Tuesday, August 31, 2004

NYC IMC: home

Looking at the Razorwire RSS feed from NYC IMC it appears that, although there have been mass arrests, that the Miami model has largely failed in NYC, and that, to me at least, the probable reason is the much more large scale local organizing that appears to have gone into the RNC protests as compared to the Miami ones.

This is good news.

I base this on what appears to be the fact that although there's a huge police presence in NYC that the cops haven't been able to shut down the protests at all. They've repeatedly cleared areas but new protests are happening everywhere, it seems.

Be that as it may, getting arrested violently sucks no matter what.

GOP's Far Right Not Thrilled About Being Left Out by Frank Cerabino

Now this is an example of the sort of journalism we should be seeing more of.

Not simply saying "Oh, everything's bad, won't you pay attention please?" but instead giving the opinion of the author based on the knowledge that his readership is 'in on' anti-Bush sentiment and you don't have to explain things from the bare base over and over and over again.

It's an enjoyable piece, and I don't say that lightly. Most of the informative pieces that I read online or elsewhere are dry as dust and I really would rather not be reading them except for the fact that that's how I get my news. Not this one.

He's writing for the Palm Beach Post and so is from Florida...I wonder if that contributes to it...

I'm sure that living in Palm Beach or West Palm doesn't endear you to the Bush family, having possibly lived through the heart of the election scandal (that's where Buchanan, who's said that he admired Franco in his earlier years, got the Jewish vote) and seen the worst of it.

Or maybe Florida is just like that. North Florida, where I lived for 2.5 approximate years, sure is, at least in the lefty circles.

Anyways, it's a good article and I hope that more people start writing stuff like this---stuff that has meat to feast on and is neither blatantly insulting nor stupid in how it treats its subject.

Opinion done right. Yes, it's a good thing.

NYC IMC: New York City Rises: The birth of a movement led by people who live the issues

Excellent, excellent article about one of the many and varied protests going on right now in New York. The name says it all.
Commercial Alert:Krispy Kreme to give free donuts to kids who get As


Wow. The byline is "Should give free insulin and syringes too".

It's always strange when you see the worst case scenario come to light; you sort of blink and can't really believe what you're seeing.
And what do you do then? That's been the perenial question for the last four years because obviously the worst case scenario coming true doesn't automatically lead people to get pissed off.

Back to the kids.
At least it's not...Krispy Kreme?

Michael Moore gently caresses Republican genitals

Hey, if Republicans are so great why don't you join them?

Human Cost of Iraq War Erodes Support for Bush

Which features a quote by Karen Hughes saying "Even when it's right, it's diffifult. It takes a political toll", which makes me think....

You know what, we get the political system we deserve, in a sense.

Here's Karen Hughes talking about the war and its effect on political support for the President like she's in some philosophy class, when the transparent self interest invovled in the Iraq war couldn't be more obvious.

One political figure, whose name I can't remember at the moment, explained the difference between the American political system and continental European ones by saying that in Germany they have philosophic debates about policy and law on the parliament floor but in America people in government just get the job done. The debate on the Congress floor is totally practical.

Well, no, we don't debate philosophy on Congress' floor---and maybe that's why we end up with self serving politicos whose commitment to self interest couldn't be more obvious if they came out and said "We're in it for the corporate donors".

Karen Hughes' tone and philosophical sheen to the Bush administration's war in Iraq is so absurdly hypocritical that it makes one realize that if she was really thinking about the Iraq war in the terms that she's implying that she is there would be no Iraq war.

American government isn't serious about the finer points of politics---the ones that other countries think are at the heart of what's important about their systems---and it shows in the utter contempt that they have for serious discussion of politics and the utter contradiction that a statement like Hughes' has with the obvious reality.

Give me one philosophic argument for Iraq and I'll take this back, but I don't think it's coming anytime soon.

We don't really give a fuck, beside the occasional patriotic pseudo-justifications, about how honestly and properly our government works and that's why we end up with people who use it just to serve corporate and moneyed interests.

You get what you deserve, in a sense.

Ireland and France.

The more I find out about Irish culture, and it's just one of those things that I happen to be finding more and more about, the more I start to see paralells with French culture, French culture coming out of the same Celtic framework as Ireland.

It's very odd but very interesting.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Iraq Success 'Catastrophic': Bush

Ah, the logic of our President. We have a resistance in Iraq to our occupation because the war went so fast that less soldiers were killed than expected. These soldiers are now taking up arms.

Gee, if more people had been slaughtered I'm sure no one would be resisting now!

Don't you think?

Dave Zirin: USA Basketball in Black and White!

I sort of take issue with this article.

This blog celebrated, and still celebrates, the victory of Argentina over U.S.A. baskitball.

What I noticed in all of the U.S. teams that I watched, in white members and black members, was an overwhelming arrogance which made me happy when they lost. Yeah, gold chains, fancy clothes, tattoos, sunglasses, the whole sha-bang, white players and black players were equally guilty of wearing or possessing them while the rest of the world chose to express themselves in more humble ways.

And the conduct of the U.S. teams when they won was deplorable as well. Sportsmanship all around was bad on the U.S. side.

About the U.S.A. basketball team? When I was watching it I saw them take out their anger at having lost to Argentina by smashing an Argentinian player in the face with their hand in what looked like a very intentional foul. I saw them play rough and mean.

What a great example of sportsmanship! You lose, you beat 'em up.
Doesn't matter if a person is black or white, that's wrong. Doesn't matter if a person is black and does it, that's wrong. Either way it's very American.

Hey, here's an idea: the Republicans want to exploit the protests for their own benefit; instead of saying, "Well, yeah, they're going to exploit them so let's not protest", maybe the Democrats could point out how the Republicans are wrong in demonizing protesters and protests?

Hmmm...





The Apparat -- George Bush's Back-Door Political Machine

Sunday, August 29, 2004

CodePink

This is the spirit of things. Instead of buckling under to the intimidation against protesters and the sentiment on part of the left that people shouldn't do a damn thing because in some unknown way it could jeopradize the election, Code Pink has decided to institute a "peaceful police officers" incentive program.

Bloomberg, the rich asshole who bought the New York City mayorship, instituted the "peaceful protester" program which goes like this: if you sign a form saying that you're going to be a nice boy or girl you get a packet of discounts to places like the Museum of Sex and some cheazy restaurants.

Code Pink has struck back by insituting the "peaceful police officers program".

And it's fucking brilliant. It doesn't give ground and it engages the state in a funny and creative way.

And it explicitly makes fun of those who say that only sticking to the silver thread bredth of the official straight and narrow is the proper way to go about exercising your fundamental right to protest.
Alexander Cockburn: Zombies for Kerry

Good section on Arundhati Roy dissecting NGOs. I think that the resistance to capitalism should be lead by mass organizations that are self funded and not beholden to anyone. That's how they do it elsewhere.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Oh, and I love Santa Cruz. This is in reference to the anti-new age article that said that Santa Cruz had triumphed over Beijing.

I like Beijing too, from what I know of it, since I've never visited, but you know that Santa Cruz thing really cut me.

Katha Politt's Nation article

Mentioning Smirking Chimp.com

"Actually, I too bridle when people start talking about Hitler. It sounds naïve and overwrought. If the Republicans really were Nazis, you wouldn't be holding this magazine in your hands."

Yes you would. The Republicans haven't decisively taken over yet and so at a paralell period in time the Nazis wouldn't have been able to institute absolute censorship. It's to prevent you from not being able to hold the magazine in your hand that we rightly compare them to Nazis.

Justin E.H. Smith: The New Age Racket and the Left

Holy fuck.

Someone with the same style as me, but who has unfortunately not e-mailed me....

The New Age racket and the Left.

Hmm...

Well, if it's anything to you I'm a sort of occultist/pagan myself and in fact see paganism as the next step in getting past post-modernism; or at least a next step.

Post-modernism leads into a return to ritualistic forms.

"If I had a dollar for every ace I've dropped..."

I happen to believe in crystals, believe in Astrology, herbs, many things.

I can in fact do a mean Tarot spread and probably read your chart.

The author mistakes the fashion of New Age for the substance.

I've met people, actually, who, at first glance "fashionable", actually know their shit really well.

There's a whole sort of unpublished history of Christian/Judaic/Islamic libertarian esotericism floating around in my head, one which is based on original research in academic libraries.
So, the Holocaust happened. Jews were killed, they were excluded from society, forced into concentration camps, all it. Why did it happen if there was significant integration of Jews into European society in the early part of the 20th century?

I think that persecution like that is a hazard that comes with diasporic societies. The Armenians were much like the European Jews in the Ottoman Empire; they were spread out all around and they migrated to labor which was skilled in order to survive. I've heard that this is a common strategy with exiled groups; what's a better way to survive than to make yourself essential to the society in which you live. Well, after the Ottoman empire was dissolved the Turks committed genocide against the Armenians and the logic of it was eerily similar to that of the Holocaust: Armenians were suspected of secretly supporting the Communists in Russia and were considered disloyal. Why? The same sorts of arguments, I would guess, that were used against the jews. They weren't accepted fully by the society and in a bad time were suspected of supporting the enemy.

