Saturday, July 26, 2008

How can a mass murderer look like Santa Claus?

I guess he just can. Or he can impress you with his homespun ways and shrub-clearing skills. All kidding aside, I was impressed that the Europeans didn't feel obliged to share footage of Radovan Karadžić's arrest making him look ridiculous the way the so-called coalition forces in Iraq seemed to feel obligated to show us Saddam looking bewildered climbing out of his hole and having his teeth examined.

Admittedly I just assume this is the case, not having done an exhaustive search for news items about Karadžić. But I also assume that we here in the US would be made aware of it if it had happened, given our domestic media's appetite for that sort of thing, which is only stayed when it's a (still-current) ally of the US foreign policy establishment.

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Something Different

Here is something a little different, politics are really boring and I am really more interested in music than politics. I managed to upload an original tune of mine a Jazz tune I call Stark Blue. I had to convert this file to a WMV file to upload to my site and to do so I had to download a trial version of a converter so ignore the message on the video. Just click the arrow on the lower left to listen. I hope you enjoy it. I am playing the alto sax on this cut.

And here is an old standard Time Was, I play the flute on this one.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A is for Arthur, B is for Bear

Only nobody bailed Arthur Andersen out.(weren't they ALSO "too big to fail?") Jim Rogers(above) says that if Bear Stearns had declared bankruptcy, some of the top level people would have had to give back their bonuses, which were apparently paid out fairly recently, by the way...)

Meanwhile we have polls on every little thing, but I haven't seen anything on whether people think the Bear Stearns bailout represents a corrupt government. Of course asking the question that way is probably verboten, so it should be something like "do you think the Bear Stearns bailout was fair?", so it would pass muster with a kindergarden teacher polling her charges. But not even that-- instead we get this:

"Americans confident in 2009 turnaround":

A national CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll found that 60% of respondents think economic conditions in the United States will be "good" next year, as opposed to the 75% who think the economic situation is "poor" now.

"Most people realize that the economy has cycles of ups and downs," said Wachovia economist Sam Bullard. "Fortunately, the last two recessions were some of the shortest on record, so in 2009 we should be pulling up out of this."

What does this mean? Does it mean that 60 percent of Americans(or 60 percent of CNN/Orc poll respondents, at any rate) are:

a.plucky optimists,

b.rugged individualists who don't need the government to help them out, or

c. just buttf**kingly stupid?

A note: I wrote this post some time back, so perhaps it is not so timely, but I just saved it meaning to flesh it out. But I have nothing else to post for a few days so I'm putting this up. Regard it, if you must, like day old bread, or revel in its timelessness, if you can detect any.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I'll be back

photo: Daily Mail

but I won't be any taller, as I'm unwilling to undergo a scalp implant like the one Dr De la Cruz, above, recommends. Probably around the 12th or so.

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Life in a Vacuum 2 and 3/5: Corraboration

As I mentioned in my previous post it is important to discern what is important and about the delusional state of the American world view and I have found the most absolute perfect example of what I am talking about. Below is an excerpt from a very popular liberal blog, it’s not important who wrote it but that it is such a good example.

Via Discourse, I found these neat Obama bumper stickers. This is a homegrown operation and lots of fun. Just like this one, which may be the best series of campaign posters ever. They are everywhere in my neighborhood.

But aside from all the great creativity bursting forth from supporters, one of the best things about the Obama campaign is its exceptional branding and graphics. So far, it's been more modern, more well thought out, more interesting than any I ever seen. I wrote about it a couple of months ago.

His campaign events have been extremely well produced as well, although you'll have to go a long way to beat Bush hovering over filled stadiums on Marine One at sunset to the strains of "Danger Zone" from Top Gun. (I thought the crowd was going to start speaking in tongues en masse --- led by the press.)

There is talk that Obama is going to give his nomination acceptance speech at Viagra Field at Mile High Stadium. (Oh, it's Invesco field, I'm sorry. I get those corporate names all confused.) Anyway, this could be very exciting television if done well.

There is nothing wrong with stagecraft, even if the Bush administration treated it as if it was the only thing that mattered. They had a very talented crew who kept the country and the media gaga for years:

Astonishingly after all the lurches to the right Obama has taken promising more of the same economy, more of the same war, possibility of widening the war, approval of state surveillance, regaling us with his affinity to Reagan, Nixon, Bush I, and the Clinton cronies joining the dream team all that matters to the owner of the above quote is that a Democrat wins.

