Blog Archive

Monday, June 27, 2016

Brexit, Lexit, Neoliberalism and the Real Struggle of our Confused Age

"Same as it ever was..."-Talking Heads

So David Cameron gambled that a bone thrown to the lower classes and the rump racists and nativists(their version of the worst elements of our Tea Party), in the form of a Referendum on whether or not to leave the EU, backfired horribly.
Nobody expected the plurality to vote for Leave....that was considered impossible...largely because the existential crises of Working People have been dismissed by the Rulers, and pooh-poohed and lumped in with the racists and nativists.
It is similar to the ongoing ferment in our own Election Season...with so many Liberals(in US usage) filled with ennui and alienation and anger, and no place to put it, or to express it.
The British Labour Party, after Blair, is in the same boat, roughly, as our own Democratic Party, after Clinton.
It represents the Upper Middle Class, at best...and has effectively thrown everyone below that level off a cliff.
Turns out that continually ignoring the suffering of a great number of one's constituents has consequences.
The usual Identity Politics and “look, something shiny!” and “it's all (insert hated minority)'s fault!”...only has purchase for so long.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has an interesting take on the whole mess...

as does the Naked Capitalist's brilliant Yves Smith:

melt all that together in a pot of Pepe Escobar:

….and typical astuteness from Truthout:

...and we arrive at what looks like what's really going on, here.

Then there's this:
I have no idea who this guy is, but I've seen it floating around the more erudite comments sections.
Whomever he is, he's right:

Kutner, as usual, sums everything up nicely: “Rising mass discontent has failed to dethrone the elites responsible for these policies, but it has resulted in loss of faith in institutions. The one percent won the policies but lost the people. “

It's stupid, but entirely predictable.
As the Demparty abandoned FDR and the Masses, so has Labour abandoned it's former Principals and become, in similar fashion, the Moderate Wing of the respective “Conservative” Parties(gop, over here, Tory over there).
The same thing is happening almost everywhere we look.
Angry poor people are turning to NeoFascist ideologues because the Left has been so effectively castrated.
This is all the fruit of a hundred years of Anti-Marxist Hysteria, meant to protect the Aristocracy from any sort of Socialist reform or restraint.
By lumping all consideration of the People into the bogeyman of Soviet Style Communism, the Elite have shot themselves in the ass.
But the Mandarins of Neoliberalism* are once again failing to see the writing on the wall...they believe their own hallucinatory rhetoric, and believe so hard in the Utopian Vision that they never expect a Revolt of the Masses, nor understand that they are backing themselves into a corner of their own making.
Why would the People revolt, after all, when the System the Masters have designed and implemented is so Perfect and Sublime?
This Blindness is their Fatal Flaw.
So...because “There is No Alternative” to the Neoliberal Totality....because the People have No Choice in the matter...we'll enter a period akin to the 1930's, due to the same Blindness of the Mandarins, and the same Failures.
The EUC, and it's Masters in Big Banks and Multinationals...along with our own “Chattering Classes” and Their Masters in the American analogs of Moloch...will become the Ancient Regime, at the storming of the Bastille.
The Masters become metaphorical that ends up being is anyone's guess.

They could, of course, pull it out of the fire, one more time....I expect under Hillary to be able to get Gay Married while legally smoking a joint and maybe even having a little bit better access to Healthcare and Education....but such Reforms will be too little and too late to make any real difference.
They will be merely further exercises in kicking the proverbial Can down the be dealt with again and again...until some unknown threshold of pain and suffering is crossed, and the Hobbsian War of All against All erupts and formally begins the Dark Age we've been flirting with for most of my lifetime.
The Aristocracy never learns...and neither do We, the People.
"They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven..."-Alan Ginsberg, "Howl"

*- as for ain't Liberal(American Usage) nor is it all that New.
It's a resurgent Feudalism, dressed up in Post-Post Modernist obfuscatory Language, that means nothing and serves only to Deceive the Masses, while the Aristocracy once again runs off with most of the Pie.
It's an old, old story.

Here's a good summation:


“a list of key points in neoliberalism:
transaction maximalisation
maximalisation of volume of transactions (’global flows’)
contract maximalisation
supplier/contractor maximalisation
conversion of most social acts into market transactions
artificial maximalisation of competition and stress
creation of quasi-markets
reduction of inter-transaction interval
maximalisation of parties to each transaction
maximalisation of reach and effect of each transaction
maximalisation of hire/fire transactions in the labour market (nominal turnover)
maximalisation of assessment factors, by which compliance with a contract is measured
reduction of the inter-assessment interval
creation of exaggerated or artificial assessment norms (’audit society’)
A final summary definition of neoliberalism as a philosophy is this:
Neoliberalism is a philosophy in which the existence and operation of a market are valued in themselves, separately from any previous relationship with the production of goods and services, and without any attempt to justify them in terms of their effect on the production of goods and services; and where the operation of a market or market-like structure is seen as an ethic in itself, capable of acting as a guide for all human action, and substituting for all previously existing ethical beliefs.”

Here is another:

“The NTC [neoliberal thought collective] is held together first and foremost by fealty to some core ideas; the institutional structure is primarily a means for those ideas to be inserted into various specific political situations, and to be passed on to the next generation. For purposes of discussion I paraphrase them here in extremely truncated format, without going into detail about any single proposition. The intellectual content of neoliberalism is something that warrants sustained discussion, but this can only happen once critical historians can admit they are no longer basing their evaluations on the isolated writings of a single author. There is no convenient crib sheet describing what the modern neoliberal thought collective actually believes.
(1) “Free” markets do not occur naturally. They must be actively constructed through political organizing. (2) “The market” is an information processor, and the most efficient one possible—more efficient than any government or any single human ever could be. (3) Market society is, and therefore should be, the natural and inexorable state of humankind. (4) The political goal of neoliberals is not to destroy the state, but to take control of it, and to redefine its structure and function, in order to create and maintain the market-friendly culture. (5) There is no contradiction between public/politics/citizenship and private/ market/entrepreneur-and- consumerism—because the latter does and should eclipse the former. (6) The most important virtue—more important than justice, or anything else—is freedom, defined “negatively” as “freedom to choose”, and most importantly, defined as the freedom of corporations to act as they please. (7) Capital has a natural right to flow freely across national boundaries—labor, not so much. (8) Inequality—of resources, income, wealth, and even political rights—is a good thing; it prompts productivity, because people envy the rich and emulate them; people who complain about inequality are either sore losers or old fogies, who need to get hip to the way things work nowadays. (9) Corporations can do no wrong—by definition. (10) The market, engineered and promoted by neoliberal experts, can always provide solutions to problems seemingly caused by the market in the first place: there’s always “an app for that.” (11) There is no difference between is and should be: “free” markets both should be (normatively) and are (positively) most the efficient economic system, and the most just way of doing politics, and the most empirically true description of human behavior, and the most ethical and moral way to live—which in turn explains, and justifies, why their versions of “free” markets should be, and as neoliberals build more and more power, increasingly are, universal.”

-(from comments here: referencing this article: (
It's a Non-Ideological Ideology. The Rulers really don't care if there's Gay Sex, or Pot Smoking or Racist Violence or Equality for Women or any of the stuff we care about, down here on the ground.
All that is a distraction.
As for the “Liberalism” in the name:
it's simple, really.
Americans use the word "liberal" differently than the rest of the universe.
because all things that flowed from Marx were so horrifying to the railroad barons and industrialists, and since Marx, et al. labeled themselves "Socialist", or variations on that theme...anti-capitalists, anti-supercapitalists, and other lefty-ish folks in the US had to come up with a new word for themselves.
"Progressive" had some utility, for a time, but I think that the experience of Prohibition kind of left a sour taste...and "Progress" was of course the rai·son d'ê·tre of the Industrialists and Coal Barons.
FDR could hardly run on a "Socialist" or "Social Democratic" ticket( there had already been Red scares a plenty, and an enormous propaganda effort)...and "Democrat" was still associated with Dixiecrats and the rest of the revanchist "Liberal" had to make do.
when Walter Lippmann got a bunch of stuffed, self-important, shirts together in Paris to lament how badly hypercapitalism had failed during the Depression, and Hayek insisted that their new movement should be a restating of "Classical Liberalism" (=Laissez faire)...hence, "Neo"="new"--"Liberalism".
it may or may not have been a source of humor in Mt Pelerin, some years later, that this engendered confusion among Liberals in America.
I'm sure it's the source of 100 year old scotch spewing laughter today, in some rarefied circles.
so, in spite of everybody's confusion...and some peoples' denial...Neoliberalism is a real thing...and it happens to be the driving force of what's happening in the world, today.
it's behind the whittling away of the otherwise successful European welfare state, and the evisceration of all things New Deal, here at home, as well as the weird machinations in China, in the last 20 or so years.
it was the pseudophilosophy imported into Russia, after the collapse, by our very own Missionaries of Greed--bright eyed University of Chicago Econ. post grads...that enabled the wholesale looting of that decrepit empire by what became known as the "Oligarchs". It was behind the Asian Tiger Phenomenon.
On and on.
the best, most well documented examples of "Neoliberalism" was in South America, during the 70's and 80's...especially Pinochet.
That most Americans are incredulous and steadfastly ignorant should surprise no one.
But the information is English...for all who care to look.

