Saturday, April 20, 2013


So they caught the guy.
After gun fights and bomb-fights on the streets of a major American City...after that City was on “Lock Down”...which amounts, essentially, to undeclared Martial Law....the Other Bomber is found bleeding in somebody's back yard.
Now what?
Some are calling for him to be sent to Guantanamo...saying that he's “too dangerous” to be afforded the Rights of an American Citizen(which he is).
Some are even calling for him to be as to “Extract Information”....
Shockingly, it's not just the usual suspects calling for these patently Unamerican things...
I have seen even staunch Liberals giving in to the emotion and fear...ready to pick up the Rope, or the Stone, in order to extract “Justice”.
But we're America...not East Germany...not Stalin's USSR.
We have a Justice System that was designed specifically to apprehend the Truth.
That system has been eroded, these past 12 our peril.
The Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments are just as Important as the Second.
Fiat Justicias!
Let Justice be done....but in order to do that, the Worst Among Us must be afforded All of the Rights We are Guaranteed.
We either have these Right...or we do not.
No Exceptions.
It appears to me, that the Obama Administration is attempting to walk back the abuses of the Bush Administration...while still trying to provide themselves with Political Cover, from all the Take-Him-Out-and-Shoot-Him-People.
We have a long way to go...
Everyone should Calm Down.
If this guy...obviously already convicted in the Court of Public Opinion...if he has no Rights, then None of Us do.
My broken record, during the recent Gun Debate was...Let us Defend the Rest of the bill of Rights with the same Fervor that we use to Defend the Second.
Here's your Chance, America.

Monday, April 1, 2013


"Come, let us Reason, Together...

FTA,PT4:”I also have a challenge for the Ameican people: Recommit to a new civic course accommodating change in our socity and systemic environment. Essentially, we all should participate, as responsible citizens, in that national dialogue; we also need to embrace change but resist radical alteration of the historic democratic experiment.
My suggested course for both the president and the people also means foregoing partisan advantage, as much as is humanly possible, in favor of practical democratic progress. Too often, for example, conservatives tend to cling stubbornly to cherished but outdated remnants of the past; and, alternatively, liberals tend to ignore valuable lessons of history. Such tendencies are acceptable when neither side prevails completely in our limited, representative system of governance. However, if one or the other assumes sufficient dominance and pursues wayward tendencies, within an extremely distempered environment, the outcome could threaten the substantive ideals and representative procedures of our historic experiment.”

This is a Transformative Time, in American, and World History...and including both of those(American and World)...including that Context is Important.
I am confronted Daily, by erstwhile Liberals(who often do not know it), who unwittingly Parrot Conservative Talking Points:”Obama is a Failure”,”He's Worse than Bush”,etc...and who aver that it's all over...and that We should give up on Democracy, and the Republic...since they're “All the Same”.

A sort of Galt's Gulch mentality, often shorn of it's Randian precursor of Selfishness as the Highest Good.

This Exhaustion is the direct result of two things, both part and parcel of the 35 year Project of what I term the Violent Parasitical Elite(VPE):1. The Wholesale Purchase of the Apparatus of American Governance, and 2. the accompanying Mindfuck, directed at the American People....the overwhelming Barrage of Confusion and Helplessness, the Confusion of Tongues and the Corruption of Language,Cognitive Dissonance, and Revisionist History.
All of this in the context of Racial Pandering, and the encouragement to Blame

our Neighbors and Fellow Prisoners for the Actions of our Ruling Class(whom they have convinced us, do not even exist.(“Classless Society” is part of the Mindfuck.))

While we're beating each other about the face over whether or not, variously, Black People, Brown People, Queers, Women, Non-Xians, etc are Citizens...or even People...the VPE have run off with the Country.
We have been sold into slavery, and our chains are made of Mythology and an Inability to Think.

A Comment:
FT Comments:”Thomas Pain
05:10 PM on 03/30/2013
Glen Browder's heart is in the right place, but call for a renewal America inspired by "the sacred fire of liberty," "a new birth of freedom," and a "dream of equality," is far to vague and amiguous to take us anywhere.

What we need is some very specific proposals.

