Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Boston Strong

Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Some things anger me so much that I can't talk about it for a while. America's disgustingly orchestrated  response to two improvised bombs is one of those things and it continues to "trend" as the anti-literati at CNN like to say. The ongoing war against liberty is one of those things and as the brief manhunt for the two amateur saboteurs enfolded, we were quickly and steadily told how lucky we were that we gave up our civil rights after 9/11 "when everything changed."

The inevitable mountains of teddy bears are growing on Boston streets like some newly erupted volcano, the mourning, sobbing, narcissistic self-pitying league of lachrymose losers  are wandering about looking for healing and the media are wallowing in the sticky effluent like pigs, squealing for ratings.  Boston Strong, they're writing on shoes and stuffed animals and bits of colored paper.  What they mean is American Weak. The British response to the Blitz was strong, our response to an amateur bomb is embarrassing but worse -- a windfall for the authoritarians.  How much more obvious could it be that the agenda for pseudo-Libertarian authoritarianism does not include what we used to call the Natural Rights of Man?

The breathless posturing of one Republican after another and one media puppet after another reminds us that this is TERROR, that Americans who blow up things are not criminals, but TERRORISTS and  we are AT WAR as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) tells us again and again with priapic intensity. We must therefore  not, in our abject terror, adhere to the  Bill of Rights but rather allow politicians to pretend that the 5th amendment right to silence does not pertain in this "time of War or public danger;"   Is a one in a million chance of being killed the kind of  danger the 5th amendment talks about?  Is a homemade bomb a war? What about the far, far greater chance of being murdered by a thief, a madman, a drunk driver, a corporation yearning to be free of OSHA?

Read the 5th amendment carefully.  Does it allow for it to be scrapped in time of war or does it only exclude people in the US military in time of war?  I'm not a lawyer, but I'm going with the latter. Perhaps Senator Graham should stop pretending that the Constitution is optional at his discretion and does not pertain to anyone deemed an outlaw or enemy combatant for the convenience of  power.

Yes, we're AT WAR  because many hundreds of millions of people resent the actions and attitudes of the United States of America and even though no war has been declared these are desperately dangerous times that require us to be TERRIFIED to the degree that due process and reason itself must be dispensed with.  Jury of our peers?  Right to confront our accusers, right to know the charges against us -- right to see the evidence?  Ridiculous -- remember, as a patriot, you're scared half to death and fear justifies all. 

Habeas Corpus my Republican ass, we can and will  keep you in a cage for the rest of your life without trial and torture you either quickly or slowly and perpetually and the hell with your namby-pamby rights. Hell with Geneva conventions, the hell with morality, decency, courage or anything else because Terror Vincit Omnia and thank God for that!

We've already nullified the right to be secure in our persons and papers against searches and seizures without probable cause -- because of the danger. We're being prompted to dispense with the protection against self-incrimination because of the danger that  anyone the Fascists Republicans don't like just might have important information we need to torture out of them and now Senator Graham wants the Feds to "confront" anyone looking at "Islamist" websites.  Sure, we have a free press -- just don't read it, you traitor!   In our proposed government of fear rather than of laws, who is to say what constitutes subversive, anti-American reading?

I've long answered the demand that we call any act of sabotage TERROR by saying that it isn't terror if we are not cowards, that there is no land of the free in any home of the brave, but it's strobe light and Da-Glo obvious that people like Senator Graham have more to gain from fear mongering than the disparate and disorganized haters of Western culture around the world.  The only way the Republicans can defeat that Liberal Manifesto, the US Constitution is by TERROR. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Death in Dhaka

Bangladesh.  If you wear clothes, you probably own some that were made there and you probably paid a whole hell of a lot less for them than had they been made in the US and odds are you have more than one change of clothes too. You probably don't spend much time feeling bad that the people who made them can't afford them and are far more likely to die of poverty and disease than collect a pension or social security or Medicare. Whose fault is that anyway?

Odds are as well that you won't even know about and aren't likely to be in a state of shock and obsessive mourning -- won't be seeking healing and closure or holding moments of silent prayer -- if you're an American, that is. Americans have time for that sort of thing: time to run marathons, time to feel sorry for themselves if a few are killed by something other than an industrial accident, time to feel oppressed by taxes.

We'll pretty much ignore the building collapse that killed at least 70 in Bangladesh and we'll pretty much ignore the accident in Texas too, because to question the wisdom or more importantly the expense to industry of safety standards or building codes or zoning, just isn't the sort of thing we devoted Capitalists like to do. We're not Muslims, after all.

Kill me once, shame on you

Kill me twice? 

What do you say about a "religious" couple who have so much faith that they let their 2 year old die in 2009 because they thought prayer was making him better and again letting their 8 month old die from diarrhea last week because, you guessed it, the power of prayer was better than Immodium or God forbid, a trip to the pediatrician.

Well, I won't tell you what I'd say, I'll say it. Maybe it's true that Gods don't kill people -- people kill people, but maybe it's also true that faith is dangerous and maybe faith kills and maybe it kills all the more because we worship faith itself and give special status to people who believe in such dangerous superstitions instead of charging them with manslaughter.

Herbert and Catherine Schaible have been teachers in and members of the First Century Gospel Church in Philadelphia, PA where 'faith healing' is promoted.  A church that receives taxpayer support for convincing people to let their children die rather than receive medical attention.  First Century indeed.  In the 21st, it's unacceptable, it's shameful, it's ignorant, it's murder. Yes, I believe in religious freedom, but not in the freedom to inflict dangerous superstition on other people, particularly minor children.  I fully support the freedom of people like the Schaibles to jump off cliffs to prove that faith will support them as long as no one is forced to hold hands with them in the attempt.

