Morning Links

Friday, November 4th, 2011
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38 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Comrade Dread | 

    Pakistani teens who volunteered to collect evidence of innocent civilians killed by CIA drone attacks . . . are killed in a CIA drone attack.

    This is what we call a feature, not a bug.

    Besides, I’m sure they looked like suspected militants from 5,000 feet. What with being brown and Pakistani and traveling alone or in groups.

    Also freedom omelet, eggs.

  2. #2 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “Pakistani teens who volunteered to collect evidence of innocent civilians killed by CIA drone attacks . . . are killed in a CIA drone attack.”

    Instead of This We’ll Defend, or Semper Fidelis, or Semper Paratus, all this sanctimonious Latin bullcrap, how about adopting a new Armed Forces motto to suit the times:
    Kill ‘em all, let God sort em out.

  3. #3 |  Kristen | 

    Kill ‘em all, let God sort em out.

    Pretty sure that’s the “unofficial” motto. Probably the same with police departments.

  4. #4 |  DarkEFang | 

    I have degrees in Political Science and History. They might as well be degrees in puppetry, even if I had completed my phd.

  5. #5 |  Franklin Harris | 

    Michael Moore already occupies his wealthy suburb.

    And let’s face it, which would be more annoying: Hipster bongo players banging away at all hours or living next to a man who generates his own gravitational field?

  6. #6 |  MassHole | 

    At least Michael Moore’s movies are entertaining (to me anyway). His politics is pretty lame, but the guy is good at making movies (taken with a grain of salt). The segment with Marylyn Manson in Bowling for Columbine is awesome. The guy in the makeup has more knowledge and insight than all the suits combined in that movie.

    Hipsters with bongos would have no redeeming qualities and should be dealt with using any means necessary. That includes someone that takes out 35k in debt for puppetry and complains about it.

  7. #7 |  Mykeru | 

    Wow, one of the OWS protesters has an impractical degree in an obscure niche of the performing arts?

    Well, that negates the whole message of the OWS movement. Crony capitalism and robo-signed foreclosures, carry on.

    Sorry about the interruption.

  8. #8 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Pakistani teens who volunteered to collect evidence of innocent civilians killed by CIA drone attacks . . . are killed in a CIA drone attack.

    On NPR this morning, they were talking about whether the U.S. will invade Pakistan to capture all their nuclear weapons so they don’t fall into the hands of terrorists (ie: people who hate us for for our freedom or because are constantly interfering in their affairs — when we’re not bombing them). Apparently, the U.S. has given this some consideration and has a plan all ready to go if they decide to do it. This is, of course, completely separate from the plans the U.S. and UK are working on to attack Iran to eliminate their nuclear program.

    Ah, so many countries and so few bombs. Of course, building bombs could just be the shot in the am our economy needs.

  9. #9 |  James | 

    Jim Henson and Ernie Coombs were a great influence on my childhood and I think I’m better off for it. I’m in my mid-thirties and I love watching Fraggle Rock with my kids.

    It’s sad to see people being mocked for wanting to bring joy and art to the lives of children. Seems petty.

  10. #10 |  Highway | 

    James, he’s (well, mostly) not being mocked for being a puppeteer. He’s being mocked for thinking that he should be able to just get a job doing it, for thinking that there is any value in having a graduate degree in puppetry, and for thinking that it was worth going into debt to study what he did.

    In contrast, Jim Henson was an innovator in the field, and just got a BS degree in Home Economics. He then struggled for years to make a success of himself, while honing his craft and inventing new characters and whole new avenues of advertising. It took him a long time, and we can see now that he was an amazingly creative person. But that only comes after you show it. Maybe this guy will do the same thing, in 40 years, but I for one am not holding my breath, since instead of being out there, trying to push whatever talent he has, he’s falling back to a part-time school job, and the leader of the ‘puppet guild’ at a protest.

  11. #11 |  Les | 

    Well, that negates the whole message of the OWS movement. Crony capitalism and robo-signed foreclosures, carry on.

    This is a rather defensive strawman, as no one suggested this was the case. But since there are so many people victimized by robo-signed foreclosures, or who were victims of fraud, it’s silly to write a piece devoted to someone whose difficulties stem from his own decisions.

