The Wall Street banks were royal screw-ups. Without passing judgment on them—these were members of his former fraternity—Paulson treats us to a parade of big shots asking the government to save their banks from their own incompetence. Here's Chuck Prince, Citigroup's hapless chief executive, at a dinner in June 2007: "Isn't there something you can do to order us not to take all of these risks?" Lehman Brothers chief executive Richard Fuld calls from India to ask if Paulson can get him flyover rights from Russia to get home more quickly. Then on the day before Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, Fuld pleads: "Hank, you have to figure something out." John Mack of Morgan Stanley begs: "Hank, the SEC needs to act before the short sellers destroy Morgan Stanley." "On the Brink" will do little to dispel the notion, which Paulson acknowledges, that some Republicans believe him to be a closet Democrat. His wife, Wendy, held a fundraiser for her fellow Wellesley classmate, Hillary Rodham Clinton, in 2000, and the Paulsons are big-time tree huggers. His mother, a once-staunch Republican, had so soured on Bush that she urged her son not to take a job in his administration. Paulson love-bombs Barney Frank as "scary-smart, ready with a quip, and usually a pleasure to work with," praises Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and notes that then-Sen. Barack Obama was "always well informed, well briefed, and self-confident."

But while Bush ("admirably stalwart") comes in for similar praise, Paulson has little positive to say about other Republicans. Sarah Palin annoyed him from the get-go. When he spoke to House Republicans about efforts to help Fannie and Freddie, he was chagrined that many responded with speeches about ACORN, the low-income housing activist group. House Minority Leader John Boehner was ineffectual. John McCain comes off worst of all: impulsive, ill-informed and counterproductive. "This was crazy," Paulson writes of McCain's decision to suspend his campaign in late September 2008 and demand a White House meeting on the bailout. At the climactic meeting in the Cabinet room, Obama spoke for the Democrats, delivering a "thoughtful, well-prepared presentation." But McCain? "When it came right down to it, he had little to say in the forum he himself had called."

...As the narrative lurches from crisis to crisis—TARP, AIG, GM—the reader, and Bush, are continually presented with bailout moves as unavoidable faits accomplit. Bush was "visibly shocked" when Paulson told him in November 2008 that Citigroup was in big trouble. "I thought the programs we put in place had stabilized the banks," the president said.

The main problem with this fast-paced book was the main problem with Paulson's tenure—a surprising inability to see the big picture. And as tough as he is on congressional Republicans, Paulson lets some people off much too easy. If many smart, highly regarded people had simply carried out their responsibilities with a bit more diligence—Bernanke, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox, Wall Street bankers—much of the catastrophe could have been avoided. "As first responders to an unprecedented crisis that threatened the destruction of the modern financial system, we had little choice," Paulson writes. But the first responders assembled the bonfire and helped light it. Paulson was among the Wall Street chief executives who, in 2004, lobbied the SEC to allow them to use much larger amounts of debt—a move that set the stage for the debacles of Bear Stearns and Lehman.

Finally, given that Paulson knew this culture from the inside, it's disappointing that he doesn't reflect more on Wall Street's pathological need for compensation, on its pathetic leadership and corporate governance. But this is to be expected. Investment bankers look forward, not backward. So, largely, does this engaging, well-written narrative. It is what it is.

The Trouble With Institutionalizing Torture

The minute government officials are permitted to torture, for any reason whatsoever, it's only a matter of time before torture starts popping up in all sorts of unexpected places:
In an obvious reference to waterboarding al Qaida suspects, former Vice President Dick Cheney was asked in October 2006 whether “a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?" Cheney responded like Cheney: "Well, it's a no-brainer for me.”

Joshua Tabor, an Army sergeant in Washington State who served in Iraq, also apparently bought into that "ends-justifies-the-means" argument for waterboarding. Though for Tabor, the ends was allegedly getting his 4-year-old daughter to recite the alphabet.

Police in Yelm, Wash. arrested Tabor, 27, on Jan. 31 after allegedly waterboarding his daughter for failing to say her ABCs. "Daddy was upset because she wouldn't say her letters,” according to the police report.

