Blog Archive

Monday, December 6, 2010

Random Musings on Habermas' "Discourse on Modernity"

The answer lies in Neitzche and Bataille.
If the Problem of Modernity is really the Failure of Reason to supplant, or even consider, the Unifying Functions of Religion, then, as in Neitzche,et al, a New Mythos is needed...which is yet another concept that I've been dancing around for years.
Mythos (the New One) is the Tanist of in the Old European Dionysian Cycle of the Year. Graves informs me, here....the Old King is killed by the the service of the Goddess, order to rejuvenate Life...bring back the Sun.
In this System, the Goddess stands for almost Platonic concept....both Trancendant and Cthonic.
The King, and his Tanist, stand for the Ephemeral....for that Material whereby Reason Acts upon the World.
What the Enlightenment forgot to do was include an Other, opposed to Reason...and I'm not speaking, here, of a dogmatic repitition of forms, a "going through the motions", but what is behind Religion in the first place....Huxley's Divine Ground of Being..."wherefrom words turn back, together with the Mind, not having attained"...
This is what's missing in the Project of the Enlightenment....and I reckon that it can be incorporated by including the Socratic "I don't Know" in our apprehension of Reality.
Reason's Ascendance these past 400+ years has led to Hubris, Certainty...which is inimical to further Knowledge, as i've said.
This can be seen in the Ossification of Beaurocracy, of the Fencing of Law...alll based on the Application of Reason to the Problems of Life.It gives Substance to the Neoconservative Critique of Enlightenment, that reason leads to Totalitarianism.
Enlightenment Eating Itself.
As in Rosenstock-Huessy's critique of Cartesian Application of Dualism to fields where it, arguably, does not belong....the transcendant quality of Reason insisted upon by the Enlightenment has fallen doesn't seem capable of fulfilling it's purported Promises....namely by fully replacing Religion...Meaning.
A Tanist, an Other, is take up that slack.
In the Enlightenment's destruction of Religion, it fails to take account of the Ineffable, the Transcendant...of the "Thing Behind Things" that Mystics ,at least, approach.
This explains the repeated Regressions (popularly known as " Revivals") of Religiosity...the backing away...which leads, it seems, to Nihilism....and eventually Fascism....
A negation of the entire Enlightenment Project...we see it all around us, today, with the resurgance of Fundamentalism/"Conservatism"/Palingenisis....the Gegenauflarung of the Neoconservatives.
Reason, it seems, cannot answer all of the questions....there is a Limit to our Knowledge...Granted, that Limit has been expanding since the beginning...But we are not, as yet, Gods.
The Enlightenment Project reached too soon for Godhood.
Perhaps this is why Reason is considered Cold, Impersonal...of the Void....indeed, perhaps this Fear of Knowledge (Tea People)is the necessary Reaction to that Cold Indifference.
The New Mythos, the Dionysian Chaos, as opposed to the Apollonian Order, must embrace that Void, where our Knowledge hasn't yet penetrated.
The Post Modern attempts at going into that Void, and the hubris of thinking that we've conquered it, are both illusory.
The post Modern "Project" (which is really an "antiproject") just feeds our Impotence.
Think Peggy Lee....
So we get ever more extreme "Art"....Jesus in Piss...Shock as Novelty....all the Idea-Cell Division, the Fragmentation....the proliferation of Porn.(Bukkake?Public Bondage? How many categories are there now?)...of Music..(."Death Metal"?, Really?)....
This is the attempt to Fill that Void, the very Idea of whose Existance is, necessarily, Taboo.
The much criticized HyperMaterialism...the "Consumer Culture" and "Debt Based Economics"....this is all of a Piece.
Reason killed Religion....Marduk slew Tiaimat...and put Cold in place of that Heat.
To be sure, despite what the Fundies of all stripes hope and believe, there is no Unringing of the Enlightenment Bell.
Both have to be incorporated in the New.
The Problem, since Neitzche, is finding a way of accomplishing this, without Killing the Enlightenment, in it's turn...and , at the same time, attempting to Go some Mythical Golden Age...Palingenisis.
Like the sentiment, familiar to all Musicians and Artists..."It's all been done before."...,Philosophy has been at an Impasse.
Our Milvan Bridge....except this bridge goes in all directions....and we don't know where to go.(Abbey Road)
Instead of an insistance of Returning to the Old Forms, which has entailed the forceful Authoritarian Centralisation of Everything, including Religion....instead of Homogenisation,perhaps we require Leto's Scattering in the Dune books....a Federalism of Ideation. Monotheism's Legacy, handed, whithout much thought,to the Enlightenment, is Universalism...Catholicism. One Size Fits All-ism.
I agree with Habermas.
We need More Enlightenment.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The "Conservatives" in Texas figger that "opting out" of Medicaid will save Texas some Jack.
What they are really concerned about is the Bottom Line of Big business.
Here's what I sent Harvy Hilderbran..."my" State Rep. in the Texas House:
Mr. Hilderbran,
I just saw this:

And feel the need to weigh in.
While I agree that Reform of the present system is necessary, prudence would dictate that we not chuck the Baby, with the Bathwater.
The current Bunch of "Conservatives" would have us believe that the "Free Market" will always provide the Best Outcome...and that Government Regulation of any Business is always, of Necessity, "Bad".
This is hardly a foregone conclusion....and leaves out any consideration of the Common Good, as understood Objectively.
Having studied the Ideology of the Right for these many years, I will predict, with some confidence, that ending Medicaid in Texas in favor of some State-Based System, will e an Unmitigated Disaster for Poor Folks in Texas.
Some areas of Life should Not be Commodified.
Health is one of those areas.
The folks that are "considering" this are the same Free Market "Conservatives" who gave us the disaster of HMO's, a Neo Lassaiz Fair ,Unregulated Wall Street Casino "Capitalism", and a large portion of our current Economic Malaise.
Milton Friedman should be Desanctified, Post Haste!
As a Free Individual, I love the Idea of Taking Care of myself...without the Help of anyone, especially the Government.
However, in the Real World, this is not always possible.
I've written to you before, regarding my difficulties with the Disability System....sadly, nothing has best hope for access to Health Care was a Public Option.
Since that wasn't an option, due to the Bottom Line First Mentality of Corporate America, I have no choice...except maybe Cuba.
The System, even with the half-hearted "reforms" of the President, is inhuman and uncaring, and not befitting an Enlightened Civilisation.
When this Debate comes before you, I urge you to remember the Poor and the Downtrodden, who are so often forgotten in the pursuit of Power and Profit.
Also, I would ask you to remember this, which I will quote in Full:
The Oath of Maimonides
The eternal providence has appointed me to watch over the life and health of Thy creatures. May the love for my art actuate me at all time; may neither avarice nor miserliness, nor thirst for glory or for a great reputation engage my mind; for the enemies of truth and philanthropy could easily deceive me and make me forgetful of my lofty aim of doing good to Thy children.
May I never see in the patient anything but a fellow creature in pain.
Grant me the strength, time and opportunity always to correct what I have acquired, always to extend its domain; for knowledge is immense and the spirit of man can extend indefinitely to enrich itself daily with new requirements.
Today he can discover his errors of yesterday and tomorrow he can obtain a new light on what he thinks himself sure of today. Oh, God, Thou has appointed me to watch over the life and death of Thy creatures; here am I ready for my vocation and now I turn unto my calling.
Thank you.

On Persecution, and the Inalienable Right to Be Weird

(Or, Against Cultural Hegemony)

One often hears Jefferson's words, "Life, Liberty and the Persuit of Happiness".
These words, and the Document containing them, are trotted out, and waved around, by the Put- Upon Militant Right, whenever they feel that they have been given short shrift.("Compromise" = "give us everything we want.")
Someone has convinced them that they are, somehow, a Persecuted Minority...that "Liberals" in Government and Hollywood and Academia are actively endeavoring to enslave them; indeed, that there is a sinister Conspiracy of Left Wing Elites attempting (and succeeding!) in making this encircled lot of True Americans, variously, Gay, Effete, Poor, put the Liberal Bootheel on the neck of these Chosen of God.
I have searched, and researched, the available data...History, News,etc...and , for the life of me, cannot find a single instance of this actually happening...besides those many instances where we all....All of Us....are in that situation.
The Record is filled with evidence that All of Us are, indeed, Put Upon, and Enslaved by an Elite....I'll not argue the contrary.
Where the Narrative breaks down, however, is in the Identity of this Elite...and It's They are the very insitutions, individuals and Think Tanks and Cabals, who fund, and Lead, these Fired Up Rightists.
The same ones that they defend.
The same nefarious ones who's bidding the Put-Upon Right willingly does.
The record is not, in any way, Clear...there has been copious Mud thrown into that Water....(see Beck and Jonah Goldberg)
But the overwhelming preponderance of the evidence is that the Right has (however unwittingly) supported their own, and everyone else's, Enslavement...
By what I have termed the Machine.
There is, however, a quite large contingent of our Culture who has felt the Boot more sharply than any on the Right....those who work against the Machine.
Those who are Different, somehow, than the "Mainstream"....whose Dignity will not allow them to Conform for Conformity's Sake.
From the Progressives of the late 19th Century, to the Socialists of the first Labor Movements, to People of Color, to Beatnicks, Queers, Hippies, Intellectuals, Women in General, Young People, in General....anyone, it turns out, who was not White, Christian, Male, and supportive of the Dogma of Corporate Capitalism and the Cultural Homogenaity that goes with it.
These are the Folks who have been Beaten and Killed, had Dogs set upon them, been Discriminated Legislation, Officially...or by "Regular People", as in the Strange Fruit Phenomenon of the Civil Rights Period in the South, or the Queer strung up in the Barbed Wire.
There is even copious amounts of Video/Film Evidence...
I can find no instance of Political Violence being visited on the Put-Upon Right, by Liberals, Socialists, or anyone...unless one counts the American Civil War.( quite a stretch)The Usual Suspects, the Weathermen, et alia,are used to refute this...the Pullman Strikes, and on and on...but who, in these instances (which are quite Rare) brought out the Nightstick, in leiu of Dialog and Compromise?These , rare, instances were, at best a Reaction to Violence from the Right...from the Machine. Find me an example of "Liberals" instigating Violence on "Innocent" Right Wingers. Indeed, the current "Liberal" Administration has lost the support of what remains of the Left, by bending over backwards, in an illadvised attempt to Placate these Put-Upon Rightists.And when this Administration released a report regarding the rise of Right Wing Violence, they were the Right...with Violent, Eliminationist Rhetoric!
In the field of is not, as is so often said, with anguish, Christians who are beaten, or pushed out of Society...but, rather, Non Christians. From Wiccans, now Muslims, even the more Tolerant and Peaceful Christian Sects, Quakers,etc...all of these have bourn more than their fair share of theWiretap,the Boot,the Dog and the Gun....with the Self-Righteous and Whole- Hearted Support of the very people who then Cry Persecution when they are Questioned or Challenged.
Currently, in this Surreal Time of Tea Party Politics, the Right seems to believe, with all evidence to the contrary, that they are the Agrieved and Threatened Minority. That it is their Victims, on the Left, who are the Oppressors.
They have fashioned, with much Corporate help, a Narrative that is Upside Down, Inside Out....and no one can disabuse them of their percieved status as Put Second Threatened.
They seem to honestly believe that, for instance, the Government is "Out to Get Them"...when they and theirs have been in Control of that Government for 30+ years....that 2 years of an, at best, Center-Left Administration and Legislature, has somehow put us all in Communist Chains....and undone the Damage that their Control of that Government has done.
This Surreal Narrative has become, amazingly, the Conventional Wisdom...the dominant Political Narrative of our times.
And there is no, Zero, Objective Evidence to support it.
It is entirely Fictional.
It is, of course , their Unalienable Right to believe such Nonsense....and I will defend that Right....herein lies the Difference.
I am a Weirdo...a Strange Anomaly.
Almost every descriptor one can use for me puts me in that segment of Society that is ,Truly, Put Upon.
I represent, in my very Being, those whom the Machine, and it's Unwitting Supporters on the Right, has Demonised at every turn.
Intellectual, Liberal (in the Classic,Pre-Propaganda Sense of the Word), Dope Smoking, Hippie...Non-Christian...Egalitarian...Feminist...Non-Racist....Pro-Union...Anti-War.
I am Poor, which in many ways, is the greatest Sin in America, today.