    It’s sad to see people being mocked for wanting to bring joy and art to the lives of children. Seems petty.

    That would be sad if he was being mocked for wanting to be a puppeteer. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a puppeteer. The guy is being mocked because of the poor financial decisions he made and the implications that he deserves something because of them.

    Jim Henson and Frank Oz are entertainment heroes of mine. But I think even they’d scoff at the idea that a masters in puppetry means you deserve to be a debt-free professional puppeteer, or that one needs any kind of degree in puppetry to become a master puppeteer.

  12. #12 |  James | 

    So… he studied something he’s passionate about. There are no quotes attributed to him where he bitches or complains, he just does what he does and infact created a position for himself.

    He then devotes his time to a cause he believes in, again with zero bitching or complaining about ‘the unfairness of it all’.

    Yet, you mock him. Petty indeed.

  13. #13 |  Sinchy | 

    Whether or not an MFA in puppetry is the best investment in today’s economy isn’t the point of that man’s story. The point is that a well qualified arts educator cannot make a living in this country today. School budgets are being gutted and important parts of the curriculum like art and physical ed are the first to go, and students suffer because of it while the people who would like to teach them struggle to survive.
    Maybe he would have been better off going to HVAC school but that isn’t where his talents lie. If this economy was working well people with his skills would be applying their trade educating children and making their educational experience more enriching and fun.
    I second James’ comment that the world would be a poorer place without a great puppeteer like Jim Henson. His creations are worth infinitely more than the work of say a, Raj Rajarratnan, and no one would mock his career choice.

  14. #14 |  DarkEFang | 

    “Jim Henson and Frank Oz are entertainment heroes of mine. But I think even they’d scoff at the idea that a masters in puppetry means you deserve to be a debt-free professional puppeteer, or that one needs any kind of degree in puppetry to become a master puppeteer.”

    Keep in mind that we’re talking about 18- 22-year-old kids. People that age generally don’t know anything about the real world, and universities are full of academic advisers telling them that there are loads of well-paying jobs out there for people with degrees in even the goofiest field.

  15. #15 |  2nd of 3 | 

    “But I think even they’d scoff at the idea that a masters in puppetry means you deserve to be a debt-free professional puppeteer or that one needs any kind of degree in puppetry to become a master puppeteer.”

    Did he actually say he deserved to be a debt free professional puppeteer? His actual reason for protesting may or may not seem equally silly to you, but let’s not put words in his mouth. To your second point, don’t you think it’s a little unfair to compare pioneering masters of the art to an apprentice level (or whatever grades they use) puppeteer? It’s like saying Bill Gates and Steve Jobs didn’t need a Master’s Degree to become computer company CEOs and invent computer software (or steal, whatever), so neither does anyone else.

  16. #16 |  DarkEFang | 

    “On NPR this morning, they were talking about whether the U.S. will invade Pakistan to capture all their nuclear weapons so they don’t fall into the hands of terrorists … Apparently, the U.S. has given this some consideration and has a plan all ready to go if they decide to do it.”

    To be fair, there are a few hundred Pentagon employees who do nothing except create these kinds of plans for every conceivable scenario. It doesn’t necessarily mean that such a military action is imminent.

  17. #17 |  Dana Gower | 

    Is “Tariq Aziz” like “John Smith” over here? It just seems like a strange coincidence.

  18. #18 |  Chris Mallory | 

    The puppet guy had a full time job teaching. He decided he didn’t like that. He then found a university that would let him get a MFA in puppets. Now he is back at the same school system, working as “full time sub”, without insurance, making less money and with $35,000 more in debt. He is whining about all of these last things.

    As for the “arts people” could be enriching our lives arguments, they do, if they have the skills and talent to make people want to pay them for their services. If people will not voluntarily pay for it, it doesn’t need to happen.

  19. #19 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #16 DarkEFang

    To be fair, there are a few hundred Pentagon employees who do nothing except create these kinds of plans for every conceivable scenario. It doesn’t necessarily mean that such a military action is imminent.

    I think what it means is that the U.S. has zero regard for state sovereignty and sees the answer to the terrorist problem largely in terms of plans that will almost certainly create more hostility toward the U.S. (and the terrorists that go with that).

