MAY DAY IN CHICAGO
THE OCC LIVES !
THE OCC LIVES !
The Atlantic, in the person of bright young spark Max Fisher, assures us that there's no there there in the Stratfor/Wikileaks/Anonymous story:
The corporate research firm has branded itself as a CIA-like "global intelligence" firm, but only Julian Assange and some over-paying clients are fooled.Roma locuta! The policing of bien-pensant thought is a familiar role for that stolid and tedious publication. They're like the New Yorker that way, except about a mile and a half behind; and of course the New Yorker's stuff is noticeably better written.
To be sure, Stratfor are buffoons; I bet 99% of the CIA's work product is equally risible. Most of those diplomatic cables Wikileaks got the other year were unsurprising, too.
But the point is that they got them. For some reason, our masters want to keep even unsurprising stuff secret, and they blow a gasket when it gets out. I conclude that getting it out is a Good Thing.
I can see why Max Fisher is pissed. He's a typical Beltway thumbsucker, very pleased with his 'access'. If every Tom Dick and Harry can snatch up the same crumbs that drop into his panting mouth from the odd Undersecretary's table -- why then where's his importance?
One notes that Fisher never bothered to make fun of Stratfor -- though there's plenty of fun to be made -- before Wikileaks and Anonymous made dogfood of them. I bet he liked getting all that stuff in his inbox, and being on some kind of list, even though the material was... unsurprising.
But then most of Max's stuff is pretty unsurprising too. Caliban seeing his own face in a mirror?
The truly lovely bit is Fisher talking as if Assange were the gullible one. You got your Fisher, who believes what he's told; and then you got your Assange, who goes and does some digging. Who's the gullible party here?
Credit where it's due: Fisher notes that
As of 2001, a Stratfor subscription could cost up to $40,000 per year.2001? The guy doesn't have any more recent data, and him on the Atlantic payroll? Tsk.
Good point, nevertheless. A fine testimonial to the numskullery of the executive class.
So I spent a lot of time in the car today, and you know what that means:
*cue spooky echo effect*
The first segment I heard was about the (apparently) upcoming Israeli attack on Iran(*). It was a very odd conversation, from my point of view: all about instrumentalities.
Then they Segwayed -- whoosh, hum -- to the late, unlamented, uninteresting Andrew Breitbart.
There were about ten seconds of obligatory de-mortuis pieties, and then, man oh man, did they ever cut loose on the dead guy. How they hated him. It made me want to like him -- a tall order, admittedly, but if I hear these sanctimonious boobs much more on the subject, I will find a way.
One long-in-the tooth contributor to the circle-jerk wanted to compare him to dear old Dick Tuck, but couldn't quite remember the name. The others drew a complete blank on this reference. History seems to have started in, what, 2001?
The really fun part was the unanimous indignation about the fact that there are no gatekeepers anymore. "Ten years ago, he would have had to go through the newspapers, the radio stations... nobody would ever have heard of Breitbart!"
Sic transit gloria mundi, NPR; and fuck you to the wall.
(*) NPR is treating this as a foregone conclusion, but of course they're Zionist drone idiots.
... by making it a felony, that can get you a year in the Federal pen, for Occupying any place the Feds don't want you to Occupy. Which of course will turn out to be just about everywhere.
HR 347 -- the "Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011" -- recently passed the Senate on a unanimous vote, and the House with only Ron Paul and somebody else voting against. (Not a single Democrat voted against. Not one.)
To quote the law's wonderfully broad language:
(1) the term `restricted buildings or grounds' means any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area--I especially like 'special event of national significance'. And then of course there are places where somebody protected by the Secret Service 'will' be at some unspecified time in the future.
(A) of the White House or its grounds, or the Vice President's official residence or its grounds;
(B) of a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting; or
(C) of a building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance; and
(2) the term `other person protected by the Secret Service' means any person whom the United States Secret Service is authorized to protect under section 3056 of this title or by Presidential memorandum, when such person has not declined such protection.
I shouldn't be surprised at the breathtaking progress of the police state, but I always am. Why is that? It is kind of amazing, really, what a relatively free country this actually was when I was growing up. I didn't think so at the time, but boy, if I had known what was coming....
I've been comparing notes with some of my friends lately, and without exception everybody I've spoken to is worse-insured than they were four years ago. They pay more or they get less, and often both. This is drastically true in my family, which is why I started taking an interest.
Anybody else here had the same experience? Or the opposite, for that matter?
