The Brothers Karamazov

"Actually, people sometimes talk about man's 'bestial' cruelty, but that is being terribly unjust and offensive to the beasts..."
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Our Future, if there is one, is Female

Much of the developed world seems to be echoing the words of the irrepressible Kelly McGillis, "I'm done with the man thing." All over the place women, young women, are girding their loins, so to speak, and not beating about the bush. The wonders revealed by Gillette Atra(R) and Brazilian Body Waxing are out front and in your face. They say, " We're bold and we're beautiful, boys and girls. Take a good look, people, this is it; the mystery is over. Everything else may be a mess but not us. We listened to you, and where did it get us? Eros is our avatar now." It all started after the last ice age. The hunters hunted and the gatherers gathered. Then the gatherers became diggers and, eureka!, agriculture. This was the real deal: civilization. Not the hobby-shop, toy and gadget world the now underemployed hunter bunch dreamed up. No this was what made it all happen. Full bellies and some leisure time courtesy of the femmes. But the gals let their lead slip away and the hobby-shop became the world.

Not this time. Oh, no. With the coming ice age the ladies will not let it happen again.
Ice age? Are you nuts? It's G.W., remember? Everybody went to Scandinavia and froze their butts to argue about Global Warming. Right. But that's the warm up bout, the preliminary, the main event is to follow: Ice Age. Bundle up, folks.

What's all this got to do with Kelly McGillis and girding of loins, anyhow? Just that the boys (and men) are stuck in a time warp, and the girls know it. And they won't stay in their shadows any longer. When was the last time you saw any young women wearing the scare-crow, clown costumed, little-boy-lost look, the guys are sporting these days? The last time the girls dressed to look like the guys was during the 60's. Remember? Patched jeans, hairy legs, no war paint, kinda scruffy and slightly venereal. Big mistake. Not gonna happen today. Not with these gals. Let the guys look weird, that's their trip.

So what kind of a future will they make for us, these modern gals? What it won't be is the hobby-shop, gadget and garage-band world, the guy's world, it has been for generations. It will, early on, revert to the most basic of basics, growing stuff to eat, big time. And recycling the gadgets and gee-gaws; eternally recycling for employment. The ladies just trying their best to keep the babies warm and healthy. All the while finding and setting priorities, including the amatory arrangements. If it doesn't appear to make sense unto the seventh generation it don't git done! And that's not negotiable, pal.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Your Kid is a Deviant

Yep, it's true. The little muckers have grown up to be with few exceptions, deviants; they may even classify as criminals! "What's this", you exclaim indignantly. "Not my kid."

Well, let's check it out. Deviant behavior: departing from some accepted standard of what is normal. Whoa! That's not fair. Fair or not, that's the definition of deviant. Shall we look at some examples?

School: Cheating; and financing it too, no less!. We're not talking about grade school or even high school where attendance is mandatory and subject to the weight of law and therefore cheating conceivably could be seen as an act of defiance of authority. No, cheating at college level. Very common, very strange. To willingly pay for something, maybe even for years afterward(student loans),and then to corrupt the purchase, elective education, by cribbing and not really learning. FAIL! And a process done without (usually, hopefully) parental or societal guidance or approbation. Verdict: Deviant.

Music: Gangsta rap! Enjoyed while costumed to resemble an inmate of State Prison and employing graffiti as hieroglyphics. Celebration through hip-hop of every known antisocial action and many that are only imagined as yet. Most of the content of the lyrics fly well under the radar of the squares and are unknown and invisible to the larger society.But at least break dancing is not disco, yeah! Verdict: Deviant.

With me so far? Okay, on to a biggie.

Sex: Where to start? Certainly not with the 60's toddler steps known as The Sexual Revolution. That 'Revolution' is as much 'today' as is the Roaring Twenties. FAIL! No, these kids are writing a new text on sex. Almost universal participation. Not a cult phenomenon like the last one, limited to hip participants who consciously strove for
shucking of middle class values. No, these are the middle class kids next door and upstairs. They are totally pixelated. In the way some primitives think cameras steal souls, pixelated kiddies think cameras steal reality. Not one in a hundred teens or young adults seems aware or concerned that posting intimate peeks at private stuff can become a personal liability later on in life. That others, not like minded, or being entrusted with enforcing morality or legality, can make life miserable.

The youth culture is so co-opted by viewing and being viewed by peers that only more and bolder counts. Since little is left unexplored in the eros zone the competition for novelty is strong. A passing observer (sic) is advised to wear a wet suit and stay upwind of the action. How Jane or Jill can ever be convinced that it is really okay to say no, even once in a while, is problematic. What inducement can be offered to any modern youngster to someday enter a monogamous long time situation is also problematic. But despite the fact that celebrity trumps all today, kids must learn that notoriety is still not celebrity and smutty pix are still smut and not art. Verdict: Deviant.

Young people are more often than not convinced of personal immortality. This is cool. It keeps military barracks and prison cells maxed out and hospital ER's busy late at night. It requires high schools to have baby sitters available. It's difficult to see how society expects to reconcile deviant behaviors that don't meet its approval but are widespread and pervasive with the norms expected and required.

We know what the 60's behavior led to (no, not Disco); societal backlash. Heaven knows what the next tsunami of repression will resemble. The local Taliban may be gathering scourges and goads for future use and gleefully awaiting their employment.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Launch It or Lump It

YOU are to decide the fate of mankind. Or at least predict which of the world's players would set off Armageddon if threatened with annihilation. The Premise:

The antagonists are equally armed with atomic weapons and delivery systems. An adversary has launched a deadly missile salvo ensuring total destruction. The dilemma:

If you retaliate the aggressor will be destroyed but his allies will all participate and the planet is toast. If you don't retaliate the aggressor survives, you are toast but life goes on.

YOUR TASK is to predict from the following which nations would forego retaliation to save the rest of mankind. Based on past performance one prediction has been made.
You do the rest.

The List:

Russia launches...US receives...Retaliation ?... Yes.X.. No...

US launches ... Russia receives...Retaliation?... Yes... No...

Iran launches...Israel receives...Retaliation?... Yes... No...

Israel launches...Iran receives...Retaliation?... Yes... No...

China launches...Tibet receives...Retaliation?... Yes... No...

Tibet launches...China receives...Retaliation?... Yes... No...

Japan launches...China receives...Retaliation?... Yes... No...

China launches...Japan receives...Retaliation?... Yes... No...

India launches...Pakistan receives...Retaliation?... Yes... No...

Pakistan launches...India receives...Retaliation?... Yes... No...

Okay. You have the scorecard. These are the players. All of humanity awaits your
decisions. Go!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Europe: DNA Cul-de-sac?

Or: What's with all these white people?

In tracing the route of humans leaving the ancestral home in Africa scientists have decided that aboriginal Australia was the south easternmost terminus for migration.
It was simply impossible to go much further. That indigenous population has provided a strong genetic marker showing unbroken links back to the home population in southern Africa. In a sense this renders Australia a genetic cul-de sac.

Is this not true of Europe as well? Human populations, with an Eastward valance, occupied and settled all of Asia and, much later, North and South America. Others of this identical population drifted westward to occupy Europe. Over the course of thousands of years these folks in the wild,wild west beyond the Ural mountains just stayed put and somehow... got whiter.

Nowhere else did this profound pigmental erasure occur, so what's up with that? How come that group got white while the rest of mankind kept its dusky hues? I suggest there was a specific and lengthy selection process set in motion tens of thousands of years ago. But why, you ask? Why would a people deliberately set out, and largely succeed, in becoming white? Albino envy perhaps? Albino reverence maybe? Albino congress, could be. Wikipedia: Albinism is hereditary;... Most forms of albinism are the result of the biological inheritance of genetically recessive genes passed from both parents of an individual, though some rare forms are inherited from only one parent. There are other genetic mutations which are proven to be associated with albinism

Albinism, which historically has evoked alarm, fear or loathing may at one time in the deep past have caused awe and envy sufficient to launch a cult of admirers. History is rife with equally dumb things having been done. If so, this could explain a unique population of blue-eyed, or at least light-eyed, flaxen-haired gits with a conspicuous all-over pallor.

If we go to the texts we will be treated to a variety of solemn declarations for how some people got to be white and others didn't. Wikipedia: Lighter skin colors may have been advantageous at higher latitudes since they allow greater penetration of the sun's UV radiation, a requirement for vitamin D synthesis. This may have led to selection for lightly pigmented skin...human eye is quite large and thus produces enough pigment to lend opacity to the eye, often colouring the iris pale blue

So why didn't far eastern populations living even further north, above the Arctic Circle in fact, for as about as long as Europeans, turn white,too? None of the popular assumptions regarding pigmentation appear to tell the story. So we'll go with the favoring and selection of albinism until convinced otherwise. Visualize the folks holed up in their sheltering caves with those of the albino persuasion: troglodyte true believers patiently breeding away their dark hued heritage one night at a time.

Whiteness, as such, remained a regional quirk until one day it was unleashed upon the rest of the world. Under the Ostrogoths,Crusaders, Explorers and Conquistadors brown people felt the sword; as happens to this day whenever darker skin is encountered. All in all, that white skin was perfect for stripping naked, painting your self blue and going on the warpath. Still is.