The Bush administration authorized waterboarding and various techniques to exploit phobias. In true Cheney fashion, Tabor employed both simultaneously -- his daughter was apparently terrified of the water. "His purpose was to punish her by putting her in the water because he knows she is afraid of it and he wanted her to cooperate," police said Tabor told them. Police told reporters that Tabor sat her on the edge of the bathroom sink and dunked her head when she failed recite the alphabet.

As if Tabor was channeling Cheney, he explained to police that after her dunk in the water, "She said her letters after that."

Well, then. There you go. It’s just a dunk in the water, after all.

The police apparently had to coax the terrified girl out of the bathroom. She was covered with bruises.

Perhaps you’re thinking, “Well, that’s not quite fair. You people are blaming the torture of a 4-year old girl on the former vice president. Cheney was trying to save lives.”

Smart people who have actually studied the history of torture, like Darius Rejali, author of “Torture and Democracy” point out that when institutionalizing torture, government officials almost always rationalize torture on national security grounds. Despite the lack of evidence, they always insist that it “worked” because they’d look really, really bad if it didn’t.

And when institutionalizing torture, officials pretty much always try to put limits on just who can be tortured and exactly how. Both limits always fail as the torturers exceed those bounds and the brutality metastasizes throughout the national security establishment -- and beyond.

Fond Of This Joke

Those sticky gas pedals:
"Have you heard the new slogan? 'Toyota, just try and stop us.'" –Jay Leno

DC Snow Removal

John sends this funny!

Imperial Overreach

A Canadian viewpoint:
More empires have fallen because of reckless finances than invasion. The latest example was the Soviet Union, which spent itself into ruin by buying tanks.

Washington’s deficit (the difference between spending and income from taxes) will reach a vertiginous $1.6 trillion US this year. The huge sum will be borrowed, mostly from China and Japan, to which the U.S. already owes $1.5 trillion. Debt service will cost $250 billion.

To spend $1 trillion, one would have had to start spending $1 million daily soon after Rome was founded and continue for 2,738 years until today.

Obama’s total military budget is nearly $1 trillion. This includes Pentagon spending of $880 billion. Add secret black programs (about $70 billion); military aid to foreign nations like Egypt, Israel and Pakistan; 225,000 military “contractors” (mercenaries and workers); and veterans’ costs. Add $75 billion (nearly four times Canada’s total defence budget) for 16 intelligence agencies with 200,000 employees.

The Afghanistan and Iraq wars ($1 trillion so far), will cost $200-250 billion more this year, including hidden and indirect expenses. Obama’s Afghan “surge” of 30,000 new troops will cost an additional $33 billion — more than Germany’s total defence budget.

...Military and intelligence spending relentlessly increase as unemployment heads over 10% and the economy bleeds red ink. America has become the Sick Man of the Western Hemisphere, an economic cripple like the defunct Ottoman Empire.

The Pentagon now accounts for half of total world military spending. Add America’s rich NATO allies and Japan, and the figure reaches 75%.

China and Russia combined spend only a paltry 10% of what the U.S. spends on defence.

There are 750 U.S. military bases in 50 nations and 255,000 service members stationed abroad, 116,000 in Europe, nearly 100,000 in Japan and South Korea.

Military spending gobbles up 19% of federal spending and at least 44% of tax revenues. During the Bush administration, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — funded by borrowing — cost each American family more than $25,000.

Like Bush, Obama is paying for America’s wars through supplemental authorizations ­— putting them on the nation’s already maxed-out credit card. Future generations will be stuck with the bill.

...The U.S. clearly has reached the point of imperial overreach. Military spending and debt-servicing are cannibalizing the U.S. economy, the real basis of its world power. Besides the late U.S.S.R., the U.S. also increasingly resembles the dying British Empire in 1945, crushed by immense debts incurred to wage the Second World War, unable to continue financing or defending the imperium, yet still imbued with imperial pretensions.

