Blog Archive

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Apocalypse of Amfortas the Hippie

Where We Are

The Dream of the Black Pyramid
Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars
Ruling Class as Predator/Husbandsmen
Hydraulic Despotism
Neoliberalism
Awareness of Class at the top eschelon
Yelling Stop
Club of Rome/Limits to Growth
The End of Growth
Harvest
Grasshopper Cult
The Mindfuck
Books as Heresy/Decoration
Digital Knowledge more easily manipulated(Winston Smith)
Pragmatism replaces Metaphysics
Single Vision of Roszak
Heretics
…...............................
///////////////////////////////////
…........................................
The Dream of the Black Pyramid

a Recurring Dream from my childhood, recurring over several years...6-13?
I am in the Goatweed at the Hill, around the Barn in the Moonlight....but there's no moon...only a few bright red stars, and an enormous utterly black pyramid to the west(but really everywhere).
My purpose here is to rescue the Kids(baby goats) from the Pyramid.
It represents some unutterable terror...total control for inhuman ends....
But there is nowhere to run or hide...no way to escape...
The Kids brush against the Goatweed, pale and somehow above our heads like a small low forest.
The leaves shiver at their touch and my heart breaks...such Tragedy!...like the Universe Ending!

….................................
Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars

supposedly written by one of the rothschilds, and left in the memory of an ibm copy machine sold at a yard sale in the late 70's, this document outlines the method of control to be used on the Masses.
It is most likely total bullshit...but I find it a useful thought-tool.
Imagine Human Society/Culture/Civilisation as a Four Dimensional Circuit Board...with thin wires soldered to various diodes and triodes, capacitors and transformers.
Time/Energy is represented by the Current that runs through that tangled mess...which is not really tangled at all, but understandable in it's complexity.
Restrict the Flow here, and it has effects over there.
The Light Touch in this manner is more effective than the Heavy Hand of the Dictator.
…................................
Ruling Class as Predator/Husbandsmen

The Exoteric View of the world is that there are no longer Classes in our society/civilisation...that all are equal and with inherent potential to move up or down the ladder/Pyramid due to hard work and excellence(meritocracy).
The Esoteric View is quite different.
The Masses are regarded as Cattle by the self appointed Elite/Aristocracy...with some factions therein being more benign than others.
Despite such differences in feelings for the Herd, all tend towards the Despotic....Cattle are not Pets, after all.
…...................................
Hydraulic Despotism

Another Methodology of Control. Sit atop the Spigot that controls the flow of some vital resource...be it oil or water or information...and one controls those dependent on that resource. This is the Fundamental Business Model of the Elite. Monopoly/Monopsony/Transcendence/Universal Empire.

….................................
Neoliberalism

Unfortunately named Operating System of the Global Empire.
Every interaction is a Market Interaction. Souk Mentality as Mind Virus.
Contains within it TINA(“there is no alternative”), which makes it almost impossible to think/imagine in another way/outside the Framework.
Stability is all but impossible save for the Elites and their Upper Management.
Precariat.
No Homestead to retreat to...no Mountain Redoubt...No Extended Family...no Geography of Meaning.
Shiftless, without a Past, Eternal Now=Short Term Horizon.
Human as Enterprise
…......................................
Awareness of Class at the top eschelon

“Classless Society” is a Myth. The Elite are aware of this, and viciously protect their own Class Interests while pretending with one voice to Not Exist, themselves.
If We were aware of their existence, We would soon become aware of our own Class(es)....and become ungovernable.
This cannot be permitted.
Competition is for the Little People.
“Class Warfare” has become an epithet thrown at the throats of those few who step out of line and question Orthodoxy.
…...................
Yelling Stop

“To stand athwart History, yelling 'Stop!'”....the definition of Conservatism given by Buckley.
The Elite and their Machinery are inherently Conservative.
Innovation is dangerous and might produce their end as the Elite.(see: the Enlightenment)
Thus, Innovation must be controlled...preferably in the Silent Ways, since this must by necessity be a Quiet War, lest the Masses learn of it.
So the Panopticon/Matrix was built(by such controlled Innovation)...a prison for the Mind that doesn't look like a Prison, and is entered willingly...eagerly... by the Prisoners.
Contingencies are Unavoidable, however...so the Light Touch is paramount. Influencing without appearing to Influence.
….......................................
Club of Rome/Limits to Growth

An example of a Wild Contingency that got loose.
Science says that things cannot continue as before. We are killing the world, and ourselves...the contradictions in the Framework are building into a catastrophic fault that we could not hope to control.
Peak Climate, Peak Oil and other resources, and Peak Economics.
The Fundamentals are falling in on themselves.
The Takeaway?
….................................
The End of Growth

