Thursday, June 30, 2011

Woody, In The Morning: Half-Empty

Woody, In The Morning: Half Empty

If I'm going down, I wanna go down FUCKING!

Fukushima Spews, Los Alamos Burns, Vermont Rages and We’ve Almost Lost Nebraska

Things don't look especially hopeful at this time and in this part of the Universe. A full account of all the trials besetting us humans could drive Pollyanna to draw a nice warm bath and open a vein. Me, though? Frankly, I'd hafta say, since there really ISN'T bloody-the-fuck all ANYONE can do about ANY of it, why don't we all get naked, get stoned, fall in a heap, and fuck our brains out. Optimism is a sham and a delusion. This is the time for pessimism.



I haven't been scrupulous enough weeding the WackloonLibeRanTardians off my Facebook wall, so occasionally something really creepy intrudes into my usual run of inventive invective, canny critique, and scurrilous snark. The following marks just such a case.

In reply to an odious visual canard (which I will not repeat for you here, since it's probably before your breakfasts) speciously equating national healthcare with the "nanny state," I opined:
Needed: Life-long, single-payer, national health care provision.
Anything less is an abrogation of the responsibility of the State to promote the "general welfare."
What's wrong with Obama-care is the private insurance part. And the fact that it's not universal.
. In return I was asked if I also believed in willy wonka. I replied:
James: Do I take it from your "ironic" question that you find my statement fanciful?
What possible reason can you summon to explain why the People of a State should NOT expect that State to provide for their health care? We manifestly cannot heal ourselves of even our most trivial injuries. I am a "doctor," but one who can only explain spot-structural semitiotics to you while you bleed out--well, in your case, I'd explain My Pet Goat. But you get the picture? We need help to survive.

In the condition of 'civilization,' in cities, in a "money" economy, we cannot provide for our own subsistence. There are too many of us to be able to maintain even clean water without some sort of social/structural organization. That's why we have States: to provide for us, the people, collectively, the services we cannot provide for ourselves.

This is especially true. you'd think, in a State in the preamble of whose Constitution there was inscribed a statement whereby the purposes of said State are set forth, explicitly, and one of them--among only five--is "to promote the general welfare." Is there a condition among any polity which would promote the general welfare BETTER than the provision of guaranteed, universal health care?

Okay, a guaranteed annual income. I betcha you'd be opposed to that, too, huh, James
The host of the page intervened with the obligatory Jefferson quote about deciding food and Medicine. I replied:
Noble sentiments, agreed, Steve.

What question was he answering when he also had children by his slave women, which children he kept as slaves, and did NOT manumit them on his death? I'm sure there was a noble principle at stake there too...

In the second place, Jefferson was an agrarianist. The USofA is--in case it escaped y'all's attention--no longer an agrarian state. The "government" has been deciding "what foods we eat and what medicines we take" since the onset of the Industrial age. Wanna give up penicillin? Polio Vaccine? Chuy...
There occurred some by-play among the drooling Libertardians, from which I mainly abstained. Then returning later, I observed:
It's instructive that, for the "freedom" folks, what's at stake is the "freedom" to take advantage of anybody who's weaker than you, and that any interference from the collective--whatever you wanna call it: state, community, society--in that predation is a violation of your "fundamental rights." At least it tells me all I need to know about 'em...
Here's the link to the whole 'debate.' I advise against wasting time there; I only did so cuzz I was bored.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Woody, In The Morning: Controversy?

Folks seem confused that, even though the actual science is well settled, the CorpoRat/SCUM* "Press" keeps the 'climate change controversy' alive where there is actually no controversy at all. There is no actual "debate" about global climate change. It's pretty much settled, scientific fact, like evolution, gravity and the Laws of Thermodynmamics. If you find yourself having to venture into the mine-fields of calculated ignorance that is the intellectual wilderness of climate-change skepticism and outright denial--and we cannot always avoid them; they should wear funny hats--it is good to have a resource upon which to draw when the FUCKING STOOPIT becomes too much to bear. This is it, for me, from now on.

That there is no 'true' debate has been known to anyone with greater cognitive capacity than a newt for at LEAST 20 years. Here is what we know: "The consensus opinion of the world’s climate scientists is that climate change is occurring due to human CO₂ emissions. The changes are rapid and significant, and the implications for our civilisation may be dire. The chance of these statements being wrong is vanishingly small."

The matter of "how the media get it wrong" is a bit precious, a bit naive.

The "Press" sells controversy, and the Oligarchs profit from ANY "controversy" over climate change, because it muddles the facts. And the Oligarchs own "the Press," which toils under the lash of the Fucktard Oligarchy...which said Oligarchs stands to LOSE a great deal of money, power and influence if the seriousness of the problem is actually acknowledged, and measures are undertaken to at least stem (since it is already too late to turn back) the tide of damages.

The CorpoRat/SCUM* behave exactly as you'd expect them to, once you STOP trying to understand them as 'independent actors," and put them in the context to "businesses" owned by the same folks who benefit rom their stenography. The "Press" is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the CorpoRat/State propaganda apparati. If they get a check, they're sold out. Reporters (often idealists) may hate it, but they DO it, cuz they need the jobs, and those are the conditions of employment: Get Along, Go Along.

The people--corporations--which own the "press" stand most to benefit from trivializing the threat and postponing as long as possible the changes necessary to preserve the species (Earth, howsoever damaged, will survive us). They have no compunctions about using their tools--the "SCUM"*-- to accomplish their ends, albeit as surreptitiously as possible. So, while there is almost ZERO skepticism among the people who are really informed, there is STILL plenty of it--zombie-like repetitions of fatuous, ill-informed, stupidities--which the poodles of the press dutifully bring into the house at their masters' command.

(*SCUM = SoCalled Unbiased Media)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Woody, In The Morning: Gone To Pot

Hard on the heels of the massive and monumentally stupid "Great GOPhuquery" the other week in Vermont, and his continuing appearance in the headlines, with Barney Frank last week with their spot-light-seizing, headline-grabbing, but otherwisse totally ineffectual and meaningless marijuana legalization bill, I am encountering a distressing number of people nominally and putatively of "leftish" sympathies tolling the virtues of Rep. Ron Paul, the West Texas demagog with a quasi-populist message and a total commitment Ayn-Rand-Libertarianism and to the CorpoRat State.

CHINGADO RON PAUL! Chuy, jodido! What is the matter with these people? At the GOPhuq Clown College Coming-Out Party, he waxes all predictably, outragedly Randian Libertardian, and suddenly, he's some "great white hope" for the disaffected populists? That's probably closer to the truth than a lot of his sympathizers want to admit, however; but for folks of a "leftish" inclination, I question their sanity.

