Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls
from: althouse.blogspot.com

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Back to the blogosphere in earnest

Resistance is its own reward. For many people across the globe, conscious struggle against oppression provides the only means through which to maintain their sense of humanity. Here in the United States, the elites have lost credibility and moral authority, and regular folks all across the political spectrum openly express their contempt for big-money interests-- along with the functionaries that do their bidding. Yet, to our amazement, the elites carry on with their corrupt shenanigans as if we were perfectly content with their “leadership.” Why do they seem to so brazenly ignore our protests and complaints? The truth is that we in the raucous 99% are far from being ignored by the elites. On the contrary, vast amounts of time and money are daily being spent to listen to our conversations, to read our communications, and to infiltrate our social, political, and religious groups. Thus the powers that be are often able to divide and conquer us, through manipulating our real differences and creating phony crises and controversies to distract and divert us. Even so, certain abuses of the 1%, like their obscene profiting from the meltdown in the mortgage market, cannot be easily twisted to appear to be the fault of unions, lazy people of color, environmental extremists, illegal immigrants, or foreign terrorists. In such a case the 1% is compelled to put on an elaborate show of responding to the complaints of the 99% with special investigative commissions, cosmetic rule changes, smoke and mirrors. They know that many people will see through this, but they are willing to ride out the storm. The struggle for existence is too draining to allow people to focus their outrage for very long. New outrages committed by sexists and bigots compel those under attack to seek elite champions who can protect them. Neo-liberal politicians eagerly change the subject, from the complicity of both major parties in massively redistributing wealth from the middle-class to the very wealthy, to the heroic struggles of wealthy and powerful Democrats in the endless culture wars. Those of us who have tried to Occupy Wall Street-- for nearly a year now-- have no illusions that our efforts will be met with much immediate success. Yet many of us have been heartened to see that Americans largely share our disgust with the greed-heads, and that even in the face of serious state attempts to criminalize our protests throughout the country, some of our ideas are still provoking discussion. People who have awakened to injustice do not quickly fall back asleep, and while arrests and intimidation can easily destroy an encampment, the mental revolt of people who think for themselves will never be crushed. I have deliberately avoided blogging too much in the past months, because I think that words spoken to fellow humans face-to-face are more powerful than electronic conversations. Yet now may be a good season to return to the keyboard, sharing through written words the observations of a wanderer who happens to be alive in very interesting times. My next post in this new season tries to draw attention to one spontaneous popular response to Occupy Wall Street-- that led thousands of Sicilians to call on a history of revolt far more ancient than that represented by the lap-top toting live-streamers in Zuccotti Park who sparked their imaginations.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Magical Thinking vs. Reason

An alert reader clued me in to an interesting study that has yet to make a big splash in the media. The study, conducted by Cornell's Peter Enns and University of Tennessee's Nathan Kelly, compared attitudes towards progressive taxation and welfare spending in times of higher and lower income inequality.