As I've said before, Outside the Box, Personified.
The only area where I am not is Race....and Gender....I am a White Male.
But I am married to a Mexican Woman, my kids are "Half-Breeds"...and I am descended from Czechs, the Irish and the Cherokees...all of whom have, at one time or another, been despised and beaten by the" Mainstream".(See the Etymology of "Slavic",the "Tril of Tears", and the treatment of Irish Immigrants during the Great Migration.)
Where are those on the right who will stand up and defend me?
Few and Far Between.
Instead, I am "Traitor", America-Hater", "Socialist/Commie", "Faggot", "Satanist"(!?), "Lazy"....
I , and folks like me, are to be Eliminated...we are "Vermin". (see Glenn Beck, et alia..."Cockroaches"...and, yet, it is somehow wrong to label them Fascist).
The Right has claimed America for themselves, to the exclusion of everyone else, save (unknowingly, for the most part) their Corpo-Elite Masters. The Narrative is that the Rest of Us are Insufficiently American....and, therefore, don't count.
A casual listen to Talk Radio, Fox News, the Right Wing blogosphere (Freepers, I'm speaking of you.) gives credence to my accusations, and the Lie to the Right's Denial of these Objective Facts. Rhetoric Matters.
What remains of the Left, "represented" by the Non Blue Dog Democrats, is too Polite, I call this what it is...
Instead, they bend backwards, prostrate themselves to "Bipartisanship" (how's that working?)...and allow the Right to control the Debate, and even the Language of the Debate.
The Right provides the Narrative, and the Definitions of Words...and "Liberals" accept this, without a Peep.
I Fear for my country.
If the( Nominal) Left Wing continues it's Appeasment Policies, if they continue to refuse to Stand Up, the Right....and their Neofeudal Corporations, Hedgefunds, "Think-Tanks", and Legions of what can be accurately described as Brownshirts....will have won.
....and that would spell the end , not only of the American Experiment, but the demise of the Enlightenment, itself.
Forgotten, in the Narrative of the their Version of American the concept of "Pluralism".
Pluralism assumes that there is not one, but many sources of Power, Value, and that there are many Paths to God, Ways of Living.
That these many are Valid...
Pluralism is in direct opposition to Monism...that there can be Only One...whether it's Religion, Economic System or Value System.
The Right is Monist.
Only "My" Religion is the "True" Religion...all others are, necessarily, Evil...and in Opposition to "My" "One True Religion".
Similarly, only Capitalism, as "We" concieve it, is Valid.
The Power Structures of Preenlightenment Feudalism, and the Social Norms of 1950's America, are percieved as the "Best", and "Only" ways of doing things.
All others are, of neccessity, Evil, "Wrong"...and to be "Stamped Out".
Pluralism is , on the other hand, Egalitarian...and Diverse.
Under a Pluralistic System, like Federalism, there are "Many ways to skin a cat"...different States are Laboratories, wherein different ways of doing things are tried, then evaluated.
Different Religions, as in the Interpretatio Graeca of the Classical Period, are seen as Equally Valid...You Go Your Way, I'll Go Mine, as long as we Agree that we each have a Right to Exist.
This Coexistence is at the Heart of Pluralism,whether Political, Cultural or Religious,'re Good is not necessarily My Good...the only Commonality that is Required is that we "Agree to Disagree"...Peacefully.
As I have said often, when arguing with Trolls, "I don't care if you Worship my long as you do not Force me to...and don't Annoy my Geese."
This view embraces Diversity, as long as the Common Good can be found.
What business is it of mine, if the Speaking in Tongues Church on the corner believes that theirs is the Only Path to Heaven?
So long as they don't force such views on the rest of us, I will defend their Right to believe such nonsense.
Similarly, if Oklahoma decides to become a Theocracy...doesn't matter to me, and might be interesting to long as they allow those who don't agree to leave, or be let alone.
The problem is Force.
No one should be Forced to believe a certain way, behave a certain way, except where such behavior is necessary for Coexistence.
Under this view, it can be argued that Corporate Capitalism is Harmful to our continued Coexistence...and thus should at least be Regulated, to limit the Damage to "The Rest of Us".
Inherent in Pluralism is the Idea of Common Good....a nebulous concept, I admit.
The Common Good can be aprehended if Everyone has a seat at the Table...
In fact, this is the underlying Philosophy of those who set up our System...the Founding Fathers.
They, in the Constitution, set up both a Fence and a Floor...a Fence around the Federal Government (this far, and no further)...and a Floor underneath the People (this much Freedom, and No Less.).
We are, according to our Founding Document, designed to be a Pluralist Civilisation...not Monist.
The Concepts of "Common Good"," Freedom of Religion" and Freedom of Thought and Speech are rooted in Pluralism.

The Right, however, insists that There Can Be Only Religion(currently Xianity...but if they succeed in that, they'll turn on each other.History Rhymes.), one Economic System, one Morality, one Value System, one acceptible Mode of Dress, Sexual Preference, Cohabitation (one man, one woman),etc, etc.
Under the Monism of the Right, a Cultural Hegemony is necessary...
The problem with this, aside from it's lack of Historical Underpinnings in America, is: Who's Culture,etc is to be The One?
Who shall decide what mode of dress is acceptable?What Church? What choice of Intoxicant/Relaxant?
What Language?
It is assumed, without Thought, that "Ours" is to be the One...whithout ever bothering to define "Ours". Who is "We"?

I, a Liberal Wierdo...a Square Peg,...under Pluralism, have the Inalienable Right to be Strange, Wierd, Different....with the Necessary Caveat that I harm None.
If my Actions, Beliefs,etc do not Harm Anyone, I am Free to persue them.
What does it matter if I decide I'm a Pagan, and build an Altar to the Godess in my Garden? does it Harm the folks at the Falling Down on the Floor Church on the corner?
Or if my Neighbor is Gay, and Marries his Boyfriend, adopts some unwanted Child as their own?
Or if my other Neighbor prefers Marijuana to Alcohol?
Nudity to Textilism?
As long as they/we are not Harming anyone, nor Forcing our own Beliefs on anyone, it's All Good.
Pluralism, not Cultural Hegemony, is the American Way....and to forget that essential Fact is to hand Our Future over to the Violent Right...who will, in time, find that there is much disaggreement among their own Hegemonists...which Brand of Xianity is to be Ascendant, etc.
Monism is a Sure Path to War and Violence...and Liberals must construct a Narrative, Post Haste, to counter the Hegemony that is inherent in that of the Right.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Words, and their Meaning.

