Tuesday, March 29, 2011

WWH/Wake'N'Bake 101: SCROTUS'D

Woody doesn't wanna go all ape-shit about it, or anything but--especially in light of what the SCROTUS* OpusDeist Five (Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and Kennedy, mackerel-snappers all) did when deciding Citizens United v. FEC last year--you gotta be crazy (if you're a fan of social justice, anyway) NOT to be worried about what those skeevy, Corporat thugs'll do with Dukes v. Wal-MartM--with its broad implications for the future of ALL class-action litigation, that hitherto invaluable tool in struggling for social justice--given the Owners' frothing, eternally venomous antipathy toward the whole concept in the first place.

What's at stake in this decision extends far beyond the particular facts of this case, which involves demonstrated, proven (to the trial court, anyway) systematic discrimination against women by the Wal-Mart Corporats on matters of wages and promotion. The landmark suit accusing the nation's biggest employer of discriminating against women could mean a big win for womens' rights in the work-place -- or it could spell the end of all civil rights class actions. And pretty much nothing in between.

Oral arguments were heard March 29. The decision will be announced in 6 mos or so. For a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that the SCROTUS has a history of finding FOR corpoRat defendants, I am mostly certain the decision will favor the CorpoRats. I believe Kagan had to recuse herself because she'd had some involvement as Solicitor General, so the vote will be 5-3.

It only requires FOUR votes to grant "cert" ("certiorari") and get a case on the SCROTUS docket. There are five reliably CorpoRat votes in the fascist/OpusDeist wing. I do not believe the SCROTUS fucktards would have taken the case if they did NOT intend to use it to overturn and roll back 50 years of 'class-action' jurisprudence, as they did to campaign finance regulation in CitUnited. I think that, like the decision to hear the Citizens United v. FEC case, this is a case presented to the GOPuke-dominated Court for the purpose of their exceeding the narrow limits of the law, and attacking an ideological objective. In CU, it was to reaffirm corpoRat personhood; in Dukes it is to atomize individual personhood. The arguments were heard today.

It depends on how its's written, and how broadly the Majority decides to interpret its decision. But there is a better than even chance that the case will result in a decision which strips plaintiffs of their collective rights for purely economic reasons. That's because what "class action" does is it allows injured parties whose damages would not be sufficient to pay a lawyer to pursue one case to pool their damages and claims, and--by the power of "contingency"--prosecute large-scale, small-time corpoRat hustles and abuses.

Citizens United started with a narrower case than this one, and was decided broadly, because the case was only accepted by the majority when they got instructions to "so something" about strengthening corporat personhood.

What, you don't think those junkets with the Kochs by Scalia and Cunt-hair Clancy all these years were just one-way affairs? The magisterial Justices bestowing wisdom and discussing Justice with their lessers? It's more of a business trip with those two skeevy fucknozzles. They go, give a speech or two, get fawned over, schmooze with the lesser orders, and then closet with the Bosses.

That's where they get their fucking marching orders from the Owners. Orders they carry out by choosing cases to hear (and by implication, of course, to decide, since the "Cinco fascisti" constitute the corrupt majority in each of these decisions), what rules to change; i.e., how and for whom the country is really gonna be run.

Feelin' left out? Sorry 'boudat...

*SCROTUS = SCOTUS run by Pukes

Monday, March 28, 2011

WWH/Wake 'N' Bake: Lies

Today's lesson is the result of my reading something on Alternet this morning (Monday) about the GOP's "4 Biggest Lies About Jobs (And Why Obama Must Repudiate Them)." Apart from being dubious that "repudiate" is the right word there (shouldn't it be "refute"?), it got me a'thinkin'.

This is the age of the "Big Lie." And it's appropriate that it should come back here to roost. Though perfected by the Nazi's and practiced to devastating effect upon the "good Germans with regard to the Jews prior to WW II, it was invented by the Wilsonian war propagandists, Lippmann, Lee, and Bernays, to drive Americans into the previous European war. In a country settled as much as 50% by people of German origins, at that time (German was once ALMOST the national language), they fomented rabid anti-German sentiment from an isolationist people, and won support for Wilson's globalist interventionism. The images of the Huns dripping blood, and a couple of fortuitous submarine attacks, and, hup, ho, quick as Bob's-yer-uncle, there we were in the Argonne.

The Big Lie works on two principles.

The first is predicated on one essential observation about humans: we all lie. Everybody does it. Nobody's proud of it, because it violates a bunch of social conventions, but we all do it one time or another.

Still, it's such a shameful act that most folks don't do it much, and don't tell really outlandish lies, cuz there's social stigma attached to being caught in any lie, but it's greater the bigger, the more egregious the lie is in which one is caught.

Big Lie theory takes this truth and from it spins the practice. If most people lie, but won't tell really big lies, because the opprobrium that affixes is correlated with the size of the lie, then the MOST EFFECTIVE lie will be the BIGGEST lie, because no one would believe that they would LIE --or be LIED TO--about something as huge as that--whatever it is.

Then there's repetition. That's the other big element, and why it seems to me that this era's media were expressly created for the propagation of the Big Lie, the more easily, and more readily, the better. Today it is as if the cabloid media of our current dispensation were invented expressly FOR the use of the use and propagation of the Big Lie, so perfectly does it fit the requirements of the 24-hour news cycle.

There are 168 hours in the week, 8736 in a year, each of which has to be filled by the execs at local, network, and cable/satellite 'stations." And there are countless thousands of media outlets ravenous for content with which to fill those starving hours. They'll put ANYTHING on the air to fill time, if it draws eyes.

So if you can produce a stylish, ginormous LIE and you have an effective marketing force (Fox News, for example), then you can see your LIE multiplied, and repeated endlessly, since there are almost no constraints with respect to "truth" which are routinely applied to USer media productions.

The BIG LIE is one of the most--if not THE most--effective, single propaganda strategy ever devised. Of course, it needed the perfection of the mass-media to become REALLY effective. Without the means of spreading lies across all strata of a society, in many locales, simultaneously, political 'lies' must necessarily have been local and, therefore, subject to local remonstrance and rebuttal. That's easy to do, locally, where pretty much everyone lived in a fishbowl, and proven liars were often ostracized. So out-right, knee-knocking, bald-faced lies were not such common parts of previous politics as they have lately become. But since 1900, with the total domination of the information universe by mass communications (and related, evolutionary technologies), no propaganda device has been used more often, or to greater effect, than Bernays' BIG LIE.

Somehow, it seems that folks have managed to 'grow up' wholly immersed in mediated culture without having learned to recognize the patterns and practices of propaganda. Nobody wants to think they've been "propagandized," as if it were somehow evidence of some personal failing. But propaganda is the ONLY media strategy by which States (and other large, cultural institutions, like churches, corporations, etc) now communicate with their constituents, and so it is shameful that those constituents do NOT seem to know they are ALWAYS being propagandized. And of course this is where the SCUM (SoCalledUnbiasedMedia, the corpoRats) comes in.

The SCUM: In a Corporate State, corporate media are the State Media. Under the regime of the Big Lie, corporate media--conglomerated, consolidated and contained under the weight of the Boardrooms of the nation's largest corporations, which constitute the only important influence group on the affairs of State--merely echo corpoRat orthodoxy.