New research findings add complexity to the basic assumption that humans act in their own economic self-interest. By analyzing hundreds of survey questions from 1952 to 2006, Peter Enns, assistant professor of government, and Nathan Kelly of the University of Tennessee found that as inequality rises, low income individuals' attitudes toward redistribution become more conservative. Their paper appears in the October issue of the American Journal of Political Science. "It's a bit of a conundrum," Enns admits. The researchers also examined public opinion data on the question: Should government increase spending on welfare, keep it the same or decrease it? "As inequality rose, the high- and low-income respondents on average become less supportive of spending on welfare," Enns said. "And this is not because low-income people are unaware of inequality; our results show they are more aware of it than most people." The researchers found that higher levels of household income inequality in the United States generate more conservative public opinion. "We broke down pubic opinion by income group and found the high- and low-income groups responding in a similar way, both becoming more conservative when inequality rises," Enns said. "We were very surprised to observe that the self-reinforcing aspect of inequality holds for high- and low-income groups, and how they move together in parallel over time." Previous economic models predicted that low-income individuals will consistently support government redistribution. "If anything, when inequality rises, low-income people should become more supportive, and that's not what we observe in the data," said Enns, a member of the Institute for Social Sciences theme project on Judgment, Decision Making, and Social Behavior and faculty director of the Cornell Prison Education Program. Conversely, when inequality declines, the public becomes more liberal. The public works projects and other social programs following the Great Depression helped promote decades of declining inequality into the 1960s, Enns said. "And then there's a shift," he said. "Once inequality starts going back up, it appears to be perpetuated by public opinion. If inequality declined in the United States, our results suggest that then the public would become more supportive of government redistribution." Nevertheless, people in the lowest income group favor more redistribution than those in the highest income group.
How can we explain this? Part of it may be simply a reflection of greater conservative domination of media after Reagan's first election. Yet I have another theory. People tend to approach the world with a rational or magical bias. When the reality you observe seems to follow reasonable rules, then it makes sense to apply rational solutions to problems. When the world is way out of balance, then praying for miracles seems the best approach. When your uncle goes to college on the G.I. bill, prospers, and builds a house, then you might feel part of an economic and political system that can work for all. When the Reagan government starts saying that ketchup is a vegetable, and raises payroll taxes while cutting income taxes on the wealthy, then alienation begins. When CEOs, who used to make about 40 times what their workers made, start making more than 400 times an average worker's salary, then lower-income folks see they no longer live in the bosses' world. Capitalism is now obviously an obscure and impenetrable system, lavishing huge rewards on an ever smaller ruling class, while leaving most working folks to fall behind. The mythology of stardom replaces the belief in the Great Society. Rap stars from the projects, country music stars from the farm, these become heroic figures, while making good money as a union shop steward recedes as an impossible dream. Better to buy lottery scratch tickets than study engineering. Who can trust government to do the right thing with our tax dollars? Better to imagine the possibility of sudden, improbable success. In this magical world, the rich will someday take care of the poor without a government middleman, and we'll all live happily ever after. The sad truth is, without any faith that the system cares, then transferring some money from the rich to the government seems futile. Only those of us who still feel connected to the system might worry about making it work better. Sadly, many of the rich and powerful, who could do something about it, seem content to see income inequality get even worse.

The Agenda Project: Granny Off the Cliff

Teamster Nation: Teamsters holding the line for the middle class in...

Teamster Nation: Teamsters holding the line for the middle class in...: Teamsters holding the line for the middle class in Philly. The energy in Philadelphia is "incredible," The AFL-CIO tweets: "@bctdprez:...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

As usual, our friend Atrios cuts to the chase...

From among the many excellent offerings at today's Eschaton, this pithy gem seems especially worth sharing with y'all:

According to Our Galtian Overlords, austerity is necessary. Except, of course, when it comes to massive failing companies known as banks. Just keep lighting billions of taxpayer money on fire, paying massive salaries to the people who are destroying the world. And nobody mention moral hazard, because that's what happens when you give someone an extra $10/week in food stamps. There are lots of reasons the banks are having problems, but one reason is that people have no jobs and no money. And the Galtian Overlords are determined to keep people broke and unemployed, while extracting everything possible from the economy to give to the banks. There's stupid, but also a whole lot of evil. Bad people run the world.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Teamster Nation: Solidarity: More CA Teamsters honor locked-out IN ...

Teamster Nation: Solidarity: More CA Teamsters honor locked-out IN ...: Local 665 and Local 215 members walking the picket line in Milpitas today. Today our California brothers are refusing to cross a picket ...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Word on the street...

Normally I wouldn't pass on a rumor heard on the subway, but... These two pinstripes were chatting on the M train as it rumbled through Brooklyn on the way to Metropolitan Village. "Sammy the zit Zonfrillo is telling everyone to sell all their FedEx stock. He says the company is going down in flames!" The other suit replied: "Manny Leite, the friendly Portagee spy, recommends selling stock of any company that does business with FraudEx." Weird stuff, eh?? Don't worry, Ulysses is on the case.

Excellent post on disaster in Europe!

Predictable Disasters

Monday, April 9, 2012

DB calls the shots!!

Well, left-siders, our old friend dbshotz insists that I rerun this pithy little post, which she claims is her favorite... and believe you me, whatver db wants, db gets!!

Consume, produce, be silent, obey. That is all the plutocrats want from us worker bees. We can do so much more. We can: demand answers, refuse to cooperate in our own destruction, create, educate, and agitate. We can report injustices to our brothers and sisters. In short, break out of our selfish "bubbles," look around, define and solve problems.

If not now, when? If not us, who?