One hears an awful lot about Freedom, these days.
It is invoked as the reason for the Wars, as the reason folks run for Office, as the Goal of Life.
The word is thrown about by politicians, and would be politicians, as if the Meaning is so well known as to need no is a Given..."Everyone" Knows what Freedom means.
I differ in this Sentiment, as in so many others.
I say that Important Words must be Defined.
This would entail much Debate, by just about everyone who will be affected by the Defining of such Words.
I think it is instructive that this is not the case.
No one, it seems, feels the need to Define anything, especially Important Words.
I posit that this has led, almost of necessity, to such Words becoming, if not Meaningless, the Polar Opposite of what they once were....and what We think they still are.
A few Anecdotes...
My 8 year old Son is at the weekly (in Season) Ritual Battle with a Rival Town (Football game).
He's "cattin' around",Socialising with his friends, especially Girls.
A Cop, the Grandfather of one of his friends, playfully handcuffs them, in turn....itself, a stealth form of Indoctrination, but not the most pernicious. That Honor goes to a little later, when a younger kid is caught, by this Cop, buying candy at the Concession,(concession to what?),an then going among the crowd, selling the candy at profit...Adam Smith, or Marx, would say that this boy is 1)showing initiative, 2) in effect, selling his Labor (waiting in line, delivery) other Words, being a Good Capitalist. However, this activity is, apparently, Forbidden.
It's not in any of the rules I've seen...and i doubt that it's Codified, at all.
But this Intervention, by the cop, is seen as uninterestingly commonplace, hardly worthy of comment.
My Son includes it as an aside, and only at my prompting does he elaborate.
What Message is this sending?
I don't, for one minute, think that this is an Intentional Message..the cop didn't learn it in Cop Class, didn't receive instructions from his flows without comment or thought...just as Natural as Rain.
What I immediately Thought, was that this small act was a very Profound Statement on the Reality of our Modern World. The fact that it was unintentional, and unrecognised, makes it an even more Profound Statement.
In America, in the Early 21st Century, Capitalism was a Secular Religion...seen as the Highest Form of Social Organisation, and as an almost Divine Gift to Mankind...the State that all of Humanity is Reaching for.
The Mythology is Powerful...every man a King...Work Hard, Get Rich....Upward Mobility as an Article of Faith.
American Dream.
There are many examples of this being the case for certain Individuals...very many, in fact.
But what is the Economic Norm?
Most of us work for someone that "Person" an actual Flesh and Blood Human, or the Bodiless, Paper Kind.
Furthermore, with the decline of Manufacturing, the preceding Monopolisation/Cetralisation of the Means...and the later "Off Shoring" of that Means, and the Jobs that went with it...we, in America, normally work in "Service" it waiting tables, or selling something made elsewhere.
The Core Service, no matter the Product being Sold, is making folks "Feel" Special...most of whom are anything but...rather ,quintessential examples of Mediocre and Homogeneous. The man at the table,B3, shaking his glass at the Waitress...insisting on a whole lemon with his made to Feel Special by her attention...(in these instances, she is rewarded with a pittance...which Speaks Volumes)...he is made to Feel like a King.
This has become the most important "Product" that the vast majority of us it in a Cell Phone Store, a Wallmart, or on the Trading Floor.
It is a Simulacrum of the Dream...for none of us really have the Power that the Mythology implies is our Birthright.
Rather than Every Man a King, we are Cogs in the Machine of Capitalism.
The Cop's unintentional Lesson teaches this Implicitly.
This Child, with his Initiative, is breaking the Unspoken Rules....which run contrary to the Mythos.
Only those with Sanction, the Concession Stand,may use Initiative.
The rest of us must work for them.
Is this what is being "Conceded" at the Concession?
Probably not Intentionally...I don't know what the provenance of that word, used this way, is.
In this little tale, this Anecdote, that's what I derive.
The Austin News had 4 lead stories, the other night.
Both "sides" of the (Official, but Unspoken) Political Divide were represented.
What we call "Liberal" was represented by the story of a woman whos Property was "Annexed" by the City...which led to her being Forced to sell her being a Violation of the city's Zoning Ordinances to keep Horses.
Busybody, Coercive Government...Lording it over the Individual...with One-Size-Fits-All Rule-Making...and an official "Concession" to the Individual, in the form of an expensive, Byzantine Process of Protest...whereby this woman could, albeit arduously, Contest the application of the Rules to her.
The other 3 stories were about the War on Drugs...which, in Reality and Effect, is a War on Marijuana. This is the "Conservative" portion of the newscast.
Big, Intrusive Government...Imposing Morality and Conformity on the Individual...with One-Size-Fits-All Rule-Making...and an official "Concession" to the Individual, in the form of an expensive, Byzantine Process of Protest...whereby one could, albeit arduously, Contest the application of the Rules to her/him.
One story detailed the Mandatory Drug Testing in School, in order for an Individual to participate in Extracurricular Activities...the "Out" was that no one is Forced to partake, to get Tested...but if an Individual Refuses, they are Forbidden from Participating.(it is better to follow the Rules)
Another, the necessity, according to the Chief of Police, of purchasing a number of Vans, equipped with technology that "sees" through walls, surveills houses from the street, without Warrant, in order to root out Drug Use.(We are Watching).
The last story was regarding a man who was arrested("stopped") for Possession of "Drugs"...which means, usually, Marijuana.
He was caught by a "Undercover" Cop, presenting himself as a "Drug Dealer".("Drug Dealers", like the boy in the first story, are the Quintessential Capitalists)
(We will Find You...You Cannot Hide...and you Cannot Trust Anyone.)
These parenthetical Meanings are unacknowledged in the News Cast...
The Sanctioned Intoxicant/Relaxant, in America for most of the 20th Century, and the first decade of the 21st, is Alcohol...
What I derive from this is as follows.
Alcohol is conducive to Violence,Unreason, and a strange mixture of Passivity and Aggression.
It is a Lizard-Brain Drug...making Men into Swine.
Pot is a Front Brain Drug, making Men into Mystics.
The Implication is that we can have only so many Mystics, Front Brained Creatures...
Too many, and the System ceases to work.
The Mythology surrounding Marijuana confirms this.
The Horse Woman's experience is related in that Conformity to Arbitrary Norms is not Optional.
Horses are not allowed in the city, men are not "supposed" to have long hair, unless they're Drug Fiends...
And one must be Sanctioned,... Baptised, as it order to Participate...whether it be in Band, or in Property Ownership,in Capitalism, or in the Management of one's Consciousness.
All of this runs Counter to the Mythological "Reality" we think we live in.
We Believe one thing, and Do another.
The Disconnect is unrecognised.
In this Culture, then, what is "Freedom"?
The Freedom to Conform? To do as you're told?
The Freedom to Follow the Rules...with the Threat of Force and Coercion, often Unspoken/Unthought-About, if one strays from the Path of Righteousness?
"Freedom" as Antipode to Freedom. our reflexive "Understanding" of what "Freedom" means.
The Assumption,... Unexamined, as that We are a Free People...
So Free that the World is Envious of Us.
Defending this Freedom is the Purpose of the Wars...which leads, incidentally, to further Limits on Behaviour and Speech, as in the whole Matrix of "Support the Troops" Rhetoric...
To Challenge it is Verboten.
I submit that we have been Sold a Lie...
My , Considered, Definition of Freedom is Codified in in the Wiccan Rede, my favorite, most concise example..."An Harming None, Do as Thou Will"...
Given, to Live by this requires much Thought and Consideration...of the Consequences of Our Actions, more than anything.
In it's turn, this Consideration requires a certain Habit of Thought.
It doesn't work all that well without it...
More Anecdotal Evidence are to be found in the Marijuana Culture, as opposed to the (more or less official) Alcohol Culture.
Potheads, when relatively Unmolested, are known for their Habits of it Munchies or Weed...Avoiding Unnecessary Conflict...and an Egalitarian Do as Thou Wilt...
Drinkers, on the other hand, are known for Belligerence...and for the guarding of one's drink,girl,etc.
The one is about Us; the other, Me.
Of course, this is not Universal...and there are many Variables that influence the Zeitgeist of a given situation...for instance, when Potheads are oppressed,actively sought out, they tend to become more like Drinkers. They guard their Stash, even from friends...
Conversely, Drinkers, when certain Variables are just so, are Amicable, Sharing, and Tolerant..
I realise that these are Generalisations...and that they come to me, at best, second hand,(one, related to me, filtered through the Mind of a eight-year-old)
...but Generalisations have their uses...and I believe that these, particular Generalisations, are ,on the whole, Accurate....from my own Experience.
That given, one is led to ask: why would a civilisation discourage the one, and encourage the other?
Again, I doubt that a "Decision" was made....the Smoky-Room simply, Is....a Function of Our Culture, Unexamined, Unarticulated, and Unspoken...but Operative, nevertheless.
The Answer to this Dilemma, it occurs to me, is stated, Implicitly, above...Front-Brain/Lizard-Brain.
Sharing/Guarding. Cooperation/Competition.Aformity/Conformity.
As in the first Anecdotes, our Civilisation requires the latter of all these Syllogisms.
If the Former were allowed to run rampant, Civilisation would Change...and Change runs contrary to Status Quo.
These Musings of mine, on such Commonplaces, might seem Farfetched...Insane, even...which, ultimately Proves the Point.
Examples of this confront us every day...usually Unnoticed, Unremarked...
They are the Jungian Things-Behind-Things...
The Archetypal Soup to our Bits of Celery and Potato.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Being Yoda

" In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
gathered on this beach of the tumid river"-Eliot

"Don't spoil the party, but here's the truth:We have squandered our planet's resources, including air and water, as though there were no tomorrow, so now there isn't going to be one."-Vonnegut, from "man without a country"

What passes for the Majority Party in our country has Caved, once again. Democrats, as the saying goes, have once again "Snatched Defeat from the Jaws of Victory". "Tax Cuts", for the Super Rich, will not be repealed...because they're "scared of the GOP adslaught ".

Let me hear no more about the Liberal the Socialists are Taking Over... how the Right is a Persecuted Minority.
The Sith have Won.

"Into Exile I will go"...Yoda.

The Jedi have been slain.

I expect the Right to gain both houses of Congress, in around 39 days.
They will then launch a Crusade...investigating Obama's Whitehouse for all manner of stupid, nonexistant inannities..."Shutting Down" the Gooberment, so nothing gets done...Social Security, Medicare, Va Checks all cease flowing...let alone "Welfare"...Unemployment....all of that will stop...and the effects will be to destroy what's left of the Economy.Crashing the Economy will further the Sith's ends...
They will blame "Liberals"....and the Herd will swallow it.
I will be interested to see which Right Wing Crazy person gains the Whitehouse, in 2 years...likely, I'm afraid. Buzz Windrip, anyone?
Then, it's Over.

Not that it really's over, anyway...what was still questionable was How we were able to Face the Demise of Western Civilisation....with Courage and Compassion, or with Fear and Hatred.
It will be the Latter....the Democratic Party has failed.
I reckon there's something to the Conspiracy Theory that they (Dems) were on the side of the Sith, all along.
At least the Movers and Shakers.
The Real Liberals are Silent and Ignored...folks like Grayson, who should be out in front, are relegated to the rear.
Harry Ried is a Wimp...and that's likely why he's in his position.
We have been sold down the river...a simulacrum of "Opposition" to the Predations of the Right.

I sincerely Hope that I am wrong.
Even Crazy.
It would be preferable to what's ahead if I'm right.
I am in no position to Expatriate...Internal Exile will have to suffice...

The only Good I forsee is that ,at least...and finally...the Right will come out of their Closet, show themselves for what they really are...there is a possibility that regular folks will wake up....I will not hold my breath.
In talking with people, listening, I sense that the Race is Run...the Surreality has wholly replaced Reality.
The Rumors that Gardening will soon be illegal are rampant, as are many other Rumors about a Corporate Takeover of even our ability to Hunker Down.
I have dismissed such stuff, in the past, because of who was promoting it....and who was being blamed...(one worlders, Socialists,etc)...
While Gardeners are worried about this unenforcable "threat", Monsatan is busy consolidating it's Monopoly on Seed...Invisibly, even though it's being done in Broad Frakking Daylight.
that will be the Way the World Ends...Bechtel, a "small business", will gain rights to Rain Water...Monsatan will controll the Gene Sequence of Food.
Et Cetera. Among the Laws that will matter are the new 14th Amendment, which will strip regular folks of any remaining Power, and Cement Corporations into their Rightful Place as the only "Citizens" that matter.
Intellectual Property will become a big concern...Corporations with patents on Pigs will demand Tribute from Farmers.
At some point, if it all hangs together long enough, even Air will be me Hysterical...go on...
Expect some "Problem" with the Internet...something that will provide an excuse...a control it...

