Tuesday, December 27, 2011

As The Cookie Crumbles: Fully Rigged

Unca Joe Stalin is reputed to have remarked that "Who votes doesn't matter; what matters is who COUNTS...votes."

There has been pretty good evidence gathered by the likes of the USer investigative journalist, Greg Palast, who writes for the Guardian in London, and a slew of indefatigable voters (BradBlog, et al) that USer elections have for some time been prey to, and have not infrequently been determined by election fraud.

Not voter fraud; not the efforts of single individuals to vote more than once. But the kind of manipulation which was probably determinative in the Presidential elections of 200 and 2004; but there is no reason in principle that it couldn't have happened at any time since votes have been electronically cast and/or counted...

Voting machines themselves have been so often so easily hacked that many States have gone back to paper ballots. I work as an election judge, and I've seen the precautions which now surround ballot security. There still remains that week link, to which Unca Joe alluded: the count.

In USer elections, overwhelmingly, ballots are TABULATED (i.e., "counted") by machines which read cards inscribed with votes at the voting machine. But the cards, the tabulators, and the soft-ware which directs the operatiuon of the tabulator are all PRIVATE PROPERTY, belonging to corpoRats which have vested interests in the outcomes of the processes they control, including the "proprietary" software which is illegible to ANYONE outside the company hierarchy.

But tainted machinery isn't the only way our elections are stolen.

The system is rigged in MANY ways, most of which are no more amenable to ready solution that those problems posed by the tabulators. But it's done by the same corpoRat interests. These typically begin long before the actual election season even begins:
First, since campaign fundraising success is considered a crucial metric of 'electability,' candidates must make themselves acceptable to corporate interests which account for more than 60% of all campaign contributions.

Next, once the candidate's acceptability is vetted, corpoRat interests impose restrictions on candidate access to the media and to participation in rituals like debates where name recognition is created...

Then, of course, Corporate media conduct and report exit polling, which can and probably has altered results, by creating a kind of media-induced voter suppression effect, inducing some voters to NOT venture to the polls. This happened, significantly, in the 1980 Presidential "contest."

And now, of course, there are the complications of corporate personhood and the legal determination that money equals speech, along with removal of restrictions on corporate campaign financing and lobbying freeing billions to buy our elected representatives.

Other interventions are more structurally intrusive. I've already discussed the manipulation of electoral structures and mechanisms. There is also the process called gerrymanering," the partisan redistricting, which re-draws electoral district maps that favor a particular party every decade. Recently there have been flurries of efforts in many States to manipulate boter ID laws that disenfranchise young, poor and minority voters, too.

In Florida, in 2000, and in (mostly mostly Democratic precincts) there were countless examples of fraudulent purging of voter rolls, including "caging" - removing a voter from the rolls or discarding their vote based on the return of direct mail to their listed address, a practice found to be used fraudulently and with racial bias, making it illegal under the Voting Rights Act. And of course, the disenfranchisement of felons, many poor, black or Hispanic, and convicted on drug offenses.

So, as the electoral season rolls inexorably upon us, those are the forces at work to disturb you and disrupt your vote, hippies.

Remember: Voting really IS the least you can do...We'll count 'em up when I see you at the beach.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

As the Cookie Crumbles (12/23/11): The OTHER "Frac"

Intuitive engineering! Deterministic chaos in the sand!

Colleague Dr. Wombat and I were remarking on "fractals" and Mandelbrot sets earlier.


The dispersal of a given species of trees in a given forest will replicate the pattern of stems on a given branch which then replicates the branching structure of the leaf, etc; for instance.

Wombat noted noted that, once you notice them, you cannot ever again ignore them.

You cannot "unsee" them.

And what they suggest, in the strongest terms, is that Geometry is "God..."|

Humans have a word for it: "infinity"

But we don't really MEAN it.

"We" say "infinity," but we assume (deeply) there is some 'beginning' or some 'end.'

But infinity really is infinite. So there is, in principle, no END to the permutations of self-referential, self-organizing recurrence.

And the "universe" is no more, there is "multiverse."

UniverSES...Plural...Indeed, INFINIITE.

And none of them need resemble ours in the slightest; or some may, while others do not. Infinitely.(End Vid Here)


Something to think about at the beach, eh, hippies

Monday, December 19, 2011

Hippie News & Stuff (12/19/11): Con Con-Con

Every year PoliSci classes all over the country dispatch students to "ManInTheStreet" interviews with 'average citizens' who are presented with the Bill of Rights in modern language, and are then polled as to whether they'd approve that right in a NEW Constitution. I did it myself, both in High School and in college.

Students are often UNPLEASANTLY surprised to learn the average person will DECLINE to approve the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth,--among the original 10-as well--when given the chance--the 14th Amendment, too.

So I paid attention when a sensible chap posted the following on the Book recently:
I believe that it is increasingly difficult to construct a theory of democratic constitutionalism, applying our own 21st-century norms, that vindicates the Constitution under which we are governed today. Our 18th-century ancestors had little trouble integrating slavery and the rank subordination of women into their conception of a "republican" political order.
He followed with a sensible plea to have a Constitutional do-over.

It's hard to argue against, hard not to agree.

But I do object: the conditions which seem to us to make the "old" Constitution possibly "obsolete" also dictate that there is frankly NO CHANCE of scrapping it and/or "rewriting it," substantially, without inevitably, and irreversibly reducing the numbers and kinds of freedoms we could enjoy.

I don't actually LIKE being a wet blanket on such ideas I gotta say: Imagine Walmart in charge of the process, or Goldman-Sachs.

If you think a "new" Constitution can be drafted which would NOT be INFINITELY MORE to the liking of the Banksters and fraudsters, and the crooks, shills, and grifters in the CorpoRat boardrooms than the one under which we now labor, well I'd have to conclude that you haven't thoroughly considered just how COMPLETELY the Citizens United decision truly altered the face of political financing, and the reach of the corpoRat purse-strings.

I'd estimate there is exactly ZERO chance that the free speech clause of the first amendment would survive, being supplanted by a clause protecting the right of the propagandist to lie. You'd never hear another WORD about the 4th Amendment, and probably the Fifth would be revoked. I mean why should you need to protect yourself if you're not doing anything wrong?
See the problem?

Plus, to enact one, A new Constitution would have to be voted on. Regardez vous Prop 8 in Cal for the consequences of putting rights to the vote. And that was BEFORE the gloves came off, with Citizens United. Hundreds of millions were spent to prevent a class of citizens from enjoying the full rights of citizenship, and the "people" were propagandized to accept it?

Sorry. You just don't VOTE on "rights," hippies...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

As the Cookie Crumbles: Coincidence? I Think NOT!

Ultra-lib commentator Jim Hightower the other day ALSO delivered himself of a rant based on the Preamble to the Constitution. Musta been a good day for it.

Hightower's conceit (if it is that), like that of so many of his peers in the commentariat, is that he pretends (okay, mebbe he's sincere; whatever) that the direction that the the bankstas, financiers, and Capitalists, and the WHOLE political establishment they have bought and paid for are taking us, is some kind of aberration, that it's just an accident that current policies radically disempower the People and COINCIDENTALLY undercut the possibility of continuing democratic self-government, and that once "the people" are once again in charge, things will get "better." We're "BIGGER than this," he proclaims.

You know: THEY--Hightower, Reich, Hartmann, Cenk, Olbermann, Krugman, even, all of 'em-- HAVE TO SAY THAT.

It's what they're paid to say. What their paid to do is: to ignore the undeniable--and probably irreversible--structural ASSAULT on the popular sovereignty of the US citizenry by the Elites as if it were just an accident, or just some nasty, unforeseen consequence of their general dickishness.

Whereas it is nothing less than the WHOLE agenda of the Oligarchs, corpoRats and their minions in gummint for no LESS than 60 years... In effect, the commentariat BLAME US for losing power, rather than name the real malefactors who've stolen it and who also write their paychecks. (I am amazed how often I am reminded of Upton Sinclair's clairvoyance in the 20s when he remarked how DIFFICULT it is to get a man to see what his paycheck depends on him ignoring.)

Some folks have complained that this view amounts to a claim of a "conscious conspiracy."

Mebbe; not exactly, but it's close enough for gummint work:

Let's call it (in honor of Foucault, the guy whose analytic I'm viewing this through, might call) a "discursive" conspiracy, or a conspiracy of "epistemic affinities."

One would have to be blind to not have noticed that the ultra-wealthy, their satraps, toadies, courtesans, and gunsels (e.g., the John Birch Society (it STARTED with Koch money, ya know, right?) have been dedicated since the mid 50s--even before, according to General Smedley Butler-- to the overthrow of self-sovereignty of the American People and have been single-mindedly been dedicated to overthrowing it, from the inside. See, e.g., the teabagger contingent in Congress.

They have done and continue to do everything they possible to make Government seem as irrelevant, yet dirty, as possible, to trivialize it, to drive the People AWAY from their Constitution and poison its institutions--which happen to be ALL that stand between the Owners and whatever that's left worth having...