(Authors Note) Recent DNA findings by paleogeneticists has presented new evidence regarding the ancestry of our species. See "Neanderthal: the First Caucasian?"
for an update. Robert Magill, Sarasota, FL

Monday, December 7, 2009

English: A Timorous Language, Late to Develop

It doesn't matter if the text is great, soaring literature, simple descriptive prose or erotic pleading; English is a language lacking many vital words. It is impossible, at times, to write a simple declarative sentence without one of these supportive devices:
A. Slangy, street talk
B. Some old pagan linguist guy
C. Hieroglyphics
...because the English words simply don't exist. Haven't been invented to this day! This is what happens when we attempt to use English as our venue.

A. From Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth

"What I'm saying, Doctor, is that I don't seem to stick my (thing we have no English word for yet) up these girls, as much as I stick it up their backgrounds – as though through (action we have no English word for yet) I will discover America." .... "Enough being a nice Jewish boy, publicly pleasing my parents while privately pulling my (thing we have no English word for yet)!" cried Portnoy from his analyst's couch.


B. From Thesaurus

Noun 1. (action we have no English word for yet) - the act of sexual procreation between a man and a woman; the man's (thing we have no English word for yet) is inserted into the woman's(thing we have no English word for yet) and excited until orgasm and ejaculation occur.


C. /%&*@^$#~!!

So you see, that's the deal. It matters little if your desired usage of certain words is lofty or lesser, they don't exist in our language and we must go elsewhere. You might think after all these centuries the words would have been invented. After all, the old pagan linguist guys did it; made up the words they needed. What's wrong here? Are we English speakers so prissy, so timid, we fear to create the words we lack?

And don't tell me the words are still couched in Latin so the professions can dialogue accurately. That's nonsense. My doctor speaks perfectly good English until he, too, runs out of English words.
You can pilot a jet into any airport on Earth using the English language but you can't (action we have no English word for yet) until the last (thing we have no English word for yet) is too
big to (action we have no English word for yet) !

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Gore Vidal:Tertiary Curmudgeon

There is much to admire about Gore Vidal as a writer and commentator on the political excesses of our way-of-life; that is not to say, our culture. He lived through a lot of it, knew many players personally and was an astute, if somewhat narrow observer. Now ,unfortunately, he seems to have gone all silly on us. His defense of Roman Polanski's rape conviction as Hollywood style anti-Semitism and the victim as a Lolita style hooker, is crap. His cavalier dismissal of the loading of a kid with 'ludes prior to anal rape suggests the phrase 'tertiary curmudgeon' may now be appropriate when applied to Mr. Vidal. The kid was 13, the mark 45, and everybody knew about jail-bait even in those be-knighted climes. Give it up, Gore. Kids were off limit then, same as now. Same reasons. We don't care about Errol Flynn's nice legs getting him acquitted, either.

A short history lesson is indicated here. Rock 'n Roll, once the 'smutty' amusement of black adults, in juke joints and late night parties, morphed into mainstream when the market was ripe. Teen demographics regarding numbers and affluence and the vehicle for delivery, television, encouraged a handful of execs and promoters, rife with lechery and venality, to exploit them for fun and profit back in the fifties. Six decades later, the rift is so great between the generations that the typical 12 year old is bored with viewing the 40th 'facial'. (If you don't know what that is, ask your kid, if you dare to.)

Kids today have total access to the most depraved portrayal of grown-up life imaginable. Surf the web for an idle hour and you'll will find the collective efforts of a zillion pornographers pumping grown-up versions of grown-up actions that must fill the wide-eyed youngsters with a most garbled idea of what we do nonstop in our intimate lives. License without responsibility is a sure recipe for disaster in any aspect of life. This is particularly true when it kindles premature appetite in undeveloped youngsters trying to understand the world.

Porn is such a bad teacher for the young because, as most women but not enough men know, the porn mantra is always, "Women never say no!". This is the worst lesson for young girls who must be taught they are charged with the dispensing of favors and boys with saying "Please", or a hundred million versions thereof.

Kids learn about, take an interest in, and explore their sexuality in fits and starts, much as they approach life's other mysteries. This is where they differ from adults who are more focused, more driven and more singular in their desires and urges. That is why the young are always at a disadvantage and must be protected.

If the current adult generation is unable to get down in the trenches with the young and cobble together at least the beginning of honest and open sexual dialogue; at the very least they can make sure the erotic education the kids get elsewhere, is realistic. Maybe, someday, a generation of grown-ups will appear who have left childhood behind and are qualified for mature relationships. These folks will surely eschew personal youth worship and mimicry. This presupposes adults who don't lust after the young because they are mature people who have peers who are interesting, finished products without residual wishful desires left unsatisfied in adolescence.

If we sincerely want to purge society of predatory grown-ups lusting after or hustling the kiddies, a lot needs doing. A good start would be to let kids be kids. What happens between kids, then stays between kids. No Humbert Humberts, whisky priests or randy school m'arms anywhere around them. But how to do it? How to raise a new generation of mature adults who got the kid stuff out of their systems when they were themselves, kids. It won't be easy but we can't afford another badly brought up generation. It's got to stop.

Someplace in time an Opaque Curtain was lowered between humans, their sexual selves, the greater society and nature. I suspect it was about the time the revealed religions came to power in the West. Any progress in improving the situation will surely cause organized religions, all of them, to fight to the death to retain control of peoples' sex lives, especially of the young. It's been their stock in trade from the onset. The strong, tradition enhanced arm of Law Enforcement is equally problematic. But still, it's worth doing. Nature went to a lot of trouble to invest our lives with the potential for ecstasy. Show some gratitude!

Don't be surprised if the doomsters prove right and our way of life becomes threatened, to see an unholy alliance between a home grown 'Taliban' of righteous-do-gooders and the overseas variety joining forces to save us all from ourselves. Not sure that scenario isn't the most chilling prospect ever imagined.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

boo, hisss-tory, boo

Just about everything important enough to appear in a serious historical study is disgusting. Spend a day with someone like the late, splendid, Arnold Toynbee as he details our sordid past in something like, "Mankind and Mother Earth", and see if you agree. Wear your high boots for the blood and gore run deep.

Start anywhere, with any culture, and it is the same. Conquest and mayhem, wars lasting decades and followed by others as soon as the stink clears. On and dreadful on, until this very day and again, surely, tomorrow. What becomes perfectly clear is that power and things predominate; scarcely a word is written about people, just plain folks, especially folks of the female persuasion. What's going on here? Can something glandular be at work?

History seems to reflect a selection process favouring one type of glandular secretion over another. There seems to be little in our past and present that is not about mankind skidding about on an exudated slime trail that is definitely not progesterone based. We are told that currently the number of male births slightly exceeds the female. If this was true historically as well, perhaps it was offset by female infanticide and perhaps females were selected based on a family history rife with male issue. A male offspring bias is seemingly operative today. Certainly this is true in China. Is part of the air quality problem choking Beijing caused by clouds of testosterone lingering about?

If agriculture was invented by females as is generally accepted; that new reality must have rendered the hunter class over-fed and under-unemployed. So for the newly idle guys, what to do with all that spare time? Well, beyond making babies that layabout bunch started to do stuff in a big way. (a)Get everybody else's stuff,anyway possible,(b) build more new stuff all the time and (c) kill people. That's what history reveals we've always mostly done.

This is in no way a tract for feminism. In no way do I support any of those self-righteous little isms/ists. It does, however, strongly support the feminine principle as equal and valid. If power and thingism, oops there's one now, are male proclivities, how about if we males take a seat in the back of the bus and let the ladies drive for awhile.

Let's just see where a few generations down a different trail leads us. A ratio of seven females to every one male for about a thousand years might be a good idea. Our track record could conceivably improve.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

That Good Greek Thing

Once upon a time there was a country sort of like our own; actually very much like our own. The people there were very proud of their country, like we are of ours. They told all and sundry that what made them special was that they had a very good system that really worked well and it was really the best of all.

They said it came from the old Greeks and everybody said, "What!". And they said not that, the other thing the old Greeks did, the clean thing, the good thing, that they all did...together. Everybody said,"Oh".

If pressed to demonstrate it actually working the people said , "You have to take our word for it because it's so great but we can't actually show it to you, but it's really, really great." If pressed further, they got a little miffed and said," Well it's true nobody around here has ever seen it working but back in the old days it was everywhere and worked great".

So now they go around the world telling everybody to quit doing what they do and start doing the Greek thing. And people grumble, so they say that if they start the Greek thing they will give them money and not be mad at them. So they do.

It's very confusing to people trying to understand what this thing is they are supposed to do so they are told. "Look, just take our word for it. It's good for you but we can't show it to you. So just do it". And then they show them the totem. This is the center piece of the Greek thing and it is a big deal. So the people stand around and look at this thing, which to them is just a box with a lid that has a slotted hole in it.
But no, they are told, it's the secret behind the Greek thing.

Here's what you do. On certain very special days, you take these papers with the X on them and stuff them into the totem through this slot. In the beginning, until you get to do it right, we will send one of our old sachems to watch you do it. Out of the box will come the magic name of your leader, usually the same old leader as before, who will tell you what to do until the next special day comes around. It's that simple and you get the money and we won't be mad at you.

And so they all say how smart those old Greeks were and they take the totems to use as storage for corn or grain or cat food until the next special day. If they do this long enough, the old sachem won't come around to check anymore and they can forget all about the Greek thing.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tell me, Please Tell me

Please tell me how one of the least materialist personalities in recorded history spawned the most rapacious, greedy, pillaging gang of thing-worshipping followers ever to ransack the planet? It is totally inconsistent for them to avow reverence and awe for this person, then ignore the most basic aspect of his life and teaching. But ignore it they have...big time, for a millennium.