Solidarity Forever!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Preview: Standing Up For Democracy

Preview: Standing Up For Democracy

Check your local listings for when the interview will be on your T.V. Sarita Gupta is one of the most inspirational progressive activists in the U.S. today!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Why the violent suppression of OWS by DHS, NYPD & others is illegal

All United States citizens are granted certain inalienable rights by our Constitution. One of those rights is clearly stated in the first amendment to our Constitution, namely the right of all U.S. citizens, without limit or exception, to peacebly "assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." You will not find anywhere in our U.S. constitution any language requiring citizens to apply for special permits from Government, to petition Government for a redress of our grievances. This goes straight to the heart of what it means to have representative government. When our Congress, whose performance is found to be poor by more than 85% of U.S. citizens according to recent polls, sends in militarized, heavily armed thugs to assault men, women, and children in the early hours of the morning-- because they presumed to question the Government's consistent policy of allowing Wall Street banksters to commit crimes that devastate our communities and families-- then they have lost any claim to possess the consent of the governed for such unconstitutional violence. When they go on to give the military power (in the N.D.A.A.)to sieze U.S. civilians, on U.S. soil and hold them indefinitely without trial, they have chosen to turn their back, not only on the U.S. Cnstitution, but on the fundamental foundational freedom of habeas corpus that underlies the tradition of Anglo-American common law-- and was in existence for centuries before the American Revolution of the 18th century against the limited monarchy of Great Britain.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Institutional racism not just wrong, but also ineffective

I've been very impressed here in NYC by the relative tolerance New Yorkers display towards one another. Most NYPD officers are also careful to avoid making racist and sexist stereotypes the basis of their world-view. Sadly, the hierarchy of the NYPD demands that their officers aggressively invade the privacy rights of folks who live in poor and predominantly minority neighborhoods. Here's the statistics for 2010: over half a million (600,601)New Yorkers were deemed so dangerous, that their 4th amendment expectations of privacy were violated and they were searched on suspicion of carrying a weapon. So, did the expert sleuthing of New York's finest take hundreds of thousands of guns off the street? Well, not exactly. In fact, less than 0.14% of these "stop and frisks" resulted in the discovery of a firearm. Now, I'm not an expert on statistics, but these results don't suggest a very high level of intelligence gathering on the part of the NYPD before they decide to rob a citizen of his or her rights to privacy. An economist friend of mine suggests that a success rate of less than 0.14% is actually worse than you would expect from a completely random search process. How can this be? The searches aren't random at all. In fact 87% of all New Yorkers who suffered the humiliation of being stopped and frisked by the NYPD were black or latino. Now, what the racist policies of the NYPD has actually accomplished is to breed mistrust and resentment in many communities around the city, depriving hard-working cops of the opportunity to get useful information from people that is so essential to their proper function of keeping people safe. Meanwhile, white criminals (especially those who can afford to dress in a middle-class style) can wander the streets carrying arms with impunity. They know that the odds of the cops stopping and frisking a white guy, with a suit and briefcase, are very small, indeed.

This might be merely a bit puzzling and not so tragic if the racist paradigms of the NYPD top brass didn't too often create the sort of horrific outcome that just occurred in the Bronx a couple of weeks ago. A hopped up undercover narcotics officer, having broken into the home of an unarmed teenager, shot this teenager dead in the presence of the young victim's grandmother and six-year-old brother. Does anyone expect this little six year old to grow up with a healthy and trusting attitude towards law enforcement? When a man breaks in your home and shoots your brother dead for no reason at all, it is only natural that you should regard the organiztion who employs that man as lacking any moral legitimacy. This is especially true in this particular instance, where the only crime the police allege this unarmed teenager may have committed is that of buying a small quantity of marijuana, merely a misdemeanor offense under NYC laws.

Monday, February 27, 2012

walk on: a lot of christians don't care about poor people

walk on: a lot of christians don't care about poor people: What I hear from evangelicals a lot is that it is the church's job, not the government's, to care for the poor. I would dispute the either/o...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Gov. Scott Walker To Use Foreclosure Settlement Money To Balance His Budget, Not Help Homeowners

Gov. Scott Walker To Use Foreclosure Settlement Money To Balance His Budget, Not Help Homeowners: pYesterday, 49 states joined the federal government in announcing a $26 billion settlement with five of the nation’s biggest banks over the banks’ foreclosure fraud abuses. The money from the settlement is meant to aid homeowners who lost their homes to foreclosure or who find themselves underwater, meaning they owe more on their mortgage than [...]/p

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Onion lifts teachers' spirits [NOT]

Well Christmas break is over, and spring break is a long ways off. Nonetheless, those who work to educate our youth will go to school tomorrow, full of joy at the chance to teach their brilliant pupils. That is, unless they happen to read this piece from the Onion:

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Education released a comprehensive, nationwide evaluation of American schools Monday indicating that attempts to teach absolutely anything to these little shits is just a huge waste of everybody's time.
"We remain committed to providing every student in the country with access to a high-quality education," said Education Secretary Arne Duncan, adding that good schools are a key component to the success of American democracy. "But to be honest, none of that matters. We're not talking about promising young scholars here—we're talking about a bunch of fucking animals."
"We've basically flushed $11,000 down the toilet for every single one of these little bastards," Duncan continued. "Not to mention 18 years of my life."
The study, which analyzed the effectiveness of both public and private schools, found that efforts to enlighten these terrors on the subjects of math, history, grammar, and science are as productive as slamming your head into a goddamn brick wall. The research also confirmed that the unbearable shits, who take everything for granted, consistently piss away each learning opportunity they're given.
"When I first started teaching, I would see the smiling faces in my classroom and get excited about nurturing their young minds," said Melanie Whitman, 35, a first-grade teacher quoted in the report. "Now I can't look up from my desk without wanting to puke at the sight of all those little psychopaths."
Secretary Duncan said the study is the first to provide detailed evidence in support of the theory that third-grader Scott Kriesel is a complete fuck-up and perhaps even the living incarnation of Satan.
According to the report, billions of dollars in federal resources have been spent to modernize classrooms and improve teacher training, even though the little brats spend their entire days carving profanities into desks, shouting at whoever's in charge, and refusing to sit down, shut up, and actually learn something for once.
In addition, research suggests that school boards across the nation have grown tired of fighting to obtain funding for brand-new textbooks only to have the miserable fucks just deface them all with ejaculating penis drawings on the first day of class.
When asked if charter schools might help solve some of the problems faced by public education, Deputy Education Secretary Anthony W. Miller told reporters the data indicated any difference they made would amount to jack shit.
"Some charter schools perform better than their public counterparts, some don't," Miller said. "You can't change the fact that any school, no matter how it's funded, is ultimately just another type of building to contain these goddamn monsters for seven hours a day."
Miller added that more involvement from home was not the answer, either, as the little shits tend to have shithead parents who just make everything worse. The only findings from the study that provide a glimmer of hope, he said, are student absenteeism and dropout rates, which continue to increase.
"Christ, I dedicated my career to my students, actually thinking I could make a difference in their lives," middle-school teacher Joan Kubickers said Monday. "If I'd gone into public relations, I'd be making six figures by now. And at a PR firm, I bet I wouldn't have to worry about my tires getting slashed in the parking lot."
"Well, I have to go," she added. "The fucking hyenas in my third-period class await."
The Department of Education study comes on the heels of a survey last month that found 90 percent of all elementary school students resent being taught by pathetic losers who couldn't get a decent job in the real world.

I, for one. am glad they included the elementary kids' survey results at the end. They help prevent the article from overly romanticizing what goes on in our schools!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Life in the slow lane...

A helpful reader told me about this fascinating interactive game developed for the good folks of Durham Urban Ministries. The premise of the game is simple: you're down to your last $1000, you need to rent a place, find a job, and then survive as best you can for a month. There's nice realistic touches, like having to choose between paying more for gas or rent (the game is very generous in assuming you already have a car all paid for). The best of the low-paying jobs available requires you to pass an actual typing test. All my poor friends who tried it say the game is too easy. None of my more affluent friends could make it past 20 days (hint: it helps to not bother getting any health or dental care). Anyways, the game is clever and thought-provoking. I encourage everyone who's interested to play it. Let me know if you make it through the month!

This game is called "Spent." You can play it here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

President Obama just needs to stand far away from the GOP circular firing squad!!

Tom Tomorrow, with his usual brilliance, captures the zeitgeist in this recent cartoon:

Last night's SC GOP debate was hilarious-- the more the U.S. public watches these guys the less credibility they retain...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A 1%er who has a sense of humor!!

An alert reader shared this humorous response of a 1%er to the newly aroused consciousness of the 99%. It is very fitting that this piece, by John Kenney, appeared in the classiest of all 1%er (and 1%er wannabee) journals, the venerable New Yorker:

"We, too, have mobilized.

We come from near and far, by any means necessary, some on private jets, others on extremely large private jets.

But you will not find us sleeping in a park and waiting in line at a Burger King to urinate. Have you heard of Mustique? Because that’s where we have mobilized. Don’t bother trying to Google Earth us, though, because we have proprietary military software that prevents you from doing so.