    But, you’re definitely correct. There are probably oil rich countries out there that the U.S. will NOT invade (and you don’t need nearly as many fingers to count them).

  20. #20 |  Highway | 

    Sinchy, part of the problem with your analysis is that we have no idea whether this guy is a ‘well qualified arts instructor’. He is merely well credentialed, which is what many people are scoffing at (the idea that one should get credentialed in puppeteering).

    James, the mere fact that he’s leader of the ‘puppet guild’ in an Occupy encampment means that he is bitching and complaining about his station in life. And the position he ‘created’ is like declaring oneself to be the ‘leader’ of the Agitator commenters.

    I have no problem with people wanting to do what they want to do. That is, in fact, one of the guiding tenets of my life and advice. But with that advice comes the responsibility of every person to have self-awareness that the choices they make, to do what they want to do, have consequences. And sometimes you *must* spend time doing things you don’t want to do in order to enable doing what you want to do. And sometimes that’s all pre-loaded, and sometimes it’s interwoven. And just because a person thinks what they’re doing has value doesn’t mean anyone else does, or even if they do that their valuations are the same.

  21. #21 |  Ted S. | 

    I find it interesting that Mike Florio would praise Peyton Manning for blowing off Phil Simms, but had a temper tantrum when Packer Fans blew him off for his scurrilous treatment of Aaron Rodgers.

    (Sorry, I have no respect for Mike Florio.)

  22. #22 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Phil Simms is an idiot in the tradition of Mike Lupica-idiot. Phil is such an idiot that his stink contaminated his son (Chris) who barfed all over what was supposed to be the end to a marvelous college career by Major Applewhite at Texas. Major won games in dramatic fashion and was basically Drew Brees and Tom Brady combined only MORE loved by fans. Chris was just terrible, but kept getting starts only to be replaced in big games by Major who would do his best to rally. Most of the time he did, but sometimes Chris’s hole was too big.

    And Phil Simms would bitch about it.

    There are probably oil rich countries out there that the U.S. will NOT invade…

    The only countries the US will not invade are the countries that it does not have to invade.

    In a post-9/11 world…blah blah terrorists blah blah USA #1.

  23. #23 |  Jerith | 

    I wouldn’t underestimate this guys puppetry skill set. Working with micro-servos and other lighting tricks. He could have the same level of skill working with more types of material than the usual well paid tailor. The idea of working with fake leather and other vinyls should make him a millionaire, if he can be discrete. :D

  24. #24 |  Sinchy | 

    Highway, we do know that he is a well qualified arts instructor because the principal at the school he works in was excited to have him back and hired him, His new MFA only adds to his qualifications. Whether of not that credential is actually worth it I’ll leave to anyone who would want to hire him. His problem and why he is at OWS is that school budgets are getting slashed so they don’t hire full time art teachers. I for one, was lucky to go to a NYC public school where art was a major part of the day, and as a result I loved school. IMHO art teachers are worth more than Wall St. gamblers.

  25. #25 |  Les | 

    School budgets are being gutted and important parts of the curriculum like art and physical ed are the first to go, and students suffer because of it while the people who would like to teach them struggle to survive.

    School budgets are not being “gutted.” We are paying over three times as much per-pupil as we were 50 years ago (those are inflation-adjusted dollars). In the last 40 years, school enrollment has increased about 10%, while school employment has risen about 95%.

    Did he actually say he deserved to be a debt free professional puppeteer?

    No, but the article and the movement certainly imply it.

    Keep in mind that we’re talking about 18- 22-year-old kids.

    Actually, we’re talking about 18-22 year old adults. Of course, they’re going to do stupid things and make stupid choices (hell, I did that until I was in my 30’s!). But the first rule of true adulthood is that you are responsible for the bad choices you make. I’m a failed artist, myself, despite years of devoting myself to my crafts and constant encouragement from countless strangers over the years. But just because I chose to devote years of my life to art doesn’t mean I deserve to be paid to practice my art or to teach it. I have to earn that or be lucky enough to stumble upon it.

  26. #26 |  Aresen | 

    Another reason to like Peyton Manning.

    That is almost enough to get me to buy a Peyton Manning t-shirt and have him write that comment on.