What exactly is the convoluted process by which his simple ministry in the countryside, villages and small towns translates into great Basilicas and Crystal Worship Palaces covering acres of real estate? How exactly does his lashing out at money speculators for substituting gain for piety morph into digital conversion of our financial substance into virtual abracadabra that creates potential peons of one half of mankind? How do his adherents justify such theft? How can anyone profess allegiance to a sacred memory and while keeping a pious mien, ignore all he lived for...and died for?

Scarcely a square yard of the globe has escaped colonization or at best, visitation by his followers seeking conquest, loot or to proselytize the locals for future utility. Once the restraints, A.K.A the Romans, were eased and the numbers were bred up, the takings began. We have had almost a thousand years of mischief done with pious abandon just about everywhere. These incursions changed, modified or destroyed the way of life of a thousand different populations; many perhaps, superior to our own.

Is there a subtle transference at work whereby a "believer" intakes the essence of the beloved, as a kind of internal camouflage; thereby abjures further responsibility and then behaves as covetously as desired? Is this a license to misbehave as in: "He died for my sins", so I am free to carry on as I please or, "He was the epitome of non-materialism", so it's okay if I get a second car, clear cut that glade, slice up that mountain?

Perhaps an answer exists for behavior that is so exasperating. Why his followers who ought to be paragons of immateriality, are the opposite? They have, by example, shown other faiths and creeds how to do quite well instead of doing much good. Now the entire planet is being devoured as rapidly as possible. Well done, all ye humble faithful.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The USA: Is it a Racket? or/

Ponzi Was a Piker and 'The Recovery' Fell Off the Back of a Truck

Now the 'old' mob was very shortsighted. They made their mark in booze and shakedown schemes and shunned the 'er, pharmacheuticals, as too dirty; can you believe the naivete? With the new big dogs, the DC 'family', nothing is too dirty.

You can forget that guy in a cave with the long beard and his 150 Al Qaeda henchmen; and forget those pipelines down from the 'Stans, oil is so 20th century, we're in Afghanistan for the 'horticulture'. Pipe dreams are the future. Remember this, pal; and follow the dough.

To spare any stumbling over esoteric language we go to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, which is always right, well always handy:

A racket is an illegal business, usually run as part of organized crime. Engaging in a racket is called racketeering

And from the horse's mouth, the words of the most honest and forthright gangster of them all, Major General Smedley Butler, USMC, twice winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor:

"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.
...from " Common Sense"

Even the best schemes sometimes get sandbagged and this one is in some danger. We learned from Mr. Ponzi how simple it is to run a profit if the money comes in from the next sucker and that the trick is not to run out of suckers. Now the DC 'family' has a world of suckers out there and is in the printing business to make it look legit. This racket has been working real good until now. But there's always a spoiler. What's a legit counterfeiter to do?

This time it's a hedge fund. A good one, can't find any dirt, drat. These chumps could spoil the whole deal. They will sell you shares for gold! and get this, redeem them for gold too! Talk about rackets. Who would take our phony dough...oops, coin of the realm, reserve currency, mighty dollar, etc.etc. with this kind of unfair competition? Give me a break.

Just when we had the marks salivating for the 'recovery' that ISN'T COMING, at least in any recognizable form, these characters threaten a perfectly good scam. The nerve! Maybe the poor slobs will recover something after all. Damn. Damn. Damn.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

We're All Educated Here, Ain't We?

Unless a human person turns up who has been raised by wolves or apes we have to assume he was reared by other humans; therefore educated. Now semantically the root definition of this human condition from Webster's seems clear and simple enough, from:

educare. to bring up, rear, or train a child.

Today this simple definition has no merit in the eyes of the vast industry grown up in the name of education. This, from Wikipedia, is perhaps a more apt description of what occurs: is the process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated
knowledge, skills and values from one generation to another

This definition of education is also quite limited, specific only to that transfer of knowledge, etc. 'deliberately' transmitted by a society. It fails to include how all of us are, in fact, 'educated' by simply being alive at any time, in any human society. Alas, without the blessing of some form of a formal teaching mechanism having been employed, one is by definition; uneducated.

Scholastic education in the West in the Early Middle Ages had been parochial and confined to monasteries, later to Universities, and was for the fortunate few. Most others received knowledge, skills and values as they encountered life. Early universities were the province of ecclesiasticism. The franchise was expanded to include scholars and other 'useful idiots' and became training grounds for creating Gentlemen.

Compulsory popular education has been with us during our lifetimes and is assumed benign and natural although always enforceable by law when necessary. The modern 'cult' of higher education began after the Second World War. It was a huge success and now on some campuses both the University President and the Football Coach are millionaires. Under the G.I. Bill, hundreds of thousands of returning veterans were warehoused in schools until the economy created the jobs they were to fill. This was a quite reasonable expectation in 1945 as the country was awash in good prospect and, therefore, had realistic expectations of future prosperity.

In 2009 folks are again being bribed with government handouts to remain in or return to school. The jobs are not currently here for them but will magically appear in this withered economy in just a few years. This appears to be a cynical attempt by the authorities to offer hope where none is warranted and has little credence. Unless enrolled in courses in spinning straw into gold most will be wasting their time and be greatly disappointed.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Death by Green Beans

In May 2007 I purchased a 14oz. can of string beans in British Columbia where we were living at the time. The price was 79 cents at the Safeway. These were very nice beans, carefully cut in lengths to fit the can, along with water and a bit of salt. I saved the label from that can: Western Family. Choice Grade. Whole Green Beans. It also read Haricots vert entiers (French, it's Canada, remember?).

I not only saved the label, I framed it. Sits on a shelf to this day to remind me of when I first realized we were all done for; that the race was over and we did not win it. That can of beans came from China!

Yeah, yeah lots of stuff does. What's the big deal? Well, it struck me that although a can of beans is about as prosaic an item as you can imagine, it represents what has gone wrong lately. Now for this can to get on a shelf in a small town on the coast of British Columbia a lot had to happen to it. Somebody ,somewhere back in China, had to grow and pick the beans and get them to the cannery where they were cut to size and put into cans which had to be manufactured from stuff dug up somewhere and made into cans which the beans were put into, then cooked and labeled with labels on paper from trees goes on...and on.

Don't forget about the carton for the cans and the containership at the wharf and then a zillion miles by slow boat to Vancouver and than by barge 80 miles to our little town or else, by truck, which takes two ferry boat rides before arriving and going up on the shelf. Whew. For 79 cents!

If you're still with me, then tell me how, since Canada, the USA and Mexico all grow green beans and have canneries and are a lot closer than China, this all came to be? My best advise in situations like this is to recall the words of eminent financial pundit Richard Daughty, The Mogambo Guru,

"We're freaking doomed!"

Friday, October 30, 2009

We...the Inchworm

Modern societies make progress, if at all, much in the manner of the lowly inchworm.
This small creature makes its way by drawing its hind end forward while holding on with its front legs. It then moves its front section forward holding on with the rear legs.
In our society, the hind section could represent the more traditional, well grounded elements of our nature; the front portion is our more progressive, exploratory end. Far too often we, the creature, attempt locomotion without the portions working harmoniously. A scenario for disaster exists when the front and back ends bicker and quarrel and evince distrust as often happens these days.

The vanguard represented by the front end is constantly seeking new areas and novel actions without considering the stability or collective wisdom, even the very existence, of its conservative base. Conversely, that section, not sure of the direction it's being led, often instinctively holds back, fearing lack of foresight or wisdom at the front, thus retarding progress and harmony

This seeming dichotomy is the very nature of our society, and being the sum of our parts, is perfectly valid and natural. What is not valid is the malignant cheering sections that have formed around the opposite ends of our poor struggling organism. These massed collections of fans and detractors add little to the benign and wise nature of our journey through life, and are much given to chaos and partisanship at every move.

Please turn down the volume on this clamor and begin to quietly support the plodding struggle of a society whose destiny is only revealed by the inch.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Worst Money Idea Since Wampum

It is becoming clearer every day that the US dollar is in danger of losing out as the world's reserve currency. This privileged position has, since the late nineteen forties, enabled us to direct the destiny of the financial world almost at will. The collective voice of punditry now resounds with cries of the world headed for a 'basket of currencies' to replace the dollar.

This has got to be the worst money idea since wampum or those big rocks they used to use. No doubt this represents a boon for the basket weaving trade but think of the nightmare at the bank and grocer when making change. Now if say, a large 'basket of currencies' is 100 and change back is 40, that would require, what?, two 20 baskets, or four 10's. It gets cumbersome real quick. And those baskets, unless covered at all times are subject to capricious windstorms, playful kittens and the big ones with the handles, to the carelessness of perching starlings.

There is an alternative, however. During World War 2 airmen began to collect the local currency wherever they had duty. These bills were signed by friends and admirers, then taped together in long chains. They were called Short Snorters and were carried about at all times. Not being able to produce yours on demand occasioned being stuck for a round of drinks at the local pub.

Now isn't this much better than all those baskets? And as for making change, well...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Are Dawkins and Hitchens Haunted by Hellfire?

It's so sad. It really is. They both had such great promise when they were...younger. The aging process can create fear of what looms ahead and that frightens some of us; awfully much. Has it happened with them, I wonder?

