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Wednesday, September 28

"if you're not paying for the service you are using, you are the product they are selling."

Facebook tracks you even after logging out
".......Facebook is a lot more than a social network and ultimately wants to be the premier platform on which people experience, organise and share digital entertainment," said Ovum analyst Eden Zoller.
But in alarming new revelations, Wollongong-based Nik Cubrilovic conducted tests, which revealed that when you log out of Facebook, rather than deleting its tracking cookies, the site merely modifies them, maintaining account information and other unique tokens that can be used to identify you.

Whenever you visit a web page that contains a Facebook button or widget, your browser is still sending details of your movements back to Facebook, Cubrilovic says.
"Even if you are logged out, Facebook still knows and can track every page you visit," Cubrilovic wrote in a blog post......

I beginning to hope for a mega solar flare to TAKE IT ALL down. My bad, I know, but this is REALLY making me want to just turn it off.. TURN IT ALL OFF!!!!

Say it ain't so, George!!

B'gosh and B'gorrah!

It seems some of us might just have been right all along when we conspiracy theorists bitched about vote machine rigging! But, oh no, those who knew the TRUTH claimed we were just radicals looking for any excuse.

Even though I and some others along with probably hundreds of still others around the country did already show the Diebold Machines could have been hacked to change election outcomes, many, even on the Left, with the full agreement of those inpower, proclaimed "we wuz crazy and sore losers!"
Now it seems we were right all along. So what happens now? I know...let's have a re-vote of the entire 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010 elections everywhere in this country. But let's do it with paper ballots! It should only cost around, say, 700 billion! I know. You're all gonna say, "Where will that money come from? We just don't have it!" Well, actually we do have it. 'Loose change' from our polio-tician's, bankster's, CEO's, Wall Streeter's and Corporation's couches should more than cover it.

If that don't work, why we can just get Barry and Congress to pay for it with another bail out! This time we could call it, um... 


(Bailout Unscrupulous Rightwing Fascism)

If you want to ketchup on the bullshit that's been thrown at us by our trusted RepubliCrat Government since 2000, check out this site.

"The best government money can buy" - Greg Palast
Should be "The best power government corruption can steal."

Friday, September 23

Good God!!!!!!!!

There isn't a type large enough to express my disgust at this.

Italian Scientists Who Failed To Predict Earthquake Put On Trial

"ROME -- Seven scientists and other experts went on trial on manslaughter charges Tuesday for allegedly failing to sufficiently warn residents before a devastating 2009 earthquake that killed more than 300 people in central Italy."

(Read the rest, but not on an empty stomach.)

But the lawyer for the victims said science was not on trial. (Uh-HUH!)

The Religists, Tea Bigots and Republicans must be using all the Kleenex in the world!
Nobody expects the (Italian) Inquisition.

Thursday, September 22

Wednesday, September 21

Is Obama about to lose control, or will he stand up for Americans over business and the Right?

Update: The Fed will NOT bow to the wishes of the GOP's desire for another recession. No word yet on what Obama thought.

This will empirically define the real Obama.
If he does nothing and the Fed goes along with the Republicans, it will show beyond any doubt that Obama cares only for the affluent and cares nothing for the American people. 

He MUST take a definitive stand for the people on this or it will truly show he's lost whatever control he and his supporters believe he had.

Tuesday, September 20

World War Three...or how I learned to love the Koch Brothers

Growing up in the 50s and 60s, we were taught (taught being the operative word) that the Soviets wanted to and would start World War Three. We all knew that this would be the last war when it came. Atom bombs, missiles and planes raining destruction from the skies and radiation everywhere would make life virtually impossible. We all knew World War Three would be between the United States and the Soviet Union. Few would survive to go on to a better future. But only a few. And only a special few.

We were wrong. World War Three would be started by our own people, the businessmen, the wealthy of the United States against the Middle and Lower Class People of the United States.

