Tuesday, August 30, 2011

As the Cookie Crumbles (WWH, 8/30/11): Intelligence

(WWH, 8/30/11) The (current--these things can change so fast) Arch-Dickwad of the Dominionist, tea-bagging, neo-Fascist, raving Rightoids, Rick Perry was running his feculent gob at a recent speech to supporters at a meeting of the Houston Chamber of Commerce. In it he betrayed both his own fractured, almost comical misunderstandings of the purpose of BOTH education and schooling, as well as the deep animus he and his sympathizers cherish against an "educated" electorate. (Frankly, they needn't worry over much, but that's another story.)

The report of Perry's ramblings reveals a lot about the "epistemic" assumptions that Perry and his imbecilic ilk hold on matteres such as the need and purpose of schooling, who should have it, and what its ends ought to be. I have no compunctions about telling you that 1) he's wholly and entirely WRONG and 2) to read the article. My intention here is simply to use Perry's words and positions as a platform for a somewhat different discussion, about a deeper issue: What it "Intelligence?"

Lots of people, for example, remarked upon George W. ("The Chimperor") Bush's many apparent cognitive and interpretive lapses. But, according to those who have known him, he is a genius at getting people to like him. From the perspective of masstering things that make easier the passage of your life, that's a very GOOD way of getting through the world. It's "smart," where "smart means "to find an advantage and use it."

We all come equipped, at birth, with a whole array of potential ways of being "smart." They were once regarded as "talents." MIT psychology Prof. Howard Gardner's theory of "multiple intelligences." Gardner's central insight (going on 30 years go) is that what used to be called "talents" are in fact separate, unique, distinguishable forms or modalities of a general competence that is summed up as "intelligences." By which I take him to mean that "intelligence" is the application of our different adaptive application of what our "intelligences" bring to the problems we encounter, the way we MAKE "ways of making sense of the world."
In the heyday of the psychometric and behaviorist eras, it was generally believed that intelligence was a single entity that was inherited; and that human beings - initially a blank slate - could be trained to learn anything, provided that it was presented in an appropriate way. Nowadays an increasing number of researchers believe precisely the opposite; that there exists a multitude of intelligences, quite independent of each other; that each intelligence has its own strengths and constraints; that the mind is far from unencumbered at birth; and that it is unexpectedly difficult to teach things that go against early 'naive' theories of that challenge the natural lines of force within an intelligence and its matching domains. (Gardner 1993: xxiii)
Intelligence is not a "number." It is an array of talents and skills which enable people to navigate and negotiate their unique life-worlds. For Gardner, there were/are several (8, now) discernible modalities of experience, of which ALL of us possess ALL, though in different proportions. I'm a word person. My brother is a musician. My sister is a painter. Others are athletes, or aesthetes, or entertainers. My grandfather was a math guy. Not everyone excels ate every thing, but we ALL excel at one or another. The point, he argues, is that are at least EIGHT of them, and that all of us possess ALL of them, though in different proportions and to different degrees.

We're all good at sumpin...words (me), numbers, athletics/dance, music, sculpture/painting, contemplation, social manipulation, street-sense. Those are Howard Gardner's (still temporary) categories of the kinds of human intelligences there are. In principle there could WELL be others. But the implication--that we have vastly underestimated (even misunderestimated) the complexity of the issue--eludes the political peckerwoods like Rick Perry, who boot it around like the head of a fallen enemy.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hippie News & Stuff: School Daze

Hey, Hippies Like they say in the Islands, "SHAKA! Bra..."

When I started my doctoral studies in education in the mid-'80s, I encountered a LOT of statistical information, and one datum in particular struck and stuck: More than 65% of variance in students' scores on standardized tests is accounted for, statistically, by only ONE variable--the Socio-Economic Status of the family. For most kids, "success" in school is more directly predicted by, and more closely correlated with, the family ZIP Code than any individual students' IQ scores. I do not believe things have changed so much, especially since the testing industry has so successfully colonized the classroom--a precursor, I believe, for the eventual (inside 15 years) privatization of ALL schooling.

Almost 40 years ago, Jonathan Kozol wrote that those who proclaim the USer schools to be failures do not really understand the purpose of schooling. Schools, Kozol said, are ferociously good at what they are designed to do which is (paraphrasing here): ensuring as far as possible that as few children as possible escape the socio-economic niches for which they were born. Another scholar of the period, Joel Spring, regarded schools as "sorting machines," which separated students into (life-long, nearly inviolable) tracks according to the students' potential usefulness to the elites.

From such perspectives, it is NOT a stretch to suggest that the purpose of schooling is to compile a retroactive record for the purpose, at least in no small part, of rationalizing and supporting decisions that were made about those students before they EVER crossed the school-house threshold.

On a related point: For many politicians, schooling FOR THE PURPOSE OF PRE-EMPLOYMENT TRAINING--which, despite noble rhetoric to the contrary,has been the operating raisson d'etre of the whole enterprise since Nixon--schooling FOR THE PURPOSE OF PRE-EMPLOYMENT TRAINING is going to become less and less relevant.

If there aren't any jobs, the argument will go, why do we need schools to train workers? CorpoRats are not EXPANDING their hiring universes. Automation is NOT going to be less ubiquitous. So the "public" school is probably going to become culturally expendable, an inefficiency which the CorpoRats no longer need support. And education will again revert to being a luxury and perquisite of the rich.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

As The Cookie Crumbles (WWH, 8/27): Decoys

(WWH, 8/27/11)President O'Bomber's proposed "payroll tax-cuts" for the poor are "Trojans" (no, not condoms, it's a classical reference). Trojans, like those beguiling messages on Facebook inviting you to see what the girls' father saw, or watch the spider inside someone's gut, but which disguise a virus or a cookie or some OTHER malign, parasitic device.

Here's how this trojan attack works: Under the INTENTIONALLY misleading rhetorical disguise of "relieving the crushing burden" and "putting more money back" in the hands of low-wage earners, by "reducing payroll" (NOT "income") taxes," Obummer is stealthily following his orders from the Oiligarchs to finish off the New Deal safety net by attacking this "entitlement" with the death of a HUNDRED million cuts, $16-20 dollars at a time, each week. Reducing the SS withholding from around 6% to around 4% is a significant reduction but a pitiful raise, considering what it's buying. And it is inflicted on EVERY paycheck.