First, I propose putting a sign at the front of every classroom in every school grades 1-12 that says:



Yes, the Golden Rule, restated as an affirmation, for this is the essence of the law, and of love, friendshp, civility, civic cooperation, and civilization.

Second, every student in high school must take a course in Political Philosophy, in which he, or she, will read and discuss "The Rights of Man," "The Age of Reason," "The American Crisis," and "Common Sense," by Thomas Paine (with an "e"), the most influential philospher of the American Revolution; the "Meditations" of Marcus Arelius, Emperor of Rome; "The Quotable Founding Fathers" edited by Buckner F. Melton, and "The True Believer" by Eric Hoffer.

Fourth, also in every classrom, a poster with these words of Abraham Lincoln from his first annual message to Congress on December 3, 1861:

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, Capital. Capital is only the fruit of Labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to Capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." “

Consider, that in Texas, the new Social Studies Curriculum is...instead of being concerned with History, Context, and all about Indoctrinating our Youth into believing many of the VPE's Favorite Mythologies...Christian Nation, “Capitalism” as 1. What we've been doing, and 2. the perfect expression of Liberty....the American Experience as Nothing but the Good and Positive...meaning,”My Country Right or Wrong”, and the Uncritical,”We're Number One!”.
What Mr Browder doesn't mention is all of this, as Context.
He is pointing to the Effects of the Mindfuck, without mentioning the Mindfuck.
It's the Ontological Crisis I've been hollering about all this time.

Another Comment:”
01:44 PM on 03/30/2013
Despite the widespread belief that the present government is mired in partisan politics, I would assert that quite the opposite is true. We are embroiled in a national dialogue about fairness and justice, with more voices being heard than ever before, and this is a good thing. The issues over taxation,health care, gay marriage, and voting rights are being fervently discussed and argued at multiple levels of varying detail in every political news cycle of the day. As these arguments proceed they will eventually distill some form of consensus, enlighten the electorate and lead to a better America. Patience is all that is needed - good things are happening in America “

This is what I would like to Believe...and there is an argument to be made that there is Great Transformation happening, under the surface...after all, how would we expect to know...when the VPE have a Tentacle thrown across the Media(Hydraulic Despotism)?
When our Information about the World is Filtered through the wholly owned Corporate Media, is it any wonder that We are confused?

I am, of course, way out beyond mere Party and Politics...Review my Ramblings...Left and Right, Conservative and Liberal...none of this means much , any more...
Better: Dominator/Cooperator, or Authoritarian/Egalitarian.
I side with Democrats, because the LEAN towards Cooperator/Egalitarian...not because they EMBODY them. We let the Perfect be the Enemy of the Acceptable Improvement.

With that in mind, Protest Does, indeed Work...despite what my Naysaying Buddies would have us believe, on our way to Throwing in the Towel.
Racists use Euphamism and Code Words, instead of openly declaring their Racism=Progress.
Even Republicans are set to give up on Gay Marriage...shamed into silence for fear of losing elections=Progress.
Occupy, ere it was Cast into Outer Media Darkness...and Tea, ere it was Bought...agreeing on the Fundamental Problem of Super Rich Folks, and the Corps(e) they Hide Behind, essentially Buying Our Governments.=Progress.
There is reason for a little Hope....

Another Comment,Exemplifying the Confusion of Tongues:”Bart DePalma
Bart DePalma
11:27 AM on 03/30/2013
"Can our nation -- a people of growing cultural diversity, with increasingly divergent values, and dissentient governance inclinations, in a constrained systemic environment -- continue to sustain our collective pursuit of freedom, equality, and justice through the traditional framework of limited, representative government?"

Talk about your compound questions! Let's break this down...

The traditional framework of constitutionally limited, representative government is based on the proposal that the purpose of government is to protect the liberties of the people and accomplishes this purpose by limiting the power of government to infringe on liberty. The only proper law ("collective pursuit") is one that prevents the citizenry from harming one another.

This permits divergent cultures to live with one another peacefully.

The fundamental challenge to the existence of constitutionally limited, representative government is progressivism and socialism - the "dissentient governance inclinations" referred to in the question.

Progressivism and socialism are based upon the proposition of unlimited government power exercised by an unelected bureaucracy of "experts" directing the economy and society. This is the anti-thesis of and cannot coexist with constitutionally limited, representative government.

