Blog Archive

Monday, February 23, 2015

Prepoke the Bear, #2



This (http://amfortasthehippie.blogspot.com/2015/02/on-teaching-of-history.html) will be in the local paper, this wednesday.
I reckon it is accurate and truthful and I managed to not disparage or attack anyone, by name.
I expect the local Tealican Establishment to be on the phone to the Mothership in Austin by that evening, hammering out a Rabid Response.
They're sort of predictable that way.
Prior to the local Party Bigwigs' involvement, last August, any responses that my LTE's generated were of the frothy, spittle-flecked variety...going back years.
We'll see if the new trend is a trend.
I expect, if it is, a well crafted Gish-Gallop of Talking Points and Slick Ad Hominems, as only “conservatives” can craft...I do NOT expect an actual Response to my Charges and Accusations, nor a point by point Rebuttal of my Diagnosis of Our current situation.
They will, as is their wont, Ignore all of the Meat of what I wrote, and focus on Inanity: I deigned to use the phrase “Right Wing” to describe them...I put “liberal Indoctrination” in Quotes...and the like.
They will Attack my Character, and my Intelligence, and my Sources of Information.

In other words, it will be a slightly higher quality of Froth and Spittle.

This, of course, is the reason that I rarely speak directly To them...merely About them.
They are NOT the intended recipient of this Missive...they just happened to be in the way of it, as usual.
I consider Those People to be a Hopelessly Lost Cause...and not worth speaking To.
My intended Reader is, again incidentally, the Invertebrate Local Democratic Apparatus, such as it is...but Especially the Majority...those who are Liberal, often without Knowing it...who see what's happening in the country and want to Do Something...but do not know what...who think that they are alone, out here, on the Perimeter.
Those are the folks I do this for, to the great chagrin of my Wife.
Carry the Fire.



{I'm putting this up today, two days before my LTE comes out, and two weeks + two days before any response or pseudo-response. Just to test my prescient abilities...lol...let us see how predictable they are. I don't think they know about this place(like to test that, too,lol))

On The Teaching of History



There's a riot quietly ongoing around something called “Advanced Placement History”.
Folks on the Right want to revisit what is taught in schools about Our History.
This seems to involve a lot of Revision, and Omission of many things that really happened that they, for whatever reason, find uncomfortable.
The Rub seems to be fear....fear that if the Warts are included, that students will end up “hating America”. To prevent this, folks on the Right wish to scrub our History Books clean of all of the Bad Things that have been done in Our History; from the Genocide of them that were here, before the European Invasions, to the Myriad Perspectives around and through the Civil War, to Labor Struggles to the Sixties and their Ferment, to the Whole Story of the Cold War, and of Reagan's America.
It is an attempt to set in stone American Exceptionalism, by removing the icky parts...and the parts that disagree with their preferred Mythology.
While it is certainly not pleasant to contemplate that America made use of Smallpox Blankets and MK Ultra and Palmer Raids, these things are a Part of Our History.
They are a part of who We are.
To neglect them...to attempt to hide them in the attic...to erase them from Our collective Memory...is a disservice to Our youth.
Such Erasure is also quite dangerous.
How are We to Improve, if the only things we learn about Ourselves are the Good Parts...the Shiny Parts...as determined by One Side...One Opinion?
If we leave out the Ugly... the Evil, even...are we not doomed to Repeat the same Mistakes and Shortcomings?
If we neglect the Dissenters, the Opposition, and those who have had Other Ideas, is this not a Skewed Version of Our History?
I have often been confronted with the Strawman Accusation...that I am a part of the “Blame America First Crowd”....
This is a product of that Totalising Worldview that insists that “We are Awesome!”...and that any Criticism...any Critique...cannot be countenanced.
As if Critique somehow undoes the Good Parts.
Negates them.
America is not Perfect...nor is it Complete.
It is a Work in Progress, forever Under Construction.
Discrimination is necessary in choosing Our materials for this ongoing Project.
Not just any board will do.
The rotten boards must be discarded.
This Discrimination can only be effectual if we look at the boards carefully; and for this, we must Open Our Eyes.
Our History, like it or not, contains many Failures, and many very Ugly and Festering Wounds...many, many Rotten Places, that we would do well to discard. Our children need the proper Tools, including their Eyes, to do this hard work of Discernment that is so Vital to the Ongoing Construction of Our Civilisation.
We do them a disservice by sugarcoating and whitewashing and obscuring the Rotten Parts, and by leaving out all those who Disagreed, who Dissented from the Preferred Version.
We should, instead, provide a Comprehensive Context to this thing...this America. Let us Teach the whole story of Us, and let the Individual make the determination for him or her self.
Many folks on the Right seem to wish to leave out large chunks of Our History regarding Thoughts and Ideas and Ideals that they simply do not Like.
From Jefferson's stance on Religion, the Progressive Movement, the Labor Movement,to the Presence in America of people who were different, in thought and deed and Idealism.
What this part of the preferred Revisionism seems to entail, is the excision of all things Liberal from Our collective Memory. The Revisionists insist that this is needed to counter “Liberal Indoctrination”...as if acknowledging the Other Side of the Story, teaching the Whole of History, is somehow a Political Act, or Plot. To this idea, I counter: if Your Version of Events is so Righteous and Proud, can it not withstand Criticism? Is it not “Indoctrination”, by definition, to Exclude the parts and persons of Our History that you do not care for, or that tarnish somewhat your preferred view that America is, and always has been, Perfect?
If Students learn the Other Side of the Story of Us, are you afraid that your Preferred Side will be found wanting?
True Exceptionalism should stand on it's own merits...do you fear that the Approved History cannot endure if the Truth...all sides of the Truth...were to be exposed?
Let us, instead, endeavor to shine the light on the Whole Story of Us;
Warts and rotten boards and festering swamps and all.
To scrub History clean of all that oppose your preferred worldview is Indoctrination...it is of the worst traditions of Totalitarianism...and it is, inherently, Unamerican.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Rudolph's Tiny Soap Box


Patriotism:
from the Greek,πατριώτης ,{“Patriotes”} “Countryman”.

Generally considered to mean “love of one's country”...akin to Nationalism.
Does “Loving one's country” mean unconditional love?
Love, no matter what happens?
Or is Love of one's country more complex than such sentiments as “love it or leave it” or “my country, right or wrong”?
Could it be that Rudolph's political opponents also love this country, even while criticizing it?
Is criticism, alone, enough to negate a feeling of love? Of Patriotism?
Or is such criticism, perhaps, an ingredient in a more robust, more perspectival, love?


18 USC : 2340, the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991, and the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution forbid Torture by any US Citizen or National or Government or agent thereof.
Torture was done, in Our name, by Our Government.
I hated this...I still Hate this...I am ashamed of these heinous crimes perpetrated by those who I still consider My Employees(and yours, too).
So I criticized the Torture Policy of the Second Bush Administration.
I criticized them vigorously and often.
I then admonished the current Administration to ensure that Justice be done upon the Criminals(to no avail, it turns out).
This criticism did not negate my love for my country...it was informed by it.
Patriotism,Love of country, as I see it, necessitated that criticism.
I would have been remiss if I had remained silent while my country committed War Crimes.

Rudolph, on the other hand...well...I really don't know what he's talking about. It seems he's fallen for the whole Beckian Surreality, where a sitting President with a funny name and a darker complexion than we're perhaps used to is seen as “the Other”...as Illegitimate.
Does Rudy still believe the whole Birther Thing? That Obama is a Kenyan Commie-Fascist-Socialist Dictator, who is “destroying the country”(by reducing deficits,boosting jobs numbers and attempting to fix so many of the things that the Previous Gang screwed up)?
I pity poor Rudolph his delusions, but I will defend his Right to Believe in whatever nonsense he likes, and to Speak such nonsense.
Speak his Nonsense loudly, if he so desires.
The rest of us enjoy those same Rights...which include the Right to name poor, deluded Rudolph a Fool.
Where we part company, Rudolph and I, is that I will defend his Rights, even if I despise him and his words and actions and beliefs; I do not think that Rudolph would do the same for me.
I infer this from his own long record of saying stupid things in public.
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression saw fit to give Rudolph the very first Lifetime Muzzle Award, noting,”He has stifled speech and press to so unprecedented a degree, and in so many and varied forms, that simply keeping up with the city’s censorious activity has proved a challenge for defenders of free expression.”.
(http://tjcenter.org/muzzles/muzzle-history/muzzle-archive-1999/#item12)
It seems that poor, deluded Rudolph has never wanted to share that whole Free Speech Thing...it is for him ,and those he agrees with, alone.
If an American so despises the First Amendment Rights of other Americans, does he still “love this country”?
…...........................................................
“Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do. You have free speech so I can be heard." --Giuliani in a March 1994 speech on crime at a forum in New York City sponsored by the New York Post as quoted by the New York Times (lifted from Wiki)

““over 35 separate successful lawsuits were brought against the city under Giuliani’s stewardship arising out of his insistence on doing the one thing that the First Amendment most clearly forbids: using the power of government to restrict or punish speech critical of government itself.” -Floyd Abrams, 'Speaking Freely',(http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/libertarians-beware-rigid-reign-rudy)

Friday, February 20, 2015

JEB





Out of all of the Bush people who have been in the public eye in my lifetime, Jeb strikes me as the least odious.
My Vibe Antennae doesn't shriek, “Danger!!”, as much. He seems smarter, certainly...and sometimes steps out of the current Goptea Bubble, which indicates at least a little real conviction.
But he's a Bush.
...and well inside the norm of that Crimen Familia.
As Rachel points out, all that's missing from his “foreign policy team” is Kissenger and Darth Cheney.
Less bad is still Bad, even if he would likely be worlds away better than Ted Cruz—who terrifies me(“waiting for the worms to come”-see below) .
I expect him to be the nominee...and to make Hillary the obvious choice, once all the hilarity is done.
I'll prolly sit this one out.



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Obstinate



“If you plan to build walls around me, know this—I will walk through them.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich

There's a fine line between Stubbornness and mere Inflexibility, it seems.
10 pages of Google returns indicate a bias against Stubbornness, to the point of regarding it as a character flaw, a disorder, something to be fixed.