Human Kind has never experienced a lack of Exponential Growth. In aggregate, at least.
Sure, various societies and tribes and empires have come and gone in much the same way...up against the walls of their various petri dishes...but never the whole world.
Expansion is at the Root of all of our understanding about economy...from Hunter Gatherer to Global Empire.
We don't know HOW to shrink...or even to just Maintain a steady state.
What are the Elite to do?
Two choices present themselves: 1. engineer a humane, rational downsizing, while perhaps devoting resources to getting Off Planet. Or 2. Pedal to the Metal, Harvest all we can, and hope that we(the Elite) can ride it out in the Bunker/Mars Colony and emerge after the Burning Times to Rule a diminished Humanity.(see: Oryxx and Crake)
…..................................
Harvest

There has been little actual Growth since the 70's.
Just the Appearance of Growth/BAU.
It's all on Paper.
The Actual Wealth has been funneled to the Top, mostly unseen by the Masses.
Hypercomplexity is a Veil, concealing what's really happening.
….............................
Grasshopper Cult

The Elite...even the more Benign among them...have given themselves over to the religion of Moloch...(see: Howl, part 2, Alan Ginsberg).
It is a Lovecraftian Thing....a Mindless God...a God of Machinery...a God of Essential Avarice.
….......................................
The Mindfuck

Someone saw a profit in this new internet thingy, and set it loose prematurely.
Near Disaster!...all the Secrets laid bare...the only option was an expanded generation of Confusion, such as had been perfected, pre-Web, by the various Spook Agencies. Since the Family Jewels were already out there, bury them in bullshit...limited hangouts and misdirection...and an overlaying category of disbelief(“conspiracy theory”).
Meanwhile, repetitive redundancies construct several, apparently(to the uninitiated) competitive Orthodoxies...but no one really knows what to believe any more(save for the Elite, of course(see: Hubris, stalked by Nemesis))

…..................................
Books as Heresy/Decoration

Digital Knowledge more easily manipulated(Winston Smith)

Part of the Mindfuck. No need for Book Burnings, or...eventually...Thought Police. One day, the Masses will live as Instruments for our use. “Human Capital”.
In the meantime, information...Ideas...simply vanish...as if they were never there. Built on a sophistication of the ham-handed earlier efforts at suppressing Heresy(my public library back home had apparently never heard of Marx)
Parallel to all this, is Distraction built on Distraction. Divide them and rule.
From nationalism all the way down to football riots and rivalry, gay/straight(Bisexual erasure!), Black/White(Brown is still unacknowledged/see: Hispanic regarded as “white” in the Census, etc), Male/Female(gender fluidity is a dangerous idea, hence the engineered outrages).
Since “Truth” was exploded into a flock of birds, Division is easy...especially under the Aegis of Competition as the Highest Ideal.
Make them fight a Hobbsian War(all against all), while the Elite continue the Harvest, and build the Bunkers.
….......................................
Pragmatism replaces Metaphysics

Such Cartesian Binaries cover over the Multifarious Rose. There is Only One way to see the World, and it contains different prisms...one for each kind of Human Mind...but all pointing in the same direction(Orthodoxy)

The Single Vision of Roszak....the Machine itself sees the world this way....which is it's greatest weakness. Walling itself in to Certainty.
The Unexpected....the Unknown....is the greatest Threat. Not the “Known Unknowns”...but the Truly Unknown.
The Anomaly, unlooked for, because we don't know where to look for it, or even what to look for...
Such Anomalies arise from ferment, from wild experimentation.
They can quickly get around and subvert the various mechanisms of Control...metastasise uncontrollably.
But by their very Nature, they often cannot be prevented or easily channeled into a more manageable course/rut/circuit.
Ergo, Geniuses that arise within the Herd must be co-opted/pressed into service...or, barring that, ridiculed and destroyed.
Press on already existing buttons in the Mind of the Herd(Cognitive Biases) to provoke the Cassandra Syndrome, thus nullifying the Wild Genius.
“Crazy”.
“Scary”.
Or merely “Uncomfortable”.
Make the Wild Genius into the Other, and unconscious habit takes over: problem solved.

….....................

The “Left” has been made into the mirror image of the Right: reactionary, self-righteous, orthodox, dogmatic.
The “Real Left” is only marginally better...always on the defensive, and wary of allies, lest they turn out to be Agents(see: Matrix)...ergo, powerless and unable to Brainstorm effectively. Aware that all lines of communication....of “Finding the Others”...are compromised(who really knows?)...Suspicion grows like weeds in the interstices, blocking our view of the whole.
…......................

I intend to fill out these thoughts in book form.
Print it myself(somehow).
And secrete it in college libraries where it will be randomly found and spread by those most likely to be receptive.