Under our current progressive and socialist government, the bureaucracy and courts rather than our elected Congress enact the vast majority of law.

Our caesarist President quite openly declines to enforce laws of which he disapproves and rules by executive order or bureaucratic decree where ever he can. How Professor Browder can even conceive of Mr. Obama as a transformative president advancing democracy is a complete mystery to me.”

Here is the Exemplar of the Confusion of Tongues....
To me, it is Obvious...the code Words,”Progressive”, allied with “Socialist”...mixed with the others,”Constitutionally Limited,Representative Government”....
Again, I am confronted Every Day, with such rhetoric...mostly by erstwhile Liberals...who do not Know that they are Liberals(after all, don't they eat babies?)
Who cannot Define Terms, save from Inside the Mindfuck....”Socialism/Progressivism/Liberalism”= Soviet Russia.(or even Nazi Germany!!)...always neglected in such statements is the Effects, even the Reality, of Corporate Domination of every area of Life.
I stand firmly with Mr Browder...We, the People, must Engage in Dialog....except that no one seems to recall what “Dialog” is.
In order to begin a Dialog, “Both Sides”(but especially what is known as “the Right”!) must accept the other as American, Too.
Our Diversity is often the root of our ineffectiveness.
Fear of the Other is those who would have us fighting our Neighbor, rather than attacking the actual Enemies of Freedom.

We, the People, must overcome this Distraction...this Manufactured Division...if We are to ever even begin to, as we heard so often from TEA,”Take Our Country Back”..

Again, We have been riding the car, driven by maniacs, bumping along in the Right Hand Ditch...any correctional swerve to the left is regarded as going all the way, into the Left Hand Ditch...the Perfectly Serviceable Road remains Empty.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Friends and Relations, and the Necessity of Dissent.

In an insular and isolated community, social reinforcement mechanisms often become acute.
When one is in a minority, of some kind…be it religious, political or even ethnic/racial…one becomes keenly aware of this, and it takes a great deal of Courage to overcome such pressure,
 and speak one’s Truth.
When one’s minority status is of the political or religious variety, conflicts are bound to arise with friends and family, as well.
I am fortunate to have been born into a long line of Democrats and Left-Leaning individuals…not monolithically so…but in the main. Still, we have our share of conservatives, republicans and even  Tea People. 
This sometimes makes family relations uncomfortable…so I understand.
In this little town…in this Far Place…the majority seems to be rather Apathetic, when it comes to Politics.
The second largest group are those of a Republican Bent, in all it’s variation.
There is a small Minority, often forgotten, of folks who are neither…who are, instead Democrats…and who, whether they know it, or not, are on the Left of the spectrum…part of a Tradition of Liberalism, of Free Thought, stretching back to the very first European Settlers in this region.(Adelsverein)
Nowadays, “Liberal” is most often heard in these parts as a slur…a pejorative.
This is due to a 40 year campaign of political Bullying.
That Bullying has become the Norm.
It can be found in classrooms, in church, at the grocery, at the café.
Letters to this paper are often filled with it, as are many of the regular columns.
It has become tacitly Acceptable Behaviour.
This, in it’s turn, has the effect of driving Dissenting Opinion into the shadows.
I understand.
I know the pain of rejection.
I understand the reluctance to Engage in such situations…the Courage needed to stand up to Incivility, disguised as Political Speech.
What some folks fail to remember, or acknowledge, is that we are a Pluralist Country…from our very Foundation.
The First Amendment says so.
Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion…these strongly imply a Freedom of Conscience.; without the overarching Freedom of Conscience, of Thought, the First Amendment is Meaningless.
The Minority of One enjoys the same Protections, is Entitled to the Same Freedoms, and is Subject to the same Restrictions, as the member of the greatest majority.
Diversity is Strength.
Those in the Majority must learn to accept that they are enjoined to Share this Nation with those who Disagree. The USA is not their Private Preserve…it belongs to Us.
 All of Us.
Those in the embattled Minority must, on the other hand, endeavor to Stand Up, and Speak their Truth…Our Democratic, Republican form of Government demands the Courage to Dissent.
If such Courage is lacking, the Bullies win…and Political Freedom  withers.