I shouldn't have told anyone but my Wife about my house-building plans.
No one but her can understand my aversion to Banks and Mortgages and Homeowner's Insurance and Building Inspectors and other sundry examples of what I see as unnecessary Imperial Entanglements.
Further instance of contradiction is the disbelief that I can do this, due to my body. I can't sleep on just any bed, or walk very far, but I reckon I can build a functional cabin in the woods, given sufficient time and encouragement.

Then there's the widespread lack of faith in my skillset.
When I was 18 or so, I built a shed in the back pasture for the Billy Goat.
It was ugly...constructed entirely of whatever left-over crap we had laying around...and I ended up wiring it securely to a tree.
My stepdad still talks about that whenever he learns that I am building something—always accompanied by endless guffawing.
What is forgotten, is that that particular shed is still standing, and still in use, some 27 years later.
My Shop is similar, without the tree.
“Do your best, and paint the rest”...and from my maternal grandad,”walk by and get it done”...with the necessary corollary,”...using whatever is to hand.”...these are my building ethics and practices.
While I would love to have a concrete monolithic dome, instead of a funky shack, funky shack is what we can do.
While I would love to have somebody...say a carpenter...do this for me, and at my instruction, that is far too expensive...and thus requires a Bank, and all of the regulatory headaches such relationships entail.
Mortgage-Free, well insulated, and no leaks...that's what I care about.
Aesthetics are an afterthought.
That said, I will endeavor to make it not-ugly...according to My and the Wife's ken---and no one else's.
Quick is something to be sacrificed, as well.
And...lest there be confusion...I appreciate all of the advice.
I just don't think it applies, here.
I don't need tips on how to build an ordinary home...because that ain't what I'm building..as shocking as that may be. But none of the erstwhile advisors will be forced to look at it, let alone live in it.
I intend to go my own way, at my own pace.
If you would like to be on the other end of the board at some point, that is welcome, indeed.
But I get to decide where the board goes.
The freedom to make such decisions is the root of what I want, and why I am weary to the point of hostility to all of the unwanted advice, and the negativity I perceive when I reject it.
I'm 45 years old...possess a shining mind, and the creativity to go with it(and with almost nowhere to apply either)...and do not feel the need for approval or permission.
I look at this as an art project, and will approach it thusly.
There is no HOA out there.
So much advice that I have taken in my life, often against my own preferences or instincts, has proven deleterious or wrongheaded or simply inapplicable to whatever situation.
I took advice on my major in college, and have regretted it ever since.
I took advice on the massive expansion of the greenhouse, when I thought we weren't ready...and we weren't.
I took advice from probably 90% of those who gave it with my cafe...
I could go on.
I have a beat up old trailerhouse in the wilderness, because I took advice.
I intend to keep my own council in this endeavor.
I have asked no one for money, or even labour.
It would be cool to receive well-wishes, rather than recriminations.

http://youtu.be/M-Ql1284QLw




“What do you mean I have to wait for someone's approval?  I'm someone.  I approve.  So I give myself permission to move forward with my full support!”
― Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Nascent Saeculum obscurum


“Superstitious, Xenophobic Morons...”-Dominar Rigel XVI, referring to Homo Sapiens(Farscape)

During my down times, this winter...among other things...I've been in Farscape.
(Season 4,Episode 17, “a Constellation of Doubt”.)

As I'm involved in this, waiting for the medicine to work, I'm thinking about politics.
Philosophy.
Humans.
I'm tired of Conservativism.
I'm weary of those people having a Veto on every damned thing, and of holding Humanity back.
I think about growing up reading National Geographic...Omni...Scientific American...and the Giant Deluxe Encyclopedia Britannica...
All of the wonders of Earth, let alone the Universe..(I'm a NASA kid)
Right here on this little planet,we've got thousands of cultures..how many languages?
How much history?
All the vibrant variety of Human physiology, behaviour and society.
All those religions.
All that Philosophy.
...and yet we're still doing the same old shit...Empires and war and famine and xenophobia and racism and Fear and Loathing.
We allow the most terrified and backwards cowards to lead us...and when we do not, we still allow them to dictate the terms...based on their fears and prejudices.
Greedy bastards run the show, while ignorance and violent conformism permeates the lower levels.
Anti-Intellectualism, Anti-Education, a Revolt against Reason.
Against Thought, itself.
Fundamentalist, Evangelical, Hyperpolitical...the Politicised variety of Right wing “Christianity”...let's call it Dominionism, for a sort of clarity...is a tiny minority, as near as I can tell.
That they call themselves “Christian” serves to confuse matters, and to deflect criticism and effective political opposition.
They hide in the largest religion in America.
If one deigns to challenge them on whatever insanity they are proposing, they trot out the Persecution Card.
Teachers are the Enemies of God. Rational, Empirical Thought is “of the Devil”.

Science is Evil.

What could possibly go wrong?
The New Dark Age that I've been lamenting for more than 15 years is well under way.
I have no idea if folks like Scott Walker and Jindal really believe the BS they're pushing...or if it's merely pandering to their “base”.
It appears to me that this is just another iteration of the Corporate Neo-Fascists telling the worst sorts of “Christians” what they want to hear in order to get their support.
The Three-Legged Stool of St. Ronnie's “Conservative Revolution”.:Fundies, Libertarians and their erstwhile Corporate Lords of the Manor.
This putrid flowering of Unthought has been a long time coming. Beginning with the Birchers and others pushing the idea that Education=Commie Indoctrination, to the Homeschooling Movement to hateful lunatics like Fallwell and Oral Roberts forming their own “universities”, and churning out Lawyers who believe that we are, and always have been, a “christian nation”...and then larding the DOJ with such creatures...to the recent insanity here in Texas, replacing Thomas Jefferson with Moses.
And the rest of us...the non-crazy, the non-stupid, the non-reactionary...we can, it seems, do nothing, at all.
The insidious rise of the Cult of Ignorance, anti Islamic Hysteria, Disbelief in the Science of climate and biology...all of this, fomented by a few very loud nutters, and a few pandering ideologues.
Many people have laughed at me for worrying about this long term trend.
Dismissed as hyperbolic paranoia, even as anti-Christian hatred on my part...this Darkness grows and festers.
From “Repent Amarillo”(http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/repent-amarillo-executes-santa-highlight-importance-christmas) to the benign-sounding Good News Club(http://www.goodnewsclubs.info/) and the odious Young Life(http://www.younglife.org/About/Pages/MissionandVision.aspx )...can the Pitch-Forks and Torches be far behind?
Who, pray tell, supports Gov. Walkers desire to destroy Wisconsin's Public University System?
Who likes Rickfuckingperry's meddling and defunding and fuckwittery at UT and A&M and Texas' Public Schools?
Who really thinks that what America really needs is more Morons?
Worse, Empowered Morons, who lift their hateful ignorance to Heaven, who wear their Stupidity with such Pride, who would impose such Ignorance on us all?


http://www.salon.com/2015/02/09/gops_anti_school_insanity_how_scott_walker_bobby_jindal_declared_war_on_education/
http://churchandstate.org.uk/2013/02/christian-fundamentalists-are-driving-our-country-into-the-dark-ages/
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201407/anti-intellectualism-and-the-dumbing-down-america
http://www.commondreams.org/views/2013/05/03/move-over-koch-brothers-bigger-darker-rightwing-funder-out-destroy-public-education

Friday, February 13, 2015

Douse the Spark, but let the fire rage on




So...
The Missus and I had big plans.
Fifty Shades of Gray in Austin, followed by a Club, and dinner and whatnot...(limited)shopping in the morning.
Booked a hotel room at a holiday inn in far north Austin 3 days ago.
Kids were due to stay at my Mom's place and eat frog's legs.
This is a rather big deal, for us. We rarely leave the county, save for a monthly grocery run, and the occasional doctor's visit(both are in Fredericksburg, some 38 miles, South).
This afternoon, our eldest kiddo comes down with a fever...it's 100.6, at the moment...likely a cold, but perhaps a sinus infection. Irregardless, there's no doctor til Monday.
So the trip is off.
I immediately endeavor to Cancel our hotel reservation.
Even more complexity than the Booking...which was considerable.
I finally managed to wade through all of the nonsense on the website, and got it done.
“Cancellation Email” was forthcoming...wherein I learned that, as Penalty(their word), I would still be charged for the night's stay. A little over a hundred bucks.
I called the front desk, given that theirs was the only actual phone number contained in the email...and asked the lady if I was reading it right.
“yep, they do that...” she told me(I did not jump all over her, as she was merely a manager, and my Ire is directed well above her pay-grade.)
So I called “customer service”...and explained my Ire to that lady...who put me on hold for 20 minutes...then a rather sedate man came on, and after 30 minutes of back and forth(he must be on Xanax), he somehow managed to “exempt” me from the “penalty”.
I told him that I don't have an issue with a “cancellation penalty”, as such...but a penalty that is the same as the cost of the room seemed excessive, if not downright dishonest, to me.
Turns out, that I had booked the room under some “savings” or “smart” something-or-other regime(I had no idea...I had felt lucky just to get into a room, after the hypercomplex shadow-world of the website)...which set me up, somehow, for this very penalty.
I told him that that, right there, is where the rest of my Ire resides...the Corporate Lawyer-ese BullShit that makes it necessary to bring one's legal team and accountancy department along with ya...in order to get a cheap hotel room in far north Austin, where one must hike outside to smoke.
The way it works is that the Corporate Overlords know, from focus groups and other research, that only a small percentage of folks will call and bitch about this sort of thing...most folks will just eat the $100...they can either afford such a pittance, or are unaware that they can get an “exemption”.
It's win-win for the Bottom Line(holy, holy).(hence, the title of this post)
I asked if this was the Hotel, itself, or a broader, Corporate Policy...
He first said that the individual hotels(franchises=transferred responsibility, where convenient/profitable) make those policies...and then he let slip that while that was true, it is derived from a Broader Corporate Policy that the individual hotels are encouraged to follow(ass-covering=no-one-is-responsible).
I asked him to further this part of my Beef up the chain...it is dishonest and shyster-like.
He agreed(that's the Xanax, again)...and said a bunch of words to the effect of “I'll see that they hear about it”.
All of this, because I deigned to attempt to take my Wife out for a night in the big city, and was unable to follow through.
My next attempt will involve a bed/breakfast...or more likely, one of those Roach Motels on North Lamar...we'll bring bleach and our own sheets and insecticide and fire-arms.
Of course, there's always the pup tent.