What passes for "Liberal Media" will quietly go away...GE will fear for it's ad money...and maybe even it's License.
Papers Please will spread to every corner...Internal Passports, just like East Germany and the USSR. The irony will go unnoticed.
I expect Camps for Leeches...the unemployed, the poor, the sick, the homeless...
And New Wars...some excuse will have to be found...perhaps a Scud in a bucket...only this time, there will be no smoking gun, no'll all be plausible, to a fault.
Then we'll have Loyalty Oaths...are you sufficiently American?

The seeds of this Dystopian Hell World are to be found, right now, in the rhetoric of the Right.
What the more unhinged among them accuse the liberals of doing is what, in their own Dark hearts, they want to do.

We have two years. Maybe less...

Lovecraftian Crawling Chaos...Mindless Entity.
The Machine that I'm always on about.
It's calling the shots, now.

The Right consists, wholly, of Minions.
Even those at the Top are Slaves to the Ideology....they do what they do because it Makes Sense, to them, from Inside the Machine.
Rove does Darth the Logic and Veracity of their well as the Surreality that supports them.
There may be a few, at the Very Top, in those Mythical Walnut Panelled Rooms, who know and understand what the Goal is...what sick individuals they must be...
Boner of Orange,and all the rest of the "Leadership", as near as I can tell, truly believe that their "policies" are the right things to do.
The farther down the Heirarchy one goes, the more sincere the Belief...
This is why Objective Reality, as presented by those on the "Left", doesn't does not compute.
This is the reason nothing, no evidence, no historical performance of said Ideology, can shake the True Believers.

I have been Smiting Trolls for a long while now...for my own amusement, mostly.
Since 911, I have endeavored to understand the Right...from Neocons to Tea People, "Libertarians" to Dominionist Xians...
The arguments against their Prescriptions for our Civilisational Ills are, on the face of it, quite needs only to look at History, and if that's not Operable, apply Logic.
An example is the Real World Effects of Reaganomics...Objectively Disastrous.
(except for the alreadt rich)
When confronted with such arguments, the Right will apply a number of Tactics.
We'll use a hypothetical "argument" regarding Economics, for Illustration....capitalism/socialism,etc.

Troll asserts that Obama and the Socialists are trying to Destroy the Economy...and that we must "return" to "sane" those of Bush,and Reagan.
I counter that those "policies" are most to blame for the current economic malaise...the wealth inequality, the stagnation of wages, the very real plight of average Americans.
Troll looks condescendingly down his nose at the poor,deluded Liberal...if only I could understand.
Reagan won the cold War, Saved the Economy, Shrunk the evil Fegov...Bush saved us from Terrists,etc etc.
I counter that none of that is the actual Truth...and look! here's all manner of Evidence...USSR collapsed under it's own weight, with no small "help" from Carter's Afghan Strategy...Fedgov, and it's "deficit", grew enormously...and the economy, for real folks, sank into a pit of Outsourcing, Wage Stagnation, Limited Mobility.
this will, usually, go on, back and forth, for a while....if it's a Good Troll.
If it's not, if the Troll in question is less experienced, for instance, Ad Hominem will be trotted out.
"All you Soft Headded Liberals want is to have everyone hanging from the teat of the Nanny are all Big Government Socialists, who would have us all be Slaves...your Liberal Hippy-Dippy Utopia is Foolish and dangerous...only us Adults should make descisions"etc etc.
Usually this is the end of it...especially if I deign to pick apart, point by point, Troll Speak.
I have learned that one must define every word...counter every minor sentance...
There are Unexamined Assumptions in every statement....Liberal=Socialist, all Liberals want Big Government, all libs are Weak/stupid/evil...etc
Reagan was the Best.
Any facts, or even mere assertions to the contrary are met with derision...but without facts to back them up.
Belief is what matters, not Objective Reality.
I have found it near impossible to win any converts to Reality, so deep is the Indoctrination.
Surreality is Preferred...if a door in the Mind can be opened, by some happy chance...say, that USA has Not always been Good and Just and Rightious (see CIA,History)...their World Collapses.
Such new information is immediately must be a Liberal Plot(Projection, again),"obviously", didn't happen.
It is much the same as trying to argue the finer points of Theology with a Born Again Xian.
No criticism can be tolerated, no opposing world view, no disagreement.
It shall be their way, or the highway.
No Compromise.
Erich Fromm had a lot to say about this..."Escape from Freedom" is one of my favorite books, and should be required reading for all who would oppose the Corpo-Feudalist Hell World that is fast approaching.
How discouraging that Objective Reality is such a Hard Sell...
Behind, or over, it all is that "Violent Parasitical Elite"....If there's any group of folks that really knows the score, it's Them.
In the Pond of our Civilisation, they are the Algal Mat, floating at the surface, sucking up all the Oxygen, hogging the Sunlight...
The scary part is that they have convinced all us fish...and copepods,diatoms,crawdads,etc...that they are not only a part of our Pond's Environment, but Essential to it's continued "Health".

There is, of late, some small Hope that Dems will keep the Senate...maybe even the house...but that last is stretching it...
Beck is on the Hot Seat, due to falling ad revenue...but his ratings are sky-high....
Dem Candidates seem to be mounting an actual Campaigne...calling out the Extremist\m of their Opponents.
Even Obama seems to have abandoned any idea of "Bipartisanship"...and is, at long last, using more forceful language to counter the Right's Crazy.
If the dems do keep the House, Senate and the White will only be a Temporary Reprieve.
The End of our global Civilisation is still at hand...Resource Depletion cannot be Undone....which leads to a No-Growth Environment, a System wholly reliant on Perpetual Growth...we have squandered the 30+ years we had to reengineer our Works...and even if the Right suffers a , much deserved, Political Defeat, the Corporate control of "Our" Gooberment is not likely to be meaningfully addressed.
There will still be matter who is in office....and whomever is in office, Money will still be the Real Power.
Money is concentrated at the Top....with the "Violent Parasitical Elite"....who hide behind their Hedge Funds, Think Tanks and Multinationals.

Barring some new Outrage from the Right, I'm through with this topic.
I feel like I've said my piece....and it's too damned depressing.
I've already begun limiting my "News" intake...I watch Rachel, Kieth if there's nothing on, and read Alternet.Liberal and Local.
I intend to Vote...for the first time Straight Ticket, Dem...for what it's worth.
Beyond that, I consider myself in Exile....
I need no more convincing.
If I write, at all, I'll attempt to provide in What I'm Trying To Do.
(like the Cast Iron Hand Pump that arrived the other day.)
If anyone needs Clarification, Elucidation or Souces...e-mail me, or leave a comment.
(wishful, as it feels, mostly, like I'm shouting down a well...)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Applied Econ, Healthcare and the Long, Slow Rot of Civilisation.

Thanks to Medicaid, we were able to, finally, determine just what invisible substances in our local environment caused our Youngest Son to be sick all Fall and Winter. We had already suspised "Allergies"...but it's good to have several specific culprits...Mountain Cedar Pollen being the main one.We had to go to Kerrville, 70 miles, one way, to determine this.
"Allergy Shots", (Immunotherapy) was Indicated...and commenced.
After 5-6 trips, we finally finagled our way into our regular Doctor, in Fredericksberg, giving the weekly shots.
Now, it will be done at the Hospital in Fredericksberg.(45 miles, one way) Our Doc's Nurse was very worried about doing this to a 4 year old, due to Risk of Anaphalaxis...I completely understand her Fears..
That's not the point.
The point is, here, in mason, we have the Remains of a Hospital (my wife was actually Born there)...that has shrunk into a Clinic, with attached ER...and, now , shrunk even further to just a Clinic...with a Physician's Assistant attending...a "Real" Doctor comes around once a week.
They won't do the shots..."Liability" is suspected, but they say they don't have the resources.
The ER has been shut down.
So I get to drive an extra 80+- Miles, each week, in order to see if this treatment will alleve my Son's suffering.
I am ready and willing do do this, of course...but it equals an extra $70 spent on Gas, every month.
For all the Green Shoots rumored to be in evidence in the larger economy, and despite Good Hair Rick's insitance that Texas is, somehow, immune to the economic woes of the rest of the world...Mason has been in a de facto Depression for 10 years.
This translates into a lack of employment and opportunity....on top of my own Disability.
I can see nothing ,down the road, that will alleviate these problems.
Yet, all around me, are folks who, on the one hand, insist that "Liberals" are somehow to blame, exclusively, for these problems...and, on the other, that everything is just fine.
That these problems are our own, individual Fault...due to Sin and Laziness, I suppose.
I disagree.
These things are a result of Choices made, by individuals, and well as by our "Leaders" make things this way, whether inadvertantly, or no.
On these many trips south, and back...I have noticed a lot of Road Repair.
Since I frequent this highway, I can attest that there is no Obvious reason to be tearing up the road and then reinstalling it.
In fact, the "repairs" have the immediate effect of making that portion of the road thus "repaired" much worse than it was.
This is what Job Creation looks like.
It's the kind of stimulous that was settled for, since the "Conservatives" stood up and hollered about everything Real Health Reform.
The county owns, to my best knowledge, what remains of our little Clinic.They contract the operation of it out to a company, which I can't remember the name of.They are tied, somehow, to the Hospital in Llano, as well.
The operating company has changed a coupla times since I've been paying attention to such things.
I rarely go to the doctor, at all...and it is even rarer to see me in Mason's Clinic. A PA is simply not worth the $60+...I'd rather go to Fredericksberg on the rare occasion when I am sick.
Our Regular Doc has all our records, and we have a good relationship...he understands, and accepts, my quirks...a valuable quality, in itself.
Another thing that is operative in Mason...since we no longer have a functioning ER (the equipment and whatnot is still there), when one has a serious enough problem to call an ambulance, one must go to Fredericksberg or Llano.
My own trip to Fredericksberg ER, wherein I was given a ride and O2, cost more than $1000,plus XRay, Plus ER,Plus,plus,plus.
For Really Serious Cases, the default is to call a Helicopter....which will run you $30,000, and up.
The helicopter Company was Privatised several years ago, and costs have skyrocketed. They sell their own "Insurance"...and those who can afford such get preference.(hospital of choice, as well as a lower overall bill).
In Mason County, about a Third of the population is on Medicare...lots of Old Folks.
So there's not a lot of Public Agitation for fixing all this.
Those who have Power and Money and Healthcare, see no reason to give a shit about the rest of us.
To make this last bit worse, we are a very Red County...Obama's a Socialist,etc...
The Poor are Poor, due to their own lack of Initiative.
Po Folks are almost totally unrepresented in Mason.
Fully 18% of the population was below the federal Poverty least in 2000, when the last such data wre collected.
it is likely Higher, now.
23% were over 65, 24% under 18...and the rest scattered in the middle.
Eleven, out of the 900 or so, households make above $75K...most are clustered around the high 20's...Median is $26K in Town.
For the County, as a whole, the numbers are skewed higher...lotsa Ranchers,etc..Old Money...out in the country.
My point is that Mason has been in decline, economically, for 10+ years...and the Ideology of the Majority does nothing but make things worse.
It's bad enough that I can't get a hip, knee, etc...I'm likely gonna hafta get rid of our phones to continue to take my kid for his shot.
There is ,simply, nothing left to cut.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Machine, and the Anomalous Warrior-Monk