We have two distinguished luminaries; one well known for scholarship, the other for... posh Brit speak? Both made significant marks early on; both now rapidly spiraling back from the 21st to the 12th century. Both seemingly riddled with the most appalling medieval superstition.

"Wait a minute", you say. "Hold it right there. Are you telling us the distinguished scientist Richard Dawkins and his side kick, the journo Christopher Hitchens, are both as superstitious as old village scolds? Giddoudahere!"

Well, anticipating your doubts I consulted my trusty Websters Twentieth Century, Unabridged, mind you, and here's the skinny:
1.any belief or attitude that is inconsistent with... what is considered in the particular society as true and rational...

Now today in Britain I would suppose 99.9% of the population (in the US even higher)
are believers, or at least nominal subscribers to some sort of faith which they consider true and rational. This is true of the rest of mankind and has been so since time immemorial. Not so with our hysterical friends whose ravings recently leave an ever so slight whiff of anti-brimstone all about. One could almost conjure the shades of an aroused, unbelieving rabble with pitchfork and torch.
(Nowadays, of course, closer to fondue warmers and really pointy swizzle sticks.)

Further along in my trusty Webster's lies a clue to the heightened rise in shrillness, and hissy-fit scourging of all vestiges of faith, wherever found lurking. A lapse into almost girlish histrionics at invocation of any minor deity. 'Militant Atheists',for Christ's sake, come on now!.

Perhaps this aha! moment with Webster's explains the recent explosion of anti-religious fundamentalism represented by our pundits:

Superstitious...overexact; scrupulous beyond need.

Having manifested as the secular equivalent of serpent handlers and tent-show Elmer Gantrys, these poor credulous souls have given atheism an even worse (is it possible?)reputation. Just what we need in these nutty times.

Thanks a lot,guys.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Not Humane Yet, Not Nearly

Religion comes from the beastly side of our nature. The need to pray and the urge to slay, dwell together. In thrall to baser impulses, we are at best a clumsy work in progress. A dubious link between the human and the truly humane; a messy bit of unfinished celestial business.

None among us living or dead is really fit to be called humane. The best and noblest among us is but a passive enabler of a species given to denial of future entitlement in favor of present utility. Notice the ones in those pictures with swollen bellies and flies on their eyes are never the mothers. We husband the breeders; forfeit the young...the future.

It has never been worse and that is because never before have we been able to take so much, so quickly, for use in the present; denying it to the future. Our legacy to the heirs, writ clearly and proudly, is, "You shall have nothing if we can help it. We are spending your Planet; go somewhere else". Maybe we'll overlook and leave behind something useful, something that doesn't take powerful machines to bring forth; that's doubtful. You will, future persons, if you are lucky, become scavengers, salvagers and junkmen, because we will leave plenty of that.

Oh yes, in the mix will be enough that is toxic and polluting to keep you on your toes, kids. Watch out for the things that go boom, plenty of that around. And if it smokes or fumes, stay away. Try to remember the word radiation, if you are still literate, which is doubtful. Trouble is you will need to know it in a dozen languages, bummer. Maybe that symbol with all the looping orbits will help? But with your primitive existence it's sort of hopeless. How will you deal with all those abandoned nukes without the same degree of advanced skills that created them in the first place. You're freaking doomed, guys.

Sorry if you too end up with big bellies and flies on your eyes. But we tried our best for your future. Really. Honestly. We did. Really.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Who Will be our Pallbearers?

Are there representatives of about eight nations who will willingly step forward if our Empire should perish? This question is not aimed at the multitude of avowed and/or closet enemies who will leap at the chance. That line forms to the right. Even you leftists regimes; line up there, no shoving. The country needs a few good men, women included of course, to ease our way into the afterlife reserved for failed super-states.

We have had our faults, no doubt. Don't get to be a big player without a little slung mud, a little slung blood too; who's perfect? But c'mon, Potter's Field for the USA? Don't do a Mozart on us. A little respect, pleez! Big sendoff expected. Let's hear from you.

What will it be like when we cross over? We need to be prepared for a large dose of reminiscing throughout eternity. (Latin and Koine Greek tutors welcome at anytime.) "We could have told you a Republic was a bad idea". That old chestnut will be heard in both languages, ad nauseam, better get used to it. And don't get those toga wearers started on Empire, whew. Ear benders, that lot, so don't lend one. (Some posh Brits, too. All that 'white man's burden' stuff, cheeky gits.) But they all got there first so they have seniority.

Eureka, we do have a friend!

The Al Maktoum dynasty in Dubai says it is honored to help carry the noble remains of the source of our inspiration in combining Disneyland, Las Vegas and Marina Del Rey here among the blistering sand dunes on the Gulf.

And another, we're not alone after all.

Our brave founders brought with them from America the nohow and burning desire to enslave the indigenous local populations and assure our dominance to this day. For this the ruling classes of Liberia thank you. Well done!

It's gratifying to have you both come forward and volunteer for our send off. It would be terribly discouraging to have lasted this long and made no friends at all.

There are more! Lots of sympathetic admirers out there it would appear.

For our Big Bomb the tribes of Pakistan thank you humbly. Let them try to take our Kush! We will be proud to help put you under, USA unbelievers.

Tiny, but strategic, Panama thanks you for having invented, then bisected us. Fondest wishes and best regards, el Norte, they say.

Israel salutes an old friend, supporter and enabler. Without you, we might all be working in a hookah factory or falafel bakery.

Love from Russia. We will miss our fellow comrade and klutz of the North. You thought our satellite countries were part of big Empire plan like yours, nyet, they were our moat. HaHa.

Well, this is almost a mash note. Strange bedfellows these two.

Adios from your secret friends. Fidel and Raul appreciate your unswerving hostility over the many years. Without you, old friend, we mightn't have lasted a fortnight. R.I.P

They don't make Empires the way they used to and that goes for despots as well. Takes one to, well you know how that goes. The King and the twenty thousand princely nephews and prince ling cousins thank you and the camel that brought you here. Yours in oil, The Saudis.

Finally, enough volunteer pallbearers on record to insure a decent send off should it happen. We hope the prognosis is wrong and all the nay sayers eat the raven. We're good for another hundred years, at least. Right?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

America as Collateral Damage

It's a damn shame it has to be this way. It really is. If there was another way, but why dwell on it. Maybe a vestige could remain? Something, not anything like a Republic, of course. That's pure sentimentality; not going to happen.

There were good things, to be sure. A kind of fond hope, promise may be too strong, that seemed kinda ...nice, comforting. You know, it lasted a lot longer than any of us ever thought it would. The idea of the nation as a Republic. But you have to be realistic about these things. If you start to reminisce, look out, that's a slippery slope. Gotta be firm. Good basic idea, or not, the USA has simply gotten too expensive to keep alive any longer. Good money after bad, you know the drill.

Of course, we all thought, well most everybody, that the old familiar devices we had in place would see us through; last a lot longer. Really seemed promising; couple of wars going...not biggies, but profitable. Always worked before. But the boys, and they are boys you know, bunch of jackass MBA's got playing around with serious money. Those kids, a lot of them from good families, old families too, turned out to be a frat-rats and nerdy jocks, and yet we let them handle the dough. Jesus, they screwed it up, royally. Can't be fixed. So we got to shut it down. Whole damn country. Pity, way of life gone for good. Ah, me.

But that's life. Thank heaven there's enough money that is not at risk and not involved in the mess to keep us going. We'll have to be resourceful and cautious until
we can scope out the parameters of our new reality. It'll be a tad messy I'm afraid. Lots of people are left out, but in a class war, and that's what it's been all along you know, there's always a risk of collateral damage. Still, it was a nifty idea, a Republic here, never worked anywhere else but well...we gave it a good try. Don't you agree?

A lot of sore losers keep saying we turned it into an Empire. Duh? What else is new?
And how come it took those smart asses so long to figure it out. Mexican War, War with Spain, about a hundred and fifty years in the making, c'mon, geez. Maybe it was a tad short of inevitable, but lots of historical road-signs pointed the way, Prof. Ah, wishful thinking, works every time. Empire about shot, too. Now that hurts.

Alright, enough hindsight. Now the big guys are not going to want to waste a lot of money. Troops are needed here in the homeland so we'll shut down business in the Mid East for awhile, bring them home for policing. After we settle down the trouble makers, could be a lot of them, we'll try to find a way to feed everybody. They'll like that. Then when it's quiet we'll explain the nice, simple future we've planned. Hope they like it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dead Money

Half of the real wealth in the US and most of the rest of the world is entombed in dead money. What we get from the teller or change at the market is for the most part zombie money. The difference being the money at hand, the zombie money, is borrowed money, borrowed from the future. From the kids and grandkids, actually. We should thank them daily for their largess.

Even despite being spectral, hallucinatory, and futuristic, it is , of course, spendable. And that's all most of us care about. So what's this dead money business all about you may wonder? Dead money is the real wealth, actual bought and paid for bucks, euros ,yen lying around by the ton in the bullion vaults, blue ribbon investments and hedge funds cons of the extremely wealthy that produces, long pause.... nothing but...more money! Since the extremely wealthy few, several thousand families hereabouts, own half of all real wealth; if they just sit on it, it grows and grows's still dead. To the world.

Lost in the land of wealth, the zombies are too confused to envy the dead. They wander about in a zombie daze pretending their zombie money is wealth. 'tisn't, 'tis it? It's delusional and fit only for the living dead, which includes most of us.