The movement is so pervasive, and so universal among the institutions of wealth--which are our "landmark institutions, of finance, business, and culture-- that one can no longer name ANY single author of those practices which regulate social behaviors. Yet the effects are inextricably embedded in the 'historical' memory of the institutions themselves.

Though if yu wanted to blame someone, we might remember the (blessedly late) Gipper's noxious quip: "The eight most feared words in the English language: "I'm from the Government and I'm here to help."

I wanna crap on Raygun's grave. That's the very tippy-TOP of my bucket list, hippies. What's on yours? We'll compare notes when I see you at the beach.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

As The Cookie Crumbles: Gay-Ron-TEED!

I am a BIG fan of the Preamble to the US Constitution. It is a MODEL of terse concision. It is one of the most rational paragraphs ever committed to vellum, yet it has no legal weight. And it is ALSO an interesting case of how textual authority is distributed.

Though I am NOT a lawyer/constitutional scholar, even the most cursory little google search yields copious authorities stating that there is no legal precedent in which the "Preamble" has been determinative. So it retains no power in law; yet it's rhetorical power is considerable:
We the People of the United States, in Order to (1) form a more perfect Union, (2) establish Justice, (3)insure domestic Tranquility, (4) provide for the common defence, (5) promote the general Welfare, and (6) secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
This short paragraph contains, in outline, ALL the proximate causes and the purposes, and the rationale of "Government" of ANY damn kind! What ELSE would you want it to do?

In just about 50 words, it articulates EVERY possible reason to create a government, a "State." The part I wanna focus on is that whole "to promote the general welfare"-thing? 5th out of six, yes, but still and ahead of the progeny? Significant!

What that meant, THEN, in a still agrarian, still frontier, still imperiled, still unsettled land is not what we might expect it to betoken for us today. Yet the Founders were practical fellows. Their ideas of "general Welfare" as a social good would not differ far from our own.

So, in a predominantly "urban" civilization, where the overwhelming majority of citizens are prohibited by location, situation and especially EXPERIENCE--how many of us have slaughtered an animal or ground wheat for bread?--from eking out a subsistence "living" from their surroundings...

In an economy wholly sustained bymoney, a guaranteed annual "subsistence" income--say, for the sake of agrument, equal to the minimum wage, perhaps--should be a civil right, and an exemplary case of 'promoting the general welfare." If you have no "money," you basically do not exist in the social calculus of this culture.

Put another way, (And if that isn't the longest sentence you read today, I'll eat a hat...W):

Under conditions of late-industrial/mature financial Capitalism, when the State has vouchsafed such Commons as have thus far survived appropriation from private property accumulation by the wealthy,

and when there is no longer any (legal) way to provide a dignified life, or even sustainable subsistence (hence, beggars), without "money,"

I regard there to be no other way to interpret that clause in the Preamble to the Constitution, to "promote the public welfare"--one of the ONLY six designated purposes of/for a/the State-- except that the provision of a guaranteed annual base-line income--along with free health care, the provision for free elections, and the maintenance of borders--are just about the ONLY legitimate expenses the State can incur.

And it's far better for them to be spent that way than to be squandered in ruinous international military adventures which function only to support the enrichment of the corpoRats or the to fool the people that it is NOT desperate grasp of a falling empire to obtain impossible immortality.

All Empires fall, hippies, no matter the efforts to sustain them. So screw it, let's go surfing...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hippie News & Stuff (12/26/11): Self-Destructive

Hola, Hippies, Winstone, my good man, thanks for the kind words, and Bugs, well, y'know how we do...

At the risk of sounding perhaps a little hyerbolic, we DO seem standing on the edge of the abyss, staring on-coming destruction right in the eye...

And instead of pitching in to avert looming disaster, the politicos in DC--particularly the GOPhux, but with the apparent complicity of far too many ALLEGED Dims--seem content to stand by while a the last few nails are driven into the plain, pine boards where the Constitution is interred.

Remember how everybody got the vapors when Rush said--and the Yertle, the Senator echoed--how it was gonna be the GOPhux' job for the next 4 years see that St. Barry, the Accommodating, was a failure? How everyone was aghast we were (while some folx cheereed??? How COULD they, we all asked, incredulously? And then the proceeded to DO IT!

They LOUDLY and PROUDLY proclaimed the fall of Obambster to be their ultimate goal...But THAT claim is not supported by the Party's actual deeds: they have not put up as a candidate ANYONE who actually stands ANY chance of 'defeating' brave Sir Barry next year.... Newt and Rick Perry BOTH MISSED the filing deadlines for the VIRGINIA primary, which suggests to me a certain lack of seriousness, on the parts of both candidates and their Party...

So what's really up?

Here's my thought: While their attacks nominally are on Sir Barry, the brunt of the assault--and the depredations during the Bushevik years, before that--REALLY IS "structural."

That is: It's an assault on VERY INSTITUTIONS, and INSTRUMENTS --that's Congress, the Executive and the Courts, inclusively, hippies-- by which the Constitutionally empowered Common Folks such as US, in a democratic republic, such as this one, are supposed to be able just POSSIBLY to feebly resist the final Usurpation of the Commons and the conquest of the State by the global, corpoRat Oner/Owner/Oligarchy.

They cant come right out and say that, of course; not just yet, anyway. But saying they're "bringing down Obama" wins support for this project from the "base" which will, of course, ALSO be ass-fucked by the GOPhux plans...

The "loyal Opposition" (yeah-right) SAY they're ONLY doing what they HAVE to do to defeat the Obambster.

And they get away with it, because destroying brave Sir Barry is acceptable, certainly to their base. The GOPhux can do ANYTHING they wanna, if it will result in the defeat of the Nigra. Bringing down the entire democratic infrastructure is NOT acceptable, UNLESS or EXCEPT if it is the "unforeseen consequence" of "driving that damn Negro out of town."

So, as we conclude another year, perhaps hyperbole is the least of our difficulties.

See ya at the beach in the NEW YEAR, hippies: Prospero Ano Nuevo, todos--now back to my pal, WinSTONER, in hippie central...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

HN &S: Naming Names

We're Number One! We're Number One! USA! USA! It being an even-numbered year impending, there will be plenty of occasions to hear the chants and bragadoccio resound in athletic and political venues.

Now, it's one of my own personal "editorial" conceits is that I make fun, a little, of the iconic terms by which my countryfolk identify themselves. Under the heading of complaints youi'll never fix?

So, I refer to "Americans" as "USers," since we're the NUMBER ONE users of shit on the planet.

I've been trying to spread "USers" as a subversive meme for a close to decade now, but I'm the only one apparently who recognizes the wit and cleverness of my allusion. You're not supposed to have to explain a good joke, but apparently it's n ot a good joke, so here goes:

To me, there's no fewer than four levels at which changing our national appellation, "works":

1) USers aren't the ONLY "Americans," though we imperialistically ceded the term to ourselves exclusively, so it reinstitutes a necessary distinction;

2) "US" metonymizes the whole title of the State just as well as "American" does, and does it more efficiently;

3) US also names "us," the group, the way the names of tribal groups always mean "the people" in whatever the relevant language, and

4) the aforementioned, globe-gobbling consumptive habits we so thoughtlessly exhibit... This was the "BEST" Black Weekend on record. It's like we're celebrants toasting marshmallows on the fire that's already consumed the kitchen and is starting on the den.

On the whole, "USer" works perhaps on TOO many levels--which in not a bad thing, except in a country which regards "nuance" with the same acceptance as it would "leprosy."

Anyway, you see what fun you can have with words, hippies?
Bring the scrabble board, and we can play at the beach, if the surf's not up. Back to you in hippie-central, winstone...


Another term I virtually always substitute in prose is "'Murkun" for "American." That's cuz most of the people who I hear saying the word, outside the professionally "literate" class, truncate it. Usually the "A" disappears or is barely hinted at; hence the 'apostrophe'. Then the first diphthong, which in Standard American English (SAE) rhymes with /bear/, slurs into a sound like vowel sound in /murky/ or /murder/... The third syllable is elided, swallowed, disappeared; the "i" vanishes. And the "can," as finishing syllable is filled with a schwa.


This'n, as my pal Trish reminded me, is a little more problematic, cuz it "class-loaded, in ways that USer isn't.

Friday, December 9, 2011

As the Cookie Crumbles: Missing Our Marx

Frederic Jamison, the Marxist critic and theorist, speculated, about a decade ago, that "It is easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of capitalism." Probably, without chaotic, catastrophic upheaval of a truly global cataclysmic nature, it is IMPOSSIBLE. They are entwined.

This is, in part, of course, because capitalism is so deeply embedded in the chartacter and nature of modern life, and for so long, that all--or nearly all--the institutions and structures we inhabit are either implanted within it, or they are in fact dependent upon it. The roots of the system extend deep into the Renaissance, and are embedded in the very fabric of law and custom of virtually ALL the places where European influence touched and settled.