{one of the very few jokes I know:”what do ya call 20 layers jumping out of an airplane?” Answer:”Skeet”.}

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Neglect and Invisibility/Totalising and Orthodoxy



I read a lot.
But I haven't read everything.
Growing up in Texas and the South during the Reagan Counter-Revolution and Insurgency, Liberal and Leftist Thought was hard to come by...one had to search it out.
Before the arrival of the Internet, this was a rather daunting task.
I've been involved, passionately, with Philosophy for my whole damned life...but I never even heard of folks like Dewey and Mercuse, Rawls and Richard Rorty, until well after I had discovered the Web, circa 1998.
Much like the way we know about various Christian Heresies solely via their enemies(Iraneus, et al.), I learned of these folks due to my comprehensive review of the American Right, beginning around 2002.
Now, I come to Rorty...and find that I am quite hot to trot to acquire his “Achieving Our Country”.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achieving_Our_Country)
(http://www.amazon.com/Achieving-Our-Country-Leftist-Twentieth-Century/dp/0674003128/ref=cm_wl_huc_item)
Where I've been my whole life, all of this sort of thing has been successfully excised from Public School, from College, and from Libraries.
If it's there, one has to know to look for it...there is not a “Liberal Thought Section”, in the basement, or elsewhere.
The fact that these individuals and their Thinking have been so unknown to me, of all people, is both maddening and instructive.
How did I miss them?
If they had been Banned, outright, I would have found them...I have always kept an eye out for Banned Books.
It seems that they were all just quietly removed, somehow, from view.
Of course, since I now have a sort of window into the workings of the local Libraries, both Public and Public School, perhaps I understand how this was accomplished.
Some parent complains that Plato, or whatever, is in the High School...and, rather than make a spectacle, the Librarian, or the school Board, simply has it removed...or placed in a closet.
This does not happen with such high minded gems as Sarah Palin's and Bill Oraly's various collections of discourse...those are, indeed, kept in a sort of shrine...one cannot help but notice them.
I have considered donating various books to both Libraries...but the common practice is to sell or throw away whatever doesn't get checked out sufficiently.
I think Marcus Aurelius should be available in any Publicly funded Library, just in case someone wants it.
Same with Walt Whitman(whose Leaves of Grass has been challenged due to his perceived homo-erotica, and (no shit) “unamericanism”.)
The Right's perpetual Fear of Information is always on display, if one looks.
How many of the strident screamers in the Islamaphobia Industry have ever actually read the Koran?
The Hadith?
How many of a century's worth of Anti-Commie Ideologues have read Marx?
The Right has a bad habit of taking their various “Leader's” word for what to hate, and never looking into matters for themselves...apparently, for fear of pollution(an admission of weak-mindedness, perhaps?)
I, on the other hand, would never even contemplate attempting to have Sarah Palin's testament to aphasia(yes, I've read it) removed from the Public School Library...although I would prefer that it be removed from the Shrine, and put back on the shelf.
We can have Jonah Goldberg, but not Robert Paxton.
William Bennett, but not Howard Zinn.
Plato gets tossed out(I was there with a big net to catch it all), because it hadn't been checked out in the past year or two...likely because such things are not mentioned in History class, or anywhere else these days.
Anti-Intellectualism is part of the Background, now...it is no more noticed than is the air.
Again, this is how Dark Ages begin...by the delimiting of Thought...the de facto and tacit erasure of competing or contradictory viewpoints.
Silently, and without fanfare, removing whole realms of ways of looking at the world.
Somehow, I ended up a Liberal, any way...or, at least a “Left Libertarian”.
This is probably mostly due to Jefferson, and tp not having Religion...and perhaps possessing some innate bullshit detector.
…...
Of course, things of the Left also sometimes fall into this Totalitarian Universalising Habit.
One sees this with various Environmental Movements and trends...like Earth First and PETA.( ...and, for clarity, I dig Deep Green Ecology..but not to the extremity of the exclusion of Humanity).
One sees it in(especially Second Wave ) Feminism; right now, I know of some otherwise thoroughly Liberal Women who are upset about the popularity of Fifty Shades of Gray. They are talking about boycotting it, because they perceive the BDSM subculture as “demeaning” to Womyn.
Shall we remove Hemingway from the shelves, as well?
What about the Bible?
Augustine and Calvin?
Nope...we're gonna focus on a weird sexual subculture that happens to be ALL about Consent, willfully taking our eyes from the imposing edifice of obvious and blatant patriarchy all around us.

Another instance that comes to mind where otherwise sane and Liberal folks are concerned...a year or more ago, there was a pseudoscholarly article(I don't remember where) about Gandhi...containing the not all that new revelation that he slept in the same bed with naked early teenage girls...to “test his resolve”.
A big argument ensued, because my Lib interlocutors wanted to throw out Gandhi because of this.
My whole counter-argument was, essentially, “Jefferson OWNED People! Should we throw him away?”
It ain't just the Right, or the Rabid variety of Christians....
My prescription...that I sometimes fail to follow, my own self(Ha!)...is that we should tolerate folks for who and what they are...up and until the point that they become a threat to me, and or them and or us.
I've said repeatedly that I will defend, unto death, the Right of the KKK, or James Dobson, or even those neanderthals at Stormfront...I'll defend vigorously their Right to Exist and to Think and to Believe and to Speak.
However, as soon as they...or anyone else...crosses the line and attempts to Impose their worldview on anyone else..well,that's when 'a good man goes to war'.
Evangelicals pepper their discourse with the injunction to “hate the sin and love the sinner”.
I think that's a fine sentiment...and it's very similar to my own Goose Doctrine, and to the Wiccan Rede and the whole ideal of Reciprocity found in not only the three big Abrahamic religions, but in every religion I have yet studied.
Totalising everything, to the utmost extreme on any side, is Illiberal, and counterproductive.
So is Limiting access to information.


Oh, My Dog



Barack just can't catch a break.

(http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/02/despite-wingnut-freakout-obama-is-right-christian-violence-is-just-as-bad-as-muslim-violence/)
(http://aattp.org/the-right-wing-doesnt-want-to-talk-about-christian-atrocities-so-lets-talk-about-christian-atrocities/)
(ask Mrs. Tillman)

Again with the Faux Persecutory fantasizing.(please see Matthew 7:3-5, which is what the President said, in a nutshell)
The Right has this terribly annoying habit of Projecting their own secret desires onto whomever the Mothership has identified as the Enemy Du Jour.
The heart of the First Amendment is that they have the Right to believe in whatever kookery they like, but not that they can force the rest of us into their feverish terrorworld.
I once joked that the Eleventh Commandment is “Thou shalt not criticize Israel”.
Perhaps we should add a twelfth:”Thou shall not criticize Christianity(as defined and practiced by the Back to the Cave Crowd)”....because Christianity is so obviously on the ropes in America...I mean in spite of the church on every other corner(at one time, we counted 23 in this tiny town alone, although that number fluctuates, and is currently down to historical mean)...in spite of the gigantic crosses on hill tops(the one in Kerrville, Texas, is almost frightening...looming over the former artsy fartsy enclave of Hippies(http://www.thecrossatkerrville.org/))...and in spite of being forever confronted by people randomly praying( at bookstores, no less). Yup...the lions must be right around the corner.
But we let them do this.
I'm throwing into my virtual cauldron the recent report by my kids: a lot of people say “Oh, My God!”, or “Oh, My Gosh!”, or “OMG!” when surprised or even mildly shocked.
There are, apparently, several kids at school(one is a Preacher's son) who have taken it upon themselves to attempt to police such exclamations.
“You must not take the Lord's name in vain!”
That is, of course, their Right, to hold such views...and even to express them.
However, it is also the Right of whomever is standing nearby, whether the target of such outbursts or not, to challenge the Scolds.
They can exclamate all they want(within reason), but they cannot disrupt...any more than I could do, hollering about the Goddess...
Of course, such Humanistic and thoroughly American things don't happen.
The Scolds are tacitly obeyed.(think what would ensue, if I directed my kids to spread the Good News of...say...Karl Marx...or Bill Moyers...to their friends and classmates.)
This is part of a larger trend in America.
I recently read an article...(http://www.salon.com/2015/02/05/conservatives_are_such_crybabies_whether_fox_news_or_angry_police_exaggerated_whining_is_always_the_first_move/) ...about the Righty penchant for throwing Hissy Fits. The article goes on at length about the effects of these Hissy Fits in stifling Free Expression and the Promulgation of Ideas that the Right doesn't like.
It's like being chained to a bully.
It is a form of Ad Hominem...mixed with Shunning, Shaming and Punitive Alienation....as well as a generous proportion of simply shouting one's opponents down.
I cannot stress enough how Unamerican this is, in my studied and considered view.
It puts the decision of large and important issues that effect all of us into the sole possession of one faction of the Demos, and one faction ONLY!
In America!
The Righty Fantasy of a Unified America...made manifest(Maranatha!) by simply Excluding all those who don't adhere to the prescribed Narrow World View. (“They ain't “REAL” Amercuns!”.)...
This should be the topic of conversation and outrage in every home and coffeehouse and beerjoint in the land, that isn't already a part of this Totalitarian tendency—this frikking cult!
TINA-- that whole my-way-or-the-highway,end-of-history,tendency to Universalise the Norms of Literalism-- went from Religion to Economics to Politics and is now making sorties on Society, itself.
Under the cover of “Christian”, they are infiltrating nearly every sector of Our Civilisation.
(if I were a Christian, I'd be pissed at such a usurpation)
I'm sorry.
We are NOT...and have NEVER BEEN...a “Christian Nation”.
There is simply no...ZERO....Evidence to back that up.
We are, instead, a nation that includes a lot of Christians...who are Equal to Everyone Else.
Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus in all their variety,Atheists, Agnostics and Pagans, and a hundred Other admixtures and inflorations of the above and all other manner of varieties of systems for comprehending the divine and the awesome, and our place within, or along side, it.