and, btw...the European "welfare state" was built from a competing philosophy that originated in that same Lippmann Colloquy...called "Ordoliberalism". It was very successful for many years, until in the last decade or so, when they let in a bunch of neoliberal policy wonks to jigger things.
This happened due to the predictable Dysfunction(culminating in the Great Recession), which led to debt troubles, which led to IMF/WB troubles and scoldings, which led to the Powers that be over there, allowing the Neolibs into the gate, at long last.
folks like Blair and that former French Prez I can never remember his name and Merkel are/were all in the neolib camp...or near enough.
This is a top of my head summary, as usual...and European politics is not my strong point.
The video floating around here of Chomsky and the Greek former Finance guy talking for an hour is worth a look( it doesn't really get into the last 15-20 year history of the Eurozone, and their move away from Ordoliberalism.
I only bring it up, because since Bernie made the Nordic Model relevant to US politics, there's been a great hue and cry from the Right(and not so right(wink)), that the Nordic Model, and by extension, Ordoliberalism, has failed utterly.
It hasn't...but not for lack of trying by the Big Money Men.
for a thorough history of all of this, going all the way back, I highly recommend this book by a couple of Frenchmen.
the translation is sometimes a little off...and the econspeak requires sufficient scotch...but it's worth it

the idea of a super general strike is the only thing I see that could possibly begin to undo all this.
The problem is that a great many Americans 1 don't believe we're an empire, 2. blame various collections of their fellow Americans for the Ills of empire, 3. have a fundamental misunderstanding of the world, 4 are addicted to Stuff....and 5. believe that we're a Classless Society(the main feature of our global aristocracy is that it pretends real hard that it doesn't exist)
the Genius of Neoliberalism is that it absorbs it's opposition.
Amy Goodman is a Blow Off Valve.
So is the KKK.
it's almost incomprehensible that all this proceeded according to a Plan...but, after years of careful study, I believe that it did.
we swim in a polluted sea of mythology, unable to determine with any assurance what is Real(ontological crisis)...and since the System...the everywhere and nowhere, it is almost impossible to counter.
a fundamental precept to this Empire is that there is "no such thing as society"(Thatcher)...we are all Individual "Enterprises", disconnected from, and in direct competition with, our fellows on a global scale.
When I grow a bunch of tomatoes, I "compete" directly with slaves in Mexico working for a produce conglomerate. I am at a disadvantage before I even begin.
The obvious solution is little county...or a Greater Houston Area(tm)...endeavoring to supply itself with the stuff of life(food, water , shelter, etc) instead of importing such things from Bangladesh.(there is a movement, of sorts, to do this...a sort of neo-city state movement, but it's hardly big and organised, and remains within the larger Global Empire)

Burn down walmart.
avoid banks.
know yer farmer.
Look after one another.

I see a crisis of legitimacy forming....witness the ferment of this Primary, and it's analogs in Europe....but I figger this might be absorbed with little disruption.
whether we like it or not, we consent to this state of affairs whenever we write a check, purchase gasoline, or even vote.
until the Consent of some unknown critical mass is withheld, nothing will change....and anything approaching such a critical mass will be quickly suppressed, using euphemism and pablum.(see: iran, cuba,Occupy etc).
the other (non-)option is to allow it to collapse of it's own weight...which might take too long for there to be anything left.

The biggest problem...he largest roadblock to changing any of that We the People have been so thoroughly Confused by the Dark Magicians. The Media, and our erstwhile Education systems, have been hijacked by the Neoliberal Machine...and have distracted us with what amount to non-issues. Identity Politics and the Politics of used by the “left” the other by the “right”.
We are set upon each other over all manner of minor difference, and made to forget, thereby, that We are the People...the Public in “Res Publica”.
We easily forget our Commonalities, so busy are we attempting to put food on our family and all the while blaming each other for our hardship.
This is very convenient for our Rulers.
This should stop....we should stop listening to the Media Narrative, and apply what remains of our Critical Thinking Skills.
I do not expect this.
We are so used to the default Assumption we have been inculcated with...that if we're in the Right Hand Ditch, we must not attempt to modify our situation by veering Left...and if we're what passes for the Left Hand Ditch, we must avoid any Rightward Movement.
Of course, whatever the Labels, we are all quite stuck in the Right Hand Ditch, left and right, alike. This is the Genius of “Neoliberalism”.
Words mean nothing.
The Proverbial Road is Empty.

Extremity in any direction leads to essentially the same thing.
That's the fatal flaw in all attempts to universalise.
In the end, the inherent diversity among humans defeats such efforts...folks chaffe at being forced to believe against their own lights.
Remember that the Hypercapitalists(neoliberals, in the emerging awareness) do what they do because they Believe in it's Truth.
In the same way Christianity imposed itself upon an indifferent and hostile world.
After the Constantinian Shift was complete, and the Old Gods cast down, the drive to Diversity reared it's head again...this time, from the very body of the Church(Protestant Revolution).

Tolerance....and Moderation in all things.
Those are the only ways to end the cycle.
(and it won't, of course, end it...just make it more pleasant and Just, perhaps)
There will always be there will always be Marxists of myriad varieties and flavours.
Figure out a way to unite them just enough to where their rapaciousness is mollified.
This is what FDR did, for a time...but he perhaps didn't go far enough.
By attempting to Force the Minds of men into your narrow view, you alienate them(re-read Marx, himself, on this)...which engenders their resentment(ibid) and revolt(ibid).If they are not free to be petty capitalists(within bounds that are reasonable(moderation), then you become just like our current Hypercapitalists.
Why did Lenin's attempt ultimately fail?
Because they had to resort to Force.

We should think on what is Universaliseable, in reality....what is most important to Universalise?
For as long as there have been Humans in Groups, we've attempted to Universalise Totalising Visions.

What are the True common denominators?
I like the Universal Declaration of Rights, as a starting place.
The Right to Exist, for instance.
The racists and crazy people I have spent my life among have every Right to their myopic opinions.
This is very hard for Non-Racists and Sane People to accept.
So long as they are not allowed to pursue Universalisation, we can learn to live with them.
Read Karl Popper, "the Open Society".
(and revisit the Greeks)

I have called myself a liberal forever...and forever I have been informed by lunatic Righties of various stripes, all very certain of themselves, what liberals are..."they eat babies!!" They love Joe Stalin!!" etc.
I disabuse them of these notions whenever possible...but, if I am to be true to my own convictions, I must acknowledge their Right to believe those things about me.
Once again, the poverty of our Language=> the Poverty of our Imagination.(Orwell)
There are no Universal Truths, beside those that We(capital W) endow with that quality.(Nietzsche)
As I say elsewhere, repeatedly, it is in what we attempt to Universalise that we run into trouble.
I keep going back to the example of the Constantinian Shift.
why did the Christians go nuts and tear down the Pagan Temples.
1. to Universalise the faith that they were oh so Certain was the One True Faith.
and 2. out of bitterness and resentment, for the whole Lion-Thing.
The latter can be prevented(don't feed people to lions)
The former takes patient understanding and reasoned argument, often in their own language, to get them to stop using Force to accomplish their Great Commission.
People are Free to Choose such things.
Or to Choose otherwise.
I am Free(or should be) to set up my smallholding as a Commune, or as a dictatorship(see: Plato).
So long as I do not use force, and attempt to make the whole world in my image, I am no threat to the capitalist, or the commune or the voluntaryist bunch in the next valley.
Because I remember that they also have a Right to Exist, and believe in whatever nonsense(from my POV) that they please...within the limits engendered by that Universal Right to Exist. They are similarly, not a threat if they are held in such check.
all this talk of Purity is why we're still on the cusp of Dark Age.
Because no one can agree on what the definition of "Purity" is.
Reconcile Neitszche and Jesus, and then we'll be getting somewhere.
Go you now, and read Cicero...”the Republic”.
Moderation. A Balance between Interests.
A Frelling Social Contract.
The Poor and the “Working Class” matter as much as the Rich and their Pet Uppermiddle Class.
Maybe a little more, if we want to have true balance...proportionality.

If the Rich and their Pets keep treating the rest of us like animals, we will become animals, and eat them(and each other) for dinner.
It is always many times must this sordid theater play itself out for the Rich(and the Rest) to finally understand?