Marx saw Capital as a transitory, intermediary stage in the materialist march toward socialism, and I respect Herr marx greatly. (Karl also fondly believed in the "perfectibility of human nature." It is there that he and I diverge, but that is a subject for another day...)

At all events, I do NOT see how socialism CAN emerge from such a predatory capitalistic system, except literally from the ashes...

We can find fodder for Marxist critique everywhere.

That lil, ol' Marxist, Dr. Woody, unpacked a stinky morsel of it the other day when he happened into a discussion on F-Book of the publically expressed "necessity" of what mainstream economists call "structural unemployment."

You've probably heard the term. It's circulated a lot. It's a euphemism--See, i.e., Orwell--for the embedded requirement within the Capitalist ontology that there be a permanent pool of workers desperate for jobs, from which POOL the Owners can threaten to replace fractious or dissident workers demanding too many (that is, any) concessions from the Bosses.

This is called "enforcing worker discipline" in the manuals of CorpoRat culture. You'll hear about it in MBA school, but no place else (except here, on WWH!).

For a long time--since the early '50s, last Century, the size of that pool of unemployed workers needed to perform and maintain "worker discipline,"-- i.e., the service of keeping the WORKING work-force docile through silent blackmail and intimidation--was thought by 'mainstream' economists, to be about 4%. In a work-force comprising say, 50 million jobs, that's about 200,000 workers for whom there are, by definition, NO JOBS--unless they replace someone who already has one.

But that was before the technology explosion multiplied productive potential by orders of magnitudes over the past 30 years; since then the "magic" number has been edging upward, so that it's now around EIGHT percent.

Once again, in the same 50 Million job universe, that would be FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND people for whom there are no jobs. But then introduce the element of the (structurally unavoidable) boom-bust cycle of Capital--i.e., the Great Recession/Depression--and suddenly there are no longer 50 Million jobs, there are only 35 Million jobs, but you still got the structurally (I call them) 'disemployed" pool sized to a larger economy, and the effects multiply.

You wanna know what the official "name" for the acceptable/necessary number of people for whom there are no jobs unless they get them from someone else.

You'll laugh, Hippies.

Funnily enough, that number is called "Full Employment."

Us less-than-fully-employed, we meet at the beach...

Monday, December 5, 2011

HN & S: DIS-Employed

From the WWH Department of Fucking DUH!

A recent piece in the scab-run Huff Post reports the obvious: Quote: Nearly all who lost jobs are worse off now. A recent poll of Americans who lost their job during the most intense period of the Great Recession shows that only 7 percent have climbed back to their previous financial position." It goes on:

"The other 93 percent may have experienced a minor or a major change in lifestyle; they may think of themselves as being in good, fair, or poor shape; and they may consider their new condition temporary or permanent. What they all have in common is that right now, they are not doing as well as they were before the recession hit."

I recently read a report in the financial press somewhere that --of those who were what out brethren in the Home Aisles call "obsoleted" or "rendered redundant-- NO MORE THAN 30% will EVER find the means to return to their previous levels of affluence (relatively), security or responsibility.

It's even worse if you're over 50. If you're over 50 and have been out of work, still, since 2008 or thereabouts, you might as well go smoke the tailpipe, cuz YOUR chances are even less than the average.

But the way Woody sees it, the vast majority of people who no longer have jobs aren't "unemployed." That's the wrong word for it.

While it's true they don't have jobs, that's mostly NOT their fault. There aren't any jobs to have.

The Monthly Lie from the Labor Department declares the "jobless" rate at under 9 percent for the first time in it seems like a generation.

But the DoL numbers are notoriously incomplete, incorrect, and biased for the status quo. If the data are even remotely reliable, likely it's because several hundred thousand folks, whose benefits expired recently, have quit reporting themselves unemployed and quit looking for work.

In addition, just for shot of reality: A hundred twenty thousand "new" jobs aren't enough to put the people to work who only last month JOINED the workforce, much less replace any "lost" jobs.

"Unemployed" makes it sound like there's some sort of choice, and that the person so labeled is in that position voluntarily. "Unemployed" blames the victim as much as the system. They're NOT fucking "unemployed."


They HAD jobs, until their JOBS were eliminated to save the CorpoRats a few sheckels. They didn't "lose" their jobs.

I dunno about you all, but I NEVER "lost" a job" in my whole life...

I knew EXACTLY where every last one of them sumbitches was the day they run me off...

The DISEMPLOYED meet daily at the beach, hippies... Back to Hippie Central, Winstone...

As the Coocie Crumbled: Two Years Later...

Why Obama Isn't Getting Anything Done...And Won't..."Hyar com' de new bahss, jis lahk de o' bahss."
On Sunday, November 29, 2009, I posted the following text on my "Walled-in Pond" blog: All that vaunted and hyped and spun "hopery-changery" is sheerest, purest de/illusion, the vague assurance of some kind of "corpoRate" brand quality. It has to do with the calculations of the Owners and the fact that even WHITE people were developing a deep dislike and distrust for the Chimp and his cheneyed minions. A change was definitely needed. Folks--even white folks--were becoming restive.

SO, in a year when, literally, ANYBODY could have beaten the Pukes at the polls, when the Party suffered the lowest approval numbers in 50 years, with the Puke candidate pool either cancerous or carcinogenic, the Dims put up "novelty" candidates--the first woman & the first non-white, both, simultaneously--either one of which would have faced exactly the same problems with governing, but (having) both of which would emboss the "Dim" brand with "cred" for the 'lower orders' whom the Party is supposed to represent.

(One reason why the Dims anymore have so little authority is that their constituency, while numerous, is also economically and socially powerless: i.e., the "losers." It's like high school, and the Pukes are the BMW-driving jocks and their retinues, whole the Dims are the nose-pickers. Revenge of the nerds? It is to laugh!)

In the event, Obama was "preferable" to the owners (
he got the nod)--whence, Rupert Murdoch's entirely sensible personal endorsement of him; Obama's been the BEST thing for Faux Gnuz since 9/11 and terrorism)--mainly because there is already a greater cultural predisposition to hate ("despise") a "colored" person than a 'white' woman. And, since the job of this president--whomsoever it turned out to have been--was to be someone onto whom 'angry white (male)' voters could displace their fear and loathing of the Bushies (and CorpoRats whom they so evidently represented), thereby paving the way for their return in the next cycle, the male PoC is a more viable--a mopre 'acceptable'--object of hatred and derision than a 'white' woman would have been.(Remember, I wrote this 2 years ago)So as president, Obama is probably going to preside over a devastating series of apparent and real failures, festooned with a couple of symbolic, but nevertheless Pyrrhic "victories"--probably they'll give him a basically meaningless health-care-insurance-reform-savings bill to sign.

But, he cannot abandon Central Asia. That's where his owners' and paymasters' real interests lie: in and under the mud of the Caspian Sea. To have any say in the disposition of the undeveloped riches there, "we" must be able to "extend influence" in the region: that is, bring under the bomb- and gun-sights of USer tactical aircraft--indusputably and unopposably the best in the world--every person, place and thing in a thousand-mile radius. So we're not leaving Central Asia.

And despite the best evidence of many thousands of studies, charts, and cores, nobody--including "thePrez"--is going to get serious about the imminent collapse of the world climate system, the poisoning of the oceans, the eliimination of fish stocks, the poisoning of more forests, the mining of more 'blood-minerals.'

And he's turned Wall Street right back to the venal mendacities of the criminals and cretins who nearly brought the whole thing down in the first place. And he's restored their perqs, and he hasn't restored any meaningful regulation.

It is symptomatic of just how weak he is in really practical matters that it took until last week to get his FIRST appellate judicial nominee confirmed, and there were at LEAST 70 former Bushevik US attorneys still mucking up the works in the DoJ, which is still and probably irremediably now a sump of politicization and obstruction.

It was a set-up. Anyway, that has seemed obvious to me for some time, since the primaries.

Now, with the renewed "official/bipartisan" attention to "fixing"--that is, "gutting"--Social Security to "pay for" limited, preferential, expensive health insurance, it seems another part of his job may be to preside over the final coup de gras to the New Deal.

Like it took a Puke--Nixon--to go to China, it needs a Dim to eviscerate the social safety net. Obama's the designated hitter here (but the job would have fallen to--and been gladly assumed by--Hillary, too, if she'd been selected instead.). Between bouts of fellating the ghost of Ronald Reagan and dissing the movements of the 60s and 70s which paved the way for his eventual emergence onto the national stage, Obama did say, during the campaign, that SS 'reform' would be on the table.

How easy to forget, because the voice is mellifluous, and the discourse articulate, that once on there, nothing ever leaves whole...

I repeat this here not to brag on any prophetic propensities of my own, but to point to the ease with which even a dilettante such as myself could tumble to the facts of the matter, just how 1) obvious it must have been and 2) the SHEER MASTERY of the propaganda effort required to the glittering image..