So, despite what you may hear to the contrary, the "payroll" tax reductions--the so-called "tax holidays"--are actually a stealth attack on Social Security. That's because every dollar of FICA NOT collected weakens the whole system, by shortening its viable life-span. By reducing the amount going into the fund, he attacks and undercuts the long-term viability of the program.

Do NOT forget: The Sainted O'Bummer HIMSELF initiated this plan of attack back LAST year, when "negotiating" with the GOPhux on the bushevik tax cuts for the wealthy. He's now following up with a proposal that--if you're not paying attention, or are easily gulled--SEEMS to be pro-working people, but which in fact works to further impoverish and immiserate them (US!)...

Remember that George, "the Chimperor," Bush tried to do it, by privatizing the fund, in 2004/05, and failed. But Bush had the disadvantage of being a RICH WHITE FUCKER and the Dims fought it off, even with minorities in BOTH Houses. St. Barry's plan is much more audacious, if slower acting. But he's the ONLY one who could bring it off..

President O'Bomber came to the Office with the (tacit, but well-understood) brief from the folks whom George Carlin called "the Owners" that he should use his status and stature as "Murka's FIRST BLACK President" to accomplish things they--the Owners--had been trying unsuccessfully to accomplish for 50 years: namely, and finally, to kill off Social Security and the rest of the old New Deal safety net. He was the "chosen one," because--as they learned to their discomfiture since the '60s-- ONLY the "FIRST BLACK" president COULD carry it off.

Remember, hippies: The Social Security Trust Fund is the LARGEST pool of capital in the WORLD which is NOT dedicated to the enrichment of the oiligarchs, the OWNERS. And they want it...Ohhhhh, how they want it. Think "Precious." It looks from here like they're going to get it...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

As The Cookie Crumbles: Free-Trade Blues

(WWH, 8/25) One question I see a lot is why the industrial capitalists don't just step in, do their patriotic duty, and help out good ol' Uncle Sam, by recreating and refurbishing the American manufacturing infrastructure and putting Americans back to work.

In a word, it boils down to "free trade."

Since the '80s, 14 Free Trade Agreements have been ratified by Congress, including (SING) APTA, AFTA, SICA, CEFTA, COMESA, G-3, GAFTA, GCC, NAFTA, SAFTA, SADC, MERCOSUR, TPP, and a couple that don't have acronyms. There are 23 more proposed or in various stages of completion. Interestingly almost all of 'em are with entities which have LOWER wages than ours.

Now, what do all these things do?

What they DO is remove/reduce barriers to capital movement, while usually simultaneously preventing the movement of labor and the enforcement of labor laws or worker safety agreements. The CorpoRats love 'em. Remember Ross Perot, and the "giant sucking sound" he predicted (accurately, as it turned out) would follow the signing of NAFTA? How higher paid, more expensively benefitted, American manufacturing) jobs went south?

Free trade agreements are touted by Gummints as binding nations together in bonds of trade, and by the US especially as "the foremost tools for "opening up foreign markets for American products and investment." Foreign investment, you must remember, almost always means the creation somewhere else of modes of production already in place albeit more expensively at home and making the more expensive unprofitably redundant, and obsolete.

Hence, the "giant sucking sound."

In the deluge of "FTA-liberated" capital, and the subsequent "investment" in 'overseas facilities," the Master Class then sold off, moved, or tore down the Murkin industrial/manufacturing infrastructure--after having raped the land, and indentured the people.

They went on to greener, cheaper pastures, and they ain't coming back...At least not to the USofA as currently recognized, with labor laws, waste disposal regulations, water and air quality standards, safety rules, and even a few unions. Noooooo way.

To 'bring back the jobs," bring the industry back, we're going to have to 'agree' to austerity on a grand scale. (which is what they're trying to get us used to now.) "We'll" have to virtually enslave ourselves in perpetuity to the CorpoRat class... Agree to work for peanuts, in unsafe conditions, in toxic-waste spewing factories, dumping waste for convenience, wherever it strikes the industries as likely, environmental consequences be damned. We need jobs, they demand incentives.

What OTHER incentives can you offer them? Your daughters?

Cuz here's the dirty secret: The "world market" needs the USer consumer less and less. There are burgeoning populations of eager consumers with spending money in places like Brazil, China, Russia, and India who are desperate to "improve their lives" with the latest tchotchkes from GE (or GM), which produce them endlessly and more cheaply than ANY USer economy can or will. It's a seller's market, and we've been sold out.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

As the Cookie Crumbles: Cat-Food

The Catfood Commission! YES! It was, in fact, the 'defining moment," when he VOLUNTARILY accepted the GOPhux CorpoRat frame, when he accepted their "meme," conceded to THEIR logic and politics, refused to boldly assert one of his own in the arena where he SHOULD have been concentrating from the start (but didn't because--I think--he wanted to use his mandate to cement his legacy, with one big victory...which, sadly, wasn't).

No. Really! That was the last moment it was plausible to continue to believe him.

Mebbe you didn't get it when, during the campaign, O'Bombster allowed as how his model president was Reagan, and that he detested the 'excesses' of the '60s and '70--though you probably should have recalled that that epoch included the successful culmination of the civil rights era, and King's turn against colonialist wars.

Mebbe you didn't notice when the overwhelming majority of his "(Dis)appointments" were either carry-overs from the Bushevik era, or loyal shield-bearers for actively anti-democratic, corpoRat interests with globally hegemonic aspirations, and the willingness and apparently the power to invoke the "national" interest to their corpoRat battles.

I dunno how, but I suppose it's possible that you were in a combat-zone (not all that rare, these days) and did not witness the catastrophe that was his "negotiation" on reforming the health-care insurance industry, when before the opening press-releases hadn't even been traded, he collapsed on single-payer, and in short order gave away the public option and medicare-for-all on succeeding days, without the GOPhux having had so much as to breathe heavily?

And if you're enjoying flying remotely controlled, combat drones carrying both bombs and missiles, against essentially helpless people who may or may not be even alleged enemies, and watching from the on-board, real-time camera as the bodies fall--men, women, children, animals, it doesn't matter; or if you are making money off that enterprise in soome other way, as are STILL 10,000 private/corpoRat contractors in the Iraq/AfPak combat zone, this is a pretty good time: promotion on the horizon, or a new generation of drones, and operations along the US/Mexico border, in store. Future's so bright, ya gotta wear shades.

And then the Cat Food Commission. By then, it was (or should have been) impossible NOT to notice that O'Bummer's negotiating style was ALWAYS to assume a position of weakness and then give shit away, like he had no choice. HE put entitlements on the table, and HE did it in the discourse of "deficits" and "debt." If there's EVER been a clearer case of carrying the corpoRatists water, against the interests of the people, and their general well-being, I am not aware of it.

