Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Train-Spotting, Clevetown, Circa 1960

Image result for cleveland rta bus map

I usta LOVE "the Rapid." It spelled freedom to a 14-year-old who'd rather have been almost ANYWHERE else.
We lived on the West Side, but (against my strongest wishes) my folks sent me to St. Ignatius, which was Downtown, close to the industrial center of the City. This required me to have a bus pass for my daily commutes.
We lived in Lakewood, near The Valley, so the trip was longish, and demanded standing around in Clevetown weather in the dark of winter, along with myriad "dads" from the vicinity/neighborhood heading "Downtown" to work. I would be out there around 7 am, rain, snow, sleet, freezing pee, regardless, waiting for the bus. The smell of cigaret smoke was always densest the more miserable the weather.
The bus pass was liberation and "the Rapid" my underground railroad.
Nobody was watching me. Nobody demanded I exit the train at the St. Ignatius stop (w. 25th?)
Hell, no one demanded I exit the bus when it got to the w.117th street station stop, but I usually did. Carrying my brown bag-lunch and my unused school-books and standard, suburban, St. Ignatz mufti, I joined the daily, reluctant stream to the platforms. 
But I usually also saw to it to miss the first train, on which all my neighbors departed. I'd dally (and smoke a furtive cigaret, mebbe buy a pack from the machine), and take the next train.
And then, very often, I would somehow forget to EXIT the train at St. Ignatz, down in the Flats, and continue downtown.
Where I'd switch trains out to the EAST side--after a cigaret...
Out there were the destinations of myriad Clevetown-area school field trips. Hundreds of kids daily cycling through Severance Hall, and the Museums, the University.

I'd ride the Shaker Heights line out to University,  and hang around, surreptitiously smoking my Camels (which my dad smoked) until a really large group of kids from other schools would be shepherded into the venue, wherever; and once I was in I was in all day.
And on the way  back home, I'd stop under the Terminal Tower for one of those incredible chocolate shake/malts from the fountain at Higbees.
I flunked out of St. Ignatz in the Flats in GLORIOUS fashion that spring. 1960? Sounds right. I went to Lakewood High for a year, and then we moved (back) to Santa Fe.
The weather aside, Clevetown in the decade of the 50s was idyllic for a young, privileged white boy.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

"Deconstruction Squad"

Woody dislikes being so right so often, sometimes (all y'all do, too, I imagine).

I know that I've been sounding this horn for the last 20-30 years, since Gingrich and his lackeys ran the joint, and Grover Norquist first started dreaming of drowning Gummint in the bathtub.
The object of the GOPhux has always been and is now to utterly demolish (or preferably, eliminate) any/ALL avenues by which ordinary citizens might/could resist or oppose or contravene the total acquisition of "commons" required by the global, imperial Corporat State.
Now Gin-Blossom Bannon's admitted it.
They'll STILL need a couple of agencies, like State, Defense, Justice, Homeland Security and Treasury; but they'll be run for the benefit of the Owners, not for the people. The rest are expendable.
You can tell which Agencies are the least important and will be the ones eliminated, by the folks chosen to 'lead' them; the more incompetent the choice, the more likely to be closed: HUD (the Nigra), Education (the Fluff), Energy (the Moron), and EPA (the Polluter).
Woody's been shouting and yelling and hollering and screaming that this was their design since RAYGOON and his Righturd gunsels took over.
That was the beginning of the end.
This is "The End" of the end.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

When's the NEXT Reichstag/9-11 Scheduled?

Via John Cole's deathless "Balloon Juice:"