Use it ,or lose it.                                                       

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Texas News, Political and Otherwise 2-10-2013

    Especially:” Talk is cheap; actions speak volumes about the integrity of a person and their desire to see results.”
and:” Because I am ready.
I am ready for the rhetoric to meet the road.  It is easy to preach about organizing every day of the year during a presidential campaign.  It is easy to do it when we are running phone banks and radio ads, when we are investing in the sheriff's race or when we are sending out emails asking for support.
But without the sharp urgency of defeat or victory staring us in the face, it is a challenge to motivate and mobilize.  That is our challenge, but I am ready.  That is your challenge; are you ready? “
School Funding, after the Court Ruling:
Harvey Hilderbran: (830) 257-2333
Rick Perry: (800) 252-9600

On Medicaid Expansion:
Harvey Hilderbran: (830) 257-2333
Rick Perry: (800) 252-9600

State Sen. Robt. Duncan: (806) 762-1122

Here’s the Sacramento Bee’s response to Perry’s Taxpayer Funded California Crusade:
Wouldn’t it be cool to be proud to live in Texas?

Monday, February 4, 2013

some links,indicating things under the rug.

This, from the odious Breitbart:"“They can bring it on,” Perry spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told Breitbart News. “We are well aware of the Ds' wishes to have more of a presence in Texas, and it's no surprise they'd want to share the credit of Texas' success story, but they will be hard-pressed to make much progress with the proven success conservative policies have had in our state. Ironically, the very reason Texas is the economic powerhouse it's been is because of conservatives' successful efforts to minimize liberal influence in our state. There's a reason why red states are faring better in this lousy national economy.”
Like I said, Low Hanging Fruit!

Although Woodfill said he doesn’t fear the challenge of “Battleground Texas,” he isn’t backing down. Woodfill’s goal over the next two year is to grow the GOP by making inroads into Democratic demographic strongholds, including the African American and Hispanic communities, which are among the identified targets of “Battleground Texas.”
Woodfill said he agrees with Gov. Perry’s statement, and that he doesn’t see a shade of purple appearing in the near future.
“He’s right, his point is and my point is, that we are ready for the fight, and we’re going to be more ready,” Woodfill said.
Gov. Perry and his supporters seem to be confident that sticking to conservative principles and policies will ensure continued dominance for Texas Republicans."

We have work to do.

2014 begins now, Saddle Up


I like Bill White, and all...and the entrails may suggest that he's the one...
But, if I had my druthers, I'd like to see one of the Castro Brothers...esp Julian.
I like Wendy Davis, too.(and she's real purty)...but ,to me,Demographics say Castro, with a whole bunch of Spanish Ads, door hangers, Goat Cookoffs, whatever.
Of course, whomever it ends up being, it ain't gonna make a hill-o'-beans, if WE don't get the hell off the couch, and Register folks to Vote...and get them Involved.
That needs to begin Yesterday.
I don't know the Legal ins and outs of that...there's  been a lot of shenanigans, these past years, regarding Voting Rights(Tea sees the Moving Hand,lol), some guidance from the TexDem Mothership is in order.
Cinco De Mayo is approaching...and I'm sure we could find other excuses to have a party.(several)
I suggest Piojo Park(by Northside, that's the somewhat derogatory Local name)...DJ Pete, Edward's BBQ,a couple of Kegs of Keystone(!)...and a Full Page Ad, the Wednesday before(not a month before)...perhaps a Radio Spot...the station on the square can't be That Expensive.(I rarely listen to the radio, so I don't know what folks listen to. I'm an NPR-Guy, in the truck)
In the Statehouse, we're stuck with that Duncan Guy(!?), and Frasier in the Senate, until 2016.
But Governor? After all the Odious Bullshit Rick has done?
One of the problems with Texas Politics, is there's No must hunt for news of what the State Government is up to....prolly by design.(sigh).
Perhaps Gerry would be up for a monthly Capital Beat, or something.(...and what, exactly, does our Local Gov do all day?Ha!...School Board, City, County?)
Is anyone else aware of the egregious actions of the SBOE, these last few years? A Reanimated McCarthy,dug up and given a fresh coat of paint, replaces Thomas Jefferson in Textbooks?
There's a lot of Low Hanging Political Fruit...if only more folks knew about it.
I tire of simply Lamenting the Blood Red Quality of Texas...
It's Uphill...and fraught with Disappointment, I know...
But what else are we gonna do?
We should make the TexGOP fight for Mason County.
Make them spend money here.
Make them go door to door.
Imagine CONaway walking down Brazos Ave!
We've let them just have it, for far too long.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Galbraith Speaks

"Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite."-Galbraith

A 15 part, BBC Series, wherein Galbraith holds forth.
My favorite economist, despite what Milton...or even Krugman...says.

Age of Uncertainty,pt 1

"The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it. The process by which banks create money is so simple the mind is repelled. With something so important, a deeper mystery seems only decent."-Galbraith writing in 'Money: Whence it came, where it went' (1975).

"There's no question that this is a time when corporations have taken over the basic process of governing."
Galbraith in a PBS television interview on The Newshour shortly before his death.

Top Ramen over there*

(see the Comments!)
(FTA:” Controversy about how they use food stamps marks an interesting shift from the classic critique that the program subsidizes diets laden with soda pop and junk food. But from that perspective, food stamp-using foodies might be applauded for demonstrating that one can, indeed, eat healthy and make delicious home-cooked meals on a tight budget.
And while they might be questioned for viewing premium ingredients as a necessity, it could also be argued that they’re eating the best and most conscious way they know how. They are often cooking at home. They are using fresh ingredients. This is, after all, a generation steeped in Michael Pollan books, bountiful farmer’s markets and a fetish for all things sustainable and handcrafted. Is it wrong to believe there should be a local, free-range chicken in every Le Creuset pot?”
We make the trip to HEB(the “Real Grocery Store”, where the cukes have flavor, and only turn to mush After several days, instead of immediately).
I am the Grocery Shopper…and I treat lists as holy writ…Systematically stretching meager resources, to get the most bang for the buck. The difference, as I see it, is what bang you consider more important…Quantity? In which case it would be rational to buy a mess o’ crap, like most folks on the lower end, that I know….
Or Quality? As in Flavorful, and Healthy….
I lean hard to the Latter…fresh fruits and veggies…real butter…olive oil, instead of corn oil;…etc.
I get whole chickens, and whole pork loins, that I then cut into chops.
The point is,….after reading the “critique” in the comments, of the idea of people like me buying Quality….is, “What’s yer problem?!”
Why is it imperative that Po Folks subsist on Crap?
(of course, the Poor are routinely criticized for that, as well)
Am I, somehow, Unamerican for liking the occasional Tricuit, with Brie and Portabella?
More of the same.
The Parasites aren’t down here.
Look up, instead.

* I think that was a song, some 20 years ago, if the music in my head is any indication.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

a little Fuel for your' Brushfire.

Mindfuck Tree’s Fruit ,Rots on the Commons

What we're up against is no less than the destruction of Democratic Society...even the IDEA of a Democratic insidious, mostly Mindless forces.
Has America become an Authoritarian State? A Primer, of sorts, for the Shape of the World….and, I’ll warrant, one of the best articles of this quarter.
and a few Supporting Docs:
Dennis Kucinich to Faux News…what could it mean?
Is Faux growing more Centrist?
The answer is No…Dennis is too extreme for Center,….and will, instead, be the new Poster Child for All Things “Liberal”(poor Alan.)….they’ll say, in effect, “See! The Dems ARE Socialist Baby-Eaters!!!!”
The more Dennis objects, the more he will  be painted into that corner, for the further Ignorance of Faux Viewers.
This, in Microcosm, is how the world works…it is how the Machine corrals Thought into narrow, more manageable Channels.
Amy Goodman, God Love Her, is another such Tool…unknowingly, I’d bet. She represents a Blow Off Valve, of sorts…an acceptable release of Cultural Steam, so that the main Boiler doesn’t get overpressurized…like it did in the 60’s, the 20’s and around the turn of the last Century(Progressive Era).
Machine “learns”, like any Organism.
I assert that almost all of this Manipulation is entirely Unconscious….there’s No Central Decision-Making Apparatus…no proverbial Back Room. As I’ve tried to hammer home, it’s the Logic of the System, itself…Unconscious Action, driven by Instinct, alone, at either Extreme of the Scale…
.Amoeba, meet your’ Very Large Counterpart, Civilisation.