So what happens if the dead money remains that way. Nothing good. And that goes for the bunch who own the real wealth, too. Zombies, as we know from their many screen appearances, are nothing to trifle with. Proclivity for living flesh and all that.

So spread the word to all your fabulously wealthy friends and neighbors to stop squatting on it. To get with it and spread the wealth to create more real wealth, not just more green papers with old guys on the front. They know what to do and how to do it. Just need a nudge in the right direction. Tempus fugit.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What Would You Pledge?

...for a world free of human slaughter. A planet without murder. Now this novel concept does include goring a few sacred cows to be sure. It means no capital punishment for any crime no matter how fiendish; including treason. And goodbye war...and self defensive. Yep, that too. No appeal to lawyerly pleadings and no jingoist bleats either. If you come upon a terrible accident scene with people in great distress and no hope for recovery can you help them to expire and ease the suffering. Nope. No mercy killing. And no suicide or abortion either. Forget manslaughter, homicide, crimes of passion, all gone. Plus infanticide, suicide, fratricide and all the other 'cides'. They're out. It's an absolute ban and unbreakable taboo on the taking of human life if you go for it. Haven't we heard all this before, you say?

Think it sounds familiar? It should. Only about the middle Commandment on the Greatest Hits of all time commandment list, though. But the most egregiously
violated of them all, wouldn't you agree? Consider the corpse count of the late, great, 20th century. Over a quarter of a billion snuffed out lives and still counting in that benighted time span.

Okay, the "World Against Murder Pledge Drive" is open. Keep in mind a firm commitment requirement. If you're in, you're in. Sorry folks, no reneging here, too important. I'm waiting for that first pledge, don't be shy. Nothing coming in from America, what's up with our fair weather friends? Give it up for the sake of everybody else, guys, you can do it. Well, something coming in from the Far East. Viet Nam. They're willing to forego all future attempts to reach, so called, first world status and live as if still a pre-colonial community. Great offer, folks. Real class. How about hearing from some Euro types? Ah swell, Bulgaria, close enough. To guarantee that mankind forswears the taking of human life forever, Bulgaria will immediately treat its Gypsy families as first class citizens. Good show. Go Roma! That is a mighty big gesture on your part, Bulgarians.

Washington on the line. You won't believe this friends. The USA will forego policing the world. The Americans are turning in their uniforms and turning over a new leaf. Wonderful. And going back onto the gold standard! Lots of folks will sleep better tonight. That's one of the big guys, friends, how about you others. Come on BRIC, you other giants. Brazil...Russia...India and China, let's go!

Here's Canada now, not willing to be outdone by her neighbor. Oh, that's huge, what a sacrifice. Canada will fill in and grow over the biggest, smelliest, most polluting eyesore on the planet. Yep, the land of the Maple Leaf will cease operating that Athabasca oil sands monstrosity in the Province of Alberta! So big it can be seen from space. Very generous, guys. That's impressive. Ottawa feels it is worth every cent to have a new start for us all.

Little, but really wealthy, Switzerland checking in. Oh my, they are retiring the last of the notorious banking 'gnomes of Zurich'. From now on only garden gnomes for us they vow. Cool! We know how tough that must be and we thank you and our money thanks you.

Finally, one of the BRICs. China has pledged to cease at once attempting to resurrect out of steel and aluminum the glories of the Middle Kingdom. Henceforth, all efforts will be toward it's vast wealth being employed more productively for humanity.

We're nearing our goal, folks, a few more pledges and we can kick out murder for all time. Cuba. What's up on the island. Wow, Cuba pledges to stop trying to overthrow the U.S. and do what it does best from now on. Namely, supplying the world with well trained doctors and nurses and supporting the arts like no other country. Yeah, Cuba.

Another BRIC on the line. Brazil. A big one, this could be it! Yes, yes, Brazil puts us over the top. Unbelievable. The Brazilians have volunteered to surrender the rights to the upcoming Olympics, stop cutting down the Amazon forest and ...give up Carnival! Truly noble, folks. Well, you've done it. Goodbye murder, hello Brave New World. Make it last, you hear? Signing off now....................... .

(Late pledges always welcome. Leave yours here.)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Legacy of the Murder Ape

Human beings are unnatural. Nowhere on the planet, maybe nowhere in the universe, can be found another aware creature that slaughters its own kind. All of recorded human history is rife with mayhem and homicide. Pre-literate cultures such as the Maya and Aztecs have left behind evidence of ritual blood-letting on a grand scale. Nothing to compare with our heavy duty modern ordnance carnage but pretty good for early butchers using only stone knives.

We started off doing each other in with sticks and stones and increased the gain as we acquired the skills; but have we made an advance as a species? Or do we do what we do because we are the weakest kid on the block. We were the 90 pound weakling pushed around by everything in the jungle. But we got the smarts one day and were able to fight back.

With the smarts came the ego. It came and came and came until it lighted up our brains and drove out any lingering jungle smarts. (Like street smarts, the jungle variety are innate, useful and basic.) All the other beasts have it. We're unnatural; we don't. Or if we do, it has a Z class priority and is easily ignored. Having learned to kill but still being basically a weakling species; we kill each other.

I know, I know, not all of us do it you say. Really... how about killings done in our name or with our tacit approval? No point in listing all the ways it's done for us, everybody knows a whole bunch. Each of us has our private scent bag around the neck wafting abattoir stench up a wrinkling nose.

Is there a cure for what ails us? We could start the search by eschewing the preference for things over people. Might help. Got enough stuff now to last until doomsday which might be around the corner if we don't get with it. The primitive societies take the murder route too, so looking to them for guidance is not helpful. Nothing noble there; plenty savage, though. But the problem then, as now, is mostly about getting and having things. Hunting and fishing rights, prime territory, nubile ladies...the lot. What is gained in pursuing ever bigger, grander things and greater constructions if murder is in our nature and homicide our vocation? Why the pretense of any higher calling?

If we spent a fraction of our time, our interest and our effort, seeking ways to keep from doing murder, we might be successful. It would mean giving up our singular quest for stuff but it would be novel and who knows, we might learn to like it. Maybe, in time, not killing folks might turn out to be almost as much fun as offing them has always been. Let's try it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

through a glass ...starkly

Alas, after generations of happily peeping out at the world through rosy glasses the country is beginning to suffer the effects of age and pathology. Our vision is failing. What formerly was a seen clearly, with just a tad of wishful thinking, is now becoming distorted. We can no longer see the reality of what lies before us. We have developed a bizarre form of national macular degeneration.

Our collective eye on the world resembles a computer screen where scores of pixels are black and only bits and pieces appear normal but clump up at random.. We can make out parts of the picture, sort of, by squinting and straining but only in fragments and then, just barely. If this happened to an individual, it would be off to the eye doctor post haste.

But a society is less amenable to criticism and more defensive about failing sight.
So this debility manifests in strange ways. A case in point being the War on Terror. Viewing a map of the middle east through pixilated vision gives our war lords odd views of the enemy. The pixels reveal a cave in Afghanistan and an intersection in downtown Baghdad, not much more can be seen by our leaders. Aha, they cry. The enemy must be in a cave somewhere or else over there in Iraq. In go the troops, people get killed and the pixels line up elsewhere. Maybe Iran, squint, squint. See anything in Pakistan? Having trouble with the big picture fellows, keep looking. But,alas, all they see is little pieces of the big scene.

How to pay for all this never ending scouring of the planet looking for evil-doers? Check the balance sheet. Whoa! These pixels are a real mess. Can't find any cash and everything is in red ink. Big gaps on Wall Street and what's the treasury balance? Anybody here read Mandarin?

Okay, whew, a few bucks left in the vault, let's make sure we are energy independent again. Sick and tired of pretending to be friends with all those creeps to get their stinkin' oil, anyhow. Let's see the charts. Turn up the lights. More light. Can't make head or tail of these energy sheets. See a bit of Texas, not much oil left there, some gas though. An old nuke plant in Pennsylvania, that's good, oh, oh, short life span remaining. AH, Canada. Old friends and true. Oil sands in Alberta, what a mess! Geez. Thought they were neater than that.

It ain't easy trying to see the world clearly with skewed eyesight. Wonder how long this has been going on. Old age and faulty vision has a way of playing tricks on "the folks with kaleidoscope eyes." Sorry, Beatles.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Waiting For the Overture

The Thomas Pynchon character, Ethelmer, said of Plato in "his 'Republick',-'When the Forms of Musick change,'tis a Promise of civil Disorder.' " How accurately Plato's vision seems to trace the history of our Republic. Evolving taste in music appears to have repeatedly anticipated devolving events on our nation's horizon.

Back in the 1830 and 40s a growing anxiety over the expansion of slavery was reflected in the tunes of the day. " Bless Dat Lubly Yaller Gal", "De Boatman Dance"and "Little Topsy's Song" were the choice of sheet music buyers and on the lips of many. What society may have been anticipating was the tension building all around that culminated in 1846 in the War with Mexico. This calculated aggression added huge chunks of territory but was divisive and led to sectional rifts that simmered for decades.

Minstrel tunes inspired by Black bondage flared up again in the culture but began to be mixed with patriotic airs in the years leading up to the election of Lincoln and the secession of the South. The range was startling from; "The Female Slaves Lament", " Poor Old Slave , "Poor Uncle Tom", "The Aristocratic Nigger" to such rousers as; "Our Country Now Is Great and Free", "Stand by the Union" in 1850, " Our Union Right or Wrong" in 1857, "The Flag of Our Union" and "Honest Old Abe" in 1860.
Were these popular renderings harbingers of the trouble that ensued as Plato opined?