Sunday, May 8, 2016


The more I have learned about the American Right, in my long study of the matter, the more I've refined who I'm worried about.
I've worried the most about what can now easily be labeled the Cruz Wing...specifically, that nest of NAR(new apostolic revival), Dominionists and Reconstructionists all under the billowing tent of Fundyvelical My Way or the High Way-ism that would impose Biblical(or Noahide(!!) Law upon us, stone the gays, burn people like me and make America into an inadvertent carbon copy of what they think Hell is like.
Think David Barton and Sarah Palin...think Duggars...and that preacher guy that Cruz buddied up with who yelled a lot and had meltdowns about gay people.
Sure, they're ludicrous...but they're also dead serious about what they want to do.
But for now, Cruz and his Iron Hordes are out.

Now it's Trump.
One of the groups of loonies that constitutes his “base” is something called Alt-Right...including some real crazy people who advocate a literal End to the Enlightenment and Neomonarchism.
To be fair, they are rather diverse...some only want Corporations to be the new countries, of which we will be “citizens”, ruled by a Board and a CEO(king-like).
They like Hans-Hermann Hoppe(
and Joseph de Maistre, and many of them seem to really, non-ironically, dig Hitler and Il Duce. There are White Nationalists, “Digerati”, Open Misogynists, virulent hatred of all things gay, and an almost universal opposition to Democracy and just about everything else that came from the Enlightenment(but they sure dig computers and the web and death rays and sech, which contradiction is as yet unexplained).
Petty and Vile:(
These people truly frighten me( meaning, I want them nowhere near Power, and would likely shoot them if I found them on my porch).
I've been aware of them for several years, but paid them little mind, as they seemed to be isolated people in far flung basements(neckbeards and cheeto-dust) who mostly hung out on 4-Chan and only occasionally came into the more or less civilised parts of the web in order to troll so they could (presumably) get their rocks off.
Now, I'm not so sure.
One of the first major conclusions(prime computations in mentat) I arrived at in my long term field study of the Right, was that there was a definite sense of wanting to undo the Enlightenment.
I think it's fundamental to the whole enterprise, from Edmund Burke all the way to Glenn Beck. Modernism scares them...change scares them...especially change that involves social hierarchies and “tradition”. They much prefer to pine for an ill-defined “Golden Age”(many of them, actually), and long for a mythical time where everyone knew their place and mores and folkways were rigid and understandable.
Of course, none of my subjects ever once expressed this deep desire in so many words...I often wondered if they knew this about themselves.
But it was evident in the rhetoric and mythopoesy , the sturm and drang, the sound and fury. A few years ago, I came across one of these neomonarchists, on Townhall(now I don't remember his name)...he was allowed a dusty corner of the place to rant. Nobody paid him any mind.
He was obviously disturbed, and I soon forgot about the whole diversion.
Now, however, with the rise of Trump, these folks are emerging from subspace.
Although they seem to be descended from that good ol' Randian Libertarianism(including all the subspecie like anarchocapitalist and austrian economics,minarchists and corporatists), they have gone all the way.....and unashamedly.
I suppose it was inevitable, that the Right would go here.
...and, once again, our Tolerance will probably put us at a disadvantage(System Selects for Psychopathy, but it's a logical extension of our own worldview that we must tolerate even the intolerable(please see Karl Popper to help dispel this fallacy)).
The Endarkment is beyond “fairness”, and even have numerous manifestos ridiculing such namby pambyism.They seem to hate just about everybody, including themselves(at least unconsciously).Mencius Moldbug looks like he might be their John of Patmos, or Augustine.( Hestia appears to be their nascent Lyceum(sic)(
They are very verbose...much like Ayn Rand...on and on and on....using big words like sex toys.
I would still discount them as an unusual and quite interesting mutation...something to study...if not for Trump.
Trump is the quintessential wild card.
I cannot even venture a prediction as to whether or not he can win...or what he will do if he does.
Post-Ideology, Post-Politics.
Ad hoc, seat of his pants-ism.
He seems to have blundered into the role of Hero for the Endarkment/Alt-Right....I really don't think he intended to.
But there he is, nevertheless...and they are emboldened.
This is something to keep an eye on, if you reckon(like me) that it's a good idea to keep an eye on one's enemies.
I don't think that they're going away...especially now that the “conservative” coalition is in shambles, and the GOP looks likely to split into as many as 6 factions/sub-parties.
This means that there's no establishment with any smash on the right, anymore...and the rubes will (while fighting among themselves) begin wandering away from the pasture...”finding themselves”.
I predict that Alt-Right is the RWNJ of the future.

(here's the go to takedown compendium for this disturbing troll forest:

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


(or, why the GOP is Toast)

Wow, Paul...I hope you didn't break anything coming up with this little “plan” of yours.

Are you frelling Blind?
This is the same, exact anti-empirical lunacy that got us to this point in the first damned place. We've been doing all that since St. Ronnie the Befuddled saddled us with “Morning in America”.
This set of “ideas” is the Reason for the Malaise.
...and nowadays, after trying for 35-40 years, you have several states to look at, as well, where all of your “Bold New Policies” have been implimented.
Look at Kansas...and at Louisiana...and Texas.
Look at Michigan, Wisconsin.
When you run an experiment, it's prudent to stick around and pay attentian to the results of that experiment.
Otherwise, why run the experiment, at all?
All of those states are perfect examples of why your continuing insistence on more of the same is a bad idea.
The GOP...with the help of the Clinton Wing of the (formerly)Democratic Party...has destroyed the Country with all the Tax Cuts and Deregulation and Privatisation and Market Worship.
Your Base has figured this out, long last.
Trickle Down is Piss on our heads.
Yet here you are … cicadas emerging from holes in predictable cycles...bringing out what amounts to a poster board with glitter and six inch bubble letters, saying the same damned thing that you all have been saying for most of my life.
It has failed, Paul!
Trickle Down, Supply Side, Corporate Fellation is a Failure!
Please, please, please, pick another career.
Take your friends with you.
We can't afford any more of your experiments.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Dance with them that brung ya

“We are marching in a compact group along a precipitous and difficult path, firmly holding
each other by the hand. We are surrounded on all sides by enemies, and we have to
advance almost constantly under their fire. We have combined, by a freely adopted decision,
for the purpose of fighting the enemy, and not of retreating into the neighbouring
marsh, the inhabitants of which, from the very outset, have reproached us with having separated
ourselves into an exclusive group and with having chosen the path of struggle instead
of the path of conciliation. And now some among us begin to cry out: Let us go into the
marsh! And when we begin to shame them, they retort: What backward people you are!
Are you not ashamed to deny us the liberty to invite you to take a better road! Oh, yes,
gentlemen! You are free not only to invite us, but to go yourselves wherever you will, even
into the marsh. In fact, we think that the marsh is your proper place, and we are prepared
to render you every assistance to get there. Only let go of our hands, don’t clutch at us
and don’t besmirch the grand word freedom, for we too are “free” to go where we please,
free to fight not only against the marsh, but also against those who are turning towards the
Vladmir Lenin
“what is to be done”,1902

“Omg, he quoted Lenin”
“You mean the Beatle?”
“No, the Supercommunist, Russian Revolutionary, who embodies the only possible form of that Great Evil, Communism.”
“Is the quote any good?”
“Of course not,it's frikkin Communism, man!... and him using it, at all, means that he agrees, jot and tittle, with everything that Bad Person ever said, did, thought, or considered.
He should therefore be cast out of the Club and shot...or at least ridiculed then ignored.”
“Seems a little extreme, doesn't it? I mean, we pride ourselves on our Tolerance, for one....and on our absolute Love of Free Speech, for another. Perhaps he saw value in the quote, but doesn't agree with the author on every issue...or even on any issue. Perhaps we are missing something.”
“Our Benevolent and Magnanimous Toleration is only for the Right Wing....we only tolerate them, which makes us pretty. Those Commies, though....They'll ruin everything.
How are we supposed to make money, if we rail against those who have it?
Without money, how will we continue to lay down on the floor of the two chambers, and in the Oval Office, and grovel to Power?
The Commies....and the damned Socialists, too(they're all the same anyway)...they just don't understand where the Power is...otherwise, they'd be right here beside us, on our knees. Everyone knows that if you want Power, you must go to the Source...and beg to join become a Part of that we can fight effectively.
We need to become a lesser enemy, so we can fight the greater...somehow....when the time is right.
In the mean time...
We should join them, Gandalf....we should join the Dark Side....
It would be wise, my friend...”

again, I give you my political philosophy, in image form:

The Comments Sections are rife with odious and undemocratic apologists for Power, for Paradigm Defense.
Even for Incrementalism...which has failed repeatedly to stem the tide of GOP destruction.
“But...but...the young'uns don't vote!!!”...So saith Bill Clinton, himself, in the latest installment of his ongoing “Get Off My Lawn” Tour.
Never is it even considered that Democrats and Democrat-Leaning folks, are less than Enthused for a very good reason.
Namely, Incrementalism and a 40-year swing to the Right.
The Party Establishment gives us uninspiring candidates, and then laments that we are uninspired.
I am no Leninist...but it says something when somebody like him said things a hundred years ago that are perfectly instructive and apt for today's political situation.
Similarly to this, from our own sordid history:

“Of course, Socialism is violently denounced by the capitalist press and by all the brood of subsidized contributors to magazine literature, but this only confirms the view that the advance of Socialism is very properly recognized by the capitalist class as the one cloud upon the horizon which portends an end to the system in which they have waxed fat, insolent and despotic through the exploitation of their countless wage-working slaves. “-Eugene V. Debs

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Mom calls all breathless..."There's some kind of purple bug in the puddle in the garden!""
I hobble over there, with a magnifying glass(made in Occupied Japan), and the new Iphone.
There they lie, in a quivering mat floating in a puddle...teeming...
and so small that even with my glasses, I cannot distinguish an individual.
Under the glass, it's still difficult to single out just one....they are clumped together in the manner of fire ants in a flood.
More seem to be emerging from the soil at the margins of the puddle...but so fast that I cannot be sure.
Worried that this may be the vanguard of some alien invasion {see:( etc} , I take a picture and a video, and send it to Texas A&M's Entomology Department.
They are Springtails....and are one of the most ancient of insects.
So ancient in fact, that they are no longer considered insectivora, at all.
These apparently eat the hyphae of soil fungi, and break down organic they're good guys.
Most of the time, they live out their lives deep in the soil profile. The recent Monsoon-like rains have brought them out.
They were in every puddle that I passed on my way back.
They also are an indicator species, like frogs and such...being particularly intolerant of herbicides.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


I just read this, on Huffpo:

...and wanted to throw my two (metaphorical) cents into the "debate".(I'm done sending y'all money)
Those two cents are as follows:
1. The Democratic Party has brought whatever disillusion and disenchantment that it's Base is feeling and expressing upon itself.
It ain't "bernie bros" or "Hippies" or "unrealistic expectations".
It's the Party, itself, that has moved so steadily to the Right, lo these past 4 decades, that it resembles more closely the erstwhile Moderate Wing of the GOP.
Neoliberalism, the constant fellation of giant Corporations and Wall Street, the utter cowardice in the face of the Right Wing Mindfuck, and now, with this election, the systemic corruption and unfairness...all of this has led to this impasse. The Party has abandoned FDR and all things Liberal...even going so far as to hide from that word, when our opponents flung it at us.
For shame!
2. Here in the States...which is what this particular kerfuffel is about...well...where are you?
I realise that I live way out in the boonies, in a Red State,and all...but still.
I've had to make my own campaign signs for the last ten plus years. Our local party is a wine tasting club,hiding in their hillforts, lest Uncle Billy Bob learns that they're "pinko's"...and unwilling to do anything to grow the Base, or rile up what base there is, or even let us know that we're not alone.
No campaign headquarters here, or in the surrounding four counties, for the last 2 elections(at least that I could locate....the one phone number was disconnected, the rest never return messages).
Why is it, again, that I should send you money?
That's all I hear from the Democratic Party, state and National:"send a check"...even engaging in bullying, intimidating tactics when I plead poverty...and begin to list the above grievances.
3(ok...3 cents): this go around, I am angered by WasermanSchultze(sp-2), and the rest of the Third Way "New Democrat" nonsense, attempting to smear the first actual Liberal to run for the WH in my lifetime...I have been labeled a misogynist and a trump supporter, and even been told to "love it or leave it"...that "we don't need any socialists/communist/dreamers in 'our' party"...this by apparent apparatchiks of the DNC.
The rhetoric and tactics of many of the so called "hillbots" is fucking disgusting and looks strangely is almost identical to that of the Teabillies and Randian Trolls that I've been fighting all these years.
...and not a word from the Party Big Wigs about this abuse and ugliness....just a look down the nose at us little people who don't understand the need to go hat in hand to them that stole my country.
I was under the impression that the Democratic Primary was intended to be Democratic...but it turns out it was to be a Coronation.
I'll write in Bernie, come the General...and if he loses, I'll go to the Greens.
This is NOT Bernie's doing, but yours'.
When you all cast about for someone to blame when the Democrats go the way of the GOP, the Whigs, etc, look no further than your mirror.
thanks for all the fish.

Friday, April 15, 2016


did you know that “bitch” is often used as a verb?
As in “ I called my congresscritter/weasel to bitch him out for further heights of rank hypocrisy...”?
I said this in a post on a Liberal Webforum...and the post was held explanation, at all.
I figgered that it was due to later mentioning the likely future necessity of eating the Rich...after all, cannibalism is not very polite...but no.
when the post finally appeared, the word “bitch” was replaced with “*****”.
This is why I abandoned facebook:
Hysterical people, with very large and angry large that one can't help but trample upon them.

Towards the end of my FB career, I put up a Youtube of Miles Davis, from Kind of Blue....and a woman lit into me ,bigtime—screeching, “don't you know that he hated women?!!>>??”
I replied, “well, his music is quite profound, nevertheless...”
This was, apparently, a terrible crime...and she didn't hesitate to launch into a vile and petty diatribe against all men, everywhere...and me and Mr Davis, especially...for hating on women.
I was quite taken aback by this display....but I couldn't inquire as to the reasoning behind it, because she “unfriended” me.
I went and lurked on her page, because that's what I do(people fascinate me), and found that she was holding forth, eviscerating me in absentia for the sins of all men...I was “probably a rapist”...and “obviously only wants to keep women in their place...on their backs and in the kitchen...”
on and on and on.
All of this, for posting the quintessential Jazz music of the 20th Century, and not hating Miles Davis because he was, in addition to being a Genius, an asshole and a misogynist.
I suspect that the ban on the word “bitch” is of the same genus.
Even when used as a reference to actual misogynists and actual assholes(my Critters).

To be honest, I was offended, because I am currently the most Feminist person I know, and have been militantly Feminist for my whole life.

Now, in the latest national example of this phenomenon...we have this:

I've been calling toto, federal and state...”Whores” for 20 years.
I call Cspan the “Whores and Weasels Channel”.
I've called one of my US Senators(Cornyn) a “Whore” and a “Prostitute” to his virtual face since he arrived in office.
The Texas Capitol, in my language, is “The Big Pink Whorehouse in Austin”....and will continue as such until there is some obvious change in practice.
This usage has nothing whatever to do with Womyn.
It has to do with taking money from giant corporations and then doing their will, to the detriment of the real, actual human beings that these creatures are supposed to represent.

I will continue to use this word, in this way.

The Democratic Party is infested(“oooh...he said “infested...just like Hitler!!!!”) with Corporate Whores...they are even organised, as the “New Democrats”, and formerly the “Democratic Leadership Council”.
I think they still identify as “Third Way”.
Their habit of going on their knees to Corporate America, and taking what amounts to Bribes, all while calling themselves “Democrats”, is a large part of what is wrong with our nation.
Is it not obvious that the Clinton Duo fits this bill perfectly?

But the folks who would have this practice continue indefinitely, until America is an unrecognisable sewer of Neoliberal perfidy, have the largest toes of all.
Since Hillary began her first run at the White House in her own right, her defenders have been painting everyone who disagrees with her policies and philosophy as Misogynist Assholes who hate all women and are probably rapists.
No parsing, no attempt to look into the problems we identify, no taking us spite of reams of evidence, and our shared history of the last 25 or so years....nope.
Just an immediate resort to throwing the Misogynist label at anyone who wants the Democratic Party to actually Be Democratic, and Gender Blind. stupid as he is...has a salient point about “Political correctness”.
It's a Democratic Thing, mostly(although the Right have their own sacred cows(and don't like being called Corporate Whores, either))....and serves to demonise anyone who would oppose the Party Line of Neoliberalism and Corporate Rule.
Keep removing words from circulation, and we'll be left with little to work with, aside from “Approved Speech”...kept in Pens(“Free Speech Zones”)...and unable to challenge the evisceration of Democratic Republicanism.

Fuck That.
I will continue to say what I mean, especially if it “offends” the Powers That Be.
That's what Americans do...or are supposed to do.
If a great number of Politicians...who pretend to work for the People....dislike being labeled “Whores”, they should cease the behaviour that engenders such labels.
They should go into Gucci Gulch, just outside Our Capitol Building, with brooms, and run off the Lobbyists(“Johns”) who lurk there.
They should expose the Bribery and attempted Bribery that is so rampant in all of the People's Houses.
Instead of complaining about being called ugly names, perhaps they should try to do something about the Corruption and downright Evil that passes for “campaign finance”.
If they would only stand up to the Corporate Overthrow of OUR Government, then I would be happy to label them “Statesmen(and Stateswomyn)” and Champions of the People.
Until these things come to pass, they are Whores and Weasels....and undeserving of any Respect.

Friday, April 1, 2016


It is
(τετέλεσται )
I've done it.

I've built a house.

Warm....and Cool...
Whole thing's a Heat Engine.
And Immune from the crazy West Wind we get out here.
(touch wood)
Morning Light, Maximised.
Hot Afternoon Sun, I'm in the Shade.

No Blueprints.
Not even drawings.
All in my Head.
Now, made Manifest.
Right there, before me.

I have done it.

I have caused this Edifice to rise up from the Earth.
I....a Cripple!....have done this Deed.

I am Mighty!, thereby.

Thursday, March 17, 2016


“I must find Ecstasy in this Insanity
Freedom from their Slavery
The Truth in their Lies
Life in their Death
Beauty in their Homicidal Genocide
Peace in the War Whore's evil orgy of Death and Negation
Love amongst the Ruins
Pleasure in my own Pain.”
― Lydia Lunch

The Web is filled with the language of Marxist Analysis, this morning:
Alienation, Ressentiment,Lumpenproletariat.

Trump has managed to tear down the curtain, and burn it...revealing what even the reddest of necks has intuited: that Politics is Broken, that the Economy is a Parasitical Leviathin, and that the Framework that has been handed to us to hang our experiences on is not only purposefully flawed, but yet another instrument of Control and Obfuscation.

I lament that Bernie at least has the beginnings of a partial, if unlikely, solution to all of this...but it is so much easier to burn it all down.
Perhaps such destruction is exactly what we need...which is what I have been reluctantly seeing in Visions for many years, now.
I'll channel the ghost of Immanuel Kant, and go on and declare the Enlightenment finished.
Mentally...Psychologically...we are right back in 1095 A.D....and the New Pope Urban is a carnival, as he flies through the air, and then shits on the floor...the crowd goes wild...
We enjoy the residue of astonishing technological achievement...a perfected Alchemy and Magical the low low cost of our survival, and of civilisation,itself. And we are a broken and enraged and lunatic People, stuck somewhere between living completely in the moment in the most shallow of ways, and setting fire to our homes because the neighbor looked at us funny.
At the level of politics far below the usual L/R,D/R,Lib/Con puppetry, lay the machinations of the Elite.
Deep Politics says that the cause of our current insanity and ennui and nihilism is in those machinations...the Hidden Aristocracy and their minions have so distorted Reality, and the Language that we use to Think about it, that Maggie Thatcher's “There is no such thing as 'society'”, has become our only shared reality.
On the one hand, in order to perpetuate their money machine(that's Us, by the way), the Dark Magicians have locked us into a dead end of ludicrous denials of what we see right before us...patently implausible explanations and justifications of unmitigated Greed and an upside down morality that excoriates the poor and trod upon...indeed, the Human...while allowing, without discussion, the free reign of the worst specimens of humankind to ever exist.
All of this in a fog of disinformation, misinformation and anti-information that has left us a few hundred million atoms of dark matter, repelling even our families, unable to get along with ourselves, and lashing out in world ending rage at the all of it...since we are so entrained to avoid looking at the man behind the curtain.
We unconsciously take upon us the guilt of ecocide, and genocide, often in the name of one who was said to have sacrificed himself to remove this very guilt....
(remember, Christianity was originally a religion against Empire, and For its many Victims)

We have been injected with drain cleaner, beaten and terrorised, and then herded through the funhouse, disgusted and mortally afraid of the reflections in there...and now a wall has collapsed(due to lazy and incompetent maintenance), and many of us have tumbled through the breach, and found ourselves gazing at close range into a mud puddle...and there...there is our true reflection...the clear model of the distorted avatars in the funhouse...
If there really are men in Mt Weather, directing all of this, this past half-century of engineered confusion and psychosis, then they are reptiles and fools...overcome by Hubris, and cowering at the steady approach of Nemesis.

...and the more thoughtful among us weep into our beverages over what might have been:

Thursday, March 10, 2016


There's a disturbance in the Force.
Political turmoil, down here in the weeds.
On both sides of the aisle.
It's enough of an anomaly that the more mainstream political webnits have noticed it, and began to parse it.
I agree with a lot of the assessment that has arisen: that the Bases of both Parties are at war with themselves, with the battle lines drawn in each between the Establishment, and the Populists.
I've spent most of my time on line in Democratic/Liberal places, but I did manage to wander into a duck blind or two just past the frontier of the more rabid portions of the intertubes...
On the Right, it's Panic Time...with just about the level of hypocrisy and incoherence that you would expect.
Pretend Real Hard that you're not the party of assholes, racists and dog whistling...and cast sidelong glances at your audience of angry morons, to see if it takes.( them on youtube)
But Trump doesn't give a damn, and neither does his Mob.
Trump is the Apocalypse, the Veil has been rent.
...and look at the tiny misshapen man behind it!(turtle-like, even)
The Republican Base has detached itself from the 3-legged stool of their long time coalition.
That delicate balancing act that the Establishment has been performing since the seventies is over. The Rubes have awoken and found that their lives are for shit, and they are moving even further to the far, in fact, that certain things that once were considered Lefty are now being supported.
(without a hint of irony, of course.)
Mostly, though, it's just doubling down on all the lower rung issues...going where the Establishment can't follow, because to do so would be to admit that they were full of shit.
When Debbie Riddle, of Tomball, Texas can be chased out of office for being a “Liberal”(!?!?!) it begins to look a little revolutionary.
At the same time as careening off the Right Hand cliff on Social Issues, the Rubes have finally realised that Trickle Down is really a steady stream of urine from the corner office....that Social Security and Medicare are good things...even if those lazy black people(sic) can get it, too....that Wall Street, et alia are not their friends, and actually despise the Rubes....and that the Establishment itself has been shamelessly using them for forty years.
It's delicious...or it would be, if it were happening in a lab, somewhere.
In the Party that was Formerly On the Left, the battle lines are between an FDR New New Dealer, channeling Teddy Roosevelt if not Eugene Debs....and a Moderate Republican named Clinton, who solemnly counsels Patience and Pragmatism(again) instead of Storm the Bastille.
The latter side of the divide has been caught(by me, at least) using much the same rhetorical tactics as the Right...obfuscation, half story rebuttals, cherrypicking data and history in order to smear their opponent, and throwing the word “Traitor” at any Liberal who disagrees with them.
Turns out that I am a Misogynist...just because I won't vote for Hillary.
I noticed the beginning of this phenomenon as long as two years ago, when my criticism of Bill Clinton's Presidency was suddenly called out as Heresy.
I am no fan of the whole Third Way, Triangulation, “hey, let's abandon Liberalism and be the Good Republicans” dance that we've been doing ever since that time.
I think that we're witnessing the beginnings of the end of the Sixth Party System...that began with Reagan...but had it's beginnings with Goldwater.
That it's happening on both sides means that this election is shaping up to be a contest between the Elite, and their Minions, and the Middle and Lower Classes.
That hasn't happened in this country since the '30's.
Tramp and Crazy would both be disastrous...the latter, for his Messianic Saviour Complex(they have meds, for that), and the former, for his Four Year Old with a Shotgun unpredictability(which would require Parents).
Hillary means maintaining the Status Quo of Malaise and Inequality and a further hollowing out of the Domestic Economy.
Bernie is the only hope, aside from Jill Stein of the Greens, who has no chance, structurally and procedurally.
Suddenly, the Fora at places like Alternet are sounding a lot like LATOC in it's heyday.
Fast Collapse, or Slow?
Peaceful Transition, or Mutant Zombie Bikers?
Everything is up in the air.
...and the Right is doing the same thing, but from their....umm....”perspective”
(what is the view like from under that rock, or that bridge,or from within one's own colon?)
The Populists in both arenas agree, remarkably, on two things: Politics is Broken...and an Economy of, by and for Giant Corporations pretty much sucks.
Now is the time for Lefty's of all stripes to be out there in the Fora, both Virtually, and in Meatspace, making the case for a better world.
The Righty Rube Mob is confused and disillusioned, and as long as one avoids carefully the Bad Words(Social,Socialism, Collective, etc), common ground can be found.
This may be our best chance, if not our last, to drag a considerable portion of those morons at least a little bit closer to Reality.
Their inherent Homophobic, Islamophobic and Racist Tendencies are still problematic, of course...and their by now habitual lunacy about the Shape of the World is still there...but on Economics and Governance, I see them as ripe for conversion to a relatively more sane position.
Someone who works for a living should not be in fucking Poverty.
That's likely a pretty easy sell, at this moment.
Hyperegulation on the very smallest businesses, and the obvious fact that Mom and Pop are not identical to Walmart, would also be a good place to begin.
I would hit on an Amendment for Automatic Voter Registration, perhaps coincident with Selective Service...I think the argument can be constructed to encompass their entrained mythical fears on the matter.
Infrastructure Spending/Massive Jobs Program is another topic that I think is suddenly on the table with the Lumpenbillies.
Economics, Bank and Wall Street Reform...all of it.
They're hurting just like the rest of us, and Trump has made it OK to talk about these things...for the first time in my life. The Framework that they have been using in their Apprehension of the World is fragmenting and falling, piece by piece, to the ground.
Now is not the time to hide out in our Hillforts.
It's also exactly the wrong time for full throated support for the Status Quo.
As Bob Marley said, “Strike while the iron is hot.”

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

On rehabilitation

It's been three years, today, since I returned from the hospital in North Austin with my new hip.
...and a year since I set the first post of our funky cabin in the wilderness(tm).

Soon after I arrived, the PT Guy showed up, and helped me get my legs back enough to walk.
Most folks seemed to think that I was now cured...and would soon be back to being a Kitchen Ninja.
Even the PT Guy, at first.
But I knew that it was not so simple.
20 years of compensating for the original damage, had furthered the extent of the damage.
(lift with yer knees sounds nice, if one has decent knees.)
The eight to ten years(including the six and a half spent wrangling the dysfunctional system to get to the hip) of increasing pain meant more and more sedentary behaviour, interspersed with brief bouts of intense activity, when shit needed doing. This all took it's toll.
The anecdote, learned from my paraplegic stepdad, is that it takes three days to recover from one day in the bed.This is more or less accurate.
Nevertheless, I soldiered on.
After less than a year, I realised that I needed something to do...housework was simply inadequate as a poor man's rehab.
The Serpent gave me that needed Project.(
I endeavored to rehabilitate my dilapidated trailerhouse in the hills enough to house my books, and give me a place to escape(and get drunk, usually), and write.

Sans approaching cold fronts, or too-near Hurricanes, I determined that I could do non-sedentary stuff for about 4-5 hours at a which point the Pain would re-assert itself.
Depending on the activity, some days it was longer,--others, shorter.
I learned rather quickly what I could NOT do...and what I needed to be extra careful doing.
Then at Thanksgiving, 2014, we all had a serious bout with the Flu...and it almost killed my Mom.
I found myself camping out at her place for weeks.
That's when I decided that we must move back to the Farm.
I scoured the options...pre-fabs of one degree or another, log houses, metal barn houses, rock houses...and determined that stick-built would have to do.
I knew from the get-go that hiring someone to do it was out of the question.
Hell, even hiring help for a day is above our means...
So I threw my own style of building into the task...essentially, post and beam, learned organically and spontaneously from our various fort-building exercises from my youth in the woods.
No blueprint, save the one in my head...and I think I've done wonderfully, in the year since I began...98% of it is me, alone.
It has been rather effective as physical therapy...and that's the main way I think about it.

After the Wreck, now some 25 years ago, it took more than two years to get back.
...and I never came all the way back.
I was always in Pain, but I grit my teeth, and got drunk after work.
I was driven, from the moment I got home from the hospital, to not let this ruin me.
In many ways, it did...that Wreck is still the most influential and consequential event in my life.
When things started going awry, finally, I was not surprised...this particular sword had been perfectly obvious, up there, on it's thread...I was, however, somewhat disappointed that the thread had frayed so soon.
The difference between then and now, as far as rehab goes, is that I had no illusions, going into the surgery in 2013, that I would be back in a Kitchen, any time soon...and that it was unlikely that I could ever do that kind of work again.
In fact, upon consideration, there were no jobs out here for which I was/am qualified and that I could/can physically do.
Hence, the Library, Monastery, and now the House..(..and , soon, the Vineyard,Apiary and Grove.)
I am able to sit down...or even quit for the day...whenever I deem it necessary.
I can...and have...taken as much as a month off, due to weather-pain.
I push myself, sure...that's much of the point...but I am not forced to push my body further than it needs to go.
The biggest issue in all these years of Cripplehood has been Boredom.
I am always crestfallen when I reach the point where I must go home and repair to the bed...
The Pain really sucks, too, of course, but one gets used to that, after a time.

Any way....
Here's Joe's Physical Therapy Lab, Art Project, and soon to be Dwelling:(in no particular order, randomly selected, over a year)

Monday, February 22, 2016

On Internal Exile

...and on finally (potentially) belonging in my own damned country...

“You do not become a "dissident" just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society. “--Václav Havel: The Power of the Powerless


I have never, in my lifetime(I'm 46) felt like I belonged.
I understand that a lot of this is due to where and when and how I came of age, and to my own weirdness...made more acute by that where and when and how....
I am allergic to Reagan's America, it turns out.(....or, perhaps I am the allergen, and it is allergic to me...)
I cannot kiss the boss' ass, nor am I near Sociopathic enough to “make it” in business, as currently configured.
For all my adult life, I've suspected(then become convinced) that the game was rigged...that the water we swim in had been poisoned...but that noticing that poisoning--and worse, pointing it out--.was arguably the most grievous of sins.
We were, instead, supposed to blame the Scapegoat Du Jour...and if none was near enough to hand, to blame ourselves...Bootstraps, baby!
God smiles on the Rich, you know...and they are Rich because they are more moral than you, little fish...more worthy...
Money, under this paradigm, is the sole metric of personal worth.
Nothing else matters.

Bernie is the expression of the rejection of this paradigm.

At long last, here's a Presidential Candidate who is saying...”Yes...the water is poisoned, the game is rigged...and you didn't poison or rig it”.

But here's Hillary....”let us continue to nibble around the edges...filter a tiny fraction of the water we swim in...while the Big Fish(now devolved into an all encompassing Algal Mat) poisons even more of it, by leaps and bounds.”
She says, “we concede...we'll just hafta make do with the rigged game, and the poisoners unbound, and the Hidden Aristocracy who really runs the show....we'll muddle through with all that as a Given...”
Is it any wonder that so many folks my age and younger are more fired up than they've been since the 70's...prior to the Reagan Counterrevolution?

Of course, one old Socialist does not a Revolution make:

...But it's a start...and it's certainly pretty cool to hear the same sort of shit I've been saying all these years on the evening news.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

“Government doesn't work”

Turns out that government works just fine, so long as it's not run by Teabilly Corp-Loving Privatisation Zealots.
This is entirely manmade...specifically, One Man: Snyder.
All those cities and towns in Michigan(and other places) eviscerated by the deportation of manufacturing--which wasn't their idea, after all, but a brilliant creation of the same Masters of the Universe who run the Goptea-Corps(e) Nexus.
Those Masters...those elites....they've been banging drums for decades, yelling that “government is the enemy of the people”...that it simply cannot work as advertised.
In Flint, that lead didn't just magically's been there for a long time...for as long as there's been manufacturing...
But I can't find any record of widespread lead poisoning on this scale, prior to the Snyder “administration”.
Step one, fire the elected local officials, step2: install an Imperial Viceroy in their stead...unbeholden to the citizens...step 3: privatise everything that government used to do=> which necessarily entails cost cutting measures like those that created this specific instance.
Step 4 hope that nobody notices(like by testing the water), while continuing to rail against the evils of government, and the need to hand all of its functions over to Immortal Fictions.
This is what Republican “Governance” looks like.
This is what the Gop would like to do to the rest of the country.
Remember when Snyder first took office, and began the antidemocratic experiment, it was lauded in the “conservative” press as a Model for Governance.
It was great! A “Success!”.
Why isn't the Democratic Party(tm) railing against corporate rule and privatisation and all the rest?
Here is the perfect answer to the 40 year shout that Government is the with all Right Wing Tropes, it's mere Projection. Ie: Every Damned Thing they say about “Big Government” actually applies to themselves and their Corps(e) and Hedgefunds.

