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….