Even if somebody tries to rebut it, the Lie, having got the street to itself first, always has the advantage, and the critics only serve to enhance its apparent 'truthiness.' At some point--pretty much, now--the State/Corporat lies have entered the lexicon as facts, and any attack on them merely enhances their status.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

WWH Wake N' Bake 101: Brainwashing

Dr. Woody thinks this is an example of a wrong-headed critique. It attacks the wrong folks. Sure, the people act like sheep, a lot. But they've been carefully taught. We "Murkins" did NOT "dumb ourselves down." If we display the crassest disregard for and/or apparently blissful ignorance about our situations, this is not the result of a flaw in the basic nature of our Citizens.

It is, rather, evidence (more, if one needed it) of the overwhelming success of a surreptitious initiative begun over 40 years ago--with roots in the earliest days of the 20th Century--the designed-in goal of which was to prevent there EVER again being another cohort or generation of youth which could appeal to the common knowledge of the citizenry to critique the Bosses and win popular sympathy.

Murkins are the victims of the biggest, most expensive, most extensive, most intrusive, most effective, most comprehensive, most expansive, most complete, best planned, best executed, best designed, best enacted campaign of propaganda and brainwashing EVER attempted in the history of the world. It started around 1910, and has been relentlessly and endlessly propogated ever since, in war and peace, wealth and Depression, ever since. Has it been successful? Look around you. Gimme 100 years of your undivided attention, and I can make you believe ANYFUCKINGTHING I WANT YOU TO BELIEVE.

Most Murkins reject the idea that they care susceptible to propaganda and/or brainwashing. But it is easy to demonstrate the flaw in their ointment: Ask 'em if they detect a difference between Ford and Chevy, of Coors and Bud, Tide and Gain, Crest and Colgate If they answer in the affirmative, it's QED, all the way to the bank.

Anthropologist/psychologist Gregory Bateson famously remarked upon "the differences that make a difference." There is a difference between a plum tree and a pick-up truck; there is NO difference between Coors and Bud, Ford and Nissan.

The United States of Amnesia. It's not really an exaggeration. Regularly, on the Netz, attentive viewers are treated to video accounts and records which demonstrate how ludicrously ill-informed are many "typical" Americans about even the grossest facts and events of their history, civics, and government. And often these vids are accompanied by diatribes and/or comments lamenting how terribly ignorant "Murkins" have allowed themselves to become. Why wouldn't folks know simple stuff, like the 3 branches of Govt., or the number of Justices on the SCROTUS? The name of your Rep/Sen is marginally tougher?

Often the embarrassment of the interviewers and/or critics expresses itself in a jeremiad bemoaning how we're 'dumbing ourselves down. And t's easy to excoriate "us" for this stufff. But, to me, that's blaming the victims. To repeat: We did not "dumb ourselves down." This was done TO you! On purpose! By the best minds of their generations!

The decline and decay of US citizens' civic and historical knowledge is the result of the conscious connivance of the corpoRats and their political flunkies, toadies, and lickspittles, at all levels of corporat and bureaucratic involvement. to see to it that the Owners' hegemony would never again be threatened, as it was by the Boomers in the counter-cultural, social revolution movements of the 60s and 70s. In about '70-71, then-Pres. Nixon looked, aghast, out upon the turmoil in the streets of DC, and the rest of the country, over the Vietnam war and other social controversies-- and upon the resistors who KNEW the law, the Constitution, and their rights--and decided THAT would never happen again. Within the next decade, social studies suffered dramatic reductions as schools focused more on science and math, and on accountability.

Raygun's bunch really kicked it up, though. On the back of E.D. Hersch's trick taxonomies in "Cultural Literacy," Ed Sec. (Big-Bettin' )Bill Bennett, with the assistance of notables like such as (now-converted) Diane Ravitch, and Chester Finn, and politicos like Lamar Alexander opened the flood-gates to corporatization and sank 'em into empty testing regimes, with gazillions of dollars from testing and test prep companies to underwrite the effort and hire sympathetic scholars.

You've heard the term "Learned Helplessness" (e.g., Seligman, 1967, et seq)? Putting the emphasis on "learning," it seems to me removes the responsibility from the bastards who TRAINED the dogs into paralysis, makes them the victims of their own susceptibility to the (hidden) violence of the model. We are a people TRAINED in perpetual adolescence. We're narcotized by our diets and the drug industry, inundated with the very best in brainwashing propaganda and technology from EVERY institution in their lives--churches, jobs, media, bidness, gummint, and most of the academy, right down to their fucking cell-phones--deprived of adequate educations by the CorpoRat demands of spurious "accountability," lied to as a matter of course by EVERY figure their traditions teach them to respect, all the while being atomically dispersed: Forget divide & conquer--by artificial divisions arising mainly from the marketing whims of their oppressors.

Didja ever take a psych course, and learn just how effective "stimulus-response" training is, and how irresistible it can be if conducted skillfully? We Murkins, all of us, are experimental subjects in the biggest Skinnerian "experiment" ever conducted. You can tell a little how much our Owners fear us by the amount of time, money, and resources they spend to keep us distracted.

And it's worked to perfection, so far. I expect there'll be an app any day now.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Woody' Inaugural "Wake 'N' Bake, 101" On Worldwide Hippies

The absurdist theatre attendant on the decision as to which of the several dozen Republican aspirants--Huckabee, Gingrich, Barbour, Daniels, Palin, Pawlenty, and the rest of the assorted grifters and gunsels who've gravitated like carrion beasts to the carcass of the GOP--will receive the nod and the nomination to "take on" O'Bama in 2012, seems to burgeon exponentially with silliness every day.

Yesterday, another electoral midget tentatively bade enter the pre-fray, as Minnesota's "minute-woman" (accent wherever you please!) Michelle Bachmann announced she was sampling the winds, deciding whether or not to decide. This could be ironic, had not "irony" been irresurrectibly slain by BOTH Kissinger AND now Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Oh, to be an editorial cartoonist in such times as these.

But, of course, Bachmann, and all the rest, should NOT be interpreted as "real" people. What they are is incipient "brands" defining themselves, in the tradition of the most successful (so far) political "brand" ever, "Barack Obama." In this, therefore, they are nothing more than self-drawn caricatures, artificial creations designed to attract media attention; sort of ambulatory examples of what Daniel Boorstin, in 1961, described as "pseudo-events":

(Via Wiki~~) "A pseudo-event is an event or activity that exists for the sole purpose of the media publicity and serves little to no other function in real life. Without the media, nothing meaningful actually occurs at the event, so pseudo-events are considered “real” only after they are viewed through news, advertisement, television or other types of media...The term was coined by the theorist and historian Daniel J. Boorstin in his 1962 book ‘’The Image: A guide to Pseudo-events in America’’:[1] “The celebration is held, photographs are taken, the occasion is widely reported”. The term is closely related to idea of hyperreality and thus postmodernism, although Boorstin’s coinage predates by decades the latter two ideas and the related work of postmodern thinkers such as Jean Baudrillard."
But I digress.

Because the presidential tenure of St. Barry, the Pale, is not going to be dependent on which of the thread-bare and shop-worn, clownish postulants the GOPukes nominate but, instead, on whether he's finished--or done enough, anyway, to be held eternally responsible for--the jobs the "first African-American president" was installed to do, namely:
1) finally to undo--and take the fall for undoing-- the last vestiges of the domestic New Deal safety net, and
2) globally, to become the "minority" icon on whom the blame for the (always inevitable, and just now becoming visible) "fall" of the Murkin Empire can be laid.
Being the first "minority" Boss, he won't be allowed the privilege of plausible deniability" for responsibility, the way GW Bush did after September 11.

