the elite have lessons for the poor, poppies and olive tree wallpaper, some links

A third of Kentucky residents live in poverty. Ron Paul, Rand’s father was elected to the House of Representatives in 1976. A rank and file member of the House currently receives $174 thousand dollars a year in salary. That figure does not include the value of fringe benefits which include several subsidized health-care options, holidays off or vacation time. His son Rand, currently running for the U.S. Senate  attended Baylor University and also received an M.D. from his dad’s Alma mater Duke University School of Medicine. A student’s legacy, whether mom or dad previously attended is a consideration while evaluating an admission. Both universities receive federal grants and state funds for basic operating costs and for research. Rand Paul Faces Backlash After Suggesting That America’s Poor Don’t Have It That Bad (VIDEO).

Paul went on to say that “the poor in our country are enormously better off than the rest of the world. It doesn’t mean we can’t do better. But we have to acknowledge and be proud of our system of capitalism.”

Not that details matter, but the U.S. has a history of endemic poverty from our founding up through the Great Depression of 1929. During the years leading up to the Civil War prostitution contributed more to the economy than shipbuilding, printing, breweries and dress making combined. During the 19th century large city jails like New York held more inmates for non-payment of debts than for serious crimes. The New Deal helped, but poverty was a major problem up through the 60s when LBJ initiated the War on Poverty. Not an unblemished effort but largely succeeded in getting many Americans out of the deeply structural poverty that plagued America since the original colonies. With Paul’s very nice and subsidized education he could have at least thrown in the term “relative” in referring to poverty. The way the conservative/libertarian game is played is they can name someone worse off than the last person you mentioned. It’s a pissing contest among people old enough to have a clue. Especially someone with the kind of elite lifestyle into which Rand(y) was born. I would rather be poor in the U.S. than Somalia, Uzbekistan, Cambodia or a dozen other countries where poverty is soul grinding. On the other hand I would rather be poor in Sweden, Finland, Denmark or the U.K.. Not only would I have food, shelter and clothing but programs are available for training in new job skills and I would not be a cultural leper. The U.S. is a nation of opportunity and stands shoulders above dozens of nations. That understood we’ll never know if Rand had started out as the child of a poor family if he could have worked his way up to having such a good education and comfortable income. He will never be able to regale us with his rags to riches Horatio Alger story. While they happen in the U.S. they’re rare. Rand and his father are products of socialism. Not real socialism where the state is run as a collective which owns all land, capital and rewards of labor. We’re talking about how the Becks and tea stains define socialism where any part of your income ( directly or indirectly) or the skills that made your income possible came via the federal or state government. A definition which renders the term either meaningless or means we’re all socialists now – THE CONSERVATIVE NANNY STATE – How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer.

landscape wallpaper

poppies and olive tree wallpaper

(Video) Portishead’s “Sour Times”

Ad campaign: She didn’t ask for it – Scotland gets a straightforward anti-rape PSA that attacks victim-blaming

It starts with a familiar scenario: Pretty girl in a bar wearing a short skirt. Continuing the generic vibe of the scene, a guy catches a glimpse of her and exclaims to his buddy: “Check out that skirt — she’s asking for it!” Cut to the same girl earlier that day looking at skirts in a department store. The saleslady asks if she could use some help. The girl replies matter-of-factly: “Yeah, thanks, I’m going out tonight and I want to get raped. I need a skirt that will encourage a guy to have sex with me against my will.” The clerk excitedly coos: “The blue one. Definitely the blue one.”

Feel a wee bit unsettled? Aye, you should. Women don’t flirt, drink or dress their way into rape, and the ad highlights the absolute absurdity, and basic inhumanity, of the “asked for it” attitude. As the Scots would say, the spot is pure dead brilliant.

black and white rose

Jean-Paul Marat (24 May 1743 – 13 July 1793) was murdered in his bathtub on this day in 1793 by Charlotte Corday. The bathtub is said to have been in the shape of a  high-buttoned shoe.

At home with the Beatles: Sue Baker’s unseen photo album (slideshow) “These unseen photographs of the Beatles in their heyday were taken by teenage superfan Sue Baker”