I'll go out on a dilettantish limb here and "predict" here and now that in 2016, the GOPhux ticket will be a recrudescence of the Bush/Cheney meme, only the FIRST names changed: Jebbie and Lizzie.

You heard it first here on WorldWideHippies, hippies!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

As the Cookie Crumbles (12/3/11): Lawn ordure

There's a sorta counter-culture joke that if you remember the 60s, you probably weren't "there." I was, and I do.

And I gotta say, brutal aggressions inflicted on the peacefully assembled members of the OCCUPY movement, as municipal regimes of power endeavored to reclaim control of the streets and parks, curbs and campuses, seem to have been greeted with an outrage that, to me anyway, was unexpectedly both surprised and astonished. It had a tone that, it seems to me could only originate in youth or depraved indifference: Either the surprise is coming from someone too young to have experienced the counter-cultural revolution of the decade (@) 1964-74 with any meaningful cognitive acumen, or they are willfully, ignorantly in denial of it.

Cuz, of course, it's all happened before. I was there, though in my day, only the tear-gas was 'weapons'-grade,' not the pepper-spray, and the shackles were steel... From my own experience, I can attest that there is not much in the armory of justice like a steel-shod police horse urging you to move along, to disperse a dissident crowd, no matter how reluctant they might be...

I hate to actually refer to this again, cuz I feel like I'm doing the State's work by reminding you, but who remembers the killings of four innocent students at Kent State. You're spozed to. That's why they keep reminding us. A good photograph is easier to reproduce than a hung jury, on what now seems to have been an officer's premeditated order to open fire by the Ohio National Guard on an unarmed, non-threatening, DISTANT crowd.

A couple weeks later, it happened again at Jackson State U, in Mississippi, but in that case, of course, the victims were BLACK kids, so it got a LOT less attention, then as now. You could look it up...

Back then, they called out the Guard to do their dirty work.

These days, with the Guard at least partially still deployed in combat adventures overseas, that responsibility seems now to have devolved on the local and State cops. But that's okay, cuz with the apparently irresistible, probably irreversible infection of the civilian constabulary with the "Pentagon Syndrome," --that's the inter-penetration of the police systems with weapons, tactics, and ideologies all perfected in counter-insurgencies in wars of choice over the last 40 years, the mission of the civilian police departments in many--if not MOST--locales is either rapidly being, or already has been transformed:

From "Serve & Protect," to "Search & Destroy"!

There's nothing in the worst of us that isn't in the REST of us. Back in the '70s, a psychologist named Zimbardo, at Stanford iirc, conducted an infamous experiment which was instructive in this matter of power.

He created a faux-prison environment, and recruited subjects to perform either as guards or as prisoners. He informed the guards they were permitted to use ANY means necessary to enforce compliance from the prisoners. They SWIFTLY descended into savagery and sadism. The experiment was cancelled within DAYS, if not hours.

Thus proving, along with Milgram's study a decade earlier, at Yale, where he tested the limit of the willingness to inflict pain to achieve compliance, that our "inner fucking Pig-cop" is not far buried in any of us, and all we await is permission/reason/excuse to turn the fucker loose..

Put another way: Dress anyone at all in a cop-suit and their inner "fucking Pig" emerges almost instantaneously! Cops follow orders to commit mayhem in the name of order because it's their JOB.

I believe EVERYBODY, at some time in their live, and preferrably early enough to make a cognitive difference, should be seriously rousted by the cops, treated to the full script as a suspected "perp/skel." ("Okay, motherfucker, you know the drill: Assume the position and don't you fucking MOVE!")

By a "good" cop on a bad day or by a BAD cop ANY day.

TO also think there should be a draft for the police-force. Make EVERYBODY do it, like military service usta be. That way everybody gets tarred with the same brush. But that's speculation for another day.

Or when I see you at the beach, hippies.
By the way, as you know, we're hip-deep in the "holiday season," and folks are thinking "gifts." If that's you, swing on by the WWH Company Store, and haul in a basket of WWH-tchotchkes to help assuage your incipient guilt.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

>As The Cookie Crumbles: Pain In The Ass

The thing about pain, hippies, is that it is all YOURS. Nobody else can tell you what hurts, how badly, or what helps or how much. It's like the old surfers' adage: You're the only one in that barrel.

If the complaints by MANY MANY Of my peers --the OLD hippies--are an indication, I am beginning to think there is an undisclosed, disabling epidemic of pain among the middle-aged people of Murka: Dozens of my correspondents have mentioned trials of enduring and trying to stop/prevent sciatic pain. Call it "PAIN In The Ass-Region." And I agree: It's a bitch.

I suffer sciatica in my right leg/hip/back. An attack starts with the sensation that someone it twisting a dull, rough-edged poker deep inside my right buttock. This pain persists throughout the entire episode, but it is augmented and intensified by other attendant discomforts: the numbness, and the simultaneous tingling that advances down the exterior of my leg, down to the ankle, where it seems to cut off sensation with my foot such that, if I'm walking, it seems that I am merely pushing some dumb peg ahead of me.

These sensations persist until I can sit down for a few--mebbe five--minutes. If lucky, I'm good for about half- to 3/4 of an hour before I MUST sit down.

Because of the location of the spot at which the discomfort ALWAYS originates--just about the center of my right haunch--I have always attributed it to the fact that, for most of 40 years, it was on that hip/haunch, in just about exactly that spot, where I carried my wallet...

Which, in the way of those things, grew thick--not with cash but with all those goddam plastic cards and ID. The fucker was as thick as a block of 2x4, sometimes. And just as hard and unyielding. And I casually sat on it, without much thought, until the damage was done...

So now, I'm on a sorta private crusade to persuade men to stop carrying their wallets in their hip pockets, cuz sciatica hurts like a sumbitch and doesn't easily go away, if it goes away at all. Call it "karma repair." Check it out...

I've linked a video which demonstrates ways to stretch one of the muscles the extreme tightness of which very often is implicated in the pain, the piriformis. I gather there's a surgical procedure, too. But I haven't looked into that much.

So I'll hobbling down now, and hope to see you at the beach. Bring accupuncture needles, Hippies...

HN &S: Naming Names (12/12/11)

We're Number One! We're Number One! USA! USA! It being an even-numbered year impending, there will be plenty of occasions to hear the chants and bragadoccio resound in athletic and political venues.

Now, it's one of my own personal "editorial" conceits is that I make fun, a little, of the iconic terms by which my countryfolk identify themselves. Under the heading of complaints youi'll never fix?

So, I refer to "Americans" as "USers," since we're the NUMBER ONE users of shit on the planet.

I've been trying to spread "USers" as a subversive meme for a close to decade now, but I'm the only one apparently who recognizes the wit and cleverness of my allusion. You're not supposed to have to explain a good joke, but apparently it's n ot a good joke, so here goes:

To me, there's no fewer than four levels at which changing our national appellation, "works":

1) USers aren't the ONLY "Americans," though we imperialistically ceded the term to ourselves exclusively, so it reinstitutes a necessary distinction;

2) "US" metonymizes the whole title of the State just as well as "American" does, and does it more efficiently;

3) US also names "us," the group, the way the names of tribal groups always mean "the people" in whatever the relevant language, and

4) the aforementioned, globe-gobbling consumptive habits we so thoughtlessly exhibit... This was the "BEST" Black Weekend on record. It's like we're celebrants toasting marshmallows on the fire that's already consumed the kitchen and is starting on the den.

On the whole, "USer" works perhaps on TOO many levels--which in not a bad thing, except in a country which regards "nuance" with the same acceptance as it would "leprosy."

Another term I virtually always substitute in prose is "'Murkun" for "American." That's cuz most of the people who I hear saying the word, outside the professionally "literate" class, truncate it. Usually the "A" disappears or is barely hinted at; hence the 'apostrophe'. Then the first diphthong, which in Standard American English (SAE) rhymes with /bear/, slurs into a sound like vowel sound in /murky/ or /murder/... The third syllable is elided, swallowed, disappeared; the "i" vanishes. And the "can," as finishing syllable is filled with a schwa.


This'n, as my pal Trish reminded me, is a little more problematic, cuz it "class-loaded, in ways that USer isn't.

Anyway, you see what fun you can have with words, hippies?
Bring the scrabble board, and we can play at the beach, if the surf's not up. Back to you in hippie-central, winstone...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Beware: All-Murkin "Heroes" On The Loose

Lotta folks here in UServille are feeling secure that the US military wouldn't attack the "people."

HERE'S another scummy, reeking, drooling motherfucking shitbucket asswhole in uniform distancing itself from the "people." If this skeevy shitheel is any indication, I wouldn't be so sure.

Read what the shitbag writes!

Woody takes the expression of sentiments like these as the clearest evicence I can think of that certain elements of the USer military would INDEED "fire" on the "people" if ordered to do so...and gladly, without compunction.

Here's another one.