Chinese in southeast asia are also a diasporic community; they also occupy positions of skiled labor, consequently I remember reading that in certain places there have been anti-Chinese riots and persecution.

Diasporic communities aren't easy; the Gypsies provide another example of the same thing.

Possibly another contributing factor to the persecution of the jews is that while most of Europe got political rights in the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries, jews weren't fully emancipated until the mid 19th century, so that while the Enlightenment was still going on there were still anti-Jewish laws on the books.

So Jews were not initially included in the waves of political liberation which swept Europe, and when they were there was little history of tolerance.

During the middle ages communities were set up in paralell: in the Christian part of the community the Catholic Church ruled theocratically, in the Jewish part of the community the rabbis ruled theocratically. This works if you live in a medieval society---I'm not saying that there wasn't any sort of discrimination, but at least their was a sort of similar idea of what the communities had in common.

This was broken by the Enlightenment; I'd make the argument that a lot of the Enlightenment was just secularized Christianity. Now you have a situation where one group has gone off on a secularized but still implicitly religious angle and another group hasn't. When that group is freed and integrated into society what are they supposed to do? Adopt Christian ethics in a secularized form?

The so-called insular-ness of jewish communities might stem from the fact that they had their own ideas of political organization and community values and when emancipated didn't want to participate in a system which claimed to be inclusive but which neccessitated implicitly adopting another group's culture in order to survive.

Nationalism is in a sense a distorted way of saying something very simple, which is that people have a local culture and appreciate it.

When you pervert that by saying that there's something over and above the local culture, some sort of overarching idea which defines you, and combine it with secularized christian ethics, then you're basically saying to jews "OK, this is the way it's always been but now we're using it as a force against you instead of trying to cooperate".

By pushing nationalism as something separate from what's always been the case and by pushing modern politics as separate from what's always been the case I think that people persecuted others for nothing. Nothing that hadn't been or couldn't be dealt with in another way.

You feel a certain way about a group; fine; you combine it with some sort of overarching idea of group identity and suddenly that way turns into something which it shouldn't.

Why the need for integration at all? Couldn't people effectively integrate as is without needing to conform?

Anyways, some modifying thoughts to the previous post.
Jewish oppression prior to the rise of militant anti-semitism in Western Europe.

With all this talk about the 'rights' of the jews to Israel and of their being no other place for them to go to besides some new foreign country a little truth is in order.

Before militant anti-semitic organizations rose up in western Europe what was the status of jews? In Russia the quetsion in pretty easy to answer since there was real murdering and persecution of the jews through pogroms, which, incidentally, is why there are more Russian jews in America than others---because they were fleeing very, very real persecution.
In western Europe you had a person of jewish descent as prime minister of France---Leon Blum. You had a person of jewish descent as the architect of the Weimar Republic in Germany-Friedrich Ebert.

You had a scandal which brought anti-semitism to the surface in France in the late 19th century---the Dreyfuss scandal, which brought out extreme amounts of popular support for jews in France and in fact made inclusion of jews one of the pillars of French Republicanism of the Radical Party variety---the party which assumed power in the French government in the late 19th century and, among other things, established a real line between Church and State in France once and for all.

The German Empire was not only not anti-semitic, jews were able to marry into the aristocratic military upper classes.

And to top it off, before they had an alliance with Germany, Fascist Italy had several jews as top members of the Fascist government and several jews as members of the Fascist senate.

So, ok, let me get this straight, jews were accepted enough in most of western Europe so that they could become prime minister of France and chancellor of Germany, a jew could become prime minister of England, as Disraeli did in the 19th century, Sigmund Freud could live in peace in Vienna even during the burghership of a man who made anti-semitism a part of his official propaganda---but didn't actually carry out at all---sort of on and on and on and yet jews were so persecuted in Europe that the only alternative to their endless discrimination was to invade Palestine, kick out the Palestinians, and establish a 'Jewish Sate'?

Hmm...

Doesn't quite make sense.

Yes, the Nazis rose to power and the Holocaust happened but I thought that the arguments for the establishment of a jewish state weren't based solely on the horrible persecution endured in the thirties and forties but on this huge centuries long history of persecution which supposedly presented no other way that jews could live and not feel oppressed.

If, indeed, as I'm arguing, turn of the century Europe presented those opportunities, presented a way for jews to participate in European society as full citizens without official discrimination, then why not pick up where things left off before the Nazis came to power and try to build a Europe which includes the jews, why invade the middle east and establish a westernized country for no reason.

And there is no reason.

If jews could live in Europe as full citizens before the Nazis came to power then this whole argument of jews never being able to achieve equal status in a gentile society is a total lie, a total joke. And, by extension, the argument that only by establishing an ethnically and religiously jewish state can jews actually participate in society at a full level, is bullshit as well.

Oh, and what about America?

Is America chopped liver?

I don't see too many jews being deprived of participating in society because of their religion and their heritage here, so doesn't that fact sort of kill the "Israel is the only alternative" argument right there?

If gentiles will never allow jews to be equals then why are there so many prominent jewish politicians who have been elected by gentiles?

Hmm?

Doesn't that indicate trust right there?

Or am I just not making sense.

I thought that oppression had to be something utterly proveable and not a fantasy concocted in the minds of people who walk around utterly free most of the time.




Gandhi Heir Urges Palestinians to Adopt Non-Violence Tactic

Palestinians say fuck off.

Suicide bombing is a deplorable practice.

But, gee, you don't have to be a suicide bomber's family or sympathizer to be shot in Israel. All you have to do is to be a little kid throwing small rocks at an armored Israeli tank.

So take non-violence and shove it.

It's a good day.

Argentina has just won against the United States in basketball.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Garrison Keillor lays the smack down on Bush

When Garrison Keillor starts attacking you, you know you're in trouble.

Something just occured to me: not only are the authorities concerned because I do this site, but they might investigate people who visit this site.

That's really cool.

That's so fucking cool that if I had proof that someone was being investigated for visiting my site I'd frame it and put it on my fridge.

Of course it would suck if they really got in trouble, but it would still be cool nonetheless that the authorities weren't concerned just about me but about the types of people who read the content that I put out on the web.

Imagine.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

And, ah, Detroit, if I don't stop reminiscing I'll never get away from my computer.
If you want to find an excellant, top notch, book store check out Book Beat in, shit, is that Oak Park? It's located between 10 mile and 11 mile on Greenfield Avenue which is right on the border of Southfield and Berkeley. Greenfield Avenue is the big street right after you get through downtown Berkeley going west. So, take Woodward down to 11 mile, make a left, take 11 through Berkeley, then make another left on the big road right after it, go down a few blocks, maybe a mile, and it'll be in the shopping center right across the road from the big radio antennas. It's on the corner of the thing and says "Book Beat" on it but besides that looks, from the road at least, like any other store.

It's run by the guys who do "Destroy All Monsters", which is a really cool and interesting avante-garde noise rock band. Only they started doing it in '79, I believe.

Best book selection in Detroit, if you want my opinion.

And, if you want some good food, go up Greenfield avenue past 11 mile to Sweet Lorraine's, if it's still there.



I mean, there are problems, like, it floored me when I moved to Oakland county that in Auburn Hills, which is one of the working class areas of Oakland county near Pontiac, they had a German-American Shooting Club, with it's own building which was crested with a stylized German eagle. But I wonder how much of that would go away if these people had some other alternatives to a shitty working class life. A better working class life might help a lot.



For Detroit to really get back on its feet it would have to include the white workers from Macomb county, the black workers from Detroit, and all of the working class folks who live in Pontiac, Southfield, Dearborn, all of the little suburbs downriver, in civil society. And that's something that the powers that be aren't willing to do.

You look at the elite publications serving what Detroit has of a civil society and a civil discourse, and by elite I don't mean like "Foreign Affairs" but rather alternative publications like the Detroit Metro Times, and pretty much their coverage of things is devoted to Oakland county.
The papers, when something is going on, always seem to think that it's going on in Oakland county. The news is a little bit better but no one watches the news to get anything beyond shock value in Detroit.

I love the Metro Times, I think that it's an excellent, alternative newspaper, and yeah, they do try to broaden their coverage and really are at least on the side of 'working class detroit', but still, they are an elite publication.

The people that read it are those 'in the know', and those 'in the know' are mostly better off people, young and old, living in Oakland county.

I don't want to get into it because I actually know people associated with it in one way or another and don't want to go off and hurt their feelings for no reason, but, in a perfect world the Metro Times would be coming out of Macomb county.


Oh, and the duality of the situation of Detroit.

On the one hand you have the Detroit area, which is poorer, unplanned, has little or no services, and on the other you have the University of Michigan, which is one of the best schools in the country.

