Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I hadn't listened to contemporary music for a lot of years, but then one thing led to another, as people say.

There's a band called Radiohead, that has a song called "Creep," which in addition to being a very good song is a bruisingly good poem.

When you were here before
Couldn't look you in the eye
You're just like an angel
Your skin makes me cry
You float like a feather
In a beautiful world
I wish I was special
You're so fuckin special

But I'm a creep
I'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here

This comes as a revelation for anyone who ever actually felt that way, which is very many of us as it turns out, and that's a revelation too.

They say this song was written by Thomas Yorke, Jonathan Richard Guy Greenwood, Philip Selway, Colin Charles Greenwood, Edward John O'Brien, Albert Hammond, and Mike Hazelwood, but I'm not sure I believe it.

tax cuts

This was a heist, impure and simple.

The Bush tax cuts combined with the Mideast wars are the reason the government is underfunded by about 20 percent. That was before the bailouts, and just in case anybody is actually serious about doing something about deficits, which I doubt.

It's way past time for this booger to get stabbed, slabbed and buried.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Who the hell is Neuter Gingrich?

The name is vaguely familiar, but I think it's from a long time ago, and I don't remember the specific crimes.

Probably just another Repub buttboy carrying water for the looting class.

Guys like that are a dime a dozen. The networks give 'em air time, but...

I don't see much TV/So you don't mean shit to me.

--Mark Knopfler, "El Macho"

Monday, November 28, 2011


I'm sitting at home in my apartment in Greenwood idly wondering about the extent to which psychology affects physical well-being. Specifically, I'm wondering whether thinking of oneself as small, weak, insignificant, and/or a loser can lead through poor lifestyle choices to precisely the kinds of diseases and conditions I've suffered in the past.

It's amazing how simply most of those diseases and conditions can be remedied or neutralized, and even more amazing how strenuously we resist making those few, simple changes necessary for us to start feeling better, almost as if we're resisting surrendering a not-so-helpful self-image.

I'm just thankful as I sit here this afternoon watching the hours spool away that I at last got to find out what a healthy animal feels like. I wish I'd found out sooner, but at the time I had an identity to protect.

Better late than never.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

old school

When the electrical power failed at 5:30 this morning I'd already been up for half an hour, so I was dressed and had coffee. Things could be worse.

I had forgotten how undependable the local electric company on this side of the water is, although I recalled the outrageous cost of their crappy service. I've been spoiled for the last two years, living in Seattle, where our socialist municipal government provides ridiculously dependable electricity (they've got multiple backup systems) very cheaply.

But since a resourceful young man like myself can find a silver lining in every dark overcast, as I sit here freezing in total darkness I'm scheming on ways to live without electricity, either on an emergency basis or all the time, once I return to permanently residing on the Olympic Peninsula (OlyPen),

My mother grew up in a powerless and unplumbed home less than a century ago. Kerosene lamps provided light after nightfall, and grandpa carried water from the pump in the yard for grandma to heat up on the wood stove for cooking and washing. The family even had the luxury of entertainment -- a battery-operated radio squatted bulkily in their parlor, but only one person at a time could listen on the headphones, as the early units had no speakers.

A propane heater or wood-pellet stove will heat a house or apartment more efficiently than electric forced-air central heating, and a two-ring propane camp stove will serve any cooking needs that don't require an oven. I'll have to consult Friedrich Nietszche's "The Will to Power" to fill in more details of my boycott of the totally inadequate Puget Power Company.

As central government ceases functioning and revenue-starved state governments wither along with local services of every kind, we will be increasingly thrown back on our own resources and resourcefulness. Dealing with these harsh facts of life will go a lot more smoothly if the transition is planned rather than improvised.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

empire by the numbers

Juan Cole's Informed Comment blog has the current state of the American Empire, by the numbers.

Friday, November 25, 2011

she meant to say "he's number one"

Tatiana Limanova, a popular Russian newscaster, has been taken off the air by REN, a private network, for flashing a "freeway salute" after mentioning President Obama's name.

She'd better get used to mentioning him if and when she returns to the air. Despite his sinking popularity at home and abroad, he's a shoo-in for re-election due to the extraordinarily low quality of the competition.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Tanks

Good morning, all you liberal couch potatoes and rightwing turkeys. As we celebrate the 223rd year of our glorious republic on this another Thanksgiving, here's something to feel thankful for.