If this moron is to be believed, the Marines are compromised too. I had something to say about this clown last week:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

As The Turkey Crumbles: Gobble, Gobble

With the "failure" of the Super-Duper Defeat-the-Debt-Deficit-and-Screw-the-Poor Reconciliation Committee, congressional approval has sunk lower than what hitherto was the lowest of the low, deeper than proverbial whale shit. Nine percent? Worse than The Obamster; worse than British Petroleum; worse than Iran; worse than pedophile priests! Worse than canned cranberries! Worse than ANYTHING! according to a report released this week by Sen. Michael Bennett, D-CO.

On that same day, one of my F-book correspondents, a smart guy, liberal, progressive, literate, posted some reflections about Congress on his F-book 'wall':
CONGRESS HAS TWO FUNCTIONS: To declare war and administer the power of the purse. Nixon took away their power to declare war with the War Powers Act and Congress just proved again they have no ability or interest in exercising the power of the purse; they failed once again to create a budget and this will have dramatic consequences for every American. The first thing government should cut to save money ought to be the appropriations for Congress. No sense in paying for incompetent waste on a grand scale, is there?
I'm not gonna read it to you. It's on the blog. But, unfortunately, it's sensible, and logical, and measured. And considering the source, an opinion of some gravitas. He ends up suggesting that we just defund Congress, make 'em impotent. And it prompted me to consider again a suggestive confluence of recent phenomena.

Cuz I wondered: You don't really think this all is just some fluke or something, do you? That every public institution of government in the democratic USof A in complete paralysis and disarray? Really? I don't.

I ask, cuz if I were part of same CorpoRat brain trust which is tasked by our compeers--peacefully and unobtrusively and inexpensively and maybe even deniably, and bloodlessly if possible--to overthrow all that bothersome democratic regulation and oversight shit, this is exactly how I would approach the problem: sabotage "democracy," itself. It is, after all, the ONLY force keeping these fascist freaks even slightly in check.

We've talked about an economic "coup" before, hippies...In slow motion. Sixty years, now, and counting. They're in no hurry, nobody's going anywhere. They see to that, too. Where ya gonna go? And it's paying compound interest! No, there's no hurry.

And so, over time, the Owners have slowly but surely been implementing policies and practices which would have the cumulative effect, after 50 or 60 years--which is right now, coincidentally, hippies--of finally and irrevocably alienating the people from their own personal, political sovereignty.

That's the target, hippies: Make us so sick and disgusted with it all that we'll voluntarily abandon self-government. Oh, and the Treasury? Did we mention, the Treasury. Um, yeah, that too. Yeah, the Treasury, yeah...You understand, these things are expensive. And you didn't think WE were gonna pay for 'em didja? Really? Arenjew CUTE!

So by conscious design, a couple of generations ago, machineries and devices and plans and discourses were set in motion which are culminating, even as we eat our turkey and watch football, in the undoing of the ability of ANY instruments, powers, and/or institutions of the State to be employed for the Public good instead of for, or even--the unthinkable!--AGAINST the private, monopolizing, corpoRat interests.

Remember sophomore Civics? The three "branches" of govt: Executive, Legislative, Judicial. Ring bells, hippies? They've been taking the Gummint apart, one branch at a time, since 1963, when they assassinated JFK.

What, you think that WASN'T an "inside job?" They murdered Camelot, quite consciously, as an object lesson to chasten the people still chuffed from victory in World War II, and to warn their kids: Eh, you ain't so to hot; don't get your hopes up. (Likely, the proximate cause was JFK's dismissal of Allen Dulles from the CIA, but it could have been anything.) Johnson installed the Great Society on JFK's gravitas, memory, and mythology. But he got Vietnam, too, in thanks for his troubles, and it broke him.

Then they put Nixon in, and we know what happened there: the high crimes and misdemeanors, his own obvious disingenuousness, his war, his agents, his treachery, and his near impeachment. Spiro Agnew!?! Carter was set up and swept aside as inept.

Then came the Reagan regime's wholesale corruption, unprecedented in the the Century, possibly, beginning even BEFORE the election with their negotiations with Iranian mullahs to prevent Carter from winning the release of the embassy hostages before the election, and extending comprehensively throughout the rest of their tenure: the arms-for-hostages scandals, and the Contras scandals, Oliver North, Salvadoran nuns, and the rest. The honored and beloved Gipper presided over the most egregiously corrupt regime since Taft, at least. By the time GHWBush pledged by his own lips No New Taxes, public trust in the Presidency was as shattered an illusion as the fucking tooth fairy. Bill Clinton was almost a more efficient REPUBLICAN president than GHWBush. He ended welfare as we know it and celebrated the repeal of Glass-Steagal, after all.

Along with the Presidency, naturally, went the trust in the bureaucracy, which Reagan's gunsels also undertook to destroy and diminish from the start. Remember his catchy phrase, telling us "the nine most feared words--I'm from the Gummint and I'm here to help." Both Bush regimes Chimperor Bush's as well as Poppie, installed cells of subversive, anti-government, and in the latter's case, Christo-theistic ideologues whose sole and only reason for existing is to clog up the internal works of the legitimate functions of the State from the inside...They're saboteurs.

I spend more time on the presidence because it it the more prominent, the more iconic institution. But the other two have been reduced, too.

The ideological corruption of the SCROTUS--and by extension, the whole judicial edifice--was displayed once and for all in the Bush v. Gore decision ending the Florida recount in 2000 and ensconcing the Chimperor Bush in the WhiteHouse, as the official sock-puppet of the PNAC and the banks. Sandra Day O'Connor, already planning her retirement to care for her ailing husband, told confidants that she didn't intend to have her replacement named by a Democrat. Since then, the Opus Deists--Roberts, Thomas, Scalia and Alito, abetted crucially by Edwin Meese protege Kennedy--have effectively compromised whatever was thereafter left of the previously vaunted neutrality and integrity of the SCROTUS. And with SCROTUS compromised, what's left of the rest of the Federal courts' authority?

Now the Congress, the third branch, is getting its treatment. Either because the Super-Committee could not reach agreement on the chore set it by the Shazamster, or for some other, equally plausible reason, what little approval Congress has enjoyed--and it hasn't been much--has swirled right into the bottom of the tank. So, finally, and now, a "Do-Nothing/Know Nothing/Pass Nothing" Congress is regarded approvingly by a mere nine percent of the people, who appear to be seeing through the Oligarchic kabuki.

So all three branches of the state are weakened. We should ask that old Ciceronian, double dative kicker: Cui Bono

Truth, here: Against the power and might of the CorpoRats, the only friend you have is the State. Hence the corpoRat fixation on and obsession with undermining and subsuming it. Yet, in the words of the renowned/reviled Robert Ruark, in around 1965, already: "Nothing works, and nobody cares."

In whose interest is this incipient collapse? Now, as it all grinds down, and the infrastructure slowly crumbles, and obesity and disease envelope the "people"--those poor, medicated, dedicated, terminally confused, ignorant, distracted, impoverished, desperate, incurious citizens, along with the drooling morons, ranting imbeciles and prancing fucktards--whose interests are served by a people who will be EAGER to renounce the troublesome, contentious, dirty business of self-rule, and will be HAPPY to turn it ALL over to the tender mercies of the Oligarchs in their boardrooms?

And, now, it seems, all the pieces are in place.

The primary piece, if we were honest is that here you got a "Negrow" in the WhiteHouse. No 'white" person--not even Ralph Nader or another Kennedy--could supply that particular grade of irritant. He is sand in the fillings of the Limbaughs and the rest of the slithering Rightards...But the Obombster's still LOVED by around half the people, if loathed by the rest. A POLARIZER, no matter that he casts himself as a compromiser and a conciliator.

I think his "reelection is assured by the fact that he's been so good to the Owners already that, even though they complain (for chops--so the proles don't get the wrong idea), it sounds pro forma and insincere.. But the surest index of this fact is the mediocrity of the caricaturish clowns on the stages of their candidates' debates.

Truth, hippies: The Point-One Percenters have seldom done BETTER than with Sir Barry, the Nutless, at the helm. The very impossible mediocrity of the candidate pool itself BELLOWS to me that they plan to throw it, after a plausible effort, like they did in 08. So that "America's First Black President in fact PRESIDES over the inevitable, foreseeable moment--inevitably, like seasons--within the next five years, when China's economy surpasses that of the US, and the pundits proclaim the end of the Murkin Empire.

De Massas don' wanno WHAHT pusson takin' de faw fo' dat, no way, nossuh!

The "fall" of the Empire will be dropped directly into the laps of the "Leftists," the Soshilists, the "coloreds" and the rest of the marginalized, authentic democratic constituencies. Thus spelling effectively the exhaustion of the possibility of any subsequent effort to gain and hold power, by anyone even remotely associated with "progressive" politics.

"We trahd dat soshulism shit widdat damn Negrow, an it din't work wort' a damn...Gummint needsta run lahk a binness..."