I'd feel sorry for St. Barry, but for the fact that I cannot believe he didn't know all this going in; and still went along.


"Dr. Woody" is the nom du blog of John Konopak, Ph.D. (Ed/C&I, LSU, '89), MJ (LSU, '85), of Albuquerque, NM, life-long scribbler, proud DFH, and veteran of both the USAF and the counter-culture movements of the late '60s and early '70s. His surname is a cognate for 'cannabis'/hemp in the Slavic language/region (mebbe Ukraine, mebbe Russia) of its origin, and he was whelped on April 20, at 4:20 AM--to the manner born. He blogs indefatigably and almost invisibly, and is an admirer of what the rest of the world calls football.

From professing "curriculum theory" and journalism, to carpentry, car-sales, radio announcing, industrial management, and the basest of labors (even teaching high school for a couple of years), he's done a LOT of things in his 65 years--he once even wrote public relations copy for the Seattle mafia! But he claims he's never lost a job in his life: he says he knew where every last one of them suckers was the day they run him off.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

TFT'B: Expressive Diacritics, etc...

I posted the following on my wall, after writing the introduction ad a comment on somebody else's wall, which is how most of these things originate, in response to this piece which was on CNN's page under the headline "Nuclear crisis Highlights Operators' Checkered Past." I am FIRMLY of the belief that operators of nuclear power plants should NOT HAVE "checkered" pasts. Dam operators, too. And air traffic controllers.

That said:
Woody thinks the way the issue is framed makes it seem that the two systems of energy generation--renewable/self-sustaining (i.e., solar) and the traditional petro and carbon-based combustibles.

But it's not necessarily an "all or nothing" contest, though cuz this is Murka, and the nation's been taken over by a bunch of tinhorn, no-limit gamblers who use us as counters in their obscene game,...you've been pretty much taught to believe it--like, say, in God, and othjer ineffables. We could devote a huge amount MOPRE resources to developing parallel, eventuall partial replacement technologies.

But the lords of the Universe are intent o0n using their self-fucking-generated crises to extort the last red cent from their "investments."

It is absurd that the gummiont does nto substantially underwrite the material costs and installation of solar panels on every building in america.

That such technology is still so rare, when so much has been known about it for so fucking long, is just fucking inexcusable.

If 'energy independence' and self-reliance is in fact a "top National Security priority," then the waste of the last 30 years is tantamount to treason, to the nation and to the whole fucking planet...


A piece in the Friday WaPo has captured some attention. In it it is reported that a "veto-proof majority" of senators--32 from each "party"--has jointly signed a letter requiring Shamwow to "lead" them into a bi-artisan assault on the earned benefits of poor Americans, presumably to be assuaged somewhat by provisions to raise some taxes on the rich. My reply:
America--and especially "poor" Americans--it is important that you know that there are at LEAST 60 Senators who are prepared to ass-fuck you til you bleed. These include some of your Dim luminaries, along with the usual shit-hole GOPukes. Ask YOUR senator if she or he is among them; "ultra-libs" Al Franken & Sherrod Brown are among them.
Here's the complete list, which (to my utter, unspeakable disgust) includes BOTH NM's Senators:
John Kerry (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mark Begich (D-AK), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Mark Udall (D- CO), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jon Tester (D-MT), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Al Franken (D-MN), Mary Landrieu (D-LA) , Kent Conrad (D-ND) , Mark Warner (D-VA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Patty Murray (D-WA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tom Udall (D-NM) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

FACEPALM: (courtesy of Marisa Robson)

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(Who thinks of these things?)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


From the 'Book this morning comes news that formerly celebrated SNL blonde/airhead/ditz Victoria Jackson showed up on some cabloid show to be shocked and sickened by the inclusion of a boy-on-boy kiss on the hit (?) TV show, "Glee."

Apparently Victoria NEEDED to expand her bulk and balloon to two or three times her previous mass in order to accomodate all the fucking STOOPIT she now packs around with her bible...

The Lottery

In a post by Inge S on the 'Book today, there was this piece from the NYT, the hed of which inquires (or demands):
Rising Wealth Inequality: Should We Care?
Why do Americans seem unperturbed about the growing gap between the rich and the poor?
This appears to be a running hed for an ao-going feature. Chrystia Freeland who is is the global editor-at-large at Thomson Reuters, answers with an essay entitled "The Lottery Mentality," at the end of which (and with fairly short shrift actually given to the idea of the lottery, she concludes that, yes, this much inequality IS bad for us because the occasional winner obscures the reality of the zero-sum game. As disappointingly sparse as her allusion to the lottery was, it still bestirred in me these musings:
In the argot of WW II, among the grunts (according to the novelists and archivists), and in every conflict since, there has existed what was known as the "million-dollar wound." That's a hit bad enough to send you home but not to leave you tooo fucked up. Getting shot or blown up just a little is definitely a crap-shoot, a mortal lottery you started playing when they put you into that first, ill-fitting shroud they called a uniform.

And I think that, other than literally winning a lottery, the most one can hope for is to be struck by accident, and not tooo badly fucked up by deep pockets.
Izzat a "lottery?"

... That, by the way, is the origin of the phrase, shooting oneself in the foot. That was almost an infallible ticket home, an infantryman injured in the foot is useless. So, the record shows a not insignificant number of soldiers who suffered "accidental" foot wounds. It's taking a certain injury to avoid the large possibility of worse injury and/or death. Kinda like Pascal's wager for grunts.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tales ftom "The "Book": Demagogues, etc

The Problem:

The foregoing appeared as a comment on a thread I began on the 'Book this morning with the following warning:
Please be aware, friendz.

This is not "learned" incompetence; it is trained, institutionalized incompetence. And individual teachers are not to blame. Many of them --I am related to a couple of them--spiritually chafe at their inability to crack through the institutional resistance.
Which led to this link:

Which I elaborated with the following:
We did not "dumb ourselves down." That's blaming the victim. The decline and decay of US citizens' civic and historical knowledge is the result of the conscious connivance of the corpoRats at all levels to see to it that their hegemony would never again be threatened, as it was by the Boomers in the counter-cultural, social revolution of the 60s and 70s.
I was born and went to school during a period when the prevailing wisdom favored a modestly intelligent, educated citizenry. That period ended, abruptly, about 1981, though it had been in decline for a previous decade.
In about '71, Nixon looked out upon the turmoil the war and other social controversies were causing, and upon the resistors who KNEW the law, the Constitution, and their rights, and decided THAT would never happen again.
It is not an accident of fate that consistency of celebrity shit should occupy their minds. They are--you were, if you were born post 1970--trained to complacency, to incuriosity, to placidity by the most sophisticated, most expensive, most extensive, most thorough, most far and wide-treaching propaganda/brainwashing apparatus the world has EVER seen.
We are a people TRAINED in perpetual adolescence, is the difference, Spoon. Didja ever take a psych course, and lern just how evvbective "stimulus-response" training is, and how irresistible it can be if conducted skillfully?
We Murkinis, all of us, are experimental subjects in the biggets Skinnerian experiment ever conducted. And it works to perfection.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tales From "the 'Book": Elites, and others

In posting the link to this story linked on the 'Book this morning, in which the author notes the apparent blindness of the elite to the misery of th rest, and laments:
The society is custom-built to keep the rich rich and (most of the time) actually make them richer, no matter what they do. This leads to what you might call the George W. Bush Phenomenon: if you've never, ever suffered seriously no matter how badly you've screwed something up, how can you possibly learn the cause-and-effect relationship between failure and negative consequences? It's the worst-case scenario of moral hazard.
A sense of moral hazard would be preferable to no sense of hazard, but better, in my always humbl;e opinion, would be a concomitant sense of physical trepidation as well:
Woody has noted before the difference between "our" charmed elites, and those elsewhere: Unlike their bretheren in the rest of the world, our oligarchs, aristos, and Bosses do NOT possess the genetic memory of tumbrels, guillotines, and/or firing squads, with the mobs howling for, and later playing foorball with their fuuking heads.

