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January 2012 Archives

January 2, 2012

the NDAA

power freaks with a taste for irony must delight in this xmas fast one of the prez

here is barry white hat emperor at work :

....after saying no never not citizen detention no never ...he signs
and so he is now saying de facto yes to citizen detention but not without saying no too

dead on fact :
the ohbumster is extending further the powers of our elected dictator (unitary potus)

and i guess just to taunt us with his serpentine split tongue
as father notes below
barry simultaneously breaks another solemn libertarian democrat type promise
he issues in conjunction with the signing a ' signing statement yes 'that most satanic tool
of white house unitarianism... that play thing of autocrat chaneyites and neocons

a signing statement in which he pledges NOT to use this new authority against us citizens
well not exactly pledges but suggests errr...a strong dispositional intention

what's it called when a snake pulls that sorta shit ???
is it " the ouroboros trick "???

its all concisely presented by a mr turley at the above link

mr T sez in part :

The gist of Obama signing statement : he "... really does not want to detain citizens indefinitely."

really does not want to detain us ....indefinitely ...eh ??? ... really really doesn't ?? i wonder
errrr besides going ahead and signing the fucker .. what else makes me tend to think maybe its possibly gonna turn out ...otherwise ...?

well stuff like this :
".... The White House is saying that changes to the law made it unnecessary to veto the legislation....there is an exception for citizens"
when its a dirty lie ....you know the gag " see fellow amerikans the final draft the draft our jeffersonian prz signed its not really saying what its saying .....not... really .. what it is now saying is ..something better then what it is saying because...well elsewhere it sez so :...see ???

seems ".. ...after key amendments protecting citizens were defeated.... "
a neat new provision was dropped in that
according to the turley man :
." .. states that nothing in the (rest of the ) provisions could be construed to alter Americans’ legal rights."

that is to say :

.".... The exemption for American citizens from the mandatory detention requirement (section 1032) is in the prior section, 1031.. which offers no exemption for American citizens from the authorization to use the military to indefinitely detain people without charge or trial. "

get it ??..no ??...you're not supposed to idiot

see its a nice self contradiction
lawyers drafting bills love inserting these conflicting tid bits
written up this way the exemption is both here... now and still not here ...err there ahh when
in the course of human events it ought not be there or visa versa ....

as the shysters like to say
' if yer a free range judge finding a great big fat black letter self contradiction is better by far then mere ambiguity"

after all self contradiction is the dirty rotten filthy little loop that forms the hole
thru which "discretionary " implementation
can ride like the very huns of yore


January 3, 2012


Oh, I know, I know; they haven't fired up the ovens yet, so this can't be Fascism. Still, certain analogies are too tempting to resist.

I'm glad to see that Comrade Owen -- usually so dismissive of the whole civil-liberties question -- has seen fit to comment on Obie's weaselly signing statement for the Police State Enhancement Act. The whole statement is well worth reading. It's truly a marvel, nay, a miracle, of legal pettifoggery: certainly the finest thing that the University of Chicago's law school has ever directly or indirectly produced. If your head isn't spinning halfway through, then you have a great future ahead of you in the mockingly-named "Justice Department".

One notes that Obie's signing statement omits any mention of the section he is said to have pushed for, namely 1031, which is precisely the section that has us all worried. It

defines the entirety of the United States as a “battlefield,” allows American citizens to be snatched from the streets, carted off to a foreign detention camp and held indefinitely without trial. The bill states that “any person who has committed a belligerent act” faces indefinite detention, but no trial or evidence has to be presented, the White House merely needs to make the accusation.
Y'know, it's funny. I almost want it to happen. Compared to dealing with landlords and insurance companies and medical 'providers', living rent-free at Guantanamo Bay has its appeal.

“right to work” (for less)

right now
looks like it's gonna be indiana that's the class struggle storm center
at least on the union dues depletion front

in wisconsin new jersey ohio etc etc the GOP union ball crusher went after our dear pub sec unions

but indiana's gub tweetie bird Daniels is after the whole ball of wax
public AND private sector unions alike


the point of attack ???
why the pie card's life's blood
the damn mandatory dues stream


the nasty little notion behind this is as obvious as can be.... right ??

make it hard to collect dues and the thugish dues hound parasites
will have to go elsewhere if they want to find fresh batches of ass hole innocent job holders to gouge
and what's more its estimated existing dues streams will flow less robustly

okay okay ya ya ..carefully assembled stats seem to suggest the cause and effect hypothesis
may actually get support from social reality out there not just the devilish minds of union busters

cut the dues stream and the pie cards own rule of thumb cost benefit calcs signal "not worth it " nope
no matter how hot to trot an unorged shop may be to org up

that said
what clearly has never been established of course not
is the anti union sunday punch line:

"unions in the long run reduce wages " !

sure sure corporate mangement is only after flexibility not wage suppression ..right ??
"give us a free hand and we will lift all boats "
oh ya ...while on the subject of the hoosier state
here's some unfortunate evidence the bad guys
can quickly adjust " state " repression methods when necessary

recall the people power madison state house occ ??

well indiana gov " tweetie bird" has vowed to prevent a second madison

among other moves the gov got his banjo legislature to pass a citizen crowd control law

listen up:
as of january 1st 2012
no more citizens allowed inside the state house at one time
then the cops can drown in the atrium fountain !


i posted this for two reasons


simply to suggest there are plenty of warmed up political scraps around these days at the state level
and each one is prolly a class battle ground far more signifigant
then that two peckered painted hose white house tractor pull



i'd love to here one of our bottom up level-archist wunderkind
lecture me on the horrors of compulsory dues deductions

maybe something....and then again... maybe not

"the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division has published a proposed rules change that would bring 2 million domestic workers under minimum wage and overtime pay laws........ Long excluded from the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1974, home care workers may finally get the rights they deserve...The 1974 act in Congress was insufficient....it exempted from protection "babysitters and companions who are not regular bread-winners responsible for the support of their families....
The Supreme Court used that legal loophole to leave most home caregivers out in the legal cold,"

key caveat:

this is" a proposed rules change " not to be finalized for 60 days
and .looking at ohbummer admin SOP this is ikely to melt down some prior to implementation


parallel ? ...perhaps recent changes in recognition process rules :

".. the National Labor Relations Board approved ...a final rule that will focus pre-election hearings
on issues relevant to determining if there is a question concerning representation, provide for pre-election briefing only when it will assist decision makers, reduce piecemeal appeals, consolidate requests for review of regional directors' pre and post-election determinations into a single, post-election request, make review of post-election determinations discretionary, and eliminate duplicative regulations,"

in less words" . "The final rule will allow the board to more promptly determine if there is a question concerning representation and, if so, to resolve it by conducting a secret ballot election and certifying the results."

not exactly the employee free choice ...and even this is a water down
"... The stronger version of the changes .. was thwarted by...."
hold your farts "... a big business-orchestrated campaign..".

one can only imagine the " big business-orchestrated campaign" attempts to cover
home care workers will face

Matt Taibbi

"this 2012 race may be the most meaningless national election campaign we've ever had."


"... . In the wake of the Tea Party, the Occupy movement, and a dozen or more episodes of real rebellion on the streets, in the legislatures of cities and towns, and in state and federal courthouses, this presidential race now feels like a banal bureaucratic sideshow to the real event "

" the real event ...a looming confrontation
huge masses of disaffected citizens ..
a corrupt and increasingly ideologically bankrupt political establishment..."

January 4, 2012

occ v iowa caucus part II


" #OccupyIowa and progressive community groups promoted a variety of tactics for individual activists. One option was to register as a “Republican for a Day” (Iowa allows same-day registration) and to support “uncommitted” delegates to the state convention. This was essentially the equivalent of voting “none of the above” for the conservatives in the running. Some on the left did the same thing at the Democratic Party’s caucuses, issuing a symbolic vote of no confidence
for President Obama....Others focused on introducing progressive resolutions for the state party platforms—for example, proposals to repeal the Citizen’s United ruling, to defend Medicare and Social Security, or to provide relief for homeowners in danger of foreclosure....
OccupyDSM...celebrated demonstrations that had produced more than sixty arrests and captured significant press attention. They reiterated their call to oust corporate money from our politics. And they celebrated the ability of grassroots movements to outlast the insanity of the caucus season. (“The circus is taking down its tents,” said one spokesperson of the impending exodus from the state.)"

we may begin to see the limits of such decentralized operations

there are times when picking one target and or one tactic greatly increases impact
from my comfortable leather-"like" recliner here in hingham mass ... this scramble to rumble
seems too scattered and diffuse ..where was an incident that gathered useful national coverage ??

the corporate media want to keep the horse race uncontaminated by any countervailing coverage
of anti orthrian ballot boxing messages from the occ cloud

January 5, 2012

destroy solidarity house

its no secret being a union leader in Columbia is a dangerous job

let me put it this way that one country may account for 40% of global union leader assassinations

enter the afl-xxx's Solidarity House --a great favorite of this site's abbot mike "buster" smiff :

" There are about a dozen Wikileaks cables which reflect meetings between the AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Center and the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, and they are quite revealing. "

these cables star
".. Solidarity Center’s Rhett Doumitt the AFL-CIO staffer directly involved in aiding and abetting forces that carried out the coup against President Chavez in 2002 "


" in one cable, DOUMITT complains that the politics of the labor movement in Colombia impede positive, practical advances on labor issues."