Guess who goes to the University of Michigan?
The sons and the daughters of the people who run Detroit.

So it's not like the Detroit area can't do anything positive, it's just that it's not allowed to.
Detroit is a funny place.

Thinking about Detroit, I'm tempted to say that, yeah, Detroit's a shithole, although I lived in the Detroit area pretty much for most of my life. But that's not exactly true.

Detroit, ok, on the one hand it's the home of the most active and militant union movement in the country; they've won some big battles and have been able to provide their members with a higher quality of life than pretty much anywhere else which is comparable in terms of size etc... but, on the other hand, Detroit, and by Detroit I mean the tri-county area, has few social services for a city of its size, has much lower investment in infrastructure, has less public transportation, less equality.

Much less equality, both in terms of class divisions and in terms of internal racial divisions that were caused by intra-class conflict.

Blacks live in Detroit, white workers live in Macomb county, the people who own everything live in Oakland county and they don't come in contact all that often.

So, the situation in Detroit is that, yeah, this is a town where the workers got a lot of control but it's still a town where they had to fight every inch of the way for it and where the workers themselves ended up divided.

Detroit was a pure company town for decades; immigrant workers, whether from overseas or from the South, moved their and basically had their lives dominated by the companies.

The unions changed some of it but the whole area still has the cast of a company town: no investment in anything except what makes money.

The companies really don't care how the people who work in their plants live, and the political system is set up in such a way that the people who work in the plants can't really radically change how their towns work. I say towns because outside of the city Detroit is a network of little towns and suburbs which have grown together into one solid mass, but which still have mayors and city governments and all that jazz.

So, is Detroit a shithole?

Well, it's not all that different from towns like Pittsburgh or Buffalo which are in the same position: dominated by one industry, which doesn't give a damn about the people who work there, with people themselves having little power to change things.

Yeah, the Detroit area isn't exactly a nice place to go to unless you're from there, but it isn't the fault of the people who live there, not of either the blacks in Detroit itself or of the white workers who live outside of the city, it's the fault of the large corporations who built it up to the minimum standards to keep their workers alive and then abandoned it.

You think Detroit is bad now you should picture it if the unions hadn't done anything to try to change it.
Yeah, I mean, duh, why didn't I realize that sooner?

You know, if only I hadn't had my ice cream stolen by another kid when I was four I'd never have been concerned with inequality or democracy!
Spammers are fun.

They sent me a bunch of stuff with titles like "I need a Teddy Bear" and stuff along those lines.

Whenever I get people who do that I remember something Bill Ayres said mockingly: "Yeah, something bad happened to me as a child, that's why I got concerned about civil rights".

Uh-huh

I can just picture the Texas trooper explaining how Max Cleland's letter didn't get delivered:"Well, ya see he came here with this letter that was, how da ya say?, critical of the President, and I wanted to deliver it to him, I swear I did, but the little guy just kept on scootin' his wheel chair around and wouldn't let me get near the darn' thing! I don't know if he really wanted me to deliver that letter at all."

"He's really mobile"

Yeah.

Michael Moore.com : Mike's Message : Mike's Latest News


I have to say one thing for Michael Moore: the fact that he's been able to reach so many Republicans and turn them against Bush is testimony to the authenticity of this new revival of the left. They would never have done that if we had just been liberals or democrats. We've been saying for some time that this stuff just makes sense on its own terms and isn't partisan at all, except in the sense that it is a series of arguments and you're always going to disagree about particular arguments, and, hey, this has proved us right. The reaction to Fahrenheit 9/11 being 'this'.

Incidentally, I wonder what people in places that use the Celsius measure think of the title.

If I saw a movie come out of England saying Celsius 13 degrees or something I wouldn't know what to make of it.





Oh, the guy was a Texas state trooper or something who, ok, was called by the Bush administration once they found out Cleland was either there or coming.
Bush runs from amputee

About Max Cleland being unable to deliver a letter signed by nine members of the Senate asking Bush to stop the attack adds on Kerry's war record. Cleland is a triple amputee, and he got that way in Vietnam.

What's really funny is the excuse given by the Bush people's head security guy:"I tried to accept that letter and he would not give it to me," said Patterson. "He would not face me. He kept rolling away from me. He's quite mobile."

Ok, are Republicans so out of touch that they actually believe someone would fly from Georgia to Texas, then drive out to Crawford, with this letter that the nine Senators want delivered, then go up to the Bush house, and when they got there evade the people that you'd want to deliver it to, especially if you're in a wheel chair? What would be the fucking point?!

He's pretty mobile....yeah, that's why
Jon Stewart couldn't have made up something better.
Hey, just a little heads up here....

If any legitimate leftist group in San Fran wants me to come and give a talk about the issue of their choice I'll be able to come down....

And do it anonymously, of course.
Philip Cryan: Uribe's Boys

About the death squads in Columbia.

Listen to this: they not only want the government not to do anything about them they want the country to thank them for protecting it from becoming another Cuba.

The right wing has balls a mile long.

You massacre some villiages, kill a lot of women and children, and you want the government to thank you for it.

Oh, and we finance them, by the way, so in a way the death squads asking for thanks are a little bit like GW asking for admiration for being such a fucking decisive leader in making this country a police state and starting two useless wars.

Same mentality.

Just a South American instead of a Southern accent.

In regards to the e-mail function, I'll quote that girl from Saturday Night Live's Coffee Talk... "Talk amongst yah selves".

Hey, made some changes. Now you can e-mail whatever post you want to whomever you want!

(changed the time zone too, to pacific time, which is where I actually am...)
Winter Soldier/Summer Soldier.

That phrase comes from a poem by Tom Paine referring to the fact that it's easy to be a summer patriot but when times get tough, that's when the test occurs.

I say this in reference to the articles floating around the internet saying that if people who are protesting the RNC 'act up' (my quotes), while not saying what exactly that means to them, then Bush could win the election.

Acting up in my experience, to these folks, can mean going to central park and participating in the non-permitted rally. The point isn't what people actually do because in reality the amount of things that happen at these protests, like vandalism or property destruction, which are against the law, is really small. Really small. People latch onto the idea that lefties are violent etc... in order to push their own agenda, which is go to all the permitted marches, don't sit in the streets and block traffic, don't do civil disobediance of any kind, don't have signs which are insulting to the president, don't play music on improvised drums, don't have the wrong slogans, you know, basically don't do anything except what the police tell you to. And the police aren't out there saying, "Well, we have to stop property destruction but we won't pay attention to any of this other stuff---you folks are free to do what want as long as it doesn't really cause trouble". No. The police want to shut down any demonstration whatsoever. Period. Legal or not. And remember that in this case legality is just a matter of a permit.

Not marching without a permit isn't exactly the same sort of offense as actually destroying something. So......disobediance to that isn't exactly the same sort of crime.

It's not like you're going to go to hell for marching in an unpermitted march.

But these folks, oh, after being so militant during the run up to the 2000 election, after protesting Bush's inauguration in force, are suddenly saying nope, can't do a damn thing even though we did the exact same things four years ago because this election is too important.

Too important to exercise our fundamental right to protest. Too important to be unsightly in the eyes of established democratic operatives, or their new recruits from the part of the left that's now entered the democratic party with the insane idea of changing it from within.

So this is how it plays out.

I see.

This is how it works: protesting during a democratic administration, when the stakes are low, is Ok. Protesting someone that you really dislike and whose policies you despise is not OK.

You know, people have produced so much, just in sheer volume, of anti-Bush t-shirts, stickers, etc.. playing cards, mocking the administration, there are tons of sites out there that belittle the president in article after article, but the people who consume these things aren't willing to actually protest the party that produces the source for their anger?!

Come on!

It's too easy.

It's like a fucking drug, or like TV.

Hate Bush, make fun of him, experience your little private dissent in the safety of your home, just like it's a game or a show, but when the reality hits and you can do something about it by participating in an unpermitted march, no way!

That's the mentality.

Just bitch but when you can make your voice heard through legitimate means, don't do it, and not only don't do it but speak out against people who are in fact doing it.

Unbelievable.

What is this, some fucking TV show or life?

Is Iraq just something that you like to bitch about with your friends or a place where people are actually dying?

Read a book, buy some playing cards, but by no means protest because that might get him elected again!

Since when did these people become slaves to Republicans?

When?

Because that's what they are. They're letting the Republicans set the tone instead of trying to set it themselves.

And throwing away our democratic traditions in the process.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Read this blog in reverse to follow it. Especially on things which are controversial like immigration. I often add qualifications and clarifications later on, but if you don't see that then you might not get what I'm saying.

MoveOn's new youth candidate initiative....

which aims to turn progressive young people into candidates.

I think you can see where this post is already going.

Frankly, the last thing we need is people offering a way for young activist types to circumvent the real world even further and instead go straight from reading No Logo to running for city council.

I fit into the youngish activist type myself and looking at young people today, there're unfortunately a lot of activist types from priveleged backgrounds who need to do some field work, i.e. live a working class life for a while in a working class community, before they really get it.