The election of St. Ronnie in 1980 was the preparation for the attack. Laws that had effectively constrained business for nearly 50 years were being challenged and changed and in many cases, repealed. Still, the war on Americans by the Corporations needed something more. It came in the guise of a Democratic President with at first a Democratic then Republican Controlled Congress. Agreements made to send American jobs overseas were a major battle won by business and a huge stepping stone on the pathway to all out war.

Slowly, as things seemed to prosper in the 90s, these businessmen worked the politicians to get what they wanted, repeal of Glass-Steagall. All that was needed now for the final push to the beach was a willing and very cooperative president. They got that in 2000 with the direct aid of the Right Wing Supreme Court, the Congress and especially the media which the wealthy had been acquiring for nearly 30 years. Plans were falling in place.

Conveniently, an attack on the United States happened at just the right moment executing the most improbable set of circumstances imaginable. Now was the time for a major strike. It was the surprisingly (already) hastily produced Patriot Act. 200 years of Constitutional Law was obviated in the name of Pseudo Patriotism and National Security with cries of "fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here" energizing a gullible, poorly informed through Right Wing owned media, public.

We had a chance to reverse this in 2004 but the propaganda from the Right Wing, the wealthy and media, especially from Fox via the ignorant sheep saw to it there would be continued War on Americans even though the same politically apathetic Americans thought the War was against Americans by Iraq.

There were small political victories by some of the concerned Left and in 2006 it looked for all the world as if things would turn around. But those we depended on to do so, turned on the Liberals and Progressives and sided with the wealthy in order to enrich themselves.

In 2008 we elected what we thought was a man who would surely reverse the corruption of at the very least the previous 8 years. But to the shock of Liberal Democrats and Progressives, he did no such thing. Instead, he and the people he installed and the party he headed sold out those who had put him and them in power. 

More and more power has been given to business. More and more restraints put on civil liberties. Unemployment grew and nothing was done to stop it while business and those running the Corporations got everything they wanted and more from Obama and his Congress.

Many feel Obama sold us out but there are those who believe otherwise, those who, much as the Bush 28 per centers supported everything he did, now sound just like those same single-minded Bush Apologists. Most pretend to be centrists or moderates but in actuality are Vichy Democrats like the French of 1940 willing to go along with and ignore the duplicity of this administration so long as they are still employed and have not lost what most other Americans have lost.

But all of what has happened so far is merely the beachhead of World War Three. Our president, who has done precious little to stop the Corporate March to totalitarianism suddenly finds himself in need of us again. So now he’s making mouth noises as though he’s somehow seen the light and for the first time in his Imperial Presidency, appears to be fighting for the common American by challenging the Corporations. How? He’s telling the drug companies they must provide the same conditions for Medicare and Medicaid. He’s telling the wealthy they will have to pay more taxes. He wants to end the farm subsidies. Can oil subsidies and mandatory jobs be far behind?Does he really understand the consequences of this tack?

All of this sounds well and good but it is merely allowing Corporate America to enter the next phase of their all out war on Americans. It’s all well and good Obama is saying he wants to do this. But if he does it (to get the votes for his re-election) what will the Corporations do? Why, they will have no choice but to raise prices, move more jobs overseas and lay off more Americans because they can’t keep their bottom line overflowing with profits or keep their already wealthy investors even greedier, and then blame Obama for it. The Republicans will use this against him in the election in 2012 and the completely Stupid American Public (SAPs) will believe them.

And when this happens, and it will, there’s nothing Obama will do about it. Oh, he’ll claim to the moderates and centrists he tried knowing full well what the result would be. If you think the inflation the Obama Administration has legally jerry-rigged is bad now, just wait.  By then, it will be too late. Once this goes down, the war is over and Corporate America officially wins.

Those who supported him will, of course, claim they were surprised he could do such a thing even as they spiral into the lower class they thought only existed for others. They’ll complain: too late.

Don’t believe it? Just wait. The alternatives that would have righted this foundering ship were ignored… on purpose, by a more than willing conscript in the White House.