Ron ("One-Tock, the Broken Clock") Paul makes occasional 'reasonable' noises, about legalizing recreational drug use (sort of) and ending US involvements in foreign wars, or most of 'em. (I am not sufficiently versed in the lore of the Federal Reserve conspiracy to comment on his position--close the Fed?--on that issue. It also finds him some constituency, howsoever mis/mal-informed.

Because, when you examine his record, his pronouncements (especially in his archival news-letter), and his positions, those who actually consider SUPPORTING the Libertard--mebbe for his "anti-war," or his decriminalizing rhetoric--should attend to what you're trading for. (Setting aside the fact that, alone, as he would be, he could accomplish NEITHER of thoes goals.)

Okay, but you get somebody who MIGHT decriminalize, even legalize marijuana; and a candidate who is at least nominally opposed to foreign military adventurism.

Sure, as long as you are comfortable with an unconvincingly "reconstructed" white supremacist, misogynist, anti-environmental, anti-regulation, pro-CorpoRatist, free-trade, prayer-in-schools, demi-fascist, theocratic shitwhistle who, if he were able, would cancel the minimum wage, reverse 'choice,' abandon corpoRat regulation, eliminate environmental protections, and roll back civil rights legislation, and punish flag-burners.

That's too high a price, to me. See for yourself. SCREW RON PAUL.

P.S.: It should always be noted, whenever the name Ayn Rand enters the discussion of politics, philosophy, or literature, one is in the same terrain as one would be when bringing coprophagy in a conversation about cuisine and nutrition.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Woody, In The Morning: The Blame Game

Krugman's absolutely correct when, in his NYTimes blog on Friday he wrote, anent the departure of the GOPhux from the credit ceiling 'negotiations': "And everyone who has preached bipartisanship, who has called for a meeting of minds on the subject, is either a fraud or a chump."

Who EVER expected the GOPh*x to negotiate in good faith? Do you actually believe St. Barry and the Dims did?

I didn't. Nope. Not me. Woody din't just fall of the ol turnip truck!

Everybody in the Club--the Congress, the Press, the Bureaucracy, the USCoC/NAB-- knows how it works. They ALL know it's just kabuki, performed entertain the people observing it, and to instruct them in the futility of political participation....They've been enacting this complex charade for months, when anybody with the brain of a sea-urchin KNEW what the result would be:
Total cave-in/collapse by St. Barry and the Dims to the demands of the GOPhux!.

But with the debt-ceiling crisis, Pres. Shamwow has the cover he's always needed to eviscerate Soc.Sec/Medicare--which was no small part of what he was installed to do to begin with.

At thje ceremonial signing, celebrating the momentous event, he'll weep copious, convincing crocodile tears and swear he feels TERRIBLE about it. But it will STILL be "sold" as a monumental accomplishment, and he'll happily fuck us, you and me. Mebbe he'll trot out Michelle to look sad, too; or the girls?
"I know I promised to hold the line on Social Security and Medicare and taking care of the little people...But this is an EMERGENCY; they MADE me do it! They FORCED me! To SAVE THE ECONOMY OF THE COUNTRY AND THE WORLD, I had to sacrifice the weakest links!!! I am truly sorry, and look forward to your support next year, for saving the world!"
Remember Nixon and China? It's the same principle: It had to be a Dim president who tore down the last of the New Deal safety net and sells out the workers, as it had to have been a GOPh*q who danced with Madame Mao.

The genius of the arrangement is that the Dims and the Negro will get the ALL the blame, bear ALL the responsibility, for ALL of it--for ALL the consequences falling on the People from the many, assorted, stupid, vicious, aristocratic and oligarchic clusterf*x of the last 30-40 years.

It's working like a charm. I bet YOU'RE blaming Barry, too, aincha?

I've said before: I almost fel sorry for him.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Woody, In The Morning: Structures

On Zuckerberg's Folly, Wednesday, I stumbled upon a longish, earnest example of a kind of discourse I call YKANTWE--short for, "Why can't we all stop squabbling and get along, and solve the country's problems, yo?" (You can see why I brev8 it?) The subject was universal health care, and why people would oppose it, since doing so was clearly contgrary to their own and their families' self-interest.

The debate got a bit acrimonious, but it NEVER got to the point. And the point is, to illustrate one of the clearest examples of the case-book workings of "structural" racism you could ever imagine. Classic. (As if there were any OTHER kind? I'll get back to that.)

The author of the original text was at pains to argue rationally about a matter in which, for his opponents, reason played roll.

Lemme try'n explain this another way, I said.

The problem with being reasonable and rational and the like with the folks who oppose universal care is WHY the oppose it.

And the answer is, because it would mean that people whom they regard as inferiors would be getting the same care as they themselves were obtaining. That, in turn, might be thought to imply, therefore, that they were EQUALS to the people they detested, but who were staying healthier. So, they will endure a diminishment of their own comfort, health, whatever, as long as by doing so, it DENIES improvement to those they regard as inferiors.

And they feel as they already do because the feel they have been arbitrarily deprived of the right to be superior to their inferiors, and having common health care is too much like mixing blood (in the daylight, at least).

Textbook "structural racism." What's that, you say? Nobody cast a slur. There was no violence. There was no bias exhibited, since everyone would be deprived if a universal healthcare plan were presented and defeated.

And that's the misconception; because "racism" doesn't consist in individual acts, be they snubs, slurs, or lynchings. There are bigots, supremacists, segregationists in every group that FOSTERS group identity.

Rather, "racism" exists in the social structures that facilitate the capacity of the majority to tolerate the abuse to despised groups, in the incapacity to prevent or sanction it when it occurs. Racism is a function of power, its control, and its maintenance. That's why the tea-party cannot withstand the implications or racism.


The ever-earnest ">Robert Reich discourses again on how we have come to these straightened times:
Former Clinton Labor Secretary made an excellent, short video that summarizes why our wages have fallen since 1980 despite economic growth - where did the money go? Cenk Uygur (MSNBC's The Young Turks) expands on it.
It would use up more than four minutes of your life.

I believe can adequately summarize it in a paragraph:

In about 1983, the Raygun cabal, led by Don Regan, along with Lewis Powell, Allen Greenspan, and a bunch of the local bilderburgers enacted a brilliant plan: with productivity increasing exponentially, instead of passing increased profits along to workers in the form of improved wages and benefits, which would stimulate the economy, instead they'd ease CREDIT restrictions--so the people who were working their asses off, could STILL get more shit, and FEEL "prosperous"--while they channelled the money that would have gone to improved wages into increased profits, and salaries for themselves, while at the same time indenturing the workers to the banks and credit companies.