But the tendency is for people who just understand things symbolically and have a lot of money behind them to parlay that symbolic understanding into looking on their resume like some sort of real experience.

I don't think young people should be candidates for anything; I think they should work, either in doing real activism or getting more acquainted with the real world.

Maybe after they've gotten some experience, sure, be a candidate, but how much money you want to be that the first person the MoveOn group sponsors and win will be some preppy from a rich family who, like, is interested in global justice and local politics whose read a few books but has zero qualifications beyond his family having the money to support their little darling in his little election.




Technological Romanticism.

I like it, even if Herf doesn't.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

It's somewhat hard to communicate the importance of this shrine which we've just damaged to people not familiar with Shi'ia Islam.

As a good citizen I know a thing or two about the groups that we're killing right now. I doubt that many other people care but, well, that's them.

Picture this: say Jesus had a tomb, and we damaged it.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Just thinking out loud.

I sometimes wonder what exactly people expect me to do. Well, let me clarify that, I sometimes wonder whether people expect me to just go into some corner someplace, lie down, and pass away or what exactly they expect.

Why?

Well, as readers of this blog can probably guess I don't exactly have opinions or interests which are in any way shape or form related to what the prevailing notion of what 'life' in America is about. Not America itself but just in general....life...

This is somewhat of a disability in that so much of American life depends on being on the same wavelength as others, and if you're not, well, it can be sort of difficult to survive.

I'm alive, I plan to be alive for quite some time, and I have to make ends meet. I have to have housing I have to pursue something, but the stuff I've been pursuing for years is actively working against me.

Just the fact that I've done something totally out of the mainstream, or even out of the alternative world, for so many years.

My means of support are really fragile and I have no way of getting back into something stable if that's disrupted, which is extremely scary.

"I was young when I left home", so goes the Bob Dylan song....

Oh, and to any friends who are in Athens right now, if you hear the song "Final Countdown" on the radio, it's Laibach who's doing it, the band that I talk about often.





And isn't it strange? He has sex with a nearly passed out drunk eighteen year old student of his, then acts even more inappropriately after, ends up surrendering his tenure, and yet cavorts with the most extreme conservatives in the Catholic Church.

You'd think that if they were that conservative that they wouldn't want to be associated with a guy who comitted date rape while a professor at a Catholic college.

The%20Real%20Deal%3A%20How%20a%20Philosophy%20Professor%20With%20a%20Checkered%20Past%20Became%20the%20Most%20Influential%20Catholic%20Layman%20in%20George%20W.%20Bush%27s%20Washington

Well well.

I come from a Catholic background even though I'm not Christian, and this Deal person, well, let's say there's more than a little hypocracy in taking body shots off of an eighteen year old undergrad that you're teaching at a Catholic college, taking her back to your office and doing various things with her, and calling the reporting of your actions by a Catholic newspaper low-brow tactics.

One of the team's midfield players, Ahmad Manajid, accused Mr Bush of "slaughtering" Iraqi men and women. "How will he meet his God having slaughtered so many? I want to defend my home. If a stranger invades America and the people resist, does that make them a terrorist?" he said.

"They are not very sophisticated politically. Whoever posed these questions knew the answers would be negative. It is possible something was lost in translation."---From an article about the Iraqi football (that's soccer) players who gave interviews to Sports Illustrated.

Tell you the truth, the above quote by that guy is more politically sophisticated than almost anything that's appeared on U.S. media for over two years.
Yeah, and more on that absolute duty which Gandhi's ultimate non-confrontational approach came from, reading in "Karma Yoga" by Swami Vivekananda there's this passage at the beginning about duty where he gives an example of a family of poor people who are starving and are down to their last meal; suddenly a stranger comes in, traveling, and the people decide to offer him their hospitality.

Well, when faced with the decision of either giving their guest their few scraps of food and being good hosts or eating it themselves, they choose to give it to their guest. They all die of starvation and their guest moves along on his journey.

Vivekananda uses this as a case of exemplary commitment to duty, commenting, I think, that you just don't see duty like that any more.

I think that that's a fucking waste and real easy for the Brahmin Swami to endorse.

So, yeah, orthodox Hindu conceptions of duty like the ones Gandhi endorsed, real good ethical thinking there.

Of course Gandhi was an orthodox Hindu and orthodox Hindus in general, although I'm not so sure about Gandhi in particular, also believe that wives should immolate themselves on the pyres of their dead husbands.

Yeah, there's this whole issue about the fact that Gandhi was a Brahmin pretty much and the people who got their heads bashed in at his demonstrations to demonstrate the efficiency of non-confrontation...I'm not going to say non-violent because you can be confrontational without being violent....were mostly lower caste Hindus.


Sunday, August 22, 2004

Ah yes, and in that article it said, in a curiously disjointed fashion, "Some protesters aren't Gandhian". Well, it's interesting to remember that when Gandhi was asked what the Jews should do in resistance to the Nazis he said that they should calmly line up in front of the Nazis and commit mass suicide. So, yeah, they aren't all Gandhian.

Robert Anton Wilson made a good turn of phrase once: he said that there're probably a hundred ways to live sustainably and peacefully and probably only one way to not, and we've found it.

With economics it looks much the same.

I just read an article which stated that the IMF itself squashed a report saying that if it wanted to do its job it should focus on wealth redistribution instead of market access market access market access.

So even the people in the center of the institutions which are messing up the global economy are aware of the facts.

Dan Payne: 'Testing your Republican credentials'
Date: Sunday, August 22 @ 07:30:10 EDT
Topic: Republicans

By Dan Payne, Boston Globe
RU GOP? With only nine days until Republican convention, look at statements below. If you agree with any one of them, you belong in New York. (Some items from anonymous Internet sources.)
* We never attack John Kerry's combat heroism; that's what we pay crackpot Kerry-hating veterans group to do.
* If senior citizens want cheaper drug prices from Canada, they should move to Canada.
* Major oil corporations should shape American energy policy. Even if it means highest gasoline prices ever.

* We should not pay our United Nations dues; Secretary of State Colin Powell didn't mean to lie to UN about WMD; but now UN should bail George Bush's sorry behind out of Iraq.
* Donald Rumsfeld is doing terrific job as Pentagon boss -- if you ignore his being suckered by turncoat Ahmed Chalabi who said grateful Iraqis would welcome American liberators. Ignore 953 US soldiers dead and 5,976 wounded; and 12,000 Iraq civilians killed. Ignore Abu Ghraib prison abuses. And ignore that troops going to Iraq had to buy own costly body armor, then weld scrap metal onto thin-skinned Humvees.
* Dick Cheney was right to ridicule John Kerry for saying he'd be "sensitive" in fighting war. Cheney also right same day when he said on radio that battle in Najaf "is obviously a sensitive area, and we are very much aware of its sensitivity."
* Firing American workers and sending their jobs to India is unavoidable economic dislocation. Laid-off manufacturing workers don't mind asking, "Would you like fries with that?"
* Women can't be trusted with decisions about their own bodies, but multi-national corporations like Halliburton can make life and death decisions without regulation.
* Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals.
* Being drug addict is moral failing and crime, unless you're conservative radio host. Then it's illness and we pray for your recovery.
* Group sex and drug use are sins unless you are Republican governor of Cauli-fornia.
* If condoms aren't in schools, adolescents won't have sex.
* Global warming is junk science, but creationism should be taught in public schools.
* One president lying about extramarital affair was grounds for impeachment. Another president lying about reasons to go to war should be reelected.
* Courts should not write new rights into Constitution. But rewriting Constitution to deny the rights of gay Americans is OK.
* It could take years before stem cell research will help with Alzheimer's, MS, and Parkinson's. Why start now? (Thanks, "Daily Show.")
Ok. here's a joke: Why do Irish porn stars always look surprised?

Because it's the first time they've had sex.

Maybe in France as well, I don't know.

And, I should add, it was the crazy Autonomists in Germany in the '80s, who are totally into conspiracy theory, who made the connection between the IMF, World Bank, and global capitalism.

Carl Oglesby.

One person from the New Left that I wish was either a)still around, because he may have passed away or b)still active is Carl Oglesby.

He's been criticized by Chomsky, albeit indirectly and not naming him personally because Chomsky's a nice guy, for sort of disconnecting with things and instead becoming really, really, concerned with the conspiracy to assasinate Kennedy and other conspiracy theory, but I would argue that conspiracy theory has sort of been integral in the construction of this new new left, whatever you want to call it, that we experience today.

How is that possible? First off, I know that Oglesby was doing some really productive stuff because I have in my possession an old copy of "Prevailing Winds" wherein he writes about the Gehlen organization and other things of that nature from a pretty damn good perspective.

But to get back to "How is that possible", think about it this way: the virtue of conspiracy theory is that its particular; you're not talking about 'capitalists' in general, you're not talking about 'imperialists' in general, you're talking about real groups of people who do exist and who are organized into somewhat public and coherent groups which have addresses and leave paper trails.