They don't fear "us." They have no reason to do so since, as the piece above points out, anytime the People have shown any inclination to hold their oppressors to account, the State has obligingly roused itself to their active defense, and remediation. The toll of death, injury and legal retribution of the "Class struggle" in the USofA, had it occurred anywhere else, would be described as horrific. In the absence of irony, now impaled on the spike of another Peace prize recipient's definition of the idea, it's difficult to capture the dissonance arising from that record occurring in, putatively and self-regardedly, the "freest" nation EVAR, innit?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tales from "The 'Book": Democratic Dissonance, etc

Democratic Dissonance: A speech by Rep. Dennis Kucenich, in which he called for the return to Congress of it's constitutionally exclusive authority to commit war, was circulating on the 'Book this morning, which passed along to my wall with the introduction:
Three Words: "War Powers Act," 1973. An incredible act of legislative work-around (and constitutional reach-around). Read all about it. Kucenich ain't gonna get it repealed. This is just MOAR congressional kabuki...
Which together, occasioned this subsequent comment:
Somebody has to say officially that not all US is for this unbelievable bit of hypocrisy, murder and mayhem. Yes, lets keep waiting till people are killing each before we attempt another way shall we! But gee "we are the good guys!"! The US is the number one maker and dealer of military know how if you know what I mean. When you find this out, you start realizing "Oh my God what am I a part of?! Talk about the "t" word"! my fellow Americans have me absolutely "t"word" because I "know" my fellow Americans are absolutely nuts of all kinds. Its something I "know" about.
I replied:
Shannon, you're experiencing the contradiction of democracy, no matter how simulated it has in fact become: "voting" is a "speech act." It does impose ("entail") cognitive (and therefore, potentially dissonant) consequences.

Cuz if you really think you are a 'democratic' citizen in a representative republic, then the actions undertaken by your "representatives" are in fact done in your name, no matter what they are. Because, the logic goes, if what was happening in your name was NOT wht you authorized with YOUR "vote," you should have "voted" for some other alternative.

The dissonance comes in when you realize that WHAT you vote for doesn't really matter, only THAT you "vote" and by doing so endorse the pretense on which the status quo depends.

Senator Bernie Sanders apparently has put up a page on the 'Book, under the heading "When Is Enough Enough?" It has elicited (so far: mid-morning, Saturday) around 200 replies.

Echo answers:
Woody thinks this is an unserious question, in an era when the pre-eminent consumers can boast "He who dies with the most stuff wins." The entire ethos of this culture culminates in the belief that there is NEVER "enough." Capitalism THRIVES--in fact, is entirely dependent upon--that ethos, with its strange echoes of the Malthusian aporia.


Watch the vid. It's excellent. It is a paradigmatic illustration of the operation of the "Precautionary Principle," for which, sadly, it is increasingly becoming apparent, it is too late.
Read ALL about "The Precautionary Principle."http://teclim.ufba.br/jsf/producaol/precaution%20earth%20times.PDF"When an activity raises threats of harm to human or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tales from The Book: Privilege, Contempt

Louis CK makes a very funny bit out of metacognition about white privilege, and in doing so hints at the greatest impediment to final, or even provisional, acceptance by the vast majority of White folks of the reality of "white privilege." Which is this:
Once you acknowledge the existence of it, NOTHING that you are or believe yourself to be does not become diminished, somehow an unearned, undeserved benefit accruing to me at the EXPENSE of someone else.

Racism does not consist solely, or even mostly in individual acts of bigotry and/or discrimination. Racism is a systemic inclination to actively privilege the interests of a "superior" group over those of "inferiors," where all contribute to the commonweal, while also actively reducing benefits due as equal participants to the despised others.

In a racist culture (which no one denies the US STILL is, and ALWAYS was), any "good" you gain aas a member of the privileged group is at least in some--and not a small--part the result of your appearance; NOT yours due to your intelligence, drive, virtue, self-sacrifice, honor, loyalty, hunger, and desire, honey, but the color of your skin.

It's a jarring thought. Folks have difficulty with the concept.

Woody wonders if those to whom Markey is addressing his remarks realize that Markey is coming as close to naming them ALL knuckle-dragging, ridged-browed, prognathous-jawed, dumb-ass, turd-gobbling, worthless, throw-back, mother-and-sister-fucking troglodytes as the decorum of the chamber will permit. I hope so, though I have my doubts.
And the italicized bit may be my best test-string of the day, though "The Faceless Drones of Fuckerberg" is in close contention.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tales from The Book: On Hope, etc...

Hukt Awn Hopium:
Woody thinks the oligarchs preach "hope" through their sock-puppets in the "faith community" because "hope" is an "antidote" to despair, and despair is dangerous to the Owners. It's not "religion" exactly, that's the opiate, it's "Hope." "Religion" creates in its adherents a spirit of hope, and hope preserves the oppressors, because the oppressed "hope" for better days, rather than overthrowing their Bosses.

Beck v. Japan:
Faux TV fucktard-in-chief Glenn Beck thinks the events of the last week are "God's" way of sending the Japanese a message. And so do I. But it's not the same message. Beck claimed
"What God does is God’s business, I have no idea. But I’ll tell you this: whether you call it Gaia or whether you call it Jesus — there’s a message being sent. And that is, ‘Hey, you know that stuff we’re doing? Not really working out real well. Maybe we should stop doing some of it,’” Beck said.
He suggested that God could be appeased — and presumably convinced to not cause any more earthquakes — if people followed the biblical Ten Commandments.

Commandments, schmandments! It's not a general warning to the "people." If it is God's voice we're hearing here, why wouldn't we think "God" was telling the Japanese to lay off the whales, and stop slaughtering dolphins? ... Just askin'


Allison J...S...:
Its funny. Where I live/work, I get American and French Canadian stations. The Canadians are having constant coverage of the Japanese disaster. Americans, seem to care less with little more than an occasional brief mention if anything interrupts regular programming and music. Party on USA! (silent gag)

Woody Wiqiliques Konopak
Due to the influence of the largest, most complex, most comprehensive, most expensive, most extensive, most scientific, best tested, best proven, cradle-to-grave, propaganda/brainwashing regime EVAR, the overwhelming majority of "Americans" believe that WE are the most important, most exceptional people on the planet, and that our 330 million people (about 5% of the human total) are entitled to their central place in the constellations of power and influence, because it is GOD'S will that it be so!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Rede of the Road: Relations Between Travel, Work and Reading

The video, which got me thinking about all this again, is "STEPHEN FRY (SPLASHLIFE): WHAT I WISH I'D KNOWN AT 18 [on Curiosity, Travel, Reading, and Education]"

Learning IS a collaborative project, jointly engaged and enjoyed. We don't "learn" alone.