Our numbers may be smaller than those demonstrating in New York and other cities, but we are still a movement, coalesced around a cause, sleeping two and sometimes three people to a villa.

Perhaps you are wondering what our cause is. Perhaps you’re wondering why we, the richest people on the planet, have come together. Perhaps you’re curious whether what we’re undertaking couldn’t technically be called a vacation. These are all good questions.

We’re angry. We’re angry at something we’re calling “imagined frustration.” By this we mean that, except for Congress, the White House, banks, major lobbyists, and the editorial boards of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, no one is listening to us. And we’re tired of it.

You claim to know something about us. You think we are rich beyond comprehension, that we can do anything we please at any time, go anywhere we want at a moment’s notice, wander the earth in a state of constant bliss, enjoying abundant and fabulous sex. Perhaps you do know us.

There are those in the more liberal press who have questioned whether the wealthiest one per cent truly understand how difficult life is for so many Americans right now, and to that we would say— Oh, look, someone just brought in lobster and a Bollinger Grande AnnĂ©e.

Except for money and the almost unnatural flawlessness of my skin, we are no different, you and I. I don’t know who you are or what you look like or how much money you have in the bank. Nor does it matter. Because we’re just men. Unless you are a woman. Or a child. Or a pony. But ponies don’t read magazines, do they? Unless they’re precocious ponies, like Mister Ed. And he wasn’t real. But I think you get my point. And that is: we are the same, except for the coarseness of the skin on your elbows. Do you know that feeling, upon waking at 4 A.M., heart racing, your mind looking twenty, thirty years down the road, wondering how you are going to make ends meet? Worrying about what would happen if you lost your job, asking yourself how you’re going to pay for your kids’ college or retire? Well, I don’t. But I read a story about it once and remember thinking, I’m so glad that’s not me.

What do we want?

Here is our manifesto, still very much a work in progress, as it’s cocktail hour and several of our protesters are out at the pool:

—All wealth should be shared equally among the wealthy.

—Eradicate poverty. (Note: Maybe a clearer way to say this would be “Eradicate the poor.” Need to discuss.)

—End business as usual. (Note: Several members like the sound of this, but they don’t know what it means. A suggestion has been made to add the word “hours” after “business.”)

—Implement a rule whereby the public cannot look at us and must keep a distance of at least twenty feet at all times.

Yes, I have more things—more homes and cars and planes and art and underground passages and satellites and private militias and a person whose only job is to grow hair that is genetically identical to my own. But when you take off your pants and I take off my pants and we stand facing each other as naked as the day we were born, except for socks, all I would ask is that you feel my skin and tell me it’s not the softest skin you’ve ever felt on a man. And also realize that we are the same, except for the fact that I have four submarines."

I encourage you to read the rest of this elegant satire in the Nov. 28th edition of the New Yorker!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Plutocrats' "Ace in the hole"

Here's Jamie Raskin, law professor at American University:

In 2000, in Bush v. Gore, the Rehnquist Court, by a 5-4 margin, called off vote-counting by the state of Florida and determined the outcome of a presidential election in favor of one lucky Texan.
In 2010, in Citizens United, the Roberts Court, by a 5-4 margin, declared that private corporations have a First Amendment right to engage in unlimited campaign spending and likely altered, for as long as anyone can see, the outcome of every major contested election in the country in favor of CEOs and Republican consultants who bundle their money.
The Supreme Court stole one election and sold off the rest of them.

This analysis is chillingly accurate. The Supreme Court right now is the plutocrats' ace in the hole. Whenever their paid servants, in the executive or legislative branch, assert some independence and manage to accomplish something that benefits the bottom 99%, the plutocrats turn to the friendly five Justices to put a stop to it. If there was no other reason to prevent, at all costs, a Republican from gaining the White House in 2012, the nomination of new Justices should be enough to make this a priority. "Liberal activist Judges" are actually exceedingly rare. All we need are people willing to decide cases on the merits, without trying to use their considerable power to undo generations of social and political progress. We may get more such nominees from Barack Obama. No Republican President, on the other hand, would resist the pressure from the right-wing to appoint another Alito or Roberts.