Too bad you can't make people blow into a meter and determine their faith level, but any level that allows children to die to prove their parents' devotion to asking gods for favors rather than doing what can easily save their lives -- is too damn much. 

Oh, and by the way, if this is a "Christian Nation" why aren't we indicting the Federal Government?  Why not the First Century Gospel Church? Why not Jesus as a co-conspirator, an accessory before and after the fact?  If he could have acted and didn't -- if in fact he exists, isn't he guilty too?  

If you're going to give me some crap about 'Heaven' and God's 'mysterious' ways, or God giving us free will,  don't bother to blow into the Faith-O-Meter.  You're already proved how full of it you are.

Monday, April 22, 2013

H.R. 3261, C.I.S.P.A.

██ ████████ ██████ ██████████ ██ ████ ██ ████ ██████████ ██.This comment has been found in violation of H.R. 3261, C.I.S.P.A. and has been removed.

Children of an Angry God

O lieber gott sei doch nicht so böse.
-P.D.Q. Bach- 

It seems to be that Tamerlan Tsarnaev underwent some sort of epiphany not long ago, after which he became withdrawn, dressed more modestly, began to talk about his deep faith and started assembling bombs.
“Isn’t the takeaway here,” asked Bill Maher, talking about the Boston Marathon bombing, “that there are many bad things that can happen in the world, for many bad reasons, but the winner and still champ is religion?” 
It's an old and often asked question and defenders of belief in the abstract and defenders of specific beliefs all have a well developed defense and a lot of practice using it -- but still.  In my experience it boils down to: it feels good, it comforts people, it offers hope.  So do lies, palliative fictions Ponzi schemes, dating services and of course drugs.  Don't get me wrong, this isn't an attack on religion or religions as tools for making life easier, for promoting good behavior, it's an attack on the human species and its innate ability to lie and rationalize and use most anything as a tool for justifying whatever purpose or desire it needs to defend, no matter how heinous, hideous, horrifying.  Religion is no better and no worse than those who use it, defend it, promote it. It's just a powerful and an unstable tool whether handled by professionals or tried at home.

Perhaps it's true that good people espouse good beliefs, envision good gods who manifest love and compassion and at worst have good reasons for allowing the pain, sorrow, suffering, misery, grief and random horrors of life. It's different for the children of  angry Gods; the gods who drown worlds, advocate the extermination of whole peoples, condone slavery and conquest and oppression and sometimes play games with people's lives for their own amusement. It's different for Gods who promise eternal punishments of unendurable pain simply for disobeying arbitrary rules, having stray thoughts -- unimaginable horrors of destruction for people who simply don't believe impossible, absurd and demonstrably untrue assertions about reality and the universe.

I'm not talking about Kali or Isis, Krishna or Asherach or Enpu or Jesus Christ alone. I'm talking about your god, whether you call him El Shadai or Yaveh, the Holy Trinity or any of the 99 names of Allah, the merciful and compassionate.  He's no better than you are when it comes to what you do in his or her or their names.  Angry people have angry gods and people with angry gods are prone to violence and the mental illnesses found in violent people.

A scientific study published in the April edition of Journal of Religion & Health finds, according to the author, that:
 ". .  for those who think God is angry and preparing punishments for sinners, “ that belief seems to be very much related to these negative symptoms.”   
Symptoms like like social dysfunction, paranoia, obsession and compulsion -- and perhaps I might suggest misogyny, homophobia, bigotry and racism as well as the desire to be God's instrument of punishment on innocent bystanders on a Boston street.  Is it a paradox that the Gods most desirous of  acting our their wrath need the most help from mortals in doing it? Not if you perceive that angry people need angry Gods to justify their angry and injust acts.

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon wrote 150 years ago that
"The first duty of man, on becoming intelligent and free, is to continually hunt the idea of God out of his mind and conscience. For God, if he exists, is essentially hostile to our nature, and we do not depend at all upon his authority. We arrive at knowledge in spite of him, at comfort in spite of him, at society in spite of him; every step we take in advance is a victory in which we crush Divinity."  
The hostility of God, I take to be self-evident, both from the confected selection of  descriptions in artifacts we call the 'Scriptures'  wherein whole populations are exterminated for things that history assures us are no more often punished than random chance would provide for and for the endless unpunished horrors human life has always endured.

Yahveh famously mocks the humble, respectful piety of Job, expressing nothing whatever resembling compassion for the family he murdered just to provoke him. "God is evil" concluded Proudhon and if it weren't that God was a human creation, I would have to agree.  Is there any way to hunt the idea of God the Avenger out of religion without hunting him out entirely?  Gods who punish evil, gods who punish thoughts about sex, gods who punish ham and cheese sandwiches or cotton threads in linen shirts. They outnumber secular teachers like the Guanyin or Shakyamuni the Buddha. The Bible is replete with horrible aspects of  that supposedly loving God. Perhaps we can't handle Gods as much as we love or even need them.

Man is evil. That's what I take from Proudhon, what I take from history.  Nothing else apparent in existence but Man is capable of evil, nor even able to comprehend the meaning.  God is a weapon.  I see this as equally self-evident.  Do we allow anyone to have such weapons without background checks?  Angry, insane, tortured, alienated even sociopathic  people?  We do.  In fact we prescribe it, advocate it even demand it. We can't help it, gods are in our nature and have been since we were able to communicate; able to form words in our heads to attribute to them. Perhaps they will always be there tempting us, threatening us, making us guilty and afraid and unworthy --- unless. . .