In "olde" English, the word "rede" (from which our "read" derives) was first meant to describe a report of conditions at the destination of a proposed journey and the conditions--and potential dangers--of the intervening road.

Btw: The word "travel" is etymologically related to such terms as older, English term "travail," which means "difficulty," and the Spanish word "trabajo," meaning 'work.' From which I take it that, when these terms first found currency, travel was difficult and a lot of work; and a lot more dangerous than today. And you needed a "rede" to make your plans accordingly.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More Tales from The Book: Teaching

Today--indeed, only a moment or so ago, I completed an entry in a thread on "teachers," in reply to a post which was so incredibly stupid that I was for a time mute. I pondered 'defriending' the individual, the post pained me so. But, because it was a busy thread, and I saw a sympathetic audience, I restrained my fury and civilly replied. I shall spare you the badinage that led up to it, and offer this for your consideration:
Teachers are under attack for a lot of reasons. Here's two:
One: Look at the number of people and the celebrity of people who have been hailed as the BEST teachers. Jesus at the top of that list, nest paw?
Influential? you betcha. Next to parents, the most influential people in MOST kids lives are their teachers. In grammar/grade school, the kids are with teachers longer than they might be with their working parents.
If you're an oligarch or an agent of their devices, the last thing you want is for a good teacher to be filling the kids' hungry minds with heterodoxy.
The history of school reform since Raygun has been a calculated project to SILENCE teachers to the greatest extent possible without outright censorship--but that happens distressingly often too.
Then there's the CorpoRat influence.
Public school is part of the social network that the GOP and the Owners want to undo. It is NOT an exaggeration. They REALLY DO WANT TO REMOVE ALL VESTIGES OF THE SAFETY NET. If they can do that, they cast the individual back into the arms of the company store, little more than vassal or serfdom.
I do NOT exaggerate. That is expressly their plan and purpose. You cannot look at their doings without knowing that with the deepest of dread and certainty. In their view, school is exclusively for purposes of indoctrination in the dominant ideology, and they construct the tests to see how thoroughly the indoctrination has been imbibed.
Teachers are scary to Owners and oligarchs because they have unfettered access to those growing minds, can implant in them any seeds they like. We see it all TOO clearly in the ideologies of kids raised in schools where religious orthodoxy is NOT scrupulously avoided. If God and Jesus can do it, so can Mao and Castro!...Or Sartre...or Homer. It beggars the mind, nest paw?

Why "We" Won't Win At Class Warfare

Via FB friend, Al Stefanelli: "The following is quoted from an internet forum post by a person with the screen name “yeahiknow5″. It was brought to my attention by one of my Facebook friends, Joe Markey. Neither Joe nor I wrote this. Except for paragraph formatting, it has not been changed, including the language."


“You should read “What’s the Matter with Kansas” & “Deer Hunting With Jesus”. Both are great takes on a working class, anti-intellectual, redneck culture that has been convinced to consistently vote against their own best interests. I listen to my own father, who has been the victim of layoffs from corporate merger after merger, who’s had his retirement fucked, who’s lost money on wall street – he’s done everything he was ‘supposed’ to do. He joined the military, went to college, had 2 kids, bought the house, invested & saved his money, worked his fucking ass off all his life & he still has squat to show for it. Now as a man well into his 60s he’s feeling the wrath of age discrimination, he’s finding his skills becoming outdated & his pay & benefits today (for the last 10 years) are lower than what they’ve been in the last 30 for him. Living the american life he finds his health failing as he’s a lifetime smoker with a growing waistline.

He’s the prototypical uncultured, red-blooded american male. He slathers his streak in ketchup, votes conservatives down the line, and wants the good old days before the women, blacks and fags took over. He’s a flag waver, supports his troops, and fends for himself. He’s always bitching about how much money corporations have to spend bc of regulation & about how the upper class need a tax cut. Nothing in the world makes him angrier than “socialism” & the so-called welfare state. Working people getting needed services bothers him tremendously because a few extreme token examples get painted as degenerate leeches by the likes of AM Radio & Fox News. ANd then he’ll turn right around & support corporate subsidy for just about anything from corn to oil – b/c it “stimulates jobs” and it “trickles down”.

He refuses to recognize that we as a nation spend more money at the beckoning of corporate America than we even begin to touch what we spend on our own citizenry through what he claims is “welfare” or infrastructure. He’s a working class guy who’s been fucked by the system all his life. He still puts his suit on with a kind of sad pride, every day, & goes to work downtown to phone-monkey job nowadays. He’s doing a job any body could do but he likes to pretend all his education & experience has gotten him somewhere. He’s deluded about what America’s exceptional way of life has brought him personally as he is deluded about what the world is like at large. So he denies global warming, blames the unions, blames teachers & other government workers, blames regulation, blames the EPA & the FDA, blames those struggling to make it in this world, blames the blacks, blames the immigrants, blames everyone & anyone but those at the top.

He’d rather blame fellow working people trying to grab a piece of the pie, rather than blame the crooks who deprive us all. Because somehow – be it by gender identity, racial identity, national identity, he thinks his class, his type belongs at the top. He’s the top dog! But he’s not. He’s a nigger, i’m a nigger, muslims are niggers and mexicans are niggers, teachers and steel workers, and farmers too. To people like the Koch Brothers, we’re all niggers and my dad can’t see that. This is an us vs them game and people like my father are fucking deluded as to what side they’re on or can be on one day. Somewhere deep down inside, he admires those at the top – he wants to be them & even though he knows he’ll never be one of them, he likes to pretend.

He goes to his Applebee’s, Red Lobster & Outback & bitches about all the blacks there. I think this is important to note – it’s indicative of his whole perspective. He is the same CLASS of people as these folks, he’s spending roughly the same amount on dinner as them, but thinks things are going to hell because they are there. He doesn’t get that he IS THEM. He’s the same fucking class, in the same fucking boat. He’s got relatively the same education level, roughly the same pay checks, living roughly the same way of life. But he’s been convinced to fight, to hate, to dislike his own class of people & to admire & defend the class that basically owns & controls his life & all our lives. He has been perfectly trained to rail against the ‘other’.

Against feminists, environmentalists, labor movements, racial minorities, immigrants, public sector workers, union members. These people aren’t HIS brothers & sisters – they are his enemy. He’s so busy hating “otherness” that he doesn’t realize he is them – and we’re all getting fucked by the same small group of people at the top. This is the same thing as him blaming unions & the welfare state. He has been indoctrinated through the years to fight amongst, to disagree with, to blame, & sometimes to outright hate people in the same boat as him. Not only kiss the ass of, but actively defend & fight on behalf of those who would take everything away from him, his wife & his family if they could make a buck on it – because he believes in an American dream & a way of life that simply doesn’t exist. He talks of freedom of those who have all the capital, but he doesn’t worry about his own freedom. He doesn’t worry about the freedom of his neighbors.

All he see’s as those liberal that take away rich people’s money are the same people telling him where he can & cannot smoke and that he should put his seatbelt on – so liberals must “hate freedom!”. Those damned reading elitist liberal communists! He has been convinced, as have many Americans – to hate their own & to defend their masters. To squabble over our petty & even cosmetic differences, rather than to unite on our common interests to fight for proper pay, benefits, rights as a consumer & as a worker, & for a clean environment. This is what happens when you have a class of people who were never taught to think for themselves, who act like reading is for fags, who are more willing to listen to hot heads like Beck & Limbaugh than to read any kind of political theorists, scientists, or economists.