"RHETT DOUMITT of the AFL-CIO affiliated Solidarity Center told us..... Recent murders of unionists are largely related to common crime"

read more here:


if the center interests you here's their site :


January 6, 2012

pollit strikes back !


"What is it with progressive man crushes on right-wing Republicans? .....
Supporting Ralph Nader in 2000 was at least a vote for one's actual politics.
Supporting Ron Paul is just a gesture of frivolity--or despair."

go read Pollitt's detailing here :

what a hell of a 666 list She makes of Paul's domestic policy aims !!!!...yikes
move over john calhoun

i guess it isn't just crypto neo cons out to scorch the baby doctor from texas

and here's Her list of paleface pwogmen
she'd give them "forty wacks" too :

" Ron Paul is getting the love.

At Truthdig, Robert Scheer calls him "a profound and principled contributor to a much-needed national debate on the limits of federal power."

InThe Nation, John Nichols praises his "pure conservatism,""values" and "principle."

Salon's Glenn Greenwald is so outraged that progressives haven't abandoned the warmongering, drone-sending, indefinite- detention-supporting Obama for Paul that he accuses them of supporting the murder of Muslim children.

There's a Paul fan base in the Occupy movement

at Counterpunch.... Alexander Cockburn is a longtime admirer.

Paul is a regular guest of Jon Stewart, who has yet to ask him a tough question."

holy zooks bat man !!!!!

and this final pranger from what is prolly Pollitt 's deepest spiritual pocket :

" And yes, these are all white men "

then the tres snide :

" if there are leftish white women and people of color
who admire Paul, they're keeping pretty quiet."

the right to no arms

david Graeber :

" I would say that what really disturbs the powers-that-be is not the ‘violence’ of the movement but its relative lack of it; governments simply do not know how to deal with an overtly revolutionary movement that refuses to fall into familiar patterns of armed resistance"


one looks at the sequence of struggles in the arab world and at the end is ...armed struggle
or the slaughter of the people if they remain confined or confounded
at last by their own no arms movement

hell its a tactic brothers and sisters not a strategy
in fact if it is a strategy ..you better not push your actions too far or too often
you better not be too disruptive you better not .....blah blah blah

btw beware notions of "a mock army" middle way
that is unless the ancient regime is teetering on collapse but hey
you can't know this till ..the fucker implodes

to suggest as batty graeble here does that
" governments simply do not know how to deal with an overtly revolutionary movement
that refuses to fall into familiar patterns of armed resistance"

piffle ..nice stur up shit nice confidence builder but still piffle

one name for you


want another


Talkin' 'bout my comrades

It's been a bad couple of weeks reading correspondence from my Lefty comrades. To begin with, the whole Ron Paul thing left nearly all of them flat-footed and empty-handed, without a useful analytical tool anywhere within reach, apart from the usual tire-iron concepts like 'racist reactionary'. Which is certainly true of Ron Paul, as it is of every other current presidential candidate, not to mention the incumbent god-emperor Himself.

Even the Lefties who thought there might be something positive to be seen in Paul's anti-imperial palaeocon constituency hastened to distance themselves from the thought of actually voting for the guy. But really, why not?

There's a lot to be said for single-issue voting. Several friends of mine are now fervent supporters of that vile Blue Dog, Andrew Cuomo, because he went all-out for single-sex marriage, and delivered, and this is an issue that matters in their lives. When I'm speaking with them and the subject comes up, my counter-arguments die on my lips. He actually did something important for them; and though I hate the guy like poison, I can't blame my friends for taking a different view.

So what are my single issues? Or at least, my two or three top issues? That's easy: war and empire and the police state. These have been my hot buttons since the year I first got laid and started taking an interest in politics, which was 1966. I think. Around then, anyway.

I'm quite close to collecting Social Security, and I will be very pissed if they take it away, but would I keep Social Security at the price of keeping the Predators droning over Afghanistan? Would you? In keeping with my respect for single-issue voting, I won't hate you if you answer 'yes'. But personally, my answer is 'no'. Your mileage may vary, but I'd be ashamed.

Purity of essence

Seems connected, somehow, with the previous post. A Lefty email correspondent writes:

I used to go on PressTV, but then an Iranian Marxist who posts to [another] list asked people like me not to do that. He (I think it's a he) said it legitimates the regime to have critical voices from the U.S. on. I don't want to legitimate them, so I stopped going on. Iranian radio too.
One certainly hopes that those terrible backward Iranians feel the lash, just as deeply as it deserves.

January 7, 2012

Memories of the conventicle

Doug Henwood was reminiscing a bit recently about his thankless years at WBAI, the local Pacifica 'outlet' (and I choose the word advisedly).

I haven't listened to the station in years, but Doug set me off on a little trip down Memory Lane.

There was a conventicle of anti-anti-Semites in the station at one point in the early 80s -- I fell foul of them because of some stuff I wrote about Israel in a little community newspaper. I vaguely associate the name of John Fisk (since deceased, I gather) with this group, but perhaps my memory is misleading me here, and I'm doing Fisk an injustice. If so, I apologize to his manes.

I remember that one issue of the paper where one of my pieces appeared had a picture of the old Penn railyards, where all that Trump cruft is now, and the keen critical eye of the a-a-Ss discovered a sly coded reference to the German death-camp trains. You get the idea: a very hothouse atmosphere. They were obsessed with Lyndon Larouche and saw his influence everywhere.

They had me on some late-night show to defend myself. The hosts were bad enough, but the callers-in were really bonkers. I recall one fella who was off to the races, yammering about Leon Trotsky for some reason, as soon as he got on the air. He never seemed to need to take a breath; some very special winding arrangements in his vocal organ, perhaps. He had a preposterous nom de guerre -- Ted Struggle or Joe Combat or some such. He was firmly against anti-Semitism and he didn't care who knew it, and he didn't like the cut of my jib at all -- 'effete Buckleyite' was one choice characterization (which I hope will amuse Doug, if he should read this) and then there were wonderful Yiddish epithets like 'schmendrick' and 'vontz', which I have treasured ever since and use on every possible occasion.

And there were a lot of old CP stagers (who either never sleep at all, or sleep like bats, during the day, no doubt hanging from their heels to do it). These types had a pretty well-rehearsed spiel, which fell into two main heads: 1) The imminent menace of a new Hitler, complete with death camps, and 2) what a wonderful fellow X was, where X was some liberal Democrat in elected office -- councilman, congressman, etc.

Of course this whole menagerie of whimsical beasts was pretty much swept away by the Noye's Fludde of the 80s, to be replaced by a rodentine obsession with PC diction-policing. I miss the weird old fauna, the baluchitheres and the giant sloths.


January 9, 2012

the new look in global Sheriffin'


"In an announcement long on ambition and short on specifics, President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta rolled out a new national security strategy Thursday that aims to drastically downsize the military"

that's ma jones talkin there

what think you of this turn
my honorable SMBIVA uncle death star loathers

and don't just say its a plain unvarnished lie
at least explain the new varnish

January 10, 2012

answering pollit


recall the Nation's gal attack on ron paul pwogs
here's a response
--miracle max provided link ---

a clip:

" ...like Ross Perot in 1991 (whose third-party candidacy created the space to challenge NAFTA) and Ralph Nader in 2000 (who raised questions about corporate politics and party complicity), the presence of Paul is raising serious questions about some elephants in the room. How do we expect solidarity among folks of color when the cost-benefit analysis is played out by pitting the issues that concern white folks and some US folks of color against issues affecting international populations or other US folks of color, as Pollit does in her column?"

January 11, 2012

Come back to the fold, Rick!

The communist Santorums are proud of their relative, in spite of his wingnut ways, and if he had a change of heart, a Red change, we'd be proud of him too.

It's not too late. His ancestors could stop rolling in their graves. He doesn't have to be a miserable fascist stooge. I'd gladly offer him my share of the coveted* SMBIVA endorsement.

