Monday, September 1, 2014

Lincoln on Labor

From A. Lincoln's 1861 "Address to Congress" (a precursor to the SOTA):
"It is not needed, nor fitting here [in discussing the Civil War] that a general argument should be made in favor of popular institutions; but there is one point, with its connections, not so hackneyed as most others, to which I ask a brief attention. It is the effect to place capital on an equal footing with, if not above, labor, in the structure of government.
"It is assumed that labor is available only in connection with capital; that nobody labors unless somebody else, owning capital, somehow by the use of it induces him to labor. This assumed, it is next considered whether it is best that capital shall hire laborers, and thus induce them to work by their own consent, or buy them, and drive them to it without their consent.
"Having proceeded thus far, it is naturally concluded that all laborers are either hired laborers or what we call slaves. And further, it is assumed that whoever is once a hired laborer is fixed in that condition for life.
"Now, there is no such relation between capital and labor as assumed, nor is there any such thing as a free man being fixed for life in the condition of a hired laborer. Both these assumptions are false, and all inferences from them are groundless.
"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights."
Marx recognized in Lincoln a "fellow traveler" and wrote him a congratulatory letter from London when AL won re-election in 1864. It had not arrived yet, by April 15, 1865, when Lincoln died.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sharpton's Not A "Race Hustler."

Al Sharpton (Fox News)

In recent broadcasts, the utter, doddering dolts of  #IgnorantFukStix (aka Faux Nooz) have been eager to deflect attention away from the stench of racism which pervades the events in Ferguson, MO.

They have therefore resurrected the "race hustler" canard and tried to smear Rev. Al Sharpton.

In yer ol' Perfesser's humble opinion, unlike Sean Hannity, Falaffel Bill-o, Roger Ailes, The Rupe and the rest at ‪#‎IgnorantFukStix‬, Sharpton actually is a member of an oppressed minority and speaks with some authority on such matters.

He has actual, lived experience with the easy, confident racism of supremacist whites.

He has EARNED to right to comment and be critical about the vicious, ever-present racism of Whites in Murka.

 He gets shit from mainly cracker/redneck/asswhole whites who are made (even unconsciously) uncomfortable by their complicity in the perpetuation of white supremacism.

He is NOT a "race hustler"; he's the despised conscience of the witless, blind, but nevertheless culpable White Majority.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Astro-physicist =/= Plant Biologist...

While stopping short of accusing the illustrious Dr/Prof Tyson of conscious intellectual dishonesty, still--no matter how smart he is--Tyson's in exactly the same position as Reich and Krugman vis a vis economics: they cannot be heard to say that the official orthodoxy is in any way "false," or insufficient or incomplete.

Tyson's got "permission' to be a gadfly, but not to attack the firmament of commercial mythology. He's (possibly unconsciously) bought the party line.

The primary danger of genetically engineered crops is not to the digestive systems of thye consumers, it is to the reduction of the range of plant genetic diversity.

As Upton Sinclair observed 100 years or so ago: It is hard to get a man to see that which his paycheck depends on his being ignorant of.

The salary at that Planetarium is NOT insubstantial...

(P.s.: Bennett's hand is unmistakable, innit?)

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Presidency.

Prez Lowbar is #44.

On 42 previous occasions, 'power' has passed from predecessor to successor, without violence, civil unrest or rebellion--Lincoln's 1860 election being the exception.

We're the envy of the political world, for our constancy, our peaceful--'bloodless' is the term often heard--transitions of power.

But it implies something important to recall: There is an essential constancy in the 'institution' of the Presidency. So far, since 1860, nobody has ever won the office who posed a serious challenge to the bedrock assumptions about the power of the owners and oligarchs. And no future President can be expected turn over the traces, either.

The Presidency is NOT a succession of unique individuals, it is a continuum of like-minded, similarly predisposed, educated, and experienced place-holders, installed to give the appearance of legitimacy to the system which upholds privilege, and weath at the expense of every other attribute of 'culture.'

The apparent ease with which power apparently transfers actually signifies how little of it actually changes hands.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sing a Song of "Progress"

Where the landscape moves beneath your feet,
And the fluid spills
Can move whole hills,
While a pipeline dribbles in your street...