After the cessation of hostilities the Nation began reconstruction and looked to attain a greater place among the nations of the world. The public favored a lot of nonsense music as always: notably; "Father's a Drunkard and Mother Is Dead", " Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay!",and "A Hot Time in the Old Town". But towards the end of the century a new idiom was appearing. With roots in Cake Walk and Coon Song airs and John Philip Sousa rousing martial themes, "Raggedy-Time " was born. Heard everywhere were "Harlem Rag", "Tickled to Death" and the infamous, "All Coons Look Alike to Me", which sold a million copies.

Jingoism came into the mix soon after with "Shout the Battle Cry" in 1887 and then "Our Country" in 1890. After the sinking of a battleship in Cuba, the War with Spain was on and led to "My Father Was a Sailor on the Maine" in 1898. The war was notable for acquiring vast territory and, among other things, the systematic slaying of tens of thousand of Moslems by our forces in the Philippine Islands. Ragtime matured with the publication of Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" after the war and kept the public's attention until the onset of the "Jazz Age".

The 20's did indeed roar. The dances, the booze joints, Prohibition made it all so daring, went on non-stop. From Chicago the big innovators of "Hot Jazz" poured Eastward to New York where the reception was sizzling. Jelly Roll Norton, Earl Hines and the perennial favorite, Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, led the way. It could scarcely have been believed the culture could intuit anything dreadful over this glorious horizon.

Alas, the party was over in 1929. The Great Depression dampened everything and was followed after an agonizing decade by World War Two. The planet was torn apart until the end of hostilities. Then the fifties. "Your Hit Parade" had provided the musical menu for two decades. It was bland fare but all ages gathered to share what "Tin Pan Alley" had to offer. Enter now rock and roll. Borrowed from an unsavory past it was corny at first, Rockabilly bubblegum music, but then: Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and big drum roll , Beatles and Stones! And then, Vietnam for ten years. Bummer. Metastatic change in popular music is just too darn prophetic.

Here's were we stand now. Starting in the late 70's Rock 'n Roll eased aside to make room for Hip hop and rap. The early rappers like Grandmaster Flash, DJ Hollywood and Lovebug Starski turned on a generation and swept the nation. An amalgam of ingredients linked performance poetry, scat singing and funk with talking blues and the spoken word. Always lurking in the mix was that old trickster, the "signifying monkey", to keep things from boiling over or growing stale.

We can't know for certain if this metamorphosis anticipated the series of adventures in the Mid East that have occupied the nation for two decades but it does follow a pattern. With no clear resolution in sight, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan remain to haunt us.

What will be the nature of the change in musical form that promises the next disorder and when will it appear on stage? We can only await its hearing. Meanwhile our future may be thrashing about in utero waiting for the overture to begin.

Friday, September 11, 2009

We have always been a right wing plutocracy

(What? Nobody ever told you?)

Oh, yes. It started even before we were officially a Nation. In 1786 in Massachusetts, Daniel Shays, a veteran of the Revolutionary War was, with many others, staggering under crushing debt and high taxes. Facing a possible turn in debtors prison (fine old Dickensian holdover, wasn't it?) Shays led a revolt of impoverished farmers. Patriot lawyer Samuel Adams wrote up a riot act suspending Habeas Corpus and the militia put down the protest, killed a few, hanged a couple. The people were up at bat for the first time.

_Strike one._

Several years later another handful of disgruntled veterans of the Revolutionary War (sound familiar?) living on the frontier in Pennsylvania and ignored by the elite back East, eked out a modest living making whiskey. To pay debts to bankers for war costs heavy excise taxes were levied on their product. They revolted. The militias were sent in and they, too, lost.

_Strike two._

"A reign of witches", Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State under George Washington, aimed this jeremiad at Presidents Washington and Adams. This honorable duo were convinced our young Republic was so threatened by the French revolution and the Democracy it championed, they wanted war with France to stop it.

Jefferson was further appalled when the Alien and Sedition Act was passed and enacted. This early piece of fear-mongering legislation was father to countless future acts designed to make certain democracy remained a rousing slogan and little more.

Among the immediate results of this passage and the suspension of the Bill of Rights, was the arrest and prosecution of opposition newspaper editors. Armed mobs attacked the offices of the Philadelphia Aurora and presses were destroyed. Criticism of our fledgling government led to the ultimate sacrifice for the young publisher, Ben Franklin Bache. Benjamin Franklin, demonstrably the most sincere democrat of the founding clique, was his grandfather. Alas, Poor Benjamin's Legacy: trivialized in history books as that quirky old dude with the almanac and kite. Take that demos!

_Strike three._ The game is not going well for the folks, so far.

Enter now President Thomas Jefferson who wrote, "What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." Apparently he was not referring to his own blood as he sat out the war at home in Monticello. He managed to serve two full terms as President without vetoing even one single bill of Congress. Tom owned 600 slaves; denied suffrage was the due of women and men without sufficient property. Still he is regarded as the best friend the common folks ever had. Those were the good days; it got worse.

Six years after Jefferson retired again to Monticello the Seminole Wars began, ushering a non-stop series of ethnic cleansing, land grabbing and gunboat diplomacy that continues to this day. It made next to no difference which political party was in ascendance, the march to power was assured. For two hundred years, Democracy- for-all leftist humbug, masking a heavy rightist plutocracy, has clanked forward, scarcely hindered by popular outcry.

The reactionary elements plaguing us today differ little from their anti-democratic ancestors. We have seen consistent disdain for the masses by the political class from the very founding of the Nation. Populist efforts have been tolerated as Loyal Opposition in the best of times: trivialized if considered annoying at other times; scurrilously demonized or worse if threatening the status quo at any time. Democracy has always been a kind of show pony to gain the good opinion of the nations of the world. Like a backward relative only trotted out to show our compassion. You can't be seen as top drawer if you are known to beat the hired help.

The goal of the ruling class has long been to keep everyone from learning the true
plutocratic inclination of our government. It wasn't as easy early on to weave the spell of a benign democratic proclivity in light of atrocious actions occurring all around, but it was done.

In those early pastoral years, aside from blazing political oratory, street corner pamphleteering and billboard plastered barns, only the press was available. The struggle to convince us we were a democratic society and not the product of a rightist and enabling leftist cabal, was never easy for our masters until the powerful electronic media that came in with the twentieth century. Now it's a cinch.

We are able now to fight two wars simultaneously, station troops at hundreds of bases around the globe, provide third world quality health care and educate millions for jobs that no longer exist and, borrow the money from our rivals to accomplish this. All the while professing it is done in the name of the people; hailed aloud as democracy in action, and meaning it! That's the kicker; we really believe it all makes sense.

Would our perception of ourselves be the least bit different tomorrow if the NY Times and CNN announced the following? "Congratulations. You have accomplished the first citizen sponsored, democratically produced... World Wide Empire, in history."

_Game over._ The People forfeit.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Murder Ape

They had it all. Living in a sylvan place that provided beauty and plenty and that was rare in the universe, they thrived and expanded. Nature and circumstance had been generous to the folks back then and life was good. Other creatures guided by surest instinct could not venture beyond the tethers keeping them locked into place or habit and this hobbled most novelty and mobility for them.

Not so with us. Our early ancestors, somewhere along the line, had lost their fur, their estrus and their fear of fire. Fortunate genetic twists had provided access to unlimited carnality coupled with a bare and luscious epidermis for increased pleasure. But instead of becoming artists of sensuality and connoisseurs of ecstasy similar to our distant cousins the Bonobo apes we morphed into something tragically different; the murder ape.

What went wrong? One of our prized possessions at the time was the mastery of fire. This enabled protection from the elements and provided a way to deter rivals or intruders but, alas, it also had a down side. Our ancestors had become highly addicted to the taste and aroma of cooked flesh. Lost in history is the exact source of the haunch, the chop or internal organ that was the source of the deadly proto-prions they were ingesting with dinner. In pregnant women fetal development was influenced by these warped proteins the eating of meat had unleashed into their systems.

The effect was devastating. A marked incidence of the failure of the fetal skull to knit properly because of brain swelling caused repeated miscarriage. Fortunately a few hydrocephalic newborn survived if the mother was able to deliver successfully. This saved the tribes from extinction but the results of this aberrant brain growth has haunted our kind ever since.

The large-headed, swollen brain offspring with this sinister brain distortion were the ancestors of us; the murder apes. With this physical transition the door to the past, the golden age, was lost forever. The onset of a burgeoning self awareness and increased intelligence gave a significant evolutionary advantage but again, there was a cost. Because of enlarged frontal lobes ready access to the instincts which guide the lives of normal creatures was gradually rendered forfeit. The newly arrived ego screamed for attention. The former natural instinctive balance, our primal monitor of conflicting urges and impulses, became almost regressive because of this new ingredient. And so it remains, an elusive remnant sending helpful guidance signals mainly ignored in the resultant cacophony of ego.

Instead of a well balanced, sensual, somewhat privileged primate we now have a naked, lustful, highly predatory but self aware creature lacking a firm rudder with which to steer through life. A creature who, unlike other super predators, the wolves, large cats, etc. had lost the instinctual intra specie restraint exhibited by such powerful others. We had become instead vicious and blood-thirsty towards our own kind.