Now everyone knows about the WTO, the IMF, and the World Bank. Would anyone even know about them if people hadn't also been researching the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderbergs, the Club of Rome, the World Economic Forum, on and on and on.

The WTO, IMF, and the World Bank are institutions that have addresses and paper trails and so are the exact thing that conspiracy theorists would look for in finding the concrete people and groups that are fucking up the world, so to speak.

But from the point of view of Joe public pre-Seattle what are these things except another group of anonymous institutions that appear to be just like any number of other anonymous institutions that are related to high finance, not all of which are overtly bad?

It's the conspiracy theory which probably made the tracking down of these things easier. That and radical economists.

But seriously, would people have turned onto the idea of the WTO, IMF, and World Bank if the ground hadn't been prepared by a series of books talking about the CIA's involvement with drug smuggling, the U.S.'s collaboration with fascist governments and outright Nazis, the real role of the Trilateral commission in international planning, and on and on. Secret history which alone might just be interesting but which when combined with a sort of breakthrough, like finding something which directly ties global capital to publicly known decision making bodies, is explosive.


This is one aspect of the turn to the for lack of a better word 'hard core' of the left in the late sixties; sacrificing humanist philosophy and general philosophical arguments for analytical and research based arguments.

I'd like the Humanism and philosophy to get back in there, but I think that despite the sacrifice this approach has beared fruit.


Dissent%20Must%20Come%20Alive%20in%20New%20York

Wow, what a difference between Todd Gitlin and Tom Hayden.

Gitlin, the repentant sixties radical is demanding, in a condescending avuncular manner, that people tone done their protests in New York while Hayden is saying that protest is the most valuable thing in American society.

In other words, Gitlin is fronting while Hayden is basically saying what he's always been saying and what people on the left basically understand as being common sense and normal.

Not really surprising that there'd be a difference between Gitlin and Hayden considering that Gitlin portrayed Hayden as being an out of control Irish Catholic radical, with his Irishness and Catholicness, and somewhat working class background being grounds for condemnation, in his book about the Sixties, "The Sixties, Years of Hope, Days of Rage", or something similar, I can't remember the exact title at the moment, you know which book I'm talking about.

Which is really strange considering that Hayden's books and writings, particularly the one I'm most familiar with, which is American Futures (amazing book), are the epitomy of rationality and compassion.

And what has Gitlin done which is parallel to that? I don't really know.

A beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest.....

It's days like today that I think I've moved to Elfhame.

Yugoslavia again.

If people used the same arguments about ethnic violence in Yugoslavia in the United States....

They'd be saying.

Well, whites and blacks in the South, you know, it's been going on for four hundred years, they've been killing each other ever since. Then there was that whole slavery thing. You have people who were formerly the servants living with people who benefitted from being in the same group as the masters living together, it's not easy to resolve it, you can't do anything about it.

Southern agrarianism.

I can't help but wonder if some of the South's tendency towards agrarianism comes from the Celtic influence of the Irish, Scottish, and Welsh, people who moved to the South and make up a large portion of white Southerners.

There seems to be some confluence between the agrarian way of life and the poetic celtic understanding of the world.

Friday, August 20, 2004

I grew up in Macomb county, bee-yoch!!
Detroit.

Reading more about Detroit labor history I'm beginning to realize that the whole idea, the whole picture that I have in my mind, that I grew up with, of the city and of the area is a complete sham.

It's a sham in the sense that Detroit newspapers and media present the Detroit area as a nice place where everyone gets along and there's just pedestrian issues to deal with; but where in actuality burning under the surface there's an intense industrial war going on which has been going on for a long, long, time which consitutes the actual history and the actual important news and events for the city of Detroit and its environs.

And I didn't even grow up in Oakland county, so I have no excuse for not knowing this stuff.

What I wonder.

I wonder why more alternative news sources don't address themselves to alternative news source readers as opposed to people who read mostly the mainstream news but also read alternative press.

It seems to me that there are a whole bunch of people out there who are unplugged from the mainstream and who are wanting real discussion based on the understanding of things that the alternative press presents; in other words articles that go beyond just counteracting the influence of the mainstream and instead examine things from a purely alternative viewpoint.

There's a lot of people who would go for this sort of discussion, who would read articles that said "I already know all this stuff and there are real issues behind all of this that need to be critically discussed instead of just being sniped at once in a while, so lets do it".

Sniped at meaning "Oh, inequality is really bad here, really really bad, you people should really pay attention to inequality". Well, there're already a lot of people who are willing to pay attention to inequality and who are willing to read things about inequality in the United States the problem is that no one is writing articles that take the next step, and if they are they're locked into the websites and publications of think tanks and aren't being effectively distributed.

Oh, and, note to the Bush people.

Black people don't say "Wishy Washy".

That's in reference to an anti-Kerry add that says "What's Kerry done for us? He's just another wishy washy white man."

I bet that went over well with people.

Wishy Washy is the kind of waspy phrase that black people like to mock by saying it in a contracted, nasalized, high pitched voice.

I should stress, although I don't need to if the people reading this are somewhat rational and not just obeying their ideologies, that I think that the multiculturalism of the United States is a great thing; in fact it's one of my favorite parts of the United States. I derive endless satisfaction and enjoyment from interacting with people from groups and cultures coming from all over the world, enjoying their views on life, their food, their particular take on things, their music, etc...especially since I consider myself a child of immigrants seeing as I don't, ahem, have almost any Anglo-Saxon blood in me whatsoever and that over half of my ancestors only got here within the last hundred or so years.

But Europe is a different matter.

If you think about it, from a global perspective this makes sense.

If someone from West Africa wants to succeed in life doesn't it make more sense for them to do it in the context of West African culture rather than by giving up their culture, moving to Europe, and trying to do the same thing in a place where they have no roots?

There's a strong movement for democracy but with Asian characteristics, socialism but socialism based on the traditions of such and such a people, but that butts heads with the idea that it's a good thing for people to just move to places....outside of the U.S. (which is multicultural)....where they don't have a culture similar to theirs and try to make it on their terms.

It might be good in the short run but what do you plan to do? To move back and enrich your country or to just assimilate?

In the long run Europe staying Europe and the rest of the world staying the rest of the world is good for development because it spurs on people to achieve in their own way.

Of course I have to modify that statement by saying that yes, in certain situations and throughout time countries have welcomed in ethnic groups and those groups have become part of the culture, but random immigration from all over the globe? It's one thing to say that because the Jews were expelled from the middle east that they should be welcomed in Europe, quite another thing to say that anyone with a plane ticket should be welcome in Europe.

I mean, the bottom applies if we want to keep any sort of parity with what the rest of the world is doing and feels.

Thailand wouldn't want several thousand Europeans or Americans coming in and becoming permanent residents, and making themselves part of Thai culture. Neither would Malaysia, Indonesia, heck all of Asia, all of the Middle East, all of Africa.

Places where people's and cultures have been established for some time don't usually like the thought of mass numbers of people coming in and demanding to be part of the culture. A few here and there, that's ok, but huge numbers, no.

The situation is modified by refugees and things of that sort, but that's another topic.

The point is that outside of the United States, Canada, South and possibly Central America, there really aren't countries that like the idea of mass imigration, so Europe declaring that it doesn't really want it is not out of tune with the rest of the world, it's in fact in tune with the rest of the world, it's just out of tune with America.

Immigration.

Immigration in the United States and immigration in Europe are two different things.

The New World was set up pretty much as a series of multicultural societies.

Europe wasn't.

America in particular has embraced our multicultural heritage as a key component part of our identity. So immigration is fine here.

But in Europe it's a different story.

Globalization shouldn't mean huge population shifts going towards better jobs in other countries. Globalization, in the cultural sense, should mean a greater awareness of other cultures and other peoples....without having them arrive on your doorstep if that doorstep has been used by your family for eight centuries.

Europe has been continuously inhabited by Europeans for something like four thousand years, maybe a little less.

That means that asking Europe to accept immigrants from non-European countries looking for jobs is saying that they should discard four thousand years of history in order to become 'multicultural', which in this case means, in order to make the global economy work better.

People have to deal with the legacy of colonialism in Europe, which means immigrants from the Carribean in England and immigrants from North Africa in France, and whoever shows up and is allowed to stay or has stayed for long periods of time should be considered part of the society and have citizenship, but I don't think that making Europe a copy of the U.S. is a smart or a neccesary idea.

It's not inevitable.

They should come to the U.S. if they want a better life.

Or rather, we in the U.S. should fight to make the promise of the U.S. a reality so that when they do come they really do have an opportunity to make it and to have that better life.

And they should come anyways.

An American Interzone, to use a Burroughs term, would be nice.

That's how we are already, if you think about it.


Kerry's war record.

I'm not a fan of Kerry, but it's become pretty evident that this whole Swift Boat business is just a ploy to get people away from talking about issues and instead talking about useless crap which can't hurt the Bush administration.