*It's not coveted, but...

longview struggle


" The U.S. Coast Guard will escort the first ship coming to the EGT grain terminal at the Port of Longview this month, and the Occupy movement and local labor groups say they are planning to greet the vessel with a massive protest "

there is talk of caravans going north from the left coast occ locals
..and the formation of an occ flotilla

nice secondary contradiction
the scabs are from another union

will afl-xxx hq and war chief ferdinand the bull step in ??

so far not even mumbles out of the DC pie card hub ... just plain mum

January 12, 2012

Cognitive Dissonance Today

Matt Stoller does a superb job of defining consumer liberalism, the views of its adherents and the calamitous meltdown of what achingly meager sense they had.

...she does not understand the thesis, but instinctively rejects it as conspiratorial nonetheless. Her response as to what she believes in suggests not a coherent system, but simply a menu of concepts she finds pleasing. She lists off a set of concepts, like a consumer at a shopping market, picking and choosing what she wants. Oh, I’ll have the human rights, the egalitarianism, some social justice, and a side of, oh that looks good, “pragmatic skepticism of all forms of power, private as well as governmental.” Oh, and democracy, that too. Yummy. Having such an attitude requires ignoring the historical links between the oil industry, war-making, and the New Deal. It requires believing that infrastructure like highways and airports were built because good liberals were in charge, instead of the very obvious point that this stuff made the oil industry a lot of money while spreading prosperity to the middle class.

Stoller, and the Naked Capitalism writers, come very close to my conception of liberalism, which has had its proponents of humane consideration and real reformist endeavor. Now is not the time to get into my objections to that program. Digby, Drum, Alterman, the liberal hawks and the crackpot realists, the Nader-baiters and the Obamaphiles in general are in no way distinguishable from wingnuts. They're brand identity consumers on a shopping spree. Stoller has them dead to rights. And they don't like it all.

Just as a footnote, for my own selfish amusement, this is pretty fucking sweet. The old Reds here will be dead and buried before anything good comes along, but it could happen! It really could and that's heartening.

The Moral Buzz of the Bien Pensant

The usual suspects are shocked (shocked!) by the latest video atrocity. It seems that the corpses of once-living people have been treated disrespectfully. Worse, the disrespect was captured on video. Spluttering sanctimony, hand-wringing and some vindictive prosecutions should set things to rights.

To me, there appears to be a very sharp breakdown in the logical process. Without imperial invasion, there are far fewer corpses. Without corpses at hand, there is far less disrespectful treatment of them. For all the laws passed and moral injunctions conveyed, there doesn't appear to be any way around these simple facts.

Update: IOZ weighs in, with a link to a fine post by Rob Payne.

Update II: Maybe the moral outrage could be soothed with some additional euphemism. I'd like to help. Instead of killing, use kinetic deprecation, and instead of urinating on corpses, use sanitary insensitivity.

once more comes "the final conflict " ???

"Significantly more Americans see "very strong" or "strong" class conflict between the rich and poor, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center. The results show that Americans think that conflicts between the rich and poor are stronger than immigrant and native born, black and white and young and old."

"In 2009, 47 percent of respondents said there were "very strong" or "strong" conflicts between the rich and poor. In 2011, 66 percent...The perception of class conflict has also intensified -- 30 percent see "very strong conflicts," a figure that doubled from 2009......possibly signaling that the "We are the 99 percent" rhetoric of Occupy Wall Street has had an impact ....Young people -- suffering the highest levels of unemployment -- see class conflict significantly more than older people, with 71 percent of people aged 18 to 34 seeing "very strong" or "strong" class conflicts while just 55 percent of people over 65 see them......whites had significantly larger increases in perception of class conflict than blacks and hispanics, "



side bar :

loitering at huff post are ya now ...mr paine ?


i got this from a bright deep pink
"keep hope alive "aggregator

the Bain drain

my ex boss-- evil skirt chaser-- warren buffet :

"I don't like what private-equity firms do in terms of taking out every dime they can and leveraging [companies] up so that they really aren't equipped, in some cases, for the future."

that means you Mitt

and maybe maybe maybe
the mormon game show host gets to play public mass media scape goat
in a nice vulture capital auto de fe ...in effigy of course

signs of the time ??

here's a column hittin' VC leveraging games
from the liberal good capitalism bad capitalism angle

"Bain Capital must seem like a Frankenstein monster to Mitt Romney's campaign...Mitt's monster was created by a broken system that has let politicians in both parties create an artificial, destructive and exploitative form of pseudo-capitalism—and then get rich from it"


it details a few Bain stunts....all fairly routine corporate enormities for these dark op outfits
nothing for a top ten list ....but .....using it all to bash mr R brings onto the agenda
the entire jamboree these limited liability job killers have run since the reagan carter revolution


one question worth a john galt "100 dollar gold piece"

will our man doc Ronnie bash the vulture cap /private equity crowd ??

he should ..after all their whole gig is lawful only because its lawful

"a license to steal" as they used to say during the Great Depression

Recommended Reading

strategy schmategy

That post is as tight and clean as a Little Axe session. Read and enjoy.

If the reference is unfamiliar, go here first.

Ethical Dilemma

Via zunguzungu.

Should the NY Times engage in journalism? Seriously. The ombudsdude wants to know.

I think this falls into the category of questions that can only be answered physically.

Electro-convulsive Economics


Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, economist, wants to help Nigeria.

January 13, 2012



"One hundred years ago this month....."

steve early takes a stab at this near perfect microcosm of an emergent industrial amerika

January 15, 2012

The oracle speaks; or, Demanding demands

The Communist Horizon with Jodi Dean from Not An Alternative on Vimeo.

Professor Jodi Dean, the rather foxy young person shown above, was caught unfortunately giving that characteristic professorial traffic-cop gesture -- palm forward, fingers spread -- in the frame capture that shows before you play the clip. (I don't really recommend the whole thing, but it does have its charming moments.)

But perhaps the inadvertency wasn't entirely misplaced. Professor Dean has been spending a lot of time lately scolding Occupy Wall Street for not being Bolshie enough. Here's the latest:

In this essay, we claim that far from being a strength, the lack of demands reflects the weak ideological core of the movement. We also claim that demands should not be approached tactically but strategically, that is, they should be grounded in a long-term view of the political goals of the movement, a view that is currently lacking. Accordingly, in the second part of this text, we argue that this strategic view should be grounded in a politics of the commons. Before addressing the politics of the commons, however, we dispel three common objections....
This exordium strongly reminds me of a certain strain in Anglican preaching, now fortunately almost extinct: "My text for today is from the Second Book of Kings, the fourteenth chapter, the first verse: 'My brother Esau is an hairy man, but I am a smooth man.' I propose to treat this topic under seven main heads, to wit...."

The Prof then proceeds to knock down, in fairly brisk style, a number of straw men. Her reproaches however are couched in an idiom not altogether Leninist, or even Leninesque:

... anarchists and libertarians in the movement have repeatedly blocked proposals for introducing taxes on financial transactions and stronger oversight of the banking sector on the grounds that such proposals would expand the size of the government and the scope of its intervention....

... the 99 percent is not an actual social bloc. It is rather an assemblage of politically and economically divergent subjectivities.... the autonomist objection proceeds as if the multiplicity of political and economic interests of the 99 percent could immanently converge.... it has installed in the movement a serious blindspot with regard to real divergences, a blindspot that has high costs in terms of political efficacy as serious proposals get watered down in order to meet with the agreement of those who reject their basic premises.

The "serious proposals" in question presumably include such Bolsheries as "taxes on financial transactions and stronger oversight of the banking sector". Now that's policy, man -- the sort of thing serious people can really sink their teeth into. And to have it blown away by a somewhat airily-sketched coalition of "libertarians and anarchists"! Oh the humanity. And the diminution of 'political efficacy' -- which seems to mean something like 'effect on policy'.

Some of my lefty comrades have been much exercised by the rumored presence among the Occupiers of Paulites and palaeocons; that seems to be the card Professor Dean is playing here. It really gets some of the comrades frothing at the mouth. Here's one contributor to a mailing list I read, for example:

Libertarian types who oppose Social Security, minimum wage laws, unemployment insurance, and workers rights in general have no place in the Occupy movement, and should be banned by any means necessary. To believe otherwise is a betrayal to those who are suffering the effects of economic deprivation. It's a clear cut question of which side are you on.
From what I have seen of the thing, Paulites and palaeocons are far from numerous among the Occupiers, though I'm quite willing to believe that there are a few in the mix. Are they more dangerous than mere liberals in Bolshie clothing, closet Obama-ites, or sedative union bureaucrats?