As if all of that is not enough evidence for the need for a New(secular) Monastic Order...
(ask me, lol).....
the Myth of Human Progress

All of these are pointing at...identifying...the Culprits, and the Tactics, of our growing, albeit Invisible, Oppression...
The first and last, Giroux, and Hedges, point, as well, to potential Remedies...
It is not necessary for all involved to know every nuance of the Machine...what is necessary, is for those who do understand at least a part of it, to Teach Democracy, and the Commons.....Us and opposed to the fracturing Hyperindividualism, that renders us  just so many bits of flotsam, before the oncoming wave of Corporate-Feudalism/Post-Nationalism.
We must counter almost every utterance.
(ex: them:Welfare=bad/// /Me: It matters to me if my neighbor can't heat his house...beyond hippy-dippy some point in his desperation, my cold neighbor will begin to Eye my woodpile.)
We must Reframe the  Words and Phrases we use to apprehend Reality.
This is what the Democratic Party should be doing, but isn't...another Failure on Our Part.
A Counternarrative, developed in myriad locales, and spread among the Folks.
A gargantuan task, indeed.
The consequences of doing Nothing are too Dire to contemplate.
Wherein, we find a nifty summary of the Purpose of Gooberment:

That is to say, the core purpose of government in the American tradition is the maintenance of the national commons. It exists to manage the various commons and commons-like phenomena that are inseparable from life in a civilized society, and thus has the power to impose such limits on people (and corporate pseudopeople) as will prevent their pursuit of personal advantage from leading to a tragedy of the commons in one way or another.  Restricting the capacity of banks to gamble with depositors’ money is one such limit; restricting the freedom of manufacturers to sell unsafe food is another, and so on down the list of reasonable regulations.  Beyond those necessary limits, government has no call to intervene; how people choose to live their lives, exercise their liberties, and pursue happiness is up to them, so long as it doesn’t put the survival of any part of the national commons at risk.”

And this:
” At some point in the not too distant future, the political system of the United States of America is going to tip over into explosive crisis, and at that time ideas that are simply talking points today have at least a shot at being enacted into public policy. That’s exactly what happened at the beginning of the three previous cycles of anacyclosis I traced out in a previous post in this series.  In 1776, 1860, and 1933, ideas that had been on the political fringes not that many years beforehand redefined the entire political dialogue, and in all three cases this was possible because those once-fringe ideas had been widely circulated and widely discussed, even though most of the people who circulated and discussed them never imagined that they would live to see those ideas put into practice.”

 As Dean Moriarty, in Kerouac’s On the Road, famously said, “now’s the Time…and we Know the Time…”
The time is now, to start Talking…and Thinking…and Discussing…
Even(especially) if such things have gone out of fashion, or are so encumbered by the Machine’s Mythology, that any “progress” seems Hopeless.
MSNBC, and the Democratic Party, ain’t gonna Fix any of this.
That’s up to Us.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

If you can’t win fair and square…


While, at first glance, Constitutional…it is in Bad Faith.

What a pack of Sore Losers.
Sore Winners, too.
And Hypocrites, as well!
Otherwise, they’d be advocating such changes for Texas.
They are not…because then they’d Lose Texas.
I’ve always had Issues with the Electoral college….too much room for Shenanigans.
I’d prefer a simple Popular Vote….under strict scrutiny…to the horse-race nonsense we have now.
As it stands, as a Texan, my vote hardly matters in Presidential Elections.
I encourage the Republicans to grow a spine…lets do away with All of the Electoral College…not just the Parts that harm your Dying Party.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

What’s wrong with Texas?

Obviously, the Folks in Charge.
Look at the Comments!
To wit:” ·  Dave
Bleeding hearts never see the bigger picture. No one gets health care when our country collapses because of surmounting debt! Welfare, Social Security and Medicare already exceed tax revenue alone. If people are really worried about their healthcare then they’ll go to school and get a better job, if not don’t steal my American dream to pay for your life’s mistakes!!!”