So you wouldn't have paid attention when, in caving in on the Bushevik tax cuts last year, he somehow neglected to wring even the faintest concession from the Owner's ass-clowns in the GOP on forthcoming budget and deficit arrangements. It wasn't like brain surgeons were needed to assess the situation. Some pimply reporter from a blog asked him about that at a press conference, and if even then the fucking light didn't go on, then probably...

you probably shouldn't be allowed to drive motorized vehicles, have matches, or breed.

No "Obama-hater" I, but a relentless critic of CorpoRatism, in any garb, pigmentation, or affiliation.

I have always opposed Obama, regarding him all along as what he has unmistakably demonstrated himself to have been: A malleable, plausible sockpuppet for Wall Street banksters, the USC0Commerce, and the globalist, CorpoRAT hegemons.

I object only--but utterly--to the pretense that he is ANYTHING BUT the direct heir of Ronald Reagan.

He's standing on our shoulders, shitting on our heads.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Broadcast, WWH, 8/22: Zombie Philanthropists

THANKS, Winston, and, from the High Chihuahuan desert, "Hola" hippies, everywhere!!

Mega/multi/billionaire Warren Buffet made news last week when he declared it was time that the Gummint stopped "coddling"--his word--the wealthy, and taxed them at the same rates that they impose on lesser mortals, such as his own 'hired help."

For which, Buffett won torrents of praise...

Woody sez:

CODS---WALLOP! It's gob-smackingly astonishing that so many are SO credulous as to ALWAYS fall for this corpoRatist excrement!

Because, of course, not Buffett, not Gates, not Jobs, not a single ONE of that top 14 Hundred "Big Money Guys" is in SLIGHTEST FUCKING DANGER of having his taxes raised one red cent. And they know it.

Sitting pretty like they do, it's easy to talk shit. Meanwhile, Buffett, Gates, Jobs and the rest are doing and have done EVERYTHING possible to ensure that not ONE fucking PENNY of their vast, bloodied fortunes EVER returns to the general treasury of the American people from whom they took it..

Instead, they devise elaborate bequeathments to distribute their billions to convivial, "private" (corporate) "charities," where their plans will be accomplished even AFTER the fuckers return to the corruption that our common essence.

They're vampire capitalists, who turn into "zombie" philanthropists.

If Buffett, et al., are really serious about supporting the Republic, let 'em assemble a coalition of willing billionaires, redirect their lobbyists, buy some Senators, oust Murdoch from Fox and, like the feller sez: git 'er done...Otherwise, they're just blowing smoke out their asses, and up ours.

And on that happy note, hasta luego, hippies, and back to Winston Smith in Hippie Central...

Friday, August 19, 2011

As The Cookie Crumbles: System Theory

(WWH, 8/19/11) Back in the day when I was perfessin (for pay, instead of pro-bono), every semester, sometime in the first couple of meetings of just about any class (in both Education courses, when I was teaching them, and in Journalism courses, when I was teaching those), the subject of 'racism" would rear its smarmy, smirking head, and I would have to embark on the MOST DIFFICULT explanation I have ever tried to undertake in a classroom, and the one with the least possibility that I could establish some sort of accord. The conversation would typically begin when a student would describe the actions or words of some (celebrity) member of a minority group as "racist."

And I would say: "That's almost impossible." And then it would start.

Because "racism" in the USofA IS still so common, so pervasive and, now, with O'Bomber in the WHiteHouse, again recrudescing so obviously and painfully, it is also mainly (and probably to some extent willfully) misunderstood. Racism, I taught, rather than being comprised of individual attitudes and acts of bigotry and/or discrimination, is that system which permits, and encourages, and (perhaps silently) approves--and/or does not at least socially stigmatize-- those individual acts, but instead, normalizes --even valorizes and rewards-- them.

Americans, understandably, hate to regard "racism" as a system, because it implicates EVERYBODY. If you, yourself avoid falling into bigotries or superiorist foibles, you can escape the opprobrium that attaches--or used to --to the accusation. But it's much more accurate than to classify--to "think" about, that is--the despicable acts or attitudes of individual persons not as the disease itself, but as symptoms of the larger, systemic social ill.

"Racism" (it is a redundancy to say "institutional racism," because as I hope I'm explaining, there's no other kind) is a system of social covenants and agreements, some tacit, some explicit by which a majority denies power to a minority on the basis of assumptions about the "superiority/inferiority" summarized in pretty much random morphological distinctions: skin color, eye shape, hair color, etc...

Here's part of the problem: the dictionary. Dictionary.com's first definition of racism: a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.

Dictionaries do not "define" words. They index the frequency of definitions. "Racism" IS a specious charge under that simple definition. Such regimen supports the utterly false assertions one always hears around this discussion that blacks are "racists." Which is, except in very special cases, impossible.

Ask yourself who is writing that most frequently used description? Well, who writes most of the books? White People? In the Majority? You think they wanna implicate themselves in something which they seem to want to denigrate and diminish? There are are assholes and asswholery in every group. But "racism" per se CAN only exist where the majority has and uses its power to suppress a minority and to deny it a fair share of the common good(s). Of course yu want avoid the tar on that brush.

Until black people CONTROL the majority of power and wealth, and hold determinative authority as to what constitutes "normalcy," then there simply cannot be any shuch ting--in a white supremacist culture such as this one continues to be--as a "Black racist."

Unless, like Herman Cain, Clarence Thomas and others, the black "racists" cooperate in the suppression of OTHER blacks.

There are are assholes and asswholery in every group. But "racism" per se CAN only exist where the majority has and uses its power to suppress a minority and to deny it a fair share of the common good(s). It is only when you understand that "superiority" is powerless without the system of agreements and practices that ratifies it, and permits, and encourages it that the systematacity of it becomes obvious.

As "sexism" (institutional, also) is a system by which patriarchy retains and maintains power by depriving females such things as the power to decide whether or not to remain pregnant. If you don't regard "racism" as a systemic phenomenon, then it's possible for you to escape allegations of your own complicity. But if it's a system, then we're all implicated. Which how this cookie crumbles...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

As The Cookie Crumbles: Experimental States

(WWH: 8/18/11) For most of us, the most difficult thing to grasp, to understand, about Michelle Bachmann and her ilk--now Rick Perry, Ex-Sen. Frothy Cocktail, Sarah Palin and most of the rest of the GOPhux "Clown Car of Candidates"--is "how they can seem to lie so outrageously, to be in such apparent ignorance of the established "facts," and still be taken seriously?"