 " For God is stupidity and cowardice; God is hypocrisy and falsehood; God is tyranny and misery; God is evil"  says Proudhon.  
There is no God but God in man, I answer

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mirandize This!

Why are we supposed to be "terrorized" by the one in a hundred million chance of being blown up by cookware in the streets when we have black-booted, goose-stepping Republican goons insisting that the rights and liberties guaranteed by the US Constitution don't apply any time they don't think they should? What terrifies me is not the bang in Boston but the whimper of  cowards demanding that people can arbitrarily be deprived of their innate and inalienable rights by semantic chicanery and that we justify it by fear.  Why is the serial killer, the arsonist, the murderous Christian leader not a terrorist and so exempt from the protection of the law we fraudulently flaunt as our American birthright?  Because we don't like their religion? Because they have 'foreign' names? Ask the Republicans. Ask them why they're again demonstrating that the Constitution is a quaint anachronism and an impediment to the lustful needs of absolute power -- or 'Homeland Security' as they like to call it. Ask them why a massacre in Boston justifies the dismemberment of  the Constitution that grew out of  a previous one.

There is no chance in hell that whether or not young Mr. Tsarnaev talks to the FBI truthfully or not at all, has anything to do with whether or not he is ritually told he has the right to keep quiet, is responsible for what he says and has the right to legal counsel. He has those rights and we all have the guarantee of those rights. He already knows it and he's already demonstrated the personal qualities that prove he doesn't have a hell of a lot of respect for the USA or its laws and restraints anyway. If he can be forced to incriminate himself, if he can be stripped of all the rights we used to guarantee, we thereby incriminate ourselves as liars, hypocrites and barbarians unworthy of being called a free nation.

We have no idea whether he was in any condition to answer questions when apprehended or whether or not any were asked. We know that the request to surrender was first answered with a fusillade which is prima facie evidence of a mood of non-compliance.  Police weren't required to "Mirandize" him before asking him to give up or asking him if  he had explosives or if the boat was booby trapped or if he had accomplices at large or anything similar and at present he's sedated and intubated and the question of further questioning is moot.  Nothing he might say or might have said, is needed to convict him.

When the Senators from the Great State of Chickenshit insist that they have or someone has the power to ignore the US Constitution with some peremptory declaration that a criminal is an "enemy combatant" when there is no declared state of war and no entity at war with us that the criminal belongs to or acted in concert with, it's possible they are so stupid -- Republican Stupid -- that they haven't thought it out, but far more likely that they're still their old anti-American, Democracy hating, liberty fearing bastard selves -- and cowards, of course.  Are they really afraid that he will be released for lack of evidence, exonerated by some court just because he has a public defender?  Of course not.  It's not about bombs, it's about Obama. It's about accusing Obama of being a terrorist sympathizer and crypto-jihadist for the benefit of the fearful, the bigoted, the ignorant, the racist, the demented, delusional and dimwitted: the Republican Base, or as one says in Arabic -- Al Qaeda.

The stain remains on the American escutcheon from having sent American citizens to the gallows using a secret military tribunal in 1865, but I guess there's plenty more room for bloody fingerprints in the opinions of Senators McCain and Graham, who by fighting against the foundations of our nation are in my opinion true Enemy Combatants, subject to indefinite imprisonment without charge or access to due process and of course torture for the crime of having declared war on our country and the laws they have sworn to uphold.

If we lose the protection of the law simply because some political demagogue can strip you of it then we have lost the moral basis of the American revolution and the country should declare it's mistake and pledge its allegiance to the Crown of England which may long since have surpassed us in its concept and guarantee of justice anyway.

9/11 didn't change a goddamn thing.  9/11 was an excuse our internal enemies have been waiting for since the beginning.  

Saturday, April 20, 2013


I had MSNBC on most of yesterday.  I can't stand the sight of Wolf the Weasel and what other choice is possible?

I'm disappointed. When the evening network news came on I began to learn facts the cable guys never mentioned, That the FBI had investigated these boys, for instance and they managed to give us the facts without the constant theme of "you can see that it's been worth it to give up our privacy."  Cowards!  Is this what it means to be a Liberal today?  Sacrificing freedom for some imagined and miniscule increase in safety? 

Needless to say, I don't think so.  I don't think this gruesome incident is anywhere near the calamity it's being made out to be. It's no worse than a good part of the world has to put up with all the time and that it's being made out to be something on the order of WW III it's only because giving up our privacy is only a taste of what some would have us give up.  The Right, predictably, is growling about Miranda rights because we can't go around thinking that this crime is a crime and a US citizen is entitled to civil rights if he's motivated by some sick religious doctrine that isn't Christian. Is this pathetic teenage loser an "enemy combatant" while Tim McVeigh, David Koresh and Jim Jones weren't?

It has to be a WAR because then all's fair therein including making a mockery of our Bill of Rights. It has to be a war so that they can find yet another reason to attack Obama as a weakling, or perhaps a clandestine Muslim for trying to fulfill his oath to preserve and defend the same Constitution the Republicans have seen as a stumbling block for years.

Of course the NBC reporter who told us last night that we'd just witnessed "the greatest manhunt in American history" needs to go back to school if indeed he's ever attended or at least read up on Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger, Jesse James and of course John Wilkes Booth, but such idiocy is all part of the effort to make everything seem like a catastrophe and every crime an apocalypse. 