Not to mention 'progressive' foundations. Dean's piece appeared on a web site sponsored by the Social Science Research Council, whose own web site makes fun reading. Its founder, Charles Merriam, a very colorful figure, was more or less present at the creation of my own alma mater, the University of Chicago.

way back to the "work in" summer


that childrens crusade wildly fragmented into three mutually hostile hunks
at its climactic ' 69 convention

the hunk i supported at the time
emerged under the tutlege of the progressive labor party
--- a rather odd but then florishing early 60's vanguard figment --

my fragment was known to itself as THE WORKER STUDENT ALLIANCE (WSA )

(its two rivals were of course the far more famous weathermen or RYM I

and the baby maoists or RYMII)

now the trumpetteers of WSA called on us college kids
to rally round a student to the job site "work in "

man o man did the hardened cadre at the top
ever bally hoo this "work in " gig big time!

and it was received
at least at first
with all the usual dogmatical hopes
and stridently intoxicated expectations
customary to any batch
of still unfledged pinko born agains

and in the event ??

yup sure enough
despite a chorus of great bells and whistles at the commencement ...
"the work in " actions..... didn't work out

okay so why drag it up then ???

well OCC has a shot at getting it right for once
.getting a real OCCer / worker hook up going

and yes most OCCers are youth
as often as not carelessly labeled "students" by the fully job shackled

it seems to me this time encouraging signs abound

the harbingers the straws in the wind and such
are out there in reality for once
not just among campus pipe dreamers

the biggest concrete example i think
is the on going combined actions
of the dock workers out on the west coast
and the OCCs of that region

ups and downs so far ???

of course!

but the duo plow ahead anyway
apparently so far facing no irreconcilable differences

the contrast to 1970-71 couldn't be clearer

and its not just out on the left coast but else where too

partricularly in manhattan
---recall the pace college hard hat riot of 71 ?--

in the city that never sleeps
union pie ops actually showed solidarity
as a reciprocation for earlier OCCer acts of mass support
for the pies' own local union job site struggles

ya paine but what about "work ins" ???

well i think OCCers can play a role as shock troops
in the great effort to mobilize a self organizing movement
on amerika's tens of thousands of organizable and yet completely unorganized job sites

working not against the pies
but in co ordinated parallel

more later

January 17, 2012


That's Aristides The Just, shown above, obligingly assisting in his own ostracism. He probably deserved it -- anybody praised by Plato's fictional Socrates was almost certainly a very nasty brutish reactionary -- but still, the guy seems to have had a sense of humor, and a certain aristo insouciance which deserves admiration, up to a point.

Though I'm not usually a big friend to the ballot box, I love ostracisms, plebescites, recalls, ballot initiatives, all that stuff. The very least you can say about them is that they gum up the works. They subvert the orderly processes of "representative" "democracy" -- both terms really ought to have more than one set of scare quotes apiece, and the phrase, taken as a whole, may well be a contradiction in terms.

This is why liberals generally hate such channels for the expression of the fickle public's bloody-mindedness, of course.

Still, the liberals seem to be pretty happy with the progress of the recall campaign against Scott Walker, and for once, I'm with the liberals. There's a certain purity to an election with no Lesser Evil. Throw the bum out, or not? That's the kind of election I like. I'd pull the yes lever every time. I'd pull it for Walker, and I'd pull it for Obie. Impeachment should follow inauguration as dinner follows the cocktail hour.

Speaking of which, I do believe the sun is over the yardarm.

January 18, 2012

viva the black out !!!

The Nut Behind The Wheel

If you spend any time in boats, one thing you learn early on is how quickly things can go horribly wrong, even on a calm pleasant day in well-charted waters, with a functioning GPS and all the other mod-cons.

Such was the fate, it seems, of Capitano Francesco Schettino. He took his ship a little too close to the well-charted rocks of Le Scole, a little south of Porto Giglio.

He was over-bold, no doubt. I wouldn't take my little boat -- which draws four feet of water -- anywhere near that close to those rocks, without decades of local knowledge. I would stay a half-mile seaward. Capt. Schettino's ship draws something like six or seven times the depth mine does. This fact in itself amazes me; a ship that big ought to draw fifty feet of water, not twenty-four. But they want to take the big ship into shallow picturesque harbors; so somehow they've built this floating soap-bubble. Which accommodates a staggering four thousand passengers and change.

The passengers want to be entertained. They want to see quaint Tyrrhenian fishing villages close up. Perhaps the villagers like to see it close up too; perhaps the company -- which has laid down officially charted courses far from any nasty rocks -- winks at the venturesomeness of its captains.

Schettino had the local knowledge; he and his colleagues had done this stunt before. The company didn't fire him. In fact they seem to have had some nice letters from the mayor of the quaint little Tyrrhenian fishing village about previous too-close passages. They know, thanks to the wonders of GPS, rather precisely where their ships are and were at any given time; if they had thought these daring 'fly-bys' were really a bad idea, they could easily have put a stop to them. But they didn't.

So why did Captain Schettino's ship rip a 150-foot gash in its hull, upon the rocks of le Scole, on this occasion, though others had escaped unscathed?

This may not be an answerable question. GPS --civilian GPS, that is; the military gets better spatial resolution, or so I'm told -- doesn't report your position down to the foot. A ship that big doesn't turn on a dime, in spite of all its stabilizer fins and thrusters. Did a gust of wind, or an unlucky set of the swell, push the ship twenty feet this way or that? Or did Schettino just fuck up? I doubt that we will ever really know -- though the owners will certainly favor the last of these hypotheses.

Let the record show that Schettino did at least one good thing. He brought his ship into the shallower waters of the bay north of the rocks that ripped her bottom open, and ran her aground near shore, in waters where she couldn't sink right down. This probably made the difference between the dozens of deaths we're seeing, and hundreds or even thousands if she had sunk in deeper water.

Four thousand people and more on that ship. How quickly could that many people have been marshalled into lifeboats and lowered away -- even if the ship's sides were perfectly vertical? And as the event showed, when the sides aren't vertical, the lifeboats can't be lowered.

And why weren't the sides vertical? There too lies a tale, I suspect. A lot of water came in, not surprisingly, when le Scole gashed the ship's hull like a can opener. But when the captain does his life-saving left turn into the shallow bay, all that water sloshes over to the starboard side and capsizes the ship, into the position now familiar from a thousand images, among them the one above. So there were no compartments belowdecks, designed to keep water from sloshing around. Or so it seems.

A case of optimistic design. Assume no water coming in. Or if it does come in, assume the ship is stationary and riding on an even keel. Assume you have time enough, before she sinks, to get all those four thousand fuddled retirees into lifeboats, and lower them down, past obligingly vertical sides.

Assume, above all, that nothing can go wrong; that human error can be ruled out. And when the human error occurs -- why then, blame The Nut Behind The Wheel. It couldn't possibly be anything... structural.

Captain Schettino doesn't cut a very heroic figure, to be sure. He does seem to have lost his nerve and abandoned his ship. Not a guy you want to hold up to your children as a shining example of what humankind ought to be. And yet, and yet... I personally have never been in his shoes. I would feel a lot more confident condemning him if I had ever faced what he faced and done better. In fact I'm not entirely sure I would have done so well.

January 19, 2012

uncle nerf casts his line

administered after jackng up the OCCers in a love note

maybe it was not just inevitable

but at the very apex of saying his piece on the OCC

doesn't the CP's chair-comrade Sam Nerf

get into laying down
for time ten zillion plus one
his party's now vintage
"strategic mass line"


"Which brings me to this year's elections. My impression is that some - maybe the majority - in the Occupy movement see the election process in its two-party form as an invitation to cooptation, and therefore they adopt an attitude of electoral abstentionism. This is mistaken in my opinion. Such a posture isolates Occupy from the main social forces and organizations in the country whose energies and resources will be focused in the electoral arena of struggle this year."

yup but forget that friends here's the real big meat ball right here :

"Moreover, the outcome of the election will set the broad parameters of struggle in the coming period. The defeat of the Republican right will position the people's movement to address, among other things, the inequality and exploitation that is built into our (capitalist) 1 percent vs. 99 percent society. On the other hand, a victory by the right will set the stage for the right to complete and consolidate a counterrevolution that began with the Reagan presidency three decades ago. "

total foolkrieging

the notion "the right " if they win the white house

"will ...complete and consolidate a counterrevolution "

is a hysterical joke

and on the other hand
as father S often points out here

present white hat unitary potus Barry o'Barry
has done a fair bit of
" completing and condolidating and counter revolving hizzseff " no ?

can u say NDAA ?

any real point paine ?

the coming "king for the next 4 "
jumping frog contest
makes no major difference either way

forget about it

except as a relaxing friend of a nite's sound sleep

quite the contrary comrade Sam

"the broad parmeters of struggle in the coming period "

are not up for a choice
here not in the slightest

whether administered with bare knuckles or thru a well padded glove

a punch in the nose is a punch in the nose


if there's to be a change in" broad parameters"

its out on the public commons and down in job places
where serious change must begin

can the organized free class work with the organized wage class

recall my earlier optimism ??