“Heretic”= “eretikos”, Greek, “Choice Maker”.
“apocalypse”=”apo kalypsos”, Greek, “rending of the veil in the temple that conceals the holy of holies”

Saturday, December 24, 2016

On Sane Libertarians





I gravitated towards Libertarianism early...my first Presidential Election, I voted for Ron Paul.
I knew even then that I did not agree with his entire program, every jot and tittle...but he came closer to where I intuitively was than any others on offer.
Now, that honor goes to Bernie....and I really don't see a disconnect between the two that matters all that much.
My problem with Libertarians is Dogma...and their habit of making the Perfect the enemy of the Good.
Statements like this(from the comments) are all too common:
“I would measure freedom by one criteria: Does the state tax? If so, its subjects not free. And they truly are subjects of their government when their rulers can take thel fruits of their labor without their consent. There is no essential difference between enforced taxation and slavery. “

I've argued with Libertarian Zealots about this repeatedly over the years.
FreeMarket Worship is just as bad as the Historical Determinism of many Marxists I have known(I argue with them, too).
Purity will get you nowhere, so long as there are more than a handful of Humans attempting to live together.
With both of these Dogmatic Zealotries, it is the classic Is/Ought Problem...the world is not Perfect...Humans are far from Ideal...and we are left to do our best in uncertain and imperfect conditions.
The Libertarian Zealots who, as expected, come screaming out of Subspace in response to such articles as this, are as blind and dogmatic as the Hyperchristians, the Hyperatheists and the Hypermarxists that they often rail against.
The same malady, of course, infects our mainstream political groupings, as well: the “Progressive” who won't call you an ally because you eat meat, smoke cigarettes, or have a bit of latent racism embedded in your psych.
The Teabilly moron, who hates you because you don't agree with him that Obama is a Fascist Socialist Kenyan Muslim from the Pleiades.
The “christian” who won't break bread with you because you don't agree with every contradictory tenet of his version of Xtianity.
Dogmatism, Certainty and an insistence on Purity are the three evils that keep us from enjoying nice things.
I'm pleased to see that at least some Libertarians are eschewing the Temple of Moloch, and venturing out into the world as it actually exists.

More:
https://niskanencenter.org/blog/do-libertarians-want-freedom-or-not/

I loathe Stossel,lol.
He is exactly the type of “libertarian” that makes folks loathe Libertarianism.
“Free Market”...I'd like Stossel to define that.
The idea...never stated openly...that Multinational Corporations are the Pinnacle of Freedom, ignores so much of the actual world as to be silly.
The folks who peddle that nonsense are also, ironically, prone to flinging phrases such as “weak minded Libtards”, and “hippy dippy utopians”.
I have often flung right back the caveat:
Sure...lets try your free market paradise....but first, we must redistribute the wealth equally among all humans.
Otherwise, what we end up with is what we have right now...except worse.
How is a Billionaire any different than a King?
Didn't we fight a Revolution against such unearned power/wealth?
This feature of common libertarianism is why so many erstwhile libertarians have ended up advocating an abandonment of Democracy as a failure, and the institution of some form of monarchy...whether of the CEO or of some enlightened philosopher king...so long as they get to be the king/ceo or one of his advisers(see; Moldbug, Thiel)
I'm an unapologetic Left Libertarian.
Free Market means that I can sell an egg, and that the egg factory's “economies of scale” don't end up being an unfair advantage, like they are, today.
I reckon that the “efficiency” argument for such near monopoly is hopelessly marred, in that it encourages such monopoly...which is the exact opposite of “freedom”.
I feel the same about Billionaires...there shouldn't be any.
Tax the fuck out of all “income” over, say, 500 million...
Billionaires have proven, over and over, that they cannot be trusted with the Power that accompanies such wealth....and that such power always corrupts.
Since there are other people in the world...and we must figure out how to share the world with them...a Social Contract is necessary.
The presence of Billionaires and Multinational immortal fictions is inimical and anathema to such a Social Contract.

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/the-great-enrichment-and-social-justice/

FTA:”Hostility to the very idea of social and distributive justice lent weight—and continues to lend weight—to the charge that those who defend robust economic rights, regulatory restraint, and limited government are heartlessly indifferent to the welfare of the poor and working classes. Moreover, libertarian and conservative hostility to social justice creates a strong, though illogical, presumption of hostility to whatever social justice is thought to require. That’s why many advocates of economic liberty—even those who don’t believe in the absolute inviolability of property rights and the inherent injustice of redistribution—reflexively badmouth the welfare state with little regard for the possibility that the welfare state is an efficiency-enhancing institution that helps maintain popular support for relatively free markets by ensuring they more or less benefit everyone. Meanwhile, people who like social insurance, and worry about bad luck and the human costs of capitalist creative destruction—that is to say, most people—turn away in contempt or bemusement from what’s advertised to them as the politics of freedom. “