Monday, January 9, 2012

NYPD pulls the plug on OWS Global Revolution TV

Orwellian echoes

I had the somewat unusual distinction of graduating college in 1984. At that time, as I recall, many political observers felt obliged to take stock of how far we in the developed world had "progressed" towards George Orwell's dystopia, imagined in his famous novel set in that year. The year was chosen by Orwell in 1948 by merely flipping the 4 and 8. This was supposed to make us feel better about our dubious honor of becoming the "class of '84." I remember breathing a sigh of relief that, according to intelligent observers, we had only moved part of the way towards Orwell's dark vision-- and, according to the most optimistic at least, we might never get there in our lifetimes.

Even the miseries of Reagan's second term couldn't shake my generation's firm belief that the U.S. would never slide into a totalitarian regime. The collapse of the Soviet bloc, was, except for hard-core Stalinists, generally taken as evidence that humanity was sailing off on a new course, away from the harsh realities of our parents' experiences fighting fascism abroad and McCarthyism at home. Sure, President Reagan's firing of the air-traffic controllers was very disturbing to those of us concerned with workers' rights, but we were confident that organized labor would begin to recover some power with the election of Bill Clinton. How much we wanted to believe President Clinton's assurances that NAFTA would turn out to help working Americans after some initial dislocations! Yet some of us noticed right away that even Mexican labor wasn't sufficiently cheap for the global capitalist elites. "Outsourcing" jobs to Bangladesh, Vietnam, and wherever else men, women, and children would work for less than three dollars a day, proceeded at a tremendous clip. Don't worry, class of '84, a new golden age of plentiful hi-tech careers was upon us! Those of your neighbors and friends with less education could retrain and find good work at computer help desks and other fun places like that. And, for a few years in the '90s, there were Americans happily answering phones for Apple, I.B.M., and Microsoft. By the end of the decade, however, these jobs too had been "outsourced."

Well, O.K., the American middle class was firmly under the heel of the global capitalists: wages were falling, and folks were leveraging their home equity to take on massive debt and keep consuming at accustomed levels. Vague worries that things were going south were replaced with very specific outrage over the Supreme Court's coronation of President Bush II before all the Florida votes were counted. At least we could still speak our minds freely and travel without undue restrictions. Right?!?9/11 and the Patriot Act changed all that. Before long, once proud Americans were meekly accepting unnecessary and ridiculous humiliations in their daily lives. Soldiers with machine guns at airports, train-stations, bus terminals. Grin and bear it! 3-oz. maximum tube of toothpaste, take off your shoes and your belt, look "foreign?" then follow me, Abdul! Long-cherished 1st Amendment, and 4th Amendment rights were quickly thrown aside in the new "war on terror." Indeed, we were told, we should be terrified, and our taxes should be spent to bomb cities in Iraq so that we'd be "safer." Don't like killing innocent, men women, and children? Sorry, but we can't avoid "collateral damage" in the struggle against "islamofascists." The terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden is killed, yet we don't even pause in our worldwide "war on terror." Could it be that killing thousands of innocents throughout the globe might be creating new generations of terrorists? Don't ask that question, Ulysses, your facebook posting privileges might be revoked...

2012 dawns with a new "indefinite detention" policy the law of the land. The military can take you and throw away the key with no questions asked. Quaint notions of innocence before proof of guilt, due process, habeas corpus, freedom and liberty are destroyed overnight. Here's how George Orwell had Winston paint the picture in Chapter 3 of 1984:

  • "He knew in advance what O'Brien would say. That the Party did not seek power for its own ends, but only for the good of the majority. That it sought power because men in the mass were frail cowardly creatures who could not endure liberty or face the truth, and must be ruled over and systematically deceived by others who were stronger than themselves. That the choice for mankind lay between freedom and happiness, and that, for the great bulk of mankind, happiness was better. That the party was the eternal guardian of the weak, a dedicated sect doing evil that good might come, sacrificing its own happiness to that of others. The terrible thing, thought Winston, the terrible thing was that when O'Brien said this he would believe it....

    • The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites....
    • We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

    It may have taken an extra 28 years, but the global Party of the 1% has succeeded in destroying our political, economic, and personal freedoms. Legislation that will allow the Government to prevent me or anyone else from pointing this out in a blog is already pending in Congress. "Homeland Security" has replaced "Home of the free and the brave." My ancestors sacrificed much, over more than three centuries, to build this great country. I call today on all patriots, liberal or conservative, to demand our country back. Read the Bill of Rights!! Occupy the Commons!! AWAKE NOW OR SLEEP IN ETERNAL SLAVERY!!!

    Sunday, January 8, 2012

    A more serious post is on its way...

    Our friends at mockpaperscissors.com hit another one outta da pahk: