No Money for Firefighters, Thanks to Austerity.

Welcome to the wonders of austerity!

Grist: Tea Partiers who watched gleefully as the sequester slashed government spending are welcome to douse forest fires near their homes with teapots full of Earl Grey this summer. Across-the-board budget cuts mean federal wildfire fighting efforts could be overwhelmed.

The U.S. Forest Service will hire 500 fewer firefighters this year and 50 fewer fire engines will be available than previously expected, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this week. The Interior Department also plans to pare back its firefighting crews.

The seasonal firefighting jobs are going up in smoke because of Congress’s inability to come up with a national spending plan. President Obama called for spending cuts and tax increases to help balance the budget, but Republicans would have none of the latter.

As they always are when it comes to anything other than military spending, prison-building, or corporate welfare, Republicans are being penny wise and pound foolish. In insisting on deep cuts to spending and in cheering on the sequester, they’ve managed to save $50 million in Forest Service spending — or what the pentagon spent about every half hour on a randomly chosen day in 2013. So we’ll throw $1.6 billion in a day at defense against foreign armies, but we’re not willing to spend that much in a year defending against natural disaster. You might have noticed, we don’t get invaded by foreign militaries every year. Spending on natural disasters is somewhat predictable, meaning you can set up an approximate budget for it. We’ve decided to stop doing this, because we’re smart like that.

The result is predictable.

Associated Press:

Remains of two people have been found in an area burned by a wildfire that has destroyed at least 360 houses northeast of Colorado Springs.

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said one person who was reported missing Wednesday was found safe, but crews on Thursday found the remains of another person reported missing. About an hour later they found the remains of a second person, he said.

The number of homes destroyed by the voracious wildfire, driven in all directions by shifting winds, was likely to climb as the most destructive blaze in Colorado history burned for a third day through miles of tinder-dry woods. It was 5 percent contained.

The destruction surpassed last June’s Waldo Canyon fire, which burned 347 homes, killed two people and caused $353 million in insurance claims just 15 miles to the southwest. The heavy losses were blamed in part on explosive population growth in areas with historically high fire risk.

OK, so this is going to cost more that $353 million in damage, we saved $50 million by firing firefighters, so that works out to one incredibly stupid decision by fiscal geniuses in Washington who are bad at math.

And, of course, this increased need for firefighters isn’t a temporary thing. It’s the new status quo, thanks in part to inaction by those same fiscal geniuses. “This year’s Western fire season began early with blazes in Southern California,” Grist reports, “a phenomenon that California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) blamed on climate change. Last week, the head of the U.S. Forest Service warned Congress that climate change is prolonging the annual wildfire season.”

So no, it’s not just an extremely bad fire season. It’s the new normal and will continue to get worse. We can’t spend money on fire fighting, we can’t fight global warming, we can just sit here and leak money like a sieve as the bills from natural disasters pile up, because that’s what you call your “fiscal conservatism.” Oh, and this all happens while we throw $1.6 billion in a day at a military developed for Cold War threats — you know, the kind of threats that happen to not exist anymore.

As long as we’re cutting things, maybe now would be a good time to rethink Republican austerity. It’s a luxurious extravagance we really can’t afford.


[photo via Wikimedia Commons]
Greece Over the Brink
Ever-harsher austerity has been a dead end, and those who demand more of it have been wrong every step of the way.
By Paul Krugman

Krugman spells out why we should call shenanigans on the Austerians in Europe who have been wrong for years about Greece. An excerpt:

It’s easy to get lost in the details, but the essential point now is that Greece has been presented with a take-it-or-leave-it offer that is effectively indistinguishable from the policies of the past five years.

This is, and presumably was intended to be, an offer Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, can’t accept, because it would destroy his political reason for being. The purpose must therefore be to drive him from office, which will probably happen if Greek voters fear confrontation with the troika enough to vote yes next week.

But they shouldn’t, for three reasons. First, we now know that ever-harsher austerity is a dead end: after five years Greece is in worse shape than ever. Second, much and perhaps most of the feared chaos from Grexit has already happened. With banks closed and capital controls imposed, there’s not that much more damage to be done.

Finally, acceding to the troika’s ultimatum would represent the final abandonment of any pretense of Greek independence. Don’t be taken in by claims that troika officials are just technocrats explaining to the ignorant Greeks what must be done. These supposed technocrats are in fact fantasists who have disregarded everything we know about macroeconomics, and have been wrong every step of the way. This isn’t about analysis, it’s about power — the power of the creditors to pull the plug on the Greek economy, which persists as long as euro exit is considered unthinkable.

So it’s time to put an end to this unthinkability. Otherwise Greece will face endless austerity, and a depression with no hint of an end.

anonymous asked:

angelhood, tanquil, stitches, and cedar

Angelhood - What is one of your favorite memories?
my 8th birthday/7th grade summer standing at my grandma’s back door watching a thunder storm
Tranquil - Who do you laugh the most with?
probably spectralpacifist bc we’re both horrible
Stitches - What kind of clothing do you wear?
lazy sweatshirts and sweaters, jeans, sneakers or flipflops
Cedar - What is your favorite season?
that space between autumn and winter where there’s only a few leaves left on the trees, its chilly but not freezing, and everything is slowing down and preparing to stop for the winter.  im gonna call it auter (pronounced “otter”, autumn-winter)

thank you, ocean tide


V: kosmos mysterium

ring armonye so-mi-so

wat relef we sowe

yeld bakke as sarrowe

luven wielde dogge

lappen up hyse blode

hedde war rekeninge

our fleshli fallinge

th’tour stode chalange

mankin youngthly gang


LI: kosmos mysterium

ring armonye so-fa-so

un-wit meyn, Angle hed wrought

pryme biheold auter woh mahte

for egle hedde quicknene

mankin nawiht lustnene

wereld binethe ssoldren

wreken al man luf-reden

lure of erthe creacioun

brohte leit blenken an blenden


O: kosmos mysterium

ring armonye so-fi-so

forth-clepien ur colden elde

undern whanne wit embrave feld

drinken wines til deyen ariue

mankin earming forth-gon anewe

al yefte er self symulacris

amalgaming amed ypocris

ich wer al eche in plentee mell

gaf lyflode al ur force farewel

Auter Theory ft. Cowboy Bepop

“Another point in Watanabe’s favor comes by way of the auteur theory, first written about by Francois Truffaut for Cahiers du Cinema in 1954 and again by Andrew Sarris in the U.S. in 1962. Auteur theory is the idea that a director’s personal vision or creative voice must come through a film to make it a work of art. According to Sarris, the second premise of auteur theory says, “Over a group of films, a director must exhibit certain recurrent characteristics of style, which serve as his signature.” Along with technique and interior meaning, the director’s style must come not out of a single work, but over the course of many films. Though the theory is controversial and far from perfect—Truffaut himself later disowned it—it can be a useful tool, especially when examining other mediums.”


Common Themes:

  • his films often take place in a short space of time, like 24 hours
  • they often take place in Texas
  • A large number of his films star children and teens

Dazed and Confused (1993) fits all three of his common themes.

A coming-of-age film follows the mayhem of group of rowdy teenagers in Austin, Texas, celebrating the last day of high school in 1976.

Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset, (2004), Before Midnight (2013) the films in this series of films all take place in less than a day.

On his way to Vienna, American Jesse meets Celine, a student returning to Paris. After long conversations forge a surprising connection between them, Jesse convinces Celine to get off the train with him in Vienna. Since his flight to the U.S. departs the next morning and he has no money for lodging, they wander the city together, taking in the experiences of Vienna and each other.

The film starts nine years later as Jesse travels across Europe giving readings from a book he wrote about the night he spent in Vienna with Celine. After his reading in Paris, Celine finds him, and they spend part of the day together before Jesse has to again leave for a flight.

