Monday, October 31, 2011

annals of moranitude

So we got Cain the Brain making wild and demonstrably false claims about Planned Parenthood's gencidal plots, Wick Pewwy trying to pump up the Iraq War so it can be held over for another year or so, Michele Bachmann muttering incoherently -- something about the Holy Ghost and the fire -- and the Obama administration trying to float embarrassingly phony stories about Iranian plots to use a debt-addled used-car salesman to assassinate ambassadors and partner with al Qaida.

The clowns of our political circus have been refusing to deal with the country's real problems for years now, but only recently has their show degenerated into neanderthalish grunts and crude gestures calculated to appeal to whom? Who is the intended audience for this kind of pathetic idiocy? Morons and mouth breathers?

The American political system is now deader than a smoked oyster. Big changes are coming, but they're going to come from the bottom and percolate upward -- from the grassroots.

The most important thing now is for each of us to take our lives back, to live the way we see fit, free from megabanks and poisonous agribusiness pesticides and lobotomizing televised moranitude, all of which can easily be replaced by habits and activities which promote life and confer dignity -- organic gardening and reading for pleasure, for example.

And of course, a large part of composting the rotted-out remnant of our political system will only occur when we confront their domestic police army of aggression, out in the streets.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

old scenes revisited

Today as I was going home I was briefly held captive at the Hood Canal Bridge, because the drawbridge had opened to let a nuclear submarine go through. I'm sure I'll sleep better tonight having been reminded that we have a nuclear submarine fleet based out of Bangor, to ward off the Soviet threat and keep those dirty commies over there from trying anything funny with Uncle Sam.

Like I said, the captivity was short, but not short enough, because the ferry was pulling away from the dock just as I and a bunch of other people arrived at the tollbooths. But what the hell, I'm retired now, and have nothing but time so it don't make no nevermind.

The reason I was over there on the other side of the Great Water of the Salish Sea, attempting to negotiate boat schedules and the Hood Anal Bridge was because I spent another weekend over there in the enchanted forest. It's lovely in the enchanted forest, and it's also getting to be a habit. And that's OK.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

pluto's rule

Like anything else, if there's only a limited amount of good journalism available, we have to import some. Al Jazeera ran a very good program on the Kochs last night on their series "People and Power."

In the 2010 congressional elections, the Kochs and their partners spent at least $40m, helping to swing the balance of power in the US House of Representatives towards right-wing Tea Party Republicans. It has been reported that the Kochs are planning to raise and spend more than $200m to defeat Obama in 2012. But the brothers could easily kick in more without anyone knowing due to loopholes in US law.

The Kochs founded and provide millions to Americans for Prosperity, a political organisation that builds grassroots support for conservative causes and candidates. Americans for Prosperity, which has 33 state chapters and claims to have about two million members, has close ties to Tea Party groups and played a key role in opposing Obama's health care initiative.

It was Americans for Plutocracy Prosperity that got that little weasel Scott Walker installed in the Wisconsin governor's office, and it's no exaggerration to say that these overcompensated, nefarious clowns. through their control of state houses, have usurped the rule of large parts of the country. They're said by al Jazeera to be on the verge of unseating Obama and getting one of their fascist tools installed in the White House. Pwesident Wick Pewwy?

They will soon experience a head-on collision with a rapidly-percolating revolution.

Friday, October 28, 2011

po townsend

The well-preserved and impeccably Victorian tourist destination of Port Townsend, perched at the far northeast tippy-toe of the Olympic Peninsula, is experiencing a sign of the times -- a cash crunch.

The reasons for all the deficit, revenue, and spending problems plaguing localities all across the country are too well known already to rehash here: lack of revenue sharing from the fed to the states means states have less money to share with municipalities, but by far the biggest problem is declining tax revenues due to the collapse of real estate values in the Great Recession of 2007 to the present.

So now, with very low cash reserves and a $21-million-dollar debt, the city administration's political opponents are sharpening knives and grumbling that Port Townsend is on the verge of bankruptcy.

“I am not apologizing for the decisions this council has made,” (Mayor Michelle) Sandoval said at Monday night's City Council meeting, referring to city investments in utility and infrastructure upgrades. “We have shown leadership in tough times. The city is not on the verge of bankruptcy, despite the fact that the detractors in the community relish the thought of that.”

Infrastructure and utilities upgrades are certainly worthy of municipal spending since they put people to work, but if the two traffic roundabouts recently installed presumably to slow traffic on the city's main access road and highway into town are an example of the type of spending the mayor is talking about, I would question the city's choice of projects.