It sounds to have been written by a child. See the pwetty pwetty bumper stickers? Gee aren’t they keen? The emphasis is on of all things tactics not issues, no never issues. The comment about Bush is actually very funny and to the point yet when it comes to Obama the blinders go on. Exceptional branding and graphics, more modern etc. etc. with no actual mention of where Obama stands or what his presidency might be like. This from a person who actually does read the news and is probably quite well informed on many political issues yet the analytical processes fall apart and it is so far removed from anything of actual importance that it boggles the mind and this is typical of what American political discourse is like. What seems quite clear is that the problems come not from stupidity but from a blind spot that is so adamantine, so well armored against reality that nothing can break through it.

Life in a Vacuum

Life in Western culture is much like living in a vacuum. Who won the ball game, what’s for dinner, the latest story of some lost soul who went berserk and shot up a school, what atrocity did some pop singer commit?

Granted on the surface that it would seem crazy to be concerned with everything that is going on in the world, on the other side of the planet, or what politicians are up to. Unfortunately it does matter because things that are going on in the world and what our politicians are up to are being done in our name with our money and the results are murder and mayhem all the more devastating due to the enhancement of a technology that makes weapons and their delivery more efficient than ever before.

True human history is a panorama of endless bloodshed and slaughter so why bother, why pay attention after all isn’t it human nature to be violent, isn’t that the natural state of humanity to compete and kill for self gain, to perpetuate ones DNA? Are we nothing more than bags of water, living aquariums whose purpose is to propagate and preserve DNA? That is a pretty grim and narrow view of life and of humanity. I don’t think it is a valid view even if in some sense it is true. It is like saying a masterpiece painting is nothing but a stretched canvas with some colors applied to its surface. Though that is accurate as far as it goes it doesn’t go very far and misses much in its view and the same can be said for describing humanity and life through some quantifiable mechanical aspect.

Recently I read an essay about how stupid Americans are when it comes to politics. The article pointed out how little many Americans know about history, current events, and politics. The frustration of the author was palpable. He questioned whether or not we actually want these people to vote certainly a valid question but then again most of them don’t vote something I advocate, not voting that is, since to participate in what has become such a farce is to support the evil of the state. Perhaps the problem isn’t so much that people don’t pay attention perhaps it is the whole structure of our society. Can you name the 23rd president? How many states are there in the United States? Does the moon orbit the earth or does the earth orbit the moon? Does anyone in their right mind care? We have evolved cultures that are extraordinarily complex and ritualized from much simpler cultures with information, much of it erroneous, mundane, and useless delivered in a multitude of media that threatens to overload our senses. However amidst this sea of rumor and misinformation, there are facts that do matter and it is up to us to decipher what is important and what is not. Unfortunately many seem incapable of doing so or perhaps a closer approximation may be that many don’t have the desire to do so. Rather we write the whole thing off as impossible or worse yet many just place their trust in the government to do the right thing. And this is the conundrum – most people just want to understandably get on with their lives and want life to be predictable with a modicum of surprises yet it is because people don’t pay attention much less think that bad things happen and life becomes more unpredictable filled with some very unpleasant surprises. Worse still many just prefer to believe in fairy tales ignoring the monumental human suffering that is reality for many people around the world with the United States being the chief fountainhead of this misery.

Question everything, stop making assumptions, look for the important facts and corroborate them, ask why people in authority should have any authority, don’t believe anything authority would have you believe without extraordinary proofs. Keep in mind that most of the powers that authority lays claim to comes from you. For authority appearances are more important than facts. Authority emphasizes its power through symbols of power which take the form of state buildings, badges on policeman, monuments, etc. the purpose of which is to relegate the individual to unimportance while uplifting and maintaining the power of the state.

We live in a very complex culture, insanely so, but it is because of this that we need to cultivate the skill to seek out what is important and what is chaff. In the end the important things tend to be much simpler than the propaganda we are deluged with. For example, it is wrong to murder people, it is wrong to steal from them, it is wrong to destroy their homes and infrastructure, let people live their lives the way they wish to, none of us are better than anyone else. One tool used by the state is to reinforce that we are better than anyone else and it is the tool by which they convince the masses to approve of the insane and brutal policies that we victimize weaker states with by adhering to the belief that America is the best nation ever, that Americans know how to live better than anyone else therefore we need to bring the rest of the world up to our own Olympian standards. These are the foundations of insanity and delusion for authority has but one goal the garnering and preservation of power to enrich their own coffers at the cost of everyone else.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A preoccupation with symbols and empty gestures

proverbs 3:18-- I think

Neither Spel-ChekR® nor I know how to spel tryptich, which is why I didn't include a similarly themed pic of McCain demonstrating hubris. I imagine lots will become available at the GOP convention.