If I lived there, I certainly would not be paying the water bill.
And I'd likely be thinking about “second amendment remedies”, if the waffling and blame-escaping behaviour continues...The population of Flint should be camped out on the lawn at the governor's mansion, building scaffolding.
Burn that fucker down, and chase the bastard into the lake.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hippy-Dippy Utopians

The DLC/Triangulating/Corporate Wing of the (formerly) Democratic Party are out in force...with Krugman as the latest....telling us that, in so many words, “No,We can't!”.
That a Sanders Presidency would be a failure from the start and that what we really need is “Pragmatism” which translates as “give up before you begin, and bow down to your Feudal Overlords”.
They selectively remember much of the History of Us...forgetting, for instance, that Single payer was removed from the table pre-emptively, so as not to freak out the Right overmuch...and that the Public Option soon met a similar fate. Third Way Democrats are really good at capitulation.
Here's Robert Reich's answer, which I agree with:

and here's Palermo's answer, which I also agree with:

and just for fun and context, here's a piece about what it means to love one's country, which hits rather close, for me:


For my whole life, we've watched the Corporate Oligarchy take over the country.
This was a Republican Project, to be sure...but they had ample assistance from the so-called opposition...often under the banner of “Pragmatism”.
“Neoliberalism” has worked it's way into the very Idea of America...and even today, few want to label themselves as “Liberal”...let alone “Socialist”.
I think it's instructive that so few of the folks in the comments sections of the first two linked articles seem to remember the incredible reaction to the Occupy Movement, by a coalition of Big Government, Big Business, and federal, state and local “law enforcement”....and how different that reaction was from the reaction to the numerous uprisings of the Right Wing grass roots...all of this under a so-called “Liberal” President.
Are the Bundy's still in possession of the bird sanctuary?

(Thought experiment: what would happen if I took over some federal shack in the wilderness?)
The problem with the Democratic Party is one of Definition...of who we are, and of what the world really looks like.
For my whole life, we've allowed the Oligarchs and their Lunatic Enablers to define Reality, and to define “Liberalism”.
We've allowed them to define what it means to be an American.
The Clintons(and the numerous talkers who have been so busy attempting to preemptively trash Sanders) have played right along with this.
I long ago stopped caring if a Liberal resurgence was possible.
The point is that we'll never actually find out if we never even try.

(see: Palermo's rebuttal of Tomasky's dour assessment...which reads like a eulogy:
At this moment, the GOP's three legged coalition is falling apart (

Ie, strike while the iron is hot.

Now's the time to present a Vision of America that is not beholden to Oligarchy...that is(or can be) of, by and for the People...instead of of by and for the Corporate Aristocracy.
I don't expect the Media, nor the Democratic Establishment to allow any of this...they are part of the Machine, after all.
...and the Machine doesn't want an America for the People.
That, right there, is why I'm voting for Bernie...even if it's a so-called “wasted vote”.
And we must remember that there is a media bias at work, here...further evidence of the stupidity and dishonesty of the Right Wing Mythos(Liberal Media, my shiny white ass):

Remember, as well, that the pollsters still haven't discovered cell phones,lol...continuing to rely solely on those folks who have land lines.
How does this skew the results, I wonder?
I could go on and on, of course.
The Democratic Party has lost me.
This feels like the last chance to say No to the coming hellworld that we are steadily being led into, and we are expected to hold our nose, yet again, and support the Lesser Evil.
It's likely already too late to turn it around, when even the Language has been perverted in service of Corporate Feudalism, when so many of our countrymen are Stupid and Hysterical, and when someone like Trump can have a real shot at being the “leader of the free world”.
If there was ever a time when a Hail Mary Pass was justified, this is it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

On Bill Clinton, Trade and Instrumentality

Billary didn't invent “Globalisation”....

"Globalisation" is a useful euphemism whereby Immortal Fictions escaped the fences we had placed around them, and became Supranational.
This was merely one more step, albeit a large one, in a long line of such steps...Nixon in China...the entire Cold War/Mideast Policy...interrupted, for a while, by FDR's collection of gnawed bones thrown to the hoi polloi to stave off becoming food, himself.
...on and on.
It has little to do with “capitalism” as envisioned by Smith, or even Marx.
It has even less to do with the “capitalism” defended so vigorously by all and sundry....those defenders are analogous to priests of Baal, alone on their hill tops...their deity having been replaced by another, more sophisticated ghost.
We the People are mere instrumentalities in this regime...truly Cogs in a great Machine...
What Clinton did was tear down an already decrepit fence...full of holes and made of rusty barbed wire.
“Free Trade” is Global Government for the 1% and the Paper Entities they hide in...again, to avoid becoming food.
Notice, that at the same time as they have constructed the WTO, et alia, they have ramped up the Borders we must navigate....this is instructive: “illegal Immigration” is a hot topic...can't have the Little People being free to move about the world, chasing the money....such freedom is only for the Aristocracy.
The Post War Boom was enabled by the destruction of the Physical Plant of Europe and Asia; the Clinton Era Boom was fueled by euphemism and a sort of Find the Queen/Pea game of Promises and Belief.
The Hidden Aristocracy moved the bulk of our Physical Plant to Bangladesh, and the like..chasing lower wages, and fewer rules.
Labor Arbitrage, sold to us as the Path to Prosperity.
We were stupid to allow it...even cheer it on....
In the time , since, I note, the Prisons have filled, and we've even privatised them...somewhere to put our Surplus Population, now essentially useless.
Of course, if we were interested in anything but “Efficiency”, we could have kept some of the Means of Production...but, again, it's Instrumentality that rules the day...Profit is all that matters, even when the digital version of printed pieces of rag-paper are objectively worthless.
Nietzsche worried what we would replace God with, after we had killed him.
Perhaps we have replaced him with Economics and our Organisations....

Monday, January 11, 2016


Boehlert has a good point:


FTA:”For anyone who thinks the coverage has been pitch perfect, just imagine, for instance, if Hillary Clinton supporters were roughing up conservatives at her rallies, punching and choking them. Imagine if Bernie Sanders supporters were kicking and taunting attendees at Sanders rallies who were protesting the Democrat's agenda. Imagine if conservatives quietly protesting Clinton and Sanders were being hauled out of events by cops while mobs of Democrats hurled insults at them.
Cardiac arrest barely begins to describe the type of communal meltdown that would occur within the Beltway press if any of those things had taken place under the auspices of the Democratic Party. Let alone if they took place over and over and over again.”

Remember Occupy?
Remember that cop?

Remember the nationwide coordinated “response”?


Sure seems like the Right can do just about anything they want, these days(while crying “Persecushun!!!!) and get right away with it.


Visions of Teabilly revolutionaries, with that vacant but angry visage, gnawing on a human index finger...fat dripping in their three day old shadowbeard:

The Grand Coalition...Reagan's Three Legged no more.
Didn't I warn them that the Tea Party was a bad idea?

That the rhetoric and vituperate rage that it engendered would eventually turn around to bite them?
Rough Beast....
When even Paul Ryan is a RINO...I can see the future, and it is filled with blood and fire.

the Dems have their own problems a brewing:

Look at the comments....calls for beheading DWS and worse(!)...identical inchoate rage to that found on Tea Fora.
At least here the Ugly is interspersed with intelligent discourse, eyes remarkably free from the usual scales and blinders. But there are no real solutions offered by the Intelligent Libs...there are no solutions...not even Bernie...which is pretty damned clear=eyed for politically engaged Americans.
The bloom is off the rose, and the rose is now crushed into the icy mud.
Dystopia is all we can reasonably hope for...a precipitate decline in standards, a continuing fall in hopes and dreams...where even the Ideal that we work towards is Less....

And, as Synthesis(a la Hegel), a sublime, near Kerouacian exegesis:

Aunt Hannah said, in some thousands of words, that Evil is Banal...ordinary.
One could say, boring....
The homogenaeity of the parts of America I have been to in my adulthood speaks to this.
There are many things that we could do, of put off...even avoid what looks like our fate.
But those things require understanding and trust...two things that are noticeably missing from the body politic.
They also require work and sacrifice...which, while given a whole lot of lip service...are anathema.
The defining feature of Neoliberalism is “MEMEMEME”...the idea that I am an Island Nation in my own right...and fuck everybody else.
Mr Marche's offering points to the end result of this universal selfishness: Politics is over.
We are each alone.

Friday, January 8, 2016


So this happened

a defender of the federal bird sanctuary under his Freedom Tarp.
(made in China, of course)
The thing that gets me about these folks is that they are unwittingly supporting the very forces that have ruined the country...while railing against their fellow victims, and against a bureaucracy that, while well intentioned, is sometimes myopic and stupid in their enforcement activities.
If they “win”, these sage brush yokels, and all that federal land is handed to the states, and/or sold off, it will spell the end of Wilderness...and that beautiful country will become a wasteland.
And they, themselves, will not benefit from it.
It's sad...and so many things, today.
Misplacing their ire, and ignorantly staking out such a place for their Thermopylae fantasies...
I hear the ghost of Hobbes, whispering in the wind:”Bellum omnium contra omnes “.