Our governments are wisely forbidden from weighing in on such issues...perhaps not enough so.
It does not diminish me, that the falling-down church on the corner has their own form of worship.
Instead, it enriches me...until, and unless, they attempt to impose their Faith upon me and mine.
Then, I will holler at them...and about them.
This is not “hating Christianity”...nor is it in any way, shape or form, “Persecuting” Christians.
It is simply a reminder that I, too, am a part of this world....and that the world does not belong exclusively to them.
What the President said was entirely factual, and it was entirely relevant to the world, today.
The shameful malapropisms and allusions to a new Crusade on the Right since 9-11...the broad brush of “terrist” and “a violent religion” directed at Islam as a whole...the ignorant spectacles of Koran burning and crazy obstruction of Mosque-building...all of the hysteria, and traveling panels of “experts on Islam”(even here, in the wilderness), the whole industry of Islamaphobia...
all of it should be beneath us.
But there it is...
But let a President inform us of the obvious fact that Islam has no monopoly on violent extremism, and the nutters erupt in frothing outrage.
And, again, we let them erupt, all but unchallenged.
There are, of course, plenty of rebuttals and refutations, all over the web; I doubt that the same can be said of the coffee shop, the beer joint, or the feedstore.
Either from an aversion to often pointless conflict, or from simple fear of bullies, this leaves only one worldview to be represented.
This is how Dark Ages happen.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Pig in shit



I've been laboring, intermittently of necessity, on getting the site ready for beginning construction on our Funky Cabin in the Wilderness.
Wife and Mother are, of course, somewhat reticent and circumspect.
Wife is a little less so, since I gave my arm waving visionary presentation a week ago.
The boys are excited...and I expect them to remain so until they come to the realisation that;1. This will be an ongoing project for at least a year, and 2, that they will be required to actually work.
In order for the big trucks to get there to put in my meter(a necessary evil...eventually, I will only use the grid for dryer and the tankless water heater), I had to remove a 20 foot section of fence, and the giant sprawl of opuntia(prickly pear) that had colonised there.
2 days.
About 4 hours, per day.
Then 16 hours of agony.
In the interstices, while I am recovering in the fetal position in my pillow-nest, I've been a-wandrin' in my latest accidental discovery:
http://www.openculture.com/

and especially, the sub-folder:
http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses

Mostly in he Philosophy section.
I've so far skipped over the Leo Strauss offerings...and I note that he seems to be somewhat over-represented, but hey...it's free...and he did really know his stuff, if one can separate him from his intellectual and political progeny.
Folks from Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale and Berkley, and a hundred other Universities...even the Naropa Institute for Disembodied Poetics(!!!) Alan Ginsberg on Jack Kerouac, no less.
All manner of brain-candy, here.

I'm waiting on the pole/meter, and the leavings from the concrete truck(I only need a yard) for the footing for the big ass woodstove. Bits of barbed wire and rusty hog-wire and mangled chicken wire and a beer can or two are stuffed into one of the big metal garden beds, ready for the pour.
Manana, since it'll be warm again, I intend to sit out there with paper and my fancy pencils and a calculator and maybe even a ruler/straight-edge, and get my ducks in a row, and make “The List” of materials.
First Corner Post Day approaches.
Film at eleven.



Peripatetic





After all these years, Nietzsche is still my favorite Philosopher.
As I've said, I read Zarathustra when I was 8, or so...after watching Clark/Kubrik's 2001: a Space Odyssey, and becoming enamoured of Strauss' theme music(“alzo sprach Zarathustra”).
That book, and Joseph Campbell's “Masks of God”, vol. 4(“Creative Mythology”), which happened to be on the shelf at home, set me on the tortuous path that led to where I'm at.
I enjoyed Aristotle, especially Metaphysics and Poetics.
I enjoyed Marcus Aurelius even more...his Meditations is the book I've purchased and re-purchased more than any other...I keep giving it away to various and sundry folks I've encountered who were at some crisis point.
Uncle Friedrich turned me on to Schopenhauer, who I found interesting, if not convincing...and to Hegel, who I intuitively rejected, due to his Authoritarian solipsism. I was biased by Nietzsche' in this assessment, and unashamedly.
When I finally got to Popper, just last year(!?), the first part of the second volume of “Open Society..” had me laughing uproariously in the parking lot...I so identified with his hilarious, ridiculing critique of that Court Philosopher and pedantic apologist for Empire and Certainty.
Heidegger had some ideas I liked(Dasein), but this was negated by his embrasure of Naziism(hard to overlook, however, Jefferson owned Humans).
Popper also re-affirmed my intuitive uncomfortableness with the later works of Plato...I had never before been able to put my finger on what it was that bothered me about things like the Republic.
I enjoyed Erasmus, and Aquinas, whom I just happened upon due to my lifelong interest in all things Medieval...these led me into the various Mysticisms of the time: Meister Eckhardt, Abelard, and the like...
Campbell had also quoted those wild eyed folks extensively, and Kerouac, et alia, led me to Beatnik Buddha and Avolonkitsara and the Diamond Sutra.
Diogenes and Carl Jung ride around on my shoulders;
Immanuel Kant, in my front shirt pocket
I found that I agreed with Bertram Russel on his political/religious sentiments, but had little use, generally, for Analytic Philosophy, Positivism, and other Reductionist tendencies...Wiggenstein(sp-2) bored me to tears, almost literally.
Rosenstock-Huessy's 'On Revolution' I found revelatory.
I vacillate, without shame, between Structuralism and Post-Structuralism...depending on circumstance...on what I'm standing on, at the moment( my preferred view is from a tar paper shack on the Moon, near the Mare Crisium)
Descartes seemed arrogant; Hobbes, morose; Kierkegaard, almost suicidal in his dour wordiness(I like him more, now); Augustine, a disingenuous, moralising life-eater...afraid of his own shadow.
I like Origen and Pelagius, Marx and Smith, and prefer J.S. Mill to Jeremy Bentham.
I came to Camus, late...and can really relate to his take on Absurdity, and how he reckons we should respond to it.
Sartre, interesting...but ultimately unconvincing.
Rawls became a favorite, and I'm still toying with Foucault and Deleuze...translations of the latter are quite vexing.
I wish Onfrey would find a decent translator as well.
I'd like to get roaring drunk with Zizek, but have yet to seriously delve into his peculiar outlook.
I prefer “Third Wave” Feminism, and Paglia... I imagine arguing with her on many things...but I find her interesting...and certainly courageous.
I'm enjoying Proudhon, and recently had a pleasant time with Kropotkin, but...as with most Anarchists...I wonder about the general applicability/Practicality of such things.
Ivan Illich,Tolstoy,and Wendell Berry...as well as Thomas Merton, Gandhi and even Lysander Spooner...Thoreau, Whitman and Walter Benjamin...Adorno and Horkheimer(depressing as they are)...and somewhere foundational in me, Thomas Jefferson.
I am a creature of the Enlightenment, but due to a cursory study of History, and an aversion to Certainty and so called Prophetic Historicism, I'm not so sure any more of it's continuing applicability.
The apparent failure of the Enlightenment...rather, the realisation of that apparent failure...has been a dagger in my soul.
“Progress” just doesn't look like a going concern, any more.
My biggest issue with the modern world(post-postmodern?) is that I know of no-one in real life(meatspace) who has read even a third of this sort of thing. This is likely a function of my allergy to cities, and my stuck-in-amber-ness in this far place, on the edge of what passes for civilisation.
Place engenders Bias...however I attempt to control for it.
I boil all of this continually, along with my bootstraps, and realise that I seem perhaps contradictory and obscure.
I am doubtful that any book I manage to write will clear any of it up sufficiently.
I keep coming back to Uncle Friedrich.
Amor Fati, and all that.
I'd like to unify, at least somewhat, his affirmation of the Individual, with some framework for a workable Society...some synthesis of One and Many, Me and We...but then I look around(virtually, as well as at the Feedstore), and despair of this project.
Tea Party, Steamed Vaginas and David Brooks do not fill me with confidence that Humanity can survive...to say nothing of whether or not We Deserve to.

Oh, well.
Σταθερός και αναίσχυντος,
I remain.







Wednesday, February 4, 2015

priorities




http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2014/08/armed-police

The lefty rag, “the Economist”, holds forth on one of America's most idiotic statistics...comparing it to their own numbers.
What I don't understand is why a bunch of “small government” Zealots are so peachy keen on defending cops....that is, the dreaded “Government Thugs”...when they kill folks.
Sometimes in a way that resembles a firing squad.
...and, before my Jedi-Cop buddy get's bent out of shape, there is abundant video evidence. Some of it is rather easy to spin, reciting SCOTUS' ruling from long ago, about deferring to the perspective of officers at the scene.
Most, however, appear pretty cut and dried, to me.
In this article, it mentions that reporting of such killings is Voluntary.
I knew about the federal lack of such a requirement, but have no idea if Texas has a statute like that.
If we do not, we should.
Texas appears to be full of folks who are scared shitless, sometimes to the point of lashing out,of (variously) the Fedgov, the UN, Chinese Troops!, and Dark Skinned Hordes from the south.
But not requiring Police to send a report to Austin when they kill a Human Being is OK?
That particular part of the evil gooberment is so trustworthy,
So beyond reproach, that they can forego scrutiny by their Employers(that's Us,btw)?
What about “getting governments off our backs!” ?
Lol.
What a ridiculous “oversight” by our vehemently anti-government frothers.
Of course, much of this official slaughter is justified by the equally idiotic and failed “War on Drugs”.
The Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth...to say nothing of the more esoteric Ninth and Tenth...are shredded. Exceptions and various work-arounds have debased the letter and spirit of those Amendments, but this, too, is OK.
Now what the Drugwar started, is handed off to the “Global War on Terror”.
Also idiotic, and UnAmerican in the extreme, and apparently have the opposite of it's intended effect.
Spying on everybody on the frikking planet, listening to everybody's phone.
Shoeless at the airport.
Executive approved snatch-jobs and black bag ops...Secret Prisons and Torture Cells...
This is OK?
And while we discount all of these actual threats to our Freedoms, we are to be terrified of the IRS, the EPA and the folks who at least attempt to lessen the chance that I will die from irradiated lettuce with Fecal Matter on it, or who warn me of tomorrow's storm.
None of these agencies and departments are perfect.
Usda is incestuous with Big Ag, as FDA is kept in Big Pharma's basement dungeon, and let us not forget Treasury and the Fed, where they have had the revolving door made into a stripper cage (it was in the way...)
But they aren't shooting American Citizens in parkinglots.
They aren't bursting through the door at 5 am, and expecting no resistance.(I am fully aware of the anti_Raw Milk raids, and the like. So the phenomena may be spreading.)
If my compatriots on the Right want to at least seem serious about all that Limited Government rhetoric, they should demand something be done about the parts of government that are a literal threat to Human Life and Liberty.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Alien







http://www.salon.com/2013/07/31/living_in_america_will_drive_you_insane_literally_partner/