But I, like most of the people around here, have a lot more to learn about this situation, which has been kept quiet up until now.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

journalism = history

The best daily, comprehensive coverage of the 99 percent movement that I've seen is at the Think Progress blog.


From Juan Cole's blog (

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

the robotnor hour

A day after he refused to endorse an Ohio ballot measure that limits public employee union rights, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said Wednesday that he is "110 percent" behind the effort.

readem hia.

wtf news

Omigod this is incroyable.

Rev Pat Robertson says on TV that the GOP base is "too extreme."

Well, if a man of God says it, I believe it.

And this from a guy who once publicly asked God to create more vacancies on the court.

clicka clicka whirr whirr

The biggest problem the Romney thing will have with getting elected is that it's not human. Everybody made a big deal about electing a black president or a woman president, but are we ready for a robotic, non-human president?

Every time a reporter asks the Romney thing a question, there's a momentary pause as the gears mesh and the answer, statistically engineered to please the largest and offend the smallest numbers of voters, issues from the thing's "mouth" with a kind of burry, raspy, mechanically articulated sound meant to approximate the human voice.

As with its sound, so with its look, and the Romney thing does have the superficial look of a clothes-wearing hominid, though it appears to be suffering from anxieties so extreme that its face is about to fall off. That will never happen, though, because if it did the voters would see the solid-state electronics behind that carefully-configured, handsome "face."

This is the true source of the Romney thing's "electability problem" -- that most voters deep down suspect what it really is, and are aware on some level of what it's really not.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

let the dead bury the dead

As it invariably does, the conversation at BeliefNet returned once more to the virtues of faux-democracy and the efficacy of voting. One correspondent suggested fines for those who neglect their civic duty, especially for those who don't vote and then "whine about government not working."

But I say What's the point of voting? (Except in local elections, of course.)

To do so is to participate in the moribund political system of a country that no longer exists.

RIP USA, impaled on the triple horns of endless war, endless debt, and the hallucination of endless growth.

the museum of endless growth

A lot of the people opposed to the occupation and some who are involved in it tend to
forget that #OWS doesn't oppose a system that's still viable.

The American economy and US government had already ceased functioning in any rational or self-sustaining way long before the occupation arose spontaneously. The resistance now occupies a cadaver, or more accurately, a zombie.

Credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations, liars' loans and multi-trillion-dollar deficits, endless wars and the hallucination of endless growth -- these were the means by which the old regime destroyed itself.

The "stupid? or evil?" question remains interesting. Personally I'm leaning toward "stupid," or maybe even "unconscious."

Monday, October 24, 2011


(First published April 17, 2009)

Far, far, far to the east the conquerer wanders
For 13 years, forsaking home and family,
East of Delphi, east of Eden, even east of Nod.
High, high into the heavens they follow him,
clambering over the ancient Pāriyatra Parvat,
Just below God's throne.

And then across the desert at the top
Of the world, his dusty fighters dying of thirst,
Neither wishing to stop, nor willing to go on,
Until at last that fabled stream, the Oxus
Reaches out to them, renews them, and
So they cross over, into the enchanted place --
Bactriana beyond the Kush.

Drunkenly veering, slashing and cutting
A crimson eastward-trending gash across the land,
Living on blood, hung over at the van of a screeching mob
Of dusty savages in rusty breastplates,
Neither aware of his crimes nor knowing why
he does them, leaving a harem of sore-butt boys
in his train, now the conqueror pauses at last.

Bactriana! land of strange and hairy beasts,
And well-horsed warriors who fly like wind
On their shaggy ponies, but who stood like stones,
locked up with fear when Iskander's name comes to their ears.
But he, knowing that his numbers are reduced,
And never by careless arrogance seduced,
Looks round for sheltering walls.

A local baron with a marriageable daughter
Prudently offers the conqueror shelter, rest and water.
Barely sixteen, but spurred by ambition and her only chance,
This embryonic Queen of the World adorns herself to dance.
And there at the roof of the world, stars fell in showers of gold,
The night Roxanne of Bactria danced for the conqueror of old.

Northern Indian miniature: "Roxanne and Alexander." Click on image for a larger view.



I inadvertently left my computer's power plug on the Olympic Peninsula when I came home from there yesterday, so there'll be very light posting for the first part of the week.

--Forgetful Jones

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lips, Inc.

The USA I'm living in right now consists of decent, hard-working people, most of whom try to be completely honest in their dealings with each other. It's that old "treat others the way you'd like to be treated" thing. And I do love this country.

The higher up you go on the social ladder, the more false faces you see.

At the highest echelons of government, banking, and business, you can always tell when people are lying. You know you're being lied to whenever their mouths are moving.

Friday, October 21, 2011

which one is the dummy?

This is just coming over the TV today:

(CNN) -- The United States will withdraw almost all its troops from Iraq by the end of the year, as a current agreement with Iraq dictates, a U.S. official told CNN Friday.

Only about 150 troops, a negligible force, will remain to assist in arms sales.

It stands to reason we'll soon be out of there, since the government we ourselves installed to act as our puppet has ordered us to go, so they can conclude their alliance with Iran without any interference.

Things have come to a pretty pass when the dummy starts ordering the ventiloquist around.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

on the road again

Today was a work and travel day, with no time to post.

G'daffy died last night, as did my aunt. At 99 she was the last of the siblings.

Also, the oldest member of our local yoga community died, at 90.

Tempus fugit.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

the boner gap

TBogg is a very funny guy who writes a sub-blog at, and yesterday he picked up on a fleck of drool that dropped glisteningly from the keyboard of David Brooks, the Times's most celebrated clueless columnist.

Brooks wrote: This project begins with the pessimism and anger you see in the protest movements. Seventy percent of Americans now say their country is in decline, according to various polls. When people are gloomy they have fewer babies, and, sure enough, fertility rates have dropped sharply, with the most dramatic plunges occurring in the hardest hit states, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

And TBogg snarkily responds: Yes, when people are having sex at all, it’s sad sex and not the kind of sad cringing weeping sex that Marcus Bachmann has with his “wife” in order to keep up appearances. No, America has become flaccid and desultory; a nation that once said “Yes, we can!” now says “I have to get up early and stand in line for government cheese and, besides, Tim Allen is on Leno…”

...Third parties have formed over smaller things than this. And not yours, yours is perfectly… average.

Now I take sex very seriously, because like it or not, it's how we all got here. Still, does David Brooks really think that a lack of erotic enthusiasm among the victims of mass unemployment and foreclosure, people who don't have a hard on or a window to throw it out of, is significant? Or even surprising?

clash of the dinosaurs

There was something new in the big clown show, aka Republican debate last night.

I haven't seen any video, but from the stills the news sites are running it looked like Perry was about to give Romney a good ol' redneck ass kicking.

And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Matthew Arnold, "Dover Beach"

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

let there be drums

I played drums for 50 years, both as a vocation and an avocation, and even though I no longer play, still appreciate those who do as well as the great ones of the past.

Other than Gene Krupa and along with Buddy Rich, probably the most influential pre-Vietnam-era drummer was Luigi Paulino Alfredo Francesco Antonio Balassoni, better known by his stage name, Louie Bellson. He pioneered the use of double-bass kits and is the only white drummer I know of who ever played with Duke Ellington's Orchestra. Here he is soloing in 1957.

By coincidence, or because, as a reliable source told me today, the Italians have always been going into Africa, one of the best two or three drummers in the world playing right now is also Italian. Andrea Vadrucci, born near the little town of Lecce and now residing in Los Angeles, has all of Louie Bellson's intensity, plus his strokes are even more precisely executed than the great master's. I attribute this to the matched grip drummers use nowadays, which is far superior to the unmatched grip all of us used in prehistoric times, before Ringo Starr and the Beatles made their first appearance on Ed Sullivan.

Vadrucci, performing under the name Vadrum, tears up the theme from the video game SuperMario Bros.

dirty fucking hippies

What with Eric Cantor, everybody's fave fascist gunsul, saying over the weekend that income inequality in the US is '"a problem," even some of the banksters "on the 31st floor" behind that plutocratic "gold plated door"* are having second thoughts about where they've taken us.

According to Krugman this morning, "Right now, the two most prominent institutions calling for an end to the disastrous turn to short-run austerity are … Goldman Sachs and the International Monetary Fund."


"Meanwhile, the IMF special report for the G20 (pdf) is essentially a declaration that the focus on universal austerity was wrong, wrong, wrong."

So it turns out the hippies were right. Not just about this, but about everything.

The moral of the story: be a hippie.

*In quotes: lyrics from "Sin City" by the Flying Burrito Brothers, 1970.


I swear I'm going to get myself kicked off Beliefnet someday, and today might be the day. If somebody baits me with a garbage ball, I'm likely to respond like an enraged white shark, as happened this morning, when I wrote in response to base canards and outrageous provocations:

"I just want to say that I am no longer willing to discuss anything at all in terms conceived and manipulated by backward pro-plutocracy militarisitic fascist clueless Republican buttholes. As far as I'm concerned you can take all your market-driven, supply side fantasies to a very small lake and drop a depth charge on them.

"Anybody who's looking at the world rather than the interior of his own rectal cavity is going to be very busy today participating in a genuine revolution, and we don't have time to argue with God's own special education class."

I would give the web address so anybody interested could read the entire thread, except for the fact that anybody who's reading this on a Microsoft P.C. would soon find his or her machine clogged with adware, spyware, and various other Satanic fecalia derived from the so-called "free market" for which BNet has sold itself like a common streetwalker.

Monday, October 17, 2011

marathon man

Fauja Singh of London, UK is shown here training earlier in the week for the Toronto Marathon, which he competed in and finished yesterday.

He didn't win, but he set a record. Singh was born in Punjab state, India 100 years ago, and is the oldest person to date to complete a Marathon.

I'm glad to have become a health nut.


From Susie's place:

By a 67 – 23 percent margin, New York City voters agree with the views of the Wall Street protesters and say 87 – 10 percent that it is “okay that they are protesting,” according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Susie also mentions that today is the one-month anniversary of the occupation.

whores of a different color

Herman Cain is apparently nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Koch brothers.

Michele Bachmann was right; Cain's "999" tax plan is an upside down 666, proving once again that even a clock that's stopped is right twice a day.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

the india rubber man

The seven billionth live human will be born somewhere in this world about the time of Halloween this year.

World population didn't reach one billion until around 1830, about 180 years ago.

The most recent addition of a billion souls took only 12 years,

India has the fastest-growing population of any country, and will surpass China to become the world's most populous nation by 2025. Her numbers grew by 17.6 percent in the last decade, to 1.21 billion.

India's government and business establishment hope their population boom will be an engine for economic growth, but I think they're going to reap a bitter harvest.

blind lemon

He had a high-pitched, piercing voice and a unique fingerpicking style very uncharacteristic of blues. Blind Lemon Jefferson's sometimes arhythmic delivery includes long, drawn-out notes that ratchet up the intensity.

He played with Leadbelly in Texas in the early days. He recorded for the low-rent label Paramount, whose inferior-quality products produce a scratchy, inferior sound. It takes effort to listen to Jefferson, but he repays it.

His most famous tune is "That Black Snake Moan;"

OOOOO-ooooooo, black snake crawlin in my room;
OOOOO-ooooooo, black snake crawlin in my room;
Some pretty mama better come here and get this black snake soon.

But my current Blind Lemon favorite is another moan which follows the same template as Black Snake:

Long distance, long distance, I can't help but moan;
Long distance, long distance, I can't help but moan;
My baby's voice is so sweet it just about breaks the telephone.

You don't know you love your rider till she's so far from you;
You don't know you love your rider till she's so far from you;
You get that long distance moan and you don't know what to do.

His biggest fear was that he would get lost in the snow and die. In 1929, in Chicago, returning home from work, he was caught in a blizzard, became disoriented and couldn't find help, and expired in the early morning hours.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

the living and the half alive

"What!" cried the ants in surprise, "haven't you stored anything away for the winter? What in the world were you doing all last summer?"

"I didn't have time to store any food," complained the grasshopper; "I was so busy playing music that before I knew it the summer was gone."

The ants shook their heads in disgust, turned their backs on the grasshopper and went on with their work.

Whenever I hear that story, I always relate to the sensitive and musical grasshopper, never with those mean and nasty ants.

It IS prudent to plan for the future, but keep in mind that tomorrow never comes. Every time I wake up it's always today.

cracks in the facade

Un-named American government "officials" are expressing doubts about the administration's latest ham-handed attempts to concoct a phony "terrorist plot" they can use as a pretext for attacking Iran.

Reuters has the story via Talking Points Memo.

While President Barack Obama and top aides have been united this week in grave warnings over an alleged Iranian assassination plot, some U.S. government officials are privately expressing disquiet that the outlandish-sounding plan has triggered U.S. calls for stiff new action against Iran.

les liasons dangereuses

The Occupy Roma protests in Italy have turned violent today, but participants are tweeting that the violence was instigated by undercover cops.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

handsome nudist truck driver seeks same

This guy with a computer whose sound system that malfunctioned some time back asked me what Liz Warren was saying in that video from a couple days ago. I told him that you really have to hear it, because she says all kinds of things you wouldn't expect.

So did her opponent, handsome nudist truck driver and incumbent US Senator Scott Brown, when he said he was glad she didn't have to take her clothes off to pay for college.

I read it in the Huffenpuff Postitnote.

Sen. Scott Brown, thou art a chauvinist swine and a retrograde meatball.

overcooked curry

The blog Whiskeyfire
has this picture and this item from the Associated Press:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The sponsor of the law that made it legal to carry a gun into bars in Tennessee is facing charges of possession of a handgun while under the influence and drunken driving.

Rep. Curry Todd, a Collierville Republican, was pulled over in Nashville late Tuesday, according to court documents. Police said he failed a roadside sobriety test and refused to take a Breathalyzer test. A loaded .38-caliber gun was found in a holster stuffed between the driver's seat and center console.

A police affidavit said Todd was unsteady on his feet, "almost falling down at times." It concluded that Todd was "obviously very impaired and not in any condition to be carrying a loaded handgun."

Todd told officers that he had consumed two drinks when he was pulled over, according to the affidavit.

The blog also has a quote from Todd worth reading. Check it out.

What are the chances this mope will be re-elected? In Tennessee, probably pretty good.

polish threat

Of all the sorry-ass "terror plots" I've seen over the years, this one is the sorriest.

This is nothing but a phony FBI setup, and another Polish threat, manipulated by bloody-handed criminals seeking an excuse to commit more murders and mayhem.

They're attacking us! They keep trying to attack our fists with their faces!

I guess Uncle Sam is still mad about the Ayatollah Khomeinei calling him "the Great Satan."

Suck it up, asshole. Khomeinei died years ago.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

hard times in the country, down on rupert's farm

Egad, this gets one's cravat in a twist. From the Guardian (UK) via Susie Madrak:

One of Rupert Murdoch’s most senior European executives has resigned following Guardian inquiries about a circulation scam at News Corporation’s flagship newspaper, the Wall Street Journal.

The Guardian found evidence that the Journal had been channelling money through European companies in order to secretly buy thousands of copies of its own paper at a knock-down rate, misleading readers and advertisers about the Journal’s true circulation.

The bizarre scheme included a formal, written contract in which the Journal persuaded one company to co-operate by agreeing to publish articles that promoted its activities, a move which led some staff to accuse the paper’s management of violating journalistic ethics and jeopardising its treasured reputation for editorial quality.

Editorial quality at the WSJ went south when the paper changed hands some years back. Is there anything Murdoch's minions won't lie about?

my favourite dominatrixx

Liz Warren should be running for preznit.

Thanks to Atrios (

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

either is correct

Either is Correct
by: Catboxer

personal stuff

First of all, I apologize to anyone reading this who is not feeling well today due to illness, depression, personal loss, or for any other reason. I realize that it's hard for you to be around people who are experiencing great joy, as I am today.

Sometimes the lyrics to a corny old song express one's feelings perfectly...

Beyond the blue horizon awaits a beautiful day;
Good-bye to cares that bore me; joy is waiting for me.
I see the new horizon; my life has only begun;
Beyond the blue horizon lies a rising sun.

Thank you, my love, for making my life new again.


There were mass arrests in DC this morning, and every Senate office is now locked down.

This is wonderful! The corrupt and incompetent are trembling in fear as well they should, since the enormity of their malfeasance is now common knowledge. It's their own crimes, not us, that they're afraid of.

Atrios wrote this morning: I'm becoming a wee bit more radical in my old age, as it becomes clear that due to both corruption and incompetence (and both! no need to choose) the people who run the world aren't going to do their jobs properly. If the system isn't delivering on its promises then, yes, we need a new system.

Go ahead and hide behind your locked doors. And by the way, Senators of both parties, YOU FAILED.

Monday, October 10, 2011

...and their women are as strong as camels

Chicago is a tough town, and so are its citizens, including those who inaccurately used to be called "the weaker sex."

The Associated Press reports: CHICAGO (AP) — Amber Miller felt contractions just minutes after crossing the finish line at the Chicago Marathon. A few hours later, the suburban Chicago woman — who slogged her way through 26.2 miles while nearly 39 weeks pregnant — delivered a healthy baby girl.

"For me, it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. I was running up until that point anyway," Miller told The Associated Press in an interview from the hospital where she was recovering Monday

Ms. Miller, 27, added somewhat unnecessarily "I am crazy about running."

have a plutocrat for lunch; warren for preznit

Roast on spit over hot coals until tender (that might take a while); serve with blanched baby onions, slivers of ginger root, and teriyaki sauce.

While we're at it, why don't we nominate Liz Warren to run as the #OWS candidate in 2012?

Occupy the White House!

And exile Ken Lewis out of the country, by sending him back to Mississippi where he was hatched.

It's true that Liz doesn't have a great bod like a couple of Republican ladies whose names shall nevermore pass my lips or keyboard. However, she does have something those other two seem to be missing completely.

wtf nation

The top headline in the New York Times this morning: "Recession Officially Over, U.S. Incomes Kept Falling."

The prices of houses keeps falling, too.

There was, and is no recovery. Pay no attention to those babosos behind the curtain.

Jim Kunstler lays it down this morning.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

the trouble with ron paul

The biggest difference between modern times and premodern times is that before about 1750 there were no efficient sources of energy.

Everywhere before 1800 and in some places until after 1900, production was limited by the available energy sources -- mostly the muscles either of humans or domesticated animals. So premodern economies were regimes of low productivity. Ninety percent or more of people living in premodern societies were engaged directly in food production, and their primitive methods generated a small food surplus which supported the society's ten percent who were specialists -- rulers, priests, artisans, scribes, soldiers, and so forth.

Think of what life was like in colonial America in 1750, what transportation was available, how goods were made and marketed, and how people communicated. It is readily apparent that in terms of production and consumption, colonial America was more similar to ancient Egypt of 4,500 years ago than to 21st-century America.

Modern forms of production surpass archaic methods hundreds of times over, due to the kinds of energy sources available to modern societies. In addition, modern production is centralized and concentrated.

Instead of being spread out over the land in thousands of artisans' workshops, modern production takes place in huge factories and the products are distributed world-wide. Building factories, in turn, concentrates capital in amounts that would have been unthinkable 200 years ago.

Exponentially increased productivity increases wealth exponentially. But how is this explosion of wealth to be distributed within modern societies? Since the entire society must be mobilized for modern production to occur, it seems logical that everyone who makes a contribution to the growing pile of wealth ought to be rewarded.

But with some exceptions in various eras and in various places, the history of modern times is mostly a catalog of grotesque social deformity, due to the tendency of the factory owner and the banker-capitalist to keep almost all of the wealth that's generated for themselves, as if it belonged only to them. This is why the industrial slums of Manchester in the 1830's, where starvation-level poverty among the workers was only a mile or two from the factory owner's palace, gave rise to early Communism.

The world we inhabit today is so different from the premodern world of just 250 years ago because modern times have literally transformed the physical, social, moral, and intellectual landscape, demolishing all that went before and creating a new world. The modern era began so recently that we still do not generally acknowledge or understand what it means, so we cling to premodern, archaic theories and ideals, such as the laissez-faire economics model so beloved of the premodern economist, Adam Smith.

If I'm not mistaken, the Libertarian Mr. Paul subscribes to this ancient, barnacle-encrusted view of the world, and believes that if only "the markets" are "free" to operate unrestrained, that a naturally just and equitable distribution of the rewards of production will follow. But the history of the last 200 years shows that "freedom" means first that the factory owner and the banker-capitalist who enables him will be free to seize all the wealth that's produced along with all those microwave ovens and color TV's.

The only remedy for that gross injustice is for the people of modern societies to acquire power equal to that of the owner and capitalist, by the society's establishment of a people's government, i.e. democracy. Such a government regulates production and will work to ensure a just distribution of rewards through such measures as a graduated income tax, Social Security, and universal health care.

Ron Paul is an unusual politician -- uncompromisingly honest, and possessed of great integrity and unimpeachable character. He'd be perfect if he hadn't been born 150 years too late.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

moving right along

Zucotti Park filled to overflowing today, and a second park in addition to it is now occupied -- Washington Square Park.

“We are just expanding,” said group spokesman Patrick Bruner, adding that there were no immediate plans to test the park's 1:00am curfew.

But another organizer, Justine Tunney, 26, was more blunt.

“We plan to stay in Washington Square Park and form a second permanent occupation,” she said

Source for the quotes is Fox News, who have been doing a really excellent job of covering Occupy Wall Street. Do you think Rupert is hedging his bets?

chasing pancho villa

In other Rehooligan news, Texas Governor Wick Pewwy is suggesting that this country send armed forces to Mexico to "kill the drug cartels and keep them off our border."

In 1916, US troops were dispatched to Mexico to capture or kill Pancho Villa. They came home after a few months without having done either of those things.

lies and the lying liars

In a campaign speech yesterday, Willard Romney promised that as president he would "reverse Obama's massive defense cuts."


Friday, October 07, 2011


This makes my head hurt.

"[T]here are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know.”

—Former United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 2002.

So are there any unknown knowns?

killing innocent people every day for 10 years

Writing from Afghanistan where the US and NATO have been making war for an entire decade now, Malalai Joya says

During these bloody years, tens of thousands of innocent civilians have been killed by occupation forces and terrorist groups. When Barack Obama took office in 2008, unfortunately his first news for my people was more conflict and more war. It was during Obama’s administration that civilian death tolls increased by 24%. And the result of the surge of troops of Obama’s administration is more massacres, more crimes, violence, destruction, pain, and tragedy. That’s why he has proved himself as a warmonger -- as second even more dangerous Bush.

Read the whole thing by this women's rights activist and former member of her country's parliament.

raisin cain

Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, who also has a degree in mathematics and a master's in physics, is now in the lead in the Rebooblican horse race.

This stuff about his education is good to know. I guess technocratic pizza guy is an improvement over redneck gunslinger.

Still, I persist in believing H. Cain to be just another pretty rugged, individualistic face. In the end, I have faith that Mittens will prevail, as long as his face doesn't fall off.

I heard that Mittens once went in for a face lift, but when the doctors saw what was underneath it they put it back.

have U got Mittens fever?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

what was the constitution again?

From Truthout; also see Greenwald.

Americans can now be placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions, according to officials.

The 14th amendment to the US Constitution specifies that no citizen may be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process (a trial) which conforms to the rules established by the Fifth amendment.

So much for the rule of law.

foxist news brutalized by ny cops!

Fox News is now thoroughly covering Occupy Wall Street because it's something they can use to get "the base" all in a lather.

Some of their reporting is excellent -- so much so that yesterday a Fox photographer was pepper sprayed in the evening action (28 arrests) and the reporter with him took a baton stroke in the gut.

One of their videos shows this -- a great piece of tape, less than two minutes:

Foxist News, right there on the front lines. You gotta love it!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011


From Steve Jobs - 1955-2011

occupy the bastille

On July 15, 1789, in a small but richly appointed mansion in Paris, a couple of aristocrats named Charles and David, who happened to be brothers, were having their breakfast served by a few of their many servants.

"What does it matter?" asks Charles. "There were only two or three prisoners left in the place."

"They're just blowing off steam," his brother replied. "We don't even...THEY don't even know what they want! Maybe they just want to try to frighten us, but into doing what? We don't control the price of bread!"

"Well," says Charles, "it goes up a couple sous and the people are revolting."

"Yes," says David, "aren't they?"


Calling Dr. Guillotine...

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

reporting from beckistan

Argh. This is from Media Matters:

Glenn Beck "Has Verified ... An Attack On Wall Street Next Week," Tells Listeners To Have Cash And Food Ready

but...but, if all the beckerwoods go get all their money out of the bank, won't that be an attack on Wall Street?

10/4 good buddy

Today another turn of the cards. I really love this old Besançon deck.

The cavalier of cups -- the male jack of hearts -- sometimes called "the Christ card" by playing card readers, is a person who will be sacrificed, almost literally. "They shall look upon him whom they pierced" (John 19:37, quoting Zechariah).

In the middle is the four sticks, or four of clubs, which denotes mental and philosophical stability and equilibrium.

The trump on the right looms over the rest of the spread casting a huge shadow. Judgment -- "Juegmant" in the atrocious spelling of Jean Jerger, the woodblock carver -- is that moment that comes to all of us several times in our lives when all that mental stability and equilibrium get demolished, as we realize something very important that we had never thought of.

Click on the picture to enlarge, twice for actual size. Photo © Dave B, 2011.

and a pretty good picker too

Muddy Watters always said "I'm a natural-born lover, baby."

the markets capiche

This morning I read one of the better commentaries I've seen on the Occupy Wall Street movement, in Market Watch of all places.

"A tea party with brains." What a concept!