On Entertaining the Possibility of the End of the Enlightenment

At root, I am a Perennialist...I adhere to the Perennial Philosophy.
While this Philosophy was the main Engine of what we call the Enlightenment, it preceded it by thousands of years.
During that long Twighlight period, the Perennialists were, largely Underground...keeping to the Fringes of the Mundane Culture.
They realised that the Great Mass of Humanity were simply Not Ready for Thought, Freedom and Wisdom....this realisation was no cause for celebration,rather for sorrow...and patience.
The Rivals, the Authoritarians, were Ascendant...having enjoyed a substantial Head Start of some thousands of years.The fact of Mankind's Not-Ready-ness was, for them, a cause to celebrate.
In Authoritarian Culture, Thought is to be Feared and Discouraged...Wisdom is thought of as the purview of a select few, an Elite, who alone are capable of Thought.
The World is so Complex, you see.

There have been a few periods when the Perennialist Tradition has gained traction in the larger Society...these periods are known, to students of History, as "Golden Ages"....referred to by adjectives such as "Flowering" and "Elnlightened".
Of these Flowerings, we will consider three that have had Influence on Contemporary Western Culture.
Ancient Greece(750-550BCE), the European Enlightenment(1600-1850), and The Sixties(1962-1972)...all of.which were wholly subverted by the Machine, the Authoritarians.

Perhaps we should more clearly define what I'm referring to with words like "Perennialist" and, especially, "Liberal".

My favorite quote:
" Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth - more than ruin - more even than death... Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man."

Bertrand Russell

And another:
" Fortunately for us, there have been traitors and there have been heretics, blasphemers, thinkers, investigators, lovers of liberty, men of genius who have given their lives to better the condition of their fellow-men. It may be well enough here to ask the question: What is greatness? A great man adds to the sum of knowledge, extends the horizon of thought, releases souls from the Bastille of fear, crosses unknown and mysterious seas, gives new islands and new continents to the domain of thought, new constellations to the firmament of mind. A great man does not seek applause or place; he seeks for truth; he seeks the road to happiness, and what he ascertains he gives to others. A great man throws pearls before swine, and the swine are sometimes changed to men. If the great had always kept their pearls, vast multitudes would be barbarians now. A great man is a torch in the darkness, a beacon: in superstition's night, an inspiration and a prophecy. Greatness is not the gift of majorities; it cannot be thrust upon any man; men cannot give it to another; they can give place and power, but not greatness. The place does not make the man, nor the scepter the king. Greatness is from within."

Robert Ingersoll

and:"Vincit Omnia Veritas"..."Truth Conquers All"...(I don't know who said this.)

There's "Liberal", in a nutshell.
The Idea that Man is Perfectable, is capable of Improving Himself, through the Application of Reason.
The Idea that Mankind is not a Biology, Tradition,Original Sin,Superstition, or any of the other Tropes we hear about from the Right.
The Perennialist Philosophy has been promoting this Idea, or keeping it's Flame alive, for Milennia.
It is what is behind the words and philosophy of myriad Giants...from Socrates, to Aristotle to Jesus, to Lao Tsu, Marx, Neitzche, Jefferson.....
There is, through all of History, a Continuum of Liberal Thought....
This Continuum is, like everything else, Obfuscated, Muddied, by the Right...the Authoritarians, the Machine.
The Right have endeavored to keep the Pearls for themselves.
Another quote:
""The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites.

"The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.

Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power."

George Orwell - 1984
This is AntiEnlightenment...AntiLiberal...the AntiPhilosophy of the Machine.

The Authoritarians Fear the Masses.
Fromm has said that this Fear has at it's root, a Fear of Inadequacy....a sense of Powerlessness and Isolation ...of being set loose in the world with no support, nor any set idea of one's Place in that world.
Leibzweski(spelling?) says that these folks are, actually, a whole different subspecies...the Psychopath.
That they are incapable of emotion or sympathy or remorse.Indeed, the Systems that these folks have engineered, spread now over the face of the earth, Select for Psychopathy.

I reckon the Truth to be some hybrid of these....making them all the more Dangerous.
Turn on the News, and their presence in the world is readily apparent.
Willingly or no, consciously or no, these Creatures have been busy remaking the world in their own image for all of recorded History.
Homo Sapiens Avaricious.
Their activities have been cloaked in the vestments of Liberty, of Truth, of Divine Right and the Will of God, Himself.
Anything to convince a critical mass of folks to go along, to allow their rapacious gluttony.
In Myth, Hades, Loki, Zeus, and the Old Testament Jehovah all are modelled on this type.
Avarice, Caprice and Subterfuge...the Con Men and Grifters of History....yet so many were Kings, Priests and even Emporers...
In fact, the very Idea of a Heirarchical System, flowed out of this Ideology.
Pharaonic Model.
Our own, 20th Century Mythos characterises them as Sith, Palpatine and Vader, as the various and sundry Forces of Darkness, Morgoth, Sauron,Ungoliant, Harkonnens and Omnius....The Matrix.
Lovecraft's Crawling Chaos,
Always Dark, and Dishonest.
"Tricksy and False".
...for they are Anti Reason....of necessity.
A Truly Reasonable,Truly Well Informed Person could not go along with the Predations and Dishonesty inherent in such a System.
Regular Folks must be Fooled, Tricked, Bribed and Threatened...for the Principals of Authoritarianism go so against the Principals that Reason dictates. Perennialists, Liberals, figure that Man,though certainly Flawed, is capable of Improvement...and that he can guide this Improvement through Reason....That Reason points the way, if one would only Open one's Eyes, Mind and Heart.

Another quote:"...You have much to learn about Jesus and about the most Vital Struggle which has plagued Mankind since the Dawn of History; Mankind's contiuous Struggle between Freedom and Slavery, between Value Producers, and the Violent, Parasitical Elite, between Peace and War, between Truth and Deception." -James Redford.

The Violent, Parasitical Elite...They have taken over the Whole Frakking World, through the vehicle of their Artificial Persons...given even more Power from a captive Supreme Court, in the recent Citizens United Case.
In anticipation of a Popular Uprising, as a result of the Rapine and Plunder, they have had the Audacity, the Hubris! to form their own Faux Grassroots Organisations...siphoning off Public Rage, and channelling it towards somebody, anybody who is not Them.
Especially "liberals"...who have been so characitured as to serve as a Boogy Man, an Existential Threat to All that is Good and Holy.
And We, as a People, Swallowed it Whole!

A Quote:"What Luck for the Rulers that Men do not Think"-A. Hitler.

Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars, C.Wright Mills'"the Power Elite",Gross'"Friendly Fascism"....are all pointing to the same thing I've been holllering about.
The creation of the Machine.

During WW2, the "Intelligence Agencies" found that they could work with the Industrialists, and Government, to ensure "Stability", and an unprecedented Control of Humanity by the Elite.
The ideas of Bernays(, a student of Freud, were applied, as well.
We are, all of us, members of the Herd....and we don't even realise it.
Fast foreward to the 60's....the Youth began to realise that "Civilisation" was a murderous slavery machine, and decided to try a different ways of life.
This presented a problem for the Machine....a shortage of cannon-fodder....and not just in the conventional sense.
The Machine requires Consent from the slaves.
The Youth of the 60's were witholding their Consent...and their Belief in the System.
This is the Machine's Achilles Heel.
Machine learned to coopt, rather than directly oppose, this Counterculture...this opposition.
The 60's Youth Movement was absorbed....and the Machine grew Omnipresent, if not Omnipotent(that would come later).
Personal Computing, the Web, and the 24/7, everywhere-you-look "Consumer Culture", served to further enslave us.
We have, all of us, been decieved.
It is my personal belief that the only effective counter to the Dominance of the Machine is Disbelief...which leads one to Drop Out.....untill such time as the Machine "runs it's course".
The latter is ,in my opinion, inevitable....we inhabit a Finite World, and there are signs everywhere that we are reaching the Limits to Growth...Machine requires Growth.
The last 30 years of encirclement by the Machine is proof of this, in an indirect way.
Machine sees the end of Growth, and is preparing the way for it's continued Dominance in a No Growth Environment.(probably a Pseudo-Feudalism)
"They" will, at some point, need to reduce the population.There are, simply, too many to feed and maintain without abundant oil, and other resources.
We are , merely,Superfluous Livestock.
I suspect that War, especially the Civil Variety, will be the preferred mechanism.
Thus, it is no accident that We the People are divided in every way, except the way that matters, and reflects Class.
We are tacitly forbidden from thinking in terms of Class.
Marx is verboten.
Otherwise, We might unite against our real enemy;the Parasitical Elite.
It is instructive, I think, that the Neocons appeared to break away from the Program that had been operative, and effective, for so long.
Suddenly, the long trajectory of the machine was accelerated, the rhetoric became extreme, the Fear was everywhere.
What did they see, the Neocons, that scared them into such reckless action?
In a word...the End....end of the Paradigm.
The 3 Enders:Peak Resources, Peak Economics...and Climate Instability that is a result of the Paradigm.
These are coalescing...building into a tsunami that threatens the viability of the Machine and it;s Operative Paradigm of Infinite Growth...on a Finite Planet.
The Radical Hard Right Turn of 2001,cynically known as "Compassionate Conservatism",and overlaid by the "Global War on Terror", can't really be explained, with satisfaction, in any other way.
What the 60's couldn't acheive, the 3 Enders can.
So the Neocons....the Reactionary "Wing" of the machine....Freaked Out...LIHOP-ed 9-11, and rapidly constructed the rest of the surveillance state. (it had been constructed, up to this point, incrementally...)
This Radical departure from Systematic Incrementalism presents an opportunity...and a Warning....
The Machine percieves it's own Demise...and it will Rage against the "Dying of the Light", as it were....
We, as Individuals...have an opportunity to Organise,Locally, for the eventual End of the machine.
But, to do so, we must, on the one hand, keep such activity (and even awareness) out of the Machine's sight....and we must, also, Disengage.
The Systems in place, from food production, to energy, to transportation....just about everything....are unsustainable.They are,frankly, Impossible...without Cheap, Transportable Energy.
We are Psychologically Manipulated, at every turn, into being Required to the Perfection, Omnipresence, Omnipotence, and Immortality of the Machine.
This is why I am a "Conspiracy Theorist".LOL.
We must Unplug, whithout appearing to Unplug...and encourage others to do the same, again, without appearing to do so....or even appearing to be aware of the necessity.