A few thousand traitorous Americans will have done what powerful nations couldn’t do in over 200 years. And they will have been aided and abetted by the same Flock of American People who blindly and still willingly follow a puppet of the Corporations.

Karl Rove wanted to create a one party government – one that “will last a thousand years.” He didn’t. But it looks as though Obama did. Maybe not a thousand. But I’m betting on 50 to 75.

Show me I’m wrong.

Monday, September 19

Watch these full screen...(they look better!)

It is to laugh...

...and cry!

Sunday, September 18

The earth in a minute...

From Universe Today via

 Bad Astronomy

The earth in a minute. 600 pictures by James Drake strung together to form a movie of the International Space Station circling the globe. View it at your highest resolution.

It always amazes me that the first thing the "morans" on earth complain about when money is tight is "we're wasting money in space when  people on earth are starving or have no homes or no education" yet not once do I hear from these concerned humans that "if we weren't killing brown and yellow and red and black people, those on earth would HAVE food and homes and education!"

What a Wonderful World!

Kind of a shame we can't take some Congress Fools up there, and let them experience this...from outside the station! (EV Suits optional!)

From Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy:

A lot of people on Twitter were asking about the brown-green arc above the Earth. That’s an aerosol haze, a glow caused by particles suspended high above the planet’s surface. It’s an extremely thin layer, so it’s best seen edge-on, for the same reason some very thin shells in space are bright only around the edges. From the ground it’s too faint to see this clearly, and from space it’s only visible on the night side of Earth.

Here's the youtube url:

Thursday, September 15

global warming or conspiracy or what?

I haven't posted here in ages, but Jersey started commenting on organic and being off the grid in comments for Father Tyme's 'Through an age darkly...' post below.

I am not off the grid, nor close to it yet, but I attempt to grow all my own vegetables. Because I live in a normally conducive climate and I'd really prefer to not support The Man at Monsanto or Cargill or whichever others are in bed w/ the US Gubmint. Maybe I am just old-fashioned that way. Maybe I just want to know that organic means organic and isn't just trendy green-washing.

Technically, I am west of the state's breadbasket, which covers territories starting in the Sacramento valley and ranges down into the San Joaquin valley towards Bakersfield, but this means as a result that I have better opportunities to water my raised beds with saved rainwater, because the central valley (especially the San Joaquin) has been in this bitter drought for years now. Drought and agriculture do not mix well, needless to say (google phrases like "delta smelt" and you'll find a lot of gasbagging and handwringing that at least view didn't do jack shit to address possibilities like growing more drought-tolerant crops, much less break out of the monoculture mold.) A couple years ago I decided to plant some crops which are traditionally grown in the southwestern states, kind of as a precautionary stop-gap. It was a good way to emphasize heirloom crops, get away from hybrids which don't always breed true when seed is saved, and to emphasize water conservation. I grow maize and legumes from Native Seeds at this point and some tomatoes and peppers as well. (It all started because I was looking for teosinte to grow from seed, but that's another story.) My rationale was that because the state's been in a drought and we've had a couple dry-ish winters in the SF Bay Area, I might as well start to adapt growing patterns because the summers here are hotter than the devil's buttcrack much of the time, requiring tons of water. So I grow Mitla Black beans for dry and green beans, and because they enrich the tomato beds. At least that is how it worked in 2010. And I grow maize, squashes and pole beans in a Three Sisters arrangement at the back corner where corn does well, with plenty of Fourth Sister volunteers of various sunflowers planted by my hens when I let them in to scratch and turn over the soil late fall.

Things went pretty well last fall. I had several pounds of sunflower seeds for the hens, I had dried corn to crack for them in the winter, and we had winter squashes for the cold months. And after the first official heavy rains, in the tomato and pepper beds we wound up with boxes of fruit to be ripened in a sunny spot in the living room and/or roasted and cooked with. Not huge fruits mind you, but tasty, and it was nice having that bit of sunshine in our Christmas tamales come December.