Micah Holmquist:
Tim Russert was the only hope we had in this Road Warrioresque landscape. Without him, we are doomed.
Arvin Hill:

Saying "bring it on," kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal to people. I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner -- you know, "wanted dead or alive," that kind of talk. I think in certain parts of the world it was misinterpreted, and so I learned from that.
~George W. Bush to The Times of London

Arvin: The Boy King regrets not being a more accomplished liar.

No one could have foreseen such vanity.

Michael Cortese(aka Mykeru):

the recession seems to have turned the decades long game of “let’s make a buck with China” into, and I couldn’t believe it even as I watched, Lou Dobbs on TV the other night warning people about the growing threat of cheap coat hangers from China.

Thanks Lou. See that big building over there? That’s a Wal-Mart. Apparently there’s a whole lot of that going on in there. You’ll go in there fighting, and you’ll come out with golf clubs.

Alison Kilkenny: Jesus Arm-Wrestled Dinosaurs

Who is IOZ? Why, the king of the one-liners, that's who-

IOZ, "The Food bad, the portions small": Jesus Lord A-Mighty, buy some fucking bicycles, you whiny little bitches.

and, "McLame": John McCain is so old that creationists are actually forced to deny he exists.

an interesting new(well, new to me) site: Troubling Information

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Changeling

Just when I think this presidential campaign couldn’t become more asinine I read something in the news that proves I have underestimated Obama again.

Sun Times

Obama praised McCain's service, and the Democratic candidate's spokesman rejected Sunday's remarks from a prominent supporter, retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who said McCain's years as a Vietnam War fighter pilot and prisoner of war did not necessarily qualify him to be commander in chief.

''I will never question the patriotism of others in this campaign, and I will not stand idly by when I hear others question mine,''

Well goodness me I’m certainly glad that is settled and in no uncertain terms to boot. I was beginning to be worried about that very topic. But of course Obama praised McCain’s service as a hit man for the state. It doesn’t matter that the Vietnam War was a criminal war killing millions of Vietnamese all that matters is that it was an American, McCain, hepping to do the killing. Then there was Obama’s explanation for praising Ronnie Reagan where he told us that he felt Reagan moved the country away from the “excesses’ of the 60’s and 70’s though I don’t expect he was talking about the in excess of 3 million dead Vietnamese, just collateral damage you know.

Well now that Obama honors McCain how does he honor Americans or more specifically how does he honor black Americans?


CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- Barack Obama celebrated Father's Day by calling on black fathers, who he said are "missing from too many lives and too many homes," to become active in raising their children.

"They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it," the Democratic presidential candidate said Sunday at a largely black church in his hometown.

Isn’t it just like those black fathers to be that way? But what happened to there is no black America, no latin America, etc. just the Untied States of America sentiment? Oh that’s right this is just more of the old time pragmatic stereotyping. Thank goodness Obama hasn’t abandoned his responsibilities he is obviously of a much different sort than those bad old black fathers even if he does sound like a kindlier and gentler Richard Nixon.

From the Nixon tapes--

"We're going to (place) more of these little Negro bastards on the welfare rolls at $2,400 a family . . . let people like Pat Moynihan and Leonard Garment and others believe in all that crap. But I don't believe in it. Total emphasis of everybody must be that this is much better than we had last year. . . . work, work, throw 'em off the rolls. That's the key."

"The Mexicans are a different cup of tea," says Nixon. "They have a heritage. At the present time they steal, they're dishonest. They do have some concept of family life, they don't live like a bunch of dogs, which the Negroes do live like."

"Let's look at the strong societies," says Nixon. "The Russians. Goddamn, they root 'em out. They don't let 'em around at all. I don't know what they do with them. Look at this country. You think the Russians allow dope? Homosexuality, dope, immorality are the enemies of strong societies. That's why the communists and left-wingers are clinging to one another. They're trying to destroy us. I know Moynihan will disagree with this, (Atty. Gen. John) Mitchell will, and Garment will. But, goddamn, we have to stand up to this."

--Richard Nixon

Then there was this rather strange remark from Obama. "We can't simply write these problems off to past injustices," Obama said Sunday. "Those injustices are real. There's a reason our families are in disrepair ... but we can't keep using that as an excuse."

Past injustices? Past? Does Obama mean to say all injustices are in the past? I guess Katrina never happened. I suppose also there really isn’t a legal system that penalizes black Americans, that there aren’t really an inordinate number of blacks in prison, and the ghettos are gone just not the stereotyping. Oh silly me! Those are just excuses! Heavens to Betsy.

Considering Obama’s vacuous speeches and his recent swivels to the right I think we can say that there is little or no change coming if Obama is elected. We can say that, oh yes we can. If Obama keeps turning to the right at this pace he is going to meet himself. I wonder if they will shake hands.