read this

"ILWU Local 19 ( Seattle)


Whereas: we support the general critiques of the "Occupy" movement on our government and the economy, we object to their interference with our union's democratic process and in our struggle with EGT in Longview.
The "Occupy" movement has tried to substitute themselves for the membership in our struggle with EGT, and has attempted to subvert the ILWU on the following points:
1) They have shut down our ports while citing our struggle with EGT, without our consent;
2) They have claimed the ILWU "rank and file" support these shutdowns, without our consent or vote;
3) They have maligned and libeled individual members of our union, and our entire local, on the internet and in public;
4) They organized a community event locally "to support the struggle with EGT" without any meaningful prior communication with us;
5) They have denounced our democratically elected leadership for taking positions on behalf of our union in which they disagree;
6) They have appointed people to speak on behalf of the ILWU without our consent;
7) In Seattle, they initiated physical violence against our members for objecting to their actions;
[8)] They and their constituent parts continue this behavior, placing our unity, our union, and our struggle with EGT at serious risk;
9) They refuse to be receptive to pleas and requests to cease such actions as described above;
Therefore, Be It Resolved:
That all ILWU local 19 members withhold all support for "Occupy", formally or informally;
That we do NOT support or endorse any action taken by members of "Occupy" at the Port of Longview or anywhere else;
That we will only reconsider when representatives of "Occupy" come to our hall and apologize to our membership for their actions, agree to make that apology public, and agree to cease and desist in their actions as described herein "


now there are wheels within wheels here
thank the lord of struggle
and obviously
this is but one local not the entire ILWU

yet these gathering shadows
even if still incipient
these "contradictions between the people"
oughta set off the caution lights
all over OCC nation

"we are the 99% "
suggests a good deal of multi class solidarity..... eh ??


first thought :

ya there's some wreckless nasty shit in that local's push back

and yes
i hear ya

"who knows the quorum that drafted and approved that "resolution" mr paine

but its precisely that sort of paranoid stuck turd thought
that needs a good colon cleanse
whatever you do OCCers
don't let this very slight confirmation
of decades of progressive anti union agitprop
poison a beautiful prom date

then again who am i to say

at any rate

let us hope patience and enlightenment will emerge on both sides here

and specifically I pray

the free bird OCCers will ponder this take:

"you're playing with livelihoods here blithe spirits"

i had hoped to outline
a parallel course between the OCC as mr outside and the union as ms inside
or visa versa
especially visa versa in fact

with the OCC breaking the class binding legalities and taking the direct state hits
as much as possible

however this will require co ordination of a higher sort
then that demonstrated so far by the west coast OCCers and yes local 19 of the ILWU

proceed with all deliberate speed citizens on both sides

and you free class types
you can't act like its now or never ....the OCC has legs or it don't

rushing a big action hardly changes that
one way or the other

January 20, 2012

viva anonymous cyber attacks

i love this ..don't you ??

"from 2004 to 2008, only 6.2 percent of white borrowers with credit scores of 660 and above ended up with higher-rate mortgages. Latinos and blacks with good credit scores were at least three times as likely to end up with higher-rate mortgages."

my domestic partner's daughter used to sell these lovely credit plans to ass hole innocent householders

key the agent's commission is directly related to the rate agreed on

the higher the rate the higher the commission on a loan of x dollars

the strategy is start high and wait for an objection
how can i put this accurately ?

good credit
rule following
minority folks
from certain non commercially savy communities...
like african americans and chicanos
are more likely to asssume
they are getting honest helpful "service"
from a slime coated snake of an agent

its been my experience as well
selling total rip off
appliance protection plans

yes some big felon corporations have been forced by court order
to refund some usurious overcharges

but the systemic answer

a law that makes over charging for loans
subject to ruinous fines and compensations

of course no such law exists in any of the 50 states
let alone the federal level

January 21, 2012

multinational corporate blue print for reindustrialization

i suggest you haters of all thinks corporate
take a quick look at this :


basically its the dark lord's prefered path to re- balanced trade

one has to love the bean town bean counters
real blue sky boys and girls
top shelf consultants

boston consulting group
art little and ...of course .bain consulting




that rookery of limited liability mal practice advice

that roosting hutch for corporate birds of prey

that nest that will live in infamy
the hatchery in the 70'sof one young buzzard by the name of Mitt Romney
perpetual candidate for highest office
the former hands on the balls of straggling outfits

the crony-vulture cap clawman in chief
of nothing les then a bain consulting spin off

bain capital

a firm now getting its crooked gory trail of floating heads and legal peculation
revealed to us all in living color by the gnomes of mayhem


back to the above report

its by bain rival and daddy op
boston consulting group :

gist ?

multi nationals please come home

come back here honey
and start the great reindustrial recycle

grab a part of our burgeoning low wage low employment
commerce and service sector job force


feed em back into a new domestic manufacturing sector

without unions
and with the same low wages shit fringes
Walmart and MacDonalds have come to love

the dream ?

fill the sizeable --- hundreds of billions --
unsustainable industrial trade hole
produced by the 35 year long ploicy contrived gauntlet
profitable destruction
that at long last
in this present convulsion
can stamp
the cio era "OVER"

yes the steel age of plentiful unskilled but organized
high wage industrial jobs is gone forever

but ..... in its place

===with a center of gravity shifted some what south of the ohio ==

you giants of the earth can erect a new plastic age
of unskilled unorganized
low wage re- industrial jobs



see all u lace cuff snuff sniffing " post industrial" hystericals

all along
u were just a pack of limp wristed cackling chicken littles

behold lame effete ones

industrial amerika re ascendent !

January 22, 2012

paine two whole weeks behind the 8 ball

contradictions among the locals
not surprising in the union biz
though more unusual among ilwu locals

the OCC blistering posted earlier
was from seattle local 19
they were fog horning away

this dated january 4 !
is from the actual longview local( 21) :

" The Longview Longshore Fight:
Join the Caravan to Mass Labor Protest -- Defend Our Union and Our Jobs!!!
by ILWU Local 21 "

..... ILWU Local 21 in Longview, Washington is under attack by a giant consortium...EGT .. ....
Longview Local 21 and San Francisco Local 10, Harry Bridges's local,
are asking for your support.....

The struggle is coming to a head ....

.... EGT plans to bring in a ship to load the scab grain stored in their terminal in Longview.

This could happen at any time, possibly in mid- to late-January.

We are urging workers to join a caravan to go to Longview from your area when the ship comes in ....

If thousands of union brothers and sisters show up ... along with supporters in other unions ..

the Occupy movement
who have aided the struggle against EGT in Longview,

we can put a stop to this union-busting operation...."


goes on to itemize OCC support actions:

".... On Nov. 2,
Occupy Oakland mobilized 30,000 people to shut down the port to show their "commitment to solidarity with Longshore workers in their struggles against EGT in Longview, Washington." Local 21 President Dan Coffman speaking about Nov. 2 at Occupy Oakland said, "You can't believe what you people did for the inspiration of my union members. . ." ...."

".... on Dec. 12,
Occupy called to shut down the coast in support of the struggle in Longview. Again shipping in the port of Oakland was shut down, along with terminals in Seattle, Portland and elsewhere....."

close :

We're all in this together. ...
Northwest locals have stepped up to the plate..
as has the Occupy movement.

Now it is everyone's turn. Together we have the power! Use it or lose it...."

January 4, 2012


full text


January 23, 2012

Black outs Apple

bustling battler
and white knight
in the war on corporate fraud
billy black
gives 40 wacks
to father S's sacred cow


"Apple has just released a report on its suppliers that shows that anti-employee fraud is the norm....an NYT article on the report notes that it was bad publicity in the U.S.
that finally forced Apple to make greater disclosures about its suppliers’ frauds."

cited nyt article

"The calls for Apple to disclose suppliers became particularly acute after a series of deaths and accidents in recent years. In the last two years at firms supplying services to Apple, 137 employees were seriously injured after cleaning iPad screens with n-hexane, a toxic chemical that can cause nerve damage and paralysis; over a dozen workers have committed suicide or fell or jumped from buildings in a manner that suggests a suicide attempt; and in two separate blasts caused by dust from polishing iPad cases, four were killed and 77 injured.”


ya ya i know ...but for now lets NOT
get into the meta layer of corporate fraud
reporting on supplier fraudwithout a real intention to stamp it out


continuing right along :

anti-employee fraud ?

" illegal work conditions due to violation of safety rules,
violation of child labor laws,
failure to pay employees’ wages and benefits,
goods and loans provided by the employer to the employee that lock the employee into quasi-slavery."