Instead of; Work:Paper:Buy....we must endeavor to; Study:Do:Harvest.(Ure)
"Dropping Out is a Revolutionary Act."(W. Zendik)

The self-imposed Rules of the Machine prevent it from Powering Down in a sane, humane manner.
The Rules were designed to further enrich the consolidate their Power.....but they, too, rely on Abundant, Cheap Energy.
It is up to us, as Individuals and as Community, to do the necessary work.

Sadly, Critical Thinking is lower than at any point since 1300AD.
Few have the desire, let alone the ability, to Think for themselves.
Even Ideas come prepackaged, with shiny, attractive wrappings...
The long term program of Diseducation has bourne fruit.
"Public" Education has kind of a sordid least in it's current form.
Hypercapitalists in the early 20th Century saw a need for docile workers, to populate and operate their Factories.
At the time, and for most of America's history, the majority of the People were on the Farm...and Great Value was placed on Education, however derived.
Thinking Farmers (Jefferson's Ideal) were found to make poor Cogs in the machinery of the Factory.(Zinn)
Mass Production, the Assembly Line...these were inimical to Free Operators, with Minds, who were used to Open Air and being (of necessity) Generalists...Jacks of all trades.
So, the Hypercapitalists concieved the Public Education System that we have ,today.
This was designed, according to the very words of it's designers, to make "Good Workers"...
To train Sheep to be on time, to be happy at their particular wheel of the Machinery, to take orders, and to not stir up shit.
Those who saw the banality and essential Evil of this Organised.
They read Marx, and found him to be Right.
The Labor Movement.

What was a Hypercapitalist to do?!
The Living Gears of his Machinery were so uppity!
The answer, at first, was direct oppression.
They called the cops.
Then they employed their own cops.
These were deployed to the Strikes and other Uprisings,where heads were smashed, noses broken, "Rioters" killed.
And it was learned that these tactics served to make things worse.
The Cogs Rebelled even more!
Another tactic, or tactics, was needed.
Enter Psychology.
...and Propaganda....and Marketing.
The new Media, Radio, was employed..."Credit" was re-invented from the carcass of "Debt".
"Products" were marketed to "Consumers"...
But it wasn't enough.
Folks were still too damned Educated.
Enter "Public Education."
...and Indoctrination....and Conformism.
This whole story, done quite in the open, at the time...has been all but forgotten.
Those who know about it are relegated to "Conspiracy Theorist"-status....part of the Programming.This was done during the Great Depression, when a considerable portion of Americans were Desparate.
then came the War (the Second World War)...the Populace was rallied to the defense of the Free World, against (for the last time, for real) an Existential Threat, an Enemy that all Free Men could oppose.
The most massive Military Mobilisation of all time was begun.
Idle factories were retooled to produce materiel for the War Machine.
At the same time, Boot Camp was retooled to Mass Produce Soldiers.
Farm Boys and Store Owners willingly submitted to systematic depersonalisation...willingly became Cogs in a different, at the time more acceptable and necessary, Machine.
The Lesson was well learned.
When the War was over (in Truth, it never really ended.), the Habits of Conformity were well ensconced.
Just as important, during the War...the Industrialists, Hypercapitalists, found that they could work with Government to achieve a common goal.
The newly Organised Intelligence Apparatus, beginning with the OSI, was quick to get in on the new game, as well.
This Triune, the "Military-Industrial-Intelligence Complex", was just what was needed by the Would Be Controllers to whip an unruly mob into shape.
They could subvert Democracy, while appearing to Defend Democracy.
They could Enslave the People, while appearing to Free them.(Kangas)
At War's End, a new Enemy was found....a former Ally.
Russia, which was (Nominally) Communist, would serve nicely.
Socialism/Communism, in Theory, was an effective remedy to the predations of Hypercapitalism...a Check...Marx's Capital was like Volume Two of Smith's Wealth of Nations...
In Practice, it was just another means of Control.
Those who would Rule Over There,in the East, used the Idea to implement the same way that "Capitalism" was used in the West.
The MIIC, the Machine, used this Threat to subvert Unionising and Labor Solidarity.
Those who would demand better wages and working conditions were branded as Enemies.
This Red Baiting had been tried before...but the "Specter of Communism" always arose again to threaten the Hypercapitalists' preferred Utopia of Power, supported by Docile Servitude.
Now, however, the tools for finally "winning" this battle were in place.
The FBI...with Crossdressing Fag J. Edgar Hoover at the helm, launched a Crusade against Communism.Senator McCarthy smeared everyone who disagreed with the Conventional Wisdom.
They were helped by the Machinations of the CIA in the Media and Education...
At the same time, the newly minted Breton Woods Agreement...concieved, ostensibly to prevent another Depression... was in fact implimented to ensure Control of the World's Resources.
The Troops coming home found an "Education" provided for them.
And a "Job", which provided the "Belonging" they had come to love in the Military.
"Housing" was made available..."Subdivisions" were sprawled out across the former Farmland encircling the You, Too, can Own a "Home"! Every Man, a King!
"Credit" was extended to the Masses...Invisible Chains that they willingly accepted...American Dream.

Not everyone partook of this Capitalist version of a Worker's Paradise.
There were Malcontents....some called themselves "Beats"...which the Machine labeled as "Beatniks", adding the subtle, Soviet-sounding appendage....thus lumping them in with the Commies under every bed.
These were writers and Feral Philosophers...Free Thinkers, who abjured the Conformity and Docility of the Mainstream American way of doing business.
The Beats made common cause with black Jazz Musicians, with Professors, and, yes, with "Commies" and other assorted Rabble Rousers.
They wrote tracts and treatises and books...all in fresh, new ways.
They, inadvertantly, helped to birth the Counterculture.

This was a Movement of Disaffected Youth....suspicious of Power...unwilling to close down their Minds, or to be Happy Little Cogs...Company Men and Housewives.
They percieved Great Injustice...for Minorities such as Black People, Women, Queers, and even "Youth", itself.
They Rebelled, Mightily.
For a decade, they hollered and marched and "Sat In" and did drugs, experimented with sex and music and Ideas....
Refused to help the Establishment in it's Project of Thralldom, as they saw it.
They refused to fight in the War.
En Masse, they ceased to Believe and Participate in the Machine World.
This, the machine could not abide.
The effects of Breton Woods were being felt, despite all the Book Cooking...the Debt owed to the World was getting too big for the Paradigm to convincingly defend.
Ironically, the Machine had almost broken it's own System.
The Nixon Administration had an answer...rather several...
An arbitrary end to bretton Woods, effectively renegging on the Machine's Debts..."Floating Currencies", backed, not with Gold, but with Faith...with Nothing At All.
in it's place, a Coercive sytem of Petrodollar Recycling was instituted.
The Oil Kingdoms in the Middle East were "Encouraged" to sell Oil only in Dollars, which could be had by "Purchasing Debt", in the form of US Treasury Bills.
The Domestic side of Nixon's Remedy was Austerity, cloaked as "Inflation", as some uncontrollable function of the Independant Entity known as the "Market".Applied Mythology.
In addition, the War on Drugs was spun up, and a popular, "Conservative" backlash was fomented among the fearful people who were scared of the Hippies.
The Demonisation of the Left began,again, in earnest.
Hippies were Dangerous Rebels, in league with "Our Enemies", eating out our substance, causing the readily perceptible decline in everyone's fortunes.
And they were all Potheads, Sexual Deviants and Communists!
The Music which had helped rally Young People to the Cause of Liberation was easily Absorbed.
Machine Allied Corporations wrested control of Mass Media and the Production, Distribution of Music and Words.
The "Market" was invoked to Censor unwelcome Ideas.
Several high profile (and suspicious) deaths of Youth-Cultural Icons, as well as the strange phenomenon of Manson, were all the food the Propaganda Arm of the Machine needed to undo such giant leaps as Woodstock and Acid Tests.
Systematic Demonisation of all things Left...Liberal.
The destruction of the Economy helped, too, to stoke the Fear.
By the late 70's, the Middle East Oil Kingdoms had begun having second thoughts about their "Agreement" with the machine.
their own Machine...OPEC....found it's spine.
The "Oil Crisis" ensued...and further damaged the economy.(how much of this was engineered by the Machine, itself,I don't know)
Around this time, in the Churches and Living Rooms of Subdivision America, a Counter-Counter Movement was forming.
Large sums of cash were made available...Fear of Everything was stoked.
And it worked!
St. Ronald Reagan was swept into Power, and along with him, a new Ideology...a repackaged Right Wing, Antienlightenment Ideology.
The lessons of the past 70 years were consulted, and a New Improved, Friendly Fascism (Gross) was brought to bear.
Wrapped in the flag, and Carrying a Cross.(Lewis)

St. Ronald came in on rhetoric regarding an End to the Collective Nightmare of the 60's.
"Morning in America" spoke to the folks for whom the spectacle of their children naked, stoned and Free was just too much to bear.
Suspiciously, in my opinion at least, there had been a sudden shift in popular drug use...from Mind Expanders...Pot, LSD,Shrooms, Mind closers....Heroin, Coke,Speed...
Many of the Wounded Warriors, returning from Viet Nam, were already hooked on such stuff...and harboured a certain Nihilism, as well.(How utterly convenient)
This Nihilism was was the incidence of Violence...
A few, isolated, incidents were spun up to represent the whole.
Similarly, fictitious happenings were spun up to paint the entire Counterculture as "Bad". The spitting on returning soldiers....which I can find no actual evidence of...
A few Heroin Addicts ruining the operation of some Commune, somewhere...
Etc etc.
Isolated, or even Made Up, events were spotlighted...the Machine pointed, and said, "See!?".
The last half of the 70's were like a bad hangover...
Disco came out of nowhere...the Machine's first effective foray into using Music as a Mind Weapon...
Coke was the drug of well as Booze....Lizard Brain Drugs.
Carter was ineffective.(I wonder how much of the problems of Carter were manufactured by the Machine.)
The predictable happened.
By the 80's, and Reagan, it was all over.
Collective Shame, on the part of the adults...
Instead of Tune in, Turn on, Drop was Finish school, Cut Yer Hair and get a Job.
One of the effects of St Ron's Ideology was the eviscerating of 50 years of Democratic Common Cause/Common Man regulation of Corporate America.
Immortal Fictions were People, too!...and "deserved" Civil Rights as much as Black Folks and Women.