"So many people just don’t get it at all. I was a winger for years, and we can discuss that particular psychosis at a later date, but what I can explain to you right now is that they fucking hate you.
They just do.
They hate you because you respect gay people as normal human beings.
They hate you because you respect African-Americans as normal human beings.
They hate you because you respect Asians, Latinos, and everyone else who isn’t a straight white male.
They hate you because you respect a woman’s right to choose.
They hate you because you respect the right of people to be with who they love.
They hate you because you respect the right of anyone to adopt a child.
They hate you because you respect international law.
They hate you because you believe in economic and tax fairness.
They hate you because you respect the right of anyone to worship any way they want.
They hate you because you respect scientists and their collective knowledge.
They hate you because you respect teachers and the work they do educating Americans.
They hate you because you respect the human dignity of every American.
They hate you because you respect the rights of people over corporations.
They hate you because you respect nature and think we have a duty to take care of the environment.
They hate you because you respect your right to vote, and they don’t think you deserve it.
They hate you because you respect the constitution and the rule of law.
They hate you because you respect laws against torture.
In short, they hate you. Period.
They masquerade their bullshit in the words of Jesus and the all-knowing free market, but it is transparent what motivates them. Not love for their fellow man, not love for their fellow citizen, not love for country- what motivates them is hate for the other.
They fucking hate you. They want you, and everyone who speaks for you, and every institution that represents your values, whether it be Planned Parenthood or food banks or ACORN- you name it. They want it destroyed.
I just do not understand why more people do not recognize this. 
The Republicans have declared total war on America, and people are responding like this is politics as usual. It isn’t. It really isn’t. It’s really all or nothing at this point. We put the birchers/tea party/conservatives back in their place and destroy the current GOP, or we deal with this shit for the next forty-sixty years.
We are at the point where we know who is going to set the Reichstag fire. Are we up to stopping them?'

Woody agrees: Yup: "They" hate "us."
Deeply, and with a fire that burns 'em.
They despise everything about us, without exception, starting with our tolerance for diversity. But that's just the start.
Down deep, "they" just want "us" dead.
The conclusion here is pretty much spot-on: 
We're just waiting for the next Reichstag fire/9-11 attack.
We KNOW it's coming.
We know who'll set it.
We just don't know when or where.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Immediate Nostalgia?

Just outta curiosity, I wish someone would tell me what exactly it was that PrezLowbar was actually 'leading' that has gained him such infamy among some libs/pwogs?
The Empire?
I mean, yeah, sure, him and the CIA ran the empire.
C'mon, SOMEBODY had to do it. They don't run themselves. It wasn't something that anyone in that position could have avoided. USer/imperial hands overseas are ALWAYS blood-drenched.
And it hardly touched us here at home--quite by design.
At home, he was stymied by the GOPhux majorities/intransigence in every matter of domestic significance to which he attached his name, except the ACA and the domestic auto bail-out.
McConnell couldn't deliver on the promise to "Make him a one-term president?"
Not quite, but they did the next best thing: Made him almost irrelevant.
Mainly, after 2010, he was a pawn of the aristos, bosses and the owners, a dupe of the GOPhux Congress, and a bane on ordinary folks (for his perpetual concessions on unnecessarily severe austerity programs, e.g.) for at least the last six years.
My PET Peeve:
The area in which I was/am most intimately concerned is "Public Schools," and there he was a fuukkkin DISASTER. Betsy DeVos will have to work her slag/satchel-ass off, unceasingly, to be more destructive to Public Education than Lowbarry's choice, Chicago corpoRat lawyer Arne Duncan was. "Race to the Top" was just Boooshevik "NCLB"/test/test/testing with more obvious bribes to the compliant. The Boosheviks/Maggie ("BIG Hands") Spelling were terrible, too, but one would have thought even a NOMINAL "Democrat" (such as Lowbarry) would have been more careful about the building blocks of democratic civilization, and he emphatically was NOT.
But 'education' wasn't the only failing or weakness. I've seen scores of homages tendered to the now-retired Ex-Chief, including some several ready to proclaim Lowbarry a "Great President."
Also NOT!
He deported himself with dignity and restraint. His regime was signally free of obvious corruption. He was "popular," by and large. But to relatively little, positive effect. He DID accomplish some things in the first two years, but the record thereafter is bleak. Under the circumstances, he may have been as good as he COULD have been. My main reservations are in matters where he could have done MUCH more than he ever endeavored.
Since Jan. 20, we have had occasion to look back on Prez Lowbarry with affection and poignant nostalgia. He'll be known to history as the "Most Liberal" USer president of the 21st Century, such consolation as that delivers.
But, he wasn't one of the "Great" presidents.
There are STILL only three of those: Washington, Lincoln and FDR. Lowbarry's handling of the fall-out from the '08/09 financial debacle was mightily flawed, his appointments were dreadful (though they don't look quite so bad now, I guess, in comparison with Trompolina's).
I'll say this about greatness:
If whosoever is the NEXT President, or ANY subsequent President, is able to rescue popular sovereignty or any other vestige of "Democracy in America," THAT President will join the "GREAT" ones.