The reasons are that, 1) That's the "narrative": Anybody, no matter how bat-shit crazed, can grow up to be PRESIDENT. The CorpoRat/SCUM "press" is under orders (though not necessarily explicit, as at Faux Nooz) from the boardrooms to treat these crazy fucktoids like "serious candidates." And 2) to their acolytes, to the true believers, whether Bachmann, or any of 'em, is "right" or not is utterly immaterial. The important thing is the speaker (Bachmann herself, whoever): to the faithful, what she says is revealed truth.

And, by rules I do not understand, but which limit polite, journalistic discourse, whatever the candidate says is unassailable, and does not HAVE to comport with any known realities. Bachmann's appeal is not about reason, or fact, or logic, or rationality, or anything we'd recognize as reality. What she represents--and now Rick Perry, too--is the emergence--the metastasis, as with a cancerous growth--of a whole cult of shared (possibly fatally), theocratic delusion.

Once the wall between faith and law is breached, any-fucking-body can just stroll through, saying just any ol' shit, and because it is imbued with "faith," and allied--no matter how speciously or spuriously--with "religion, any fucking load of cosdswallop automatically wins an exemption from rational criticism. Theocracy is ALWAYS fascistic, totalitarian. Bachmann is the symptom, not the disease. however.

I've thought for a long time that the US citizenry was being used as subjects in the biggest, longest, most extensive, expensive, expansive, exhaustive behavioristic experiment in history. Foucault said the telos of science is not knowledge but power; that the so-called 'human' sciences were less about understanding and repair than about prediction and control. We see it in action all around us. There is an interestingly apt example in the condition of "learned helplessness" (e.g., Seligman, M. 1967).

"Learned Helplessness" is the macro/social analogue/equivalent of the personal condition, the "double bind," named by Bateson in the 60s. The Greeks had a word for it, too: apoereia. When I learned of Seligman's recent difficulties with the American Psychological Association, I went back to look at his work, and then it started making sense. We're mic'ed up, cam'd up, twittered, texted and globally located, walking data points, in the biggest fuukin Skinner box EVER. And what we're supposed to be learning is "Learned Helplessness."

The principle of "Learned (though it should probably be called "Applied") Helplessness" is cruel and effective. Seligman perfected it torturing dogs, but it has been successfully--albeit surreptitiously--adopted by the Owners to control us, too. You keep giving an animal shocks it connot escape, and pretty soon it stops trying to escape 'em. They use it in conducting interrogations, I'm guessing, since Obama just appointed Seligman the top psychological advisor to the HSA. Here's how it works, (beware, it's not for the sqeamish):
The concept of learned helplessness was discovered accidentally by psychologists Martin Seligman and Steven F. Maier. They had initially observed helpless behavior in dogs that were classically conditioned to expect an electrical shock after hearing a tone. Later, the dogs were placed in a shuttlebox that contained two chambers separated
by a low barrier. The floor was electrified on one side, and not on the other. The dogs previously subjected to the classical conditioning made no attempts to escape, even though avoiding the shock simply involved jumping over a low barrier.

In order to investigate this phenomenon, research then devised another experiment. In group one, the dogs were strapped into harnesses for a period of time and then released. The dogs in the second group were placed in the same harnesses, but were subjected to electrical shocks that could be avoided by pressing a panel with their noses. The third group received the same shocks as those in group two, except that those in this group were not able to control the duration of the shock. For those dogs in the third group, the shocks seemed to be completely random and outside of their control.

Later, the dogs were placed in a shuttlebox. Dogs from the first and second group quickly learned that jumping the barrier eliminated the shock. Those from the third group, however, made no attempts to get away from the shocks. Due to their previous experience, they had developed a cognitive expectation that nothing they did would prevent or eliminate the shocks. (Seligman & Maier, 1967).
(Probably, they had to kill those poor fucking dogs.) And, now, with the assault of the wackloon christoids like Bachmann, and Perry, and to a lesser extent, Palin, Sen. Shit'n'jizm, and others, an already stunned USer polity--still non-plussed by the "failure" of St. Barry, the Changer to actually CHANGE anything-- is undergoing another set of inescapable shocks--the GOPhux "presidential candidates"--designed to render us helpless in the knowledge that we've seen all this before, and there is nothing to do to escape it.

Nothing. It's worth your sanity to look at any of 'em and try to imagine who--what person--would actually vote for ANY of 'em...jeezis!

So, the question becomes: What now? And the answer is: I don't know. I'm personally loathe to take up arms in outright rebellion. For one thing, I'm old and slow, with a bad heart, and little endurance. I don't really WANT to blow this shit up. I like it. I don't wanna awaken to the smells of death. I wouldn't last 6 mos without my meds, and if the system falls, me and my meds will be forever parted. Taps for Woody. RIP..

But, there seems no other alternative, since the electoral option is so obviously flawed and ineffective. People don't care who they're voting IN as long as they're votinvg out the assholes who have betrayed and destroyed them.

.So, tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live?


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

As The Cookie Crumbles (WWH, 8/12): Progress

(WWH, 8/12/11) Yer ol' Perfesser hates to disagree with someone so thoughtful and persuasive as Captain Compromise, Prez. Barry, but, except in the most trivial sense, he be blowing smoke up your asses when he proclaims: 'The future is going to be determined' by the 2012 election."

No, actually, it's not. For all practical purposes, and absent the specificities which only the instant moment can provide: still, the rough outlines of the "future"--administratively, bureaucratically, politically, economically, socially--are already in place, and we can say with complete, total, undeniable assurance: if you are not 'wealthy'--if you're not among the top 2-5%--your life will be grow ever more desperate, and unpleasant, and brutal, as the President and his myrmidons hand ever more of the "commons" and the 'people's treasure' over to the parasites, privateers and pirates at the top of the privatization pyramid.

Nothing but the names will change. There will be NO--well, trivial, like 'new 'apps'--improvements; there will be no "human" progress; there will be no "world peace," no global prosperity, no conquest of hunger. The USer Empire will spend its last bounty to preserve its external, global, military dominance, to keep up the appearances. It's not good for Empires to decline too publically. It makes 'em look weak and, typically, they've alienated enough folks that looking weak isn't a particularly useful strategy.

And the "people" of the Empire will pay with their personal and social peace, security, safety, and comfort. Inevitably.

So, the wars will roll on incessantly, even if the ostensible CAUSES for them (water, instead of oil; crop-lands, rare-earth, etc) may be altered by circumstance. The human and the rest of the biological lifeworld will continue to be degraded by the irresponsible and increasingly desperate exploitation of raw materials in the maddened scramble for "cheap" energy. The last of the 'top predators' will be extinguished--civilized man can abide NO competition. Diversity in the biosphere will degrade and eventually disappear. The 'consumer' mono-culture will spread, infecting everything it touches...until it's nemesis evolves, as they always do: the Super-bug.

That's what's going to happen, no matter WHO the fuck bears the title of "President." But the GOPhux don't want their names on it.

On a related note: "The real goal of the GOP is not to fix the economy or drive down the debt or create jobs, but to make Obama a one-term president."

That's what they say,

...but do they mean it? I don't think they don't mean it. Oh, rhetorically, yeah, they've got to say it. But the GOPhux aren't stupid. They KNOW they NEED O'bomber to have another term. He's going to need that time to soak up the rest of the shit that's been left lying around stinkin' up the place since Reagan soiled his last dependz.

St. Barry, the Compromiser, is fuukin GREAT for the GOPhux; they get everything from him they want and they get to say THEY made the compromises. He's the best President the T-jihadists could ever want.

This reminds me of '08, and McCain/Palin. Putting Palin on the ticket with Bombin' John, the ship-killer, was a signal. It signalled that the GOPhux campaign from thence forth was going to be a charade. It signalled they were throwing it to the Dims.

If the GOPhux really wanted it in '12, they'd have some kind of half-way plausible, 'electable' candidate. There'd be a candidate they could steal it for: Jeb Bush, for example. They don't, so they don't. O'Bomber's safe as a drone pilot on a combat mission.

Nobody'd believe the Murkin people were stupid enough to 'elect' Bachmann, Palin, Gingrich, even Mittens, or any of the rest of the Clown Car. But watch who they run in '16, when O'Bomber retires (as the most reviled ex-President ever) to join the All-Murkin Pantheon with JFK, RFK, FDR, AND MLK...


Saturday, August 13, 2011

WWH ~~ Radio Rant: (FTIWP-MM)

The single biggest, MOST influential voting bloc in the country is that bloc of "Frightened, Threatened, Insecure White People (Mostly Males)" (the "FTIWP-MM").

You can spot 'em, easy: their FURY (at the diminishment of their privilege), their RESENTMENT (at the "inferiors" who would replace them), and their stark, crawling FEAR (that they'll someday be subjected to the same treatment they meted out when they had power).

Candidates who play to/prey upon those factors will dominate the political arena for AT LEAST as long as the FTIWP-MM retain the demographic/ numerical and(it goes without saying) their economic advantages...I give 'em about 50 years...

Against this backdrop, we have the President slightly disingenuously declaring that there is "something wrong" with our politics?"

Waddaya think? Might it be that the President, elected in near-veneration as a "Democrat," steadfastly refuses to govern as even a NOMINAL "Democrat" might/could be expected to govern;
refuses to announce or propose "Democratic" programs,
refuses to defend core "Democratic" principles--
or ANY "principles" really, other than the tired litanies of CorpoRat obeisance: globalism, and so-called "Free trade."

For there to be a functioning "two-party system," no matter how flaccid and weak, still it requires there to be (wait for it) ........TWO FUCKING PARTIES: The President's party and the party of the loyal opposition.

So, when did the President CEASE to be the chief spokesperson, the veritable VOICE of their party? The Chimperor Bush was the unabashed leader of the GOPhux, the cheerleader for the Party line. Without Obama's voice, the DIMs have no voice.

Where there is only one functioning "party," and an ostensible "leader" who remains neutral, and "above the fray," there is craven dereliction and rejection of founding principles they swear to uphold; and it is of THAT that I think President Obama stands indicted by his every compromising (and compromised) breath..

On that happy note, Hasta luego, hippies...and back to you, Winston...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

As the Cookie Crumbles (8/10/11): Blame

(WWH~~8/10) The "American people" are not going to like, and are not in any way ready to hear, that the "bestest, greatest, wonderfulest, freest, richest, country in the whole world, EVAR!," is reaching the end of its run at the front.

It's not gonna go down well, but it's happening, undeniably, before our very eyes.

And so the outline of (what I've argued all along was) the actual purpose--the real reason--for having St. Barry elected in the first place is lately beginning to emerge and take its oozing shape in the discourse of the beefy, oxy-addicted cheerleader-n-chief of the Rightoid echo chamber, the reekingly feculent, cripplingly shit-encysted, vigorously Viagrized terror of Dominican pool-boys EVERYWHERE, Rush Limbaugh.

"In his blistering attack on Obama and the Democrats, Limbaugh asserted that “we have a president that’s overseeing — engineering — the decline of the American republic.”
And actually, I wish he were right. Anybody with a brain larger than that of a prawn has known for 10 years that the era of USer primacy was/is waning. China's economy is predicted to surpass that of the US in 2015-15. That will certainly be interpreted as one piece of evidence that the crown is passing to the West, again...If indeed, our economic hegemony survives THAT long, in the face of on-going challenges, the most extreme being INTERNAL! But I digress...

The difference between flying and falling is all in the landing. I wish O'Bomber were the technocrat who was put in charge to engineer the first stages of the soft-landing of the plummeting American Empire as it crashes inevitably back to the ground. I wish I thought that St. Barry were a skilled pilot, with the ability to set the country on a course that avoids the catastrophic crash and skids in on a cushion of foam.

Because it is, indeed, undeniable that the power and influence of the USer Empire is waning. It is evident in our extravagantly unsuccessful, wasteful, inglorious, bloody military adventures abroad, and in the collapse of the polity at home: where poverty accelerates, joblessness increases, hom foreclosures continue at record rates, prices grow unrestrictedly, while wages shrink and the Government pulls BACK crucial, life-preserving programs and agencies for the most vulnerable--who now amount to about 25% of the population.

Decline happens to ALL empires, everywhere. It was/is inevitable: though the SHAPE of the decline is not immutable, the fact of it is. And St. Barry is the guy chosen to 'preside' over the first, hard, "irrefudiatable" evidence of it. This was/is not an accident.