This is the sad story of how a simple addiction caused a promising primate family to become a planetary scourge. The taste for cooked flesh, unhappily laced with bent or folded protein, led to fetal brain swelling. Those not aborted had a damaged brain which contained a fierce predatory nature and a massive ego function This novel brain addition screamed so loudly for attention that it over whelmed the sounder instincts of the creature. Without this guidance our species became far less admirable than an ordinary wolf pack.

We had become and remain still, the murder ape.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

"times they are a changin' ", not really

During the Civil Rights Movement an oft quoted bromide was:
Whites in the North say of the Blacks: Come up but don't come close.
Whites in the South say: Come close but don't come up.

Now it seems as if the quote should be changed to:
Whites in the North and the South: Don't come close, don't come up.
Racial segregation has morphed from enforced to voluntary in four decades. We no longer have the specter of "Whites Only" signs, cattle prods and fire hoses but something else has taken their place. Something light years more subtle, just as divisive.

I believe it started with LBJ's Great Society shuck. The powers that be had no intention of creating such a utopia but wanted to "keep the Blacks from rising". By proffering the Civil Rights agenda one obstacle would be removed from President Johnson's "Guns and Butter" scenario and maybe the cities would no longer burn.

The first, and to my mind greatest, error was that school integration was to be accomplished by compulsory busing. This, as LBJ himself was heard to say, will cost the Democrats, the South. The loss has haunted race relations to this day. A natural constituency of Blacks, the Democratic South, was gradually forfeit and empowerment given to hordes of rabid reactionaries. If the Congress had a little foresight and enough gumption to resist LBJ regarding the effect of such coercion on a multitude of reluctant citizens, it would have died in committee. Instead a "gazillion" bus miles have been traveled only to find the kids still huddled in comfortable homey enclaves even at university level decades later. They are also less, rather than better, educated.

Busing has been used historically to give remote or rural kids access to school. That's not where the problem lies. I grew up in a city in New Jersey during the forties when students from the townships were bused in to the central high school. City kids who lived at a distance caught metro buses at discounted fares. It all worked. That included the black and ethnic kids as well. De facto geographic segregation existed in the lower grades but not at the high school level..

Wherever it's being done solely to foster integration, busing hasn't worked as intended. However, it's still not too late to bring it to a halt, then begin


Phase out those thousands of big yellow buses, their drivers, maintenance and insurance costs and put the money saved where it belongs: quality of education. Double the salaries of the best teachers where hazard duty pay is indicated and stand back as the lines of eager applicants form.

Let voluntary desegregation and actual integration begin, finally!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

That Dreaded T-- Word

This missive is directed, aimed, launched, at a select few. No names, mind you, children may read this. Or Them. They might read it. You know who I mean. Anyone else but thee and thine. Wink, wink. Get it? The sans culottes, have-not's, your worst nightmare, them.

OK, they're out of the loop, it's just us now. Listen up, there are two ways to approach this thing, the hard way and the harder way. Now the harder way first. This involves the dread T-- word, notice I didn't write it down. Children, remember? That's the harder way, then. But you're smart, can read and write and do simple sums so you understand. So the other way, the hard way involves the less dread but still loathsome R--k word. There, it's all out in the open. That's the deal. Make your choice.

Keep in mind that a few of you, you know you are, have been flooding the place with some hellish, hmmm...ordnance, politest way I can put it, for about fifty years now. With that in mind, on the last go-round, '29 to '39, remember, the bad old days, those benighted peasants were like babes in the woods back then. Not any more, guys. They've been blooded by WWII, Korea, Nam, that new bunch of MidEast horrors, on and on ad nauseam, and those guys don't fool around these days.

All that hardware you sold is still out there. Oiled and ready. So what I think is, the hard way is the easiest way. Take the R--K. Don't just sit on the dough this time. Put it to work before the, C-n-r-ss, decides to go the T-- Collector route. I know, I know, you'll fight them to the death but think about it. You got fifty percent of everything now and it's no secret ,so what makes you think you can keep it locked up indefinitely? That's a no brainer.

First of all there are simply too many of them. Lots and lots more than ever before. We talked about the heat they are packing now but keep this in mind: improved, way improved, communications; mobility, they've been to the moon and back, right, and the biggest, biggy, no such thing as loyalty anymore. Who ya' gonna trust? Which hired goons are the ones who will turn on you and become your worst enemies out there on those lonely islands you have staked out for yourselves?

So avoid the dread T-- Collector, (he will be getting his new instructions one of these days and it will be your turn to pay, anyway), get smart and turn it loose; the loot that is. Best insurance you can buy is the great unwashed asleep and contented again for a millennium. Cheap at twice the price and who knows, you might make a dollar or two while you're at it? R--k it, dudes, r--k it!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Global Warming War

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The Castaways

Cargo Cult...from Wikipedia
...cult members worship certain Americans, who brought the desired cargo to their island the spiritual entity who will provide the cargo to them in the future...
prophets of cargo cults maintain ... foreigners have gained control of these objects through attraction of these material goods to themselves by malice or mistake...
Cargo Cult Capitalists

They pace for hours searching the horizon, waiting... hoping. It's their common lore, their very DNA calls out to them that the ships will come back, laden, oh so heavily, and it all will be as it had once been. A time of plenty. Masters once more of the universe. Wealth and power such as these natives sons once knew was their due. But time weighs heavily each day as they roam the shores, searching, dreaming.
Ritual chanting is heard above the murmur of the waves, "Maserati, Donzi, Rolex, the Dakota...Maserati, Donzi, Rolex, the Dakota...Maserati", endlessly... piously. It seems to help.

On the beaches and at the spas along the coast, north to south from the Hamptons to South Beach, the tribes gather each dawn. At times the loss seems overwhelming but each lives with beautiful memories...of plenty. And the dreams, oh the dreams. 'Back in the Market, again. Another chance. One more big killing, just one.'

This time it will be different, they know. This time it won't be lost. Yes, mistakes were made. But by others, always those others. Our tribe was innocent, well mostly. It's true there was excess. Excess caused by everything happening too fast and by bad information and bad timing. Yes, the timing. When to plunge ahead and when to hold back. How much to bet but...nothing was said about risk! Who knew? We were innocents. School was no help; not there to learn anyway. The MBA was for the networking, always the networking. Wonderful bunch there at school, we thought alike! Hmmm.

We were sold out. That's it. Those tribes on the other coast knew it was happening and never warned us. Unfair! Sold us out. They saw the bubble. No, no, not the South Sea Bubble, our bubble. Started there on the other coast, didn't it? Those other tribes who thought they were so clever. Made billions didn't they, with all their high tech gadgets and puffed up real estate. They knew it was coming. They saw the smart ones pulling out years ago. Took the money and split, didn't they?

Excited now. Lapsing into tongues..."CD' CMO'HBO'IBO'CDO' CD' CMO' HMO......", chanting and foaming, awfully sad to behold. On the beach,future doubtful. Sure to be different. Way different. Any way to game it? Hope so. Can't lose hope. Can't. Someday...


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Waking Up is Never Easy

"It's not easy being a minority; it's worse being a Native American, a remnant."
...Zero Gravitas
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------In America-everyone, minorities, people of color, the poor, the disabled, all women and all non-alpha white males are the underclass. Which is something of a miracle in a classless society!

But we've done it. Pulled it off. For a short time it looked as if this would not happen but the American Revolution was won and it was decided. We lost. Property and privilege won and the folks were stiffed. A little noise at first; a few citizen rebellions here and there, but the troops were sent in and that was that. For two hundred years.

But why complain now? What's done is over. We're the best Nation that ever existed, everybody knows that. Don't they? We have been told this over and over. So, of course we are. Number one! Numero Uno! But I haven't heard that said in a long while. Hmmm. Why do you suppose that is?

Oh well, maybe we're not classless but we're still classy, right? We don't owe a dime to anyone and can hold our heads high throughout the world and,'s still August 1985 isn't it? Still a creditor nation. Big time, right? Admired by all the lessor breeds. No. Oh! My bad. Must have been a dream, I'm OK now.

So maybe we're not the top dogs we thought we were. Maybe a few big shot white guys run everything but they're doing a good job of it. They aren't? Since when? Oh, the party's over and the place is a mess! I don't like this reality one little bit, the dream was much nicer.

Okay, so we're all second class citizens pretending otherwise having been lied to forever. What do we do about it? Start another revolution? I don't think so, didn't help the first time. If we continue to look for guidance in all the wrong places nothing will change. Time to stop listening to all the old stories; the lullabies keeping us swaddled in infantilism. We need a new vision, one based on who we really are and where we really fit in the universe. No more pap. No more lullabies. We've all got to stay awake, that old dream is over.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Maybe It's Crazy Glue?

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
John F. Kennedy
We are slowly coming to the realization that the glue that holds it all together is drying up and losing it's grip. For over two hundred anxious years we have told ourselves that we, among nations, are unique. That elsewhere lies the "old-country",the great unwashed, those "lesser breeds without the law", and the hopelessly out-of-date.

This glue helped us to tame a wilderness, destroy one people and enslave another, fight our innumerable wars for property and/or money and made us rich. But it seems to be drying up folks, starting to let go and peel away at the edges...slowly, now faster.