I happened to mention this to a friend of mine who's a deeply devoted Democrat, and was stunned by the perverse ingenuity of her response: If Obama weren't president, it would be much worse!
How great is that? No matter what the results of the experiment, the hypothesis is confirmed.
An old friend of mine -- let's call her Aretina -- is a thoroughgoing Obama cultist, alas, but I still have hopes for her. She recently responded offline to an earlier post here abut the recent Effective Police State And Suppression Of Dissent Act (EPSASOD).
I hope Aretina will forgive me for heartlessly using her as a classic example of the disordered thinking that enables otherwise intelligent and well-meaning people to believe that the Democratic Party is going to actually deliver on any of the things that matter to them -- and to me, I might add.
Aretina's first line of defense: Nothing to see here, folks, move along. EPSASOD doesn't really matter; it doesn't change anything. Citation in support: A blog post from reason.com, which if, you read to the end, maybe doesn't support Aretina's case as much as she might like. The reason.com piece ends up making the case that we already have a police state, so how much difference could this latest enormity make? Which is, of course, a fairly good point.
Aretina seems to have felt, upon reflection, this this gambit may have been a bit feeble, because she followed up with another:
This president is under a record assassination threat level.... it doesn't seem unreasonable that any moves in that direction should be punishable by something a little stiffer than a D.C. trespassing law.Now this is of course much richer. Let's disregard the fact that it contradicts the earlier argument(*). What this amounts to is a nice liberal Democrat -- a great believer in the Bill Of Rights -- supporting police-state legislation because President Sparkle Pony might otherwise be in some supposed danger.
Never mind that the President already gets as much protection as a human being can possibly get, and that EPSASOD goes well beyond protecting the president, in a breathtakingly sweeping fashion.
The piquant thing for me, of course, is the liberal fondness for 'stiff' laws. All this talk of stiffness invariably makes me reach for the saltpeter. How I wish the enforcement sector's stiff nightsticks would all strangely wilt, as in the Viennese doctor's famous casebook.
(*) Yer honor, I wasn't there at all, at all. And besides, that whore of an Ulsterman threw the first punch!
Bellow was much disliked among the English faculty at my inalma mater, the University of Chicago; they thought he was a useless hood ornament who had been hired partly because of his celebrity and partly because of his right-wing politics. When I arrived in the fall of 1970, my advisor had a dinner for all his new advisees and just about the first thing he told us was, "I hope none of you came here expecting to study with Saul Bellow. He doesn't exist. He's done with mirrors. And if you do get the chance, don't take it!"
One used to see Bellow on the street occasionally. He was a very diminutive guy, almost a midget, with a quite vulgar though expensive dandified way of dressing: English shirts, bright-colored ties, velvet jacket, lambswool hat that looked vaguely Afghan or Ruritanian cavalry.
He was quite frightened of black folks and students; used to look around nervously as he walked, casing the street for a Sammler's nemesis.
I once had occasion to walk along behind him and some tall gorgeous woman he was with for several blocks. It wasn't deliberate; we just happened to be going the same way. Bear in mind that I was a grad student in mediaeval literature, and looked it; nobody's idea of a thug, and the woman he was with coulda whupped my ass and ten like me. (We would have all enjoyed it, too.)
After ten minutes Bellow was sweating bullets and ready to break into a run; kept looking nervously over his shoulder at me and licking his lips like a whipped dog. It probably didn't help that I smiled at him every time.
I have a blind spot for Bellow's work; never understood what the fuss is about. Can't read the guy with any pleasure at all, though I've frog- marched myself through the oeuvre. It's a weird combination of shallowness with grandiloquence; Big Ideas, or at least, resounding abstract nouns, thrown about with freshman-seminar abandon by a person who clearly hasn't done much actual thinking at all, and an attempted Runyonesque loose-limbed breeziness of style that reeks of contrivance and the lamp, and gimps -- to my ear -- painfully down the page.