I'll venture an Amen, here.
Too often these days, Libertarians ARE uncaring assholes, better suited to dwelling in caves, alone, than being a part of a Society.(asserting that “Society doesn't exist” is one of the worst sins of Maggie Thatcher and her ilk).
The existence of the rest of the Humans on the planet is dismissed, tacitly....in other words, these Libertarians make arguments for their Total Freedom that rely on unspoken, unacknowledged assumptions, primarily that other Humans don't matter if I got mine.
That's the Randian Influence, right there.
Selfishness, maximalised, is all that matters.
This is why I abandoned the Libertarian Party, some 20 years ago.
We are none of us islands unto ourselves.
There are other people in the world, with their own wants and needs and prerogatives.
To deny this...especially implicitly...is a recipe for war and rapine, and the inevitable Blowbacks to these and other ills that we can't seem to escape.
https://niskanencenter.org/blog/is-there-a-libertarian-case-for-bernie-sanders/

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

DOH!



(amy mann, wise up)

You expected something different?
The gOP has been headed in this exact direction for 40 years.
No-one should be in the least bit surprised or aghast.
As for the erstwhile Democratic Party...well...they have made their own fucking bed.
None of the DEmparty's stateside wonks and apparatchiks could be bothered to respond to my repeated warnings of this exact eventuality.
Donald Fucking Trump(tm) as “Leader of the Free World”.
Way to go, American Establishment.
Well done!
I don't blame the disaffected (largely white) Masses for this.
I blame, squarely, the so-called “Leadership”...not just of the respective parties, but of everything else, as well.
I blame the Movers and the Shakers.
The Captains of Industry,
the Elite, the Bourgeoisie, the Upper Middle Class the Clintons and the Bushes and all the rest of the representatives of our very own, if unacknowledged, Aristocracy, and their associated hangers on((upper 20%, approximately)...again, whose fundamental feature is that they pretend real hard that they don't exist.(“classless society”)
Can we talk about “Class”, now?
Or are you all still so fervently and intelligently against “all things marx” that it still cannot be even mentioned?

You, my neighbors and countrymen, are in the same frelling boat as the immigrants and brown people you blame it all on.
The Gay Community didn't invent Universal Hypercapitalism, nor did the African Continent introduce effective corporate monopolistic hegemony upon us all.
(one cannot legally sell an egg)
The Feminists did not engender a culture of Competition above all, and then lament the lack of “community”.
The American Muslim Community did not decide to implement an all out war on themselves...or on Black Americans who wouldn't even be here, but for the greed of white men.
The adherents of the “Party of Responsibility” have accepted none of the responsibility for the actual, real world , effects of the very policies and even Philosophies, they espouse.
Go you now, among your Neighbors... white, black and brown...and Ask.
Listen to their answers.
Listening is, apparently, a lost art.

The Democrats, of course, have similar problems: an Elite, divorced from the People.
Immune to their worries and concerns.
Dismissive of their input.
They should admit that it was stupid and shortsighted of them to abandon FDR,JFK and LBJ in the manner that they did(circa:1992).
And that it was in the height of arrogance, as well as ultimately counterproductive, to actively curtail the efforts of one Bernie Sanders.
Perhaps the “Democratic” Party should have rather let Democracy work, instead.
Thumb on the Scale never ends up well.

Both parties need to go.
Neither of them represent us.
I'm here for the Greens...their “Green New Deal” should be studied and thought and talked about.
But I wish I could talk about such things rationally...without getting bogged down in dogmatism and anomie and acrimony....and Ignorance! Please know of what you speak, before you speak!!
Let us look to our own...including our very own poor and our very own brown People.
We are your Neighbors and your friends and acquaintances.
We are not the Enemy.
We are, instead, potential Allies in the fight against those who would enslave us...both body and soul...to their Ideology.
(see: Front Porch Republic and First Things...I am nothing if not Thorough.)





Thursday, November 3, 2016

Strange Bedfellows

Sigh.

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/3/13498912/conversation-roger-stone-dirty-trickster-trump

I've known about this guys actions for a long time, but I've never heard his thoughts.
I find that I'd rather have a GOP pretty much like him, than any of the other iterations on offer.
I disagree with him vigorously on economics, the role of government, race and even the definitions of several words...but I agree with him on other things.
Anti-elitism, for one.
I agree with the “let's accept our loss on the culture wars” stance as the one I'd like to see fomented on the Right.
I agree that the current epistomological chaos(Internet=”every person, a reporter/thought-leader”), while unfortunate and harmful on many levels, presents certain opportunities.


Just a reminder, I'm a big Lefty on all of these issues.

But I definitely share a Libertarian Streak with Roger Stone.
For all the corrosive nonsense on the “Alt-Right”(*), at the very least they have that Libertarian “Leave well enough alone” outlook on the myriad ways of Being Human...even if it's buried beneath piles of racist, misogynist sewage.
I know...I know...what a sad state, that mere acknowledgment of a right to exist is an improvement...even if bondage and rapine are the preferred interaction with those allowed that Right to Exist.
Contrast that to the ordinary, everyday Teabilly...with them, I always get the vibe that they rather wished that they could just shoot me, if they only had the balls, and thought they could get away with it(and that I wouldn't put up much of a fight, lol). With them, I(and so many others) are not afforded a Right to Exist.
I've been saying for years that we on what remains of the Left in this country need to get off our high horses, and offer a beer to our crazy frothing neighbor and his fighting cocks and race-car engines over the back fence.
Them folks ain't goin' away, after all.
May as well take advantage of their current confusion, and implant a few Mind Virii of our own, lest the Great Wurlitzer of Confusion and Hate find it's bearing and do it for us.
They will continue to Wear the Sheet...to be racist assholes...
But our very Liberalism requires us to accept that as their Sacred Right to Free Thought.
Educating them differently on things like racism, misogyny, homophobia and the rest is a long term project...one that has to happen socially and culturally and by exposure...us, exposed to them.(see: “coming out of the closet” and it's effects on the attitudes towards Gay Folks).
Help them to remember that Libertarian(and Christian!!) “Live and Let Live” meme, and we might find that we agree on many other things...things of great import, right now.
Instead of beating them over the head with Climate Change...tell them how much jack you don't spend on electricity with your paid-for rooftop solar array.
Instead of mandating that they accept every jot and tittle of gay culture(see: “Party and Play” for what terrifies them...it's a thing)...or insisting that they abandon their (largely artificially inseminated...go figger) concerns with the unborn...
Lead them through the logic of universal provisions of condoms, with compassion and sans condescension.
The point in all this is that we do have commonalities...and we must, necessarily, share the country with these folks.
Let us be what we say we are, and reach out to them.



I wouldn't want Stone as a neighbor...or an in-law...but I wouldn't mind if he hung out at the feedstore I go to on occasion.



(*) “Alt Right”, Dark Enlightenment, etc .
All is in Chaos on the Right Side of American Political Philosophical ferment.
Names are useless.(another point that I agree with Stone on)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/23/opinion/campaign-stops/go-midwest-young-hipster.html?_r=0

Further evidence that we must reach across the back fence to our crosseyed brethren.
...and more:

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/1/13407844/republican-civil-war-trump-loses

http://thebaffler.com/blog/letter-louisiana-leibner

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/i-come-from-the-land-of-trump-and-i-know-why-hes_us_581a0c31e4b014443087af47


Strange Bedfellows

Sigh.

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/3/13498912/conversation-roger-stone-dirty-trickster-trump

I've known about this guys actions for a long time, but I've never heard his thoughts.
I find that I'd rather have a GOP pretty much like him, than any of the other iterations on offer.
I disagree with him vigorously on economics, the role of government, race and even the definitions of several words...but I agree with him on other things.
Anti-elitism, for one.
I agree with the “let's accept our loss on the culture wars” stance as the one I'd like to see fomented on the Right.
I agree that the current epistomological chaos(Internet=”every person, a reporter/thought-leader”), while unfortunate and harmful on many levels, presents certain opportunities.


Just a reminder, I'm a big Lefty on all of these issues.

But I definitely share a Libertarian Streak with Roger Stone.
For all the corrosive nonsense on the “Alt-Right”(*), at the very least they have that Libertarian “Leave well enough alone” outlook on the myriad ways of Being Human...even if it's buried beneath piles of racist, misogynist sewage.
I know...I know...what a sad state, that mere acknowledgment of a right to exist is an improvement...even if bondage and rapine are the preferred interaction with those allowed that Right to Exist.
Contrast that to the ordinary, everyday Teabilly...with them, I always get the vibe that they rather wished that they could just shoot me, if they only had the balls, and thought they could get away with it(and that I wouldn't put up much of a fight, lol). With them, I(and so many others) are not afforded a Right to Exist.
I've been saying for years that we on what remains of the Left in this country need to get off our high horses, and offer a beer to our crazy frothing neighbor and his fighting cocks and race-car engines over the back fence.
Them folks ain't goin' away, after all.
May as well take advantage of their current confusion, and implant a few Mind Virii of our own, lest the Great Wurlitzer of Confusion and Hate find it's bearing and do it for us.
They will continue to Wear the Sheet...to be racist assholes...
But our very Liberalism requires us to accept that as their Sacred Right to Free Thought.
Educating them differently on things like racism, misogyny, homophobia and the rest is a long term project...one that has to happen socially and culturally and by exposure...us, exposed to them.(see: “coming out of the closet” and it's effects on the attitudes towards Gay Folks).
Help them to remember that Libertarian(and Christian!!) “Live and Let Live” meme, and we might find that we agree on many other things...things of great import, right now.
Instead of beating them over the head with Climate Change...tell them how much jack you don't spend on electricity with your paid-for rooftop solar array.
Instead of mandating that they accept every jot and tittle of gay culture(see: “Party and Play” for what terrifies them...it's a thing)...or insisting that they abandon their (largely artificially inseminated...go figger) concerns with the unborn...
Lead them through the logic of universal provisions of condoms, with compassion and sans condescension.
The point in all this is that we do have commonalities...and we must, necessarily, share the country with these folks.
Let us be what we say we are, and reach out to them.



