Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Withal, We're a TRIBAL Species

This is such optimistic poppycock! Such hopeful blather! Such unimaginable codswallop! At the risk of appeearing churlish: It simply nauseates yer ol perfesser for its utter, gibbering, an-historical naivete!

Humans are tribal creatures in our social dealings.

We BEGAN as SEPARATE entities in SEPARATE tribal chains of kinship.

We were NEVER "all one" tribe or family or race or species. There was no dissolution of some archaic oneness. There never was some grand unity.

Tribalism's head isn't ugly. It's how we are. Life is competitive; humans organized in tribes in order to further their competitive advantages for food territory and mating.

We're not large or strong enough to be solo hunters, like leopards or tigers. We're not numerous enough for the protection that herds/schools/swarms afford. Tribes "work," and that's how humans evolved.

There is a word in all indigenous, North American languages that designates fellow tribal members; it always translates as "the People," or 'the Humans,' obviously (lexically) excluding 'Others' from common humanity.

There are ALWAYS "insiders" (indigenes) and "outsiders" (exogenes), and it has required "civilization" to overcome the tribal distances and resistances, and allow (compel) competitors to cooperate.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Myth and Magic of Presidential Reach

The Meme Ranger rides again! (These things just keep appearing, like mushrooms!) That maundering pack of rabid Obots at Politicus hoisted out the familiar purplish hue of their adulation, declaring:
Obama’s America: Low gas prices, soaring stock market, record private job growth and growing manufacturing:
People, give it a rest.
Yes, he's a good father, a loving husband, a good provider and a fine citizen.
BUT: You're applauding his pursuit of the One-Percenters' agenda. What kind of sense does THAT make?
Neither 'gas prices,' nor the 'soaring stock market,' nor 'record private growth," nor 'growth in manufacturing' are matters over which the president--ANY president--has any control. They are, however, all VERY good news for the Oligarchs, whose loyal and attentive tool ThePrez has been.
Yes, gas prices are down...Primarily due to seasonal fluctuations in demand and refinery capacity..
Yes, the "soaring" stock market has "soared." And it has gotten the 1-5% much wealthier. But, surprisingly, it hasn't 'trickled down' yet in any noticeable amount to the poor, elderly, young, ill and/or disabled, veterans, and other vulnerable citizens whom his "austerity" programs like the 'sequester,' have butt-fucked.
And yes, most of the jobs (7-9 MILLION) that the oligarchs killed in 07-09 are 'back.' At least in raw numbers.
But the jobs that have been re-created are predominantly the low-wage, part-time/temp, no benefits-no future kind.
AND, between then (2007) and now, more than 11 MILLION NEW workers have joined the labor force, and there are pretty much fuck all jobs for them.
"USer" industries won't "come back" until USer workers have gotten a lot MORE desperate, compliant, and hungry: willing to do ANYTHING, under ANY conditions, for ANY wage..
So, though Pres Lowbar may be a nice guy, a good father, an admirable husband and a fine citizen, as president, he's been a convenient help-meet and available scapegoat for the Righturds, and--because he has turned out NOTHING like what the "brand" promised when he was elected--also a serious and major distraction to the "Left"--such as it is...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Compare & Contrast: Both Huxley and Bernays Are Explaining the Same Thing

Edward Bernays, Freud's favorite nephew saw it clearly, already in the '20s, 30 years before Huxley. At that time, neither Bernays nor anyone else thought it was exceptional that the "best" minds would do all the thinking, and didn't regard it with anything other than calm pleasure:
"“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ...We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ...In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” 
It is interesting to consider these two leading thinkers' (Bernays and Huxley) explanations of essentially the same phenomenon: The "manufacture of the consent of the governed."

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sen. Yertle's Both Symptom and Source; LowBar's NEVER Been A "Promise."

How yer ol' perfesser Seezit: Sen Yertle's behavior as an active agent for the Corporatz' and Oiligarchs' agendae is approved--likely heartily endorsed--by his constituents, because it is so successfully camouflaged by/as racism, both his own and the culture's. He can and does frame his lickspittle fealty to the Corporatz' anti-worker. anti-democratic, anti-humane agendae in the guise of an attack on that "Damn NEGRO in the Whitehouse."

Framed like that, there's is NOTHING those "Saltine-Murkins" won't excuse.

This is consonant with my theory that those same constituents are willing, indeed delighted, to bear a small inconvenience or deprivation if by doing so they can assure the denial of ANY benefit to those whom they view and detest as inferiors.

Re: Prez Lowbar and his "promise?"

Woody'z sad to hafta tell ya, at this late date: "Obama" was NEVER a "promise."

He was ALWAYS a brand.

His campaign won an award that year for the 'best new brand."

He was NEVER what the rhetoric pretended he'd be.

The GOPhux threw the election to put this cypher in office, but he was NEVER gonna be anything but a political palate-cleanser, an interval between successive bouts of "sanitary" GOPhux fascismo.

How could anyone with the intellectual acuity of a sponge NOT have known that the Owners of the country would NOT turn the management of their operations over to ANYONE who posed the tiniest SCINTILLA of a chance of CHANGING anything?

What the fuck WERE they thinking?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Barry Brought Boxing Gloves to Bare-Knuckles Brawl

Yer ol' perfesser thinks Pres. Lowbar didn't understand the "all-out, no-holds-barred, bare-knuckles, tooth-and-nail, no-quarter, gouging-and-biting, hair-pulling, I'm-gonna-fuck-you-up" nature of the opposition arrayed against him, their ferocity and ruthlessness. And their glee!