It is increasingly clear the president is not in control of America’s runaway military juggernaut. Sixty years ago, the great President Dwight Eisenhower, whose portrait I keep by my desk, warned Americans to beware of the military-industrial complex. Six decades later, partisans of permanent war and world domination have joined Wall Street’s money lenders to put America into thrall.

Increasing numbers of Americans are rightly outraged and fearful of runaway deficits. Most do not understand their political leaders are also spending their nation into ruin through unnecessary foreign wars and a vainglorious attempt to control much of the globe — what neocons call “full spectrum dominance.”

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Peasants Are...No, Wall Street... Is Revolting!

A series of articles have appeared in the press indicating that Wall Street is taking umbrage at the Obama Administration - really, among the few sets of friends Wall Street has left - and contemplating entering the political arena more-directly against it.

To me, this is cause for excitement. Wall Street is anathema, and to face them directly makes my heart soar.

But first, Republicans are making their play. I thought corporations would be cautious about entering the political arena, but I was wrong:
Just three weeks ago, the United States Supreme Court ended a ban on corporate spending in political elections, drawing intense criticism for the ruling's potential to erode the democratic process.

This week, a group that includes some of the wealthiest Republican CEOs on Wall Street have formed a group to take advantage of new fundraising possibilities for the GOP.

The Supreme Court ruling could potentially allow the group, called the American Action Network, to take unlimited contributions from corporations for use in political campaigns.

“This administration as well as Citizens United [the Supreme Court ruling] — when you combine the two the prospects for funding these types of efforts are greatly enhanced,” said Norm Coleman, one of the group's organizers.

Coleman called the group an "action tank" or a "think-and-do tank."

Members of the groups include:
  • Kenneth Langone, a former director of the New York Stock Exchange who defended a $139.5 million bonus in 2004 and has been sued for “extortion, defamation, fraudulent misrepresentation."
  • Robert K. Steele, a former CEO of Goldman Sachs, helped Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson make his former bank one of the biggest beneficiaries of the $700 billion bailout.
  • Norm Coleman, who supported President Bush's 2005 bankruptcy bill.
  • Ed Gillespie, whose lobbying firm represents Enron, Citibank, Bank of America, Zurich Financial, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
According to the New York Times, the group also includes:
"Republicans who are donors, board members or both include Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi; Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida; Mr. Barbour a former chairman of the Republican Party; Fred Malek, an investor and official in the Nixon and first Bush administrations."
What these folks don't realize is that their money will prove radioactive in the political system, disgracing and destroying every candidate who accepts it. The impulse to keep donations secret will prove irresistible. Scandal awaits!

Glenn Greenwald comments further:
Political science professors could require students to read this article from today's New York Times and little else would be needed to convey the essence of the American political system. The article describes how Wall Street -- which poured massive amounts of money into the Obama campaign and the Democratic Party over the last several years, ensuring unparalleled access and influence -- is now threatening to support the Republicans if Obama keeps saying mean things about them. Wall Street executives are angry that, after duly purchasing the Democrats (they have receipts and everything), the Obama White House is now rousing the dirty rabble with their anti-banker rhetoric.

...There are numerous points to note about all of this. First, there simply is no more odious faction inside the U.S. than Wall Street bankers -- and that's saying quite a bit. Just over a year ago, they almost caused a complete global economic collapse -- and did cause extreme economic suffering around the world which continues to this day -- with their sleazy, piggish and lawless behavior. Yet barely a year later, they now turn around and threaten their purchased politicians with punishment if their behavior is meaningfully restricted or even if they're publicly criticized. In light of what they did -- and are still doing -- they should consider themselves lucky that the public hasn't stormed their homes and offices in mass rage....