Not so this year.

In the spring, I had wised up some on my bean choices for the back corner. Teparies may be preferable if you anticipate a dry summer and need a quick grower, and are actually dry-farmed in some places; I'd interplanted them with a fast-maturing corn, and was hoping to plant and harvest twice. Dry-farming is very popular for tomatoes as well, but I've not tried that yet, although I've certainly let tomatoes get a bit dry so they'll root deeper and suck some of the water out of the amended clay at the bottoms of the growing furrows; works grand near the end of the growing season when the plants are more mature and fruiting like mad because they sense the season ending.

In addition, I'd read Carol Deppe's very good if idiosyncratic and stubborn 'The Resilient Gardener'. I ordered some squashes she recommends for regions where the growing season might be shortened for some reason, like Sweet Meat. I ordered garbanzo beans because they seemed a good transitional legume that tolerates a bit of cold as it builds up your nitrogen. And I went batshit crazy and ordered organic seed potatoes from Fedco in ME. Because, well... because I thought I might do well with them. Why not? I'd been growing organic red potatoes in half barrels and wanted a little more variety.

Starting in October, when the rains slowly began on the heels of Indian summer, I turned the hens out to scratch and weed and poop and turn over soil in the early evenings, and on the weekends. It's become a helpful step because the soil is kind of poor here. Then I sowed favas as a winter and spring crop to keep the soil busy and to leave more nitrogen and some mycorrhizae fungus to ensure good water retention in the spring, covered quite a bit of soil with straw, and let winter happen. One of the big issues with growing in clay-heavy soil, where you'd be better off throwing pots than planting, is that clay is a mess during the rainy season. We've slowly adjusted to this, adding straw and other organic materials before the rains come, sometimes working things in with our cultivator before sowing fava and laying on the straw. Technically we're looking at a decade of such activity before we have SOIL, in fact. But we're determined to speed it up, adding around 200+ lbs of home-composted amendment yearly. A lot of people will add sand to make water flow better in such soil, but that just ensures having to water more often and winding up with cranky plants which are still nitrogen- and phosphorus-starved, IMHO.

Anyway, spring came, I harvested about 20 lbs of shelled fava beans (damn they were tasty if a lot of work), we yanked up and composted all the fava plants, and got cracking with planting. Starting with the back corner. I alternated Anasazi corn and tepary beans in the rows, in a nice checkerboard, after we tilled just to reinvigorate the soil and work in more finished compost. Then we did squashes and sunflowers nearby, sowed brassicas which would mature before the temps climbed up, and we had flats full of tomato and pepper seedlings waiting to go outside, too.

And then it started raining, and would not stop for several weeks. This was in March. Now sporadic rainfall into April is common here, but nonstop for weeks leading up to April is not. During this time I was also brooding chicks in the house, they were going to be meat birds and layers, because we'd eaten a couple hens at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the flock wasn't really laying much in their second winter and early spring. Anyway, I managed to find time to replant seeds, because the beds had gotten so compacted by the rain, after turning it over again, with a shovel this time, as it dried out some.

And then we got colder weather. It snowed one afternoon when the normal temp would have been around 65F. I was out there wiring some tarps onto the coop and pen for the younger chickens, just to keep out the rain which had begun when I got home, and then realized I wasn't wet at all, and that it was clumps of snow falling out of the sky... And so then we got more rain, and it took forever for the very important back corner to germinate, and the crops basically failed back there, save the sunflowers. The only squashes I got this year were volunteers from when I'd fed the hens pumpkin guts after Hallowe'en last year (these came up in the onion and tomato beds.) And so the hens got to eat baby corn, because the corn plants got maybe a foot tall, if even that, and not a single ear matured.

We stuck with it and sowed a shitload of seeds, got tomatoes and peppers into the beds, and nothing grew for a couple months. Why? It wasn't stinking warm enough. And then it was too warm. Summer squashes did not grow. There were no bees in the yard to speak of other than a couple big fat orchard bumbles which favored the flowering sages; the rest of the local bees were confused, methinks, or had not wintered over at all.

Anyway, this is an awful lot of pissing and moaning, I'm sure, but it makes me wonder exactly how bad it must be in the midwest right now, in the plains where corn is grown as an industrial operation, and soybeans similarly, and where I hear grains are failing.

If Sara the hippie farmer in CA cannot grow an organic bonanza of veggies, just imagine what has befallen the fuckersons at Monsanto et al who claim erroneously that they are feeding the world when what they are in fact doing is enslaving the world with their crop technologies, pesticides, and fake fertilizers that reduce soil fertility. Friends of mine in neighboring cities had better results, but everyone had at least two or three specific crop failures. Corn. Squashes. Potatoes. Etc.

Even worse, while organic farming is a helluva lot more resilient than industrial, it is not infallible either. I was fully expecting to eat from my yard this year, saving, pickling, preserving, et al. Mind you the fall growing season is coming, so I am going to try again, and have plenty of things to attempt to grow like napa cabbages, turnips, carrots, more brassicas, et al. But if this were all I had to rely on, I'd be pretty fucking hungry right now. So would the cats and chickens. It is all well and good to read Mother Earth News and get a bug up your butt to plant your own tomatoes this year, but that's almost always done w/ the tacit assumption that you'll be buying the rest of your food from somewhere. What if the sources for the somewhere had crop failures?

Apparently Rick Perry doesn't believe in Global Warming, which means he doesn't believe in changing weather patterns either. Does he think the wildfires and drying aquifers are due to demons or something? Or a conspiracy? Michelle Bachmann doesn't believe it in either, never mind that her hairspray contributes to it, as does her mouth whenever she opens it to make weird noises that resemble human speech.

I have better plans for this coming spring, which include keeping the tv switched off.

Sunday, September 11

Through an age darkly...

Some thoughts.

How will the wealthy divide up America and who gets to make the decision as to who gets what? Won’t that be interesting to watch?

America’s Kingdoms! I imagine the Kochs will set up their fiefdom in the Midwest; Gates in the Pacific Northwest; T. Boone Pickens in Texas; etc. The fight over New York City and surrounding area should be a hoot to watch. They’ll turn on each other sure as a dollar buys a vote. Internecine wars will be common place among AIG, Bloomburg, Wall Street, the Banksters until a real winner emerges.  Foreclosed homes will be allocated as rewards to the lower lords for fealty.
And of course while the Masters of this Universe are eating the carcass the founding fathers bore, China and the rest of the world will be striking deals with our new feudal lords for access to our services.
All in all it will probably get pretty medieval again. And the extinct middle class will walk around in a daze wondering how this could happen to them and how they could be treated so badly by those they unswervingly supported.

Who will pay the police to protect the wealthy once there are food, power and fuel shortages and the citizens take to the streets? The hired mercs of the wealthy, like the people on the street, won’t be able to buy anything with inflated money because there will be nothing to buy. And the wealthy sure as hell won’t share their bounty with those who they “pay money” to protect them. I’m sure it will come as quite a shock to them.

Is there really much difference between today’s Tea Publicans and the Spanish Inquisitors of the Church? They both denied science. They both were corrupt. The both tortured. They both ruled and tried to with all the nastiness they could. They persecuted those who wouldn’t believe as they did. They repressed dissent and free speech. They imprisoned any who dissented however trivial.

Crime and murder will be common place among the “rabble” consigned to the outer areas. Small warlords will abound. Gangs will rule until united by an all powerful warlord who will make deals with his feudal masters.

Yep. You betcha. The next few decades of the Second Dark Ages should be lots of fun. Will a new and better empire arise from the chaos of the early 21st century? Maybe after 50 or 75 years it might. And it might even last for a hundred years or so…but knowing human behavior, it'll probably end just like the current times. If those humans of the 22nd century are anything like us, I wouldn't bet a sack of flour.

Grab your popcorn. I got mine. You won't want to miss one glorious minute of the future Americans allowed to be created.

Aurora Alert for 9/11 & 12

From Spaceweather

GEOMAGNETIC ACTIVITY CONTINUES: Earth's magnetic field is still reverberating from the impact of a CME on Sept. 9th with intermittant geomagnetic storms in progress around both poles. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras mingling with the light of the waxing full Moon. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

On Sept. 9th and 10th, Northern Lights were spotted in the United States as far south as Washington, Wisconsin, Vermont, Montana, Maine, Minnesota and North Dakota. In Michigan, it was like a day at the beach:

Shawn Malone took the picture from the shores of Lake Superior near the city of Marquete.

Aurora appeared right after dusk, barely visible because of the moon. Gradually the fog moved in, creating a surreal landscape- the aurora and a fogbow!
5d/1600/2.8/5 sec exp/2.8

Shawn Malone

Image taken:

Sep. 10, 2011


Marquete MI

Short, not so sweet

and we have no proof 9/11 resulted in cancer for responders...
so we don't have to pay.

It's V-A Day!

from 1981...
but may as well be today!

God, I can't wait for tomorrow. The hypocrisy is making me crazy.

Wednesday, September 7

Question: What's the Difference Between 9/11 and a Cow?

Answer: You can't keep milking the cow for ten years.

Black Tuesday was a tragedy. Yes, it was a crime perpetrated by people who deliberately put themselves beyond the pale of civilized behavior as we understand it. While the radical's motives were unjustifiable to us, their motives were perfectly justifiable to them. They shall not be revisited here, in the interest of brevity.

However, what happened after 9/11/01 was not a crime. It was worse. It was a mistake.

As the dust and debris settled, the rest of the world stood with us. Even Iran and the PLO, for Cthulhu's sake, supported us. NATO activated the collective security clause of the North Atlantic Treaty out of sympathy for our cause. As the injured party (and there is no doubt we were injured on that day) we had the moral high ground.

We squandered that moral position, so badly that now not even the British trust our motives unreservedly any longer - so much for the "special relationship." We beat down the Taliban in Afghanistan, and had al Qaeda pinned down in the Tora Bora region. Then, we took the eye off the prize and went haring off to attack Iraq.

We had no business attacking Iraq. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, and none of the 19 hijackers were Iraqis (fourteen were Saudis, but we didn't invade Saudi Arabia for it). Saddam and Osama mutually loathed each other - Saddam considered Osama to be a religious extremist troublemaker, while Osama considered Saddam to be a socialist secularist apostate. I watched and listened to Colin Powell prostituting himself at the UN Security Council, and I was unconvinced that we had any casus belli in Iraq.

Shortly after we invaded Iraq, one of my coworkers (who gets all his news from Fox and told me that we were at war and that I should shut up and follow the President. I pointed out that that's a pretty slavish and servile thing to do in a democracy, war or not - and besides, I asked, if we were truly at war, why weren't taxes up? Why weren't we conscripting? In response, he called me a liberal (which is wrong on several fronts).

We gave up our moral position, and frittered away the respect that we once enjoyed. And anyone will tell you that respect, once lost, takes a hell of a long time to gain back.

We borrowed, hand over fist, with ruinous consequences for our economy. Osama said himself that he didn't NEED to defeat the USA militarily - all he had to do was bleed us white economically. I will state, here and now, that he won that fight, with a lot of help from a bunch of greedy bastards in this country and in Europe.

We have stretched our military forces - the finest body of fighting men and women on Earth - to the breaking point and even beyond in some cases.

We have vomited up some of our most cherished ideals, including the idea that we can be secure in our homes, property, persons, etc. from government intrusion. We have willfully violated international treaties, which under our Constitution have the force and effect of Federal law.

And so matters stand, ten years on.

Ten years ago, I quoted Aeschylus: "Cry sorrow, sorrow - yet let Good prevail!"

Good has not prevailed.

10 years after- we are so screwed

by blondesense liz

Good morning fellow travelers,

I've been thinking a lot as we near the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and reflect on that big hole in the ground in lower Manhattan.... I shouldn't think so much as it makes my head hurt at my age.... I can barely type what I have been thinking about but here goes: The Terrorists Won. I'm pretty sure the terrorists are the oligarchs.

The American people handed over the keys to the country to corporate shills and incompetent boobs. It is now "patriotic" to shut up and do as you're told. If you try to save money in the bank, you don't make any interest. If you go to college, you can't get a job when you graduate no matter how well you did in school. If you decide to serve your country in the military, they screw you royally in every way. Stuff you pay for via taxes is now referred to as "entitlements". No one questions pentagon spending at all when the lobbyists posing as congress debate what programs ought to be cut. No one questions the fact that the US can invade or bomb the hell out of any old country without a formal declaration of war. We've never paid more for health insurance and never paid so much in co-pays that it could bankrupt a family easily.

A few hundred people control more than half the wealth in the US. It doesn't seem fair but if I complain about it, I am labeled a socialist because that's now a bad thing. People think we should support the filthy rich so that when we become filthy rich ourselves, we won't have to pay taxes on it. duh. We are one of the lowest taxed countries in the world, but it's not low enough for the uber-wealthy.... what more can they buy? What do they need all that money for?

If there was indeed a "liberal agenda" Grover Norquist would have been assassinated.

I'm starting to think that more than half of the American people are complete idiots... I used to think that it was more like 30%- but the number is growing. I wouldn't drink the water if I were you.

Will need something like the French Revolution to get out of this mess? I hope not.

God (if there is one) is not omnipotent. God is a wussie just like the Democrats.

Over and out

Tuesday, September 6

It's dated, but up to date.

A Letter to Peter of Lone Tree

In a post published today [June 15, 2009] at the Dark Wraith Publishing online property Big Brass Blog, contributing writer Peter of Lone Tree quotes from author Chris Hedges' recent article, "The American Empire Is Bankrupt," which paints a brutally grim picture of the death spiral of the United States economy and the coming deprivations its non-elites will suffer.

Good evening, Peter of Lone Tree.

Although I greatly enjoy the writings Chris Hedges has published on American religious extremism, his apocalyptic vision of the future of the American economy is generous to a fault and parochial to a rather unexemplary era and its uninspired citizens.

We have received what essayist Jonathan Schell describes as "An Invitation to a Degraded World," and we have accepted it. The acceptance has come in each election from 2000 to the present, and that includes the presidential election last year.

We cannot help ourselves: we embrace the folly of reactionism, and Brand X of the Left is seen as a viable substitute for Brand X of the Right. In the end, the candidates of one company are pretty much the same as those of the other. Duopolies offer choice only to those who have forgotten that choice includes the option, "No."

On we trod, though, into a future not as good as that of our parents.

But not really. I lived through bad times when I was growing up. The death of my father at the end of the '60s was a metaphor for a world and a nation on the precipice of upheavals I did not understand; but, then again, hardly anyone else did either, and the particulars of my circumstances of a degraded world were not the cause of the plight in which my mother and I found ourselves. The truth of the matter is that life was becoming a changed thing for many people way back then.

And before my time, life was becoming a changed thing for the people who had lived to see the turn of the last century, too.

And before their time, life was becoming a changed thing for the people who had lived to see the time after that war between the states.

And before their time, life was becoming a changed thing for the people who had lived to see the dawn of the 19th Century.

And before their time...

You get the picture.

The future is an invitation to a degraded world, a lesser thing, always packaged in the new, the better, the not-old-and-worn-out. Our walk to that place has become a breath-taking sprint, even as we curse the landscape as it becomes more ominous, more barren, more foreboding.