When the Republicans convene in Tampa this coming summer to beat their breasts and flap their wings and choose a sacrificial victim for Barack Obama to put on the chopping block a year from now, they'll be protected from the insults and odors of the dirty, nasty, turdy, shitten 99 percenters by the Tampa Police Dept's very own tank!

The militarization of US police forces in anticipation of the social unrest sure to accompany next year's presidential election is now nearly complete, but somehow, in this time of austerity and social security cuts and nonexistent health insurance for citizens, there still seems to be plenty of Dept of "Homeland Security" money available to transform your local version of Andy and Barney into a combat platoon, capable of fending off the terrorists who espouse dangerous and subversive ideas, such as democracy.

Just one problem here: why doesn't this tank have a cannon? How do you expect to splode hippies without sploding artillery shells?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


It's hard to fix the exact date of the collapse of anything as large and nebulous as American legitimacy. My own feeling is that Uncle Sam never came back from Vietnam, and was one among many casualties of the militarization of US society and government, which led to the growth of an ever-more aggressive and expansionist empire.

I see evidence that American legitimacy is already deader than a pound of hamburger everywhere I look these days. What passed for a debate last night among the scrum of ridiculous candidates (J Huntsman excepted) of what used to be a political party but is now degenerated into a freak show could serve as Exhibit "A." The casual brutality on display at UC Davis recently is another symptom, for that kind of profligate cruelty is never used on unresisting people except by authorities who have lost all claims to legitimacy.

The now-departed USA will not be "mouldering in the grave" for long, however, as the nutrients remaining in the corpse are needed to envigorate the green thing which has already sprouted from it.

aging babes and terrorist turkeys

OK, this is for real apparently, and pretty damn funny.

From the website Talking Points Memo:

You may think that when you buy a Butterball turkey this Thanksgiving you’re as American as apple pie. But, you’d be wrong. In fact, you’re the victim of a “stealth halal” conspiracy.

As you'd expect, this galloping paranoia originated in the alcohol-fueled and demented mind of America's favorite Islamophobic blogging psychotic and sociopath, Pamela Geller, but the contagion is not limited to her alone, as TPM reveals.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

new lows

The Romney campaign has now set the bar a lot lower for the lying and dishonesty with their latest campaign ad, which contains a clip of Obama saying "If we keep talking about the economy we're going to lose."

What candidate Obama actually said in 2008 was “Senator McCain’s campaign actually said, and I quote, ‘If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.’” Romney's new attack ad turns that upside down, reversing the meaning.

I realize that most of the politicians in both parties engage in this kind of behavior to some extent. But I find this deliberate misrepresentation of facts descends to a new and stunning level of immorality in politics.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

if it ain't broke...

As far as I'm concerned, the movement has done everything right so far.

I'm sure there will be some mistakes down the road, but I haven't seen any yet.

No leaders -- that's good. Leaders are targets, and so far everyone involved seems to know just what to do.

No list of specific demands, but a focus on general principles -- even better.

Scrupulously non-violent protest as the primary tactic and organizing principle -- what an effective contrast to the response. It shows clearly who we are, and when bankers respond with curses and the police with violence, just who they are.

When porcine, jowly low-lifes like Newt Gingrich go on the tube talking about how the protesters need to "take a bath" and then go "get a job," they're promoting revolution as much as the revolutionaries do.

Make no mistake, as President Obrotherwhereartthou likes to say, this is a revolution. Fascism is on the outs, and our banker-rulers have had it. They'll never get the genie back in the bottle.

I wish all the concern trolls and variously motivated critics of this movement, which has succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of those who hatched it, would dispense with their unnecesssary, unsolicited, and unwanted advice and just sit back and watch. You might learn something.

Friday, November 18, 2011

delusions of innocence

OK, I'm beginning to understand. If there are people here who can show up at a political discussion board and claim with straight faces that extreme income inequality in America today is not a problem, and show every sign of sincerely believing it, then I understand why this country is in so much trouble.

It seems to me that people's capacity for self-deception is limitless, and the fact that there are many on Wall Street, to this day, who still insist that the events leading up to the meltdown of '07 was "a case of banks having legitimately sold something - whether it be mortgages or securities backed by those loans - that someone wanted to buy," rather than the simple and straightforward swindles and securities frauds they actually were, shows just how far the clearly guilty are willing to go to remain innocent in their own minds. It works the same way for relatively innocent people who take comfort in maintaining their pet illusions.