S&L, Miliken, Iran Contra, panama, Grenada...Just Say No!...
8 years of BS,+4 years of a smidgen more palatable BS...
All the while "Conservatives" demonised the Left...who were, apparently, still Hung Over...and wallowing in a sort of Post Orgy Shamefest- Zietgeist.The Actual Left,"Real Liberals", disappeared during this time...the entire political spectrum moved far to the Right, so that Democrats were, in reality, merely less Rightward than Republicans...leading to much confusion(which could be exploited).
Reagan's many Failures were Ignored, or blamed on Carter...
These were my Formative Years...and i remember the Oppressive Quality of that Time, very well.
The Right succeeded in making the Left ashamed of the "excesses" of the 60's...regardless of what really happened.
meanwhile the Right exhibited Monstrous Shamelessness...they didn't seem to care when they were caught out doing dastardly things.
Lies, Obfuscations, Red Herrings...thrown around everywhere.
St Ron crashed the economy, and was ballyhood for saving it.
His policies ramped up the largest debts in history, yet this remembered as the Icon of Fiscal Responsibility.
The Left went into hiding....they didn't know how to counter such deliberate Surreality.
Right Wing Mythology, Ideology, Trumped Reality...
and for the next 30 years, the Right dragged the country, the Mind of America, so far to the Right,that we can likely never get back.
Russia collapsed under it's own weight...St Ron claimed Responsibility.
Add another plank to the Surreality, the Mythology.
Enter Clinton.
New Democrat....which means that the "Left" had accepted their place on the Right of the spectrum...whithout anyone really noticing.
Clinton made noises that sounded like classic Liberal Rhetoric, but governed from the Center Right.
He continued the Deregulation Frenzy...launched ill concieved "Wars" on 3rd World Countries that Multinational Corporations figgered they "needed" access to....dismantled "Welfare"...
His failure to Inhale...and his questionable judgment, as far as Mistresses...he was Perfect!
He handed the Right just about everything they wanted...and set the stage for the arrival of lil George and the Neoconservatives....and the End Game.


This Narrative flies right into the face of "Conventional Wisdom"...the system of Mythological Constructs that we are expected to use to view the world.
CW says that this is all "Conspiracy Theory", and, thus, Crazy Talk.
I'll clarify.
Consider the Corporation.
An artificial Entity, Created on has no body, no mind...yet it exerts Influence in the Real, Objective World.
It is made up of, on the one hand, potentially Millions of Individual Human Beings...from Janitors to CEO...
On the other, it consists of nothing more than a collection of Ideas.
Being Bodiless, cannot die (at least as long as there are Humans left to Believe in it).
Let us assume that this Corporation is a Chemical Company, created for the business of producing Poisons.
The Bottom Line, the Logic of this Corporation, doesn't consider any Environmental or Human Costs...
It makes Sense, whithin this System of Logic, to Socialise Risk, Pollution and Public Infrastructure.
Say, for the sake of Argument, the CEO, and the board of Directors, have an Epiphany....they accidentally become aware of the Damage their Corp. is doing....and Repent. Resolve to clean it all up, and Sin No More.
The Entity that is the Corporation, while having no Mind, will replace them.
The Shareholders, or whatever...the most Psychopathic of It's Human Constituents..will get rid of the "Problem."
The Epiphany is Inimical to the Logic of the Corporation.The System of Ideas, itself, will prevail.
The Artificial Creation, the Corp., has become Sentient...Independant of it's Creators.
(This scenario has actually happened, btw..with a carpet company, among other instances.)
Take this concept, and apply it to the Government, to the Institutions that Run the World, to the Global Civilisation, itself.
That, is the Machine.

It is made up of Millions, Billions of Individual Humans...and Goups of Humans...all making Individual Decisions.
But those Decisions are made within the Logic System of the Machine, itself.
A Trillion Individual Decisions, made by Millions of Individual Humans, have, over 100 years or more, led us to a point where "We" are no longer in control of the World.
Our Creations are in Control.
The Individuals, and disparate Groups of Individuals, didn't see this coming...their myriad Decisions were made because they fit the Logic System.
It was Logical to do these things!
It made sense, at the time.

Now, in the Hypersurreality that is Post-9-11 America, we have difficulty even conceiving a different Paradigm, or even perceiving the Nature of the Current Paradigm.
As a Fish cannot see the Water, we swim in a Dream Reality..our narrow Worldview reenforced by Mundane Worries and Cares...the Complexity is beyond our Understanding, and serves to bolster our perceived Helplessness to DO anything about the myriad problems.
These Problems are seen as Discreet Phenomena...disconnected, alone, unrelated to anything else or to each other....much like Us.
A Comprehensive Look at the World, as Interconnected...Big labelled "Conspiracy Theory" is lumped together with the John Birch Society and various Alien Grey Enthusiasts...
In addition, all Opinions, all "Points of View" carry Equal Value.
Both "Sides" of a given dispute are considered Equally Valid, and given (presumedly) Equal Time.For all the bemoaning of "Moral Reletavism", the Machine's own Champions can't see their own.
With the aforementioned disembowlment of Critical Thinking, and of Generalist Thinking,let alone the Focus on Short Term, we are trapped in an Ideological/Mythological Cage of Unecessary Complexity.
Everywhere, there is Complexity...often for Complexity's Sake...even if this Complexity is Counterproductive...even if it actually does Violence to whatever it was instituted to accomplish.
The Machine has taken all the disparate Dystopian Warnings...from 1984 to A Handmaid's Tale,... and used them, seemingly, as a Manual, to Fashion our World.


2:30 am looked like 4:30 am to my half conscious mind.
So I made coffee, and am on my 3rd the real 4;30 am.
I am, of course, thinking about politics.
Today is Beck's Big Show..."Restoring Honor"...and "Reclaiming the Civil Rights Movement"....reclaiming it from "Liberals", he says.
Liberals who have hijacked it, presumably.
MLK as Right Wing Hero...what a world.
Like Voltaire didn't say, "I'll defend, to the death, their right to say it"...but this is bordering on the proverbial yelling of "Fire!"
This is but the latest iteration of the program of Mind Fuck from the Right.
It is a melding of Anti Gov, Libertarian sentiments...with "Conservative Christians" called "Values Voters"...
DoubleThink, Cognitive Dissonance, Astroturf.
With ample funding from the richest folks in America, and the World,this "Movement" has gathered a real head of steam.
It is Psy-Op at it's finest....I am amazed, sometimes, at the sheer audacity of it all.
The Fascists have taken the playbook of 1960's Lefty Radicals, and used it to form a Counter-Movement...convincing fearful people to wholeheartedly support an agenda of Corporate Rapine and Plunder, and a Worldview that is so Surreal as to be rediculous.
Indeed, real Liberals, like me, have a hard time taking it all seriously.
But I believe we must.
The Unhinged, the Reality-Challenged, among us are Uniting...growing in Power and Influence...ready to Rise up.
These are Dangerous Times.
Their Mythological Reality has become just as Real as the Objective small feat.
What a Masterful Stroke!
There are Powerful Magicians on the right...deep in their Thinktanks...They have managed, in a mere 30 years, to so distort Reality, and the Language and Ideas we use to apprehend it, that a goodly portion of the country actually believes this nonsense.
Indeed, even Liberals have fallen prey to their Crazy...we use their Definitions without even thinking...the Defaults in our Meme-Space are theirs...
Take 'Values Voter": it is Implied that Liberals have no Values, or Value. Hell, "Liberal" has been a perjorative for my whole life!
They own "Christian"...and "Conservative"...neither of which have any relation to their former meanings.
"Patriot", "Liberty" , even "Democracy" have this kind of Dog Whistle Quality to them, wherein they mean something to the Right...that is much different than what we, on the left, think they mean.
Our own Liberal Predilictions are used against us....we are hardwired for Fairness...for Honesty...
We give them Equal Time, and assume that they are being forthright...assume that they have a desire, like us, to come to an aggreement...a middle ground....that the apprehension of Truth, of Understanding, is a Common Goal.
but this is not the case.
The right is interested in Victory, not Compromise.
Compromise = Weakness.
Thought leads to the possibilty of Compromise (might learn something to change your opinion)...ergo, Thought is Bad.
Action is better.
Belief is what matters...Certainty.
This is something Liberals have difficulty understanding....I know I did.
We habitually weigh positions, test hypotheses, study and fret and is easy to assume that everyone would do the same.
This is Not the case.
There are 3 types of Right Wing folks.
1. The ones who actually benefir from the Undoing of Enlightenment; the Elite, atop the Economic Pie.
2. Their Enablers, who must hope to get something out of being so False, and working for the undoing of the Enlightenment.
and 3. The Great Fearful and Ignorant Masses...those who have been convinced that "Liberals" are the Evil Ones, that "Liberals", and their assorted Proxies (Brown folks, Terrists, Commies, Queers and Atheists) are the ones out to End America, Take our Freedom and Kill Us All!(see Fromm,"Escape from Freedom")
They have been so Traumatised by the Policies of the Right that they would be pathetic, if they weren't o dangerous.
The Defunding and Demonisation and Purposeful Counterproductivity of Public Education has left these folks, and everyone else, too Ignorant and Befuddled to see their Folly.
The Deregulation of, and Socialism for, Corporate America has left them Vulnerable and Destitute.
The Human Gains made up into the late 60's were sold to them as "Too Radical", as something to be Feared and Dispised.( a good portion of Americans, according to polls, think Free Speech should be regulated, in an obscene irony)
More recently, Great Tragidies were allowed to get out of hand, to become Existential Threats,so as to make the World even more Fearsome.
911, the willfully stupid "response" to Katrina, the Criminal Evisceration of the economy...the last Republican President and his "Administration", had the opportunity to stop, or at least mitigate, all of these, and more.
Instead, they not only Let Them Happen, they made things worse....then successfully turned the blame onto the nonexistant Left, and the New Guy...the Black Guy.
An Honest, Objective look at recent History reveals this to be the Unvarnished Truth.
But the Captive Corporate Media, and the Mind Poison administered these past 30-40 years, have had their predictable effect.
This is the way the world ends...