We look back and cannot help but imagine in the time before now a sun higher in the sky, a world less confusing because we know how the story went. The future is a story not told and, therefore, not known. We are never ready for it; and now, as we run at full speed into its maw, we have no means by which to prepare ourselves, much less to prepare that place in which we shall spend the remainder of our days.

If it is of any comfort, though, we do know the part about how bad it's going to be there in that future. It is the place where the ones we love die, the ways we once lived are gone, and the joys we had are faded to the stuff of sadly fleeting dreams about which we can tell no one because no one cares.

The past is about ghosts we knew: they speak through our individual and collective memories.

The future is about ghosts we can only imagine: mostly, they speak through our individual and collective fears.

Times really are going to get rough. I have written many articles about what is coming, and I have now lived long enough to note with a degree of satisfaction that my predictions, economic and otherwise, are being proved accurate. A quite general article of mine about the future is one entitled, "The 21st Century, Epilogue." I took a more metaphorical approach in my story, "The End of Time."

So many people do not listen, though. They have to hear ghosts for themselves. That means they'll have to wait, just like they have for generation after generation; and when they see the future in all its ugliness, they'll wonder why it had to be that way.

Perhaps a few people in that time will notice something particularly awful about those ghosts to come, as terrible as they'll be as they stand before us in the plain sight of that degraded world out there just after tomorrow's sunset: those ghosts of the future will look an awful lot like us.

Right now, as we stand here on the edge of tomorrow accepting that invitation to which we just cannot say, "No," we ensure that ours will be the grave from which will usher that sullen place — that awful, degraded world — of apocalypse and misery otherwise called the future.

We never learn, do we?

The Dark Wraith has spoken. [From The Dark Wraith Forums of June 15, 2009.]

Saturday, September 3

And they huffed and they puffed...

More letters from the Right

Bu...bu...but my remote's lost don't know what to do!

This is what happens when adults(?) lose the ability to remember how to change TV Channels or to look for news from more than one source.
It also shows that P.T. Barnum was a right. 

I present you with:
Another local graduate of the Fox News Vocational Rehab School of Journalistic Propaganda.

Why pay to study current events in today's "liberal colleges" when you can learn all you really need for free in just 24 hours sitting comfortably in front of your TV, on YOUR OWN COUCH?

Get the REAL story! Fox News!

IQ test for Congress

Saturday, September 3, 2011
Read more: IQ test for Congress - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

I believe real unemployment is 20 percent or more. The national debt is over $14 trillion and spiraling upward. Programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are heading toward insolvency. Given these circumstances, I would think our leaders in the U.S. Congress would focus all of their efforts on resolving these major issues.
Instead, Democrat members of Congress like Maxine Waters, John Kerry, Jesse Jackson Jr., Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein and Andre Carson spend their time attacking the tea party and Fox News. Why, rather than solving America's problems, do they spew vile insults, fuel class warfare and make incendiary accusations of racism?
The answer is that they spent the last six years implementing failed policies and realize that they have no accomplishments to offer in the 2012 election. The only cards they have left to play is to avoid the issues and focus on smearing their opponents. This is a despicable tactic at any time, but especially now, when so many Americans are being hurt by the prolonged poor economy.
The recent asinine statements from the aforementioned Congress members make a good case for instituting some type of IQ test to qualify candidates for Congress.

Michael G. Bitterice


Thursday, September 1

I think we should cancel LABOR DAY this year.

I can't help but wonder how many folks are celebrating their "worker's rights" these days.

Labor Day -- from wiki:

The form for the celebration of Labor Day was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday: A street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations," followed by a festival for the workers and their families.

Morale, also known as esprit de corps when discussing the morale of a group, is an intangible term used to describe the capacity of people to maintain belief in an institution or a goal, or even in oneself and others.

yup - no 'bout A-doubt it -- I'm officially canceling it.

Compromise Or Cowardice? President Obama 'Yields' To Speaker Boehner. Moves Job Speech Date, by Veronica Roberts @ All Voices

What would YOU say?

I'll start...