What I'm identifying here is a psychological problem which follows the same recipe, whether a person is an "innocent" B of A manager who sold liars loans and then bundled them into CDO's, a Democrat who believes that if Barack Obama can only find perfect "center" that he'll be able to reach a compromise with the neanderthals of Republicanism, or the lost souls in that neanderthal happy place where tax cuts produce growth in government revenue.

What's going to happen now is that all of these people with their various delusions and ways of deliberately misunderstanding, are going to be treated all the same by history, which will roll over them like an enormous wheel, and none of them will have any more understanding of what's happening to them or to their country than scorpions have of the purposes of kings' chariots by whose wheels they are crushed.

The hedge fund managers and traders in bogus securities you can read about in that article I linked to remind me of Louis XVI, who was still yelling "I'm innocent, I'm innocent" right up to the moment when his head and body went two different directions.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Two months today since the start of the 99% movement, and a good day for them all around the country, going up hard against the cops and pushing their message, forcing it through layers of media bullshit and into the bright light of public awareness.

Pandora's box is open, and there's no going back.

It's also the two-month anniversary of the beginning of a real partnership. We were not meant to go through this life alone.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

big brother

In a recent interview, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan hinted that the most recent aggression against the Occupy movement has been a coordinated effort among at least 18 cities

Look closely at what's been happening and I believe you'll see the fingerprints of Barack Obama's Department of Homeland Suppression.

The celebrated blogger Digby goes into much more detail on this story at her own site.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

no clothes

Democrats will tell you we should vote for them because they're better than the alternative.

That being said, I'd really like to know what this is better than.

For most of this year, the White House has thought that the surest path to President Obama’s reelection was to strike a big deficit deal with Republicans, or at least be seen trying to strike a big deficit deal with Republicans.

So he's spent the last three years trying to strike a deal with people who have sworn to destroy him, and called him a Kenyan Muslim Marxist and other epitheta opprobia.

If it's true then I'd have to say I've never seen a guy in the White House as totally clueless as Barack Obama, and that includes George W. Bush.

repression never works

#OWS is over this morning, but the 99 percent movement is alive and well.

Social repression works very much like personal repression. Ignoring or denying your true feelings might work for a little while, but sooner or later they resurface, usually with redoubled intensity.

Any society as dysfunctional as this one has to address the reasons for the dysfunction, because repressing awareness of them, as the billionaire oligarch Michael Bloomberg did last night in NYC, inevitably makes things much worse.

These protests were peaceful and employed only legal means -- this time.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Grace is always simple, and never complex. Also, it is spare and uncluttered.

There is no effort in grace, and no agitation, since grace is a sign of and confers peace. But there is a type of grace in pain, called stoicism

Roughly paraphrasing Abraham Lincoln, most have it some of the time, some are graceful most of the time, but none of us has it all the time. Another true (but unrelated) cliché is, if you get a little bit you're going to want some more.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

tactics and counter-tactics

My friend Father Oblivion writes: "I went by Occupy Portland with a friend visiting from Philadelphia last night. We talked with my friend Mike, who is one of the videographers there. He said that the Portland Occupy group numbers about 600, with about 100 being demonstrators and the remaining being various homeless people and drug addicts, many of whom were sent down to Occupy by the city's shelters. Mike has made several videos (over two dozen) of interviews of people who relate that they were told that they should go down to Occupy and they will be fed and that there is a medical staff there who will help with their problems. Some of the videos detail when they were told this and who told them as well."

We can expect to see changes in tactics during the next few weeks in response to changing methods of suppression.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Today is the day to remember to offer up a prayer for all those mostly young men whose lives have been sacrificed to the war god in modern wars, starting in 1861. It's also the day to curse the rich bastards and their tools in the political circus and their generals, who blow up the world from time to time for no good reason.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

traveling in the spirit

Traveled back to the Olympic Peninsula today to be with my woman. On a travel day it always seems there isn't time to do much else.

Drove once more through the silent forest. There's definitely a spirit here. A person could get hypnotized by the place and vanish.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

a sense of place

When I moved here from California three years ago to care for my mother in the time of her failing health, I felt I was returning from a war zone to the promised land. Southern California was literally burning behind me as I crossed the Columbia River at the Washington-Oregon border -- "Like crossing the Jordan" I remember thinking at the time.

After mom's passing I spent a year in her place "over there," on the other side of the water, in what I've taken to referring to as "the Enchanted Forest" of the Olympic Peninsula. At the time I thought my future lay in the big city, so I crossed over, took an apartment in Seattle, and began working. But I never felt like I belonged here, and the feeling was borne out by the oracle I consult from time to time.