I just watched, on Live TV, the last American Combat Troops cross the Kuwaiti Border...out of Iraq.
The Seven Year Folly is " over."
There are still 50,000 "Support and Training" Troops remaining...and there's that Monolithic Imperial Embassy....and all manner of Airfields and Bases...and a Ruined Country...and (my personal peeve) an unknown number of missing, stolen or destroyed Priceless Artifacts, dating from the very Beginning of Civilisation, that we left unguarded.
There is also,presumably, the Largest Light Sweet Crude Deposit left on the Planet.
The Last Mega-Field.
Ergo, we ain't gone...
We'll be back.
In any case, we're still in the Neighborhood...Kuwait,Bahrain,Qatar, Turkey,Kyrgestan,Khazakstan,Turkmenestan,Diego Garcia,and...of course,...Afghanistan...where we are building another Imperial Stronghold (Embassy).(in Pakistan, as well)
We have a Presence in Somalia, too....the better to keep an Imperial Eye on the Gulf of Aden, and the approaches to the Red Sea, and Suez.(Tanker trail to Europe)There are indications that we will "have to" enter Yemen, as well.
This is NOT the equivalent of the Legions leaving Britannia.
And it doesn't have anything to do with Decline of is not the case that we don't have the Money.
It has everything to do with the Decline of Easy Oil.
The American Empire will see it's Millions of Po' Folks die in Camps, before it will abandon Iraqi Oilfields.
5,10,15,20 years from now..whenever the effects of Peak Oil are being felt the hardest, we will return.
By then the Depleted Uranium Dust we have strewn will have done it's work...the Iraqi People will be a shadow of what they no shape to fight.
We'll come in, with Medicine, with will be sold as a Humanitarian Mission...
But the Oil Companies will tag along, much like the Missionaries went with the Conquistadores.
The Empire will have it's virtual hand on the Spigot.
Iraq, while appearing to be a vast Wasteland, is some of the most valuable real estate on the Planet.
This whole Media Frenzy has more to do with the upcoming Elections.
It's for the consumption of potential Swing Voters, and the Dissilusioned Democratic Base.


5am August 2,2010....
It was 103 degrees, yesterday.
Yet it feels cool, this morning.
We might have an actual Autumn, this year.
I smell woodsmoke...and I can tell ,by the smell, that it is from an "old" fire....the last log was added around Midnight, and it was allowed to burn down to coals.
Long experience with campfires and early mornings...
The stars, and a half-moon, are bright...the crickets, mighty gears of Night, are loud, but at the same time, they're tired.
I am Tired.
I have accomplished much, this Summer...but there is much more yet to do.
I do not look forward to this last trip to Magnolia...then to Kingwood, for my Neice's Birthday...
I hate going back there.
Too many people, too many Memories, many of which I have only begun to remember in the last six months...
Facebook, and hooking up with Mel, has opened doors in my Mind...
I cannot tell if the Hole in my Memory is due to the wreck (20 years, this December), or to repression.
I had a hard time, back then.
As I've said, I was always the Outsider...the smart kid, the strange kid.
I never felt like I "Fit"...anywhere.
I have long suspected that there is something about me...some "Vibe" I give off...that others can,unconsciously, percieve...
At first, I chalked it up to my appearance...but I have cut my hair, many times...(usually ,in a failed attempt to get a job).
I think it's something else.
I realise that I am somewhat Hyperaware....and "Sensitive", in that I notice small looks, and facial expressions.
This is how , without any actual Training, that I can Track...I'm uncanny, in the Woods.
I have Dog unnerving ability to hear things that others can't. This contributes to my Innate Musicality, I reckon.
Despite years of smoking, I also retain an almost scary sense of smell and taste. Hence my almost accidental skill at Cooking/Chef-Hood.
I "Know Things"...I don't know how I do it, but I retain Knowledge...I can't consciously call up this Knowledge, but when I need it, it is there...Bubbling up from a deep Well in my Mind.
I pick up, say, a National Geographic...I figger I haven't read this particular issue since right after it came out...30 years ago (I have them, going back to 1964)...but when I read it, it's not new. It's like I read it 10 minutes ago.
Where is this material stored?
How much "Room" is there?
I retain Copious Knowledge....accidentally.
Yet, until recently, I have been unable to remember a large-ish portion of my Life...and what I have remembered has been chronologically jumbled...chaotic.
I have no "sense" of Chronology...I am Timeless.
What preceded what, and when did such-and-such happen?
I cannot say.
I have determined, due to employment records needed for my failed attempt at Disability, that I was only in Austin for 2, perhaps 3, seems like so much longer.
How did I fit so much Experience into my Life?
My Wild Years? How long did they last?
I seem to have, again inadvertantly, crammed several Lifetimes into one.
Perhaps it was because I started, really, at 16.
When I left Mom's, and moved in with Dad, I thought of myself as an Adult.
Dad was aloof, distracted by his own sense of Helplessness and Failure.The Divorce really hit him hard.
So I was pretty much on my own.
The downside was a lack of instruction.
(which I didn't realise,or mind, at the time.)
I got (I thought) assimilated, acculturated, by watching my peers, reading books and applying my considerable intellect.
In retrospect, this was a gigantic failure!
One, the friends that I liked the most were, all of them, in "Trouble" all the time.
Some of them were, when ya get right down to it, not the sharpest tools in the shed.
Two, the books I lived in were, most of them, written by Mad Geniuses....continually bucking Authority, and sometimes paying the Ultimate Price for it.
They had Integrity, but not what one could reasonably call an easy life.(turns out that our Civilisation places little value on Integrity, or Intellect...despite the Rhetoric and Sloganeering to the contrary.)
This leads to Intellect.
As I said, our Civilisation gives much Lip-Flapping Time to the Value of Intellect.
One learns, even in our poor excuses for schools, about the Great Writers, Scientists, Statesmen, etc.
But in the Real World, Heaven Forbid that a Young Genius shows a Glimmer of Thought!
That is much too risky!

And when that Young Person starts to notice the Lies and Contradictions that our Civilisation is built on,...well.
Can't allow that...

The unspoken Assumption is that our current Paradigm, our current Modus Opperandi...the Way We Do Things it! The Pinnacle, The End of History.(Fukyama)
Everything that has gone before has led up to this Ultimate Point.
There can be no more Innovation, save that which furthers and maintains the Current Paradigm...the Machine.
There can be no Alternative to the Way We Do Things...not even small enclaves of Experimentation....
Word of the success of these Alternatives might get out, and threaten the Machine.(see: Cuba)
Thinking "Outside the Box", while praised, is to be Discouraged, if not Outlawed, entirely.
The Machine can Brook No Competitors...much the same way that Fundamentalists insist that their God is some kind of Tough Guy, yet need to stamp out the adherants of anything else....lest their Version lose the Battle.

These are the things that have occupied my Mind, from an early age.
I resisted the Borg-Like Assimilation into Corporate America...and became Feral.
The most Dngerous Enemies of the Machine are those who do not Believe in it...those who Resist, and can present well-reasoned arguments Why they Resist...
I am Outside the Box, Personified.
A Dangerous Anomaly.
This is, admittedly, a very hard row to hoe, but what am I to do?
Integrity of Thought led me here.
All of my Crusading is against mere facets of One Thing....the Machine, and the Lies and Inconsistancies and Obfuscations by which it is Maintained.

Whether it is the DrugWar, Corporate America or the High School Hair is all of a piece.
Unwarranted Control over the Mind of Man...based on Logical Fallacy and "Say So".
I must fight it...because it is Wrong!
And now that I am old and cripple, now that it seems that my race is almost run, I must hand my Baton to my Sons...
That they may continue the Fight.
For there is something in Mankind that wants to be Ruled, wants "someone" to "do something"...
and as long as that is the case, there will be a Machine to exploit it...for Fun and Profit.
Because there are also Men whose Avarice, whose Lust, drives them...they are Exploited by the Machine, as well....
This is Ironic, since they(or folks like them) Created the damned thing to begin with.
When the first Priest convinced the first Farmers to give him a parcel of Grain, in return for intercession with the Divine....the Machine began.
The fight has been a low flame for 10,000 years, and grew to a great blaze with the advent of Technology and the Science of Mind...the early 20th Century.
The Machine lost ground for nearly 500 years...what we call the Enlightenment...but it has adapted since around 1914...and become enormously Powerful since 1945.
Since1980 when St Ronnie Raygun ascended, the Machine has all but undone the Enlightenment...
The 60's were a scary time for Machine, it was about to lose the fight, once and for all.
The Kids didn't believe, any more.
The Conservative Revolution was the reaction to this.
Fear and Loathing!
The Mythology of "Capitalism" and Christian America...
The Nazis that the CIA imported must have been enormously helpful....
Fascism, Perfected!
Cloaked in the Mythology, wearing the Garment of Freedom and Democracy, the Machine fooled us.
We went willingly.
We asked for our Chains.
We handed over our Minds...and those of our Children.
Except for Oddballs like me....
It is in Oddballs that we must place our Hope.
Strange Birds, who are Immune from the Machinations...from the Mythology.
It is difficult to realise that the Race will never be won...that there is no Happy Ending.
This Fight is Eternal.
And, rather than be depressed and discouraged by this fact, we must stand firm, and continue.
Even when it is Darkest....and I suspect that these are much Darker Times than even Nazi Germany(for the simple reason that they appear so very Bright on the surface)...we must continue.
This is the Great Purpose of Anomaly.
To Continue.