Social Security and Medicare are solvent…especially SS. The “issues” with Medicare could be easily fixed, but won’t be…because the Vandal Party wants to see it Fail, so they can get rid of it….Not because it’s bad, or unworkable, but because they Hate anything Public. Same tactic as always.
If ya can’t get the votes to oppose it, or to prevent it, attack it with the Implementation!
Don’t like Public Schools, but find that your Constituents do?
Make sure that the Public Schools are defunded and buried in a lot of Red Tape and Stupidity…when this has it’s predictable effect, point to it, and say, “See! Public Education Doesn’t Work!”

Mendacious Assholery!

It’s the same tactic the Thugs used on the Post Office…insert a small thing in an unrelated bill(so, hopefully, no one notices) that requires the Pension to be Funded, Up Front, for 75 years(!!)…impossible. When the Post Office is thereby Bankrupted, act like your ideology was correct, all along.
Plug this in with the Redistricting Shenanigans, the Gerrymandering, and the Voter Suppression/Intimidation, as well as the Republican’s Looming Demographic Disaster, and one thing is Clear: They can’t Win, without Cheating.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Response to Kendall(LTE)

“Although the United States of America was founded on the Christian principles our forefathers learned from the Bible, we have rejected God as a nation, and are suffering for it. We have banned God from our schools in the name of political correctness. Prayer is a clandestine activity, and our children have learned, from that, that God is not welcome here. The Ten Commandments, although they are displayed prominently in our nation’s capitol, have been deemed offensive in our schools. I often wonder at the carnage that has been committed in halls that once were decorated with the admonition ‘Thou shalt not kill.’”- Kendall Hemphill, Mason County News 1-2-13

It was only a matter of time, I guess. We had only to wait a little for the predictable knee-jerk to begin, wherein the usual suspects proceed to whip their horse. Almost any excuse will do, but a Massacre of Children seems too delicious to pass up,I guess, for those who would have us go backwards.
Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.
That’s Latin, and it’s a Fallacy…it means, “Since B occurred after A, A MUST have Caused B”.
It’s a common fallacy…indeed, it’s likely wired into our brains. This does not make it any more valid.
Prohibition of Prayer, led by Teachers or Administrators, in School no more Caused this recent edition of Carnage by Lunatic, than did a Gay Pride Parade Cause Hurricane Katrina.
In the late 1800’s, in Wisconsin, there was a Public School…and they had Prayer, and Religious Education…as was the norm, at the time.
Problems arose when several Catholic Families had an issue with the particular Bible being used by the school. The District was , apparently, Majority Protestant, and the School used the King James Version….which was a Problem for the Catholic Minority; Their preferred Version of the Bible was the Douay–Rheims Bible...which, according to their Faith, was the Only Correct Version.
(this is known as the Edgerton Bible Case)
Nowhere in Law is a Student or Teacher, School Nurse or Janitor, Prohibited from Exercising their Faith…from Praying. To Prohibit such Individual Prayer would be a Violation of the Right to Exercise portion of the First Amendment.
What IS Prohibited, on the other hand, is Prayer led by a School (Public) Employee, under the auspices of a regular school function.
I’m sorry to inform you that Not Everyone is a Christian…and, among those who are, Not All of them adhere to Mr Hemphill’s Version of that Faith.
Which Doctrine would he impose?
That’s the question.
Majority Rule?
According to City, Mason’ Catholics enjoy a slim Majority(28%), over the Methodists(27%),Baptists(21%), Lutheran(17%) and “Other”(7%).
Whose Bible will we use?
Whose Interpretation?
What about the 7%?
And, remember, from the same data, that only 77% of Mason County Residents Identify as Religious, at all….what about the other 23%? Almost a Quarter of the Local Population!
This is the reason for the Prohibition of Official Prayer in Public Schools. The Founders wisely remembered their European History, all the Wars of Religion, and decided that Government should just stay out of Religion. They also wisely provided Equal Protection for the Individual’s Religious Freedom…to go along with the Public Prohibition. “Public” meaning “Paid for by us” and “Having to do with Our Government”…not standing on the street corner preaching…you can do that…it’s your Right.
You can also tell your kids that they are Free to Pray in School…The Bill of Rights, and the Supreme Court say so.
What they are forbidden, is   Forcing anyone else to join in, or pay them any mind, at all. They also can’t create a “Disruption”…which I think is Reasonable.
Calm  down, please.
The Evidence is all around us, that Christianity is NOT on the Run in the USA.
You just happen to Share the Country with other People, who may believe differently than you do.
It’s called Religious Freedom. The Prohibition on Government Sponsored Religion protects Your Faith, as much as Protects Everyone Else’s.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