I have to be impressed however with Boston and Massachusetts law enforcement, both for their efficiency and their restraint. Supporters of the "government can't do anything right"  battle cry should take this opportunity to shut the hell up.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Death in Boston

The only sure thing early this morning is that gun sales are going to escalate further.  Car chases, explosions and gunfire -- it needs only a collision with a fruit cart to be eligible for a Clint Eastwood movie.  Despite the media effort, most of us, or at least a great many of us are not staying home, mourning and healing and simpering in baby-talk about not hurting people -- they're looking for a gun shop that still has AR-15 and AK47 clones and ammunition.

CNN is busy as of 9 AM Eastern assuring us that we can't just assume these two brothers are Muslim or than if they are, it's irrelevant.  If you're a Muslim, it's relevant to you and you have my sympathy.  This isn't going to make your life easier.

No, I don't think America is mourning.  America is arming, once again and just like 2001, it isn't going to be pretty.  Did everything change on 9/11?  Hell no, we were just and finally dragged out of our sheltered nursery and  into life on Earth

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Maxwell Street in my heart.

The Blues Brothers were fiction, but the Boogie Man wasn't -- Maxwell Street wasn't. I'm glad I'm old enough to remember both in their prime, because it's all gone now.  It's where I first heard the blues.  It's where I find myself every time I get them, every time I hear them.

Silent running

The weeping and wailing industry is almost as quick to react to certain events as the paramedics are, and this morning's paper has a local runner's group holding a silent run in the attempt to feel relevant or perhaps to express ire that anyone would interfere with one of America's sacred sports.  Yes, I'm sounding cynical here, but it's not because I'm callous with regard to the loss of life and all the injuries, it's just that in recent decades, the public reaction to high profile death has been so orchestrated and so formulaic that it cheapens the moment and distracts us from seeing such things in context. I'm not interested in crying, I don't subscribe to self-pity and I don't need closure or healing. I'm interested in being able to keep the kind of things that have plagued us all at least since Guy Fawkes tried to blow up Parliament from happening, as much as is possible in a free country.

Judging from other events, we'll soon be seeing piles of Teddy Bears on Boston streets and other silent runnings slowly turning our anger and willingness to learn from this event into a  declining series of maudlin and sentimental exhibitions of self-pity and the lachrymose quest for 'healing.'  One might forget just how rare such occurrences are in our country.  One will forget what must be done to keep things that way.  Our record, at least since the Oklahoma City bombing and the events of 2001, to thwart bombing attempts has been pretty good and  the mawkish  mourning and stuffed animal social club hasn't played much of a part.

According to a CNN.com editorial, only one successful bombing in America has been carried out since 9/11/01 -- by a White Supremacist. In the decade before that there were many, not the least of which were the killing of 168 in Oklahoma City, the 1998 Olympic bombing in Atlanta and the 1993 World Trade garage bomb which killed 6.  I don't include the horror of the 'Branch Davidian' holocaust, where David Koresh and his devout men of valor as he called them burned his followers to death.

What can we learn from the recent past?  That such events are pretty rare in America and getting more so as compared with Europe -- that our domestic politics of anger and violence is costly, for another. 380 people have been indicted on terrorism-related charges in the United States between September 11, 2001 and December 31 2012 and of those 207 have been so-called 'jihadists' or Muslim extremists, but non-Muslim perpetrators, 80% of whom have been American "conservatives"  have killed 29 versus 17 by Muslims.  All this and more from a Syracuse University study.  

But we've obviously gotten better.  We're catching nearly all the bombers and poisoners before they can act.  We'll never achieve perfect safety, not even if we achieve a perfect police state, but we'll come closer if we pay more attention to our own potential terrorists all across the political and religious  spectrum and spend less time wallowing in stylized and choreographed sorrow.

Is it time to notice just how much of our grossly exaggerated fear of  mad bombers should be directed  toward the American Right?    How much is fueled by Rush and Fox and Coulter and Bachmann and yes, the holy hellfire Christian Conservatives?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

People who hate America

Yes, you're right, The Westboro Wankers are at it again.  Nothing happens you see, that isn't God's wrath against people who do not persecute those people whose romantic and sexual desires don't conform to the wrong Reverend Phelps' ideas of what God demands. God bombed Boston, he assures us in a press release on Twitter and there must be a big grin on his divine visage this morning as he wipes the blood of children off his greasy lips.   What better way does he have to inform us of his hatred and his lust for violence, after all?  

You know I'm sick of hearing that we need to arm ourselves against the government. If there's any group of people who need their guts splattered on the pavement in gory splendor, it's the members, friends and supporters of the Westboro Baptist Church.

You know, some day that worm Phelps is going to die and if there is a God or if there is only us to work justice in the world, there will be ten million picketers at his funeral and his final resting place will be flooded with the urine of ten million more.

Monday, April 15, 2013

We're a little more honest -- honestly.

Emotional reasoning: we all do it.  Liberals and conservatives all have our pet pieties and our ways of protecting them against facts.  I don't need to summarize my posts about right wing hypocrisy and self-contradictory arguments or the tendency to invent scenarios independent of statistics or facts or logic.  You've heard it from me for years. It's not true that half the country pays no taxes and "Obama is giving them all our money," but they'll string you up from a light pole or drag you behind a truck for contradicting their beliefs.  They're delusional.

But, as I said, everyone does it. Liberals will jump all over drone attacks while ignoring the fact that it's the least likely way to produce unwanted casualties, while ignoring the fact that no war does not involve civilian casualties, that we are fighting a war against non-uniformed civilians and we insist that our drone strikes in Pakistan are a violation of their sovereignty even though they gave us permission to do so because many of us are invested in the notion of American imperialism.  We make the evidence fit the conviction even when there is no evidence and a few selected facts are proof.

They on the other hand will tell you condoms don't work, rape doesn't cause pregnancy, vaccination against HPV will make you daughter promiscuous.  They'll insist that advertisements showing a woman in a car with a pig promote bestiality (I'm not joking,) that same sex marriage destroys heterosexual marriage and there is a plot to turn kids gay. America is a Christian Nation, the constitution doesn't separate church and State and the Founders were pious Christians we are told.  Roosevelt caused the Depression.  Obama's 'policies' are bankrupting us. The media are saturated with "creation science" lies and other fictions on a daily basis and worse on Sunday. You know it all too well.

I find it depressing.  I find myself looking for reasons to tell myself that maybe I and the folks I agree with most of the time are human, with all the self delusion and fact twisting that involves, but we're still better than the the people I blame for most of our backwardness and our pursuit of bankruptcy in the name of prosperity: the American Right. I mean, we have to be better, right?

I think encouragement is at hand.  A study described in Salon.com, appearing in in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, claims that

 "when it comes to evaluating facts that are relevant to our deep-seated morals or beliefs, we don’t act like scientists. Rather, we act like lawyers, contorting the evidence to support our moral argument."

But they're much worse.  OK, we knew Trayvon Marton was murdered for being black before we knew the facts. We may still not know them, but we're still certain.  We knew that the "stand your ground" legislation justified it when it certainly did not in any way and we knew Zimmerman was a homicidal racist because it was in line with our deep seated convictions about guns and gun laws and racists. We constructed a scenario that made what we knew fit the puzzle and in a way that justified our Liberal faith.

But Conservatives, says the study, score higher on a trait called the need for cognitive closure, they are more uncomfortable with uncertainty and need to hold strong convictions -- to be certain that Liberals.  We can't have some abortions and not others -- it's good or evil and nothing in between. An egg has to be a "baby" else we can't be sure when it becomes fully human.  

This asymmetrical need for certainty despite the facts between Right and Left is of course debatable and is being debated amongst psychologists and yet it seems obvious to me -- because, no doubt, it fits my deep seated convictions about the righteousness of my opinions -- and that's why I'm sticking with it!  We're better than they are.


Remember when talking down the economy was "hating America?"  Remember when Liberals were badmouthing the market because they wanted to destroy America?  Now I don't think I have any special kind of memory or that I'm the most well informed or well read person on Earth but I want to know how the hell we remember only what's convenient or what we're told to remember in order to support our political pieties.  I remember this crap.  I remember 8 years of it because I was predicting a collapse from the beginning of that misbegotten administration and predicting the loss of civil rights and Goddamn it, I was right. They were wrong. They were lying like Limbaugh. Why don't you remember?  Do you even remember Bush?

Yeah, right, Obama's private army and I'm sure they all wear "jack boots" whatever the hell those are.  Remember when George W. Bush decided to use private troops at a huge expense because the American military had too many rules against things like killing civilians and torturing prisoners?  Oh, you don't? Do you remember when it was anti-American even to mention that people were getting killed on the news?  Sure, watch the 'shocking video' while you suck down another Budweiser, you sick, moronic loser.  Feel sorry for yourself because you have to pay for all those sluts to have sex and all those slackers to get foodstamps while the liberals take your guns so that the illegal aliens can rob you and rape our daughters ( unless they're unconscious in which case it's OK)

My mailbox is full every morning with apocalyptic economic predictions that somehow don't seem to provoke the offended responses from "conservatives" who not long ago told us, as it was happening, that the markets were sound and robust and that borrow like there's no tomorrow policies would require some payment to the piper and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were more than we could afford if we didn't raise taxes back to where they were in our most prosperous years.  Oh, but paying off the interest on that bastard's debts is "reckless spending."

Well I guess it's different now and I guess these lying vermin don't hate America, they don't hate freedom -- they don't care as long as they can steal it all from us and from what I hear and overhear every day, they certainly have been successful. America just eats it up like a pig eats it's own shit.  Oh, yes, you think Obama stole everything in Fort Knox and is going to call down an airstrike from flying saucers and take everything from you and give it to the "takers" because I hate to say it, we're not just an ignorant nation, we're fucking crazy pigs and destined to become somebody elses bacon.

Friday, April 12, 2013

We are not alone.

We're going to have to get used to drones.  They're available everywhere and getting better and cheaper as electronic toys do. HD TV cameras can be added that are now tiny and lightweight and cheap and can even see in the dark

I hope we don't have to get used to the constant surveillance they make possible and it's not just the invasion of our private spaces by government agencies I'm alarmed about.  Various people and groups of people with all kinds of ideas about what you're doing, aren't doing and should be doing are now able to watch and record from hundreds of feet above wherever you are.

PETA, one of those well-intentioned groups whose sentimentally extremist views about things like the personhood and civil rights of insects isn't the kind of  organization I want watching me if I'm out in the woods or down at the dock fishing seeing as for them, fish are sensitive and loving and self aware creatures and catching them is murder. But hunters are evil too as are those with leather shoes or eating sushi and PETA intends to   "monitor those who are out in the woods with death on their minds," according to a press release.  Those feral hogs we have here need to be protected against my violating their civil rights as well, and what about the local butcher shops!  Death on their minds! But according to the FAA, as long as you fly your Hammacher Schlemmer drone below 400 feet, there's no problem with areal reconnaissance. For extremists, kooks, voyeurs and fanatics, it's a whole new day.

"The average person has no worries" is the kind of  'reassurance' one expects from advocates of random and warrantless stops and searches.  Steve Hindi, president of yet another animal rights group called Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, or SHARK, assures us we have nothing to fear from him unless you have death on your mind.  He likes to watch bird hunters and post video on line and sending links to law enforcement. Perhaps the average hunter has no worries but what looks like one thing may look like another thing from a TV camera from 40 stories in the air and after all, Steve doesn't want you hunting in the first place you evil carnivore Bambi murderer you.

Of course flying your drone a few hundred feet above people with shotguns has it's hazards. Drones have suffered mysterious failures and there's a lot of giggling going on in the bird shooting community.  Might be some mirth in my back yard as well should there be an unidentified flying object hovering over my swimming pool, but I'm not sure the future doesn't hold endless drones over our heads and perhaps under our feet making sure we don't have aces up our sleeves or that we're not walking on the grass or filling out our golf score cards improperly or actually are playing cards with the guys like we said.  But let he who is without sin not worry, right?

Drones are the future.  Insurance companies are already 'offering' gadgets that record how fast you drive -- to save you money of course, but also to deny claims because you might have been observed at 5 over the limit.  Red light cameras don't seem to reduce collisions at intersections and may actually be causing more, but hey, you have nothing to fear in our brave new world where you have so many big brothers watching our for you.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sometimes a missile is only a missile

Other times, maybe not.

So North Korea now has two mobile IRBM's standing proudly erect and America's eyes in the sky are watching.  Little Kim, the only fat man in North Korea may be erect too but nobody's watching and nobody cares, the whole thing being so disgustingly Freudian. 

The likelihood that the PRNK is conducting a prank, waving it's mechanical member at us, is pretty high in my opinion as the notion that they have a nuclear weapon that can be fitted to one of these things is pretty low. Can we be sure that it will function and be accurate enough even for nukes? 

Speaking of dicks, the old war criminal himself has made it a point to express his nervousness about the smallest of the Korean Matriushka dolls, the son of the Glorious General who descended from Heaven and totally awesome Commander Kid and his WMD.  Interesting to note as this time there may actually be a WMD even if it's only a clumsy prototype. I'm glad he no longer has the launch codes even as much as I'd like to see the Great Sun of the 21st century vaporized, his little dick and all.

But the opinion of the other Dick, notwithstanding, I'm not really worried about being attacked.  I'm more worried about the Republicans dredging that old Three O'Clock phone call meme to go after Obama The Unprepared from another angle. It's Junk Un who has to be sitting up nights worrying about military coups or the Chinese flyswatter or a war that would be over before he could empty his bladder in his pants. Even if he's firing blanks, he may draw fire on himself and if he just puts it back in his pants, he'll look like the 8 year old in the Superman suit he really is.  Nobody will criticize him at home, not until someone gets up the nerve to assassinate him, but my guess is, that he's already lost this opening gambit and that he can't afford another.

But hey, for those of us tired of the 24/7 wailing, weeping and mourning and trembling in our Nike's that someone will shoot us as we watch a movie, or maybe sneak through our Smart Meters to steal our guns and raise our taxes Sharia Law style, it's almost a relief to contemplate nuclear war, Gangnam style.

Ban it

Well as long as we're advocating that anything that might somehow be deleterious to society or dangerous to school children be banned, let's ban the Bible.  I mean it. I can't think of anything that's been behind more ugly things for more time and we just can't trust people not to use it badly. Oppression, torture, privation, sexual perversion, conquest, slavery issue forth from it like the stink from a sewer and Bible mongers have as James Madison said " been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority."  Even when that dishonest and sordid concretion of legend, lie and political  polemic isn't a direct source of evil, the many malicious memes it's fostered and nurtured have been an endless source of obstruction, bigotry, hatred and dehumanization -- an ever-ready tool for the greedy and nasty of the world to divide us into warring tribes. Ban it!

Take Representative Joe Barton (Republican of course, and Texas unsurprisingly.)  To prove that all the shit we've been belching into the air since the Industrial Revolution and Population explosion began, has had no effect on the very demonstrable warming of the planet, he cites and without apparent shame -- the Bible Flood Story.  Why? For no other reason than that he hopes to profit from an oil pipeline. It's only a tiny example. There are more than anyone can count in a lifetime.  Reasons why I can't live here or eat there. Why I can't serve on a jury, can't run for office. Why this one can't be a citizen, why this one can't marry that one, why this family can't own its children, why that one can't dance on Sunday or read that book or have this job: that obscene bolus of priestly excreta, reeking of blood and death and corruption.

Look, like all the foundational stories of the Bible, the Flood never happened.  It never could have happened, it never will happen and if it had occurred the evidence would be absolutely everywhere. It isn't anywhere. It's a story to scare children and their childish parents and it directly contradicts an endless pile of evidence. As a Judaised plagery of an older Babylonian tale, it even contradicts itself as a combination of two stories with Gods of two different names, two different dialects, two different numbers of animals and different periods of rain interleaved almost line by line. Your Sunday School teacher lied. The entire Bible floats on lies as its tiny universe floats on a primal ocean.  Billions of species on a boat that somehow got from a Turkish mountain to populate the Earth in a few years?  Why are there no Kangaroos in The Middle East?

What kind of good book is the eternal and mortal enemy of math, logic, science, biology, chemistry, genetics, history and human dignity?  You know the answer. You know why it was used to ban telescopes and microscopes and the scientific method - why it was used to ban Democracy, why it was used to murder Jews and Arians and Albigensians and Protestants and Gnostics and Muslims and virtually anyone who would not submit to that accursed thing.

I can't think of one positive development in human history that has not been suppressed or thwarted by Bible wielding barbarians; things like freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of association, freedom of inquiry, freedom to elect governments, freedom of information -- even the very freedom to exist. We've had nearly an eternity and nearly an infinity of examples showing that mankind can't be trusted to produce or safely use such weapons of mass seduction.  Ban it.

The universe in which the disparate stories from various sources have been set is very tiny to the modern eye.  It's a flat universe which can be observed directly from 'above' and it directly contradicts the real universe to an extent that defies analogy. Stories are made up from things that may have happened at different times and in different places or are fanciful interpretations of random events or fictional accounts -- when they have any relationship to history at all, but as long as this intellectual assault weapon exists it will be used; we will be assaulted with it by people of evil and perverted and tyrannical intent. 

Enough of this.  The Bible may contain some embedded cysts or pockets of wisdom, some moments of rapture that delight when taken out of context but it's purpose is to sell authority, justify authority, promote authority independent of the will of free people and is  not only offensive to anyone with any concern for the history it traduces, it's a weapon that can, has and always will be used in the assault on our freedom and on truth and on all that has raised us up from smelly, lousy, terrified and diseased apes squatting in the dirt eating carrion.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The Doom that Came to America

Or at least they hope it will

Once upon a time, one used to see many examples of what used to be a favorite theme of cartoonists: the man with a "The End is Nigh" sign.  An amusing mid-century metaphor for delusion.

It isn't funny any more because not only has he been cleaned up, not only does he have a blog and a TV show and syndicated radio program, but because we believe him.  Preparing for Armageddon is an American way of life in our brave new century.  Embedded in so many things I see on line, are endless warnings of financial Armageddon:  the Germans want their gold back and we don't have it and ohmygod! The Dollar will be worthless by the end of the year. Obama will confiscate your guns any day now because he wants to confiscate the food you're stockpiling in your bunker because our food supply is going to collapse by the end of the year.  Don't believe what you see, what you read and especially what "the government" tells you because all governments lie, all the time and the only truth is what you read in these endless screeds.  It's the end of the world, or it soon will be -- unless you buy this book or that video and become a survivor. Unless you buy guns, sell gold, buy food, buy gold, hide guns, tune in, turn off and gimme your money, it's all over but the whimper.

These are the good times for the end times and if people are still laughing at the seething, howling, end of the world bombast, I'm not seeing it. People are terrified that something's happening here, but they don't know what it is. It's high time for the hucksters and the politics of terror they rode in on.

"In my latest research, I uncovered four shocking signs that a cataclysmic collapse will happen sometime in the next 18 months or less."

 Maybe, but I'm not burying gold and guns in the backyard just yet and I'm not sending this 'entrepreneur' any money.  Hey, if it's gonna be worthless by August, why does he want it?

"a massive economic catastrophe unlike anything ever seen before."

"The resulting chaos is going to crush Americans."

Sure, without a doubt and right before GODzilla returns to stomp all over Tokyo, or whatever he does. Right before the Mother Ship returns and Jesus the Hulk turns green and the 12th Imam shows up on Fox and Friends.

Maybe it's only that the growth of the web has given every greedy idiot, every charlatan the ability to be in everyone's face all the time, but the results are worse than the great milking and bilking of the pissing-in-its-pants public.  Add it to the mighty GOP attempt to destabilize the economy and destroy the evil African horror in the White House that is Fox; the malediction may fulfill itself.

"They're going to collectivize our children."

  "Slaveholders were all Liberal Democrats"

No lie is too big, too ridiculous for the sufficiently fearful to believe.  All that matters is fulfilling the Great American Death Wish.  But you know, it's you they expect to suffer.  It's not you they are trying to help and if there is indeed a catastrophe, if the resulting chaos is going to crush anybody, it isn't them. And if you believe what they're selling, you'll get what you pay for.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Constitution-free zone ahead

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

It's one of those news items that's been out there on the Web since February, In fact the ACLU has been talking about it since 2008,  but I had to hear it from someone in another country.  It's a situation I haven't heard on The Situation Room or even  on the blogs I read and yet it's the sort of thing one would have expected to arouse paranoia and rebellious rhetoric amongst the people who obsess about the Government taking away our freedom and our guns and our privacy.  Actually it seems to entail the government taking away what it damn well pleases for any reason it can think up -- and even for no reason at all.  Worst of all, and unlike your run-of-the-mill Chicken Little fantasies -- it's real.

The DHS has worried me since its inception and when national security became homeland security my innate suspicions were aroused.  I still think I was justified.  Yes, there have been exceptions to the 4th amendment proscriptions against searches and seizures of property since the beginning and many are there to allow customs enforcement, but now it seems our borders have by fiat, been arbitrarily moved 100 miles inland and nearly 200 million Americans -- almost 2/3 of the population can, without probable cause and without a warrant or reasonable suspicion and at the whim of law enforcement be stopped, required to prove citizenship, searched, papers and effects rummaged through and have property seized,  and you sir -- you can't do a damned thing about it.  The majority of the US population now lives in a 4th amendment free zone says the ACLU.

I and everyone else living in Florida for instance, which is all within 100 miles of the border, can have our computers and smartphones confiscated and contents downloaded and examined in the name of  Homeland security. No warrant, no pardon me, no apology.  There's a war on, you know and there always will be. So much for being secure in our papers, effects and persons.

We can be patted down for looking like someone who might possess the wrong kind of cigarettes -- or in other words black or Hispanic -- or just young.  And all your papers, documents, pictures, private correspondence, political opinions, records, music, love letters and secret formulas for barbeque sauce can and will be violated, unreasonably searched, downloaded and seized in the name of  Homeland safety and security. For the most part, it's all based on precedent and as with the run up to the total collapse of  the legitimacy of government we experienced in 1930's Germany, they've always got a good and convincing reason.

The insistence on freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures as a fundamental right gained expression in the Colonies before the Revolution based on experiences such as that of John Wilkes.  We've forgotten it.  We've been so conditioned to fear by polemicists on both sides of the governmental aisle, by think tanks, propagandists, do-gooders, evil doers, fear mongers and greedy, power hungry bastards that authoritarianism and its false promises of safety have taken us full circle.  Yes, there have been great strides made in some aspects of personal liberty with respect to minority rights, women's rights and religious freedom, but perhaps that success has blinded us to the non-monetary costs of our perpetual wars and pseudo-wars.

As George Bush said in 2001, we're going to have to give up some of our civil rights and so we have and little has been done since to reverse that trend. We are not secure in our homes and persons and effects and papers because someone blew up some buildings a dozen years ago.  We are not because we have a war on drugs that defies reason and erodes freedom. We've become a prison state where we can detain, imprison without charge, torture, kidnap and kill without due process, where nearly every quotidian government document is classified and the telling of the truth is treason and as long as they can keep us riled up about taxes and fictitious attacks on religion and trumped up dangers we just don't care because we're cowards and encouraged to be cowards for whom freedom is secondary.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Land of a thousand fears

Bias in the media is a strange thing. You can't depend on it leaning in any particular direction and indeed it can shift its drift like the sea grass in the tide.  Take the Fiscal Times founded by billionaire Peter G. Peterson. A billionaire investment banker, he began publishing it on line in 2010 and as you might suspect, his bias toward reducing social services and what it sells as fiscal conservatism draws complaints from many Liberals.

But when there's a wave to ride, the tidal wave of  hoplophobic hysteria that drives ratings high, for instance, the Fiscal Times might just hop on the surfboard and surprise you with something as hyperbolic and just a little bit dishonest as any fear mongering publication leaning the other way.

10 weapons you won't believe are legal, shouts the headlines and the lurid slideshow describing their attempt at arousing outrage  has all sorts of scary images of  things from sword umbrellas to the rotary barrel Vulcan Cannon used to destroy tanks from the sky.  Just like things you're liable to read in the Bible, it ain't necessarily so.

Things like a short piece of chain or nunchucks -- those things Bruce Lee made popular -- aren't on any ATF list, nor are umbrellas that disguise a blade in the handle. Do we really need a Federal ban? Fishing spears are the kind of thing teens bring to the beach here in Florida. Samurai swords like the ones over my fireplace and crossbows aren't banned either, but here's the thing. You can't take them anywhere you like, particularly if their concealed, like that sword cane.  A piece of bicycle chain is just fine as it, but used as a concealed weapon it isn't and neither is that crossbow millions of people use for hunting and general archery.  Brandish that speargun, use it to threaten someone and it sure as hell will be considered a deadly weapon -- unless that someone is a fish.

And then there's the modern Gatling gun with rotating barrels like the one that gained fame in the Civil War era.  They call it the Minigun probably to distinguish it from the things used on planes as tank busters, and they'd probably like to make you think those are legal and all your neighbors are hiding them under the bed, but sorry, it ain't necessarily so.  You can own one of these powered rotary barrel things, but it'll set you back at least $200,000 bucks and  that's only if you can find one grandfathered in and registered with Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives before 1986.  You won't and needless to say, these things aren't a factor in our gun violence problem.   Are they going to tell you that?  Hell no, but you get a picture of  a gunship with a monster cannon just to keep the teeth chattering and the hysteria going.

What about flamethrowers?  The picture shows a GI in battle dress throwing a fountain of fire -- something else that isn't much of a factor in crime.  It's not available at Wal-Mart or Gander Mountain and widely used in forestry and agriculture to do things like burn off the sugar cane fields in Florida every season.  What did you think they used, a Ronson?  Have there been any flamethrower burglaries or muggings?  Are you really worried about it?

I particularly enjoyed the picture of a WWII howitzer that announced that cannons are legal for private use.  Not the one they show, of course. They are talking about muzzle loading black powder cannons that shoot beer cans or bowling balls and the like.  Live out on a farm and you can probably fire one, but even without Federal bans, don't try that in town without a permit. Maybe you've got a courthouse or VFW with one on the lawn.  I think we can sleep at night folks, but no, you're going to stay up jittering about them shelling your neighborhood, aren't you.  One picture is worth a thousand lies, you know  - and they've got ten of them.

Funniest of all is that this learned lump of laughter is a reprise of something that appeared in Cracked Magazine years ago but without the humor.  At least there you expected a bit of tongue in cheek and a bit of  well,  outright bullshit, but hey -- just try to make an "improvised" machine gun without that somewhat inconvenient ten years and $200,000 speed bump.  None of this crap even shows up in crime statistics and yet, we get this kind of thing every day in idiotic expose's telling us to fear, to tremble, to quake and quiver because the neighbors are coming to get us with their umbrellas, and their swords and bicycle chains, ninja swords and nunchaku and of course their howitzers and A10 Warthog tankbuster jets with rotary cannons.  So little time, so many things to ban!