Monday, December 06, 2010

Sadly as we watch our country continue on its downhill spiral.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Ever-Amazing Orlov (Cluborlov)

For example, our lost leaders are continuing to refer to "the financial system" instead of "the wreck of the financial system." If they had the flexibility to make that mental switch, perhaps they wouldn't insist on continuing to pump in more and more public debt, only to watch it spew out again through a tangle of broken pipes so horrific that it defies all understanding, with quite a lot of it mysteriously dribbling into the vaults and pockets of bankers and billionaire investors. It will be interesting to watch their attempts at a financial "top kill" or "junk shot" to plug the ensuing geyser of toxic debt.

It is natural for us to naïvely expect our leaders—be they corporate executives or their increasingly decorative and superfluous adjuncts in government—to be our betters, having been picked for leadership positions by their ability to lead us through difficult and unfamiliar terrain. We expect them to have the mental agility and flexibility to be able to revise their mental maps as the circumstances dictate. We don't expect them to be stupid, and are surprised to find that indeed they are. How is that possible? Mental enfeeblement of the ruling class of a collapsing empire is not without precedent: the British imperial experiment was clearly doomed as early as the end of World War I, but it took until well into World War II for this fact to register in the enfeebled brains of the British ruling class. In his 1941 essay England your England, George Orwell offers the following explanation:

...[T]he British ruling class obviously could not admit that their usefulness of was at an end. Had they done that they would have had to abdicate... Clearly there was only one escape for them—into stupidity. They could keep society in its existing shape only by being unable to grasp that any improvement was possible. Difficult though it was, they achieved it, largely by fixing their eyes on the past and refusing to notice the changes that were going on [a]round them."

And so it is now: as the American empire has been crumbling, its leaders, both corporate and corporatist, were being specially selected for being unable to draw their own conclusions based on their own independent reasoning or on the evidence of their own senses, relying instead on "intelligence" that is second-hand and obsolete. These leaders are now attempting to lead us all on a dream-walk to oblivion.

Back in 2008 I published the prediction that while Chernobyl was rather decisive in putting paid to the Soviet scientific/technological program and in dispelling all remaining trust in the Soviet political establishment, the US program of scientific/technological progress and ruthless exploitation of nature is more likely to suffer a death by a thousand cuts. But if one of these cuts hits an artery early on, a thousand cuts would be overkill. Just as with any wreck, the properties of a radically phlebotomized body politic are rather different from those of a healthy one, or even a sick one—not that our lost leaders could notice something like that! They will no doubt go on going on about money and oil (and the predictable lack thereof), but they might as well be telling us about their milk and lemonade, and please hold the drilling mud. How embarrassing!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

A Message To Barack Obama

Dear President Barack Obama...

Of course I voted for you.
But I expected much, much, more.
When we had a chance to pass single-payer health care, you balked.
When we had a chance to let Big Pharma take a punch to profits, you balked. Was Billy Tauzin on the scene?
When we had a chance to close Guantanamo, you balked.
When we had a chance to close down our embassy in Iraq and get everybody out, including contractors, you balked.
When we were ready and willing to stop the wiretapping of citizens, your Justice (?) department said NO.
When we were tired of being part of the "torture" process, your people were sitting on their hands.
When we begged you to restore unions and working people to their well-earned positions, you said the firing of the Rhode Island teachers was "fine"...and you allowed Arne Duncan to praise Michele Rhee, who stood for an anti-teacher, anti-union philosophy. Arne and Michele are part of our problem with you.
When we said "enough is enough" about Afghanistan, and realized we could not win a war against people who have been winning wars for a century against invading first-world countries, you said..."stay the course"
I like you and I voted for you. But Rahm Emmanuel, Larry Summers, and Tim Geitner are NOT people I voted for. They represent part of the old way of thinking.
I know you are under fire from the Tea Partiers and their ilk, but I can't help thinking that if you had kept some idea of what progressives stand for, you would not be ASKING for my help now, I'd be volunteering.

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Monday, August 09, 2010

Grateful Dead

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Naomi Klein

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

what it's all about, folks...torture is a crime.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Somebody is really thinking about our future...Phil!

Phil in the mountains of Kyushu
June 12th, 2010
12:45 am
As you mention several other points today, you invite comprehensive coherence. So here I humbly offer my list to correspond with your key points today:

1) Withdraw from Iraq – and Afghanistan, Okinawa, and Germany.

2) Cut off all military aid to Israel – and Egypt.

3) End the war on drugs.

4) Start jobs program for nationwide high-speed rail, and light-rail transit in hub cities.

5) Start jobs program for retro-fitting public buildings and homes for energy efficiency.

6) Allow no public monies for any standardized testing.

7) Extend Medicare to all.

8) Cut off all Industrial Ag’s subsidies in corn, soy, rice, and cotton.

9) Allow no biz schools at any public institutions of higher ed.

10) Allow no M.F.A. programs at any public institutions of higher ed.

11) Pay no ed administrator any higher than that of lowest-paid teacher.

12) Restore Glass-Steagall

13) Tax the rich as in the Eisenhower era (up to 91%).

14) Have Supreme Court justices wear on their robes the logos of those corporations with which they’re invested.

15) End the Fulbright program’s subservience to the specialization slots of corporate academe, and have it send Americans abroad in some larger coherent strategy for connections among peoples and cultures. (Hint: one such strategy is at .)