Monday, February 6, 2017


How the FUCK could this Trump-shit have happened?
The economic/social argument continues, about whether it was simple, mean, asswhole, reactionary racism/misogyny/jingoism that cost HRC the election, or it was the agonized outcry of (mainly) white, rural working poor complazining about their disaffection which swung the the election; in the course of which it was suggested that my being an "elite" rendered some of my opinions less than reliable on matters of work and the working class...
We all agree the rural/fly-over, white/poor/working class doesn't vote its best interests. It's my opinion that they don't "NOT UNDERSTAND" their own best interests.
Rather, they have disavowed them...consciously, and intentionally...from motives rooted in racial prejudice, intolerance and ignorance.
A correspondent wrote:
"Trumpists are voting in their own best interests as they understand them. They want jobs, low taxes, less government interference, respect for their beliefs and a great, white America. These are their interests." I replied:
Or: They WANT that great, white America; all that other shit is lagniappe. The white/lower class brought on its own irrelevance when it/they declined to make common cause with the REST of the lower/working class.
As I am not part of the white working class (although I have worked and am white) I am not qualified to read their minds and judge which are their true wants.
I haven't always been a member of the arruguula-munching, chardonnay-sniffing, sandal-and-sock-wearing, Lexus-driving, professorial class/academic elite.
I have spent a fair amount of my working life FAR from the academy's ivy-bedecked halls, down where you NEED to shower before going home, with the Trumpenproles. I've done real, menial, manual, shitty, boring, repetitive, unrewarding work among those who would indubitably have been Trompistas, if they lived.
Believe me:
It ain't that pretty at all.
So, don't let's over-complicate this: 

They SAY it's economic, but their real bitch is racial.
Trumpisto loyalists across the board would happily endure a severe reduction in living standards if they were assured that the people whom they detest as their "racial inferiors" were starving.
Save their skin perqs and preserve racial preferences, and they'll be just fine.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Counting Coups

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Partial Summary of the Status of the Recent Coup d'Etat:
This coup has been going on, mainly behind the scenes until the assassinations in the 60s, since shortly before WW II, with Prescott Bush and the Business Coup boys leading the way to unseat FDR.
And this whole last 'election' has been mainly about "White Revanchism."  It's the single most studiously ignored feature not only of this campaign, but of the past eight years, too.. "Revanchism (from French: revanche, "revenge") is the political manifestation of the will to reverse losses incurred by a political entity, often following a war or social movement." (Such as civil rights? Ya think?)
All those other "economic" and "social" issues are/were convenient camouflage to disguise the central point of the Trump "victory": Preserving or recovering as much "white" skin-privilege as possible in the teeth of the forthcoming demographic meltdown.

The "Coup": A Short History
The Gradual/Incremental, GOPhux, Anti-"democratic," "Slow" Coup d'Etat was birthed in the 30s by Prescott Bush and his cronies in the so-called "Business Coup," along with a score or so of "nativist' movements like Father Coughlin, and others who tried to bring down FDR and reverse the "New Deal."
WW II forced 'em underground, but they re-emerged in the late 40s and early 50s after passage of the National Security Act of 1947, as the Birchers/America'sFuture/McCarthyites.
The first visible casualties of the coup were JFK, MLK, RFK and MalcomX, in the 60s. These assassinations affected citizen morale, and illustrated what they were capable of.
There was a slight hiccup when Nixon's toadies and gunsels got caught trying to fix the '72 election. But the Powell Memo, the schematic for the Conservaturd Counter-Reformation, was already in place. It only awaited the Raygoons, et seq, since 1980 to see it to fruition.
The Clenis "impeachment" was part of the program, too, to undermine the authority of the Presidency, which the GOPhux continued to do all through the Lowbar years, too.
And now they're in total command, "American" democracy is deader'n shit; it will require bloodshed to remove them, and not even THAT will restore the country to what its previous state.

You must remember:
BOTH Trump and the whole Bannon wing of the WhiteHouse WANT to destroy "America-qua-State." That's what they were 'elected' to do. Pretty much the whole of the GOPhux party establishment is on board.
Their aim is nothing less than the destruction of the State...of The United States, it's arcane and antique Constitution and its public institutions.
And replacing it with the form envisioned by many of the Founders: Aristocratic, autocratic plutocracy: The country should be ruled by its owners.
Which is what's happening now.
And it will have been irreversibly transformed inside the two years until the next possible elections... RIP, USA!