There are many such groups, and near-movements, scattered in the backwaters and podunk enclaves.
There are neoconfederates right here...proudly flying their confederate flags, and unashamedly pontificating about the evil fedgov and it's army of poor black people and “illegals”, ready for the balloon to go up, so they can subjugate all these “real amercuns”, and march them into camps.
This is the result of the confusion and mud-in-the-water of our collective mind, and the anti-intellectual policies and trends that have so dumbed down the people...or at least a substantial portion of them.
Economics plays a large role, as takes more than one job to get by, so folks are scrambling and have no time for Thought...the simple explanation fills the gap, helpfully provided by the Great Wurlitzer...
It is the Year One...there is no History, instead a smattering of myths...there is no ideology, rather a half-baked conglomeration of contradictory aphorisms that pretend to salience.
Does the world, seen through Tarpman's eyes, even resemble the world you see when you look out your window?

No exceptional circumstances whatsoever,

...whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.” --UN Convention Against Torture(to which we are a signatory)

Two of the most Obscene Things I've ever read.

Makes one want to burn a flag...or storm a Bastille...
And here all I gotta do to go to jail is sit quietly on my porch smoking a joint in silence...fully clothed.

But there's Wolfie working for the Other Brother(the “smart one”, we're told)...and there's no mention of this issue, save for , as the woman said, promises to be better and more vigorous Torturers than those who came before.
Justice will never be served, I'm afraid...and things will only get worse.
There is a great ugliness loose in the world, and an entire media empire/ political organisation set up conveniently to fan the flames of hatred and fear...and simultaneously ensure that nothing whatever can be done to mitigate the myriad causes of this ugly despair... and at the same time, remove any obstacles to actions and policies that will only accentuate those causes.
It's hard not to be terminally cynical.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

And Iran


Some of my earliest political memories are of yellow ribbons on pine trees, during the Iranian Hostage Fiasco.
At the time, I remembered an issue of National Geographic from the 60's(I have my dad's and my grandad's stashes) on the Shah, Pahlavi, and the Peacock Throne....and re-read that, as well as a long Wander through the Giant Deluxe Set of Britannica on the history and culture of the region, going back to pre-historic times.
They did not leave out the Post-World War 1 rejiggering of borders, nor Operation Ajax; although they were not near explicit enough to engender much outrage.
Those two events are why there's a beef between Iran and the USA(and UK).
Remarkably, France was a party to the first thing...redrawing the maps...but the are relatively friendly with Iran, today. Britain, too, seems rather less hostile than we do.
The Islamic Revolution was a direct response to Operation Ajax, however, and the government we thereby created.
We're still mad about those people having the audacity to throw off our approved dictator, and withhold their oil....and they're still mad about us being mad.... as well as about that whole Coup d'etat thing.(see:”Savak”)

Obama seems to have changed this, or at least made a beginning to changing it.
Simultaneously, Saudi Arabia may have finally run out of sufficient oil reserves to coddle any longer.
(all the exportation of Wahabi-ism and box cutter wielding lunatics, and the whole Burqa, wimmens can't drive business, has likely helped to sour that relationship,too)
Iran still has oil...and a lot of Natgas...and they're buddies with now-Shia Iraq...who also has a lot of oil(last big pool of light sweet).

This looks like a Big Pivot in the making, to me.

It's also worth thinking about how much the GOP relies on Saudi
(And by extension, Corporate America)

One could be extremely cynical, and posit that the current insanity in Syria is part of this Chessboard...and that Damascus would make a fine pipeline that doesn't entail big slow-moving tankers/targets lined up in the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea or Suez.
If one were extremely cynical...

Friday, December 18, 2015



I'm reminded of Athens, after Syracuse.

We are a foolish people, seemingly intent on destroying ourselves...either by actively working for our own destruction(GOP and Corpodems) or abdicating, and hiding ourselves away(actual Liberals).
Look what the last 40+ years of neoliberal corporate fascism/feudalism have gotten us:

And yet I cannot even begin to discuss such things without some rube flinging inanities, or...worse...some troll attempting to threaten me into acceding to his surreality.
The idea of an aristocracy having stolen our government in broad daylight is “conspiracy theory”...while that of Fake Moon Landings is not.
Pointing out the systemic racism, classism, grounds for public excoriation; while actually engaging in such behaviour is not.
Fear and loathing...the reptiles have won.

I must disengage from the whole mess.
It is pointless, in this far place, to attempt to cajole or even try to get folks to question their ill conceived and unexamined assumptions.
I will vote for Bernie in the Primary...and write him in in the General, after Hillary has been crowned.
Aside from that, I retire as a gadfly.
I will shore up our defenses, and prepare for the hellworld that Americans seem determined to create.

Have fun in the Cave.

Saturday, December 5, 2015


A frelling week of cold rain, and now the sun's out.
But it's still cold...and I cannot get warm, it seems.
Especially my feet.
There's a thick layer of dew on everything.
Cold wet feet discourages work...especially the scaffold-kind...
I despise heights.
After a couple of weeks of too much family(brother's bunch came up, and before that it was my fucking former uncle's tornado of greed and stupidity(probate))
and Terror, out there in the world...another clinic shot up...Paris exploding...and a refugee crisis...this time from Syria...and a Pakistani-American couple, shooting up a place in Cali....
….and the knee jerk, ugly reaction to all of this....the Sniper for Freedom Charity Event next week, and the total lack of awareness of the brutal irony....
….and I think of all of the folks I know in meatspace, and despair.
I get reports from wife and kids about the various insanity that is routinely uttered, in public, by Good Christians and Ordinary Folks...Hang them all...Kill them All...Drop the Bomb...
Round them up...Kick them Out...
Take it Back...Fuck the Poor, the Brown and the Different....
God will know what to do...
Now, the news is filled with dire warnings of climate disaster...while a Super El Nino is busy causing the cold wet I so lament....
….and the comments below these terrifying dispatches: outright denial of established's easier to believe in a giant nefarious conspiracy, somehow...
More ugliness....
You libtards are forcing it down our throats...
and sticking it in our ass...
We must go into the closet, with the Lord(just like it says, it turns out...)
Woe is us...gnash gnash...rend, rend....
A lack of ashes, because they have long ago forgotten the use of fire...
All of this....this, and the usual “Holiday” ennui and apathy, and patient, painful endurance...and I find that I hate Humanity.

All of our Systems select for Psychopathy...
One cannot take the High Road, because one's opponents are constantly dragging everything into the mud...
Probate...we say, “let it be fair and just and simple”
But No....
we must quibble over the least bit...what we are entitled to, by law(like an accounting of the estate) is it's fight, tooth and nail...spend all manner of jack on lawyers, who further confuse the matter, until what should have taken a day, takes a year, or more.
This same thing obtains all through Human least where there's more than one Human...
The Good...the Sane...are well hidden, and largely unknown...
But the Screamers, and Grubbers, and Meddlers...psychopaths, all...are forever underfoot...under one's pockets...and in one's ears...
That it's Rational to take refuge in misanthropic solitude doesn't negate the weight of such feelings.
I snarl at passing cars...yell at airplanes...and cuss under my breath the cops and war mongers, racists and stupid people that I have known...

This is the Age of the Arrogantly Stupid.
Folks shout their Ignorance to the world...demand to be praised for their Mendacity and Greed....loved for their World Ending Hatred...and obeyed, for their Ignorant Certainty and Willful Blindness.
Bronze Age camp fire tales and Medieval fairy stories...borne out of confusion and pre-scientific unreason, are paraded as Rules to Live By...Reason is rejected out of hand, inasmuch as it contradicts the Mythos, never examined...
To examine it would be a Sin.

So I retreat, at long last...and resolve to hide my phone...and I kindle a fire, and wait for the 3 rooms of the central Library to heat up so I can remove my long johns...
I kindle another fire under the Hot Tub/Think Tank....for later...when it reaches a balmy 60 degrees.
Bach...violin concertos....
Dope...a cheap Chianti...and Hefeweissen and Shiner for later, if needed.
Commune with the neighbor's cows, visiting our back pasture...
I can see them from my window by my desk.
I realised the other day, that in four short years, I will be a half a century old.
Of course, I usually feel much older than that.

I worry
a lot.
When my eldest goes to a Junior High dance, I worry.
When my youngest goes on a field trip, I worry.
This is the world we're bequeathing them...full of violent and well armed crazy people, whom we cannot point out, because other violent, well armed crazy people might be offended.
Similarly, nothing can be done about disastrous climate change, or economic dysfunction, or the widespread systemic racism...because we're not allowed to speak of such things objectively.
The folks who most benefit from all of this destruction and disarray are exempt from being called to account.
Millions of our neighbors are delusional apologists for avarice and doom, who cannot brook any rational discussion.
I worry that when my boys are ready for college, that I will not be able to afford it...or, worse, that it will no longer be worth the expense.
Why go into massive debt, only to flip burgers?
Why learn a trade, or gain a work ethic, or get an education, when none of these things are evidenced by the employment situation?
Everything is broken...and we cannot even begin repairs, since we cannot even agree with half the population that there is an actual problem...let alone how to attempt to fix it.