Second, stories like this ought to put to rest forever the notion that the Republican Party is some sort of haven for populist anger. As subservient as the Democrats have been to Wall Street -- note that, more than a year later, Wall Street can only complain about "rhetoric," not any actual legislation that has been passed -- the Republicans are out there promising Wall Street to be even more loyal servants if they're given the dog treats that have recently been going to the Democrats:
Senator John Cornyn of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said he visited New York about twice a month to try to tap into Wall Street’s "buyers’ remorse." "I just don’t know how long you can expect people to contribute money to a political party whose main plank of their platform is to punish you," Mr. Cornyn said.
So the GOP is out there successfully pretending in front of the angry tea partiers that they, too, are furious about Wall Street's gorging and domination of Washington, all while simultaneously crawling to Wall Street and pledging to be good little boys and girls -- and to keep the agitated masses at bay -- if Wall Street once again purchases them rather than the Democrats. The only thing more absurd than the Democrats' pretending to be the Populist Party of the People is the Republican Party's doing so.

Third, that Wall Street is dissatisfied with the Democrats and the Obama administration reveals how extreme are their expectations of control of the Government. The second-highest-ranking Democratic Senator, Dick Durbin, recently conceded of the Democratic-controlled Congress: "frankly, bankers own the place." It's impossible to find a more loyal and attentive servant to bankers than Obama Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. As the NYT article this morning details, Wall Street executives and their lobbyists have virtually unfettered access to the administration and to the President himself. You would think they'd be satisfied with the state of affairs in Washington. Yet so extreme are their perceived entitlements of control that even mere symbolic and rhetorical disobedience from the politicians they own -- he said some mean things about us -- creates a sense of righteous grievance: our government employees do not behave this way toward us and will be punished if it continues.

Yup, The Hairless Apes Are Bored

And it's killing them:
Researchers say that people who complain of boredom are more likely to die young, and that those who experienced "high levels" of tedium are more than 2½ times as likely to die from heart disease or stroke than those satisfied with their lot.

More than 7000 civil servants were studied over 25 years – and those who said they were bored were nearly 40 per cent more likely to have died by the end of study than those who did not.

...Specialists from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London looked at data from 7524 civil servants, aged between 35 and 55, interviewed between 1985 and 1988 about their levels of boredom. They then found out whether they had died by April last year.

Those who reported feeling a great deal of boredom were 37 per cent more likely to have died by the end of the study.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Omarion - I Get It In (feat. Gucci Mane)

What was that infectious hip hop that Pepper had on the MLK soundtrack?

I done cut the braids, low cut, got my grown on
Had a sister label, Young Money, Money, long, long
I be so L.A. got my Chucks and my Locs on
I was in MIA, and MIA Superman on

I know I got it, I know she on it
I know you see it, I know she want it
She got that Cali good and she kinda hood
She got me policin' and wishin' that a nigga would

This lil' mama got her back right
She be skatin' on it, got a nigga singin' flashlight
They be trying to get her, but she be holdin' on hella tight
I got to act right, that's what she like

I get it in, I get it in
I get it in, I get up in the game
I get it in, I get it in
I get it in, I get up in the thing
Get it

Done with them boys, 'cause she done found a man now
Ain't no competition, she fumble when it hangs down
I'mma show her love, love, even when when my fans 'round
Get into the music baby, tell me how my bass sound

I know I got it, I know she on it
I know you see it, I know she want it
She got that Cali good and she kinda hood
She got me policin' and wishin' that a nigga would

This lil' mama got her back right
She be skatin' on it, got a nigga singin' flashlight
They be trying to get her, but she be holdin' on hella tight
I got to act right, that's what she like

I get it in, I get it in
I get it in, I get up in the game
I get it in, I get it in
I get it in, I get up in the thing
Get it

Fresh out my Bugatti, Polo on my body
I'm jumpin' in this shit like a pogo on a potty
So she come and talk to me like K-Ci, JoJo, and Devante
I say, "Hi, my name is Weezy and I know you know Omarion"

I get it in like parking spots
And they say money talks so don't ask me why I talk a lot
Girl, I'll kiss your softest spot, I'll buy your apartment out
Actually I just bought a house, I get it in then walk them out

I done got them dreads braided up, hair long, long
And I'm with a red don, that don't want to leave her thong on
Its too big, its too wide, it wont fit but

I get it in, I get it in
I get it in, I get up in the game
I get it in, I get it in
I get it in, I get up in the thing
Get it