On the last night of their idyllic Greek vacation, longtime lovers Jesse and Celine reminisce about their lives together and what different choices might have brought.

Boyhood (2014) revolves around children.

The joys and pitfalls of growing up are seen through the eyes of a child named Mason, his parents and his sister. Vignettes, filmed with the same cast over the course of 12 years, capture family meals, road trips, birthday parties, graduations and other important milestones. 

School of Rock (2003)

Overly enthusiastic guitarist Dewey Finn gets thrown out of his bar band and finds himself in desperate need of work. Posing as a substitute music teacher at an elite private elementary school, he exposes his students to the hard rock gods he idolizes and emulates, much to the consternation of the uptight principal.

The Auter Theory

An Auter is a ‘creator of a piece of media’ which exhibits his/her style’. 

An example of this, is that of a film director, who has a signature style in the way the film is fully controlled by solely that person. Auter’s have their own individual stamp of identity which is clearly shown in every piece of their work. 

I am analysing different Film Directors to who have reoccurring themes or the mise-en-scene is very similar in the media product they produce. This area attracts a lot of controversy, with lots of debates to who decides who is an Auter and to what depth or level they are one. I am going to be analysing Tim Burton, Martin Scorsese, Alfred Hitchcock and Baz Luhrmann. 

Alfred Hitchcock

It is said that Alfred Hitchcock’s style is immediately seen in any of his films, from the recurring themes, narrative, audience role, and portrayal of gender roles, with many of his films exploring the deep psychological connection of his audience’ minds and characters. It is said that his filmmaking was very much influenced from this own life, when growing up in a strict catholic home, to defying his parents for what they wanted for him. 

For example, Hitchcock’s respect level rose to a large extent with the masterpiece ‘Psycho’. It was dubbed, in 1960, as the ‘mother of all horrors’, as it started up a mass amount of violent killings in movies and other horror films, such as the ‘Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ in 1974. He turned over all the conventions which defined hollywood in the 60′s. In Psycho he killed off the main female protagonist, the star of the film, within the first part of the film, which to an audience of that era would have been very shocking. His films regularly show a woman to be vulnerable and weak, especially in Psycho, where there was a close up shot of her screaming at her murderer. Below is a complication of shots from Hitchcocks films. 

Tim Burton

Tim Burton was born in America, August 1958, is a renowned film director, producer, writer, artist and animator. He is an auter as his films include, Beetlejuice, Nightmare before Christmas, Dark Shadows, Alice in Wonderland, Edward Scissorhands and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In each of these films, he has the recurring themes of dark and gothic, fantasy combined with horror. 

You can instantly tell whether a film you are watching is a Tim Burton film. For example, comparing the two films of The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride, there are very clear and definite similarities. For example, there is a clear similarity to the way in which Tim has drawn and given characteristics to the different characters. Bearing in mind the time differences and the move forward in the clear technology differences between the two films, but the two female protagonists, in both Corpse Bride and The Nightmare before Christmas, have both been portrayed with wide eyes, a slim and bony facial and body structure, and the cuts and bruises in which is on their bodies and faces. 

Baz Luhrmann

Baz Luhrmann 

- Theme of tragic love, tragedy

Martin Scorsese

Continued from +

 Distance and close k’auters
           two dee’verent zh’ings, Benjamin.

The reply sounds distracted, his gaze unfocused rather
suddenly. A plan of attack? Pietro never planned anything.
He just jumped and made it up as he went along. But rather
suddenly his thoughts have been over taken by someone else.
Wanda. She’s hurt.

It’s blinding how quickly he’s yanking at his friend again. Pulling
Benjamin up and onti his feet, and half dragging him towards the
door. No time for real plans, they need to go. Wanda need him.

       “I will handle zh’ose in bet’veen us and stairwell.
              You handle anyzh’ing zh’at comes up behind, da?