Now, after two years in the big shitty, it seems I'm in the process of gradually relocating again, back to the "other side," about 10 miles from where I started out. It's lovely on the other side, where the pace is much, much slower and there's room to stretch. There's not much pavement, so you can take your shoes off and feel your feet on the earth.

More importantly, I now know it's where, and with whom I belong.

When shadows fall
And trees whisper, "Day is ending",
My thoughts are ever wending home.
When crickets call,
My heart is forever yearning
Once more to be returning home.

--"When Shadows Fall" (Home)
by Peter Van Steeden, Jeff Clarkson, and Harry Clarkson, 1931

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

saga of santorum

Closing my eyes and going to sleep this afternoon, I listened lazily to an NPR piece about the progress of Rick Santorum's stumping in Iowa, where he is polling five percent.

His brag today was that he's now visited all 99 of Iowa's counties, and speaking to a small crowd, he bravely asserted that he is "within striking distance," but what he's within striking distance of he didn't specify;

This is scary. Santorum is polling five percent. That means some people like him, and that he has actual fans.

horndog smackdown

Herman Cain and Newt the Galoot decided to cut themselves loose from the rest of the herd and did a televised one-on-one 90-minute debate this past Saturday.

They touted it as a modern-day version of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and though I didn't watch, I imagine it got even funnier than that once it started.

the kids

If nothing else, the 99 percent movement has succeeded in shifting the national conversation from obsessing over the phony "debt crisis" to our real problems -- income inequality, the drying up of decent-paying jobs, and the fact that there are now over 49 million Americans living in poverty.

The chattering classes on the cable news networks are now forced to play catch-up with the national conversation actually occurring in people's living rooms rather than taking their cues from Republican spewers of "free" market propaganda.

Thank God for the kids who are out there in the streets putting their bodies on the line, getting arrested (over 3,300 so far), getting their faces pushed into the pavement, and getting shot with rubber bullets. They've gone to ground now, like Washington at Valley Forge, but will return in the spring redoubled in numbers and energy, and I hope to be with them.

They're just naive enough to believe they have the power to fundamentally change things. And you're naive if you think God favors those who aren't.

a few good men

Dennis Kucinich demonstrated yesterday that there are still a few good men in Congress.

Another such is Seattle's congressional rep, Jim McDermott, who in 2002 financed his own fact-finding mission to Iraq, then came home and told his constituents the truth -- the Bush administration's rationale for invading Iraq was a steaming crock of b.s.

We need to stop recruiting for al-Qaida with our homicidal drone aircraft attacks, bring these wars home, and turn our attention to the two gorillas on our back, one named "Wall Street" and the other called "Pentagon."

Monday, November 07, 2011

cain in the brain

I hate to waste my beautiful mind on anything so sleazy and pedestrian as the ongoing Herman Cain saga...

BUT, today another woman -- this makes four -- came forward to accuse him of sexual harassment, AND she held press conference. Gloria Allread is her attorney, of course. We've reached that stage.

This is really pretty good, and it sounds more like sexual assault than sexual harassment to me.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

dictator's demise

Jon Lee Anderson, assigned by the New Yorker to write up Qadaffi's final days, begins with a review of the ignominious ends of a number of modern despots, giving us at the same time a generic overview of how these things usually finish -- badly.

How does it end? The dictator dies, shrivelled and demented, in his bed; he flees the rebels in a private plane; he is caught hiding in a mountain outpost, a drainage pipe, a spider hole. He is tried. He is not tried. He is dragged, bloody and dazed, through the streets, then executed. The humbling comes in myriad forms, but what is revealed is always the same: the technologies of paranoia, the stories of slaughter and fear, the vaults, the national economies employed as personal property, the crazy pets, the prostitutes, the golden fixtures.

The situation is a little different in the US than it was in Libya or Iraq under Saddam. The tyranny here is wielded by an oligarchy who have seized control of the finance "industry" rather than a single strongman, and there are no mass graves full of nameless victims, although millions of anonymous lives have been permanently wrecked by our own home-grown despots.

Now that a clear majority of US citizens has awakened to the true state of affairs, the eventual fall of the banksters is assured. And when they've fallen, what will be their fate? At the very least their palaces and mansions will be opened to public scrutiny and the vain treasures inside exposed to view -- in Jon Lee Anderson's words, "the national economies employed as personal property, the crazy pets, the prostitutes, the golden fixtures."

As for the oligarchs themselves, who cares what happens to them?