And THAT's "Mission: Accomplished!" statement, right there, in a nutshell.

And as the nation and way of life we have know begins to disintegrate, it's fair and just to remember it's not "Obama's Plan." He is merely the designated agent. The plan "belongs" to the CorpoRatist Oligarchists who intend to bring an end to all the meddlesome and interferring, unnecessary and EXPENSIVE regulation by bringing an end to the democracy that brought the constraints into existence...

And they do THAT, hippies, by making people like ourelves so disgusted we'll WILLINGLY relinquish our rights for their "security."

Anyway, that's how it seems, from down here at the beach...Gobble, gobble, hippies!..

Thanksgiving With Arlo---

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

As The Cookie Crumbles: Frame Up

‎"Whenever the people are well informed," an optimistic Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "they can be trusted with their own government."

The Doc just LOVES Ol' Massa Tom, mos'o'de'time!

But, of course, where there is a possibility to keep the democratic throngs informed, there is also always the possibility of conscientiously DIS-inform them. The latter of which possibilities will ALWAYS be seized by the Oligarchs, and exploited, to advance their interests.

Some wag once said: IN the corporate State, corporate media are State Media.

Under a regime of corpoRatized media, in which the CorpoRate media and the State media become intertwined and indistinguishable--become, in Althusser's words, "Institutional State Apparati"--it is impossible for a whole people to BE "well-informed" because the propaganda interests of the State are such that complete disclosure, or full information are detrimental --shit, they're bloody ANATHEMA--to the agendas of those in charge.

Which is what ALWAYS happened/happens, Jefferson's ill-placed 'optimism notwithstanding.

I REALLY admire George Lakoff, too. In many ways, I regard him as a latterday Jefferson.

His book, in the 80s, "Metaphors We Live By," should be read to every child in the cradle, and annually after that.

But he--like Krugman, and Reich, and so many others (Thom Hartmann, e.g.)-- are REQUIRED to appear to uphold the myth.

It's his JOB. He's a member of the "coordinator" class, so he takes his livelihood from the top of the system it's his job to gently criticize. He CANNOT attack any hegemonic applecarts. His job is to "reform" the system from within.

He's right as rain about "frames," of course.

You knew exactly what kind of shitty, skeevy, treacherous, lying fuck Shazama would be when he never even raised a peep to challenge the Owners' frames, but accepted them as he performed his governing discourse INSIDE the GOPhux frames.

If you had paid no attention to ANYTHING else, when Obombster started talking about "entitlement reform," he gave the game away. Even a sea-urchin would have had the cranial capacity to figger it out from there.

Briefly, on another matter: Last week I ranted about both the rhetorical and the legislative futility of the Udall-Bennett amendment to permit Congress and the states to regulate campaign financing and thereby to circumvent SOME of the consequences of the Citizens United ruling in 2010.

The legislative futility is still as factor, but at least an amendment HAS been introduced which WOULD actively and actually DEPRIVE corporations of their ill-gotten, and ill-used "personhood" perqs: Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, has introduced an amendment that would ban corporate money in politics and end corporate personhood once and for all.

Deutch’s amendment, called the Outlawing Corporate Cash Undermining the Public Interest in our Elections and Democracy (OCCUPIED) Amendment, would overturn the Citizens United decision, re-establishing the right of Congress and the states to regulate campaign finance laws, even up to outlawing for-profit corporations to contribute to campaign spending.

Now THAT'S my kind of language.

It may still be futile, electorally, but it won't be useless in the event it should succeed. I'll take that, to the beach, hippies...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

As the Cookie Crumbles: Amended Development

A little while back, my Sen., Tom Udall, and Colo. Senator Michael Bennett (not, perhaps significantly, Tom's cousin, also a Colorado Senator of the Dim persuasion) introduced into the Senate a measure which would set in motion the process of amending the Constitution in ways that the sponsors say are designed to mitigate the effects of the US SCROTUS' 5-4 decision last year, that bestow individual personhood on corporations by endorsing for them--in the Citizens United case--the same right of speech in political campaigns which had previously been affirmed for individuals.

(That's prolly the longest sentence you're likely to encounter today, hippies; but this is "Woodyville," capitol of the Land of Long Sentences.)

It would be, I think, an enormous understatement to say this decision will have more, and more enduringly baleful, destructive, corrosive effects than Bush v. Gore, in 2000, which ended the Florida recount and ensured the Chimperor his first term, and which provoked the Nation's running jump onto the horns of evangelistic, Right-wing, All-murkin, neo-fascist perdition.

In the aftermath of CU decision, as its obvious, evident, predictable effects played out in 2010's elections--and as it bids fair now, again, to overwhelm the process in 2012--the "best minds" of a leftish persuasion have been struggling to find ways to 'get around' the SCROTUS ruling.

The problem--which should be apparent to even an earthworm--is that the only ("legal") expedients are all "legislative," in that they entail 'electoral' remedies, such as the passage of legislation, or the enactment of a Constitutional amendment, such as the one proposed by Udall and Bennett, on the other day.

We all agree (well, not ALL) that the biggest source of the corruption of our political process has been the conquest of the whole political system by private/corpoRat interests and financial influence, right down to the proprietary software in the tabulators that "count" your votes.

So, here's what I want to know...I'm gonna ASK this VERY slowly, clearly, and distinctly:
How does one amend the constitution to get private money out of politics when the private money already IN politics will certainly oppose it with every resource at their disposal, which are virtually unlimited and already unbounded, and include already owning out-right or effectively controling all the machineries, personalities, and institutions which would have to cooperate to get private money OUT of politics?
(That might be the second longest sentence and the longest question of they day, nest paw, hippies?)

According to the wire stories on the introduction, the proposed Udall-Bennett amendment..."doesn't directly address the justices' (insupportable, probably suborned) legal "finding" that "corporations have a right to free speech that was curtailed by election law." Instead, it would add to the Constitution language that says Congress and the states can regulate campaign contributions and expenditures.

I'm dreadfully sorry, but that somehow doesn't sound all that much of an improvement, to me.

Okay. Under the proposed amendment, States "could" regulate campaign financing expenditures.

But why or how WOULD they, when the SAME corpoRats who now exert a choke-holds on political discourse would be--ARE NOW--free to exercise EXACTLY the same baleful, corrupting, corrosive influences at the State level with which they have infected the National one.

Think about it. It's probably gonna be LOTS cheaper and EASIER to buy off State officials than national ones. That's cuz the costs of getting elected and maintaining a political establishment are lots lower in Santa Fe or Bismark or Columbus, so the bribes don't have to be exorbitant.

If Jack Abramov's right in his recent revelations that virtually EVERYBODY in office in DC is either bought or available, it is SURELY the that one can buy ANYBODY in ANY "state" gummint for a mere FRACTION of what it would cost for the services of a US. Rep, much less a Senator. And they, like their national colleagues, are ALL for sale, IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT!

On top of that, the scrutiny by the electorate (or the lap-dog "press") is less intense and easier to evade.

State judges are the key. They are usually elected, and they are essential tools to successful, corpoRat coups d'etat, as the corruption and despoliation of the SCROTUS proves, in the macro-scope: take the Judiciary, and EVERYTHING ELSE is possible.

So save yer sheckels, and "C'mon Down, Hippies."

I'll see ya at the beach...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

As The Cookie Crumbles: Matter of Degree

Along with throwing a papier-mache life-raft to home-owners already underwater, and floundering, in a sea of credit malaise, St. Barry, the Capitulator, tweaked the terms of SOME students' loans, lowering interest rates and lengthening terms. As someone who borrowed freely when the loans were plentiful, back in the day, I know the burden.

But back in the day, there were jobs with the wages/salaries from which you could pay them back, albeit slowly and interruptedly.

But bad as it was then, the plight of the student forced to borrow for their education is even worse today. And, paradoxically, it seems the PRICE that students increasingly have to pay for their "degrees" is inversely proportional to the actual VALUE of the credential once it is awarded.

The verity of this observation is attested to by a recent report which compared the value of a "college education" with that of a new car, and found the car actually, though only marginally, superior in durability value.

That, in no small part, is because "college degrees" have become a spurious requirement for about 60% of the jobs for which they're now pre-requisites. As the number of actual jobs has been declining, the qualifications for acquiring one of the scarcer and scarcer jobs have become more difficult to achieve, depending on any given individual's position on the social scale at the start. Requiring a degree for just about any position helps "keep the riff-raff out," too, because it provides another layer of "legitimate" exclusion.

It is also, again in no small part, because the whole system, it seems to me, has been cheapened and diluted by the plethora of trivial crap in which colleges and universities now offer "degrees." The paramount case of which, in my humble estimation, is business administration. "Office management?" What kind of a degree is that? What classics of the field could someone NOT in the field read with pleaasure and understanding?

And finally, they've been cheapened by their commodification by the recent explosion of proprietrary "colleges" like Kaplan and Phoenix, which essentially SELL their degrees if you can provide the cash in an atmosphere of consumerist, cash-and-carry-ism.

