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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Thursday, June 04, 2015

We need real heroes, not the kind that are all guns and testosterone

and here's one of 'em...
in what can only be described as an outstanding feat, snowden has kept his credibility intact from day one... we desperately need hundreds more like him...

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Wednesday, June 03, 2015

My view of Hillary and the way, WAY too early 2016 presidential race

yes, by all means, let's focus on the theatrics of an empty and meaningless four-year ritual so the elites can say that the "people" have spoken... pay no attention to the billions of dollars flowing into the media coffers over the next eighteen months...

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Tuesday, June 02, 2015

This isn't news, it's unvarnished opinion, and half-assed opinion at that...

yeah, yeah, yeah... so my last post was december 13... deal with it...

this isn't a news story... it's pure, unadulterated manipulation and the so-called "journalist" who wrote it should be banned from news media for life... the title and the lead are both dripping with innuendo and condescension so thick it could be used as window caulk...


Why Sanders draws the crowds, excites the base, polls relatively well—and still won’t make much of an impact in 2016.

i don't happen to think bernie's "allure" is in the least bit strange nor do i think he's not having an impact... what's happening is that he's touching a chord with the american people that has desperately needed touching for many long years and that's scaring the ever-loving shit out of our ruling elites...

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

"The best political system that money can buy" needs to have its ass kicked out the door

i was reading a post on the naked capitalism blog this morning... in her introduction, yves smith recalled her post from a little over a year ago which i had forgotten about... it's one of the better summations i've read of our current situation accompanied by a call to action complete with all too rare specifics... since so much of what i read and see, particularly in the alternative news media, is primarily composed of metaphorical hand-wringing ("ain't it awful how 'they're' screwing us?"), it's good to see not only a detailed summary of how we're actually getting screwed but also some concrete suggestions on how we might go about getting unscrewed... 

i'm reprinting the initial portion of the post here with the strong recommendation that you visit the site and read the rest (yes, it's long but well worthwhile)... serious and heartfelt thanks to yves smith for her hard work in putting it all together...

The Skunk Party Manifesto

Posted on November 21, 2013 by 
The best political system that money can buy is doing a great job for its customers and a lousy job for the rest of us.
Most Americans do not realize that they are on the losing end of a 40-year war against them. On August 23, 1971, former Nixon Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell circulated what came to be known as the Powell memo. It set forth a detailed program for reshaping American institutions and values to favor the interests of corporations over those of ordinary citizens. The success of this initiative has been so complete that it has not only rolled back many of the bulwarks created by the New Deal and the Great Society, but it is also in the process of pauperizing ordinary workers in order to increase record business profits even further. The fact that the campaign has also produced rampant political dysfunction, curtailed civil liberties and helped cement an out-of-control surveillance state is of perilous little concern to powerful elites as long as their plutocratic land-grab continues.
One of the perverse accomplishments of this campaign has been to place all major branches of government in thrall to the capitalist classes rather than the popular will. Both major parties are in broad agreement on policies that are hostile to the public, such as deficit reduction when unemployment is still high, preserving a higher education system that turns increasing numbers of young people into compliant debt slaves, “reforming” as in cutting Social Security and Medicare while preserving a bloated military, and damaging local water supplies via fracking. A “law and economics” movement and aggressive targeting of elected court positions has produced an increasingly pro-business judiciary that has issued rulings that our forefathers would consider absurd, such as treating corporations as having Constitutional rights. Regulators are at best ideologically captured and at worst responsive to what amount to bribes via the “revolving door” of trading on their contacts and knowledge once they leave government service. And a lapdog media for the most part plays the role of Dr. Pangloss, celebrating this march towards neofeudalism as inevitable, even virtuous, and relegating critics to the fringes.
Promoters of this new order reassured the public that regulations were just unnecessary speed bumps that held back commerce, “innovation,” and progress. We’ve seen what self-serving bunk that has turned out to be. Efficient markets produce meager returns. Businesses understood that less regulation would produce higher profits, via lower transparency and more concentration, which means more pricing power. And they’ve increasingly used those profits to extract not just more waivers but also more direct subsidies from government at all levels.
The time has come for ordinary people to demand to be heard. We are hardly alone in calling for radical change; the recent weeks alone have seen robust debate about the need for revolution. Not surprisingly, pundits and spokesmen of the Vichy Left have worked hard to stuff that impulse back into a box. But the irony is that these “revolutionary” views aren’t even radical. They enjoy considerable, often majority, popular support. They just happen to be inconvenient for our incompetent elites and looting plutocrats.
Thus we are not trying to found a political movement as much as galvanize and focus popular views that the policy elites have marginalized and describe concrete solutions. Look at the anger expressed over long-standing, long-ignored grievances when ordinary folks get a platform for expressing their views. The runaway success of “#askJPM” shows how citizens are mad as hell about predatory banking; the humor and vitriol of the questions stands in stark contrast with the media finger wagging at JP Morgan. Yet in the face of  overwhelming evidence of well-warranted outrage at corporate and government misconduct, the experts prefer to talk about the PR bungling.
Since humor seems to be the only way to get forbidden topics, like the continued criminality of major banks, into official discourse, we encourage you to become a card-carrying member of the Skunk Party!

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Friday, December 12, 2014

I keep coming up empty-handed

maybe it wasn't such a hot idea to resume blogging... as i've looked back over seven years of posts on this site, i find i've just about said it all... i still diligently follow the news but what i see and read merely affirms, extends, and amplifies everything i've put out there since 2005... i'd like to think that the house of cards is about ready to collapse under its own evil, corrupted weight, but i've been poised on the brink of that hope for more than half of my life...

on a different subject, just for the heck of it, let me list off some of the alternative news sites that are on my current "read daily" list (in no particular order)...

Naked Capitalism - yves smith and her erstwhile colleague, lambert strether, do an outstanding job of keeping numbers-challenged and world-of-finance idiots like yours truly informed about the machinations the .01%...

Washington's Blog - whoever is responsible for this excellent site manages to pull together stories and collaborators - such as eric zuesse - that provide perspectives unavailable anywhere else...

The Vineyard of the Saker - this gentleman and his compadres have been doing yeoman's work reporting on the ukraine/eu/nato/russia/u.s. situation with reports from the ground in both the ukraine and russia...

The Intercept - yes, i am fully aware of all the chatter about pierre omidyar's news venture and the corrupting influence of his money and shuttered silicon valley mindset, but i will not abandon glenn greenwald and even less so now that dan froomkin and murtaza hussain are regulars...

Postcards from the End of America - linh dinh isn't a frequent poster but his chronicles and photos of what we often choose not to see or hear in present day america are as rich with gritty reality as anything you're going to find anywhere...

emptywheel - marcy wheeler has expanded her reach and her impact considerably in the years she's been at it... she now regularly appears in salon and other high profile outlets and does a superb job analyzing and parsing the arcane and voluminous crap that flows out of our national security state... - i've followed kevin flaherty for a number of years... he and i share a similar worldview and, when i was deep into digging out ever more scary stuff, he was often a source... he's backed off somewhat recently, which is understandable with two small kids and an off-the-grid homestead in new zealand to keep afloat...

i follow a lot of other outlets too, mainstream included, but i find the above to be regularly stimulating, thoughtful, and, very often, eerily accurate...

let me close by offering this, posted by jimq at washington's blog...
I’m sure my blood pressure would be lower and my mood better if I just accepted everything I was told by my wise, sagacious, Ivy League educated, obscenely wealthy rulers as the unequivocal truth. Why should I doubt these noble, well intentioned, champions of the common folk? They’ve never misled us before. They would never attempt to use two highly publicized deaths as a lever to keep black people and white people fighting each other and not realizing all races are now living in a militarized police surveillance state supported by the one Party. They would never use their complete control over the financial, political, judicial, and media organisms to convince the masses that voting for one of their hand selected red or blue options will ever actually change anything. They would never engineer the overthrow of a democratically elected government, cover up the shooting down of an airliner, and attempt to blame their crimes on the leader of a nuclear power in their efforts to retain a teetering global empire. They would never overthrow or wage economic warfare on countries that don’t toe the line regarding the continued dominance of the petrodollar in global commerce.

Sadly, I’m cursed with a mind that questions everything and trusts no one in authority or associated with the status quo. It’s the reason I don’t read newspapers or watch mainstream media television entertainment propaganda, disguised as news. 

that about covers it...

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Thursday, December 04, 2014

I'm no longer on the outside looking in

i didn't realize how tough it would be to get back in the blogging "saddle"... for one thing, i'm totally out of the habit of even thinking about blogging, so a number of days had already passed when it suddenly occurred to me that i'd decided to resume working on the blog... with that realization came the need to revisit the big questions, where to start and what to say...

this evening i was at the gym plugging away on the treadmill looking at the row of flat screen tv's arrayed for patrons' amusement while they're dealing with the boredom of repetitive exercise... it was the usual assortment of local and cable channels running the typical news, weather, crime serials, talk, and sports, all punctuated by endless commercials... often in the past when faced with such a deluge of american infotainment, and not necessarily even after spending a long time outside the country, i've felt like a stranger in a strange land, an outsider looking in... 

my ah-ha experience tonight was the sudden flash that what's changed for me in the time since i stopped blogging is that i no longer feel that way... instead, i feel like i'm on the inside and all those talking heads are on the outside... it was suddenly very clear to me that our news and entertainment media are now very much out of sync with our reality on the ground, but, despite that, they keep pumping out their no longer viable and very tired "buy everything and buy it NOW," propaganda-filled messaging... i looked around at all the people sweating away and realized that, just like me, most of them had developed such an immunity to that kind of mental and emotional manipulation that it now only barely penetrates their consciousness... yet the people on the tee-vee keep yammering away, totally oblivious to the fact that they are now the outsiders...

there's a wonderful line from stephen king's dark tower series that is repeated throughout all the books... "the world has moved on"... for sure, our world has moved on and maybe, just maybe, the talking heads will notice that fact one of these days...