Saturday, November 05, 2011


A resident fascist ideologue at BNet asks, "How are the Koch Brothers any different from George Soros?"

George Soros doesn't control any state legislatures.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a front group for the Koch brothers, major corporations, and right-wing lobbying groups, all elements of the hidden fascist rule of the fascist USA, controls the legislatures in most of the states with Republican majorities.

If George Soros had anything comparable to the Koch brothers' power, the US would not be the fascist nation/empire it has become. Contending and/or pretending he does is ludicrous, a game played by fascist ideologues or repeated by their gullible and credulous dupes.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

domestic violence

Here are a few items from Naomi Wolf's latest piece.

America's politicians, it seems, have had their fill of democracy. Across the country, police, acting under orders from local officials, are breaking up protest encampments set up by supporters of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement - sometimes with shocking and utterly gratuitous violence.

She then describes the police riot of armored and helmeted guys that looked like the tac squad in Star Wars, that we all saw in Oakland. Then she goes on to say:

America is waking up to what was built while it slept: Private companies have hired away its police (JPMorgan Chase gave $4.6 million to the New York City Police Foundation); the federal Department of Homeland Security has given small municipal police forces military-grade weapons systems; citizens' rights to freedom of speech and assembly have been stealthily undermined by opaque permit requirements.

Suddenly, the United States looks like the rest of the furious, protesting, not-completely-free world. Indeed, most commentators have not fully grasped that a world war is occurring. But it is unlike any previous war in human history: for the first time, people around the world are not identifying and organising themselves along national or religious lines, but rather in terms of a global consciousness and demands for a peaceful life, a sustainable future, economic justice and basic democracy. Their enemy is a global "corporatocracy" that has purchased governments and legislatures, created its own armed enforcers, engaged in systemic economic fraud, and plundered treasuries and ecosystems.

She's right. It's just now starting to dawn on people everywhere that this is a global conflict, or universal fight for democracy, and we're all up against police and security forces who everywhere look like evil robots, sent out to stomp us down.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

oaktown, usa

humble servant

Follow the money, and all will be revealed.

From the Democracy Now website:

New figures show President Obama continues to pull in huge donations from the financial sector, with more money from Wall Street this year than all other (sic) Republican presidential candidates combined. According to the Washington Post, Obama has raised a total of $15.6 million from banks and other financial firms, with nearly $12 million of that going to the Democratic National Committee. Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney has raised less than half that much from Wall Street, around $7.5 million. A top banking executive and Obama fundraiser told the Washington Post that reports of Wall Street antagonism toward Obama "are exaggerated and overblown ... [but] it probably helps from a political perspective if he’s not seen as a Wall Street guy."

Even the error in that paragraph is instructive.

There's no comment necessary for such a sad and tawdry revelation, but Ifthethunderdon'tgetya at Whiskeyfire provides a good one anyway:

"If Wall Street got the idea that Obama was no longer in their back pocket, you'd see a serious GOP run for President. For now, having these fools bark and bray about 'Socialism' while B.H.O. collects his pay is all they need."

things that are longer than kim kardashian's marriage

The wait at a DMV office.

"The Scarlet Letter."

A Seahawks game.

A Baptist sermon on "The meaning of I Corinthians."

Republican explanations of why income inequality is a manifestation of God's will.

Feel free to add your own.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

live free or die, mofo

Wick Pewwy's presidential run is sinking beneath waves like a sack of coal.

It doesn't get much weirder than this.

droid phone

I've been having trouble typing lately. So today I saw a Motorola droid phone, with built-in voice-to-print capacity.

Very slick. I think there's one of those in my near future.

can't trust that day

Since I started debating politics about nine years ago, there's been exactly one (1) major issue that everybody agrees on, and that is bank bailouts. From Michael Moore to Glenn Beck, nobody likes em.

Monday there was a lot of movement in the financial world. The Greek PM said he's going to submit the deal the Germans offered his country, to a referendum, which means "No deal." At the same time, there was a big Wall Street bankruptcy by Jon Corzine's MF Global, a derivatives trader, and one of their executives said that client's money was thrown away along with the company's money -- a criminal violation.

(Corzine is a former Democratic governor of New Jersey whose mis-rule was synonymous with corruption and machine politics.)

So the questions of the day are: will there be more bailouts when the shock waves from the Greek default start shaking the largest US banks? And will Corzine get bailed out? AND get away with it?

#OWS has one demand: that's why it's called "Occupy Wall Street."

See where this is going?