    One of the most elegant pwns I’ve seen this year.

  27. #27 |  Sinchy | 

    Les, in the United States public education is being cut (ok gutted was a sensationalist term, sorry) in a majority of states. Budgets are about priorities and I think Public Schools should be high on the list. I don’t know that more money always produces better outcomes but cutting budgets usually leads to teacher layoffs and higher class sizes. The first things to go are usually arts and physical education.

  28. #28 |  derfel cadarn | 

    I guess puppetry was a rather bad choice for a BA. If our intrepid Jim Henson wannabe had gone to clown college that way at least he could run for political office.

  29. #29 |  Aresen | 

    I guess puppetry was a rather bad choice for a BA. If our intrepid Jim Henson wannabe had gone to clown college that way at least he could run for political office.

    Depends if he had taken the Pedo 204 minior.

  30. #30 |  CyniCAl | 

    Puppetry can be an extremely lucrative career. It just depends on whose strings you are pulling. Imagine how wealthy Obama’s puppet masters are.

    Here, maybe this image can instruct as to the nature of puppeteering:

    http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=A2KJkIa.TrROrWgAp32JzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTBlMTQ4cGxyBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1n?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3Dthe%2Bgodfather%2Bpuppet%2Bstrings%26ei%3DUTF8%26fr%3Dfp-yie9-s%26b%3D1%26tab%3Dorganic%26ri%3D8&w=1024&h=768&imgurl=3.bp.blogspot.com%2F_6cA1EMhFKf8%2FTP6jv3rJAfI%2FAAAAAAAAAAQ%2Fku4nknafTWA%2Fs1600%2Fthe-godfather-1-1024.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fyoonjins.blogspot.com%2F2010%2F12%2Fdesign-i-like.html&size=88.5+KB&name=the+opening+title+sequence+of+the+noted+film+the+godfather+has+always+…&p=the+godfather+puppet+strings&oid=9d880dffcdef4c8ed63d27e17948e9ca&fr2=&fr=fp-yie9-s&tt=the+opening+title+sequence+of+the+noted+film+the+godfather+has+always+…&b=0&ni=21&no=8&tab=organic&ts=&sigr=11n03s137&sigb=13llvv736&sigi=131enhdl4&.crumb=FO.AZxfT5Rx

  31. #31 |  Discarted | 

    There’s another reason to like Manning?

  32. #32 |  Lefty | 

    You’ll find that many of us on the left find Michael Moore just as bombastic as Limbaugh. I can’t watch his movies. I find the logic flawed and full of leaps.

  33. #33 |  Fred | 

    Apparently Mikey Moore doesn’t like being in the 1%
    http://denver.cbslocal.com/2011/11/03/filmmaker-michael-moore-joins-occupy-denver-protesters/

  34. #34 |  2nd of 3 | 

    “Puppetry can be an extremely lucrative career. It just depends on whose strings you are pulling. Imagine how wealthy Obama’s puppet masters are.”

    I got to admit that was pretty funny. +1 internets to you.

  35. #35 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @24 – Right. Hiring hourly paid people rather than full time staff is a nasty short-cut which hurts the educational system, and is also becoming as sadly prevalent in the UK as it is in the US.

  36. #36 |  Les | 

    Sinchy, I agree that education should be a high priority. I’d rather see cuts in police than cuts in education. That said, the lack of money isn’t why arts and sports get cut, just as the lack of money isn’t the reason schools lack decent facilities and supplies. The mismanagement of money is at the core of these problems and they won’t go away as long as we keep giving more and more money to the education bureaucracy.

  37. #37 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    School budgets are being gutted and important parts of the curriculum like art and physical ed are the first to go

    Actually, these ARE the first to go. But it isn’t because budgets are being gutted…and certainly not because we’re spending less on education and lowering taxes collected to pay for education. Simple fact is that we’re paying more for less.

    I’m OK with art and Phys/Ed getting cut. My business of after-school music , art classes, and youth sports leagues will be booming. At least until someone dumps a few thousand regulations on me because I didn’t buy the Senator a hooker.

  38. #38 |  Brandon | 

    That list was was hilarious. Though the elephant thing was genuinely sad.

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