Did you know the University of Phoenix gets over 80% of it's $$$$ from veterans? That the majority never graduate with any meaningful professional skills? That the federal money from veterans does not count against the amount of federal money they are allowed to take in? The the for profit college gold mine is a huge supporter financially of Obama? That any regulations are mostly nonexistent? One more way to screw those least able to protect themselves. Desperation--long-term unemployment, a family, and dim prospect--inhibits clear thinking and decision making. ANY opportunity can look like salvation.

But evidence leaves one with the conclusion that ‎"Proprietary" colleges are nothing but junk degree mills, too often. Retail outlets for trivial credentials. The claims of the few folks in their ads notwithstanding, many investigations have reported that an embarrassingly SMALL number of the "graduates" of such programs do much more than increase their debt load.

That's the "price" of commodifying "education," by 'credentializing' every possible kind of job. And, as I noted before, it provides another level of social "filter," to keep the undesirables out.

It's been this way, though not nearly so blatant or obvious, for 20 years. Higher Ed has been so commodified and consumerized that it's essentially become worthless as a pedigree for dogs.

My (paid) professiorial career ended in 2000. For the previous decade at least, it had become obvious to me that students had come to regard their teachers as something akin to "knowledge clerks," paid minimum wages to fetch their "education" from the well-stocked shelves, as if it were a video game or a pair of jeans. The idea that they would actually be involved in the creation/generation/evaluation of NEW "knowledge" never even crossed their docile, bovine minds. They were there, like trained livestock, becazuse it was it was the next/last hoop they'd have to jump through before they began the process of jumping through more hoops, for pay.

I taught at big, highly regarded state schools. A plurality of my students were "legacies," whose parents had sufficient resources to send their progeny to any school the kids could get into, and they stayed home. A large percentage of the students I observed, and with whom I interacted, wanted nothing from "college" more than getting their prejudices ratified, and their tickets to the middle class punched.

They were there to "get" an education. they hadn't the faintest notion that they were actually supposed to make it themselves. Your education is like an artisan's tool-box. It contains the tools you've already made, and the templates for the ones you'll later need.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

HN&S (11/14/11): Resemblance

Woody's all ROTFLMAO! When I saw that Newt Gingrich was calling on Herman Cain to answer the charges by women who claim he--Cain--assaulted them.

Dat's funny: The used condom calling the anal plug scummy?

But if Herman Cain is a serial rapist? That's not funny. He wants to be President, so he says.

Rape = Sex procured under coercion...Or, is there something I'm missing??

Cain used his power to coerce women into sex with him, demanding--in one case we know of--that an applicant for a job as a lobbyist with the NRA (No, Not that one, though...) perform oral sex on him in exchange for the position (erm...so to speak)

So there really is no other possible construction to put on it. Five women whom Cain has allegedly abused (or more) have come forward. There are probably five DOZENS more, over the course of his life-long career of seeking power and then abusing it to assault women with impunity. Women who cannot (or dare not)...resist, or report him....

(What, you think he just started this shit in 1998, and abruptly stopped?? He's been pulling this shit since he was a young man! And he hasn't stopped, either. Think about that French dude from the IMF who was caught raping the third world one hotel maid at a time.)

Herman's problem: He "cain't" keep his dick behind his zipper.

Plus, he sounds, and he behaves, and he comports himself as SUCH the perfect, buffoonish, fast-talking caricature of the stereotype, power-hungry, pretentious, parvenu black pimp, you gotta wonder why the GOPhux keep him around, unless it is in fact because he is.

Ol' cynical WOODY, he figgers the GOPhux are using Cain to remind their "base" about the prevailing myths about black men, and why they detest and fear 'em.

They can't use that lever against Shamwow, cuz he's careful and circumspect...You listen to Obomster, why, y'd Aw-most think he was a "Whaht Mayn!"

But in GOPhux political epistemology, one black's pretty much the same as any other. Cain reminds the Whites--the rednex, crackkkers and tea-baggers in the GOPhux base--that "they all look alike."

Anyhow, that's how ol' Woody sees it, down here at de beach, hippies...back to Mah pal, Win-stone, in Hippie Central.

Friday, November 11, 2011

As The Cookie Crumbles (11/11/11):Pale Chartreuse

It's been over 18 months since BP and Halliburton presided over the worst environmental catastrophe in the HISTORY of the USofA, and the world watched in dread fascination as the civilization's heedless need for fuel delivered yet another blow to the global ecology as a whole.

Why is no one asking St. Barry, the Hopeful, the necessary, relevant questions, "even as he plans to grant NEW licenses to commit MORE ecocide?

Questions like: How will it be possible to prevent what happened in the Gulf of Mexico from happening in the Beaufort Sea, when all the same players are in place, again?

Where are the DoJ/EPA criminal prosecutions of the major corporations responsible for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? Shouldn't that be settled before you grant the same miscreants MORE chances to fuck up?

Where are the prosecutors and investigations, and grand juries around the deaths of the workers?

Why is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) not seeking prosecutions of the major polluters?

What are they doing, Instead??

Echo answers: Well, for one thing, they're coming down on whistleblowers like they were Arab terror cells. And those who support whistleblowers. And silencing the science. And buying off critics, or impuning their motives. Helping the polluters, in some cases to shut-up unruly locals and experts by threats and intimidation, where bribery won't stop it.

Meanwhile, the corporate miscreants--the liars, and corner-cutters, and late-night dumpers-- are still unfettered by anything like a social conscience, or any new, significant regulation, and they have set out to do once more in the delicate, fragile, vital Arctic oceans and permafrosts--with ENTHUSIASTIC Presidential support and endorsement--what the fuckers so baldly and blandly did in the Gulf of Mexico last year, and in the S. Timor Sea, in 2009. They're the same fuckers.

I believe that when St. Barry, the Capitulator, abstained from putting in even a pro forma appearance while the 12--15,000 conservation voters were encircling the WHite House, it should have told you ALL you need to know about Shamwow's "green" sympathies.

The world runs on carbon-fueled energy.

The carbon-energy corporations hold the whip-hand.

Obamster has no more discretion about such matters than a crossing-guard can control traffic: He can wave a sign but if they don't slow down, there's not jack shit he can actually DO,even if he WANTED to, which he DOESN'T.

St. Barry, the clean, wasn't chosen for his current position because of his 'bravery,' or 'initiative,' or 'imagination.' He was (s)elected because he was/is RELIABLE to the OWNERS." The CorpoRat Apple-Carts are safe with him, or he wouldn't BE there.

So save your breath. They're gonna drill (and spill). They're gonna build that big, filthy pipeline, and it's gonna fuck stuff up, good. They're gonna build more nuclear plants.

Hey, it's MODERN TIMES, hippiez!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

As the Cookie Crumbles: Pretenders

I sher do wish Krugman and Reich and all the other MSEz (MainStream Economistz) would stop PRETENDING to be 1) surprised! or 2) shocked!, or 3) dismayed!, or 4) upset!, or 5) disturbed!, or 6) otherwise confused! when the GOPhux AGAIN refuse to act or negotiate or bargain in "good faith." There was a perfect example of the art in on Krugman's blog at the NYTimes, recently.

By NOW, this appallingly transparent duplicity CANNOT come as--or be represented as--some fucking "SOO-PRAHS!" anymore. It strains credulity to the snapping point. The GOPhux have NOT given ANY indication AT LEAST since 1981 that they have ANY intention, whatsoever, of EVER acting in "good faith" with the Dumocrats, as equal, co-governors, ever again.

The deal that once prevailed--where everybody at least pretended the other guys were just as able as they were to govern--was abrogated, consciously, by the GOPhux, beginning probably with Nixon; but it became official policy under the Raygunners. It was a coup d'etat, and it's over.

Krugman and Reich, and the rest of the MSEz still HAVE to pretend to NOT see the pretense they're paid to preserve, and maintain the necessary illusions. That's their job, for which they are handsomely remunerated.

But don't YOU be deceived, hippies...

Interestingly, and speaking of deceit...Jack Abramov, the uber-lobbyist whose eye for corruption finally o'er-spanned his ability to disguise it, and who subsequently spent some time in jail for his appetites (a fate which I'm sure others of his ilk--Luntz, Ralph Reid, Grover Norquist, among them, would find salubrious) has broken the omerta-like silence about the operating conditions and operant understandings and arrangements in your typical, well-financed, well-connected, right-wing K-Street bribery...I mean, "lobby" shop.

The trick, apparently, when you're a lobbyist trying to secure the sympathies of any given Congresscritter--was then (and presumably still is), to recruit a key members of the Critter's staff as FUTURE employees of the lobbyist's multi-billion-dollar-booking operation.

And NOT to exchange anything but telephone numbers, as long as the recruit was still in "public" service, along with the "understanding" that the career of the Congressional flunky who played along was secured when they went out the revolving door.

Deferred compensation, I guess you'd call it, by the lobbyist; an "investment in the future" for the staffers.