" Apple calls its inquiries “audits” and it is apparent that most of its information comes from reviewing written and electronic records at its suppliers. That is exceptionally revealing. The suppliers know that they can defraud their employees with such impunity that they don’t even bother to get rid of records that prove their frauds."

" Apple has resisted making public its suppliers and the report refused to identify which suppliers committed which violations – often for years despite repeated, false promises to end their anti-employee control frauds. "

" Apple rarely terminates suppliers for defrauding their employees – even when the frauds endanger the lives and health of the workers and the community – and even where Apple knows that the supplier repeatedly lies to Apple about these fraudulent and lethal practices."

".. unlikely in the extreme that Apple makes criminal referrals on its suppliers "

“...audits revealed that 93 supplier facilities had records indicating that more than half of their workers exceed a 60-hour weekly working limit.

Apple said 108 facilities did not pay proper overtime as required by law.

In 15 facilities, Apple found foreign contract workers who had paid excessive recruitment fees to labor agencies. "

".. though Apple said it mandated changes at those suppliers, and some facilities showed improvements, in aggregate, many types of lapses remained at levels that have persisted for years.”

there u have it sports fans


lesson for today ....billy's watch words:

“ Dishonest dealings tend to drive honest dealings out of the market. The cost of dishonesty, therefore, lies not only in the amount by which the purchaser is cheated; the cost also must include the loss incurred from driving legitimate business out of existence.”

here is the black bloc sweeping condemnation you all live by as the way of the world:

"..... Companies like Apple and its counterparts create this criminogenic environment by selecting least-cost – criminal – suppliers who offer components at prices that honest firms cannot match. Effectively, they hang out a sign – only the fraudulent need apply to be suppliers. But the sign is, of course, invisible and cannot be introduced in court so Apple and its peers also get deniability. They are shocked, shocked that its suppliers are frauds that cheat their employees and put them and the public’s health at risk in order to make a few extra yuan or dong for the senior officers.

Fraudulent suppliers have compelling incentives to locate in nations and regions in which they can commit fraud with impunity. Nations that are corrupt, have weak rule of law, weak or non-existent unions, poor protections for workers, a reserve army of the impoverished, and have few resources devoted to prosecuting elite white-collar crime provide an ideal criminogenic environment for firms engaged in anti-employee fraud. The ubiquitous nature of anti-employee fraud
in many nations explains why U.S. industries have been so eager to “outsource” U.S. jobs to fraud-friendly nations. "

"....an important technical point. The wages reported in the most fraud-friendly nations are substantially overstated because workers work far longer hours without receiving the compensation to which they are entitled. Their hourly rate is much lower than reported, which means that the wage gap between U.S. and the most fraud-friendly nations is significantly greater than reported.
U.S. firms that have foreign suppliers in these nations are well aware of this data bias and make their outsourcing decisions based on the real (much larger) wage gap. "


"Foreign Anti-employee Control Fraud harms U.S. Workers"

indeed indeed indeed comrade black

full article :

Alex at his best again

"Tumbril Time!" he calls it and many a stilted cheese head of a phrase or word
he trundles off to the chopping block

examples i must take to my poor poor heart :.

"Any headline modeled on “It’s the economy, stupid.”. To the tumbrils with it!

“Well…” , as in constructs like “His performance was.. well… frankly bad.” Equally awful is “…er”, as in “Is Angeline Jolie a great actor? Er… no.” The British are particularly keen on this piece of stylistic coyness."

----my god he's after me here ME !
and he's right as a rainbow too ---

“Really.” ‘folks’

all me ..all me ..

but not this
heaven fore fend me rom ever the use of this

‘stakeholder.’” .

snake holder
or stake driver
but not stake holder
even i ain't that timpanum challenged

but then
merciful godettes

don't the foil master slip
in agrre with this mildewed rag of a phrase

“Bad guys.”

our alex write
" Spot on.."

oh god
SPOT ON " alex ?

to the tumbrils with you too

you supple old pink fop !


and stake holders

find it all here:


January 24, 2012

Program those kids

"ALL Kids Deserve Educational Programming!" read the subject line on a recent email, from an earnest outfit called care2.com. I was a bit startled; the credentialling sector is not usually so candid about its operations. Of course it disappointingly turned out to be an appeal to keep PBS funded, so Sesame Street et al. can continue to "help kids succeed".

ἐπῄνει τοὺς μέλλοντας πολιτεύεσθαι καὶ μὴ πολιτεύεσθαι

A faithful reader here asks, trenchantly,

Meanwhile, I request some commentary on the actual topic of this blog. Crap, Zero has a quarter billion laid in already and the Dims are running no prez primaries.

Meanwhile, it looks as if Zero's strategy of being only visually black and squatting squarely on the corporate nest has already ended this "election," as Brand A (or is it Brand B) can muster only the Mormon from Mammon or Newt Fucking Gingrich.

That about sums it up, and kinda answers its own question.

I can't pay any attention to it at all. The whole electoral charivari seems to me, on the one hand, a freak show, and on the other, a bore -- though you would think a freak show might at least be entertaining. Not this one, though. Perhaps because it's just the same old freakeries we've seen for most of my life. Bite the head off a live chicken? Hasn't that been done to death? And the most exciting guy on the tube these days is... Newt Gingrich?! What's old is new again -- except it isn't; it's just old. Obie's a monster, and there are any number of other monsters hoping to supplant him. It would be a dire situation -- if there were anything one could do about it.

When I started this blog, back in the day, I seem to have had the idea that talking with people about electoral politics was a useful thing to do. I am not at all a recovering Democrat; I never had any use for those downmarket whores at all; but apparently I thought that trying to woo people like my liberal friends away from the Democrats might be constructive, somehow. Maybe I thought it would shake things up -- help move American politics out of its tight orbit around that strange, strange attractor, the Republicrat duopoly.

Now, of course, I can't imagine why I ever entertained that idea. For one thing, I've come to the conclusion that people like my liberal friends are just no damn good -- politically, I mean; many of them are very fine people in private life; but you just can't talk them out of zombie-ing off to the booth and pulling the donkey's dick every opportunity they get. They're convinced that by doing that, and talking up the Donks and decrying the Teabaggers, they're advancing the cause of humankind -- being "progressive", in a word. There's something deeply and fundamentally askew with their thinking on this subject; they just can't take in facts that ought to be obvious to the meanest intellect, though many of them are in other respects quite clever people.

I'm starting to chew the carpet here. Maybe I'll talk a bit more about recent conversations with some good-hearted liberals -- and even a few people who consider themselves to be Marxists -- tomorrow, when I'm a bit more calm.

Speaking of which: My son, when he was about five, explained to me that the opposite of a "wild animal" was a "calm animal". This story has nothing to do with the subject of the post or the mission of the blog; I just love to tell it.

State of the Bunion

So did anybody actually watch the God-Emperor's speech from the throne tonight? I did not; I have a certain tendresse for the few brain cells I have left. I gather from email chatter that it might have been written by Tom Friedman; a thoroughgoing corporate manifesto with a few farthings thrown to the canaille.

January 25, 2012

Γεννήματα ἐχιδνῶν

I may have mentioned that I've been having some very vexing conversations lately with my liberal friends. I fear the nearing Presidential charade has got their hormones flowing.

Years ago, as a lad, I had a fine old Kentucky hound dog, unimaginatively named Mutt. Now Mutt was by nature a very gentlemanly dog, who had the good grace to look sheepish when he had done something stupid; as Diogenes remarked, a blush is the color of good breeding. Or something like that. Not that dogs blush, exactly. But their body language is very eloquent, and they generally have better breeding than their masters. In my experience.

Mutt had his limits, though. There was a very coquettish and un-fixed collie bitch -- I use the term in its technical, not pejorative sense -- who dwelt about a quarter mile down the little road we lived on, and whenever she went into heat, and the wind blew from that quarter, Mutt simply had to be confined. It was a case of Jekyll and Hyde. The usually companionable, sportive and humorous pal I thought I knew disappeared, to be replaced by a slavering -- literally slavering -- insensate sex fiend.

We locked him up in the shed and closed our heartless ears to his piteous, long-drawn melismatic howls -- so expressive; no two alike. If we had understood Doggish as well as Mutt understood English, we would have been amazed by his Pindaric eloquence, I feel sure.

Three or four times a day I would take him out on a leash -- a leash, forsooth; like putting a human in a strait jacket -- to scombre. He was like a lodestone. The collie's bower of bliss lay due east of us, and our house was foursquare to the cardinal points. So on the west side of the house, Mutt's quivering nose and drooling jowls were pointed directly at the walls of the house -- as if he could charge right through the brick to achieve the consummation so longed-for.