An Invitation to Think, pt.1

Left Libertarianism,sort of, part1

It’s a Dirty Word, right?
To me, in my Lexicon, “Liberal” denotes a slew of Ideas, none of which includes a Love of Big Government…Neither does it include a fondness for Joe Stalin.
Again, our Definitions require some work.

All I’m after, aside from a total reordering of the Way We Do Things (Ha!), is a sort of Renaissance of Thought and Discussion.
I abhor Knee-Jerk, Automata.
My Philosophy is rooted in Socratic Perplexity…”I don’t Know”…for, if one is Certain, then there can be no honest Questioning…nor a Perceived Need for it.
One of the Fundaments of the American Right is Certainty, without Reflection.
It is just Assumed that we know what we’re talking about…Assumed that, say, Beck is intellectually Honest, with his chalkboard…
I challenge that assertion.
…and I firmly Believe that such Challenges are Necessary, in order to further the Human Project.
Certainty shuts down Inquiry.
As Orwell said, “Orthodoxy is Unconsciousness”.
Our capacity for Thought is the defining Feature of our Species.
 “Homo Sapiens”= “Thoughtful Ape”.
In the hustle and bustle of ordinary Life, we forget this…we fall into Ruts…
Ideology is a Rut.
From our Rut, we are no longer able to see what is around us…only up and down that Rut.
This Negates our defining Feature, as Humans…walls us in, to a world circumscribed, increasingly by Unknowns.
There is an adage…I don’t know where I found it…”We Hate what We Fear, and We Fear what We do not Understand.”
I see evidence for the veracity of this statement, almost every day.
Fear and Hatred and Misunderstanding…Ignorance(Gr. “Not Knowing”)…defines America in the early 21st Century.
This need not be a death sentence…but it surely will be, if We cannot step back, calm down, and Think about things. Socrates asserted that, in order to Find Out, in order to Know, one must first take the Position of Not Knowing.
So, as in all of my writings and screeds and hollering at trees, let us stop…and Think.
Let us revisit our Assumptions…those parts of the workings of Our Minds that we think We Know…let us revisit the Definitions of the words We use….are they accurate? Are they Coherent?
Are the Definitions handed to us, ready made, really the most accurate? The most Applicable?
I submit that they are not.
I think that We can do better…but first, We must return to First Principals…even if it, at first, seems like reinventing the Wheel.
In this little 4 part screed, I intend to throw many things against the wall, as it were.
It may seem, at times, that I think I have the “Answer”…but this would be a misunderstanding.
What I’m after is Thought….about Our Predicament, here in this Far Place….and Discussion.
The many Links that I include are intended to further this…lots of Ideas…many contradictory…
Many of them merely Point to one Problem, or another…Problems that We may have Overlooked or Ignored, in Our Certainty….in Our Unconsciousness.
There are some, and they know who they are, who would like nothing better than to shut down such Thinking and Questioning…to keep Us safely in Our Ruts. Many of them believe this way out of Fear.
Mostly, I think, Fear of the Unknown and of Change….both of which are, admittedly, Scary.
We must have the Courage to Think…to Question…if there is to be any Hope.
If your Idea….your Belief…has any Value, that Value can only be Increased by such Questioning. If Questioning destroys your Belief, then of what Value was it, to begin with?
Good Ideas stand up to Questions….but only if We have the Courage to ask them.
I Challenge You…get out of your Rut…take a look around…and when you feel your Knee beginning to Jerk, restrain it…and, above all , Think.

per usual, here are a mess o’ links, constituting a soup I swim in…inclusion does not, as always, imply total agreement. (the whole little series on Berlin is worth a read)
I got yer First Principals, right here….