By focussing on the Swift Boat fiasco Kerry can't mount an offensive against the Bush team by saying what he might want to say in criticism, which could, in turn, convince people not to vote for Bush who otherwise may have or who may have been not inclined to vote.

And so the media is totally complicit in doing Bush campaign work for them.

There have been scandals upon scandals about Bush, from his cocaine use to his drunk driving to his not showing up for duty in the Texas Air National guard, going on and on and on. Scandals, that is, if the media decided to pay them the same amount of attention or at least a fraction of the same amount of attention that it is paying to the Swift Boat scandal.

There's no disparity in the potential newsworthiness of the two sets of scandals, but the media is choosing to push the Kerry scandal and ignore the Bush scandal.

The Bush material is even more compelling since it's actually real and isn't faked by people who weren't even there, like the Swift Boat business is. Yet the media isn't budging.

They are, in effect, standing in the way of the democratic process working by, instead of using their power to examine the issues that people may actually want to vote on using the precious time which we have before the election to filibuster the discussion of such issues.

They're trying their best to keep Bush in office.

An equal society can make the economy work better....have to expand on this someitme...

Oh yeah, why the Republicans don't have to be logical.

They don't have to be logical because they have power.

They have power because of the people they serve and the power that those people have in the economy.

So they don't need to be logical because either way they can rest soundly at the end of the day knowing that their boys still run things.

They can say, for example, that Kerry shot himself in Vietnam in order to get a medal, even though it's preposterous, because they own everything and no one has the power right now to seriously challenge them on things like that.

They could come out saying that they were all followers of Neptune the wonder poodle from galaxy X and the media would probably go along with it.

Yahoo%21%20News%20-%20Iran%20warns%20of%20preemptive%20strike%20to%20prevent%20attack%20on%20nuclear%20sites

See?

I thought that the assaulting Najaf to provoke Iran idea was somewhat iffy, although possible, but here now is Iran saying that they won't sit idly by while we amass to destroy their nuclear facillities.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Don't take this the wrong way...

I've been looking at the Arnold Schwarenegger picture on the front of "Extra!", for a while now and I just can't shake the feeling that he really looks like Reinhard Heydrich in it.

With this siege of Najaf, the holiest shrine in Shia Islam outside of Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem, continuing I'm wondering if this is some sort of attempt to provoke Iran. I mean the not considering the agreement to disarm that Sadr was reported to have offered. When you don't pay attention to attempts to offers of surrender it raises the spector that other concerns might be in play.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Favorite quote at the moment: a quote from a music reviewer in Dublin, posted on the net, where he says, in the context of reviewing their WAT album, that he wonders if, after a night of hard drinking, Laibach contemplates Rammstein stealing their sound and then go out to do some fucked up artistic and political stuff.

That combination, that Laibach would drink, contemplate some other group stealing their sound (sort of), and then go out and do some fucked up artistic and politically oriented stuff, like usual, is really funny for some reason. I think it's because the reviewer sees Laibach's work as fucked up artistic and political stuff.

But it's true!

Kerry%20Condemns%20MoveOn.org%27s%20Anti-Bush%20Ad

Yes, John Kerry, the person MoveOn has come to praise to high heaven, in a way bordering on teenage band crazes, has now condemned MoveOn.

What can I say?

It's not as if they didn't know what Kerry's track record was like.


Now I wonder if those annoying pro-Kerry e-mails will be less frequent from them.




NYC%20to%20GOP%3A%20Drop%20Dead

Rall's right, New Yorkers don't really subscribe to Republicanism, and those that do, if you asked them, would say something like this :"Is it because of the money?" "Yep, because of the money", with little hesitation.

Maybe a little, but not that much.
Indie Rock.

There's quite a lot of Indie rock in this area.......but I don't think much of it. True, there may be some interesting stuff going on down south, but in general I hate indie rock with a passion. Or rather it's not independent music that I hate but the 'indie culture' that's grown up around it. There's a difference between music which is released indpendently which is rock or folk or electronica or prog rock or metal or whatever and indie rock as I'm talking about it right now.


Hey! I listened to Indie Rock when it was still Indie Rock and before this subculture grew up around it! But anyways...

I once knew a person up here who was really into indie rock and who when asked what bands were important in the seventies, listed one which I'd never heard of and said that there wasn't much else.

No, it's not that there wasn't much good music going on in the seventies it's that there just weren't many Indie Rock bands, you dumb fuck.

Hmm...stories, actually I shouldn't say stories because the word stories implies that there are actually some facts and some events behind the news presentation, so, let us say, some editorials dreamed up by think tanks which say that now Al-Qaeda is trying to recruit non-Muslims and women.

Actually, to be quite honest, the thorn in the side of the left is that it's never taken the time to refute Al-Qaeda point by point but has instead just called them crazy. There isn't enough time or space here to do such a thing but a word to the wise: if anyone is going to recruited to Al-Qaeda it's probably going to be people who are part of militant right-wing organizations that are aligned to fascism and moderate Nazism rather than straight hardcore neo-nazism or pro-American ultra-conservatism.

Not people who are on the left who are protesting the war and are anti-globalization.

If you want proof, hey, some fascist sites have links to the Hamas manifesto on them as well as to the Christian fascist writings of the Lebanese Phalange, which was the Christian component of the Lebanese civil war. They also link to Qadaffi's "Green Book", his sort of manifesto.

So the links are there, it's just that they aren't on the left but on the extreme right that's not enholdened to Americanism and has a more internationalist perspective.

But, then again, they aren't going to target Nazis as being terrorists, are they? Not when quite a few people in police offices and government offices hold similar views.

Which is why this country is so fucked up; Bush and Bin Laden can meet on broad ideological issues because they're both on the right....Reagan and Bush Sr. gave a signed copy of the Bible to Khomenei during the Iran-Contra scandal as a token of their appreciation; surely they're on similar wave lengths or could at least understand the general thrust of each other's position.

And the cancer eats away at the rest of it. Bush and Bin Laden at the top, white supremacists and cops being broadly attracted to the same philosophies which spawn radical religious islamist groups at the bottom.

Afghan Vote Threatens Bush's Credibility

Uh, no it doesn't, not unless people make it an issue, because the U.S. people have moved on to the next micro-issue regarding Iraq, like Najaf or something, and don't really care or keep up with what's going on in Afghanistan.

Experts say that the vote rigging in Afghanistan might threaten Bush's credibility but experts seem to have a pretty optimistic picture of the American psyche.

The article argues that vote rigging undermines Bush's credibility of bringing democracy to the "Muslim World", a racist and inaccurate term if I ever saw one, but the point was never to bring democracy to anyone; the point was to go over there and kick some ass, and the American people know that. So they don't care about vote rigging in Afghanistan, unless who do make it an issue.

I am a realist in some sections of life, although I'm an idealist in others, and, when it comes to the ways and whys of this war and of the 'war on terrorism' I agree about the source of it with the right wing pundits: we went over there to kick some ass, have a sort of holy war against Islam, and to prove the racial superiority of white America over Arabs.

I think all of those goals are terrible and that the whole thing is wrong but why lie about the reasons when the venomous vox populi really is on the pulse of the whitehouse?

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

WWIII

by KMFDM

still kicks ass.

It kicks ass even more since I'm in the Seattle area.

Lucia Cifarelli, are you reading this?

Learning how to be a good person and not hurt the other person's feelings should go along with it too.
I'm sorry, relationships between flirting and marriage, that's twentysomething stuff, what's more applicable to highschoolers, quite simply, is the idea that given that people aren't expected to marry right out of highschool anymore, it only makes sense to allow highschool kids to have sexual relationships (with each other) which aren't expected to last forever.

Contraception naturally goes along with this.

Simple as that.

A word on Abstinence....

Just another random thing thrown on this website.

Allright. You know why an abstinence approach in schools and in society isn't going to work or is wrong?

Simple.

Yes, people really did use to be abstinent. It's a fact. The whole "make love" thing was invented as a substitute for actual sex. Making love used to mean making out, pretty much. But....the corollary to that is that back in the good old days people got married right out of highschool or at least really early in their lives so in effect they didn't have to be abstinent for large periods of time.

If you, on the other hand, are a kid who isn't planning to get married right out of highschool the equation for what your sexual life may be in highschool and after changes considerably.

And yeah, kids aren't thinking about these things but they aren't thinking about settling down to married life at age eighteen either.

People have psychological needs.

People need, of course, not just sex but companionship and relationships, and if you live in a society where marrying late is accepted as the norm those needs which would be met by marrying early still have to be met, for both men and women.

The sex, maybe it's wrong to put sex first in this equation, although surely teenagers would disagree with me. People need relationships and relationships which a) aren't just the old sort of innocent flirting of youths past and b) aren't early marriage, but are somewhere between marriage and listening to Bobby Darin are sexual.

That's the point, these relationships are something new. They have characteristics which in olden days were reserved for marriage although they aren't marriage in themselves and they have characteristics which are similar to the age old conservative dating scenario.

But in a society like ours there's really no other way to go and people who act like there is one are just deluding themselves and possibly leading young people under their influence into a life of unhappiness, unhappiness in the service of an ideal of society which no longer applies.

Venezuela again.

I think I have a soft spot for Venezuela because, on top of Chavez doing good things, the right wing Venezuelans are so obnoxious. And living in Florida for four years previous to Ecotopia (Washington), I actually saw quite a few right wing Venezuelans up close and personal. My general feeling was that of all the ruling classes these people were the most transparently corrupt of them all. They don't care about democracy, they don't even pretend to care about democracy. They want money and they want power and they feel that the people of the U.S. should be with them on this.

That was the thing. These people, who were rich and had emigrated to Florida, just assumed that Americans were completely on their side in saying "Fuck democracy, let's get more money!". It completely amazed me. Completely. And they have no shame whatsoever.


John Ross:Mexicans dying in Bush's war

Great article, read it.

Monday, August 16, 2004

A win for Chavez is a win for liberals and leftists in the U.S.

Why?

Because besides being a great thing on its own it sends a message to the Bush administration that they just can't roll over any country that they want to. A loss for Chavez or a defeat for Chavez would have meant a dictatorship for Venezuela and an extension of U.S. influence in South America, as well as intensifying the anti-leftist moves, actions, and legislation by the government here in the U.S.

The fact that Chavez was elected with almost 60% of the popular vote is a testament to the will of the people and I think that the way that will was reaffirmed will be very, very, very, hard for the Bush administration to dismiss as being anything but valid.

It sends a message to the world: this can be done. And that's a good thing.

No mention of Chavez on Smirking Chimp....

I guess that's because they're JOHN KERRY ALL THE WAY!!! or something.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Chavez has won. He's won with 60% of the vote. Go to Indymedia and follow the links.

The Bolivarian Revolution has been affirmed!
Ted Rall's new column

About unpaid internships,the gist being that people who actually have to support themselves can't work forty hours a week for nothing, which is what unpaid internships are, therefore making them the province of people who can work forty hours a week for nothing and still live.

I hate to say it but..........Rall's great and all, however, are things so bad in this country that there are people out there who honestly don't get that you can only work a full time job and get zero money for it if you're really really rich?

The answer to that is yes, and that's really scary.

Disappointing...

One of, but not the only, the reasons why I stopped doing the really radical stuff, besides the fact that it was killing me and taking away too much time, was because the threats that I was getting via e-mail had started to go from normal threats to threats which indicated that these people knew where I lived and were willing to take real action.

So, now I've stopped the really radical stuff, but I stand by every word that I've written, I'm keeping the entire site still up, complete with links, and although I'm not getting credible threats anymore I'm still receiving harassment.

Chalk it up to being a naive American. I honestly thought that all these people were concerned about was the fact that I was keeping on going with making more radical stuff day after day.

I figured, if I just tone it down, the problem will be solved. They may not like me but they won't really venoumously hate me anymore.

Not the case.

They will never be 'ok' or nice to anyone associated leftist movements.

But we have this thing where, ok, you have Bill O'Reilly foaming at the mouth and the whole Fox News channel devoted to gutter slinging against liberals and the left, but somehow it's not ok for people on the left or liberals, to question them?

What are we going to do, wait until we get picked off one by one or carted into trains for hard labor until we stand up for ourselves?

They won't forgive us and we shouldn't forgive them. That's what politics is about. Politics is about power and fights for power are never nice, congenial, affairs. At least not if there's something really at stake and the political system is something other than a sham and a show.

Yeah, and the DNC had rules outlawing anti-Bush and anti-War sentiment. We'll see how far that gets them when Bush term two starts really turning up the heat on people.

In Argentina when the generals took over in '76 they arrested and killed young people involved in labor, environmental, democratic, feminist, causes, and they killed their families and their friends.

The reason is that the thinking associated with the left the fact that people have seen through the bullshit which is put forward to them as the status quo, is threatening just in the abstract to them.

Because someone who has found out the truth about how the system works is not likely to forget it and you never know what that might lead to down the line. The liberal sympathizer might become an activist in his later years when the cause presents itself.

The issue wasn't the Monteneros, a guerilla group which did exist, but destroying any culture of resistance, no matter how passive and non-actualized.

When the going got rough Argentina just decided to wipe it all out rather than face the prospect of having opposition come back again and again and again.

That's the real face of conservatism and people who think otherwise should really consider their views because fights for power bring out the real opinions and views of the right and we're gearing up here, in the United States, for an impending conflict between people who are basically liberal and anti-war, as well as the left, and people who accept the standard position which is echoed in all the media and by all the governmental organizations.

When it looks like we're going to win or to change things the administration will very likely throw down the gloves, or attempt to, unless massive public opposition to the policies stop the process from taking place.

And there's no wrath like a rich boy scorned.

People who are habituated to getting power and privelege from doing nothing, just having it handed to them as a right, will fight tooth, nail,club, and gun, to preserve that unearned privelege, and Bush is certainly a person who knows this ethic well.

Oh, and my best wishes to the people of Venezuela, who are having a referendum on Chavez today. Chavez is expected to win by a large margin and I hope that this result comes through.


Ween and Flaming Lips are good bands..

Just announcing it, but there's a bigger meaning to this.

They make great music, but they also put themselves beyond the pale, intentionally, so that people who really don't give a damn or who are easily scared away won't pursue their music.

Especially Ween.

I operate on a similar model.

I don't have time for people who are so fucking addicted to stereotypes and ideology that they don't think for themselves or are easily squeemish.

Really.

So, quite intentionally, instead of censoring myself during the main radical part of Lost Highway, which still exists on a much lower level now, I mixed in stuff that, while true and good, would make people who weren't serious about thinking for themselves hate me. Especially fellow people on the left. To get the nice academic and historical stuff you also have to accept the extreme stuff that I've written, no bargaining possible.

Either accept it all or reject it all.

No compromise in the search for truth.

Lost tribes.

I'm sort of the opinion that there are a bunch of people with similar ways of thinking, similar outlooks on life, similar interests, similar across the board in the mental department at least, floating out there and sometimes they run into each other, sometimes they don't, but the objective, or one of the objectives of life, should be to find this tribe of yours or other tribespeople and reconnect.

I'd rather say 'Volk' then tribe because the word is more accurate in this respect; Gustav Landauer, the Jewish Nietzschean Anarchist, had some ideas about spiritual distributed Volks like this, somewhat similar to what I've outlined, but the word has unfortunately been so corrupted by Nazism that, even though technically accurate, it's going to be hard to argue for finding people in your Volk in leftist circles...

I'm getting really pissed off at Smirking Chimp.com

They seem to be digging out a niche for themselves as the Republicans of the Left.

If I see one more thing uncritically supporting John Kerry I'm going to throw my fucking computer through a wall.

These people are just going to stab us in the back when Kerry gets into office just like they stabbed us in the back when Clinton got power.

Why call them progressives if they think that baby killing is a wonderful and glorious thing?

I say that in relation to Kerry's record in Vietnam.



Friday, August 13, 2004

Which is why I'm not posting radical stuff anymore....

If you read Peter Mlakar's article I can see at least the tension and stress needed to produce that. I'm not up for that anymore. I'd rather be sane and not have a nervous breakdown, that has nothing to do with Mlakar, two separate people and situations, by the way, and instead have friends and family.
OK, since I'm no longer writing radical theoryRead Peter Mlakar, of NSK, Neue Slovenische Kunst,. Here's the link to his address commemorating the declaration of Ljubljiana, which is the capital of Slovenia, as a cultural capital of Europe in '97.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Dark Matter.

That's what I'd like to call the book if this blog is ever made into a book and sold.

Dark Matter is the invisible substructure of our universe which keeps it going. We are, essentially, on the skin of things depending for our existence on things which we can't see and can't understand, sort of like a cosmic bourgeoisie.

Dark Matter does the gravitational holding, but isn't seen.

I'd like to think that the writings which I've done on this blog during the Lost Highway phase, before it was done, were a sort of exploration of the Dark Matter of our social, economic, cultural, and political universe, although it's presumptuous to say something like that.

If anything, those writings distinguish themselves, and I intentionally did this to distinguish them in this way, from other counter-cultural artifacts in that they deal with actual, real, solid, ideas, events, thinkers, features, whatever, that are really out there in the socio-cultural and academic world as opposed to being works of fiction.

It's easy to create your idea of what the world should be or why things are like they are, it's much harder to find sources for that, and that's what I intended to do. And I succeeded.

"Now for Reality", as the occultist Austin Osman Spare said....


I'm no longer writing the radical stuff.....but I still live in Seattle.

Life is grand.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

North Africa supports Bush.

Thinking about those red states vs. blue states articles, and a real obscence shirt that a guy had with all the Red states subtitled "Bush Country", it occurred to me that if there was a United States of Africa which, coincidentally, had the exact same political system as the United States, a person could make the same argument that this guy was making with a similar shirt.

The shirt was arguing that a geographic majority supports Bush even though a numerical majority didn't.

A shirt from the hypothetical United States of Africa could have the same setup; Algeria, Tunisia, Chad, Sudan, Niger, all of these countries could go pro-Bush equivelant, leading an entrepreneur to make up Red country T-shirts.

But there's one problem with this.

Although these countries take up virtually all of North Africa they're also all mostly composed of the Sahara desert.

Which is the same as putting North and South Dakota, Nevada, Texas, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and some of the plains states, on a shirt, coloring them red, and saying "Hey look, Bush country, it covers most of the continent!"

While technically true, this misses the point.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Snippets from a psychologists office almost a decade ago.

I remember seeing a psychologist who, after hearing that I, obsessive compulsive, also had feelings of impending doom and insecurity, and that I probably wouldn't live long, said "A lot of people with obsessive compulsive disorder have those feelings" . I thought, "Wow!", then we didn't talk about it anymore and I went home and took my anti-depressant.

We never discussed it but it occurs to me that if a lot of obsessive compulsive people are having feelings of impending doom and feeling that they aren't going to survive that maybe, that may have something to do with the obsession and compulsion?

Humility...

Is a good thing.

Especially since lack of it usually conceals deep seated insecurities which left covered are even worse than just revealing your real self, taking the consequences, and then learning and developing...

Learning that...

Damn, I fucked up what I, in my naivete, hoped would be something....what the hell am I anyways? A kid whose read a book or two, what did I expect?...at least an intro, with Alex Cockburn via an e-mail I initiated because I put myself forward as an arrogant and cocky son of a bitch that knew everything and had everything to say to the guy.

Wasn't exactly on the top, but if you can read a little deeper into things, as Mr. Cockburn surely can, you can recognize things like this...

Thought about it because just recieved "Serpent in the Garden"...a new Counterpunch book.

I think the unsaid "I'll scratch your back, you scratch mine", system, which even exists, though, I'm hopeful, to a much lesser extent, on the Left, and was going to write a nice thought or two about Serpent in the Garden prefaced by my desire to just say that it's a good and interesting book and that I'm not doing this review (coming from an obscure blogger what the fuck could I have done in terms of pull?) just because I want to ingratiate myself with Counterpunch, think that that manifestation of human nature is sort of negative, etc...when I realized...Oh yeah, I tried to do the same thing myself, didn't I?

Sometimes people are so full of themselves that they don't recognize the bullshit and cons that they throw out. Hopefully, um, well, you get the picture.

Religion.

I've never had the same abiding hatred of religion, not Christianity either, that others have had....I suppose that everyone grows up with examples in their lives of religion gone either good or bad. While I've experienced religion gone bad I haven't generalized it to all of Christianity, although I've taken a long time to go from being simply neutral to being allright with it.

Someone once quipped that Nietzsche's arguments are the best justification for Christianity that exist, because no one would like to live in a world like he proposes....

I agree with this to a point. Been kicking around in my head an idea for a cartoon: guy has one arm, obviously lost it. Caption: something like "Anything that doesn't kill you makes you stronger?"

Nietzsche wrote that.

But then again Nietzsche led a largely privileged life, even being able to pen his later screeds on an academic stipend without actually having to teach. I doubt that if he really had contact with the type of suffering that he denounces as being nothing or as being things which people should take on the chin that he'd ever seriously propose some of the things that he wrote.

I have to say that Christianity has one really good thing going for it: the metaphysics of reconciliation.

This is something valuable and good that is a good influence in our society.

For Christians who really mean it, it can be very powerful and effective.

Some discrepencies in life up here.

I love the Pacific Northwest, but every once and a while some things happen, or some things come to ones attention which aren't all that good....

One big thing, which grates on me sometimes, is the discrepency between who actually gets busted for drugs and who uses them.

I'm not giving away any secrets of the Pacific Northwest when I say that a heck of a lot of people smoke weed up here. People from all walks of life do it and it's sort of an accepted thing. While the fact that it's socially acceptable is fine with me, these are victimless crimes, an unexpected side effect of this is that people who do this who are well off get away scot free while poorer kids consistantly get arrested and get in trouble.

Let me show you how this works: one person who uses drugs has a nice job, although maybe not a straight corporate job, has a house, a family, a car, dresses nice, is part of the community. On the weekends he and his wife kick back smoke a little herb. Just part of relaxing. It doesn't effect his job performance, it doesn't ruin their lives, it's just a social thing. No consequences, on his part, then, when he shows back up for work on Monday. Everything is fine, much like people who drink on the weekends.

Another person is a street kid. There are a lot of them up here, especially in the summer. He lives with friends or sleeps in parks, sometimes pan handles for change, hangs out with friends a lot in public places. Maybe he has a job, but most likely not if he's just passing through or traveling. He dresses in 'punk standard', patched jackets, black used pants, bracelets, tattoos, maybe, or probably most definitely, has an out of the ordinary haircut.

Draws a lot of attention to himself.

He also smokes weed.

This person gets harassed by the cops when he stops in a park to hang out, gets harassed by the cops when he and friends are hanging out in a business area, gets searched, and likely gets arrested for possession.

Simple as that.

And it happens over and over again.

What exactly is the difference there? Is one person irresponsable and destructive and another isn't? I don't think so. The only difference between what Mr. hip pot user and Mr. punk pot user do is that Mr. Hip post user conceals the fact that he uses drugs behind the acoutrements of normal adult life while Mr. punk pot user draws attention to himself and when people look at him they can infer that he probably uses some type of drugs.

There isn't anything else, yet Mr. Hip pot user never gets hassled by the cops, never even comes in contact with the cops since the way he gets pot is so well sewn up that the cops aren't even concerned or aware about it. The guy who lives on the streets buys it on the streets and maybe even uses it on the streets, an easy target.

So tolerance exists, but it cuts both ways; there's a tolerance for those who can afford to blend into normal society and not make waves but zero tolerance for those who because of whatever situation they come from can't afford or don't even want the cover that an 'establishment' veneer brings to the more well off drug users.

And it's not fair and it occasionally makes me mad, despite the goodness and niceness of this place.





Sunday, August 08, 2004

Contradictions of the Enlightenment.

People studying how enlightenment philosophy actually developed might be surprised to learn that, at a stage after the people who are classically associated with it, like John Locke, what fueled some of it was an intentional embrace of immorality as a good thing.

I'm not making this up.

It's disturbing, but nonetheless a fact.

If you look at the works of the third earl of Shaftesbury, for instance, what he's saying in his book "Characeristicks, opinions, and manners of men" is that if people want to break the law, moral and otherwise, they should go right ahead because in the end it'll contribute to a better society.

This is a major flaw, I think, with Enlightenment Classicism, namely that in the absence of an alternative morality or alternative understanding of morality they jettison everything.

The Fable of the Bees, as well as the proto-capitalist philosophers, reinforced this.

Their idea was that, in reality, people really aren't moral and yet society still survives, therefore, legitamizing immorality isn't a bad thing.

What they miss is what other people have done in terms of redefinition of values. To redefine something, to redefine and to liberalize morality is not the same thing as being against the idea of morality to begin with.

But at its start capitalism was fueled by ideologies which jettisoned all of morality and said that the resulting world was both better and more true to life.

The Marquis de Sade may not have been too out of the mainstream after all, since he shared similar ideas.

All of this might have fueled the initial rejection of capitalism of the importance of what some may call 'traditional values', in reality things like thinking that it's good to be moral, not real 'traditional values', which has been with us ever since.

The economy has been disconnected from the rest of the world, as Karl Polanyi pointed out, and that disconnect has been fueled by a rejection of morality and of any influence from the human culture which could restrain and provide a different path.
The Lost Highway is now more accessable than ever.

I've made archiving weekly so that loading the page doesn't crash your browser.

I always said that I'd never edit anything, never fuck around with anything, now I'm doing it....sign of the times. The Radical Theory is over, so I'm doing a sort of post mortem. Which doesn't mean that I won't put political commentary up here....but there's a difference between that and what I've been doing for the past 2.4 years.

So, I've thrown open the gates to the forbidden city, you could say.

This Modern World

Reading the Bob Harris post about Sun Myung Moon, and about how he called America "Satans Harverst", which brings the response from Harris that "ironically, Moon may be the only enemy of the U.S. who actually does hate us specifically for our freedom", I thought, wait, wait a second, I've heard that rhetoric before.....

It comes out of the mouth of fundamentalist preachers, who in the eighties weren't adverse at all to saying that America was going to hell, was corrupt beyond repair, and was inviting death and destruction upon itself by allowing freedoms like....gangster rap, controversial art, gay rights, religious freedom, free speech....that sort of thing to go on.

Which brings up the question: "Why do fundamentalist preachers hate America?"