We walked clockwise -- very bad luck to do the contrary, where I grew up -- and on the north side of the house he nearly dragged me off my feet behind him. On the east side I had to assume a 45-degree list to starboard and the leash was taut as a fiddlestring. On the south side I had to put the leash over my shoulder and drag the poor horndog backwards, claws grubbing up the crabgrass; he knew that leg was taking him fifty feet farther from his heart's desire.

Well, okay, wrong organ.

I had a lot of sympathy for Mutt, though it would be some years yet before I would find myself in exactly his situation. So I should be more sympathetic to my liberal friends. The bitch is in heat, and the limbic system has taken over. Here's a recent message from an old old friend of mine, in response to some aspersions I cast upon Obama the God-Emperor:

It is not uncommon to underestimate the stimulus bill--the sheer billions that went into such progressive causes as alternative energy, health care, unemployment and infrastructure. Not to mention saving the domestic automotive industry. This was not the work of a neoliberal CEO.

But it generated such a tremendous backlash in the form of the Tea Party (which the voters bought into in the 2010 elections), that gridlock has been the consequence.

At least we are out of Iraq, whereas our presence there could have been infinitely prolonged.

It was Congress, responding to the Republican scream machine, that refused to supply the funding to close down Guantanamo, and which has refused to transfer prisoners to the mainland, after Obama announced that it would be closed.

The citizen detention component of the NDAA is grotesque, but it is so clearly unconstitutional that I have no doubt that the courts will strike it down in short order.

In the meantime, bills can be paid... After several years of being excruciatingly diplomatic, Obama seems to have found his voice again, and is calling out the Republicans as the real "job-killers."

Stopping Keystone arrested a fossil fuel extravaganza that authoritative voices said would have meant "game over" as far as climate change.

I will leave it to y'all to dissect the full craziness of this apologia. It's sheer Muttlike madness from start to finish, of course; but I've been cruel and mean-spirited enough just by reproducing it.

January 26, 2012

Okay, okay, I'm a beast

Everybody tells me I'm being much too severe on my poor liberal friends, with their abiding belief that Obie ain't so bad, and endless litanies of exculpations to prove it. The ponies, they're sure, would be flying out of the woodwork if it weren't for those mean old Republicans. Whereas it seems obvious to me that if every Republican in the Republic fell into a narcoleptic trance tomorrow -- and of course that would be a good thing as far as it went -- Obie and the Dems would still find some way to keep giving us austerity, war, and the police state. So, to paraphrase Thomas Frank, What's The Matter With The Upper West Side?

I'm just trying to understand. In particular, I want to understand the need to believe. I don't mean believing in God or Communism; those I can understand. From time to time I've believed in each, and sometimes both simultaneously. Hell, I can even understand believing in astrology. But I really can't understand decent people believing in the Democrats. There's nothing transcendent about the Democratic Party. It's like believing in Microsoft or Exxon. It's a very concrete presence with an easily ascertained history and structure and pattern of behavior. It's not a church or a movement; it's a political faction.

Is it that my friends simply don't want to believe that matters are really as bad as they are -- that the state and the parties are mere tools of a corporate oligarchy, and American "democracy" a thorough sham? Is that just too scary and depressing? Are they really "statists" in a sense that gives that much-abused and rather suspect term a real meaning -- that is, do they believe in a self-subsisting state, an autonomous force, that stands over and above, or over against, the conflict of various "interests" and might be made to referee them fairly, and with a kind concern for the little guy and human wellbeing generally, if only the right people were in charge?

If so, where did this thing come from? From what divine forehead did that virgin goddess the Referee State spring?

There aren't really a lot of fundamentally different theories about the origin of the state. There's a long tradition -- Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, though these gents differ sharply on the details, and the inferences to be drawn -- that tries to found it in a logical dialectic of chimerical entities: state of nature, social contract, general will, greatest good for the greatest number, etc. A mythological history is generally constructed to correspond.

Now one would have thought that in our hardboiled scientific world this kind of idealism would be laughed out of court. We'd want a concrete explanation, something based in real history. (Or maybe genetics, for all you sociobiologists out there. But the hell with you, and your little Dawkins too.) Once we undertake that historical project -- though of course there is much detail we don't know, and may never know -- is it not obvious, broad-brush-wise, that the origin of the state is domination of the many by the few?

Liberal "statists", it seems to me, confront a serious dilemma on this point. They can deny that the primordial state originated in this way. Or they can argue that at some point -- perhaps in 1776 -- a transformation took place and the state became something quite different, and potentially at least, much nicer. Rationally considered, there's not much to be said for either line of argument. The modern Senate is not just coincidentally named after the Roman one; and the Roman one, like its contemporary successor, was nakedly oligarchic, though the character of the oligarchy has changed somewhat (and not for the better, my old Latin teacher's ghostly voice is muttering in my ear).

So if I'm right -- if my liberal friends want to believe that the State is not just an emanation of the fundamental conflict of Many and Few, and this is why they have to keep believing, in turn, in the essential goodness of the Democratic Party -- then we push the question back a step: Why do they want to believe this fairytale about the State? (The bully state can become the referee state, and the angel is nothin' but de shark well goberned.)

I'm afraid the answer is that when push comes to shove, they don't want to be part of the Many, though they no doubt want to be much nicer to the Many than the Few currently seem disposed to be. As I've argued before, liberals are mostly recruited from relatively privileged social strata -- not the One Percent , okay, but maybe the Five Percent, or Ten out to two standard deviations. They do have a certain sense of themselves as smarter than the average bear, and perhaps rather better morally as well. So all these apparently nutty beliefs about the State and the Democrats come down to rather understandable extrapolations from a certain... erm... class position.

Which won't last. So I haven't given up on 'em, or at least, some of 'em. Things are gonna get worse and better at the same time. I derive a lot of hope from the Occupiers, and I'm quite sure that the next four years of Obromney are going to kick just about everybody I know in the nuts, liberals and non-liberals alike. The relatively privileged position of the liberal social constituency will steadily erode -- as mine has, God knows -- and this may bring some home truths home. I hope so, anyway.

January 27, 2012

confrontation averted....value of OCC role.....did EGT back down ?

"In a surprise settlement reached Monday, the Longshore Workers Union (ILWU) and transnational grain exporter EGT announced they’d settled their legal disputes in Longview, Washington.
They are negotiating a contract that will cover ILWU members working at EGT’s new grain terminal there .....The settlement came as the ILWU and members of the Occupy movement separately prepared to confront a grain ship soon approaching the disputed terminal..Occupy groups on the West Coast had lined up hundreds of volunteers....ILWU leaders were keeping mum this week about the shape of the contract they are negotiating in the highly automated Longview terminal. At issue when talks broke down a year ago were pensions, the number of workers to be hired, and overtime pay for work over eight hours per day. EGT proposed to run 12-hour shifts at straight time.."


January 28, 2012

Protest, schmotest....

... although the one shown in this picture is more original than most. But in general I hate this category of 'protest'; the assertiveness of 'occupy' is a huge improvement. Time magazine's 'person of the year' for 2011 was notoriously 'The Protester', which manages to recognize and simultaneously belittle thousands of determined and brave people from Tahrir Square to Zuccotti Park. They didn't 'protest'; they acted.

Once more unto the sand trap

So -- will war with Iran be Obie's October surprise? Or maybe happen even sooner than that? The punters here at SMBIVA detect ominous rumblings on their sensitive political seismographs:

The hot war in Iran, to culminate a decade of Uncle Sam terrorism, two decades of punitive sanctions and three decades of isolation, looks like it's really coming for sure.

... The "tells" for me re hot war: one NYT article after another laying the groundwork, plus NPR programs that feature sociopathic lunatics, er, Foreign Affairs writers, making the case for war in serious, somber tones....

And Arianna Huffington's contemptible fashion rag has been running and featuring a daily dish on Iran for almost five weeks, now.

Maybe we should start a pool. My own inclination is to think it's just a lot of hot air. But I wouldn't give long odds on it. These people are capable of anything, and when you get the Israelis in the mix...!

So place your bets. Who says the bombs start falling before year's end? Who says not? Show your work.

January 29, 2012

NPA update


at alternet fletch interviews comrade sison:

"....conditions have become more fertile for people's war in the Philippines....."

"The prices of the raw materials and semi-manufactures produced for export by the Philippines are depressed"

"foreign loans to cover the trade deficits and debt service are becoming more onerous"

".. demand for overseas contract workers... (**** ) .... remittances are decreasing"


status of the armed struggle ?

"...the Aquino regime ....is implementing the US-designed Oplan Bayanihan, which is the same dog as Arroyo's Oplan Bantay Laya but which tries to be different by dressing up brutal military operations as peace and development operations and maintaining human rights desks in the reactionary army and national police for the purpose of shifting the blame for human rights violations to the revolutionaries."