Prez Lowbar unaccountably din't ever actually  seem to foresee and imagine that the GOPhux would so totally abrogate the underlying ethical/political principals which had mad 'democracy' work for the previous 200+ years. He was, somehow, naively, unprepared for it. For some reason, I think HE thought they'd play fair. Wrong-o!

Lowbar's misadventujres basically just illustrate how fragile had the system been. It had ALWAYS been "possible" for some faction to tyrannize the rest of the system; it had just never been "thinkable."  There had been intimations during the Newtster's furious attacks on "Clenis" Bill Clinton. That impeachment fiasco was nothing but a power play.

But with America's First Black President in the White house, suddenly, not only was it THINKABLE, but it was DOABLE. In his presidency, because of the simmering, barely repressed rage of disentitled White voters, and their barely suppressed fear and loathing of the growing, non-White demographic, the Righturds had an unprecedented opportunity to pursue their long-term (remember John Birch?), historical, anti-democratic, anti-popular, anti-social agenda under the cover of (acceptably) attacking the "illegitimate," dark-skinned "pretender." It was "the perfect storm."

Interestingly, it was never--as the mobsters inna Godfather mutter as they strangle the life out of a rival--"poysonal; jis binness, youse knows?"

Monday, September 29, 2014

Class Privilege!

The fundamental issue is structural.

Ya know why and how THE FUCK the GOP can get away with 252 filibusters in only SIX years? How they can subvert the entire system on a whim? Bring the wheels of gummint grinding almost to a halt, at least where the most vulnerable are concerned? Halt Climate Change mitigation efforst in their fuuking tracks?

Yer ol' perfesser sez it's NOT merely because of Prez Shamwow F. Lowbar, though that is (no small) part of it--they did it with Clenis Clinton, too.

You prob'ly got it by now: It's a "class" thang...

It's cuz the GOPhux are the SENIOR (legislative) partners in the "old firm," regardless of their numbers.

The Dims are, by default AND by definition, the 'Junior" members. Probationary. Perennially.

They're not (and never gonna be) "vested." They're always gonna be "juniors." They don't and won't have the 'status' to act like such total dicks.

You can ONLY do that when yer the nominal representatives of the "Owners." Representing "nigras an' messkins," other minorities, poor folks, the ill and injured, the homeless, the despised like the Dims A9are supposed to) do, doesn't get you ANY of the RIGHT kind of "F*CK-YOU" juice.

You cannot act like the Party of Petulant Pricks if you're (allegedly) representing the poor.

Only when your prime constituency is the Oligarchs can you get away with that kind of crap.
If the "second-rate" Dims tried it, they'd be pilloried on EVERY CorpoRat media in the country.

Only consider the ways public treatment of Louis Gohmert and Allan Grayson varies. Gohmert, who babbles like a prairie snake-handler, never hears a word of censure from the mass of the SCUM/MSM/CorpoRat "press." Grayson, on the other hand, is handled as if he were from outer space.

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?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Way We "ARE"!

Here's how propaganda works, in less than three minutes. Everything you ever wanted to know. Do you feel great yet?

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Road to Skye...

In Scotland, the back-roads are almost all one-lane wide, with turn-outs about every quarter mile. On-coming traffic races one another to get past the closest turn-out before the auto coming from the other direction does, thereby forcing them to stop and wait for you. That's where this guy, former world F-1 and Indy champion, Jackie Stewart, learned to do it. This video, which I don't own, and claim only fair use consideration for, features Stewart narrating a tour around the "old" Nurburgring, in the hills and forests of the Rhineland, south of Bonn. This is the track which Stewart , himself, memorably named"The Green Hell." Growing up on Scottish roads would have prepared him well. I attended races there in '65 (Jim Clark won) and '66 (Jack Brabham), and in between got to drive the circuit--it's public roads, or it was then--in a speedy little Fiat coupe...

Welcome To The NFL: Not Sams' Club?

How Woody Seezit: The Dallas sports guy, Hansen, has got it spot on. Bingo. Cha-Ching.

But, unfortunately, I believe the NFL will exact a punishment on Sams, for making an "issue" of his sexuality, and making the league face the issue head-on. He holds up a mirror to the league, and they don't like how they look.  By his announcement, Sams made the NFL "look bad."

That's because "The League" (really, a single, corporate entity with 30 franchises) would rather not have to deal with this. Their dilemma is that by accepting Sams, they risk alienating a pretty large portion of their "fan base," many of whom are of the same persuasion as those cracker asswholes who murdered Matthew Shepard a decade ago and hung his body on a fence like vermin. They'll balk at paying to watch "faggots" on the field, and it would hurt revenues.

But if they don't accept Sams--named and widely acknowledged the BEST defensive player in the BEST conference in the country, the SEC--then they look like the intolerant cracker asswholes--which. of course, they consumately are--but that sort of admission, even de facto, will generate acres of bad press, too.

So Sams coming out put the "League"  in a "no win" situation, and they can be expected to extract some sort of vengeance.

Which is why I think there's a high probably he will NOT be drafted at all, and almost CERTAINLY not in the high rounds, where his signing would be seen as a signal of at least tacit approval.