See? Simple!

It worked like a fucking charm...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Woody, In The Morning: Waddayadunfermelately?

The other morning, on Zuckerberg's folly--like clockwork just about every week--there appeared another of those artfully long, arduously detailed, achingly sincere, partisan encomia ("encomiums?") which painstakingly recounted ALL the things "ThePrez" has done for us these last 30 months or so. Designed to blunt/trivialize the complaints of the disaffected "professional Left," it necessarily ignored --as the correspondent on Alternet noted--the following details wherein The Prez has also led the way:

1) Deporting more immigrants and breaking up more families than George W. Bush (or to put it in more business-friendly language, increasing U.S. "exports" of insufficiently documented human capital assets).

2) Coming out in support of expanded off-shoring drilling just before the BP catastrophe in the Gulf; he STILL approves of it, and his officials have issued dozens of new "safe" permits. He repeatedly has touted production of that mythical substance "clean coal" (widely believed the stuff from which pours the Fountain of Youth). In the wake of the Japanese nuclear disaster, the scope of which is still unknown, he has signalled sympathy for the building of more nuclear plants;

3) Demonstrating his negotiating skills, he compromised with the GOPhux by EXTENDING the "Hyde Amendment" to permit GOP lawmakers to prostate-lave their fucktard "pro-life" constituents by excluding abortion coverage from even PRIVATE health insurance.

4) Cutting 120 billion in taxes for the rich while proposing billions in cuts to "entitlements," such as home heating subsidies to people who are poor or elderly.

5) Making sure the nation's largest banks remained solvent so they could continue to foreclose on the homes of millions of Americans, whose tax dollars supported the multi-million-dollar bonuses of the executives who continue to refuse to renegotiate their mortgages.

6) Standing mutely by, without so much as a stern rebuke to the miscreants or an encourgement to the people they are injuring, "thePrez" seems lame, and impotent as Republican governors and state legislators around the country attack organized labor (e.g., remaining almost entirely mum on the Wisconsin law stripping workers of the right to negotiate their contracts), when he had boldly asserted he would 'find his comfy shoes and join pickets," if they were stripped of their collective bargaining rights.

7) After pledging during the campaign to "revisit" the PATRIOT ACT, he signed two one-year, and now one four-year extension of the most egregious, sustained, legislative and Executive assault on the personal liberties and freedoms of individual citizens since Adams' Alien & Sedition Acts of the 1790s. Who GNU when he said he 'revisit' the thing, he meant to STRENGTHEN it.

8) Under his regime, the USofA is openly carrying out what, if they were being done by any other nation in the world, would be considered (accurately) acts of war: bombing 'insurgent' and/or Government fighters in six (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya) predominantly Arab, Muslim countries, none of which have so much as fired a fucking starters' pistol at the USofA.

These aren't "calls for" anything, plans for anything, memorials of anything. These are concrete, consequential lapses and failings. I am not saying anything like "St. Barry's" the worst president, ever, I am saying that I find it no end of distressing and depressing that he's the BEST we got or are gonna get, ever again.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

WWH~~ Woody, in the Morning (June 21, 2011): IANAL

IANAL (I am not a lawyer): The SCROTUS delivered its opinion on the Walmart v. Dukes, class action suit today and predictably sided with the CorpoRats. It was, in fact, unanimous. And the key finding had to do with the continued liability of CorpoRats to intervention by 'classes' of complaintants. They're AGIN it, distressingly--though not unexpectedly--including BOTH of Prez. Shamwow's appointees, The KAGAN!, and Santa Sonia, the sympathetic. It came down, however, as I predicted: It's win/win for the corpoRats.

Walmart wins against low-paid, marginalized (in this case, female) employees. It now has the tacit permission of the Court to impose any kinds of discriminatory practices on it's employees as long as the damages they cause are small enough that a lawyer wouldn't touch the case.

THe CorpoRat State wins against the whole tradition of class action. Which was, of course, the fucking point. The Opus Deists accepted the case as an excuse to overturn Class-action as a remedy for CorpoRat wrong-doing... just like the same skeevy motherfuckers accepted the Citizens United case to overthrow restrictions on CorpoRat personhood.

The discussions of the case on Zuckerberg's Folly, today, reveal a serious lack of popular understanding of the principles and practices which make USer "law" such an unjust pile of crap. Folks were celebrating, claiming it a victory against "greedy" lawyers. It is a symptom of how far our collective understanding of the legal system has decayed that anybody should celebrate that. Imho, nobody who bad-mouths lawyers has ever been a defendant.

Let me explain, for the uninitiated: Say, hypothjetically say an individual--a clerk at Walmart--notices she is receiving less pay than a male peer in the store. The difference is, on the grand scale of things, trivial, mebbe five thousand dollars per year. The employee wants to sue the company on grounds of gender discrimination, for justice and to recover what she's been wrongfully denied.

N.B.: Lawyers in the USofA "work" for money. And their time is EXPENSIVE. In civil suits, such as employment discrimination, etc, they work for a percentage of the potential judgment. Mostly, they won't take cases in which their share of the potential settlement (usually a third) won't pay for the time and expense of trying the case. Because the cost of prosecuting such a suit would SO far, so EXPONENTIALLY, exceed the actual value of what damages could be recovered, no lawyer would touch it. So the wrong goes unrectified, the damages continue, and the CorpoRat goes scott-free.

Enter: Class action suits, of the kind struck down by the feculent corpoRat phux on the SCROTUS, today. These permit plaintiffs to accumulate their individual complaints under one action. So instead of representing one person with $5k in damages, there's 300,000 people (women, undergoing discriminatory pay practices) with $5k in damages. NOW it makes (cents) sense to pursue it: $5k times 300,000 complaintants = 150 MILLION bucks, one third of which goes to the plaintiffs' lawyers. Now it's worth it, if there's prima facie evidence of a a case.

Which there was in this case. The SCROTUS didn't rule on the merits, but on the approach. They won't ever say it, but the reason why the CorpoRats HATE 'class actions' is that they bestow on the injured parties sopmething like the same kind ogf power that the CorpoRats expect to wield unencumbered. This was why the Court granted Cert.

This is the SECOND 'class action' case the Roberts Court has decided; both have gone against the plaintiffs, for the defendants. It's is probably already too late to save the Country from the "deliberations" of these shitwhistling judicial mediocrities, but if it is not, then one of the Fascist Five--Kennedy, Roberts, Alito, Scalia, or Thomas--has GOT to die/stroke out/get hit by a fucking bus, and SOON!

Monday, June 20, 2011

WWH ~~ Morning, With Woody: To Clancy, Short and Curly

(N.B.: A 'new' moniker on the column: Good bye "Wake'N'Bake 101," HELLO! "Morning, With Woody.")
You my know by now that my contempt for the assorted jurisprudential mediocrities occupying the US Supreme Court, at present, is virtually boundless. And not always limited to the Opus Deists--Kennedy, Thomas, Alito, Roberts and Scalia--either: I could mention a recent decision, out of an incident in a Kentucky housing project, in which both The KAGAN and Santa Sonia, the "bleeding heart"/empath, granted increased, warrantless-entry powers to cops who (in good faith? Right!) "believe" evidence may be being destroyed. Only Ginsberg dissented.

I needn't, I suppose, again rehearse the litany of objections one may recite as to both Scalia's and Thomas' blatant flouting of every canon of jurisprudential conduct, dancing in attendance at the feet of the Koch brothers opulent gatherings, getting their instructions, and pocketing their hefty "honoraria." Or how the man whom I fondly call "Cunt-Hair Clancy" has for 20 years actively concealed--yeah, he says he "just forgot" to report--the substantial salaries and beneficences bestowed by representatives of litigants with matters before the Court, and on which and in whose favor he, Clancy, decided. Such an assertion is ONLY plausible if the amounts contributed to Ginni Thomas' "causes" and salary were insignificaznt in the Thomas family cash-flow. It appears nw it actually might have been, since Clancy now, also, appears to have been leased by some sleazy, Dallas real estate developer/billionaire.

In Woody's humble estimation (even if the partisan composition of the House were not so overwhelmingly GOPhuck, America's "second" Black SCROTUS appointment is utterly immune from ANY consequences of his blatant, outrageous violations of just about EVERY imaginable canon of judicial ethics or public law about bribery. No "White" regime COULD bring any action against him without being accused of "lynching" the skeevy fucker.

And America's first Black President/first Black Atty. Gen'l--who are arguably the only ones who COULD deflect or absorb the ferocity of Cunt-Hair Clancy's inevitable, furious race baiting (the "high-tech lynching!" all over)--won't even consider it.

So, absent a "tragedy" (Roberts spazzing out and going all Natalie Wood; Thomas choking on a pube; Scalia getting shot in the face by Cheney, or Alito forgetting a tie one day and being smothered by his foreskin), the die is cast, and justice for the People is dead.

Still, while I heartily endorse the "impeachment" sentiment, ceteris paribus, I'd recommend we spend y/our time and energy on efforts more likely to bear fruit, like spinning straw into gold...


Woody reckons discussing who "won" the GOPhuck "debate" is kinda like drawing significance from one of those "mascot" races, at the ball park, when the French Fry, the Hotdog, and the Burger dash around the base paths; or who "won" last night at a "professional" wrestling match....The ONLY thing that made the event at ALL 'relevant' was the number of mindless drones from the SCUM begging for idiotic, mind-numbing trivia for their corpoRat-approved/mandated sound bites...

I hope somebody had the sense to record the twitter/fb questions which the national audience sent in to the GOPhux 'debate,' and then has the wit to juxtapose those questions against the mindless banalities offered by the "Press" for the candidates to evade. If they're gonna evade, make 'em evade on REAL shit!

Sounds like something Jon Stewart should do (when he gets back from "vacay" again...)


Saturday, June 18, 2011

WWH, June 18, '11~~ Wake'N'Bake 101: Done

Dang, Dr. Woody didn't wanna revisit The Weiner, but dang, there shore is still a lot of upset and unrest over the fate of Ant'ny Weinuh, ex of the majestic Ninth Congressional District, the borough of Queens, NYC, NY, and now pariah of the Party. Much gnashing of rhetorical teeth. Many recriminations and accusations. More discord in Ant'ny's legacy...

Cast off, alas. And unleashed the cascades of reasons why he shouldn't have resigned; shouldn't have been forced to resign: the nefarious plots his resignation advances, and the charges of hypocrisy addressed to the Loyal Opposition in seeking his head, after sheltering three such ludicrously obvious pecadilloes as Ensign, Vitter, and Larry Craig. All resound throughout the blog-and-twit-osphere this day.

An admired correspondent on Zuckerberg's Folly put forth righteous screed excoriating those who "betrayed" him from the left, said it this way: Ten more real-life reasons why Weiner was slimed out of office. Ten more real-life reasons why those who kept saying that Weiner "had to go" were either ill-informed...or lying...or both."

I never said, thought, or maintained that he HAD to go; only that he was GONNA go. He was the first prominent Dim to be nailed (so to speak) for what had until then been almost universally GHOPhux transgressions. Affairs, payoffs, sexting congressional pages, ugly divorces, out-of-wedlock children, dead office assistants? The GOPhux are the first thing you think of when those things come up. Weiner's the first publically misbehaving Dim since Slick Willie, innit?

Weiner was stupid, asa well as hubristic, proud, arrogant, narcissistic, sollipsistic, and did I say already say, stupid?

He got caught. It was amplified by his prominence, the public character of his outpourings of caustic (and well-deserved) contempt on the heads of his friends on the other side. Once he lost his "moral leverage," he would forever have been a circus act in the House.

A lot of "Scouts" are disappointed. Weiner looked like a decent simulacrum for Mr. Smith or Atticus finch. But Mr. Smith was modest; Atticus Finch wasn't flashing his privates to the sales girls in the back room of the hardware store.

WWH, June 17, '11~~ Wake'N'Bake 101: Hegemony

It's probably not inaccurate to describe/understand the behavior of the State of Israel towards the Palestinian Arabs as a unique species of 'ethnic cleansing.' It is unique in that an ethnic "minority" is endeavoring to expunge, not merely--as with S.African apartheid--to 'contain,' a potentially hostile ethnic "majority."

That Israel behaves as it does is not/should not be surprising. Israel behaves as a State behaves (PoliSci 200: Int' Pol). States have altogether inhuman imperatives, chief among them, the exercise of exclusive, political hegemony within their borders. Israel is in the extremely awkward position of an invading/conquering culture with no place upon which to fall back and regroup. The stories of the indigenous migrations by groups of Anasazi and Athabaskans down the mid-continental plains provides an instructive model, with succeeding waves of migrant and/or displaced peoples pushing southward, driving the previous occupants before them.

States in this position have three alternatives for dealing with 'in situ' populations: Assimilation, segregation/deportation, or extermination. Israel-qua-State--ironically, BECAUSE it is a "religious" State--has only two options with respect to the Palestinians: For the time being, asssimilation is off the table. Arabs aren't going to convert, and Jew wouldn't let them anyway. (Although one way or the other, demographically, ceteris paribus, Israel will eventually have to confront the "assimilation" dilemma.)

That leaves two: There has already occurred a significant Palestinian diaspora, begun in 1948, and the so-called right of return is another sticking point for any potential settlement. One steps warily around notions of extermination when dealing with Israel-qua-state.

The term for it is "Real Politik." It is the same principle which would prompt the US Govt. to step in if, say, the Navajo (the "Dine'h" in their own word) were to develop cruise missiles. The State-qua-state doesn't really have a choice, it expands to fill the space available. Only serious resistance stops it, and then not for very long.

The biggest difference between Israel and the Palestinians is that the Arabs do not HAVE one. Not BEING a State-qua-state, the Palestinian Arabs do not possess really "equal" standing before the "world" which is composed of other "states-qua-state." And this, in turn, is one BIG reason why the Israeli State is so adamant against the Palestinians having one. The status imposes a certain decorum. The recent, USer model notwithstanding, normally states do NOT launch arbitrary attacks on other States. They have EQUAL claims to disputed resources. They have equal rights to security.

Where all this falls apart, to me is: Can you imagine Bibi Netanyahu having to negotiate in good faith with a ("filthy Arab") over the redistribution of water FROM a kibbutz TO an Arab village olive orchard???

Frankly, neither can I...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

WWH, June 16 ~~ Wake'N'Bake 101: Riches

The spread between the "prosperity" of the average American worker and the oligarchs to whom they are indentured is wider than that between the Dallas Mavs (Props, men!) and your local Boy's Club team. I mention this in the context of a story encountered today on Zuckerberg's Folly, in which it was even-handedly reported that American workers were struggling over and competing for an ever-diminishing scatter of crumbs from the Owners' tables, left-overs, and dog-scraps. The graph at the left charts the "good news" (for the Owners), the decline in the amount of take-home pay going home with the "98%." Click to enlarge):
Why are workers taking home such a reduced share of the pie? Opinions differ, but many experts think that the trend has to do with a number of factors, including a decline in the bargaining power of labor, and increased competition from foreign workers. Similarly, over the last year or so, U.S. companies have made record profits, while unemployment has stayed high and wages have barely risen.

The chart jibes with other data, which show that since the 1980s, income for the richest 1 percent of Americans has exploded, while hardly budging at all for everyone else.

Still, there's little sense that either Obama administration or Congress plan to do much about this growing inequality. Indeed, any serious action to boost the economy and cut unemployment now seems to be off the table.
I hope you notice the discourse, by the way: "the decline in labor bargaining power," rather than "the full-on, concentrated, Federal, State and Private attack on Unions," for instance. Or: "the increased competition from foreign workers," without reference to the fact that a big, fat chunk of 'em are doing jobs that USer/Global industries off-shored. A not-insignificant number of which were dispatched from these shore under the auspices of Bain Capital, Mitt Romney, CEO.

(Dr. Woody's Media Tip, # 55: You can learn all you need to know about the institutional predisposition/ideology of the "Press" from one, common trope. When discussing labor actions, the "Press" always reports Union "demands," but Management "offers." It's universal; nobody even notices anymore.)

FYEIEIO: This is a fascinating little link: The "minimum wage" in each state. Several states enforce NO minimum wage--I'll leave to the speculatively minded to guess which ones before looking, but think "Confederacy." The "national" minimum is $7.25/hr. At 40 hrs/wk and 50 wk/yr, that's the magisterial sum of $14,500/yr. Reckon YOU could "make it" on that?

Though he is NOT a lawyer/constitutional scholar, Dr. Woody'd acknowledge that there is no legal precedent in which the "Preamble" has been determinative, so it retains no power in law; still:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
does seem to sketch out the purpose of "Government," and prominent among which is "to promote the general welfare." (And if that isn't the longest sentence you read today, I'll eat a hat...W)

In any case, what it meant, then, in a still agrarian, still frontier, still unsettled land is not what we might expect it to betoken today. So, in a predominantly "urban" civilization, where the vast majority of citizens are prohibited by location, situation and experience from eking out a subsistence "living" from their surroundings, and in a 'money' economy, a guaranteed annual "subsistence" income--equal to the minimum wage, perhaps--should be a civil right, and a perquisite of the maintenance of the 'general welfare." I can think of little else that would do as much.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

WWH~~ Wake'N'Bake 101: Augmented

Turns out, the weed-killer, Round-Up, used on GMO crops bred to resist Round-Up used to reduce pest on crops, is probably causing birth defects down the food chain, when people--and other critters, too--eat crops genetically engineered with the Round-Up resistant gene.

Gee. Nobody could EVER have anticipated such a thing, could they?

The Monsanto folks, makers of Round-Up and the resistant seed, claim they never heard anything about it, don't KNOW anything about it, and disclaim tghe possibility that such things could possibly occur.

Which put me in mind of another classic case of CorpoRat "denial": Asbestos.

Asbestos producer Johns Manville had research already in 1934 which conclusively demonstrated the dangerous, usually mortal 1st AND 2nd-hand effects on life expectancy, health, etc of their product, but NEVER disclosed this information until it was FORCED out in 1984.

You may say whatever you like, call them whatsoever disingenuous label you want to devise, but it must be clear that the deaths, injuries, illness and disabilities that occurred among asbestos workers and their families during those 50 years were NOT the "unintended consequences" of the use of a vital material.

A jury, and several subsequent judges agreed, and finally administered Johns-Manville it's well-deserved CorpoRat death sentence. But it was rescued by Berkshire-Hathaway, you know, that chap Warren Buffett, who knows a bargain when he sees one...


Robert Reich almost ALWAYS manages to stick in my craw, as little. Watch, and see if you can figure out why (and where) the blockage occurs:

If you said, "The part where Reich says 'the inability of the middle-class to BORROW,' you'd be right.

The whole false economy of the last three decades--ALL the bubbles, the 'exuberance,' the clusterfux, ALL of it, GOPhux and Dim, of the last 30 years--arises from the Raygunauts' (in collaboration with the Fed, and the (e.g.) US CoC, the NAM, and other business 'special interests') three-part attack on the prosperity of the Murkin citizen. This involved 1) policies of depriving US workers of wage gains commensurate with the increases in their productivity, 2) channeling those withheld wages into corpoRat profits, and 3) pretending to the workers (who, even with Union representation, are no better than poorly educated tools) that easing credit restrictions was just as good as getting raises. The workers bought it, hook, line and sinker; along with RVs, motor-homes, personal watercraft, houses, vacations, new cars, and a torrent of delivery pizza which has increased average Murkin, middle-class corpulence to the level of grotesque obesity unparalleled in the annals of human recorded history.

But, but, you protest: Bill Clinton left us with a "balanced budget and a surplus," dinne? All was well before 2000, right. And, to be honest, within the limits of the "meaning of 'Is,' it was, sorta. That is, unless you take into account that that prosperity was all on paper, the housing bubble was growing already, that he had signed the bills that repealed Glass-Steagagall, and that Clinton had "presided" over the biggest rush of job off-shoring, and of business closing/relocation in history, too. Remember the giant sucking sound? It wasn't an exaggeration. But there's not a single fucking WORD about it.

And this is what sticks in my craw, because these are facts which--though they would have driven the length of Reich's narrative over three or maybe even up to four minutes (and we KNOW the limitations of the Great murkin Attention Span)--are absolutely crucial for understanding the processes (and the peresopnalities) that led us to our current straightened circumstances.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

WWH~~ Wake'N'Bake 101: Chance

There's a growing concensus that the "War on Drugs" has failed, but you know, ol' Dr. Woody, contrarian to the end, would quibble.

If you go back to the origins of TWOD, in the '20s and '30s, and read Anslinger and his boys, we discover that it has worked WONDERFULLY well. NO, not at stemming the flow of "dangerous narcotics." But at it's true purpose--criminalizing the whole "dangerous" racial/ethnic/youth underclass, bringing and keeping them under close, vigorous, prosecutorial supervision--it is a success on par with the Electoral College or the Volunteer Army.

More than half of ALL black males have criminal records. In one recent year,
an estimated 827,440 men or 32.2% of African American men age 20 to 29 were under judicial supervision, compared with 6.7% of white men of similar age and 12.3% of Hispanics. Blacks make up about 12% of the population of the United States.
The overwhelming majority of those records stem from encounters with the law over "substance use." (Not all, perhaps not even most, use is "abuse.") In the country ("We're #1!") which incarcerates both the greatest raw numbers of its population, and the greatest per capita percentage, of it's population, even compared with such "notorious" (alleged) violators as China, Cuba, and Iran, over FIFTY FIVE PERCENT of penitentiary inmates are serving sentences for "drug violations."

If I, hypothetically, ran the zoo, and wanted to "keep the ni**ers down," that's how I'd do it.


Here a citizen, recognizing GHWBush out slumming for gnosh, probably in Houston somewhere, gets the chance not given to many of us: the opportunity to speak unvrnished truth to power. Such an opportunity is astonishingly rare, and that citizen did NOT disappoint. I can only hope that, were I presented with such an opportunity, I would rise to the occasion as admirably as the "unknown videographer."

Friday, June 10, 2011

WWH~~ Wake'N'Bake 101: Weiner, Redivivus

Woody is pretty non-plussed at the gyrations and uncomfortable, protective positions which the Weiner defenders have adopted in their desperate desire to protect the guy. I don't WANT to call it "hypocrisy," but: If some moronic GOPhuq had committed the same array of stupid deeds, the Left-o-sphere would be IN-CAN-fucking-DESCENT with furious outrage... They would NEVER shut up.

The David Vitter comparison is spurious. Vitter is a useless, water-carrying piece of baggage. He's not a leading light of the Rightard movement. He's a place-holder and a vote, nothing more. And he was re-elected (admittedly in Louisiana, but still). And comparisons to Gingrich ar more scurrilous still. Gingrich no longer holds ANY elected office.

Weiner, on the other hand, is (was) a prominent, admired, forthright, unrestrained critic of all things GOPhucking STUPID, and an advocate of progressive politics. But no more.

Weiner is already a laughing stock. The ONLY way to redeem himself would be to "pants" orange-John Boner in the Well of the House...

Woody would dearly LOVE to hear the next exchange between Jon Stewart and his (former?) buddy, Ant'ny Weiner.

"Nuttin poisunal, Ant'ny. Jis bidness! Right, Ant'ny? You'da done me the same way, innit?"

WOODY DOESN'T CARE about Weiner's weiner, per se.

What I care about is the monumental, catastrophic failure in judgment and common sense that the psychopathic, narcissistic, selfish, spoiled, egocentric, solipistic fuckwit showed, along with his prepossessing package. The moron couldn't think far enough "ahead" (so to speak) to realize just HOW FUCKING STUPID it is for people so intensely in the public eye to just throw their 'junk" up in cyber-space.

Weiner's absolute, dismal, unacceptable LACK of concern about the consequences of proudly posting his elegantly draped (Congressional gray) underexposed "meat-stick" on the Twitter-sphere should disqualify him from what admiration he already earned. It's the unforgivably stupid, and infantile, absolutely dismal, unacceptable LACK of concern about the consequences resulting from his discovery and unmasking, and from the fucking LIES the ASSHOLE told to cover it up, to the "agenda" he proclaimed himself an advocate for: That's what frosts my ass.

I don't give a fuck about "the Weiner" itself. But it must be clear that, until he resigns, and then runs for his own seat again, and wins, he has ZERO fucking cred as ANYTHING other than a model for boxer-briefs (e.g., the illustration, accompanying).

Thursday, June 9, 2011

WWH~~ Wake'N'Bake 101: Doubly Bound

The vast, overwhelming, silent, ignorant majority of the "good people" of the USofA don't realize it--they've been trained since birth to ignore it, they are almost all in total ignorance of it--but they are the uninformed, naive, involuntary, test/experimental subjects in the biggest, most complex, most far-reaching, "Stimulus/Response", Behavior Modification (see, e.g., BF Skinner and/or Pavlov) research project in the history of the world.

And the most spectacularly successful one, too.

As a result, Murkins are the most effectively and thoroughly "brain-washed" population, across ALL classes, in the world--outside mebbe North Korea. How ELSE explain the eternal, mindless, pro-forma repetitions of the Pledge in every classroom every day? The hacktacular, increasingly competitive performances of the National Anthem at commercial, privately sponsored athletic events? Support the TROOPS! Must I go on?

It's called "The American Dream."

The "lab" equipment? Simple. The "Average Murkin" living-room, and the glowing, blue, sub-visible flicker of the greatest hypnotist of ALL TIME: Television and its progeny (ALL subsequent screen-driven technologies). You don't have to tell 'em what to think. If you can 1) direct what they think about and 2) supply the ways/words in which they think about it, the conclusions are pretty much foregone. How many screens are you attached to? Where do you get your instructions?

You thought the Milgram/Zimbardo experiments were bad? They illustrated how even "good" people, given unlimited power and no accountability, would go massively far into sadism when given the authority of prison guards and the proper orders. They had only limited subjects and situations.

In the larger context, under the PATRIOT ACT and its scions, the Owners are turning the whole country into a population of prisoners and prison guards, with no accountability and almost limitless power. You can call down a SWAT Team on your neighbor just about anytime you want to: claim there's 1) drugs or 2) terrorists or 3) kiddie porn, and ALL Constitutional protections evaporate.

There are psychologists are on the advisory panels of virtually ALL prisons, and quite prominently at the detention center for Central Asian prisoners at Guantanamo. The guy in charge of that process is the same guy who "invented" so-called "learned helplessness," a truly skeevy, wretched piece of shit named Dr. Martin Seligman, who has made a TON of money from it. "Learned helplessness" basically departs from Bateson's observations about the "double bind," and teaches practitioners how to CREATE the fucking things. (Seligman's work illustrates perfectly to me one of Michel Foucault's most controversial, contrarian adages: that the "telos" of the "human sciences" is not therapy or repair, but coercion and control; but I digress).

"Learned helplessness" is a misnomer, in any case, because it places the onus for the behavior on the subject, not on the experimenter who fucking TEACHES it. Originally, the fuckstick Seligman experimented on dogs. I want to experiment--vivisection, perhaps--on his skeevy ass and leave the carcass for the jackals.

(Confession: The ONLY "D" Dr. Woody EVER got in college was in an intro psych course in which the project was to conduct a behavioristic experiment, which I refused to do and in which I declined to take ANY part...)


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

WWH~~ Wake'N'Bake 101: Too Bad I Already Used "Polled."

Not Mollified: Anthony Weiner's critics, that is. I doubt that this will end until he's forced to "drop trou."

I mean, c'mon. The tweet/shot which was the first evidence of this scandal showed a "package" of fairly prodigious proportions. Not yer 'Average White-boy" junk, ya know? Jon Stewart, the first night he ran (with) the story, recounted how he'd known Weiner since back in adolescence, from camp, on such occasions where young men may glimpse other guys' equipment--and inevitably to compare, of course. Stewart might have been covering for his pal (or he might have been milking the story; cuz it was and is WAY inside the comedic "wheel-house"), but he assured the folks that Anthony's adolescent weiner was nothing like the resplendent kielbasa so proudly expanding the solemn, dignified, very Congressional gray spandex of the boxer/briefs in the fotograph.

Other fotos on the Web today would convince a person that the guy's another certifiable narcissist, a powerful, privileged, nearly psycho/sociopathic patriarchalist. But then who ISN'T, when you get that degree of attention. It's one of the qualifications for the job; it's not a bug, it's an app. Wonkette, in her Ana Marie Cox mufti, just dropped a piece on the GQ blog covering the 25 most prolific political philanderers.

He "admitted" it was him. But I reckon I'd "admit" that package belonged to me, too, in the bright lights of the camera and the inquiring eyes of my country. So I think Weiner's going to be under pressure to has to "drop trou" to dispel any lingering doubts among his constituents as to WHICH apparatus they'd prefer to have representing them in the screwing contest that is the Congress. (I mean they don't call it "congress" fopr nothing.)

Me? I'd do it on "The View."

Sunday, June 5, 2011

WWH~~ Wake'N'Bake 101: Hard Cheese

This just grates. The hed on a post from PoliticsUSA--"Real Liberal Politics ~~ No Corporate Money, No Masters--reads: New Economic Data Shows That The GOP Fooled America Again, June 3, 2011, By Ray Medeiros..."

Whereupon follows a workman-like, quotidian rehearsal of all the factors which SHOULD militate against "America" being fooled again by the dissembling shenanigans of the Right, in a tone of bemusement, as if astounded that the sheer weight of the CONTRARY facts should NOT be enough to overwhelm all but the most obdurate and adamantine of ill-informed resistances. Almost desperately, Medeiros implores:
"At what point will the American middle class realize that the Republicans do not have and never had a strong economic plan? The GOP has been repeating the same talking points over and over again for 30+ years. Aside for the social issues of gay marriage and abortion, the Republican Party offers absolutely nothing of substance for people in the middle class to grab hold of.
They've got a colorful, fact-filled, illustrative graph, and everything!

But the answer, of course, is "at NO point." Because the people aren't "fooled" by the GOP, they're 'willing' hostages to it in the way of a Stockholm-syndrome-attachment. They believe their own fate to be so closely aligned with the success or failure of their captors that they MUST comply, they MUST.

It seems to me improbable that people who have been loyal followers of the GOP doctrine since the good, ol' Raygun days, or since (20 of 30 years) are now going to repudiate everything they have expressly or tacitly endorsed--whether the arbitrary, opportunistic wars, or the impoverishment of the middle class and the disbanding of labor as a viable political force, or the re-indenture of women to patriarchal norms, or the frontal attacks on fundamental liberties--even when the results are clearly detrimental to their own prosperity and/or security.


The technical name for this--the art of rewriting lyrics to a popular song to make it topical--is filk (vs. "folk") music. This is a "paradigm case." We've probably all done something like it, some time or other. This is a good'n!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

WWH~~ Wake'N'Bake 101: Polled

CIVICS: "Washington (CNN) -- A new national poll indicates that a majority of Americans don't like what they've heard so far about congressional Republicans' plans to change Medicare."

And who could blame them. Ryan's 'plan' is an abomination, less policy than schematic outline of the same idiotic "randian"/racist, punitive ideology which conflates wealth with virtue, and that inspires the teahadist cretins' anti-gummint rhetoric. It is quite unpopular. But that doesn't matter a fart in a porta-potty, friends; not doodly-squat.

It wouldn't matter if polls showed opposition to it were close to unanimous.

That is because the Ryan "plan" is what passed the House, by close to 100 votes. So it MUST be reconciled with the complementary bill which passes the Senate, whatever it looks like.

The Senate is not powerful enough, not popularly partisan enough, to reject the House measure wholesale. SOME part of the GOPhux/Ryan mad, irresponsible, punitive, retributive bullshit WILL BE IN whatever bill is finally enacted. It's unavoidable, and inevitable. So some part of this Ryan piece of shit--possibly much, perhaps even MOST of it--will find its way into the final "compromise" version that St. Barry WILL agree to and sign.

And St. Barry will veritably gleem with pride, signing "this landmark in the struggle to rein in the horrible deficit," smoothly assuring us that EVERYONE is bearing some of the burden, and that it is EQUALLY distributed among ALL the people--and strangely unlike ANYTHING else in this rich-mans' bordello.

It's not a matter of "if," but "how much" will he/they fuck us. The record is not encouraging, suggesting we stock up on lube or lanolin.


WWH~~ Wake'N'Bake 101: Tears

Dr. Woody is an ardent admirer of the Reich/Krugman school of truth in economics reporting movement. They're almost ALWAYS spot on in their analyses. The accurately locate the origins and sources of the problems they so eloquently and sensibly discuss. Their expertise is unquestionable. Years in the academy and gummint service at the highest levels--and at least one Nobel prize in economics--have honed their perceptions to such an acuteness of sensibility and accuracy of observation that it is madness to ignore them.

In view of that undoubted clear-headedness, it's sometimes jarring that when it comes time to proffer fixes, they come a'cropper:
"The fundamental economic challenge ahead is to restore the vast American middle class," Reich recently told a Senate panel.
Duh, says I. And what is the biggest obstacle to that?
"That requires resurrecting the basic bargain linking wages to overall gains, and providing the middle class a share of economic gains sufficient to allow them to purchase more of what the economy can produce. As we should have learned from the Great Prosperity — the 30 years after World War II when America grew because most Americans shared in the nation’s prosperity — we cannot have a growing and vibrant economy without a growing and vibrant middle class."
Yeah, right. Stirring stuff! Have I mentioned before how amused I find these patriotic paeans to the American spirit, and the earnest calls for resurrection? "All" we have to do is restore the old social contract, and we'll be back on the track to prosperity. Happy days, etc...But that seems to me to completely overlook the fact that the acolytes and catamites of Reaganism have spent the last 30 years, and untold BILLIONS of dollars UNDERMINING in the very fabric of that contract, negating its conditions of possibility, wherever they found it, and relentlessly expunging and erasing it even from the rhetoric of the national discourse.

Renew the social contract. Sher. I'll take it up with Lloyd Blankfein next weekend at dinner at the Club... Like THAT'S gonna happen. I mean, I don't wanna be an entirely wet blanket, here. SO mebbe somebody can help me out with this? Where is ANYBODY going to find the votes and the courage to undo the "Reagan Revolution?"

St. Barry, the Pale, will soon be "forced" to extort HUGE, probably deadly, give-backs from the poor, the elderly, and the disabled to 'compromise' with the GOPhux over the Debt Ceiling...or maybe it's the budget, or some other legislative trinket. In any and all cases, since "everything is on the table," St. Barry will INEVITABLY concede something vital to the well-being of someone invisible to them all.

Watch the crocodile tears, and remember: This is what he was ELECTED to do, from day one.

Why? Cuz the USer middle class is too expensive to "restored." It's outlived its usefulness. There are now other markets. Lots of 'em. So the USer middle class has to be 'disciplined' (what the experts call it), taught to be grateful enough that you have ANY fucking job at all, so that you'll work for peanuts, in shitty conditions, with crap for protection, and be goddam glad you're not in the extension phase of your unemployment which ThePrez just bargained away for deficit reduction..

The impoverishment of the so-called "middle class" isn't the "unintended consequences" of some otherwise worthwhile project. In case y'all missed it during the last 20 years, US manufacturing jobs all but disappeared, unions shrivelled, wages shrank in comparison to productivity, and the automatic indenture machine called the "credit card" became the common currency. 'A growing and vibrant economy' is precisely what "off-shoring" and "globalism" were designed to curtail, to arrest, to in effect cripple. Remember the great sucking sound?

They BOTH (Reich/Krugman) KNOW this to be true, but--as paid-up members of the coordinator class--cannot and will not say so...

So Reich's (in this case; Krugman's, too, often enough) prescription for improved ecomonic health is really little better than a prayer from the pulpit to some unrelenting, impervious, probably imaginary deity, offered solely for the purpose of preserving the appearances that sustain 'faith.'

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

WWH~~ Wake'N'Bake 101: Snooki'd

She's BACK: The chill-billy from Wassilly! Somebody full of the Spirit of the Lord called her the "Sno-Queen Snooki of the Great White North" the other day, and yer ol' Doc just about fell OUT!

To those struggling to comprehend how "Snow-Queen Snooki" can command the national spotlight with such ease, we need only recall the plethora of other celebrities who can do the same thing. There is no qualitative difference between her and Charlie Sheen; the merely perform in different mediated spheres, she in the "political" rather than the ostentatiously 'entertaining' side of the business. "Sarah Pale-one" is a living, blathering example of what Dan Boorstin in a 1961 book ("The Image: A Guide To Pseudo-events in America") called a "pseudo-event."

A "pseudo-event" is an occasion the only purpose for which is to draw media attention to itself. It wouldn't occur unless there were someone who was going to report it somewhere. The significant, but truthfully the only difference between Palin and a press-release is that only her performance never stops, isn't limited to a single, prepared venue.

S-Q Snooki's singular attractions are her tits, her ass, her white skin-tone and her willingness to say or do ANYTHING to draw a crowd to admire them. A human pseudo-event, in the flesh.

Or, think of her as an ambulatory, political PR stunt. She's the macro-mediated equivalent in the present, political circus of women smoking cigarettes in the Easter parade in 1913. In DC on Memorial Day, the dismal ditz proudly announced that she loved the smell of unburnt hydrocarbons. She's deeply, proudly, ignorantly--yeah, pathologically--stoopit, but she's shrewdly psychopathic, like grifters ALL have to be. She's a walking ad for herself.

And it's paying off quite nicely.


That old Ciceronian conundrum: Cui Bonum?

A correspondent on FB today asked: What is causing the sharp increase in cases of autism?

I answered: The main thing is, there's LOTS of money to be made from any new affliction, especially if kids are involved, and you can almost promise a 'cure.'

Parents with "abnormal" kids are like money fountains. They'll starve the whole family to get another/new treatment to make the baby "normal."

CorpoRat medicine preys on that, profits by it, expands it, markets it, popularizes it.

There's other things, too, like a chemically toxic life-world, polluted with close to 100 THOUSAND artificial, industrial/agricultural/medical toxins which are mostly unregulated, and mostly untested for consequences to long-term exposure. Mebbe our psychological "shells" are growing thinner, mutating somehow, in the presence of these novel poisons.

Also, there is an 'industry" around autism, now. It's got "schedules," and stuff. You can quantify it. So, with regularized symptomologies, there are more "pro-forma" diagnoses, especially in the commercial climate that encourages and profits from intervention.

Just offa the toppa my head, anyway...(I was adhd before it had initials. I was miserable. I was/am lucky.)