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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I'm back

ok, i had a nice sabbatical... time well spent, i might add...

i decided to revive the blog for the same reasons i started it in the first place, to give me a place to vent, rant, muse, observe, and otherwise extemporize on the ginormous number of things going on in my head... since my situation has recently changed, i now have time to pursue such an unpaid and self-serving avocation... besides letting off steam, a big plus for me is, by giving expression to my thoughts, i am inevitably better able to brush away cobwebs and disperse biologically, chemically, and environmentally-induced fog...

in subsequent posts, i'll attempt to offer some perspective on the changes (and there have been many) i've been through over the 28 months that i've been absent from this space... in short, all of my perspectives and opinions have either remained or been strengthened and, in one major instance, an entire package of opinions has been solidly validated, e.g. edward snowden...

i plan to post regularly but not obsessively, a lesson i learned the hard way... however, as was my intent in the first 7 years of active blogging - february 2005 to august 2012 - my posting will focus on pieces i consider to be critical for anyone seeking to exercise their skills in pattern recognition... the signs we are seeing today all seem to point to a global shift of enormous proportions... ironically, i've seen those signs since my journey into full consciousness began in the early 70s, but they do seem to be stronger now than at any previous time...

enough blather for now... ttyl...

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Sunday, August 05, 2012

I think I may be done

it's been since this past wednesday that i've posted and i find that i really don't have energy to keep putting them up... i may or i may not continue but, after all, i've been at this since early 2005... i've done it primarily for my own satisfaction but i'm finding that there's less and less of that to be had... things don't seem to be getting any better and i find myself being boringly repetitive on so many subjects that make my blood boil that it seems hardly worthwhile to keep doing it... i will undoubtedly keep close tabs on many of the same topics i've been following - civil liberties, the national security state, the surveillance society, the on-going shredding of the u.s. constitution, the insanity that passes for our foreign policy, assassination without a whisper of due process, etc., etc., and may occasionally put up a post or two, but it won't be with anywhere near the same frequency or diligence that i've worked so hard to maintain in the past... i know i have a few readers out there who have encouraged me to stay the course and i've greatly appreciated it, but times change and so do people... please know that i'll still be out here...

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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Gore Vidal: The only regime change that need concern [us] is in Washington.

i've been waiting for the right quote to mark the passing of gore vidal... it's in the post title taken from the following excerpt of an essay he wrote for the nation magazine in july 2002...

from common dreams...
[N]o matter how corrupt our system became over the last century--and I lived through three-quarters of it--we still held on to the Constitution and, above all, to the Bill of Rights. No matter how bad things got, I never once believed that I would see a great part of the nation--of we the people, unconsulted and unrepresented in a matter of war and peace--demonstrating in such numbers against an arbitrary and secret government, preparing and conducting wars for us, or at least for an army recruited from the unemployed to fight in. Sensibly, they now leave much of the fighting to the uneducated, to the excluded.


Despotism is now securely in the saddle. The old Republic is a shadow of itself, and we now stand in the glare of a nuclear world empire with a government that sees as its true enemy "we the people," deprived of our electoral franchise.

he will be sorely missed...

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Headline of the day from Germany: 'Romney Has Already Disqualified Himself'

ya gotta love it...

from a round-up of german views on romney's big european adventure 

from spiegel online international...

'Romney Has Already Disqualified Himself'

Center-left daily Süddeutsche Zeitung writes:

"Travel educates. As a result one should assume that Mitt Romney, the Republican challenger of Barack Obama, wants to learn something during his visit to Israel. Wrong! Almost everything that the candidate organized in Jerusalem fuels the impression that he doesn't want to try understanding how complicated the Middle East situation is. Instead, Romney paints the crisis region in black and white: Israel is good and the rest -- the Palestinians and the mullahs in Iran -- are lumped together."

"This one-sided world view is less dumb than it is coldly calculated. Romney is soliciting campaign donations in Jerusalem (the minimum price for two plates at breakfast is $50,000.) And he is ensnaring Jewish voters at home."

"The trip to Israel may help Romney in the short-term. But in the long-term the Republican has done damage. The Middle East needs the US as a mediator. As such, the presidential hopeful has already disqualified himself."

how wonderful that we can send a candidate for arguably the most powerful office in the world to represent us in europe and display his masterful command of foreign affairs and diplomacy... it certainly makes ME lean toward supporting the guy, doesn't it do the same for you...?

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