Barry from kenya's march to re election will prolly sour a few more
humanist pitchers of pwog milk
but just how many more unspoiled pwog pitchers can there be out there ?
and might not the rebirh of freshness be at hand :
for one i gotta say my milk seems to be tending to re cream it self
ya ya ya ...the tide didn't turn in the spring of '09
Clio don't play us like that ...
now comes a fresh four
and behold what that portends for our " humankind friendly " unitary Potus
the trickless policy bankrupt identity Cult Princeps
the coming grapples betweeen hizzseff and the dark side of the corporate grid lock gang
strikes me as
a spring time for pinkos in Amerika
at least that is down here at ground level
i ask you candidly stop your baying at the moon and answer this simple question for me:
how can it get any better then this boys and girls ??
the time is ripe for dancing in the streets ....why the rabble have the Wallycrats in a pincer
what with the t baggers on the right flank
and the OCC-u-lusts on the left ??
looming just over the horizon :
a street beat Cannae for corporate Rome
prepare for battle on the asphalt
you cream puffs !!!
nothing could be clearer ..there's no such notion about Teheran
but Assadville ??
so i ring up "foggy bottom y" now "cloud nine zero "
"fuck...i was expecting a call from glenn greenwald.... but .. its u rubber dick ....of all
useless creations of a lesser God ..."
i ask ....he answers :
" NO !!!! for christ's sake absolutely no !!..if they send out poop deck pappy
to blow his checks at the press ...over this ... its pure tap shoes time "
okay i guess that's enough .. McCain is a sign of pure sitzkrieg ...
you can go back to your french movie now
by thin skinned anti imperial blumsuch
•In 2009 Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano became the new head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which plays the leading role in the investigation of whether Iran is developing nuclear weapons or is working only on peaceful civilian nuclear energy projects. A US embassy cable of October 2009 said Amano "took pains to emphasize his support for U.S. strategic objectives for the Agency. Amano reminded the [American] ambassador on several occasions that ... he was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program."
•Russia refuted US claims that Iran has missiles that could target Europe.
•The British government's official inquiry into how it got involved in the Iraq War was deeply compromised by the government's pledge to protect the Bush administration in the course of the inquiry
•A discussion between Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and American Gen. David H. Petraeus in which Saleh indicated he would cover up the US role in missile strikes against al-Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen. "We'll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours," Saleh told Petraeus.
••The State Department, virtually alone in the Western Hemisphere, did not unequivocally condemn a June 28, 2009 military coup in Honduras, even though an embassy cable declared: "there is no doubt that the military, Supreme Court and National Congress conspired on June 28 in what constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup against the Executive Branch". US support of the coup government has been unwavering ever since.
•The leadership of the Swedish Social Democratic Party — neutral, pacifist, and liberal Sweden, so the long-standing myth goes — visited the US embassy in Stockholm and asked for advice on how best to sell the war in Afghanistan to a skeptical Swedish public, asking if the US could arrange for a member of the Afghan government to come visit Sweden and talk up NATO's humanitarian efforts on behalf of Afghan children, and so forth.
more more more at site !!
oh ya this one's kool :
•Since at least 2006 the United States has been funding political opposition groups in Syria, including a satellite TV channel that beams anti-government programming into the country.
or at least the beginning of the end ??
the management of the US Postal Service (USPS ) plans to close
half of all its processing centers
"The closure of 223 mail processing plants threatens some 35,000 jobs"
some grounding for that figure :
"USPS employed 671,687 persons as of September 30, 2010 (FY2010).
USPS’s workforce size has dropped by 171,576 employees (20.3%) in the past 20 years,
and USPS had 40,395 (6.0%) fewer employees at the end of FY2010 than it did at the end of FY2009. "
so the closure is about a hack like the hack in '09 ..if its the only hack this year .....
you see this giant pub sec job shredder rolling into position
and all you can do is hope the fuckers occupy the faclities
and shut the rest of the system down
nothing less will get the corporate infotainment media to direct
the "the ass hole mass publicks " attention
to another Wallycrat contrived "our town" type institution's slow vanishing act
The Incarceration Sector needs to take a leaf from the Credentialling Sector's book. Incarceration has become far too commonplace; anybody can get in. They need to be more selective and meritocratic. The obvious approach is to limit the number of seats, as the Ivies and almost-Ivies do. You can't admit any more people this year than you graduated or expelled last year. We'll end up with a much better class of jailbirds this way.
most educational requirements to qualify as an applicant for most jobs
are pure discrimination
a violation of equal opportunity
sarcastic side bar
a merit class scandal
"low-income students with high test scores are less likely to finish college than high-income students with low test scores"
"U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich late Tuesday night conceded his loss to U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur during a three-way Democratic battle for the newly drawn 9th Congressional District."
".....war talk by the war hawks inside and outside of our government
is just what the speculators on the New York Mercantile Exchange
want to hear as they bid up oil prices..."
"... Your pump prices are not charging up due to strains between supply and demand."
" Speculation..is what is poking larger holes in your fuel budget ....."
“huge inflows of speculative money create a self-fulfilling prophecy that drives up commodity prices.”
" The too-big-to-fail Wall Street gamblers – Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase,
Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley – are at it again."
ralph gets no kicks from the hiked price policy externality here
no fan of a vengeful green demon he ..nor I
but do i hear chortles fom the SMBIVA quarter deck ??
indeed a long dry summer of rocketing fuel prices does qualify as
" the worse the better "
"LET THEM RIDE BIKES !!!!"
The importance of the subjunctive mood in political thinking and argument has been often bruited here: If McCain had won, or Bush had not, then certainly X or Y or Z would have followed. These contrary-to-fact conditionals always being advanced as self-evident truths.
Recently however I've been pondering a particularly startling subjunctive argument, namely the one that begins with the words "If you were". As in, "If you were a woman," or "If you were an urban Iranian secular intellectual", or "If you were an urban Iranian secular intellectual woman". The apodosis is always something like this: You would think differently about Ahmadinejad, or the importance of some imperialist murderer's views on abortion compared to his views on aerial bombardment.
What gets me is the utter unintelligibility of the premise. If I were somebody other than me? What meaning can we attach to these words? Doesn't being "I" consist merely in being me, and not somebody else? If I were somebody else, I wouldn't be me; that person's mind wouldn't be mine, and mine wouldn't have changed in becoming her. I would always have been her, and my/her mind would have grown in the soil of her life, as my actual mind has grown in mine.
Saying "If I were you" or "If you were a Holocaust survivor" is like saying "If even numbers were odd." Well then, all bets would be off, wouldn't they?
Yet it's a perennially popular argument. Why?
Well of course it undermines the universality of my own viewpoint. This would be very damaging if I had ever claimed any universality for it; but alas, I haven't. By the same token of course it undermines the universality of every viewpoint, including that of the secular urban intellectual Iranian woman aforementioned.
Is it a way of privileging some viewpoints over others? There's a case to be made for privileging the woman's viewpoint -- turnabout and all that; bottom rail on top dis time, massa. Well, fair enough. One can see the logic and the justice in that.
Devotion to a single issue is actually quite admirable. By extension, it's admirable to acknowledge that even though issues X and Y both matter to you, Y matters a lot less than X. But it's important to be candid. If your stance is that abortion matters so much that you're not too concerned about Obie's drone slaughter and police state, who am I to argue with you?
If I were you, I'd be... you.
its funny how two unconnected events can look connected eh gang ?
take last night after father's sermon on the shoes of the privileged
doesn't my brother JOHN STUART call me out of a problematic dream
into the reality of one of his semi periodic manias
among much else....there was this :
"so how's SMBIVA these days bro
i haven't checked in lately myself ...dying on thevine ??
....i doubt its as good as when i was posting there back in '06
( http://stopmebeforeivoteagain.org/2007/01/personnel_change.html )
... last i looked your own stuff sucked tiny pebbles owen dear ...
nothing surprising in that of course ...and so what happened to that cat bethune
i kinda liked his shit ....he flew the coop ??
what too many winged farts and assorted tar heels ?? "
i told him yes fred was gone
and with him any chance at political economy
we still had Al omni bunker busting Al
and of course father S posting on the big whys and kultur and tasteful loathings
with that he snapped back at me :
"oh ya ..ya ya sure sure ..."
like that was just god being kind to the rest of us gumheads
then he went off on his real reason for calling me " his fatuous kid brother"
and the motivation for this post
" owen my adoring clay mouthed sibling
you must always always remember.... life is about choices ...
not shocks not hapless slaps in the face ...but choices...life changing choices ...
its just like mitt romney told us on the stump the other day
you must have read about it ...
now he was of course pointing at our nation's youth not us spiritual crones
yet it started me thinking ...
what ...i mean what... knowing all i know today
at 66.66666 years of age what choice would i make
what life shaping choice ..
if i were now just turning 18 this june
and about to escape
the by the balls hold on me of high school :..
well here's what i figured was my choose from list ..
the Mcjob market
a fun ride to state prison
which is the correct choice ??
it turned out to be easy
with a couple modest provisos
if only gentle guys fucked me in the ass
and no one succeeeded in cutting open my throat
i'd now in retrospect
looking over all the four leaf clovers
and dill pickles out there
pick..... a fun ride to prison !!!
but i'm white and male
so that makes sense doesn't it ?
if i was black and male i'd go straight into the military
the outfit with the only close to equal opportunity management team in america
if i was a cute gal on the other hand ..a cute gal ...of either race
i'd hope to make it as a whore of some sort
either physical or semi vocational or some other blend of romantic-mercenarial
that's if i was cute i mean real cute like your present domestic partner was 40 years ago
however if i wasn't a cute gal... which shit for sure is more likely
if i was in fact an uncute gal
if i looked more like the young j edgar hoover then the young tuesday weld
i'd ... well ..i'd ..i'd be
really really annoyed by my choices
...Naah, probably not. Fuck. The Republican primary clown show sufficiently demonstrates that those boyos regard the whole charade, so far as this cycle is concerned, as an exercise in base-building and gainful losing. Obie has been a good steward of elite interests and so the opponent he will have to face is his brothah from anothah mothah, Romney, who seems unlikely to get the public juices flowing.
Obie's shoo-in status is a bitter disappointment to me. I really loathe the guy. I hate his barking schoolmasterish voice and his finger-wagging pulpit manner and his white-collar-macho turns of phrase; if I hear the expression 'no options off the table' one more time I think my skull may explode.
I hate, really hate, his sanctimonious this-hurts-me-more-than-it-hurts-you approach to mass murder.
I would have so liked to see him bunged out of office, in an election where maybe three certifiable flat-earther dements, with nothing better to do, bothered to show up and cast a ballot; an American 'election' ought to attract no reasonable person.
I would have so liked to see an obvious madman at the helm of the national pirate ship, instead of a high-functioning sociopath who appears, superficially, to be a human being, and lends the whole mad and evil project a certain factitious gloss of reasonableness.
seems old EO Wilson
one of my favorite trouble makers
has done it again
the old swamp cracker has enraged his colleagues a second time
there was his star role in the socio biology twister of the mid 70's
now he's slashed up the sacred alter piece of altruism:
the hamiltonian complacency called "inclusive fitness "
the gist :
"Selfishness beats altruism within groups. Altruistic groups beat selfish groups.
Everything else is commentary."
its the ravishing product of a model
co drafted by a ravishing math gal ...can you beat that ?
and it has even another favorite of mine .... herr trivers... in a nasty fit of scoffing
"the evolution of eusociality... requires a set of unusual mutations and very particular ecological conditions."
a long historically sequence of priors
that are in the event likely to be rare .....extraordinarily rare ....
but when it happens.... bingo....!!!
eu social insects are only 2% of insect species
but 80% of insect bio mass
i bought it all wholesale ...and straight off ..didn't even bother looking at the math !!!!
one thinks of spinoza
on the means of escaping human bondage
while still existing
solely within the common day to day limits of our human condition:
" If the way which I have pointed out as leading to this result seems exceedingly hard, it may nevertheless be discovered. Needs must it be hard, since it is so seldom found. How would it be possible, if salvation were ready to our hand, and could without great labour be found, that it should be by almost all men neglected? But all things excellent are as difficult as they are rare
My separated-at-birth brother IOZ suggests, with a hopeful catch in his throat, but with all due caution, that maybe Obama Afghanicus might be bunged out of office by... gas prices.
Wouldn't that be wonderful. And well-deserved, really. The only thing that the American political order has delivered on, with anything like reliability, is the nearly century-old bipartisan promise of easy and cheap motoring. Sooner or later they will have to dishonor that IOU, of course; wouldn't it be great if Obie were cast as the first big-time defaulter, and caught the first barrage of substantial flak for it? It would be so unjust that it would be deeply just.
By the way, our collective sickness on this subject is easily documented. Do a Google image search on the phrase 'gas pump'. The alarmingly aggressive image above is literally the first thing that that I found at the top of the page when I tried the experiment.
Bend over, and let me drive, as a pal of mine likes to say to new acquaintances. He is of course an Early Music guy.
'"that's it ...that does it...." the barrel of my service revolver moves into position
just behind the pundit's skull ....
no no cut cut
wind it back a bit...........
i'm in my studio office and reading stuff off the internet .....i'm at some virtual wallow :
" Last week I discussed the value crisis of contemporary capitalism: the broken feedback loop between the productive publics who create exponentially increasing use value, and those who capture this value through social media - but do not return these income streams to the value "producers"...In other words, the current so-called "knowledge economy" is a sham and a pipe dream - because abundant goods do not fare well in a market economy. For the sake of the world's workers, who live in an increasingly precarious situation, is there a way out of this conundrum? Can we restore the broken feedback loop?"
'for the sake of the worlds workers !!!!!'
... 'can we restore the broken feed back loooooop !!!!!! .'.
to the changing closet ! in a gnats second my uniform is on ....
(.okay so there's some tightenness at the arm pits
and around the middle ..but my nicely anti fascist non peaked officer's hat
still fits perfectly )
and now .. ha ha ..checking ...yes butch my nkvd pistol is fully loaded .....and i'm off
to find this...this ... on line hep kat
----some time later ---
reading the rest of this piece of petty bourgeois treif
from just over the author's own shoulder ...seems i've caught him kold
fatuously admiring his" thru put "
" Strangely enough, the answer may be found in the recent political movement that is Occupy,"
"... along with "peer producing their political commons",
they also exemplified new business and value practices...... "
i'm quivering.... no twitching ..with righteous indignation
" .......remarkably similar to the institutional ecology
that is already practiced
free software and open hardware communities.... "
slowly i draw....
"....This is not a coincidence "
' that's it ...that does it....no mas ....'....BANG !
slug fired clean
from in back of the head... buries itself deep in subject's cortex
confederates and underlings enter in a tumble
thru the burst open hinge burst
splintered apartment door
"to the katyn woods with him !!"
chin does not jut ...as the guts are lugged away
the rest of this walking dead head's drivel is here :
What fun my liberal friends have had, of late, geschrei-ing and gevalt-ing about this pathetic radio clown as if he were the second coming of Adolf Hitler.
How the liberals love to hate these fools: Breitbart, Limbaugh, Drudge... there's no shortage, and how on earth do you tell one from the next(*)?
Liberals love to pounce on outliers and extremists -- and of course this applies to extremists on their left as well as extremists on their right.
Denouncing the obviously nutty is a nice way of avoiding any recognition of the not-so-obviously, but perhaps more gravely, nutty.
Obie has killed a lot more people than Limbaugh ever did. Fact. So how do you process it?
One way, of course, is the subjunctive mood, a favorite of lesser-evillists everywhere: If Rush Limbaugh were president he would kill even more people than Obie.
Another approach, of course: The bad old Republicans made him do it.
A third: well, they needed killing. They were Terr'rists.
Take your pick. The bottom line, of course, is that the gabbling dement on the radio is a much bigger problem than the stony-hearted professor in the White House, with all the predator drones in the world at his disposal.
(*) I would have added Saul Bellow, except that only a few old-timers would recognize the name.
" Communists and socialists joined forces on Sunday for a massive rally at Paris's Bastille monument in support of Left Front presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon.
Over 100,000 trade unionists, members of the French Communist Party and disaffected former members of the centrist Socialist Party marched together under red balloons and flags from Paris's 11th arrondissement to Place de la Bastille.
Mr Melenchon said: "We're going to make this election on April 22 a civic insurrection. ....
The insurrection is for the people the most sacred of rights and the most indispensable of duties in this France disfigured by social, territorial, cultural and gender inequality."
nice conflation that : insurrection-ary electoralism
ah those Gauls
"the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in 2010
only 20% of jobs required a bachelor's degree,
whereas 26% of jobs did not even require a high school diploma,
and another 43% required only a high school diploma or equivalent."
"And according to the BLS, this isn't going to change
much by 2020, since the overwhelming majority of jobs
by then will still require only a high school diploma
we already turn out cohorts containing around a third with BA's
would any increase create over supply ? yup
"we need to stop fostering illusions that good
educations can ever substitute for the organized
collective action - in politics, in the workplace,
and in the streets - that will be required to reverse
the increasingly miserable the future."
A 'gated community' in Florida. Difficult to imagine a more creepy and unreal environment(*). I hope poor Trayvon's family sue the 'gated community' and win big; and I hope the price tag makes such places think twice, in future, about allowing 'neighborhood watch' cop-buffs to operate on their premises.
That, it seems to me, is the story here. The town cops were annoyed and exasperated by this obvious nut Zimmerman; and yet once he finally did the entirely predictable thing and shot a black kid, they closed ranks behind him. I suppose this is because 'neighborhood watch' outfits are subsidiary outriders of the great American cop cult, as oblates are to monastic orders, and something is owed by the priesthood to its votaries. A fan club is a valuable asset for anybody.
That amiable loon Santorum, alone among the "presidential" "candidates", responded as any sensible person would. Everybody else hedged his bets.
The Romneybot characterized the event as 'inexplicable', which would evoke harsh loud laughter if laughter weren't... inappropriate. Under the circumstances.
Nothing could possibly be more easily explicable than what happened to Trayvon Martin; nobody could be more explicable than his murderer; no non-event could be more explicable than the spectacular inertness of his town's police after he was gunned down.
The worst response was Obie's. He's a glib fluent fellow, usually, but he stammered and paused, groping for words like a recent stroke victim. Clearly weighing the electoral effect of every syllable. He slipped, for a likable moment, and observed that if he, Obie, had had a son, that son would have looked like Trayvon.
Did he mean it, I wonder? Though I loathe the guy, I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one. But if so, he was wrong. Obie's son would have gone to Sidwell Friends vel sim and would never have been wandering around some dreary Florida suburb fetching Skittles. He wouldn't have looked or acted like Trayvon, and it goes without saying that he wouldn't have 'stood his ground' against some self-appointed authority figure. He would have presented ID, and been conciliatory, and probably Zimmerman would have ended up asking him for his autograph.
And if he ever wore a hoodie, it would have been at a frat party. And it would have been an ironical hoodie.
(*) Apart from a ''studies" department in a university, of course.
somehow we freaks never convinced the pleb majority to
nullify the drug laws by simply refusing to convict
unlike white on black violence in the far more solidarity oriented white south
the nulification power of the juury system
at least in the white north since woodstock has failed itself badly
and for a race/nation reason no doubt
i say we try again
jury nullification movements oughta go public this time however
tell the judge to" fuck himself " when he gives his "instructions"
"that's the law" has zero impact on a jury's ability to aquit
a hard won pleb right here to defy the man's state
has nearly extinguished itself by non use
ironies aside like nullification's history as a tool of supra legal racial opporession ..
juries could shield a popular uprising on the job site
wouldn't it be nice
if the D.A. knew any prosecution for violation of corporate rights
was un win-able
Another morning in the car recently, listening to some shrill old harridan(*) on NPR deliver a scolding lecture about just ridiculous, how laughable, how stupid it is to imagine that Obie's buy-insurance-or-else ukase could possibly exceed the powers of Congress as defined in the Constitution.
Of course she's probably right in the narrow sense that the Supremes, I should think, will almost certainly uphold the foul thing, though it would certainly make my day if they don't. And I personally cannot imagine how any plausible construal of the commerce clause could extend so far; though of course opportunistic readings of the Constitution are as universal as opportunistic readings of the Bible, right across the political spectrum -- a very narrow spectrum, by the way; near as dammit to monochrome.
I knew it was coming, and I wasn't disappointed: the NPR finger-wagger inevitably deployed the argument that hey, we make people buy car insurance, don't we? So why not health insurance?
A fine example, among many, of the depravative effect on our culture of the fact that driving a car has become the paradigmatic human activity.
Americans -- notwithstanding our 'yelps for liberty', as Dr Johnson called them -- have in fact a very strong authoritarian streak, a love of regimentation and control. Maybe this predates the automotive age, but I feel sure that automobility has made it worse. Driving regresses people to the anal-sadistic stage of development, and a lot of 'em stay regressed after they park the car.
(*) A former Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times: two of the most insufficiently-disliked institutions in America.
Bill Maher has recently discovered that "the new racism is denying racism".
Denunciations of 'denialism' -- of this and that: the Shoah, global warming -- always set my alarm bells ringing. Seems a little too much like a thought crime.
Maher of course is a glib voluble shallow unthinking idiot, and in this case he's also well behind the curve. Racism denial has long been an indictable offense, on campus and in the corporate world anyway.
Racism is like Voltaire's God; if it didn't exist it would have to be invented. People's careers depend on it. Being against it is uncontroversial yet kindles a certain inner glow of enchaféd virtue.
Maybe it's time to retire the term, except in historical discourse. We're not in the 1920s or 1950s any more. We live -- us Amurricans, anyway; can't speak for the Krauts or the Frogs -- in a society which is, if not post-racial, at least post-racist.
Nobody, but nobody, is willing to come out as a racist; a hundred years ago, nearly everybody would. It's not an ideology anymore, but it certainly was back in the day; we have it to thank for Zionism, among other delights, and indeed Zionist discourse is almost the only kind of contemporary discourse not utterly marginal that could accurately be characterized as 'racist' in any un-tortured sense.