I wouldn't want Stone as a neighbor...or an in-law...but I wouldn't mind if he hung out at the feedstore I go to on occasion.



(*) “Alt Right”, Dark Enlightenment, etc .
All is in Chaos on the Right Side of American Political Philosophical ferment.
Names are useless.(another point that I agree with Stone on)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/23/opinion/campaign-stops/go-midwest-young-hipster.html?_r=0

Further evidence that we must reach across the back fence to our crosseyed brethren.
...and more:

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/1/13407844/republican-civil-war-trump-loses

http://thebaffler.com/blog/letter-louisiana-leibner

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/i-come-from-the-land-of-trump-and-i-know-why-hes_us_581a0c31e4b014443087af47


Monday, June 27, 2016

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


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


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

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

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/06/24/the-sky-has-not-fallen-after-brexit-but-we-face-years-of-hard-la/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/06/26/parliament-must-decide-what-brexit-means-in-the-interests-of-the/


as does the Naked Capitalist's brilliant Yves Smith:
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/06/87726.html

melt all that together in a pot of Pepe Escobar:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/24/why-the-uk-said-bye-bye-to-the-eu/

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/24/a-blow-for-peace-and-democracy-why-the-british-said-no-to-europe/

….and typical astuteness from Truthout:
http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/36570-the-new-commandment-thou-shalt-maximize-shareholder-value-at-any-cost

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



Then there's this:
I have no idea who this guy is, but I've seen it floating around the more erudite comments sections.
Whomever he is, he's right:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwK0jeJ8wxg



Kutner, as usual, sums everything up nicely: “Rising mass discontent has failed to dethrone the elites responsible for these policies, but it has resulted in loss of faith in institutions. The one percent won the policies but lost the people. “
(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-kuttner/brexit-why-most-commentaries-miss-the-point_b_10690972.html)

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

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

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

Here's a good summation:

…..........................................................


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

(https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2007/12/01/neoliberalism-the-economic-model-origins-theory-definition-2005/)
…..........................................................................................
Here is another:
…..........................................................................

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

-(from comments here:http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/05/philip-mirowski-this-is-water-or-is-it-the-neoliberal-thought-collective.html) referencing this article: (http://ineteconomics.org/ideas-papers/research-papers/the-political-movement-that-dared-not-speak-its-own-name-the-neoliberal-thought-collective-under-erasure)
…................................................................................................
It's a Non-Ideological Ideology. The Rulers really don't care if there's Gay Sex, or Pot Smoking or Racist Violence or Equality for Women or any of the stuff we care about, down here on the ground.
All that is a distraction.
As for the “Liberalism” in the name:
it's simple, really.
Americans use the word "liberal" differently than the rest of the universe.
because all things that flowed from Marx were so horrifying to the railroad barons and industrialists, and since Marx, et al. labeled themselves "Socialist", or variations on that theme...anti-capitalists, anti-supercapitalists, and other lefty-ish folks in the US had to come up with a new word for themselves.
"Progressive" had some utility, for a time, but I think that the experience of Prohibition kind of left a sour taste...and "Progress" was of course the rai·son d'ê·tre of the Industrialists and Coal Barons.
FDR could hardly run on a "Socialist" or "Social Democratic" ticket( there had already been Red scares a plenty, and an enormous propaganda effort)...and "Democrat" was still associated with Dixiecrats and the rest of the revanchist South...so "Liberal" had to make do.
when Walter Lippmann got a bunch of stuffed, self-important, shirts together in Paris to lament how badly hypercapitalism had failed during the Depression, and Hayek insisted that their new movement should be a restating of "Classical Liberalism" (=Laissez faire)...hence, "Neo"="new"--"Liberalism".
it may or may not have been a source of humor in Mt Pelerin, some years later, that this engendered confusion among Liberals in America.
I'm sure it's the source of 100 year old scotch spewing laughter today, in some rarefied circles.
so, in spite of everybody's confusion...and some peoples' denial...Neoliberalism is a real thing...and it happens to be the driving force of what's happening in the world, today.
it's behind the whittling away of the otherwise successful European welfare state, and the evisceration of all things New Deal, here at home, as well as the weird machinations in China, in the last 20 or so years.
it was the pseudophilosophy imported into Russia, after the collapse, by our very own Missionaries of Greed--bright eyed University of Chicago Econ. post grads...that enabled the wholesale looting of that decrepit empire by what became known as the "Oligarchs". It was behind the Asian Tiger Phenomenon.
On and on.
the best, most well documented examples of "Neoliberalism" was in South America, during the 70's and 80's...especially Pinochet.
That most Americans are incredulous and steadfastly ignorant should surprise no one.
But the information is there...in English...for all who care to look.

and, btw...the European "welfare state" was built from a competing philosophy that originated in that same Lippmann Colloquy...called "Ordoliberalism". It was very successful for many years, until in the last decade or so, when they let in a bunch of neoliberal policy wonks to jigger things.
This happened due to the predictable Dysfunction(culminating in the Great Recession), which led to debt troubles, which led to IMF/WB troubles and scoldings, which led to the Powers that be over there, allowing the Neolibs into the gate, at long last.
folks like Blair and that former French Prez I can never remember his name and Merkel are/were all in the neolib camp...or near enough.
This is a top of my head summary, as usual...and European politics is not my strong point.
The video floating around here of Chomsky and the Greek former Finance guy talking for an hour is worth a look(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myuyQXJQD7Q)...but it doesn't really get into the last 15-20 year history of the Eurozone, and their move away from Ordoliberalism.
I only bring it up, because since Bernie made the Nordic Model relevant to US politics, there's been a great hue and cry from the Right(and not so right(wink)), that the Nordic Model, and by extension, Ordoliberalism, has failed utterly.
It hasn't...but not for lack of trying by the Big Money Men.
for a thorough history of all of this, going all the way back, I highly recommend this book by a couple of Frenchmen.
the translation is sometimes a little off...and the econspeak requires sufficient scotch...but it's worth it
https://www.versobooks.com/books/1511-the-new-way-of-the-world

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Devolution



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

Now it's Trump.
One of the groups of loonies that constitutes his “base” is something called Alt-Right...including some real crazy people who advocate a literal End to the Enlightenment and Neomonarchism.
(http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2013/11/neo-reactionaries-drop-all-pretense-end.html)
To be fair, they are rather diverse...some only want Corporations to be the new countries, of which we will be “citizens”, ruled by a Board and a CEO(king-like).
They like Hans-Hermann Hoppe(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans-Hermann_Hoppe#Expulsion_of_homosexuals_and_political_dissidents_from_Hoppe.27s_libertarian_order)
and Joseph de Maistre, and many of them seem to really, non-ironically, dig Hitler and Il Duce. There are White Nationalists, “Digerati”, Open Misogynists, virulent hatred of all things gay, and an almost universal opposition to Democracy and just about everything else that came from the Enlightenment(but they sure dig computers and the web and death rays and sech, which contradiction is as yet unexplained).
Petty and Vile:(http://therightstuff.biz/)
These people truly frighten me( meaning, I want them nowhere near Power, and would likely shoot them if I found them on my porch).
I've been aware of them for several years, but paid them little mind, as they seemed to be isolated people in far flung basements(neckbeards and cheeto-dust) who mostly hung out on 4-Chan and only occasionally came into the more or less civilised parts of the web in order to troll so they could (presumably) get their rocks off.
Now, I'm not so sure.
One of the first major conclusions(prime computations in mentat) I arrived at in my long term field study of the Right, was that there was a definite sense of wanting to undo the Enlightenment.
I think it's fundamental to the whole enterprise, from Edmund Burke all the way to Glenn Beck. Modernism scares them...change scares them...especially change that involves social hierarchies and “tradition”. They much prefer to pine for an ill-defined “Golden Age”(many of them, actually), and long for a mythical time where everyone knew their place and mores and folkways were rigid and understandable.
Of course, none of my subjects ever once expressed this deep desire in so many words...I often wondered if they knew this about themselves.
But it was evident in the rhetoric and mythopoesy , the sturm and drang, the sound and fury. A few years ago, I came across one of these neomonarchists, on Townhall(now I don't remember his name)...he was allowed a dusty corner of the place to rant. Nobody paid him any mind.
He was obviously disturbed, and I soon forgot about the whole diversion.
Now, however, with the rise of Trump, these folks are emerging from subspace.
Although they seem to be descended from that good ol' Randian Libertarianism(including all the subspecie like anarchocapitalist and austrian economics,minarchists and corporatists), they have gone all the way.....and unashamedly.
I suppose it was inevitable, that the Right would go here.
...and, once again, our Tolerance will probably put us at a disadvantage(System Selects for Psychopathy, but it's a logical extension of our own worldview that we must tolerate even the intolerable(please see Karl Popper to help dispel this fallacy)).
The Endarkment is beyond “fairness”, and even have numerous manifestos ridiculing such namby pambyism.They seem to hate just about everybody, including themselves(at least unconsciously).Mencius Moldbug looks like he might be their John of Patmos, or Augustine.(http://moldbuggery.blogspot.com/)...and Hestia appears to be their nascent Lyceum(sic)(http://neoreaction.net/)
They are very verbose...much like Ayn Rand...on and on and on....using big words like sex toys.
I would still discount them as an unusual and quite interesting mutation...something to study...if not for Trump.
Trump is the quintessential wild card.
I cannot even venture a prediction as to whether or not he can win...or what he will do if he does.
Post-Ideology, Post-Politics.
Ad hoc, seat of his pants-ism.
He seems to have blundered into the role of Hero for the Endarkment/Alt-Right....I really don't think he intended to.
But there he is, nevertheless...and they are emboldened.
This is something to keep an eye on, if you reckon(like me) that it's a good idea to keep an eye on one's enemies.
I don't think that they're going away...especially now that the “conservative” coalition is in shambles, and the GOP looks likely to split into as many as 6 factions/sub-parties.
This means that there's no establishment with any smash on the right, anymore...and the rubes will (while fighting among themselves) begin wandering away from the pasture...”finding themselves”.
I predict that Alt-Right is the RWNJ of the future.