It was SOP (Standard Operating Procedure), and an EVERYDAY occurrence in Abramov's shop, which was one of the most successful, and wealthiest, and therefore would have been a MODEL for all the other wannabes on K-Street.

How does one cleanse such Stygian filth? The Potomac doesn't run swift or full enough to flush away the accreted SHIT in Congress and the industries designed to control it.


Like Stokely said, the fire next time?

Whadda you think hippies. We can talk about it when I see you at the beach.

Oh, yeah: The so-called "giving season" is fast upon us. The WWH comp'ny store has cool stuff with which to assuage your potlatching impulses.

Monday, November 7, 2011

As The Cookie Crumbles: The Capacity for Mendacity

A lot of folks will remember a song, or at least the sentiment, that "it's a sin to tell a lie."

It's not lying, per se--or, at least not ALL lying--which the world's 'great' religions forbid.

It's one special kind of lying, at least in the 10 Commandments...

"Thou shalt NOT bear false witness against thy neighbor."

Says nothing about denying you're banging your sister-in-law, or the pool-boy, or lying on your tax returns.

It does prohibit SLANDER, however; That's the "bear false witness against a neighbor" part...lies about others.

Which makes sense, as a social condition.

Nobody can prevent or prohibit most lies.

But lies about others are a danger to social cohesion.

So we deplore liars. Don't want anything to do widdem. Check the "Personals?" Folks don't want liars calling 'em. NO LIARS NEED APPLY!

So why does the "Big Lie" --the "Jewish problem," WMD in Iraq, Hope&Change, indeed, kapitalism in general--work?

The "Big Lie" propaganda mechanism is based on the central insight that despite our ostensible socialization to tell truth, everybody DOES lie, sometimes. And that they mostly are reluctant to be caught at it, so they only lie about little shit, lies they can walk away from, trivial shit--age, weight, spouse?--which is what everybody lies about.

Goebbels (reading Bernays, 1928) reasoned--rightly, as it turned out--that folks who are socialized with contempt and disdain for lying--no matter that they themselves lie--would be inclined to BELIEVE--or, not at lezst to immediately disbelieve--truly enormous lies on the grounds that the people hearing the the BIG LIES would believe that those telling the lies would have the same hesitation about lying that prohibited THEM from egregious untruth-telling. The bigger the lie, the greater the shame and opprobrium upon discovery.

The "lie," its perpetual repetition and by 'credible' speakers, are the keys to the success of the method--and NEVER doubt its success. The tenacious "Brand loyalty" to "St. Barry, the Capitulator," is one of its indisputable products.

At present, we are in the grips of the propagandistic 'perfect storm' for Big Lies. There are, first, interests and powers which will not and do not scruple to tell them, and employ many, many adepts--Frank Luntz, and/or Grover Norquist--to create them. So there's the message.

Second, we've recently been present at the indisputable "maturation" of the culture of celebrity. The capacity to BE known--which is what a celebrity does--has become the warrant for 'credibility." Being known for being known, alone, is enough to imbue the dreariest, slobbering banalities with the authority of the Mass. The mega-hyper-multi-plex of screens screams to be filled. They don't call it "dead air" for nothing. That's the 'credible voice.

Finally, there is the wonder of the 24-hour news-cycle, 24/7/365, endlessly, on the cabloids and/or the Netz. Repetition. I wouldn't recommend this, I believe it cause your brain to curdle; but people who HAVE watched CNN/MSNBC/Fox/HNN'ETC for 24 or 48 hours report nearly endless repetitions of the same stories, the same themes, the same narratives. If I were a propagandist specializing in the Big Lie, and the technology existed to support it, I'd PAY somebody to build the Internet.

No, really. But I betcha you've heard all this a thousand times, huh, Hippies? We'll compare notes when I see ya at the beach...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

HN&S, 11/7/11: Candid Chimeras...

"Thanks, Winstone! Hangin' Bugs, hangin' by a thread...Hola hippies: Didja ever think about "free will?" Well, I got on the cap with the tassel (and not the vessel with the pestle or the flagon with the dragon, so beware: Philosophy comin'!

As the conditions under which success in this culture becomes more and more a MATTER OF SHEER, DUMB LUCK, I am growing weary of listening to folks who are well, or better-off criticizing other folks who are less well-situated, less "well off," as if the less-fortunate were somehow deficient in industry, or had abused their opportunities. And then proceed to blame the less fortunate for their beleaguered situations because they "made bad choices."

Man, that one pisses me off. And not because I, too, made bad choices. Of course I did. Everybody's made 'em. They're just less catastrophic for some than for others, depending on your social position, usually, and that's just the fucking luck of the draw.

So, you'd be right un thinking I'm not one of those who clings to the arcane notion of "FREE WILL" within his epistemological framework.

"Free Will" is one chimera. In mythology, a Chimera (capitral "C") is a fabulous monster of disparate, unmatched parts; in literature, poets use the word to refer to "an illusion or fabrication of the mind; especially : an unrealizable dream. Free Will is a chimerical component of the dominant "myths" of civilization.

As such, the myth of "free will" mainly serves the Owners by preserving the status quo without appearing to do so. Because "free will" makes it possible for the Bosses, who DO control the destinies of the rest of us, to assign blame to the us proles for NOT surmounting the leaden lots allotted them at the bottom of the social pile and dragging ourselves up by our own bootstraps.

It's part of that whole "you had choices" condemnation process that relegates the littler folks to their positions and provides an explanation for why we/they're still on the bottom when we had those "choices."

AND Which has additional virtues: Not only does "free will" NOT implicate the Owners in the forces keeping people down, but it also actively excuses their predations, since the idea oif free will implies we might somehow resist them.

One has no more "free will" than one has choice of one's parents, or of one's native language.

Ich wird Ihnen am Strand sehen! Back to Hippie Central, Win-Stone!

As the Cookie Crumbles: Downing Thomas

Is Coke-can Clarence Thomas above the law? Can "Ol' Curley-on-top" flout his turpitude, his dishonesty, his contemptible corruption without ANY public consequence?

We'll see. There appears to be at least one plausible avenue through which to attack his corrupt, venal ass. As with Capone, the issue is via taxes.

The Thomases, asserting the privilege of their rank and position, apparently failed--neglected? disdained?-- to report ANY income for her for 12 years, from 1997-2009.

Funny thing: This coincided with when he apparently positioning himself as the foremost ADVOCATE OF THE corpoRat AGENDA on the Court; meanwhile "Ceasar's" wife was making big bux as a high-dollah, Conservative 'rain-maker,' lobbying, fundraising and policy-wonking with the Kochs, and Karl Roves of the world, on issues that (No, REALLY?) JUST MIGHT come before the Court.

Called on it, finally, in 2010, THOMAS grudgingly filed amended returns, claiming it was all just a "misunderstanding." He'd simply misinterpreted the instructions.

Okay, you might say. It's a piss-poor, dumb-ass, shit-heel excuse, but okay. You've seen him. He could be that fucking stupid.,

But now it's turned out he's not stupid. Not JUST stupid. He's crooked, too. Seems the records show the Cunt-hair Clancy Thomas family accurately and correctly filled in the necessary informatiuon for his wife's employment in EVERY YEAR, IN every position he held in GUMMINT until 1997. Thereafter, for the next TWELVE YEARS, the motherfucker lied.

Every year. It does make ya go, hmmmmmm, donit, hippies?

So a progressive congresscritter has blown the whistle to Chief Roberts, not as Chief Justice, per se, but as the presiding officer of the gummint's Judicial Council, the top oversight board for the whole federal bench. And CREDO--the phone folks--are soliciting signatures from citizens to bolster their complaint to Roberts. There's a web-site, on the screen below, where you can go to sign up.

The problem is, of course, that this path requires that Chief Justice Roberts take the information to the DoJ and that the DoJ do something with it in the way of investigation and indictment.

For which eventuality I judge the probability as somewhere between nil and minus 20.

I'm not a lawyer, nor a legal ethicist, but I do NOT see how, legally, Roberts can decline to proceed and still maintain even the most fragile, most tenuous ascription of legitimacy for himself and his whole Court, indeed to the whole Federal Judiciary.

At a minimum, Roberts should summarily ORDER Thomas's recusal from ALL pending cases.
"Cert" --short for "Certiorari", a place on the docket--on which he voted affirmatively should be revoked and be required to resubmit.
Indeed, I betcha a case could EASILY be made that ANY decision to which Coke-can Clancy's vote provided the determinative margin, or on which he wrote a majority decision, should be immediately vacated, and the entire case should be re-argued.

Clarence Thomas' every breath on the Bench of the US Supreme Court does nothing but further contaminate what is already--at least sinece Dec. 2000--a hellish mash of corporate mendacity and moral vacuity. Til further notice, Ol' Curley's apparently above the law, but he is undubitably beneath contempt, and he drags the rest down with him

Sign the letter, hippies. We'll send 'em from the Beach.