Quiet desperation only obtains for so long.
Turns out that my ongoing rebellion and innate anti-authoritarianism is now the norm.
I was just ahead of the curve, I guess.
It's too bad that we are tacitly, if not overtly, required to throw out all Marxist ideas...because he, and especially his philosophical offspring in the Frankfurt School, had a rather deep understanding of Alienation, Ennui, Angst and Social Disintegration.
I remember the Mythos, peddled by everyone from teachers and preachers to mom and dad and grandparents...that if you took pride in your work, if you strove for excellence, the Ladder would appear before you.
Bootstraps, and all of that.
I remember being convinced that my first love, Philosophy, was not a good choice for a major...that I should instead apply myself to something “sensible”, like “Radio/TV/Film”.
Aside from the bureaucratic tangles and interlocking petty fiefdoms that “Higher Education” had become, even then(circa 1989), there was an all but unspoken truth that the jobs that we were being prepared for were rapidly becoming obsolete, even non-existent.
My experience with Higher Ed. Used to be regarded as an anomaly.
No more.
I've felt for a long time that we are a civilisation in terminal decline...not because of gays and black people and libruls, but because of Exhaustion.
Financialisation of the economy, “Outsourcing”, the “New” Service and “Knowledge” Economy that never quite materialised....
What it all amounts to is a breaking of the Social Contract.
Back when I was still loose in the world, I avoided Corporate Kitchens. I still ended up taking the bait, on occasion...only to have my better judgment confirmed: Soulless, Hopeless, Broken Promises...a Cog in a great machine...stamping out one's Individuality, Creativity, Agency.
Ass Kissing and Tattling as means of advancement.
Privately owned, Mom and Pop Kitchens were a lot better in this regard...until a certain level of success was obtained.
Then, there was that same fear of tall weeds...that same conformism...and that same broken Social Contract.
My last several jobs were exemplars of this.
Forever fighting over one's paycheck, attempting to not get screwed over on the schedule...and watching the ass-kissers and tattlers rise and conquer.
And yet, I was ridiculed and pooh-poohed for being less than enthusiastic about working for assholes and psychopaths, and working with amoral backstabbers, for peanuts.
What's the frelling Point!?
A casual glide through the comments reveals the usual prescriptions of a return to Jesus, and much lowered expectations...as if all of this Alienation and Disillusionment is all in our heads...that eating shit in order to make below a living wage...and having to fight so you don't get screwed out of that...is somehow acceptable.
When I think about these things, I feel almost blessed to be a Cripple.
I don't have to do that anymore.
Instead of belittling me for that opinion...instead of shaming and pissing on all of those 20-30 something folks out there who will never get out from under their college debt...instead of kicking the PHD flipping burgers who just can't get all excited about going to work...instead of, in a nutshell, hating the victims of this phenomenon...perhaps we should be asking why they feel this way, and what can be done about it.
I do not, of course, expect that to happen.
Everything is broken...including our political discourse, and the government that used to be ours, however imperfectly.
This is what Collapse looks like.




See:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt_School
http://crs.sagepub.com/content/38/4/565.abstract











Ugly



This:


And this:
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/01/christian-protesters-shout-down-muslim-kids-singing-national-anthem-at-texas-rally-islam-is-a-lie/comments/#disqus


Godwin's Law be damned.
When I see shit like this, I think about Germany, 1929.
I think about “Deus Volt!”, which launched the First Crusade.
We are not, and have never been, a “Christian Nation”.
Frothing nutters, projecting their hatred onto their fellow Texans who happen to be embodying some of the best things about Jesus...meek and mild, and turning the other cheek.
Liberals are at a disadvantage, because of our tolerance.
I will defend the frothers' rights to believe in their hateful craziness, and to shout it, up to a point.
Such tolerance will not be reciprocated.
Therein lies the rub.
Karl Popper famously said that we should not tolerate intolerance, because the most hateful forms of intolerance leads inexorably to the end of his cherished Open Society.
There are limits to everything, including each and every one of Our Inalienable Rights.
These so-called- “Christians” have overstepped those bounds.
They should be condemned for such behaviour.

“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Matthew,6:5-6
“I like your Christ.
I do not like your Christians...they are so unlike your Christ.”-Gandhi.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sis.



Heard the news
that you had gone.
Sister to the very first love of my life.
Humble beginning, to humble end.
Hamburger helper,
Dr Pepper,
liquid paper,
and Marlborough Reds.
Porch light always on for wayward souls like me.
A waiting couch, and too early Reba.
Singing in the kitchen.
Life built a hard shell of selfishness
that hid a gooey middle of compassion
worthy of a Buddha.
Taking in strays,
when you could least afford it.
Brash and volatile,
in compensation for overwhelming hardship.
Complex in your simplicity,
your life a constant struggle.
Perhaps your secret pain is finally ended.


Friday, January 16, 2015

American Way


(unearthed during a wholesale file cleaning)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glen-browder/obama-legacy_b_2654287.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glen-browder/sooner-rather-than-later-_b_2839940.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glen-browder/america-is-drifting-mindl_b_2881138.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glen-browder/alternative-scenarios-for_b_2875298.html

FTA,PT4:”I also have a challenge for the Ameican people: Recommit to a new civic course accommodating change in our socity and systemic environment. Essentially, we all should participate, as responsible citizens, in that national dialogue; we also need to embrace change but resist radical alteration of the historic democratic experiment.
My suggested course for both the president and the people also means foregoing partisan advantage, as much as is humanly possible, in favor of practical democratic progress. Too often, for example, conservatives tend to cling stubbornly to cherished but outdated remnants of the past; and, alternatively, liberals tend to ignore valuable lessons of history. Such tendencies are acceptable when neither side prevails completely in our limited, representative system of governance. However, if one or the other assumes sufficient dominance and pursues wayward tendencies, within an extremely distempered environment, the outcome could threaten the substantive ideals and representative procedures of our historic experiment.



This is a Transformative Time, in American, and World History...and including both of those(American and World)...including that Context is Important.
I am confronted Daily, by erstwhile Liberals(who often do not know it), who unwittingly Parrot Conservative Talking Points:”Obama is a Failure”,”He's Worse than Bush”,etc...and who aver that it's all over...and that We should give up on Democracy, and the Republic...since they're “All the Same”.
A sort of Galt's Gulch mentality, often shorn of it's Randian precursor of Selfishness as the Highest Good.

This Exhaustion is the direct result of two things, both part and parcel of the 35 year Project of what I term the Violent Parasitical Elite(VPE):1. The Wholesale Purchase of the Apparatus of American Governance, and 2. the accompanying Mindfuck, directed at the American People....the overwhelming Barrage of Confusion and Helplessness, the Confusion of Tongues and the Corruption of Language,Cognitive Dissonance, and Revisionist History.
All of this in the context of Racial Pandering, and the encouragement to Blame
our Neighbors and Fellow Prisoners for the Actions of our Ruling Class(whom they have convinced us, do not even exist.(“Classless Society” is part of the Mindfuck.))

While we're beating each other about the face over whether or not, variously, Black People, Brown People, Queers, Women, Non-Xians, etc are Citizens...or even People...the VPE have run off with the Country.
We have been sold into slavery, and our chains are made of Mythology and an Inability to Think.


A Comment:
FT Comments:”Thomas Pain
365 Fans
05:10 PM on 03/30/2013
Glen Browder's heart is in the right place, but call for a renewal America inspired by "the sacred fire of liberty," "a new birth of freedom," and a "dream of equality," is far to vague and amiguous to take us anywhere.

What we need is some very specific proposals.

First, I propose putting a sign at the front of every classroom in every school grades 1-12 that says:

______________________________________________________

I WILL TREAT OTHERS THE WAY I WANT THEM TO TREAT ME
______________________________________________________

Yes, the Golden Rule, restated as an affirmation, for this is the essence of the law, and of love, friendshp, civility, civic cooperation, and civilization.

Second, every student in high school must take a course in Political Philosophy, in which he, or she, will read and discuss "The Rights of Man," "The Age of Reason," "The American Crisis," and "Common Sense," by Thomas Paine (with an "e"), the most influential philospher of the American Revolution; the "Meditations" of Marcus Arelius, Emperor of Rome; "The Quotable Founding Fathers" edited by Buckner F. Melton, and "The True Believer" by Eric Hoffer.

Fourth, also in every classrom, a poster with these words of Abraham Lincoln from his first annual message to Congress on December 3, 1861:

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, Capital. Capital is only the fruit of Labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to Capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." “


Consider, that in Texas, the new Social Studies Curriculum is...instead of being concerned with History, Context, and Truth....is all about Indoctrinating our Youth into believing many of the VPE's Favorite Mythologies...Christian Nation, “Capitalism” as 1. What we've been doing, and 2. the perfect expression of Liberty....the American Experience as Nothing but the Good and Positive...meaning,”My Country Right or Wrong”, and the Uncritical,”We're Number One!”.
What Mr Browder doesn't mention is all of this, as Context.
He is pointing to the Effects of the Mindfuck, without mentioning the Mindfuck.
It's the Ontological Crisis I've been hollering about all this time.




Another Comment:”
Peter Goguen
3 Fans
01:44 PM on 03/30/2013
Despite the widespread belief that the present government is mired in partisan politics, I would assert that quite the opposite is true. We are embroiled in a national dialogue about fairness and justice, with more voices being heard than ever before, and this is a good thing. The issues over taxation,health care, gay marriage, and voting rights are being fervently discussed and argued at multiple levels of varying detail in every political news cycle of the day. As these arguments proceed they will eventually distill some form of consensus, enlighten the electorate and lead to a better America. Patience is all that is needed - good things are happening in America “


This is what I would like to Believe...and there is an argument to be made that there is Great Transformation happening, under the surface...after all, how would we expect to know...when the VPE have a Tentacle thrown across the Media(Hydraulic Despotism)?
When our Information about the World is Filtered through the wholly owned Corporate Media, is it any wonder that We are confused?

I am, of course, way out beyond mere Party and Politics...Review my Ramblings...Left and Right, Conservative and Liberal...none of this means much , any more...
Better: Dominator/Cooperator, or Authoritarian/Egalitarian.
I side with Democrats, because the LEAN towards Cooperator/Egalitarian...not because they EMBODY them. We let the Perfect be the Enemy of the Acceptable Improvement.

With that in mind, Protest Does, indeed Work...despite what my Naysaying Buddies would have us believe, on our way to Throwing in the Towel.
Racists use Euphemism and Code Words, instead of openly declaring their Racism=Progress.
Even Republicans are set to give up on Gay Marriage...shamed into silence for fear of losing elections=Progress.
Occupy, ere it was Cast into Outer Media Darkness...and Tea, ere it was Bought...agreeing on the Fundamental Problem of Super Rich Folks, and the Corps(e) they Hide Behind, essentially Buying Our Governments.=Progress.
There is reason for a little Hope....







Another Comment,Exemplifying the Confusion of Tongues:”Bart DePalma
Bart DePalma
563 Fans
11:27 AM on 03/30/2013
"Can our nation -- a people of growing cultural diversity, with increasingly divergent values, and dissentient governance inclinations, in a constrained systemic environment -- continue to sustain our collective pursuit of freedom, equality, and justice through the traditional framework of limited, representative government?"

Talk about your compound questions! Let's break this down...

The traditional framework of constitutionally limited, representative government is based on the proposal that the purpose of government is to protect the liberties of the people and accomplishes this purpose by limiting the power of government to infringe on liberty. The only proper law ("collective pursuit") is one that prevents the citizenry from harming one another.

This permits divergent cultures to live with one another peacefully.

The fundamental challenge to the existence of constitutionally limited, representative government is progressivism and socialism - the "dissentient governance inclinations" referred to in the question.

Progressivism and socialism are based upon the proposition of unlimited government power exercised by an unelected bureaucracy of "experts" directing the economy and society. This is the anti-thesis of and cannot coexist with constitutionally limited, representative government.

Under our current progressive and socialist government, the bureaucracy and courts rather than our elected Congress enact the vast majority of law.

Our caesarist President quite openly declines to enforce laws of which he disapproves and rules by executive order or bureaucratic decree where ever he can. How Professor Browder can even conceive of Mr. Obama as a transformative president advancing democracy is a complete mystery to me.”



Here is the Exemplar of the Confusion of Tongues....
To me, it is Obvious...the code Words,”Progressive”, allied with “Socialist”...mixed with the others,”Constitutionally Limited,Representative Government”....
Again, I am confronted Every Day, with such rhetoric...mostly by erstwhile Liberals...who do not Know that they are Liberals(after all, don't they eat babies?)
Who cannot Define Terms, save from Inside the Mindfuck....”Socialism/Progressivism/Liberalism”= Soviet Russia.(or even Nazi Germany!!)...always neglected in such statements is the Effects, even the Reality, of Corporate Domination of every area of Life.
I stand firmly with Mr Browder...We, the People, must Engage in Dialog....except that no one seems to recall what “Dialog” is.
In order to begin a Dialog, “Both Sides”(but especially what is known as “the Right”!) must accept the other as American, Too.
Our Diversity is often the root of our ineffectiveness.
Fear of the Other is fomented....by those who would have us fighting our Neighbor, rather than attacking the actual Enemies of Freedom.
We, the People, must overcome this Distraction...this Manufactured Division...if We are to ever even begin to, as we heard so often from TEA,”Take Our Country Back”..

Again, We have been riding the car, driven by maniacs, bumping along in the Right Hand Ditch...any correctional swerve to the left is regarded as going all the way, into the Left Hand Ditch...the Perfectly Serviceable Road remains Empty.

On Hope



“The world gets better. It also gets worse. The time it will take you to address this is exactly equal to your lifetime, and if you're lucky you don't know how long that is. The future is dark. Like night. There are probabilities and likelihoods, but there are no guarantees. “-Rebecca Solnit(1)

A usual day begins around here, with me: up at some silly hour, well before dawn. I make coffee, and...since I do not wish to impose my too-early-ness upon anyone...light the candle beside my bed.
I listen to the coffee machine sputter and spit and smoke cigarettes and look at the little flame...Tuvok the Vulcan would say,”the flame, disciplined”...and I think of Gandalf:”I am the servant of the Secret Fire...” and of Cormac McCarthy,”Carry the Fire...”...
and I reflect on the injustice and craziness and hatred and despair that seems so all encompassing, at times...like the darkness of my house, in those lonely hours before dawn....
But I have my Candle.
“This little light of mine...”
...all these long years of reflection and of learning and of speaking out...and where are we?
What's the point of it all?
I look out the window, at the quiet street, in this tiny quiet town, and feel the feelings of those who look out on other streets in other towns and cities and villages and megalopolises...streets not so quiet...
Not so peaceful.
It's hard to be optimistic...optimism has an inverse relationship to what one knows about the world.
But we are, each of us, a part of that world, and each have a small part in it's ongoing Creation.
...and that realisation is what keeps me going.
Small stones dislodge more small stones, which in their turn dislodge marginally larger stones...ripples expand outwards, and have an effect in the waterlogged grasses and reeds at the edges of the pond. The frogs therein know that something is afoot.
The edges are where all of the important stuff happens...as in the Protohominids at the edges of the shrinking Pleistocene forest, looking out at the growing Savannah...and making the decision to leave the shade....
That made all of the difference, it turns out.


"History written by Power taught us that we had lost.... We did not believe what Power taught us. We skipped class when they taught conformity and idiocy. We failed modernity. We are united by the imagination, by creativity, by tomorrow. In the past we not only met defeat but also found a desire for justice and the dream of being better. We left skepticism hanging from the hook of big capital and discovered that we could believe, that it was worth believing, that we should believe -- in ourselves. Health to you, and don't forget that flowers, like hope, are harvested." -Zapatista Subcommandante Marcos(1)

Hope, according to the Greeks, was all that was left in Pandora's Jar, when the lid was, almost too late, replaced.
They counted this as a very good thing.
I look around, and at first(and second and third) glance, see little reason for Hope.
I expect the worst...a Global Dark Age, unprecedented in it's scope and depth.
Holocene giving way to Anthropocene, the Age of Energy Abundance giving way to Scarcity on an almost unimaginable scale....Terror, writ large...Fear and Un-Understanding...Ignorance Ascendant.
In America, a Hobbesian Civil War of all against all, with our unknown Ruling Class, whom we still cannot bring ourselves to acknowledge, sitting in their Enclaves, waiting to emerge and “save” us all from ourselves, once the violence and rage has exhausted itself.
But then I look at my little fire, disciplined...glowing feebly in the darkness of my pre-dawn house...
And I think of Frodo Baggins, and of Luke Skywalker and Duncan Idaho and Neo and all of the other unlikely Heroes in our modern Mythos, and their unlikely victories against the Dark that forever lurks... waiting...
What such unlikely Heroes have in common, besides their universal initial unwillingness, is the first step onto the Path.
The Courage to take that step...not because of a lack of Fear, but in spite of it.
That first step, that small stone, that tiny flame in the dark...that is what all of the great changes that have gone before us were made of.
So, go on...Create your Universe...do your small part...Carry the Fire.
It's all we've ever had, and it is all that is, ultimately, needed.
The Essence of Magic is in learning to Focus one's Intention....Maximus the Gladiator/General says, “what we do here, today, echoes in Eternity...”
Our Intentions...Our Will...Our Compassion and Rage and Hope...Ripple outward.
That is how the World is remade.




(1)http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/677/rebecca_solnit_acts_of_hope
(2)http://www.alternet.org/economy/so-many-people-are-badly-traumatized-life-america-its-time-we-admit-it?paging=off¤t_page=1#bookmark

meandering



The courage to define oneself.
I may have been drunk at the river, but I came out of there with more trash than I brought.
Treelover? Yer damn skippy!
Lungs of the world. That's what a true conservative believes.
For Gay Rights? Yup, and proud to say.Equal Rights means Equal Rights.
You want to deny Gay People their Equal Rights because a few narrow minded folks might get upset?
I'm upset that a few narrowminded folks get to decide who is worthy of Equal Rights.
Everybody's Worthy of Equal Rights...which includes the Bigot's Right to an opinion.
That's conservative, too.
Pro-Dope?
Absolutely!
How is it conservative to let the government decide what choice of inebriant/relaxant is best for me? On my own property?
And while bothering no one?
Wanna restrict the vote? Make it hard to vote?
That ain't conservative, either.
Before you make such radical changes, you need a lot better evidence.
It's radical(in a bad way) to take people's Right to Vote.
Living Wage? Yes, for sure!
Folks who make more than enough to live on are good for business.
Folks who don't make enough to live on are Bad for business.
Pay folks more than Poverty Wages, and watch business grow.
Henry Ford knew this, why don't we?
If you don't like “welfare”, hire somebody at a Living Wage.
Wanna call yourself a “Job Creator”?
Prove it.
I don't want to be Rich...I want Enough.
Greed is not good...in fact, it's bad.
A Greedy person is not a role model. The one who has enough to share is to be emulated.
Courage means defending Freedom, even when we're scared.
I'll not remove my shoes...or my hat.
I am not afraid of terrorists...or of the Government.
I'm afraid of Ignorance.
The Things that I do not Know are an opportunity, not something to be feared.
Dont like me fishing naked? It's a big river...go further up stream.
Don't like my cigarette smoke? I do not care for your car exhaust, or your perfume.
I'd like to have the Freedom to take the train.

On the Truth, Rather Than the Lie


(What is a “Liberal”?)


All you need do
is ask....

We want to take the Best of what is Humankind,
and build a Civilisation out of it.
It is not, however, in Our Nature to Presume to Decide what is “Best”, and to then Unilaterally Universalise it. There can be no Liberal Dictators...
That is Anathema;
Dictatorship goes Against Our Nature.

Our Nature, instead, requires Discussion and Thought,
and Compromise.
….and, ultimately, Consensus.
Must We always make Decisions based on the purview of only one Facet of a Multifaceted Humanity?
Is there to be no Contact between the Mind, the Heart and the Soul?
Forever the Conflict between Our Intellect, Emotions and that which is Transcendent within Us?
We Believe and Intuit and Reason that All of Humanity has the Right to a hand in the Defining and Constructing of this thing called Humanity.
Civilisation...Society... Is, and Must be, a Joint, Cooperative, Interdisciplinary Project.
We believe in the Polis, in Democracy, in the Res Publica.(the “Thing of the People”)
Broad and Deep and Rich and Fecund.
We Accept and Acclaim a Thriving and often Riotous Humanity,
Clamoring and Whistling and Singing out,
Talking and Arguing, Agreeing and Disagreeing,
But in Absolute Agreement about only One Thing:
Our Collective and Individual and Inalienable Right to Exist.
All of Us.
Every One.
And We want to Agree on the De Minimis...the Bare Minimum of what that Means...
This Right to Exist...which means that We want to Talk about it.
We propose the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a Fine Place to begin this Discussion.
Such Documents are Designed to be Added to...never Subtracted from.
We believe that there is not one Humanity, but Billions.
We believe that Each of those billions have the Same Rights.
Which necessarily includes the Right to be a part of the never ending Discussion as to just what those Rights Are and Mean.
We believe that these De Minimis Rights are subject only to the Consensus of Humankind, insofar as they be added to....never diminished.
We believe in Erring on the side of Caution...constantly bearing in Mind Our propensity to Err otherwise.
And Constantly Remembering that We are not Infallible.
That We are not Perfect.
That Perfect is a Process, never Fulfilled...constantly Under Construction.
We believe that “My Right, my Sphere of Autonomy”, ends at that Place where it Intersects with “Your Right, your Sphere of Autonomy.”...and that in Between the two, Exists a Shared Humanity.
First Use of Force is the Second Highest Crime.(the First being Denying Anyone the Right to Exist.)
Force being Defined as Coercion, in spite of or contrary to, Our Common, but Individual, Bubbles of Autonomy, that We Each carry around with Ourselves...
And in spite of or contrary to, the Needs and Wants that We All Share.
Let Us, Together, Define those Needs and Wants.
Let Us have Compassion.
Let Us Work Together.
Let Us, through Dialog,through Trialog, Quadrilog, and so forth... See the world through Each Others' Eyes.
Let Us at last take into Mind Our Common Humanity.
And Let Us have the Courage to Become what We-- All of Us,Together—are...One and Alone and Many and Together...a Myriad, Sharing a Common Denominator…
Let Us make the Defining Characteristic of “HUMAN” be “Robust in Our Diversity.

“All of Us, Together and Alone.”



Let Us Dare
To Construct a World that encompasses Us All...that has Room for Us All...
a Right for Us All...
All the World is a Cousin to Me;
If not a Brother, or a Sister.
We are each, Each Others' Ancestors.
Let Us endeavor to Behave as if We were All Related to one another.
One Big Human Family.
May We...Can We...at least Agree on that?
All of Us?
Every One?

….and That,
Is what it means to be “a Liberal”.


Emergence

(crawling out the hole in the top)

Awright...so it wasn't exactly “warm”, today...
but the sun was out, and it got into the high 50's,
with North West winds at 5-10 mph.
I went out to the monastery and piddled around,
doing this and that.
I think the ladder is what did me in, finally.
It is so incredibly easy to damage myself.
Out of the 5 hours I spent out there, perhaps half that time was spent puttering—the rest, just sitting there, reading.
Lots of little things knocked off my rather extensive mental list...jammed the Ravi Shankar, and got into what for me is a groove: “work” for 20 minutes, sit down for 15.
Cripplehood teaches one Patience.
If I sit down for any longer, I'll start to seize up...like the Tin Man...and become furniture; so I must goad myself to continue.
Eventually...maybe 6 hours of this, maybe three(depending on weather and other factors), and I'll notice the Pain leaking past the drugs.
If I'm really in to what I'm doing, I sometimes don't notice the first stabs.
But it always ends with me staggering about, packing up the laptop and my lunch dishes, and crawling on home.
That was at around 3 pm.
Limped through the monastery Laundry Cycle and rekindled the fire, and I've been right fucking here, ever since.
I'm tempted to attempt a hot hot bath, but I know from experience that it will(counter-intuitively) make me feel worse, when all's said and done.
It'll feel great for as long as I'm submerged...but when I get out, and venture into this impossible to heat little house, the shivering will bring agony.
I'm clockwatching...another hour and a half til I can take another norco.
That indicates what is called “pseudoaddiction”...which is not addiction, at all, but rather a product of undermedication. Doctors often mistake it for the real thing...patient always complaining that it ain't enough.
This, in it's turn, is a product of our idiotic war on drugs..hypersuspicion and simplistic assumptions...all of which leads to a lack of trust.
(Yay, Amurca!)
I am lucky in this regard:
I have a good, 15 year long relationship with my Doctor.
Problem is that Texas requires paper prescriptions...and only a month's worth at a time.
So manana, I make the trek to Fredericksburg...70 miles, round trip.
That's gonna hurt, too.
At least the gloom has past, and the frigidity.
.................
...all of the foregoing with Rand Paul nattering in the background:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/01/14/1357706/-VIDEO-Rand-Paul-Over-half-the-people-receiving-disability-benefits-are-gaming-the-system?detail=email#

Those fuckers just won't quit!!
Forward!! Into Dark Age!!
Neofeudalism is the American Way!!
….and folks out here, and elsewhere, swallow it whole...never
realising that they are targets, as well.




Monday, January 12, 2015

Oubliette



Now, after the bells and tinsel are finally packed away again,
after the festivities and enforced joyousness have mercifully ended,
after the peeping hunters have gone back to their east Texas holes,
We are settled in for the long frigid dark,of the first two months of the New Year;
The last, more bitter half of Winter.
The Skunk has returned to under our house...I have no idea how she gets under there...
Seems like a new hole, every year.
Same with the Porcupine that prefers Wintering on the floor under the bath-tub..
One can tell by the sound the quills make as she shuffles around...scraping the iron underside of the tub.
By February, there will be Babies...”Kits”,perhaps?
Mewling and scratching.
TV Football is almost at an end(rejoice!)...but the local sporting endeavors are just getting up to speed...
I am largely exempt, due to cripplehood, and being unable to tolerate the benches
and bleachers, to say nothing of the crowds.
It is for that same reason that I only darken the theater's door for Star Wars and Tolkien...
I am Patient.
I can wait for the DVD.
The sports means that I am left alone
a lot.
More than usual.
I have driven away many acquaintances...by my occasional drunkenness,
or by my perennial erudite obscurity.
Perhaps both—Dionysius and Apollo are Strangers, here.
The handful of people I would actually prefer to hang around with are all...
to a man...
Womyn.
...and married to Neandethals.(what's that all about?)
Platonic, Pseudoplatonic, relationships with crazy Hippies are verboten.
And just forget about the possibility of fuck-buddies,lol.

It's too cold out side...and my Monastery takes hours to warm up...
and I hurt too much, this time of year, anyway.
So I am terminally Bored.

Three days more of frozen darkness, and then a warm spell...
Will I explode inebriated into the hills?
Will I work too much, too soon, and spend the remaining days of this coming unseasonable warmth
curled up in agony?
Habit indicates :
Both.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

On Terrorism(French Edition)



What has stricken me, from the evening of 9-11-2001, to this day, is the tacit prohibition on considering the perspectives of the perpetrators.
We are expected to only consider it from our own( somewhat elitist and exclusive) perspective: they “hate us for our freedoms”, even as those Freedoms are whittled away out of Fear of Terrorism(“fear-ism”).
Their violence is always presented as Irrational, Barbaric, and Unwarranted.
Conversely, we are encouraged to think of our own, retaliatory Violence as Good and Just...and always perfectly Rational.
We are not to question the Official Story.
We are never to look into the perceptions and motivations of those Others.
I found out about this Prohibition the hard way.
That afternoon and evening...and for the following weeks...I, as is my habit, speculated aloud about possible alternative explanations and chains of Causation.
“Look at the History,” I said....
“Look at the West's meddling in the entire Arab World, for centuries...”
One can think of all of this as a considered response to Our own aggression and
avarice and double-dealing with the inhabitants of those regions.
From Churchill throwing darts at the map, to Sykes-Picot, to the Crusades, to the imposition and then propping up of various dictators and strongmen...from the House of Saud to Saddam to the Shah to Mubarak.
Our employees have waged a long campaign of violent, often Imperial, meddling....and the results, for the People on the ground in those places, have been economic and social stagnation.
From that perspective, from the perspective of those who have grown up in such chaotic environs---and confronted by wealthy Imperial strength—is it any wonder that those folks would eventually strike back at what they perceive as their Oppressors?
But we are all but forbidden from such contemplation.
To even consider that the Terrists may have a Grievance...and a legitimate one, at that...is considered as bordering on Treason.
This manipulated narrowing of Thought means that the same People, and “People”(the Paper Kind) ,who are behind the Oppression and Aggression against the entire Third World.--including the Arab/Muslim parts-- can also direct their Oppression and Aggression inwards...corralling and delimiting the Thoughtscapes of their own People, so as to curtail any opposition...and any formation of alternatives to their Paradigm.
TINA, again.
Hydraulic Despotism, applied to the Psycho-Social milieu.
It is instructive, that the first words to come from the public face of the various “intelligence” agencies after the bloodletting in France, are all about the “Need” to give up more of our Freedoms in service of “Fighting the Terrorists”.
Our Privacy, Our Freedom of Thought and Communication, are to be Sacrificed on the altar of FEAR.
That this end so closely coincides with the purported agenda of the Terrists, themselves, is yet another thing from which we are to avert our eyes.
That We allow our own governments to, essentially, accomplish what those governments tell us, in all sincerity, are the “Goals” of the Terrists, is the most hellish of ironies.



Friday, January 9, 2015

to Critter Mike, on shameless duplicity and general evil-doing.

Man,
you guys don't waste any time, at all.
I just read this:(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-zombeck/gop-begins-assault-on-eld_b_6436640.html)....and dug into many other sources.
I had thought that you lot couldn't surprise me any more, with your duplicitous mendacity, your cruel indifference and even hostility to those less fortunate.
Congratulations! You and your Ilk in the Goptea have lowered the bar, yet again.
Since the last election...which was not a "landslide" on your part(I can count, and do sums)...I had considered retiring from my letter-writing and from my attempts to call attention to you and your buddies' assholery.
Instead, I find myself with even more resolve.
I'm watching.
My word processor is warmed up.
My address book is updated.
Y'all just keep up the attacks on the poor, the weak and the aged.
At some point, Rushbo and Faux will no longer work for you to keep your base so blind to the effects of your rabidly hypocritical hatred of the American People (the flesh and blood kind...not the paper variety).
Vincit Omnia Veritas.
...and I will do my best to help the Truth get out.

thanks for the kindling.
Josef.
Liberal.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Thoughts and meditations while burrowed in for the new years' Canadian invasion.



I fucking hate winter.

This year, Thanksgiving brought my extended family a flu outbreak...complete with putting my mother(72) in an ambulance twice(the first time, I thought she was kicking the bucket), and me spending a lot of time camped out (uncomfortably)in her guest bedroom, in order to nurse and watch her.
Then the cold began....and the 24th anniversary of my life changing wreck, and my usual over-sensitivity to jingle bells and cinnamon smells and mannerless hunters stopping on my dirt road to ogle at the hippie in clown pants, carrying a hammer on his own property(if I did the same in their deep east texas cowboy-chic suburban warren, they'd surely call the law, if not shoot me)...and it's colder than a Teabilly pericardial sac, and as wet and nasty and all I wanna do is run off to Belize or somewhere and lay naked in the sun(which I am certain still exists, despite appearances).
The flu, though...that set things off on a deleterious track.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/01/when-you-get-the-flu-this-winter-you-can-blame-anti-vaxxers.html

It seems that, once again, the Faux Newt surreality has leaked into the world the rest of us inhabit...otherwise reasonable folks don't “believe” in the science around vaccines.
Those cracks in the Right Wingers' reality bubble are at the root of a whole lot of things that seem intractable.
To whit:

http://www.salon.com/2014/12/29/no_civilization_would_tolerate_what_america_has_done_partner/

Maybe this guy reads me...or maybe I'm somehow tapped into the Noosphere...but I've been hollering about all of that for years: our inability and unwillingness to look Reality in the face-- instead preferring to believe real hard in our various Mythos and ever so comfortable in our numerous unexamined Assumptions, Frames and Memes.
Ah...the Warm Herd....

More tea colored crap oozes from the cracks:
http://www.salon.com/2015/01/01/beyond_the_foreign_policy_lies_our_compliant_media_and_the_truth_about_american_exceptionalism/#comments

Again...Where's everybody been?
Lol.
Reagan's Amurca has been an unamerican shithole for a long time.
(yes, it goes back at least to Truman, who was “a democrat”...sigh)...and the further down that fork in the road we go, the more the ghosts of the John Birch Society infect the mind of America.
I've made the attempt at working on the part of the Mighty Tome, for months, about the all but unacknowledged but widespread anti-Hippie discrimination, hostility, and outright Eliminationism...and what that says about Us, and how we've been bamboozled, lo these past 40 years, but I have been so fucking depressed. The Ferguson, et alia hatefest has not relented(comments sections, throughout the web).
The Torture Report made little difference.
The Republican Party has been shameless in their Triumphalism(and they still appear to be ignorant assholes)...and the Democratic Party is still eyeless and ball-free.
I've been on Deep Space 9 and Battlestar Galactica for 2 months as a result.

These three excellent articles are my return to paying attention.
I'm glad that I ain't the only one who has looked at the roots of things.
It sure feels that way, sometimes.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Cops and Empire


As above, so below.
What the US Government does abroad, the Criminal “justice system” does at home.
The one alienates, frustrates and angers People in far flung backwards countries; the other alienates, frustrates and angers People in (some) American Neighborhoods.
And then when those People, here and there, have had enough, and strike out in anger...we are shocked.
In both cases, the highest Sin in America, is putting one's own privileged white ass in the other guy's shoes. After 9-11, it was a sure way to get beat up, at worst...screamed at, at least...to ask,” why do they hate us so?--what could We have done to so piss those folks off?”
Now, after Ferguson, We are vilified for attempting to get our loud and hostile countrymen to walk a mile in Black, Brown and Poor Folks shoes in regards to the Cops.
The “Terrists” we are supposedly fighting over there, somehow deserve it....as do the People killed and maimed and beaten by Law Enforcement; No matter the Evidence...or lack thereof.
To question these Holy Assumptions...to examine them...is a bridge too far for our frothing brethren, so insane in their denial, and so fragile in their fearfulness.
Because it takes courage to call out one's own country for bad...even evil...behaviour, done in Our own name.
It takes courage to call out one's employees when they do wrong...especially when those employees are habituated to getting away with everything, and shameless in their counter recriminations.(“how dare they protest!”--”how dare they release a report!”)
It takes courage to look at one's own country and acknowledge it's...our...shortcomings and failures and fuck-ups.
It takes very little courage to scream at those who have the stones to be so honest.
Last I looked, less than 30% of Us who could vote...did.
...and the Right Wing's terrified terrorists “won”.
They think they have a “mandate”...and are behaving as if they do on TV:
Justifying the most heinous acts by Our employees, both abroad and at home.
Screaming, as they are wont to do, that “we are awesome”...when the evidence, quivering and shit-stained on the floor, is that we are, instead, the Evil Empire, now.
I reject, categorically, the worldview that rests on “my country right or wrong” and “love it or leave it”.
That is a dishonest worldview, founded on fear, and fit only for cowardly men.
At the moment, and so far, there is little evidence that “We are better than that”.
But We could be.



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Torture




“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just;
that his justice cannot sleep forever.”-Thomas Jefferson.



Punitive Rectal Rehydration.


In other, less euphemistic, words: Our employees connected a hose to a faucet, stuck the other end up some poor bastard's ass, and turned on the water.
As punishment.

Our employees.

In Our name.

Currently, the Great Wurlitzer of Hatred and Hysteria is churning out Apologia and Misdirection...blaming Obama(!?) for releasing the Senate Report that describes such activities in such gruesome detail.
How dare Obama and the Democrats release a report!
How dare they expose our perfidy and our barbarism!
The gall of those people!!
Living in the past, they are.
They should quit blaming Bush for everything!
…........

Punitive Rectal Rehydration.

Causing a detainee to stand naked, chained to the ceiling of a chilled concrete room, for days.
At least once, until death by hypothermia.

Setting attack dogs upon bound and naked and feces-smeared prisoners.

Applying electric currents to the genitals of detainees.
….............
There's the War Criminal Cheney, wringing his claws over the damage this report will do to our standing in the world; like a Molester getting all angry at the neighbor for turning him in.
There's even Lil George, himself....emerging from hiding to insist that the Torture Corps are the best people to have on our side. Those Torturers are “good people”...really.
There's Nicole Wallace, telling us that such things were what the American People wanted at the time...so very fearful were we.
There's the various babblers and screamers of Fox News, yelling stridently that “We're Awesome!”...as nations who Torture people are always regarded.

….............
I'll stop “blaming Bush” when he and his Administration and all of his now-forgetful Supporters take Responsibility for these things.
These War Crimes.
When the Good Americans, who screamed at me for naming George Bush II a War Criminal for such actions,take Responsibility .
When they who physically attacked me for being vocally Against Torture being done in My Name admit their error.
…................
Any other nation who engaged in such despicable behaviour would be universally and rightly condemned as a pariah.
But when the American Right does that same thing, they are to be excused?
Is this that much vaunted “Christian Morality”?
I note that every single person on Fox News right this minute endeavoring to justify Torture considers themselves a “Good Christian”...as well as an “American Patriot”.
Is this the standard to which we should aspire?
What would the outrage look like if it had been Obama or Clinton who had initiated, then covered up, these heinous crimes?
And right there is where all of the Justification...all of the Apologia...falls flat.
A Democratic Administration would be hung in effigy for these crimes....and rightly so.
Why do those same standards not apply to Bush and Cheney and their Ilk?



I am proud to say that I did not support Torture.
Too many, from the Former President on down to folks in this very town, did.
You should be ashamed of yourselves.
To this day, you fail to take responsibility for such Horrors.
You have lost the right to criticize the perceived Immorality of anyone.
Bush and Cheney and the whole bloody bunch have forever lost credibility...at least in more civilised places.
Places that actually Prosecute War Criminals.
America, it seems, is not one of those places.
Here, shining the Light on Evil in our midst is seen as a Liberal Plot to ruin the country.
Here, insisting that those of Our employees who have done wrong be brought to Justice is seen as evidence of traitorous intent.
Here, War Crimes done in service of Lies are to be excused...so long as those War Criminals have an ® after their name.
I pray that there is a God, and that His Justice may be swift.
Ours certainly is not.