Where the water tastes like methane gas,
And the flaming spigots
Bemuse the bigots
While the people take it in the ass...

We know we belong to the Kochs.

And those Kochs folks got no time for 'jamokes.'

So when we pray

"O baby Jeebus yer okay!"
We're really sayin':
Get me the fuck outta here, please!
Frack la-homa, go "Way!

(With all due apologies to Mess'rs Rogers & Hammerstein.)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Blaming Victims, Prez Lowbar Calls for "Excellent Teachers"

Yer ol' Perfesser worked in the Teacher Ed field for 15 years, so I feel supremely confident when I call "BULLSHIT" on Prez Febreez S. Lowbar and his ass-whole pal, Arne Duncan, the dyed-in-the-wool corporatist stooge and lackey of the privatizers, for this cheap fucking trick. Nothing is beneath them!

By putting the onus on teachers, he transfers responsibility from the 'institution' of schooling'--to which the ECONOMIC forces contribute far more than academic ones--onto the persons most vulnerable and easiest to scapegoat: teachers..."Access to excellence" is just another fucking PR gimmick to blame teachers for conditions over which they have no fucking control.

There are exceptions, but in general, beyond elementary school, no individual teacher has any (enough) exposure to the VAST majority of their students beyond the hour or so when they're in class.

Yet the Obama/Duncan Ed Dept--at the behest of Broad, Pearson, Gates, and the rest--wanna blame teachers for ALL the social failures that descend on unfortunate kids.

I'm positive/SURE that this camouflages another attack on teachers' unions...GayronTEED chers.

TEACHERS are NOT the "SOLUTION," either.

But focusing on teachers is a very useful stratagem for blaming the least powerful members of the educational equation for the problems which thje wider ECONOMIC culture will NOT address.

The ONLY thing Lowbar S. Febreez is worried about, now, is his "legacy."

That is gonna depend on the MSM/SCUM press's assessments of his performance.

And that's gonna depend on how closely he cleaves to the requirements of the oligarchs like Gates, Broad, Pearson and the rest of the privatizers.

One can NEVER go far wrong if you impute the basest of motives to the grandest proposals of the Ed. Dept/CorpoRat deformers. One may NEVER be too cynical about this.

They DON'T care about "students" except as profit centers.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Winners & Losers.

Woody'd only note, however, that the majority of those achievements were accomplished BEFORE the ascent of the Raygoons; many, indeed were "won" in the 19th Century or in the New Deal, and are steadily being rolled back. The record, lately, is far bleaker:

Conservatives opposed single payer health-care.
Conservatives won/Liberals lost..
Conservatives opposed extending unemployment benefits.
Conservatives won/Liberals lost...
Conservatives opposed equal pay for equal work.
Conservatives won/Liberals lost..
Conservatives oppose closing Gitmo.
Conservatives won/Liberals lost..
Conservatives opposed regulations on campaign spending.
Conservatives won/Liberals lost..
Conservatives oppose immigration reform.
Conservatives won/Liberals lost..
Conservatives proposed reducing SNAP.
Conservatives won/Liberals lost..
Conservatives opposed VW unionization in Tennessee.
Conservatives won/Liberals lost..
Conservatives proposed reducing EPA funding and cutting inspection.
Conservatives won/Liberals lost..
Conservatives proposed gutting the Voting Rights Act.
Conservatives won/Liberals lost..
Conservatives proposed MORE restrictions on women's choice.
Conservatives won/Liberals lost..
Conservatives propose privatizing public services, including schools.
Conservatives are winning/Liberals lost.
Conservatives oppose thye separation of Church & State.
Conservatives are winning
/Liberals lost.

Conservatives support private prisons.
Conservatives won/Liberals lost.
Conservatives oppose taxing the wealthy.
Conservatives win/Liberals lost.
Conservatives opposed prosecuting banksters for the 2008 "crash."
Conservatives won/Liberals lost.
Conservatives support corporate personhood.
Conservatives won/Liberals lost.
Conservatives support GMO farming, oppose GMO labeling.
Conservatives won/Liberals lost...
Shall I go on?