The American Myth is the glue that binds us when all else is failing. But if we no longer believe the stories and legends, the sensed rightness of all that we are and do, does that mean they delaminate and fail? Or will new myths pop up to replace the old? Happened elsewhere, lots of time. Early Japanese Shinto v. Buddhist traditions, Fourth Century Rome, Berlin 1930's, come to mind. Got to keep those stories coming because, alas, No Myth...No Nation.

Now it's been a hundred years of ever improving propaganda from print, to radio, to movies,-TV and lately the web that have provided generations of slick liars and earnest boosters a high podium to dissemble and reinforce the American mythology. All terribly effective; sell soap, and sell the stories of nationhood with the same voice.

But they oversold it, folks, big time. Got caught up in their own success and went over the top. And now, finally, people are slowly, ever so slowly, waking up to the Big Lie.

We are not unique, never were. We are not all good and wise and noble. Too many pictures, too many reports have surfaced of too many nasty deeds done in our name all over the place for too, damn long. Too much money sticking to the hands of too few of us and too many lies about why that is. Folks are not as ready as they once were to drink the cool-aid or believe the half-truths and absolute fictions ever so slyly promulgated; about why things need to be this way.

On some level, mostly subconscious at this point in time, Americans know the game is up. That the powers that be are not leveling with us. The information sneaks in stealthily that everything is different from what we are told. That things will not be returning to what we've known in the past... ever.

All sorts are wild and bizarre statements and actions will be the new norm for the nonce. Without information free from spin and slant people will thrash around for guidance and direction. A lot of this will be frightening for many, certainly unpleasant, but not unexpected after several generations of disinformation serving as truth. Anything we are told these days, particularly on the very best authority, best forget it and keep digging around. Somewhere beyond the noise is the truth. So suck it up, friends, a new day is here and what hope there is will come from our own wise instincts of what's best for us.
" Nothing will see us through the age we're entering but high consciousness, and that comes hard. We don't have a good, modern myth yet, and we need one."
Robert Johnson

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rich Homies Start to Chill

or do they?

The extremely wealthy among us are incredibly, almost intransigently, ignorant of how things came to be the way they are for them. Their ignorance is a luxury we, and they, can no longer afford, as it could result in the downfall of us all. It's difficult to determine if naivete or hubris has contributed most in rendering this exalted class nearly uneducable in a contemporary sense. Perhaps this bizarre form of social deprivation is a direct result of living in a Golden Ghetto, within a miniscule gene-pool, in a informational cull-de-sac,with similarly afflicted peers.

(We are known by our friends so you should have been more choosy about those you hang with, homeboy.)

What has happened is that, once again, the few who have so much of everything are panicking and are sitting on the loot. This has occurred plenty of times in the past, remember 1929, so how can they be convinced it is not in their own long term interest to give in to this money panic... again?

The actions of a few thousand families, who possess so much, say about 50% of all private wealth in the US, by panicking and drying up their vast resources are forcing all of us, by way of our government, to make up for the loss by desperately spending what we don't have now and may never have.

How can the wealthy be convinced it is counter-productive to give in to their fears and shun the many in distress. That without the support, indulgence and protection of countless others one turns out to be powerless, vulnerable and mortal. That there was no place that was safe for long even in bucolic early nineteenth century France. In today's wired, speedy and heavily armed society depending on distance and hired help for protection works in theory only.

Picture if you will the wealthiest individual you can bring to mind. Imagine his day beginning badly with the failure of his chauffeur to arrive as scheduled and the piqued search for a hire car or taxicab to take him to the airport. Imagine further the distress caused when his personal airplane is not available because the flight crew is not on hand. Thence the sullen quest to book an alternate charter flight or, perish forbid, fly commercial. Quelle bore!

Now these two incidents, although somewhat vexing, are not enough to disturb the composure of a reasonable, albeit highly privileged adult. But arriving at his attorney of record, a generational retainer,and being ensconced with underlings in the absence of the trusted principals; well, this really begins to take a toll on our candidate's good humor.

His day is further stressed by learning there of a potential money dilemma and finding his financial advisors are not making themselves available to him This is starting to be seriously annoying because never, ever have so many combined to thwart him so in his desires or needs.

None of these incidents have made significant inroads into his psyche as yet. Nothing that has happened has altered deeply the processes that result from years of privilege and a legacy of entitlement. What happens next does however.

A message from home advises him of perceived distress and requires his presence as soon as possible. He begins preparation for a return home not terribly concerned because a very reliable security force has always protected them all. However arriving at the front gate he finds it unattended and locked The ever present security person is not ever present so he must leave the car and make his way to the house afoot. Not a small undertaking since the house lies at almost a mile from the gate.

He learns from family members that his security force has bolted en mass to a nearby estate at double wages because of additional protection needed there. He decides to not further alarm his kin with news of his distressful day as they are very fretful, feel vulnerable and are looking to him for assurance.

One by one the props and familiars he has always known and taken for granted are
falling away. He begins to realize he alone stands between his loved ones and the world and he feels for the first time in his life... very, very ordinary and very, very mortal

He is also for the first time aware of the role played by fawners, toadies and ambitious enablers in his life. And how they, and they alone, made his life what it had always been: privileged, unexamined, barely tolerated by the masses and surrounded by equally deluded peers. We'll leave our chastened imaginary tycoon now, with this heartfelt plea.

(Give it up, homie. Venture from that Golden Ghetto. Be cool! You can do it.)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Email From Olduvai

I'll start this from the beginning as best as I can recall at this late date.

It had been a hellish month in the Olduvai Gorge. Not only was it that season which was rough on everybody but strange things were happening all around. Even after most of the mating was over everybody was still acting weird. Not normal. Hard to get a handle on it, sort of stunned, like having a slight sunburn, but on the inside. The feelings lasted a long time.

Anyway, things slowly got back to normal: making stone tools, throwing rocks at the nosey hyenas; the usual. But things felt different somehow. Like outside forces had been at work and not the usual ghosts and spirits that are always hanging around.

Of course this passed with time and it wasn't until months later, nine months actually, that all the bizarre things came to pass. The babies started coming. If it had been only one or two that were weird, the hyenas would have gotten them. But babies are hard to come by, even strange ones, really strange like these were. Hairless, most of the new lot. Starkers. Like they were turned inside out. No fur at all to speak of. Like baby rabbits, or rats. What on Earth!

What to do? Can't feed the entire crop to the beasts. Besides the mothers were frantic. " It's so cute, in it's way! Don't harm it!", they cried.

So that's how it all started. The kids, most of them anyway, survived. Grew up but...
were different. Something was lacking. It was like they had no good sense. Anything that happened to them presented a problem. Didn't seem to know naturally what to do. Might run from a frog but stand in front of a lion! No good sense at all. Not like kids are supposed to be. And the questioning. Pointing quizzically to the rain, the sun, dead things! On and on and on. And the noises they made among themselves! Never heard anything like it.

And it takes them so long to grow up. They couldn't do at ten what the older kids could at four. But they're smart little buggers, the lot of them, in their way. Just not able to stay out of harms way. No monkey sense at all.

But the worst was yet to come. When they reached the time for that season. It never happened. Worse yet, oh the shame, it was, the girls you see, doing it any old time...can you imagine? Just had the boys all agog...and the older men, well! I am sure you understand our dilemma. The older women were frantic. These fur less females were the scourge of their existence. How can we get the men back with this unfair competition from these strange new sexy kids with all that smooth skin?

That was the problem with the girls. With the boys it was another matter altogether. They all became fire bugs. You know how dangerous that stuff is! Well, these kids treat it as if it was child's play. But they don't need to worry about bursting into flame. Those fur less showoffs! They don't go up in smoke like we do. Those kids started eating all kinds of things that they half burn up. (I will say many things are quite tasty that way but who knows what all this fire business will lead to?)

What really annoys the elders is the smart alecky attitude they have. Now we all know the correct way to make a flint knife or a scraper, we've only been doing it since forever. But these kids have a new way for doing everything. Believe me, it's causing a lot of friction these days.

The new ones have too much energy. Way to much. If they had to spend the time and energy we do chasing madly about during that season instead of just laying up together whenever it suits they wouldn't have so much pep and vigor left over. It doesn't seem fair.

Lately, a lot of the new people are beginning to wander away from here. I wonder how far they think they'll get? What makes them think there is any there, out there, anyway? The rest of us are staying right here in the old Gorge, thank you very much.


Quoth the Raving



Julius Caesar

Veni,Vedi,Vici...Sidi ( I stuck around )

Uncle Sam


....Zero Gravitas

Quoth the Raving

All I know, all any of us know, is what we're told.

...Zero Gravitas


Quoth the Raving

If it walks like a depression, talks like a depression, and looks like a depression; it's a recovery.

...Zero Gravitas

Nice paint job

Nice paint job
Watch your step!

Quoth the Raving

Full scale War in Korea; we called it a Police Action
Police Action in Iraq; we call it a War.

...Zero Gravitas


Gene Pool?

Gene Pool?

Quoth the Raving

Ecology is an impending Black Swan quagmire therefore incorporation is anathema to Economists.

...Zero Gravitas


Quoth the Raving

An incoming US President who does not immediately resign his office after having received eyes-only briefings of what's really going on is hopelessly co-opted or delusional.
....Zero Gravitas

Quoth the Raving

We are now a nation of middlemen. What becomes of us if the center cannot hold?

....Zero Gravitas

Quoth the Raving


Why not use some of the red ink to make things Green?

....Zero Gravitas

"Ashes to Ashes"

"Ashes to Ashes"