This is NOT going to be easy for the average American to confront. Exceptionalism is NOT waning; jingoism and militant nationalism are abroad on the land as seldom before. Nativism is burgeoning. The spectre that "WE'RE #2, or 3" or anything other than #1 could well spawn a backlash of international aggression by USers unwilling to concede their places in the world. They're gonna NEED a fall-guy. Obviously, if that fall-guy were a member of a despised race, and a "minority/majority" party, this would be the best outcome for the White Owners.

Barry's that designated guy.

The Empire was/is falling anyway, no matter who's nominally in charge, under the weight of its own corruption, criminality, extravagance, supply lines and intrinsic evil. But SOMEBODY's gotta be to blame. The disappointed, terrified jingos will demand it.

So the Owners tabbed our Ecru Crusader/Dims to take the rap.

This works on several levels: 1) it absolves WHITE people, 2) it absolves the GOPhux, and 3) forecloses the possibility of there EVER again being another Dim/novelty/soshulist presidential candidate. WIN-WIN-WIN!

(It should be remembered that 1) he's a smart (Constitutional scholar) fella who 2) MUST have known this going in and 3) did it ANYWAY!)

A correspondent asked: "But if he knew this going in and did it anyway 1) why not fight like hell for the people since he has nothing to lose and 2) then he's not that smart after all.

I replied: Two reasons.

(First), because he doesn't care about those causes. (He's the "pragmatist," remember, and) he was hired to do a particular job--not the least part of which is to drive the final nail into the New Deal...

(Second: It's not true that he's got nothing to lose.) He's gonna live a LONG TIME after his tenure in the WhiteHouse. He's gonna need a lotta money, rich friends, a big house, stuff like that. If he'd rebelled, he'da lost all that...

To paraphrase Upton Sinclair, it's difficult to convince someone to do the "right thing" if, by doing it, one forecloses on one's comfortable retirement.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

As the Cookie Crumbles (8/09/11): Solutions

(WWH, 8/9/11) Some folks say: Hey Dr. Woody! You sher gotta lot to SAY about stuff. What do you DO about it, huh?

I have not heard the same complaints leveled against the "professional" economists, and one thing I notice about their commentaries is that they often includes lists of things that should be done, even if doing them was rendered impossible by any number of existential hurdles and obstacles. Though I am not a professional economist, nevertheless, I inferred from this that proposing a short list of suggestions by means of the institution of which the solutions to our national crises and dilemmas could be achieved, is a way to demonstrate 'seriusness.' So I thought I might disperse my own critics with a similar list, and here it is: Dr. Woody's Four Ways To Solve All Our Problems and Decline Prosperously Into Imperial Obscurity
Solution #1: "Save" Social Security by removing the income cap. It's now solvent through 2038. Increasing the cap to $200K would fix things through 2075. Lower retirement age to 60.
Solution #2:
Tax the wealthy: Institute a the Robin Hood tax ,(.05%) on all stock and bond transfers. Raise the top, marginal tax rate to 50%, over $5 mil.
Solution #3: End the (fucking ) wars. Close overseas bases, down-size the USer war machine...(Who the FUCK is gonna attack us? We still have more than 5000 independently targetable warheads; probably some in space. C'mon!)
Solution #4: Universalize Medicare. The "debt" is not the most pressing or the biggest money problem out there. That's the national health system. In private hands, it will NEVER not expand to the profit motive. Remove the profit motive.
See there? Problems: Solved

Of course nothing I suggested is politically doable. Every item would run into unbreachable opposition from all relevant quarters...and millions, as well.

I just figgered I'd join the pundit parade and put out a list of totally impractical, undoable shit so it would look like I was DOING SOMETHING. So the next time somebody says: "Jeezus, Woody. Why'ncha DO SOMETHING??? Instead of just bitching all the time?"

Well now ya got my solutions! You know, like the old chemistry joke: If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate...

Monday, August 8, 2011

As The Cookie Crumbles: Sloppy Thirds

(WWH, 8/8/11) Amid all the sound and fury about who and/or what is the "real Obama," there is one intriguing possibility that hasn't been much discussed yet: "Is Obama, in fact, in addition to being the first "non-White" president, the first "Third Party" president?" And by that I mean, is he the first "Supra-Party" president, a "leader" who claims no allegiance to either Congressional party, but unabashedly serves the CorpoRat agenda? Aloof and above the fray, does he thereby ensure that the regimen of the powerful prevails? With him, have they finally abandoned the pretense of partisanship--perhaps as too expensive?

He was 'elected' as a "Democrat." But he sure doesn't govern like a Democrat (other than Bill Clinton who, by almost all accounts was the one of the most successful GOPhux presidents of the 20th Century). Shabama gives good speech, and so retains rhetorical appeal to his acolytes and Koolaid slurpers. But his record does not support claims that his is anything but a continuation of the Corporatist agenda that has held 'government" in a strangle-hold grip since the 1980s.

Still, he categorically rejects insinuations or out-right accusations that he should cast off the 'sheep's clothing,' and proudly take his place as the acknowledged head of the Party of Property. Tactically, that would be a mistake, of course, because if he called himself a "Republican," which does appear to be how he governs--with an easy hand on the reins of regulatory power and sympathy first for the claims of the CorpoRats--THAT would alienate that significant portion of the rabid Rightoid t-hadists which comprises probably more than HALF of the GOPhux constituency, and which rejects him on pigmentation issues.

So, if he was elected as a Democrat, yet he eschews in every significant case the principles of historic Democratic "commitments," and neither Prez. Shamwow himself nor the Republicans want/can to acknowledge their essential synonymies, could it be Barry, the Bomber, is, in fact, the first president of a new, anomalous, post-partisan politics. As all distinctions between the two nominal parties have begun to dissolve into an homogenous amalgam of generic, corpoRatist boilerplate, and spurious libertarianisms, St. Barry, the Compromiser, calmly, and evenly dials down, adjusts the expectations of the people to accept less: lower salary, less "public service," but higher prices, and less value.

ThePrez always claimed he admired Reagan because Reagan's was a "transformative" presidency. In a funny way, the O suffers from the same psychological malady that afflicted his predecessor, the Chimperor Bush: father issues. For both, the driving energy may derive from the (dare I call it Freudian?) desire to surpass Pop.

To the Shrub, it meant destroying Saddam, and thereby proving to his mother his disk was as big as his daddy's. For Obama, it means surpassing his surrogate, his political "Dad"/father-figure, Raygun, in "transforming" American political culture. And as with this propensity for compromise, it matters less to him what the result looks like--what has been transformed/compromised--than the process itself.