(here's the go to takedown compendium for this disturbing troll forest:http://slatestarcodex.com/2013/10/20/the-anti-reactionary-faq/)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Myopia



(or, why the GOP is Toast)

http://www.speaker.gov/confidentamerica

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

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

Friday, April 22, 2016

Dance with them that brung ya



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

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

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/04/bernie-sanders-hillary-clinton-dnc-primary-moderates/

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



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

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

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hypogastruridae

Mom calls all breathless..."There's some kind of purple bug in the puddle in the garden!""
I hobble over there, with a magnifying glass(made in Occupied Japan), and the new Iphone.
There they lie, in a quivering mat floating in a puddle...teeming...
and so small that even with my glasses, I cannot distinguish an individual.
Under the glass, it's still difficult to single out just one....they are clumped together in the manner of fire ants in a flood.
More seem to be emerging from the soil at the margins of the puddle...but so fast that I cannot be sure.
Worried that this may be the vanguard of some alien invasion {see:(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darkness_Falls_%28The_X-Files%29) etc} , I take a picture and a video, and send it to Texas A&M's Entomology Department.
They are Springtails....and are one of the most ancient of insects.
So ancient in fact, that they are no longer considered insectivora, at all.
These apparently eat the hyphae of soil fungi, and break down organic detritus...so they're good guys.
Most of the time, they live out their lives deep in the soil profile. The recent Monsoon-like rains have brought them out.
They were in every puddle that I passed on my way back.
They also are an indicator species, like frogs and such...being particularly intolerant of herbicides.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Texdems

howdy.
I just read this, on Huffpo:
(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-state-democrats_us_5716957ce4b06f35cb70ff8a)

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

Friday, April 15, 2016

Bitch



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

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

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

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

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/04/14/_corporate_democratic_whores_is_a_sexist_slur_that_demeans_women.html

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

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

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

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

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







Friday, April 1, 2016

House




It is
accomplished
(τετέλεσται )
I've done it.

I've built a house.

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

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

I have done it.
Invincit!


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

I am Mighty!, thereby.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

ἀποκάλυψις





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

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

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

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

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



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



Thursday, March 10, 2016

Ferment.




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



Tuesday, February 23, 2016

On rehabilitation



It's been three years, today, since I returned from the hospital in North Austin with my new hip.
(http://amfortasthehippie.blogspot.com/2013/02/im-back.html)
...and a year since I set the first post of our funky cabin in the wilderness(tm).

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

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

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

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






Monday, February 22, 2016

On Internal Exile

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


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



This:



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

Bernie is the expression of the rejection of this paradigm.

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


http://quietmike.org/2016/01/26/loud-republicans-quiet-democrats/

http://quietmike.org/2016/02/03/what-democrats-learned-from-the-iowa-caucus/


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


Of course, one old Socialist does not a Revolution make:
http://weeklysift.com/2016/02/08/say-you-want-a-revolution/






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