This is what happens when you close your mind & you become one who’s always looking for that “other” to hate & to blame for your problems rather than to look at yourself or open your eyes to the bigger picture. People like my dad are willing to accept AM radio, Fox News talk shows, & even Fwd chain emails as official sources, & then single-handedly ignore any material the talking heads on these shows didn’t point him to. Because you can’t trust anyone but them! The ability to critically think, verify, discern the credibility of sources, to do the damned research yourself, is completely lost on these folks. That’s what these fucking Tea Party & GOP talking heads hope for. They hope to god that their lies they spew get echoed in the public sphere so often that it becomes reality. That people are too dumb or too lazy to verify what they spout.

This makes it so that people who are trying to get real shit done have to waste our time correcting mis-truths & disinformation just to garnish the slightest bit of public support to make progress anywhere. People don’t realize how dangerous this shit is. Right now the economy is & had been in the shitter. People are scared. People have lost their jobs & they’re angry. They have organized & mobilized into this populist “tea party”. They even think it’s a real grassroots org & dismissing the fact that they’re being led by billionaires & a corporate media. These are the angry masses that will eat up any scapegoat that their “leaders” feed them.

We’ve seen this in history before. I’m not trying to evoke Godwins Law or anything but i see a lot of correlations between the right-wing disenfranchised populist uprising here in America & a lot of what people experience in Wiemar Germany. There was a lot of angry people, scared about the loss of their jobs & an economy in bad shape. Those angry, uneducated people were looking for someone to blame. They didn’t care if they sided with a political party that would be responsible for fucking them over & destroying their democracy, not to mention the massive harm they would do to other groups. No, all that mattered was they found leaders who pretended to have answers. People like quick & simple answers & fixes, certainty & shared anger.

That’s what the Nazi Party gave them. That’s what the Tea Party/Fox News/AM Radio & portions of the GOP are giving this right wing uprising too. Anything intellectual is ignored or met with disinformation & a general air an superior anti-intellectualism. Everywhere I go: home to my parents, at work in the break room, flip on the tv, browse the internet – i see the same message: “My opinion is better than your facts”. This approach is rooted deeply in ignorance & anger most of the time. When the populace stops listening to those with brains & ignores factual information, & opts for those that shout opinions, we got a problem. The Tea Party would be an extremely powerful force if they had a politician that was worth a damn. Every time they have someone who is charismatic, they’re an obvious idiot or crook.

If somebody comes along who is charismatic & honest the US is in trouble bc of the frustration, disillusionment, justified anger & the absence of any coherent response from liberals. What are people supposed to think if someone says ‘I have got an answer, we have an enemy’? There it was the Jews. Here it will be the illegal immigrants from Mexico, the Muslims, teachers, unions, Planned Parenthood, NPR, & blacks (you can toss in atheists, homosexuals & liberals too). We will be told that WASPy private sector males are a persecuted minority. We will be told we have to defend ourselves & the honor of the nation. instead of fixing problems that truly affect the all of the working class, the nation will be convinced to support legislation that will further protect & consolidate power for the corporate elite.

All those privacy rights, the voice we have in our government, & due process checks & balances that protect us all? Those things just get in the way of security & stability. The right-wing that supports these parties & leaders get hurt too, just in a more subtle way – they give away their rights & are too stupid to realize what they’ve done to themselves.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

PFTB: Cheerful News!

I was strangely cheered to read this!
Study: Cheery, optimists die younger
Published: March. 12, 2011 at 6:51 PM
Comments (1)EmailPrintListen
RIVERSIDE, Calif., March 12 (UPI) -- Personality can affect longevity -- those with the most optimism and cheerfulness die younger than their less positive counterparts, U.S. researchers found.

Study leader Howard S. Friedman, distinguished professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside; Leslie R. Martin, a psychology professor at La Sierra University in Riverside; and staff researchers -- over a 20-year period -- analyzed data from a study of 1,500 bright children who were about 10 years old when the study began in 1921.

"Longevity Project participants who were the most cheerful and had the best sense of humor as kids lived shorter lives, on average, than those who were less cheerful and joking," Martin said in a statement. "It was the most prudent and persistent individuals who stayed healthiest and lived the longest."

Part of the explanation lies in studying the health behaviors of the study subject -- the cheerful, happy-go-lucky kids tended to take more risks with their health across the years, Friedman explained.

While an optimistic approach may be helpful in a crisis, "we found that as a general life-orientation, too much of a sense that 'everything will be just fine' can be dangerous because it can lead one to be careless about things that are important to health and long life," Friedman said.

The findings are published in the book "The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study."

PFTB: Prospects

I have lately revised my schema for the "re-election" of Prez. Shamwow:

St. Barry, the Pale, will be "re-elected" if the Owners need him to finish the jobs he was originally installed to do:
1) absorb/displace as much as possible (why I call him "Pres. Shamwow") of the shit spilled these last 40 years by the WHITE oligarchy and give it a "more colorful" aspect;
2) scuttle the last vestiges of the New Deal (especially SocSec), and
3) put the indelible stamp of a "minority Democrat" on the first, visible signs of the decline and fall of the Murkin Empire.
If he's accomplished those small matters, then the Owners will cheerfully reinstall a more acceptable member of the managerial class, mebbe another Bush, in the job.

If not, then it'll be 2016...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Creeping? My Ass! My Underwear's Creeping

It's marching right down the middle of the fucking street at high fucking noon on Easter fucking SUNDAY, wearing a plaid fucking tutu, dancing a fucking jig to a fucking Souza march on a steam fucking calliope, with monkeys and harem girls riding on the fucking float!

Friday, March 11, 2011

PFTB: Assorted Matters


Much as one admires Hitch, Woody wouldn't "debate" religious people.
Debate is a project by which logic is applied to a factual problem to render a solution. Religious people abjure logic in favor of faith. You cannot 'debate' faith, because there are no "facts" in dispute. Once cannot, therefore, by definition, "debate" religious folks about religious matters. And if they were susceptible to logic, they wouldn't BE religious.

Decision-Point(less), 2012
Decision-point(less) 2012:
Woody's Fearless Equivocation: If the Pukes think St. Barry has absorbed enough of the shit the last 40 years of that THEIR criminal conspiracy has unleashed, so that their asses are covered--that is, if Barry & the Dims are blamed for the economic collapse, the destruction of social security, the wars, the loss of freedoms, and the first evident signs of the fall of the Murkin Empire overseas, so that NO Dim and no "novelty" (non-white) candidate can ever win nomination again--then Jebbie's--or mebbe John Thune--the guy.
If they need to give St. Barry another term to do their dirty work, they'll nominate some miserable, moronic queef, like Huckabee or Palin.

Are Americans finally waking up to the frights and terrors unleashed these last decades upon our Constitution, our freedoms,' our very "way of life?
But unfortunately, what woke 'em (it they are indeed awakening, something of which I am still not certain) was the noise and impact of the ship crashing into the iceberg.
That's too late.

Dream State
Woody figgers, as long as we're dreaming, here: Add this to the "Robin Hood" tax on financial speculation and the deficit'd be solved in 5 years. With money to spare for completely funding universalmedical CARE for all citizens.

Return the top marginal tax rate to what it was in 1980, before Raygun: that'd be a big help, too...And, sheeeeit! I wan' my PONEE, TOO?...

Another problem, apart from the sheer impossibility of EVER getting enough votes to pass it, or a President to sign such measures, is that all such revenue bills HAVE to start in the House, and we know what that means...

But regardless, the "Democratic" hierarchy is in no way committed to anything LIKE "democratic principles." Most of them are no better than opportunists desirous of getting their hands on power and, there being already plenty of wealthy pricks in the GOP, they became "Democrats."

They HATE being "Democrats," because it means they are the representatives of the "lower orders," and they know themselves to be better than that, so their defense of "democratic" and other (lesser) principles is anemic, at best.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

PFTB*: Ask Not...

FB pal Ivan Radko wrote:
With ALL due respect to JFK, I think it's time we asked, what our country can do for us.
I replied:
I always thought that was a pretty strange remark to be delivering, only 15 years after the end of the biggest, bloodiest, most fatal war in history, to the people who had fought it, had sacrificed more than any cohort in the population since the Civil War.

The biggest problem the People of America have with America is that the price it extracts to live here--in taxes, indignities, injustices, inequalities, inhumanities, etc.--are not repayed in either the generosity or quantity of the services it provides. Our health care sucks, our infrastructure is decrepit, our public transportation is a fucking disgrace, our food supply is feculent, and our air and water are negotiable chips in a zero-sum game with the plutocrats and autocrats.

It's GOOD thing, for the plutocrats, that fewer than 30% of the people have ever left the country, because they have no standard for comparison, other than what they are told--by the largest, most expensive, most intrusive, most comprehensive, most psychologically sophisticated,official mis- and dis-information system ever to exist anywhere in any place in any time.

PFTB: So Long, N P R...

NPR's gonna go down because some ecec admitted publically that he thought the teabaggers are a bunch of ignorant, unregenerate racist assholes? No, REALLY?

If BOTH Henry Kissinger and Barack O'Bama hadn't been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and forever erased the concept of "irony" from any connection with meaning, I would say it was "ironic" that NPR is hoist, finally, if inadvertently, on the petard of actually speaking the truth. Whooda thunk?

In a couple of comments about the resignation of Vivian Schiller from the top spot at NPR, and in the midst of the now-entirely-MORE-likely prospect that the GOPuke Congress will indeed "zero-out" federal funding for BOTH NPR and PBS (though the fate of the latter is probably not yet sealed), for the "impropriety" of a senior fund-raiser unburdening himself on the racist asswhole who comprise a good 90% of the so-called Tea party, I wrote the following:
Woody's just about certain, now: NPR is gonna lose its federal funding. The rats should soon be visible diving off the sinking ship. There is no doubt, empirically and metphorically, that the primary impetus behind the Tea-bagger agenda, and its main attraction to disaffected White People was and is a deep, abiding racial animus.

The rhetoric which betrays the truest nature of the complaints is that which speaks of "our" money funding "their" (immoral, illegal, immodest, profligate) behavior. It's the same 'logic' which the censorious use to excuse not giving a hand-out to a beggar: "He'd only use it to buy booze," only attached to racial stereotyping instead of poverty stereotyping. They don't want to pay for anything that in any way improve the lots of people whom they regard and detest as inferiors.

The most ardent tea-baggers--and even the lazier hangers-on--were/are people who will endure a minor inconvenience or permit the loss of a small benefit if, by doing so, they can deny those whom they despise any benefit at all and preferably INCREASE their misery. It's text-book racism, a collective assent to injury, rather than an individual bigotry. That's what racism IS!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

PFTB: Fashions in Fascism

In one of those inexplicable and irrepeatable coincidents on Facebook "walls," two consecutive posts on my "Most Recent Feed" were susceptible to interpretation by the same comment.
Daniel David Higgins via Joie Szombathelyi-Mendoza:

Whole Foods Market Caves to Monsanto | Center for Media and Democracy

After 12 years of battling to stop Monsanto's genetically-engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation's organic farmland, the biggest retailers of "natural" and "organic" foods in the U.S., including Whole Foods Market (WFM), Organic Valley and Stonyfield Farm, have agreed to stop opposing (GMOs)...

2 minutes ago · Like · · Share
Daniel David Higgins:
2 minutes ago · Like
Woody Wiqiliques Konopak:
There you have a PERFECT example of what I call the "fascism of the market."
a few seconds ago · Like

Then there followed this shocked and angry missive:

Dorothy Durio Collins:
Here we go again..who is going to own us????? Roll the dice..
Don't Make Us Pay | Congress and the Federal Reserve want to force YOU to pay more to use your debit
Debit card rewards programs are already being cut by banks and credit unions across the country. This rule could mean that they will be eliminated completely.
2 minutes ago · Like · · Share
Where one can see that the same reply is appropriate: There you have a PERFECT example of what I call the "fascism of the market." Which statement is part an parcel of a theory I conceived: that the "World Wars" of the last Century were a chapter in an epic struggle. Not between Freedom and Fascism, but rather "Which of several contesting versions of Fascism would emerge from the struggle?" Briefly, "ours"--the fascism of the market--won the last match. Its earliest opponents were the nearly exhausted, geographically compact religious and monarchical versions dispatched by WW One. Next, the "classic" totalitarian State models of Nazism, Italian, and Soviet Stalinism fell. The surviving form is that of market/State "capitalism" with which we are all so familiar.

Of course, history never stops, and the once-dominant and apparently indomitable forces of "neo-Liberal capital" are themselves agaain under subtle attack, from the PRC which (in my opinion) has decided to woo its restive populace to peacefully accept that order by promises--not, as in the West, of bourgeois "liberties, but of security and prosperity guaranteed by the Party. And of course, they're winning internationally, and at home.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

PFTB: Labor Relations

John L. Lewis V. FDR

United, we bargain; divided, we beg!
Union Workers are NOT the problem. Teachers, police, paramedics, firefighters, road workers etc. are NOT the enemy. If you’re jealous of our benefits, FIGHT FOR YOUR OWN!, not against ours. The rich who created this crisis are putting middle class families against each other. We live here, pay taxes, work hard & try to support our families too. If you support union workers, C&P!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

PFTB~~Public Relations: Freudian Slip-Coverings

Four names: Lippmann, Lasswell, Ellul, and Bernays
They're the ones who more or less invented the theory of communications by the modern state with its constituents. Some call it "public relations," some call it "advertizing,"a nd some call it "propaganda," but whatever you call it, it preforms the same function: it portrays an (at best) half-truth as reliable, disinterested information.

Bernays was the one who specifically linked the psychological and psychoanalytical insights into human motivations specifically into his work, because he was Sifgmund Freuds favorite nephew. With the "invention" of "public relations," Bernays invented the language of the CorpoRat State!
Bernays invented the public relations profession in the 1920s and was the first person to take Freud's ideas to manipulate the masses. He showed American corporations how they could make people want things they didn't need by systematically linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires. Bernays was one of the main architects of the modern techniques of mass-consumer persuasion, using every trick in the book, from celebrity endorsement and outrageous PR stunts, to eroticising the motorcar. His most notorious coup was breaking the taboo on women smoking by persuading them that cigarettes were a symbol of independence and freedom. But Bernays was convinced that this was more than just a way of selling consumer goods. It was a new political idea of how to control the masses. By satisfying the inner irrational desires that his uncle had identified, people could be made happy and thus docile.