I think he'll try to notch the scalps of the teachers' unions, myself. That would beat Daddy Raygun's PATCO victory. And in doing so--a nominal Democrat attacking and undermingin a traditional Democratic ally like the teachers--that'll signal the arrival of the "Third Party!"

So be wary of that for which we wish...

Friday, August 5, 2011

As The Cookie Crumbles (WWH, 8/5): Relief Valve

Prob'ly in honor of the celebration today by ThePrez of his 50th natal anniversary, the F-Book Thursday morning was awash in, literally flooded with, encomiums pledging fealty to St. Barry, the capitulator, and honoring his countless, storied accomplishments...possibly, also, to strew a trail of sweet-smelling spin atop the vile, feculent reek of the "compromise" to which he agreed Sunday night. One repeated Rachel Maddow, anticipating perhaps the fate of Cenk Ugyur, dutifully extolled the alleged, "nearly 85% success rate" of O'Bomber's return on campaign promises (though as a Christmas offering last year, not for his birthday this year, it was old 'news').

We ought not to wonder at this wanton, slurping, proctile lavation, or think it odd or excessive. Rach works for MSNBC. That's the same folks who told Cenk that "people" in DC didn't like his "abrasive" tone (with/about the regime) just before they fired him for having the best ratings in his time-slot. Rachel's just keepin' her job--

...Which JOB is to be a safety valve for the disaffection, disapproval, and disappointment of a people systematically being shorn of their citizenhood while they stand, entranced by the flickering, blue screen. Rach, and Keith, and Fat Eddie, and Stewart and Colbert, too (along with Hannity, Beck, the golden "Gretchens," Doocey, Limbarf and O'Reilly, as well) are all useful agents of, and all fulfill that archetypically hegemonic function: You/we/them hear all their ranting, and spewing, and it sounds JUST LIKE YOU WANT TO SAY IT, and boy it sounds terrific, like somebody powerful's speaking MY concerns...and then they pass and are forgotten with the rest. But having heard them SPOKEN, in PUBLIC, folks feel much better about taking it in the ass the next time; no, really; there's research...

The Owners' hegemonic formations--because they own the media--have virtually (heh) infinite paths by which to draw off any possibly dangerous emanations of popular venom. Everything serves that purpose, even (paradoxically) those things or personae which appear to focus attention on the system's weaknesses. Mass media alienated people; personal media atomize them.

Here's one you'll never see on MSNBC. It's long; 1 hour, 53 minutes. But you won't notice how quickly the time goes by. And you don't have to watch it all. You can just listen, to most of it. Do so, attentively. It'll be on the test...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

As The Cookie Crumbles (8/3): War Story

(WWH) The difference between a war story and a fairy tale? Fairy-tales begin "Once upon a time..." War stories start: "No shit, man, I was there..."

The day, August 2, and tomorrow, August 4, in 1964, were days fraught with then-unknown significance to the members of my--early--cohort of the Baby Boom. It's the dates of the so-called "Gulf of Tonkin Incident," when two US Navy destroyers (which were inside North Vietnamese waters, doing ComInt, and one of which, the USS Turner Joy, is pictured on the left) falsely reported they had been attacked by North Vietnamese "gun-boats." The war-hawks in Congress, eager to once again liberate the free-flowing expenses (and profits) of war, immediately, and furiously, demanded LBJ "do something."

Johnson launched air attacks on the North, and announced a troop build up. And thus began the escalation (later, and elsewhere, called a "surge") which would put nearly 200,000 troops into Vietnam within 17 months, and more than TWO MILLION of them eventually--among them, for a very brief and uneventful term, y'r ob'd't S'v't. In the end:
9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam Era (5 August 1965-7 May 1975)

3,403,100 (including 514,300 offshore) personnel served in the SE Asia Theater (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, flight crews based in Thailand and sailors in adjacent South China Sea waters).

2,594,000 personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam (I January 1965 - 28 March 1973)

Another 50,000 men served in Vietnam between 1960 and 1964

7,484 women served in Vietnam, of whom 6,250 or 83.5% were nurses.
The number KIA (Killed In Action) keeps creeping up. Through foresight or inadvertence, there was space left on the Wall for later additions. (The number has risen from 58,178 to 58,212 since 1997.)

I was sitting beside the little, postage-stamp pool at La Fonda hotel, keeping watch, and admiring the pleasingly round bottoms of several sorority sisters from Texas Women's University, when I heard about the Tonkin Incident in the hourly headline news on the radio, and I knew something was afoot. It was my job to lounge beside the La Fonda pool; I was the life-guard. It was my duty to oversee the tanning and occasional dips in said postage-stamp-sized pool enjoyed by the coveys of round-bottomed Dallas beauties who came there with their parents--or, often enough, without them--for summer vacations. I had enlisted in the USAF after high school, in May of '64, but deferred induction til after the summer (you could do that then; I dunno today), so that I could spend my "summer of 64" in just such hedonistic pursuits.

When I enlisted, in May, I was not terribly attuned to the world, as a callow youth, in a dusty backwater town in the desert of the Southwest. But things were pretty quiet. Student anti-war demonstrations had begun, back east, but I was unaware of 'em. I was not then considered prime college material: I had the test scores, but had seldom notched a grade above a C in my entire high school career (marks of what is now called ADA/ADHD, was then called "Great Potential"). I cannot say then that I thought the war would grow. I was just looking for a way to hang out for a while, and avoid the draft. Four years didn't seem like that long a time. I HAD thought of it as an adventure.

By July, '64, there had still been fewer than 400 KIA in Nam, in total. And probably pretty few of them had been Air Force. So enlisting seemed like a pretty good deal. And it was; I freely admit that I had sweet duty, pretty much the whole time. My life was never once in any serious danger for enemies of any kind. I had some incredible experiences. I learned a new language (German), and saw most of the sights thought worth seeing in post-war Western Europe. I was in England, in Liverpool, the day they won the Cup; the town went fuuking WILD. I saw Jim Clarke race at Nurburgring. I walked through Mozart's house in Salzburg. I was in an orgy in a hippie hostel in the Montrieul section of Paris, and saw sun-rise in the Bois du Boulogne. I skied in the Alps. I dallied with numerous women in and around the Saar region of Germany. Oh, yeah: I engaged in mundane, tedious tasks associated with gathering and processing data related to Soviet (and other) air-traffic communications, too.