"... the New People's Army ... is carrying out a five-year plan to advance from the strategic defensive to strategic stalemate in the people's war,increasing the number of guerrilla fronts from 120 to 180."

parallel negotiations between the Aquino government and the NDFP :

"the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) are supposed to engage in peace negotiations in order to address the roots of the armed conflict by forging agreements on social, economic and political reforms........The biggest obstacle to the peace negotiations is US political and military intervention.."

"..the Aquino regime drew up Oplan Bayanihan under US Counterinsurgency Guidlines... peace negotiations are a mere psy-war device for outwitting, isolating and destroying the revolutionary movement. ..... peace negotiations are only a means to enhance the triad of psy-war, intelligence-gathering and combat operations...... I am not optimistic that negotiations can result in a settlement...the .government is not seriously interested in peace negotiations "

" , the Aquino regime ....has shown no inclination to assert national independence and undo unequal treaties, agreements and arrangements that keep the Philippines semi-colonial. It also has shown no inclination to realize democracy through significant representation of workers and peasants in government and through land reform and national industrialization."


"The NDFP supports the Moro people's struggle for self-determination, including the right to secede from an oppressive state or opt for regional autonomy in a non-oppressive political system. "

"The Moro people ... are not free in their own homeland and are victims of Christian chauvinism and discrimination. They have been deprived of their ancestral domain. They have been robbed of agricultural land as well as forest, mineral and marine resources.....
The Moro people have all the right to fight for national and social liberation."

" The NDFP has therefore found common ground for alliance ...with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) ..The US government and the US media exaggerate the threat of Muslim fundamentalist terrorism because they wish to promote the entry of US corporations for the purpose of plundering the rich natural resources of Mindanao, especially oil, gold and deuterium. They also wish to justify the current stationing of US military forces and eventually the basing of larger US military forces for the purpose of strategic control over Islamic countries in Southeast Asia and strategic countervailing of China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in Northeast Asia....
the US Manila governments depict the Abu Sayyaf as a Muslim fundamentalist group and as an extension of the Al Qaeda,."

".Moro land is a second front in the so-called global war on terror."


" There are indications that the US and Philippine governments continue to arm and finance the Abu Sayyaf in order to block the advance of the MILF in Sulu and to provide the pretext for US military intervention in the Philippines."


US policies towards the Philippines under President Obama

" ..From the Bush II to the Obama regime, there has been no change in US policy towards the Philippines."

" Obama continues the policy of .. manipulating the puppet regime and its military forces, preventing land reform and national industrialization, controlling the fundamentals and direction of the Philippine cultural and educational system ...and maintaining a permanent relay of US military forces.

" Obama is a good servant of US imperialism. He used his glibness to make himself look better than the brazenly brutal Bush. But he is using the same glibness to cover many acts as bad as or even worse than those that made Bush infamous."


sison's web site:


"The scarcity of employment opportunities in the Philippines has compelled nearly 10 per cent of the population to seek employment abroad as overseas contract workers and undocumented workers ..."

The Gray Lady beats the war drum

Like most New Yorkers I probably pay too much attention to the New York Times. -- Well, in my case, less than most, but still perhaps too much. This image shows the cover of today's New York Times magazine, which somebody, some years ago, once called the most reliably neocon publication in North America. Here's the pull-quote -- which occupies a whole large-type page of the fiimsy vulgar shallow mag, widely read on Long Island, Westchester county, and parts of New Jersey:

1. Does Israel have the ability to cause severe damage to Iran’s nuclear sites and bring about a major delay in the Iranian nuclear project? And can the military and the Israeli people withstand the inevitable counterattack?

2. Does Israel have overt or tacit support, particularly from America, for carrying out an attack?

3. Have all other possibilities for the containment of Iran’s nuclear threat been exhausted, bringing Israel to the point of last resort? If so, is this the last opportunity for an attack?

For the first time since the Iranian nuclear threat emerged in the mid-1990s, at least some of Israel’s most powerful leaders believe that the response to all of these questions is yes.

The piece is written by one Ronen Bergman, an Israeli propagandist -- erm, journalist. I mean literally an Israeli, a guy from Israel. Have we no mad-dog Zionists at home, that we must import them?

Most of the piece consists of bragging about Israel's assassination campaign against Iran's nuclear scientists, but the bottom line -- in the last graf -- is a quite explicit threat to the United States that if Uncle don't do something about Iran, Israel will.

Again: Are they just selling wolf tickets here? It's a thing they love to do, of course. I'm still sorta inclined to think so, but it shook me, I have to admit.

The bright side is that it shows the New York Times falling further and further into the abyss of intellectual and moral disgrace, just when you thought they had reached rock bottom. It's like the equivalent of one of those county fair hamburger-eating contests, with steaming bowls of fresh shit instead of the hamburgers.

January 30, 2012

nuclear card tricks or mini me's most recent flashings of his farsi n-bomb farce

recall the three little questions:

"1. Does Israel have the ability to cause severe damage to Iran’s nuclear sites and bring about a major delay in the Iranian nuclear project? And can the military and the Israeli people withstand the inevitable counterattack? "

"2. Does Israel have overt or tacit support, particularly from America, for carrying out an attack? "

" 3. Have all other possibilities for the containment of Iran’s nuclear threat been exhausted, bringing Israel to the point of last resort? If so, is this the last opportunity for an attack? "

sounds pwetty impwesive no doubt to pearly innocent goo goo ears

but step back a moment and ask yourself

is fort zion really concerned about an iranian nuke ?

and if so why ?

answer that pair of questions plausibly
and then one might begin to assemble reasons
i repeat ...begin ... to assemble reasons
why a pre emptive strike against iranian nuke installations
might be
in the "interests"
of certain
powerful elements inside fort zion

the comment cages are open and waiting for an inflow of hypothetical premptive strike rationales

i'll gladly take on all comers

fun and virtual blood spils will hopefully be had by all

January 31, 2012

rough justice to rotten egg heads


"Pietro Ichino, a professor of labor law at the University of Milan and a senator in the Italian legislature, is known as the author of several “neoliberal” books and studies recommending that the Italian government relax its extraordinarily stringent regulation of employers’ hiring and firing decisions."

"..... that means that Prof. Ichino must fear for his life ...he's not just being alarmist.
In 1999 and 2002 leftist gunmen associated with the Red Brigades
murdered two other reformist labor law professors, Massimo D’Antona and Mario Biagi"

beware mouthing neo liberal shibboleths my fellw econ cons ..... armed squads are listening

wages at the bottom of amerika


"The United States has the highest share of low-wage work in the OECD countries
..... the incidence of low-wage work in the United States has been rising for at least three decades, from just over 20 percent in 1979 to just under 30 percent in 2010"

defined how

those with wages at least one third lower then national median wage

compare to ??

take france she's under 12%

interesting data here worth a look

marx ?

want to read ron paul's manifesto ??

here it is

":What they demand is the complete and undisguised ascendancy of the Bourgeoisie, the open, official subjection of society at large under the laws of modern, Bourgeois production, and under the rule of those men who are the directors of that production. By Free Trade they mean the unfettered movement of capital, freed from all political, national and religious shackles. The soil is to be a marketable commodity’ and the exploitation of the soil is to be carried on according to the common commercial laws. There are to be manufacturers of food as well as manufacturers of twist and cottons, but no longer any lords of the land. There are, in short, not to be tolerated any political or social restrictions, regulations or monopolies, unless they proceed from “the eternal laws of political economy,” that is, from the conditions under which Capital produces and distributes. The struggle of this party against the old institutions, products of a superannuated, an evanescent stage of social development, is resumed in the watchword:

Produce as cheap as you can, and do away with all the faux frais of production

And this watchword is addressed not only to the private individual
, but to the nation at large principally.

high society with its “barbarous splendors,” its palaces pools and flunkeys ?

the faux frais of production

The nation can produce and exchange without high society

away with old money and their languid sinecures

the FED and the wall street cabals ?
faux frais of production.

The large standing army?
faux frais of production.

The foreign bases ?
faux frais of production.

The hierarchic Churches, with their riches, the spoils of plunder or of mendicity?
faux frais of production.

Let parsons compete freely with each other,
and everyone pay them according to his own wants.

The whole circumstantial routine of civil Law,
with its juries of helot revenge ?

faux frais of production.

National wars?
faux frais of production.

amerika can exploit foreign nations more cheaply while at peace with them.

You see, to these champions of the vigorous job creating class
every institution of Old crony america with its rent seeking parasites the bureaucrats the poverty pimps
they all appear as part of a giant ceremonial machinery
as costly as it is useless,
and which fulfils no other purpose than to prevent the nation
from producing the greatest possible quantity at the least possible expense
and to exchange its products in freedom.

About January 2012

This page contains all entries posted to Stop Me Before I Vote Again in January 2012. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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