Tomorrow there'll be a march on NYC City Hall in solidarity with the protest in Liberty Square, to include members of the United Steelworkers, American Federation of Teachers, the transport workers' union, a couple of chapters of Service Employees International, and several community organizations. It's going to be big, well organized, and demanding.

Students at NYU are organizing a class boycott so they'll be free to join the march.

Who did I leave out?

Monday, October 03, 2011

today's news

The big news of today is that a young American woman, imprisoned for the past four years in Italy after being railroaded by a corrupt and incompetent justice system, is finally being let go.

Amanda Knox should soon be back in Seattle's beloved old U District. How long will it take for her to recover from this injustice?

old scores

The Democracy Now! site tells us that the suit filed by Amy Goodman and her radio show producers for false arrest at the Republican convention in Minneapolis three years ago has been settled for six figures.

Today, Amy Goodman, the award-winning journalist and host of Democracy Now! news hour, will announce details of a six-figure settlement in a federal lawsuit brought by her and Democracy Now! producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar against the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul and the U.S. Secret Service, challenging the policies and conduct of law enforcement during the 2008 Republican National Convention held in Minneapolis-St. Paul, which resulted in the unlawful arrests of Democracy Now! journalists as they were trying to report on public protest and political dissent.

Goodman had press conference at Zuccotti Park/Liberty Plaza at one p.m. to discuss the suit and its results, but I haven't seen any out-takes or synopses yet.

Got this at Susie's place.

in the beginning was the word...

Jim Kunstler hits a line drive into the bleachers at his long-running Clusterfuck Nation blog this morning:

All last week across the media landscape, in pod, blog, flat-screen, and crunkly old newsprint columns, fatuous professional observers complained that the Occupy Wall Street marchers "have no clear agenda" or "can't articulate their positions." What impertinent horseshit. I saw a statement on one OWSer's sign that said it all:

$70,000 College Debt
$12,000 Medical Bills
I'm 22
Where's My Bailout?

Kunstler's is the only blog I know of whose name has become better and more apropos with time. It reminds me that the power of words, well employed, is a gorgeous and awesome thing.

Sunday, October 02, 2011


Looking at several eyewitness accounts from yesterday, it's now clear that that the NYPD deliberately laid a trap on the Brooklyn Bridge into which about 1000 of the 6000 or so Occupy Wall Street protesters were drawn, then sprang it, arrested about 700, and let the other 300 walk back to Manhattan.

The sequence of events: (1) Police stopped Brooklyn-bound traffic from entering the eastbound lanes of the bridge; (2) Marchers approaching the bridge's narrow pedestrian walkway were brought almost to a standstill, as if the crowd were entering the neck of a funnel; (3) Some protesters began jumping the concrete barrier separating the walkway from the now-empty roadway. Nobody attempted to interfere with them, or told them they couldn't.

Once the police had about a thousand people on the road, they stopped others from jumping the barrier, then pulled their orange nets in front of and behind the protesters in the road.

These sequence accords with the report of an eyewitness who watched these events unfold from her apartment balcony right above the bridge. Mrs. Polly writes occasionally for the Rumproast blog, and her account is here.

Saturday, October 01, 2011


I'm sittin here watching a live video feed of 3000+ people marching down Wall Street to the Brooklyn Bridge, and it looks grate!

It's on right now on

dept of they don't get it

Bank of America is planning to charge debit-card users five bucks a month starting early next year.

In this political climate? Man, these are really some totally clueless mofos.

Angela Malerba, who works in public relations in Boston, carries a debit card because she likes to know when she buys something that she has enough in her account to pay for it. But paying $5 a month to use her own money? That's too much.

So when Bank of America starts charging the fee next year, Malerba figures she'll rely more heavily on her credit card. Or, in a strategy that seems almost quaint in these swipe-and-go times, she may just carry more cash.

"Paying $60 a year in debit card fees just seems absurd," she says.

In an attempt to soften the blow and prevent a mass exodus of depositors, the bank also announced some exemptions to the new policy:

Bank of America said the fee will apply only when customers use their debit cards for purchases in a certain month. The fee will not apply if the card is used only to access ATMs. It will not apply for premium customers, who keep high balances.

Any bankers who think the public will sit still for getting ripped off by them more than they have been already has to have a screw loose. If they need cash that badly (and they do!) they ought to think about recovering the golden parachute they gave to that criminal, Ken Lewis. He's the one who screwed their pooch, not us!