Does this mean the same thing has just gone underground? Maybe; but I don't think so. We're dealing with a different phenomenon now, I'd say, and it needs to be thought about in a different way.
It occurs to me, for example, that notions like 'structural racism' need to be related to notions like 'structural inequality'.
The melanin-advantaged still make less money on average than the melanin-challenged. Is this 'structural racism'? How much of it is due to the principle that those who were poor yesterday -- for whatever reason -- need to be, on average and apart from the occasional bootstrap superstar, even more poor tomorrow?
This is of course a principle broadly embraced, by many distinguished people, including the relatively melanin-advantaged current occupant of the Executive Mansion. Pull up those pants, son, and get a job!
Of course people's sense that the really bad stuff is all happening to Others -- towelheads or welfare queens -- makes it a lot more palatable. This seems to be a deformation professionnelle of spending your day as a human being, unfortunately.
Got thoroughly drubbed, by some stalwart faithful readers, commenting on an earlier post, for some incautious musings on the subject of racism. The experience was brutal but bracing; it's painful but it opens up the capillaries, and I find myself bloody but unbowed, and eager to return to the fray, saying Ha, ha amid the trumpets, like the old war horse in the Bible.
Of course I'll admit my ideas are badly formed and worse phrased. But with characteristic mulishness, I think I'm onto something.
Let's start with the concept of 'denialism'. Anything which it is a crime to deny has by definition become a totem: an idol of the tribe. It's a short list: The Shoah, climate change, racism.
Now when an idea becomes sacrosanct enough for middlebrow fools like Bill Maher to treat it as an article of faith, it's time for a closer look. This is not just contrarianism -- or if it is, it's the astute, higher contrarianism: the heuristic principle that anything widely embraced by mainstream media and corporate HR departments needs some unpacking. Conventional wisdom is by definition unthreatening.
So it is with racism. It puts the focus on people's attitudes and feelings and ideas, rather than on the institutions that reproduce those attitudes and feelings and ideas. Like: If George Zimmerman didn't have some crazy bug up his ass about black folks, Trayvon Martin would be alive today.
Clearly, more and better education is called for(*).
People with appendicitis generally run a fever. Aspirin, however, is not the treatment of choice, though it does tend to lower fevers. Being anti-racist in America, in this day and age, is perhaps a bit like being anti-fever at the bedside of a person whose pustulous appendix just burst.
(*) For any newcomers to the site: this is what us New York hipsters call 'irony'.
One of the things I'm trying to clarify for myself in these anti-anti-racist posts is the thought that racism hasn't 'gotten better' or 'become less severe' or 'diminished' -- as if it were some self-subsistent entity in its own right. 'It' hasn't changed or weakened; rather, there is a significantly different 'it' at work. (Not necessarily an improvement either, because the new 'it' is more elusive and harder to characterize.)
Classical racism of the 19th and early 20th centuries was a pretty specific and well-delineated congeries of beliefs and attitudes and institutions which fit into the structures of domination of its day in a particular way. Like any instrument of domination it was well worth attacking, and it was attacked with considerable success(*) -- to the point that the term itself is almost invariably now used as a term of opprobrium.
Indeed I think one of the reasons the notion is clung to so strongly by liberals and lefties is precisely the polemical power of the word: racism has become so disreputable that people will go to some lengths to avoid being tarred with it. Whoever deploys the notion first has to some greater or lesser extent put his opponent on the defensive.
Perhaps another reason that I view 'anti-racism' with some suspicion is that I see contemporary racism as far more an effect than a cause. I mean at a macro scale; obviously at the retail level, some kind of racial, or at least ethnic, antipathy or affinity is involved in things like the Black Name Effect, mentioned by an earlier commenter -- change the name on a resume to something that sounds blacker and you get fewer interviews. But at the big social scale I see racism as fundamentally a consequence of inequality and anxiety, though as always, the causal arrow does point both ways, at least to some degree.
Thought experiment: Suppose by some miracle the Gini coefficient suddenly got a lot smaller. Suppose we had universal single-payer health care, full employment, robust trade unions, and an effective social safety net. Would racism increase, diminish, or stubbornly persist unchanged -- unless fearless anti-racist campaigners called it out it at every opportunity?
Lots of people are willing to get riled about racism; fewer about inequality. But if inequality is more the cause than the effect of racism...?
I realize this is not an original line of thought, but perhaps it's worth pondering.
(*) Partly of course because the structures of domination themselves were morphing into new forms which required it less.