If they are any good at it, and they are, then the subjects do not really ever actually suspect they're BEING brainwashed, and reprogrammed. We do it with television and its flickering-screened scions in the phones, and other IT appliances. Americans will alswys reject assertions they have been brainwashed. But if they actually, sincerely, deeply believe there is a difference between Ford and Chevy, or Coors and Bud, or Olive Garden and Red Lobster, well, the facts thereby speak for themselves. There are what Bateson calld "differences that make a difference" between a coal shovel and a cherry orchard. There are no such discernible differences between varieties of industrial malt liquor sludge, or mass produced automobiles.

Here are the next three parts of this extraordinary documentary. It's four hurs, give or take. But it's also the equivalent of a semester-long master's class in the uses of propaganda, in all its guises, as a tool for the manipulation of public sympathy and influence.

PFTB: Huelga Nacional!

In respect to this piece on Alternet, the following (albeit incomplete) discussion transpired:

Woody advises:
The Bosses have anticipated y'all.
Unfortunately, there's an actual LAW which criminalizes "General Strikes." It's part of the PATRIOT ACT, and it defines interference in interstate commerce as "domestic terrorism."
That's "Gitmo" territory....
Lee Burkett:
A general strike, under provisions of The Patriot Act and The Military Commission Act, defines a general strike as "wide spread civil unrest," which opens the door for the declaration of martial law. Homeland Security would then be authorized to close down all commercial transport, public transportation, and to seize all bank accounts. The President would have the authority to disband Congress for a period of up to six months.
I wish I was makin' this up, but I ain't ...
Greg Castelonuvo Tedesco:
If people don't have the money to travel, or in their bank accounts then people have nothing to lose but their lives. Most Americans already feel like their lives are not worth living, they watch 5 hours of TV per day. Only people like me, in the "upper middle" class have a little to loose. That is only about 10% of the population. The lower 90% have very little to loose, as it has almost all been stolen by the elites in the last 30 year of flat wages.
Woody Wiqiliques Konopak:
‎"When you got nuthin, you got nuthin' to lose."

The genius of Murkin CorpoRat propaganda, Greg, izzat it has been able to convince the have-nots that they have too MUCH to risk any of it on dissent.
Marcie Coulter
Got us all by the short hairs and prepared to take us in - see FEMA camps nationwide. Who the fuck you reckon those are for? Illegal immigrants? Nah - theybe for us!
Woody Wiqiliques Konopak:
They don't NEED FEMA camps. The people are "voluntarily" sedated. The reality of what is in store is utterly terrifying. It would be to ANYONE, but especially to a people narcotized by "prosperity," bemused by "exceptionality," and distracted by "celebrity," in the thrall of that flickering, blue light.
"Reality" unfortunately means the end of all that. It makes even ME very nervous, and I'm gonna die an a coupla years (10 or so, likely, given my med history and appetites).

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pages From The Book (PFTB): Media Coverage in Madison, etc.

Coverage Questions:

After watching this video, I was inspired to ruminate briefly on the nature of the demand by some in the "public sphere" for a return to civility.
In video by Wisconsin-based freelance writer Phil Ejercito, a large throng of protesters relentlessly heckles Republican State Senator Glenn Grothman, until he’s finally pulled away by Democratic State Rep. Bret Hulsey. As the crowd moved from fury and insults into a chant of “Peaceful! Peaceful! Peaceful!” Hulsey returned and addressed the crowd, asking them to keep it “peaceful and respectful.”

This video was published to YouTube on March 1, 2011.

Which elicited from me the following:
Fuck "Civility!" It merely caters to those who demand it. The folks with the guns talk about 'respecting' differences, like they're the "reasonable" people. It is the people WITHOUT power who are further DISEMPOWERED" by the demands of the Elite--backed by their lawyers, guns, and money--to be "respectful." Fuck "respectful," when those who demand it of me have just decided to fuck me in the ass...
But at the same time got me thinking: How much of this story does the rest of Murka get, if they mostly garner their national and international "news-bitz" from network TV, which I believe the majority still do? This put me in mind of what I recall from Grad School is a repository in which all the daily broadcasts of the "public" media are archived and catalogued, and where you could tabulate such information; so I wrote a FBud in the Radio Biz, Jim Bliekamp:
Is it at Vanderbilt? Someplace. the Newseum?

Who'll have a statistical count of the amount of coverage the Big 4 (ABC, NBC, CBS, & PBS) newscasts focused on the events in Madison WI this last week?

Imho, people with media fetishes obsess on Fox/CNN/MSNBC. To me, they're outliers (outliars, too, I guess?). The vast, gasping bulk of Middull Murk STILL gets its "news" from one or more of the "networks," innit? Do ALL the cabloids among 'em have 5 million discrete viewers/day?

Fox claims itself to be "trusted," and by its viewers I am sure it is: trusted to stoke their cultural fears and reinforce their bigotries and prejudices. Nobody with ANY intelligence "trusts" ANY media/propaganda outlet for anything, except to reflect its own self-interest, do they?
There the matter rests...

Family Matters:

I encountered a name today which piqued my interest: Cyrill Konopka, a resident of Aachen, Germany. Upon discovering him, I wrote him:
We might be Cousins:
Woody Wiqiliques Konopak March 2 at 6:23am
Es ist wir könnte entfernt in Verbindung stehend sein möglich.

Cyrill Konopka March 2 at 6:24am Report
Ich bin ein Konopka aus Deutschland :) Die Konopka Familie ist groß. Sie können scheinbar auch Deutsch.Woher kommt ihre Familie denn ?Liebe Grüße,

Woody Wiqiliques Konopak March 2 at 6:33am
Glaube Ich, wir sind ein von der eigene Familien "Konopak" im USA. Mein Grossvater's Familie aus Toledo, Ohio, im 19th Jahrhunnert kam. Die seit lange Zeit dort gewohnnt hatte...Sein Vater war ein Komponist von Musik dort. Er kam dort in die 1850s.
Auf Deutsch hab Ich nicht viel geschrieben, dieser lange Zeit. Hoffentlich, Sie kann mich genug verstehen...
The messages ended, and the discussion went to the Wall:
Cyrill Konopka: Ich würde mich der Tage gerne mal über ihre Geschichte unterhalten. Ein sehr interessanter Name :)
2 hours ago · Like

Woody Wiqiliques Konopak: Glaube Ich dass dieser Nahme (Konopka/Konopak) ist Russische, am meistens.
2 hours ago · Like

Cyrill Konopka: Ich bezog mich auf diesen Namen " Wiqiliques" Die meißten Konopka sind aus Polen. Gilt als Slesischer Uradel. Unter Napoleon gab es sogar einen General Konopka. Jan Konopka.
2 hours ago · Like

Woody Wiqiliques Konopak: Ich glaube Ich erklaren diesser Nahme besser auf English kann, wenn Sie English lesen kann.
I wanted to have my Facebook "middle name" to reflect the Wikileaks phenomena; but the "censor" in Facebook wouldn't permit it, so I tried to translate in phonetically = "Wiqi Liques"...
2 hours ago · Like

Cyrill Konopka: Ah ja ich dachte dabei an Wikileaks, interessant.
about an hour ago · Like

Woody Wiqiliques Konopak: Du (darf Ich?) hast ganz richtig gedacht!
Du (schon wider) warst im Jahre 1984 geborn, so Ich glaube, dein Eltern ungevehr meine Alter sein mussen, oder? Ich bin 65.
Ich war im Deutschland, zwischen '65-67, bei den kleines Stadt Zweibruchen stazioniert. Ist, doch, aus Aachen nichts weit, nichts?
And there for now it rests...