In '64, sometime after I enlisted, but before I was inducted, I sent a letter to the local paper in which I extolled the nobility of the cause of anti-communism and pledged myself to propogate it. Then I went off and did. And I dodged the bullet. A lot of my friends were not so fortunate. So on days like this, when the reminder pops up like the bobber on the end of s fishing line, I think about them, and the millions of others, Americans and Asians, who died, or were sorely injured, and writhe, inwardly, still, in the knowledge that it was ALL a a conscious, deliberate fucking lie.


Someone on the F-Book today was bemoaning the fact that "social issues" seeme to get in the way of possible cooperation among different cultural sects and cults. I sympathized, but:
All "social issues" are at base "political issues," about the appropriation and distribution of power. I.e..: Abortion is an issue of phallo-centric physical power--the power to compel childbirth; religion is about the imposition of psychological power--to compel "belief" and obedience. Wealth is ALL about the power to command the profits of communal efforts. Rights are about the power to live without fear of the majority. It's ALL about power, so it's ALL "political."

I couldn't make common political cause with a person or a group who worked to outlaw abortion, or to unregulate industry, or to haphazardly invade distant "enemies." I wouldn't have anything else in common with 'em, assuming there were one thing that might unite us in the first place.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

As The Cookie Crumbles (8/02): Capitulation H. Cornpone

WWH) By Dr. Woody.

In understanding how this most recent, craven capitulation by St. Barry, the Compromiser, to the wackloon, fringoid, cretinous GOPhux could have happened, it is essential to recall that the GOPhux threw the election in '08 for the particular purpose of putting a "novelty" Dim in office: either the first black or the first woman. Both would have served their purposes, which is to undo the public's interest in further pursuing popular sovereignty.

I was brilliant strategy: If I wanted to try to splinter the power of popular sovereignty, I would do everything in my power to drive the populace the fuck AWAY from the State which (in theory, at least) is the servant of the people. One of those handy expedients might include installing someone in the Presidency who SEEMED to be the realization fo SO MANY DREAMS, and turn them into a sham, an empty, predictable imitation of their promise, hollowing them out into becoming a reviled receptacle for all the resentment against the State which had arisen since Reagan, and a scapegoat for it. In doing so, they thought to both supply an easy target for concealed resentments and ready political advantage, and to poison the well for any FUTURE 'diverse' candidates...If I ran the zoo, anyway, that's what I'd do.

The goal all along, since 1934, has been to undo the New Deal. Most of it is either dead or moribund, except Social Security and Johnson's homage, Medicare. (Civil rights, too; but that's the next campaign). Every GOPhucker since Reagan has tried to roll back, or close-out, or privatize Social Security, at $2,8 TRILLION (That's a thousand, thousand, thousand million, times 2.7), the largest pool of money in the world NOT dedicated to the enrichment of the Oligarchs.

But it was a 'third rail.' Like China used to be. Everybody knew China had to be opened up, as Mao's influence waned. But the Dims--who had "lost" China by not attacking Mao with nukes, and restoring Chiang Kai-Shek--couldn't go. It had to be a GOPhucker, and it fell to Nixon to go dance with Madam Mao. And it had to be a DIM to drive the final nails into the coffin of the New Deal--it was just lagniappe that he was a minority.

To those who were/are disappointed in him, I have little sympathy. In order to have been disappointed in him, I suppose one would have had to have believed the bullshit to begin with.

I didn’t. To me, the signs were all there.

After the speech in '04, and his election to the Senate in '06, I followed his corpoRat career in the Senate, and his allegiance to Holey Joe Lieberman, Joe Biden and the banksters pretty carefully. Then I watched the branding of the campaign. And I heard his homages to Raygun. I was listening when he castigated MY generation for our “excesses,” even though they paved the way for him to be where he is: I felt like he was standing on “our” shoulders, pissing on our heads.

So I was not in any way beguiled by the promises of ‘hopery/changery”–though on some level I still “hoped” I was wrong.

I figured him for a weak, ineffective ‘compromiser” and called him such, frequently, and everywhere I could–caught a lot of shit for it, too.

I neither supported, donated to, nor voted for him. And I shall not, the next time, either.

The GOPhux threw the '08 "election.” They didn’t want the presidency with all the accumulated clusterfox suddenly coming due for payment. I expect them to do so again, because too many people still blame them for the problems. They don’t want it now, or else they’d have some plausible candidate out there for whom they could plausibly steal it, like 00 and 04;, not that cacophonous Clown Car of Cretins as contenders. Watch for Jeb Bush, in 2016, though...but I digress.

What I’ve seen since Jan, 09, is someone who would rather compromise than stand for a principle, which I’d call gutless, among many other things. A “leader” who offers to ‘fold’ his strongest hand before the first card is played. He values the ‘process’ of compromise; he doesn’t give much of a fuck what he has to give away to achieve it, or whom it screws over in the process.

Y’all are welcome to him...and to this:

Glenn Greenwald sez: "Pain means more people eating tainted food, more people breathing polluted air, more people pulling their kids out of college, and more people losing their homes -- in other words, the hardships people suffer when government can't do an adequate job of looking out for their interests."

Woody often harkens to the Preamble of the Constitution cuz I wonder, how much of ^that^ is what the Founders meant, where that pain borne by the least able, fits into what (Jefferson?) wrote:
"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."
It seems to me just exactly the opposite of establishing Justice, insuring domestic Tranquility and promoting the general Welfare you could find in that gutless, shameful, craven dive that Shazama took on the debt ceiling debate, passing all the suffering along to the poorest of the service users, exempting those who've used those services to best advantage completely alone.

And which he is going to be forced by the agreement to repeat several times between now and December, 2012. Indeed, I see this whole debt ceiling performance as a kind of sadistic kabuki.

Imho, there was NEVER ANY doubt that the “debt ceiling” would be raised. The only issue EVER was how much would Shabama let the GOPhux extort from him for their compliance. How BIG would the hole to be cut in the social safety net–and probably environmental and financial regulation, too–would he tolerate for the sake of ‘compromising,’ for it’s own sake.

That’s always been my harshest criticism of his style. What kind of “community organizer” goes into a negotiation and begins by conceding his strongest chip? So as not to be thought to be merely a rhetorician, I shall answer: I dunno but I wanna play poker with the dude…

Shabama’s a “process” guy. He’s never met a principle he wouldn’t abandon for the sake of some temporary agreement--especially one that favors his biggest supporters: The Banks. He WANTS to make a deal. The deal matters to him; not what is dealt.

But to believe what St. Barry agreed to Sunday night was a "compromise," you'd have to say Lee 'compromised' with Grant at Appomattox...